August 11, 2008

108 Spirits: New Kid on the Block

I was poking around the web today, and William's betterasianman.com blog linked to a new site: 108 Spirits. It's focused solely on Asian American men, but of all the other "competitor" sites I've seen, it's very similar to ours. Like reappropriate, it's hard-hitting, well-written, and progressive, and so far, the discussions lack the nauseating wholesomeness that we sometimes see on other sites. It's like a young 44s or young reappropriate for men. In fact, the dialog reminds me a lot of the early days of the 44s with Seoulbrother's Palchisan Realm and the discussions about old Chinese epics like the Three Kingdoms. I think it's great that people are digging deep into our cultural history in order to find wisdom that so many of us either don't know or have forgotten.

The vision/explanation of the name is cool too:
108 Spirits is a reference to the 36 Heavenly Spirits and 72 Earthly Fiends that originated from Chinese mythology and later on influenced various Asian works of literature. Among those is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature: "Shui Hu", aka "Water Margin", "Outlaws of the Marsh" or "All Men Are Brothers", in which the 108 Spirits reincarnated as the 108 Outlaws.

The 108 Outlaws of the Marsh are a band of very talented men who refuse to be governed by established rules & practices and rebel against authorities. Their stories represent and celebrate masculine Asian men of various types: leader, scholar, warrior, businessman, outlaw, musician, doctor, etc. - united by the spirit of the Brotherhood to help each other and those in needs.

That is the goal of this website: the development, representation and celebration of Asian masculinity.

I found these paragraphs particularly interesting after our Frank Chin event where Frank spoke about stories. Frank actually started telling "Water Margin" when we were having dim sum, but then the ha cheung came and I totally spaced. For those who follow my 44s blog, I'm particularly interested in traditional stories because there is some true wisdom there. It's great to see a group of young guys starting inquiries into this area.

So here are some things from their site to check out:

The Asian Male Identity

How did you discover your passion?

Some of the usernames look familiar :) , but it's great seeing good dialogue on the web outside of our own. My approach to activism and knowledge has always been the same--if people have the talent and inclination to do good things, we need to support them, and we need to help them reach their goals. From what I've seen, all the 44s admins and blackbelts support that goal too. So to the 108's, welcome to the blogosphere! Let's do great things together!

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