Vent: An Asian American Politics and Popular Culture Magazine is a current AS PAPERs publication. It was established in the spring quarter of the 2006-2007 school year by a group of active UC Davis Undergraduate students who were fed up with the lack of Asian American representation in the media and politics.
Vent is notable for their full color graphically interesting magazine style layout. Rather than the newspaper layout or newsletter mishmash often found in student publications, they use bright colors and integrate graphics and images into the text layout.
Download Vent's First Issue Here: First_Issue.pdf
We understand that everyone has a lot to say but PLEASE keep all comments below.
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2007-11-16 15:58:49 Thanks for the feedback Emily...btw, if anyone knows of any advertising opportunities for this magazine let me know —DarylSuyat
2007-12-10 18:02:59 Damn, the writers and editors at this 'zine give a bad name to asians. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. —JoshFernandez
I think the writers at Vent Magazine are trying to set a precendent for Asian Americans. I guess that could be considered "bad journalism" but I think it's something that OUGHT to happen. There are far too many negative stereotypes of Asian Americans floating around these days and being able to acknowledge these problems initially will allow the magazine to develop its own identity later on. As a member of the Asian American community I applaud them for having the balls to criticize ASUCD Fall 2007 senate candidate Users/AndrewKim for, inevitably, establishing a poor image of Asian Americans and for their remarks on Tila Tequila and criticism on "Asiaphiles". —EmilyTung
2007-12-11 13:27:22 "There is a reason that there is barely any Asian American politicians or lead actors in romantic comedies or sitcoms." You should be thankful... At least you aren't portrayed as either bumbling fools or heartless crooks - like every white male over the age of 30 on television. —GrumpyoldGeek
2007-12-11 13:36:14 Ya Brad Pitt, George Clooney, adn Matt Damon are all portrayed as bumbling fools and heartless crooks. —JamesSchwab
I don't watch enough television to know whether you're agreeing or being cynical. That said, I can give you a long list of older white male roles cast as bumbling fools or corrupt assholes. In any case, perhaps what I should have said is "be careful what you wish for". Television does not exist to portray fair representations of ethnic groups, it exists to make money for it's producers and advertisers. That usually involves ignoring the good aspects of a society or race and amplifying the bad, consumptive and abusive side. Also consider that perhaps Asians as a group may not watch as much television as other ethnic groups and when they do, may not be as easily motivated to purchase a product based on television advertising. I don't know. In any case, I think the magazine is a significant achievement by a small and dedicated group and I wish them the best of success.—GrumpyoldGeek
"Also consider that perhaps Asians as a group may not watch as much television as other ethnic groups and when they do, may not be as easily motivated to purchase a product based on television advertising." Um, I watch helluva TV. So did my brother, so do my Asian American neighbors, and so do my parents. As a whole, I'm pretty sure Asian Americans watch just as much TV as any average American. I don't know how you managed to conjure up such a sweeping statement on Asian American television watching habits. —EmilyTung
2007-12-11 21:43:16 I find it funny how all the white ppl refer to our readers as asians when we are an ASIAN AMERICAN magazine. It's an obvious attempt to Orientalize and to racialize us as perpetual foreigners. GrumpyoldGeek thinks that because we are Asian American we watch less TV than any other ethnic group? What a R-A-C-I-S-T! The majority of racism is still structural and the sad thing is that almost every time I hear a person of color talk about structural racism, a white male starts talking about interpersonal racism—completely dismissing the structural argument as trivial and non existent. The fact of the matter is Asian Americans are marginalized people just like all people of color who cannot enjoy the comforts of white privilege. Malcolm X talked about the ballot or the bullet... Vent is saying, what is the point of having a ballot if we can't see our people on it. —DarylSuyat
First off Daryl, great job playing the race card. If I was a called racist for everytime I said Asian, I might as well be the Imperial Wizard. You get pissed about being called Asian instead of Asian-American yet you issue a blanket a statement about "all the white ppl". Ever consider that maybe most people -not just whitey- are too lazy to say Asian-American, or any other (insert ethnicity/nationality)-American, all the time so they just say the first part. Grumpyoldgeek never straight-up said Asian-Americans watch less TV, though just suggested the idea. Currently there are no statistics on this page showing how many hours of TV Asian-Americans watch per week and that of all other groups in the country. What you obviously overlooked in his statement is that TV shows largely don't care how well or poorly a group or individual is represented as long as it pulls in the ratings. As for institutional barriers, I'll admit I don't know much about it. Maybe, just maybe, the Asian-American community doesn't care all too much about politics. Not saying it's true, but it's something to consider. IF it is true, this is where Vent comes into play. The magazine targets the community and can make them aware of what the issues are and why they matter to them. I guess what I'm trying to say is this: don't be such a hypocrite and learn the concept reading comprehension. —MattBlair
Matt, why did you feel compelled to leave your two cents on this topic? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, I'm just curious as to why you would feel compelled to comment on Grumpyoldgeek's remarks. —EmilyTung
Accusing of someone being racist while making blanket statements about all people of a certain ethnicity is very hypocritical and just plain ignorant. I felt that that should be pointed out. That's the only reason I commented as I did. —MB
2007-12-12 16:09:59 Mr. Matt Blair since you are such a critical reader please consider how "all the white people" referred to the white people making comments on this page. I should have made that more clear but I thought it was evident. But I can understand how you can misconstrue me as a hypocrite and reverse racist because you were probably thought to think that way in one of your courses. But thank you for criticizing my inability to comprehend the English language. It’s probably because I’m Asian. Haha before you get angry, realize that I understand that I just played the race card on you this instance.
Talking about and arguing against structural racism as a means to keep marginalized voices away from mainstream politics and media however is far from using what you call “the race card.” How you frame the discussion of structural racism merely trivializes it. Words like the "race card" to describe arguments about the racial barriers of inequity to people of color only do damage to progress because they frame very real and tangible concerns as insignificant. Turning your back on an injustice happening to people of color is just as racist if not more than perpetuating racial slurs and violence because it serves to perpetuate the injustices and solves nothing.
And on your comments:
"As for institutional barriers, I'll admit I don't know much about it. Maybe, just maybe, the Asian-American community doesn't care all too much about politics."
“I'll admit I don't know much about it. Maybe, just maybe, the Asian-American community doesn't care all too much about politics. Not saying it's true, but it's something to consider.”
Listen up... Here’s some basics (elementary information) on institutional barriers...Pay attention because maybe you can learn a little something about Asian American history that you won't learn in a euro-centric American history class. Asians share a history of being colonized by white people! They went through a process called cultural and mental imperialism in which they were mentally enslaved and brainwashed to believe that white people are superior—you probably know this as relating to manifest destiny (a convoluted euphemism for IMPERIALISM). In those countries where people continue to immigrate to this country because of economic conditions created by white people, they still believe that white people are GODSENDS. So when they come here they are blindly forced to take mediocre jobs in fields like science that STRUCTURES such as our immigration system perpetuate. At the same time they are naively thankful because the jobs they take are better than the ones they could have attained in their homelands because white hegemony created this phenomenon.
These jobs limit Asian Americans from taking positions of political power but can keep the Asian American mean household income high enough so that the people in power (you cannot argue that they are not predominantly white male) can say… “Asians don’t witness any form of oppression or marginalization. They’re just as economically well off as white people” when in fact they are as marginalized and on the same unequal playing field as blacks and chican@s.
This concept is further exacerbated by the fact that it divides the ethnic community. The black and chican@ community buy into the propaganda that Asian Americans are model minorities and thus become unwilling to work with them on similar goals for reforming our inherently unequal structures. Its basic ethnic studies 101.
In synopsis I understand your concern. Calling us Asian instead of Asian American was probably a semantic flaw. But that wasn’t what I was angry (and don’t mistake my passion for anger because I am not angry) about. I am most concerned that GrumpyoldGeek and yourself are trying to trivialize our concerns as people of color. You came up with a real valid concern that maybe Asian Americans don’t care about politics? But why should they if their voices and concerns aren’t getting represented? I saw that link you included of Asian American politicians. It’s pathetic! Many of those people aren’t even active politicians anymore. During the pre civil rights era there were black people who were able to sneak into white owned establishments but did that make the institution of separate but equal valid? And although the house slave doesn’t have to work the fields does that make him or her any less of a slave? The end of the story is Asian Americans need more representation and VENT is going to help make it happen.
Okay, here's my example right here (and now I see what one of the major problems is with your magazine). You've taken seemingly thousands of words to say what can be said in just a paragraph. Brevity is far more impactful than long-winded, condescending banter. Also, when you tell me that "The black and chican@ community buy into the propaganda that Asian Americans," are you really being fair there? What divides the ethnic community (if there is such a thing) are people who babble nonsensically (and endlessly) about race with very superficial observations. JoshFernandez
James: Don't worry man—I'm using I statements...To Josh: At first I was offended by your comments but then I remembered you were an editor for a magazine that I personally wouldn't read. I won't lie I picked it up once... I think I washed my car windows with it. What's cool though is that I have a prototype of my magazine out that wasn't initially supposed to be released— it's honestly the first time I've had any experience in writing/editing/releasing a magazine— and you my friend, a 32 year old "professional" journalist read it. I think thats pretty cool! But anyways, I appreciate your comments. However I don't think brevity is going to work. Readers want historical examples, reasons, theories, facts because their minds are colonized by the white-centric media and all the words are here to decolonize them. I'm sorry for seeming like a jerk though—Im really a nice guy. I'm just tired of the stereotypes of passive/quiet Asian Americans (The California Aggie called me that once). But "real talk" why can't I openly express my views of other people's work and opinions without seeming like a douche bag? I personally think open and honest discussion is perfectly healthy. The wiki may not be the place to do it but the upcoming Vent website will have a discussion forum. When thats up feel free to say anything and everything you want. But don't expect me to not add my 2 cents on uneducated comments. By the way you should read some of Claire Jean Kim's writing. Her views on racial triangulation will probably piss you off. And while you're at it google pan-ethnic coalitions. -Daryl
Well, I wish you luck. I'm just glad you're not out there trying to represent me. Even if you somehow learned to effectively use the language, I'd still be bummed out because you seem to be excruciatingly personality-deficient. And unfortunately, you can't Google one of those.
Just reading this page, I was curious about your thoughts on Asian American voting patterns. Across all nationalities and groups (Japanese, Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, etc) Asian Americans are less likely to vote. Even when you account for social class and income Asian Americans don't vote. I couldn't find a link the studies I had that found this, but it might be an interesting thing to address. Best of luck with the magazine. Andrew Peake
This is a phenomenon that we will definitely delve into. Keep an eye out for upcoming issues.-Daryl
2007-12-12 17:15:17 The wiki is not the most healthy arena to discuss these issues. I don't see a right-side or wrong-side to this discussion, just people arguing for the same goal from different perspectives. It's rare that you find someone that actually doesn't believe in equal opportunity for everyone. What is common however, is people who speak the same language but don't understand each other. We each use the same words from different perspectives. I would hope that one aspect of college is to learn to communicate with folks from different backgrounds and to learn their different perspectives. Someone might not understand the issues facing a community different from their own, because they were never exposed or for a number of reasons. So what are you going to do? Criticize them or teach them? Shut your ears or listen and learn? Remember to use "I" statments and keep a healthy discussion. I can vouch that the people involved in this discussion want the same thing and share the same values. Just learn how to communicate with each other without being accusatory or mean. —JamesSchwab
You are right James. Honestly I used to hate using the wiki because it would be the same people arguing about seemingly trivial things. The issues this magazine are addressing however are very significant. So excuse me if I come off as angry or hostile. I just want to make it known that I'm not joking around when I talk about modern racial inequity and my vision to help stop it.-Daryl
2007-12-12 17:22:22 People might also consider if turning this entry into a personal discussion with each other is fair to Vent Magazine and people who might be interested in reading it. Less than half of the content on this entry is now about Vent Magazine. —JabberWokky
It's funny. This page could be renamed ["LEAD/Internal Discussion+Josh Fernandez is cool too"]. If only we could get these kind of ideas out there to other people, maybe through some sort of magazine.
I don't think that having an abundance of Asians in science and engineering is a bad thing. It probably increases their power over the long term, more so than in the field of politics. Any government action can be undone by the next guy who comes along, but when a scientist discovers or an engineer invents, it effects people and society globally and irrevocably. Scientific knowledge is a bell which is virtually impossible to unring, but we all know it takes only one more seat on the Supreme Court to make abortion illegal again. Still, abortion can never be eliminated, as the scientific knowledge to make it happen still exists. I'm sorry, but I don't buy into the whole "mediocre jobs in science" argument. Politicians may write history, but scientists and engineers make the pen, ink, and paper on which it is written.
And honestly, I'm surprised that there aren't more Asian politicians. Asians do have a lot of income on average, and it seems like the predominant prerequisite for political office is having a good cash flow. I guess good old white privilege ♥ is still working for me. —BrentLaabs
Aside from people who are affiliated with LEAD being a part of this discussion, why would you title this entry under "LEAD?" I'm not following your logic.
I'm not surprised that there are few politicians of Asian descent because we tend to be more on the quiet side and/or stereotyped as people who don't have much of an opinion on social issues in America. I guess we're too busy trying to fulfill Newsweek's definition of the model minority. It takes time and efficiency to generate good cash flow, Brent Laabs!
2007-12-18 10:27:21 Just wanted to give an encouraging shout out to everyone at Vent and to say, "Don't give up; hang on to your dreams!"
We here in the Midwest are doing what we can to help change perceptions and to break stereotypes: witness StirFriday Night! — Chicago's Asian American Sketch comedy troupe, A Squared (shot for Asian American) Theatre Company, dueEast Theatre Company and the Silk Road Theatre Project.
Also you can check out www.wingmentheshow.com for a look at the 1/2 hour sitcom that was a runner-up in the Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Competition this past July (full disclosure, I'm part of the team that wrote and produced this episode), about 5 guys living in Chicago who happen to be Asian-American and that support each other on matters of life, love, work and women. Yep, 5 Asian-American men playing lead characters and being (for the most part) just regular joes. On our site we've posted a short video clip to give people a peek into the pilot that made it into the finals (only two of which had minorities in the lead and the only one of the twelve with an Asian American perspective) and beat out 25 others. Meanwhile we're working to produce a finished cut to post later and plans are to write and produce a second episode of "Wingmen," hopefully in this new year...
Again, keep it strong and keep on keeping on!
— Marie Yuen —MarieY
2007-12-21 23:48:17 I also saw Vent Magazine on angryasianman.com. What the students in Davis are doing is really cool. I dont go to Davis but I wish someone started something like that at my school. As for the people who created the magazine, don't even trip about what the haters are saying. What matters is what the Asian-American community thinks and it seems like the community is on your side. So like what everyone else said, keep on doing what you are doing. Don't let grumpyoldracists keep you down. P.S. I think the nice guys article on wong fu was really good. I wonder if I'm a bad boy or a nice guy? —RobertNguyen
2007-12-22 14:13:28 This comment may just be a display of my ignorance, but I'll take the chance.
I read all the comments above and perused the first issue of Vent and I am a bit perplexed. Both give the impression that all Asians and Asian-Americans are "people of color" (whatever that means) and are from East and Southeast Asia. I see no mention or pictures of Israelis, Russians, Saudis, Indians, Iranians, etc., etc.
Was it your intention to exclude these Asians and Asian-Americans? —MartinKing
Honestly I used to be confused by this as well. But this is how I understand Asian America. Race is a social construction. Race is what society as a whole views you as. when the majority of people see Russians or Israelis they think white and when they see Saudis they think Arab not Asian. As for Asian American identity, my understanding is that its a political ethnic identity created in the 1960s by activists. It was created because activists in each of the separate ethnic identities saw poltical benefits from building coalitions with people that look like them and were racialized as oriental. But ethnic identity is always changing so that is why Indians which are South Asian are now included in the Asian American ethnic identity. i didn't get it at first but hopefully that helps. —SanjeevPatel
Please read Howard Omi and Michael Winant's Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s for more information.-Daryl
2008-01-02 17:40:48 Huh. I just heard about this from reading the Angry Asian Man archives, but this is really exciting! Well, I'll have to check out the content of the 'zine first, ya know. But kudos for attempting something like this. Oh man, I feel like such a nerd for getting all giddy over this. Probably why I'm an Asian American Studies major. :) —JenniferGiang
2008-03-01 02:01:01 Daryl, buddy, you have got some issues you have to deal with. For some unknown reason you are completely hooked on racism and by doing so are exacerbating the issue. As long as there are people like you in the world, we will never be rid of this uneccassary problem. As some of the other people have stated you are quite quick to pull the race card out when someone disaggrees with you. I personally believe it is a way for you to make people feel sorry for you and force people to see things your way. Its kinda sad. Obviously, for some reason, you have insecurities and feel that you need to take it out on other people and races. Yes, Asain Americans, just as all races, have faced hardship in their lives. Get over it. Stop living and focusing on the past and start working for the future. Only bad things and further riffting between cultures can come of such shortsightedness. I am hoping that the articles depicted in your magazine are nothing like your dialogue posted here. Instead of playing the blame game and getting people nowhere (a subject that you have clearly demonstrated in your dialogues), I hope your magazine tells people how and where they can go to become more active in politics - you know a constructive and purposeful digest. —johnb
2008-03-01 03:09:18 Daryl, I just want to make it clear that Asian Americans are not the only people to face injustice or hardship. EVERY CULTURE AND RACE at some time has faced adversity. Stop flattering yourself with the thought that you or Asian Americans are the only people to have suffered wrongdoings. Stop hiding behind this "racism" perception that you keep playing up. Stop blaming other races from "keeping you down" and making negative stereotypes. All races have negative stereotypes, whether or not you like to believe it (some of which you voiced in your very own commentary). And hold on to your seat now, even white people have had challanges in their lives. In the end, all people are just trying to make it in life. All of them, in the course of life pick up a few bumps and bruises, but it is how we choose to respond to these challenges that define us. And as of right now, the way you have choosen to handle your hardships is pathetic - blame "whitie". How conveinent for you to place all of your problems on someones elses shoulders. MAN UP, realize that injustices have been felt by all cultures and take POSITIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE stides toward a solution. Quit spreading hate and work toward Asian American and multicultural unity and positiveness. Make this a good magazine full of positive ways to get more Asian Americans involved in politics instead of a HATE magazine (which has been evidenced by your commentary here). —jayp
2008-03-01 12:22:01 Same ip on that last two comments. —EliYani
2008-03-07 12:30:32 some of the people here are so ignorant and why are they commenting if they haven't even read the magazine? i waited in line for about 30 minutes and filled out some random form for to get one, and honestly it was way worth it. i was quite impressed; we need more initiative like this from students. it's refreshing how people still care about stuff amidst all the apathy. —DanielAlvarez
2008-06-03 23:47:42 I suppose there's no real need to refute the comments made above by "johnb" and "jayp" since they came from the same IP address. I see they've taken some time out of their day to defame the Vent, but if they took the time to actually read the substantive material in the magazine, I don't think there's any reason they would come away with the impression that it promotes hate speech of any kind. I can say from personal experience that our editor, Daryl Suyat, takes serious consideration to every criticism made towards the magazine and actually tries to reconcile these concerns in future issues and for future projects. As a whole, I feel the purpose of Vent is to have Asian-American voices made public without having to censor their words (hence the name "vent"), and not to promote any agenda or individual's set of opinions. I mean, there is a disclaimer put on every freaking article. To be offended by the mag, you've really got to be looking for things to be mad about. —hendsonlin
2008-07-15 22:32:51 I feel a lot of hostility here, and that's alright. But instead of playing the blame game, why not just say that you're pissed that your parents are still controlling your life and the white boys are getting all your good women? —LiCheChan