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Web Reviews

MYSHOES.COM

        Upon visiting the myshoes website, I came across various stories that are intriguing and very personal. They are revelations of racism and prejudice against people of mixed heritage. Writers describe how people of all categories discriminate against them for being mixed with the "other" race. For instance, Black students would separate themselves from a biracial student because they inherited White blood, vice versa.

        Young people expressed how they would be perceived as trying to "be" one race if they were found socializing with people of that particular race. They would also be tormented for supposedly denying their mixed heritage and end up without a healthy abundance of friends. I appreciated the fact that this site is not compiled of a bunch of statistics and philosophical jargon from self proclaimed professional analysts.

       This site is composed of works created by the victims of racism and prejudice, therefore the message is more powerful because readers can easily to relate to the stories, or simply understand. This also makes the issue seem more realistic and open the eyes of those who are not aware. From perusing entries from the younger writers, there was one thing that disturbed me - the dominance of optimistic visions of the future.

       Most writers believe that one day the racism and prejudice held against biracial people would cease. The reason why this view is so disturbing to me is the fact that the writer's own personal views of themselves and of others are contradictory to their cause. One writer pronounced that she sensed some jealousy from Black girls because she has "good" hair, and declared that she is so beautiful that guys are often afraid to approach her. This stimulated a negative vibe in my mind because it seemed as if this particular girl is caught up into the same ridiculous frame of thought that so many people suffer from - the ignorance supporting the idea that if a person is mixed, they are some how blessed with "good' hair and astounding beauty.

        On the one hand most writers claim that when they were younger they had certain biases about people and were treated unfairly but now they have different opinions and everything seems to be just fine because now they are accepted by more people. However the contradictions become evident as some of the writers elaborate on dating and marrying preferences. They were asked if they would date or marry a white or black person. Most are open minded and express how race or ethnicity really doesn't affect their decision to date some one, it is their personality that attracts them. Others are very biased, like this one girl who stated that she dated a black guy who raped and cheated on her. "Therefore, I hate black guys my age. I know not all of them are like this, but prove me wrong….. so far I am not impressed with these 'ghetto-glorifying niggas' who have clouded dreams of becoming rap stars and b-ball players".

       It is very interesting as to how people of mixed heritage , who have been discriminated against by so many could have the audacity to turn around and discriminate against others based on the very prejudices that are used against them. The myshoes website is an overall good site where diversity not only lies in the mixture of ethnicity's and races represented, but in the values and opinions expressed. I would recommend it.
Sarina "GIGGLES" Heyward

WWW.POETRY.COM

       This page is subtitled "The International Library of Poetry," and it just goes to show you, that you can;t believe everything you read. In actuality it's run by The International Society of Poetry (Hey I once performed oral sex on a Canadian, can I start the International Society of Fellatio?) and it's pretty much a site primarily for that organization. Yeah they make an attempt to further the cause of poetry, but their poetry database consists of only poetry by their members, and has such wonderful links such as, "Need Help Rhyming," and "Your Words On Personalized Products." And just for the record, there are no matching rhymes for, crackwhore, scrotum, cunt, snuffle-upagus, or motherfucker, but there were three matches for pedophelia, and I can get it printed on a sweatshirt, a mousepad, or an apron, which should come in handy with Christmas just around the corner. But hey, it's not all bad they do have a listing of the "100 Greatest Love Poems Ever Written," and the "100 Greatest Poems Ever Written,"

        Although their choices are open for debate (No Bukowski make James very angry). Seriously, what a waste of a good domain name. I mean, I applaud their attempt to bring poetry to the masses (okay, maybe a small golf clap), but if the masses are turning to this site for their daily fill of culture, then maybe Burroughs was right when he said, "No Joan don't worry, I'm a crack shot," then again, maybe he was talking about something else.
James Parker.

WWW.GAY.COM

        Okay, I'm all for gay rights and trying to establish some kind of "gay culture," and developing a sense of community but seriously, any guy who gets all the jokes on Will & Grace and any girl who listens to Ani Difranco knows one thing: Gay.com is for meeting other gay people to discuss current events, talk about politics effecting our rights, and oh yeah TO HOOK UP TO HAVE SOME HOT GAY BALL SLAPPING OR POO TANG MUNCHING SEXX!! And that's basically it. Oh yeah I think they have a section for shopping too.
James Parker.

WWW.ASIANAVENUE.COM

       AsianAvenue.com has achieved the distinction of being the site with the highest traffic for Asian Americans on the Internet. With more than 900,000 members, AsianAvenue.com is a fully equipped virtual city designed specifically for people of Asian descent. You'll find a handful of chat rooms in the lounge, topic-specific informational pages in the Venues link, and a list of Asian-focused events posted by members. There is one catch though; although membership is free, the registration form asks more personal questions than the Census Bureau. But despite the wariness, this concept of "openness" among its members is the key to its raging success.

       In brief review of its content, the site focuses on current events, significant issues and relevant Asian American personalities. Aside from the culturally inclined topics of discussion, shifting from a sarcastic plead for an "all-yellow TV show" to a humorous list of Asian "love rules", the site also features a "Member of the Week" section that reflects the Asian community's hunger for regard. Just talk to Ben Sun, a 27-year-old Chinese American and founder of this web phenomenon. The man continually raves about the accessibility of his creation: "We aren't just an Internet portal. We are also a destination, an online community for Asian Americans. We focus on people building relationships with each other online."

       In a span of three years, the growth of a strong and passionate community within the confines of cyberspace, has spurred a palpable residence that echoes its voice in many a ways. For instance, AsianAvenue is best known for its slew of articles and discourse surrounding Asian American issues, taking the form of newspaper clips and member letters.

       In one controversial exchange, an AsianAvenue member wrote a letter to Sky Vodka concerning an advertisement they placed in Vogue magazine. The ad showed an Asian woman in "stereotypical geisha wear in a suburban dragon woman pose," serving vodka to a Caucasian woman. Sky Vodka's rebuttal letter to the member was flippant, indicating they could not agree that the ad was offensive toward Asian Americans. The AsianAvenue member posted her letter alongside Sky's reply to AsianAvenue's chat rooms.

       In a matter of minutes, there were hundreds of postings regarding the matter, ranging from a 16- year old Chinese American in California to a tenured professor. And because of the volume of response and the heated-ness of the debate, Sky Vodka offered their apologies to the members and changed the ad. Certainly, this exemplifies the potential power of an online community.

       Just imagine, a 21-year-old Filipino American who logs on to this site 7 to 10 hours a week, chatting with fellow Asian Americans during his free time, and with every moment, gauging the Asian American sentiment on current issues through other people's feedback on the site. This is definitely more than just a portal. This is a voice that resonates within its charters and essentially, across cultural and political borders in America.
Joey Andamo.

WWW.YFORUM.COM

       "A website that ask the questions that people are afraid to ask" is the motto of this site and they live up it. If you don't believe it check out the questions that ask "what bathrooms transvestites use?"" Why do black people make up their names?" "?"How come you never see Asian men dating black women or "why do white people smell like Wet Dogs?" which is also the title of the book put out by the designer of the website.

        Asking questions about gender race and all the things you think are too sensitive to ask people about (a.k.a. afraid of getting your ass whupped because you might offend them) is what this site is about and it definitely lives up to its purpose. The controversial title reflects a question often asked when I was younger "why do white people smell like bologna". I was not only able to get an answer at this site but also find out that white people also have similar questions about the "distinct funk" black folks have. Maybe the next book will be entitled, "Why do Black Folks smell like Chitlins??" Overall a good site and worth checking out especially the FAQ and the best of the week section.

Sea Clear

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