Wednesday, September 13, 2006 way!

The television show, not the band.

So, when the new season of Survivor was announced and people found out it was a race war, I think most of the reaction was What are they thinking?!?! I hadn't really formed an opinion about it yet, except that it felt a little strange to me, but as I'm fascinated with all things race-related, I had a mild interest to check it out. I watched the first season of Survivor and enjoyed it, and watched bits of the second and third season and then just lost track of it. Well, tonight I found out another reason to watch. One of my friend James's best friends is in it! Yul Kwon. Check out his profile

I've hung out with James's group of friends quite a bit, gone on ski trips, spent New Year's, hung out on both the East and West coast. I haven't seen Yul in a while, but he's a really nice guy, and I'm curious how he'll come across.


Renee said...

Alvina, I don't know Yul but I know someone who knows Yul... you don't by any chance know my cousin Polly (who lives in Northern California), do you?
(sorry to ask so publicly-- I wasn't sure how to email you)

alvinaling said...

Hmmm--nope! I only know him through my friend James and their Yale law school cohorts.

No problem asking here.

Small world! I love random connections, 6 degrees (less, actually), coincidences, and all that...

Disco Mermaids said...

Hi Alvina,

I was planning to post about the Survivor situation as well this week. I was mortified and fascinated at the same time when they announced this season's twist. My take is that the producers are out to challenge racial stereotypes and demonstrate that "we're all the same" deep down. Everyone has good and bad in them.

Simplistic, yes. But this is my guess from watching the first episode.

As for Yul...don't know him, but he certainly came off as extremely bright, strong, level-headed...not to mention gorgeous!

Now I feel like I can't not watch the season, if only to see how this controversy plays out. I'm all for social experiments. And I'm always examining issues of racism between characters in my books. So, I'm considering watching Survivor, um, research!


Renee said...

Yeah, it was a long shot. You never know!

I read this article about the Survivor thing this morning. I think it makes a lot of sense. Basically, the author is saying that Survivor has put themselves in a no-win situation. They don't want to offend any viewers with too much racial pride (or feelings of superiority) between teams, but if there's no tension, then this will have been a big PR bust. And what's the point if the audience isn't supposed to draw racial conclusions from who wins or loses? Are we supposed to be rooting for the team that matches our own ethnic idendity? It's a weird situation the producers have created.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on your blog by accident--researching my own name on the internet--Alvina Long. How did you get the name Alvina? Its unusual. I was named by my father who liked the name (my mother hated it). He was a massive father figure of the 30's.
We all think that he had an old girlfriend in his background with the name.
Waiting to hear your story. I have a lot of Taiwanese friends but no one has the name of Alvina???

alvinaling said...

Hi Alvina! Actually I've been meaning to blog about my name for a while, maybe I'll do that this weekend. But the short answer is that my parents picked my name out of a baby book because they liked how it sounded, and they liked the meaning--in the book they had, the meaning was "beloved by all."

And about Survivor...I haven't seen the first episode yet (a friend taped it for me), but I think that what I'll think about it depends on how it's edited. So, Eve (and keep commenting, I love it!), if as you say, their intent was to break down racial stereotypes rather than confirm them, then I'm all for it. And Renee, that was an interesting article...let's see how the season shakes out!