Eddie Huang on Fresh Off the Boat and More: VICE Podcast 003

Eddie Huang on Fresh Off the Boat and More: VICE Podcast 003


EDDY MORETTI: Hi, I’m
Eddy Moretti. Welcome to the Vice podcast. Today my guest is Eddie Huang. EDDIE HUANG: What’s up? EDDY MORETTI: Yeah. So let’s talk about
a bunch of shit. Let’s talk about the
book, right? So you have a show on Vice
called “Fresh Off The Boat.” And now you have a book called
“Fresh Off the Boat?” EDDIE HUANG: Yes, consistent
branding. Want that consistent branding. EDDY MORETTI: Yeah,
did you go to branding college or something? EDDIE HUANG: I did visit
Portland a couple times. EDDY MORETTI: Oh right, because
that’s where Wieden and Kennedy– EDDIE HUANG: Wieden and
all those people. EDDY MORETTI: That’s
the land of– EDDIE HUANG: The branded city,
the whole city is branded. EDDY MORETTI: So first of all,
how is the book doing? EDDIE HUANG: The book did
well. “New York Times” bestseller. So can’t ask for too much
more than that. I’m very happy. EDDY MORETTI: What
does that mean? What is a bestseller? EDDIE HUANG: You make a list
of bestselling books. You sold the most books in a
week or some shit like that. EDDY MORETTI: So how long were
you in the number one spot? EDDIE HUANG: I was
not number one. EDDY MORETTI: No, you were
just on the top 10. EDDIE HUANG: Not even. I topped something. It was the hardcover
bestsellers list. I was like in the 20s
or something like that, but it’s cool. Basically, I never thought I’d
even make the list as a kid, so for me it’s dope and it’s
one of those things. I never had the highest
expectations for myself. I just never thought that I
would ever break the bamboo ceiling, you know
what I’m saying? So anytime you reach a milestone
like “New York Times” bestseller, it’s cool. It’s a good look. For coming from Chinese
school, it’s not bad. EDDY MORETTI: Yeah, not bad. For anyone it’s not bad. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: Why did
you write it? And first of all, did you have
an idea when you were a kid that you wanted to write? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: And then,
why this book? EDDIE HUANG: When I was 18 going
up Orlando, Orlando was just a funny ass town. EDDY MORETTI: I know. I have questions
about Florida. EDDIE HUANG: Everybody
has questions. I have questions
about Florida. Growing up in Orlando, it was
just a weird urban sprawl kind of strange suburbia situation. It’s hot, muggy, there’s
lizards outside. EDDY MORETTI: The landlock. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. The white people aren’t even
like– they’re just strange people out there. Because it’s everything that’s
bad about the south, without everything that’s good
about the south. You don’t have that neighborhood
spirit, that community that a lot of smaller
southern towns have– southern cities. You don’t really have much of
the southern hospitality. It’s a lot of carpetbaggers
and transients. And so it’s all the ignorance
and none of the accoutrements that go with it. There’s none of the good pickled
vegetables and sides that usually come with
southern ignorance. So that’s what I really
hated about Orlando. But being Chinese, being pretty
much the only Asian kid in most of the schools I went
to, only one in the neighborhood besides one
of two other families. I just knew I wanted to write
about my American experience. And how there’s so many of us
that fall through the cracks of the American dream and
the stories that are told to us every day. And I was like, my story’s
just not represented. Not in the mainstream, not
in the subculture– it’s just not represented. Even when there’s Asian people
that come through, like Jeremy Lin did his thing. Psy did his thing. I love these dudes. Margaret Cho was probably the
only one as a kid I saw that came through, did her thing,
and spoke about the experience. But her experience is much
different than mine. So as a kid, as an 18-year-old
leaving for college, I knew I wanted to write a book
like this one day. EDDY MORETTI: Wow, OK. So what was the process like? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah,
this is funny. Like my editor Chris Jackson
said, he’s like, Eddie got a lot of skills. Like whether it’s like Allen
Iverson or something, he got a lot of skills as a writer
you can’t teach. But he got a lot of gaps
in his writing. EDDY MORETTI: That’s what
your manager said? EDDIE HUANG: My editor. My editor is Spiegel & Grau. He was talking to me
writing the book. There were things he’d say like,
Eddie, you need to do a little bit of setup
in this chapter. I was like, why? Why can’t we just jump in? And he was like, the
questions I asked– it wasn’t that they were
elementary, it was just that I had been untouched, untrained. All my ideas and my thoughts
were very radical, and they were very original. Some of them worked, some of
them didn’t, but it was because I had never gone
to a school to tell me how to write. And I don’t really read modern
fiction, literature. EDDY MORETTI: Do you
read a lot now? EDDIE HUANG: I read internet
shit, and I read philosophy. EDDY MORETTI: OK. Wait, that’s cool. So define internet shit, and
then tell us the philosopher that you’re reading. EDDIE HUANG: I’ll read
Kara Crabb articles. EDDY MORETTI: On Vice. EDDIE HUANG: I’ll read
The Kid Mero. I will read Grantland. I like Grantland a lot. There’s a lot of writers
on Grantland. Jay Caspian Kang,
Rembert Browne– I like these cats. And then I’ll read
philosophy books. Like, I’m reading
Franco Berardi. And then there’s this other
philosophy book like “The Image of the Young Girl”
or something. It’s like a little red book. I forgot the title, I just
flipped through. But you know when you go to
McNally Jackson and all those little colored philosophy
books? I’ll go pick them up and
just read through them. Because I like those things
that untrain my brain. I feel like society really
conditions you so much, that I try just not to touch anything
that is going to further condition my mind. I like to read in the margins. EDDY MORETTI: So how much
time do you actually spend reading then? You’re a pretty busy guy. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. I’m like a binge reader. EDDY MORETTI: Right. EDDIE HUANG: It’s almost like
some dudes will just go on a fucking Molly binge for two,
three weeks or something. I’ll read. I’ll go for two, three weeks
and just read every day and not go anywhere. And then I’ll stop, and then
I’ll think about it, and then I want to go see it
in the world. And it’s not that I plan it
that way, that’s just kind of how it is. I’ll get into a book and
I’ll really, really grapple with it. I’ll write in the margins. I’ll take my notes. And then I’m like, all right,
I got to chill and just let this shit breathe in my life. I almost never read fiction. EDDY MORETTI: Why not? EDDIE HUANG: I just
love nonfiction. I love philosophy. I like to deal with the current
world politics. I’m not an escapist. If I want to escape, I’ll
just smoke weed. I’ll watch a movie. If I want to slumber and escape,
like that Shakespeare “Midsummer Night’s Dream” type
shit, I’ll watch a movie. EDDY MORETTI: You don’t have
time for fiction, basically. EDDIE HUANG: I’m just not
interested, yeah. The last fiction book I read
that I liked was Junot Diaz, “Oscar Wao.” And I only read
that because my editor was– after reading the manuscript I
sent in– he was like yo, I know you never read it. But you’ve got to go read
“Junot.” And I was like all right, cool. And I read it and I fucked with
it, because we had a real struggle while writing this book
talking about how much vernacular did we want to use? How much slang did
we want to use? And I said that I didn’t
want to filter my book. I didn’t want to tame
my book for the normal reading audience. Because I’d pick up books at
the store, and you’d read these books, and it’s set up
like “and the wind blew through the back window.” EDDY MORETTI: Right. EDDIE HUANG: “She touched her
auburn hair and ate her fiddle sticks, or whatever.”
And that’s not me. I like to immerse myself. Like you guys do immersion
journalism, I really like to drop people into a scene
and be like figure a way out of it. And that’s really, I think,
from being a hip hop kid. When I listened to Wu-Tang for
the first time, I did now know what the fuck was going on. EDDY MORETTI: How
old were you? EDDIE HUANG: 12-years-old. EDDY MORETTI: So you
were in Florida? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. I was 11-years-old, in Florida,
listening to the Wu. And I remember just trying to
figure out what the RZA was saying, what the
GZA was saying. And it took years and years
and years, but I loved it. It was cryptic to me. I’m really influenced by
the Dao De Jing, and it’s not a cop out. I purposely will drop
you off in the scenes, intellect thoughts. And be like yo, work your way
out of this, grapple with it. EDDY MORETTI: And so language
is one of those things, too, that you’re authentically using
the language in the book that you do in real life. EDDIE HUANG: Yes. EDDY MORETTI: You have
your own language. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: I’ve heard you
talk some shit, and it’s like kind of made up and definitely
comes from the world of hip hop. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: You’ve put
things in there– EDDIE HUANG: My own amalgamism
of my upbringing. EDDY MORETTI: So why is that the
linguistic mode that makes you feel most comfortable? Because it feels like I can be
myself, I can explain the funny thing I want to explain
with some weird joke. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: Why is that? EDDIE HUANG: I like to be able
to do that, because a lot of the other vocabulary– I can speak. I speak very well. I mean, I passed the LSAT. I went to law school. I know how to use those words. But I had to teach myself to use
those words, and it’s very uncomfortable for me. I’ve always been a circuitous
explainer of things. You know what I mean? I use really strange metaphors
and whatever to explain. And it definitely comes from
hip hop, WWF, and comics. Because my thing as a kid was
I loved when people created their own universes. Whether it was Razor Ramon,
whether it was MF Doom, whether it was Sparr, Wu-Tang. They’re all superheroes. They have their own language. Like that whole Shaolin shit
was like another universe. And I liked how every crew had a
way of dressing, their own– like OutKast had that
just ATLiens shit. And so, for me, it wasn’t any
way of really trying. Just as a kid, you and
your crew, you always wanted to be different. Like me and my friends always
wanted to be different than everyone else. And I think that’s just like
an artistic thing. And the way I explained it,
whether it was my editor or other writers who were like
yo, we’d had reviews where people are like this
is rough English. This is sloppy English. I’m like, no, you just
don’t get it. That’s what people said when the
romantic poets first came around, like Wordsworth
and those cats– they did their own thing. Jack Kerouac did
his own thing. And those were very rough works,
and they’re not the most enjoyable things to read. But the level of difficulty and
the statements they were making were the most powerful. You have writers where there
are peaks and then there’s valleys over the centuries
or whatever. But I thought the romantic
poets were a peak. And people hate on them, but
they were interesting because they wanted to break the mold. Same with the May Movement
in China. And after the revolution,
everyone wanted to go to the vernacular. And I think that that’s kind of
what the internet is doing to writing now. EDDY MORETTI: Can you explain
that a little bit better? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: What
does that mean? EDDIE HUANG: Mao did a lot of
fucked up shit, obviously– burning books and things
like that. But a lot of times after these
cultural movements and revolutions, one of the number
one things people go to do is to take the language from the
ornate and make it the vernacular. And that’s definitely what
happened in China with their literature and stuff
like that. EDDY MORETTI: So it became
more colloquial? EDDIE HUANG: Colloquial, yeah. EDDY MORETTI: It became sort
of regular language– EDDIE HUANG: Real live
street shit. EDDY MORETTI: –exalted
poetic stuff. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: So I know you did
mention Mao in the book and that there was some good
stuff to come out of the revolution. What’s your family’s
experience with the revolution? EDDIE HUANG: Well, my
grandfather, grandmother on both sides, all my aunts and
uncles, were born in China and they all fled. So after the KMT lost, they
all fled to Taiwan. EDDY MORETTI: Why? EDDIE HUANG: Well, because they
were on the losing side. They left with Chiang
Kai-shek. They were all Chiang Kai-shek
supporters. EDDY MORETTI: OK, so
describe that. Because you don’t really go
into detail in the book. How deep were they
into politics? EDDIE HUANG: My grandfather
on my father’s side– my great grandfather was a
county mayor in Hunan in the last dynasty. So he died, my grandfather on
my father’s side was in the internal ministry of
Taiwan, when Chiang Kai-shek went over. EDDY MORETTI: You talked
about that, yeah. EDDIE HUANG: So he was very
involved in the politics. My grandfather on my mother’s
side was not that involved. He would make mantou and sell
them on the street, and he fled to Taiwan. And one of the best stories of
him and my grandmother, he would sell the bread
on the street. And there was this one
businessman, and actually from Hunan as well, from my father’s
family’s province. And this guy will come buy
the mantou every day. And mantou was almost like
a bagel to Chinese or Taiwanese people. You eat it in the morning. It’s just a big starch, gets
you through the day. EDDY MORETTI: Fried bread? EDDIE HUANG: Steamed bread. EDDY MORETTI: Steamed bread. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah,
and you eat it. This guy came by, and he said
look, your family every day is so consistent. You’ve got your daughters out
here working, your son is out here working, the whole family
is here selling these buns. I have a textile factory, and
the family that works for me has not shown up for
a couple weeks. Do you guys want to come
work in this factory? And they dropped everything
and went. EDDY MORETTI: That’s your
grandfather dropped it? EDDIE HUANG: Grandfather
on my mother’s side. EDDY MORETTI: On your
mother’s side. EDDIE HUANG: Like,
the whole family. EDDY MORETTI: So your dad’s
side was more political, involved in the government. Your mom’s side is– EDDIE HUANG: Textiles. EDDY MORETTI: Textiles. But before that? EDDIE HUANG: Sweatshops. EDDY MORETTI: Sweatshops. But before that,
selling mantou? EDDIE HUANG: Bread. Yeah, mantou. EDDY MORETTI: So, poor? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. And you know, they went
and they worked hard. And my grandfather ended up
opening his own textile factory years later in Taiwan. EDDY MORETTI: In Taiwan. EDDIE HUANG: He learned
and he did it himself. EDDY MORETTI: And then
that was the bridge? Textiles is what got you to
America, essentially? EDDIE HUANG: My mother. EDDY MORETTI: Mother’s side. EDDIE HUANG: My mother, yes. And they came and they opened a
furniture store in America. EDDY MORETTI: Yeah,
in Florida? EDDIE HUANG: In Northern
Virginia, DC. EDDY MORETTI: In Northern
Virginia, right. EDDIE HUANG: They came
there first. They opened Better Homes
right out there. EDDY MORETTI: OK, I got it. On your father’s side– EDDIE HUANG: It’s
tricky, yeah. EDDY MORETTI: On your father’s
side, what was the– EDDIE HUANG: So the way they got
over was one of my uncles, Uncle Joe who’s still alive– love Uncle Joe. He came over, he went
to Virginia Tech. And he studied, he became
an engineer. And he built three of the
major bridges in DC– participated in building three
of the major bridges in DC. Then they allowed my father
to come over. My father was the
ill street kid. He was a troublemaker. And my grandma basically, after
he got out of the Army in Taiwan– even in the Army he was
a troublemaker. He got out of the Army, my
grandma sent him to live with my uncle, Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe took away his
car, put him to work. EDDY MORETTI: So Uncle Joe’s
older than your dad? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, he’s
the oldest son. EDDY MORETTI: So what
year was that? What year did the Huang’s
come to America? EDDIE HUANG: I don’t want to
misspeak, but I think it was ’77 or ’78, and I
was born in ’82. They might have come
over then ’77-’78. EDDY MORETTI: But you
were born in– EDDIE HUANG: ’82. EDDY MORETTI: But not
here in America? EDDIE HUANG: Oh, no,
I was born here. EDDY MORETTI: You
were born here. EDDIE HUANG: My parents– my
dad knocked my mom up at a house party and I was conceived
at College Park. EDDY MORETTI: So in the book
you say, “whether it was another Communist scare or the
even greener pastures of America, no one ever gives you
a straight answer as to why they came to America.” EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: Why don’t they
give you a straight answer? EDDIE HUANG: I think it’s
a little to them. They love Taiwan. EDDY MORETTI: That’s clear from
the book that they miss it a lot, right? EDDIE HUANG: They
miss it a lot. And even in Taiwan, they
still feel a strong connection to China. And if you watch the Taiwan
episode we did on the “Fresh Off The Boat,” our fixer George
even talks about it. He’s like, there is a
brotherhood and a kinship between the people in Taiwan
and the people in China. Not the aboriginal Taiwanese. Maybe not the original
immigrants, even the ones from Fuji and/or Fujo. But at least that Chinese
migration from Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan, there’s a lot of us
descended from those people that made that original migration with Chiang Kai-shek. And we still have
a bond to China. We still feel a brotherhood
with it. And I think my parents, when
they come here, they don’t want to tell you. It’s almost sad to talk bad
about where you left. They love the place, so
they don’t want to talk bad about it. But at the end of the day,
it was opportunity. And they were scared of another
revolution, another Communist scare, a takeover. And America’s been that place,
you can’t take it away from American at all. It’s been that place where you
can come, you feel relatively safe, you feel like– EDDY MORETTI: Feel relatively. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, you
feel relatively safe. You feel the politics are
relatively stable. You have a opportunity to
make money that you don’t in other places. The standard of living
is higher, and that’s why they came. But it was hard for them,
because when they came they were made fun of all the time
and they didn’t fit in. And that’s why they’ve
created Chinatowns. Chinese people are very
isolationist, I think, in all of the political movements. Whether it was like building
an entire wall around the country, or right now like
shutting down all access to internet outside the country,
or coming to America and building Chinatowns. It’s like we have a little bit
of an isolationist mentality. EDDY MORETTI: That’s historical
though, right? EDDIE HUANG: I think
it’s historical. People are going to disagree
with me, and that’s fine. I don’t speak for all Chinese,
this is my opinion. What I see, I see
we built a wall. EDDY MORETTI: And there’s
no Google. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, there’s no
Google and we built a wall. Kind of strange. But even my father said this– it’s hard for me to give
you an answer, because there isn’t. They always dance around it. When we talk, they go,
it’s opportunity. They try to give you
a one-word answer. My father after he read the
book, the funniest thing he said, and it was a little sad
and it’s like bittersweet. He said to me, I’m sorry. And I said, it’s good,
don’t worry it. I thought he was talking about
hitting me and the abuse. Like, don’t worry about it, it’s
fine, you had to do it. And he goes, no, I’m
sorry about that. Don’t beat yourself up. He was like, I’m sorry I brought
our family to America. And I was like, whoa. I was like dude, we’re good. We did it. Why do you feel that way? He goes, it was hard for
me when I came over. It was hard for me in my ’20s. People made it very
difficult for me. And at times I was ashamed– not ashamed, he’s like, I was
just mad at how much people made fun of me and things like
that, and gave me a hard time. And how I didn’t have the same
opportunity that other Americans have. But he’s like, I had
no idea how hard it was to grow up here. He’s like, I didn’t realize when
I came what I was putting my children into. He’s like, because you guys had
to live through this from a young age. And he was like, I’m sorry. And I was like dad,
don’t be sorry. Don’t be sorry, because
we grew up in this. We’ve navigated this. We’ve kind of in
a way conquered this in our own method. We are part of America. America is part of us. You cannot separate the two. EDDY MORETTI: Let’s talk about
that for a bit, actually. Most of my questions are about
that idea of you– EDDIE HUANG: Let me just take
a sip of this unsponsored drink real quick. EDDY MORETTI: About you growing
up here in America. You already described
a little bit about what Florida was like. What Orlando was like. But you say in the book, those
first few years in Orlando I hated being Chinese. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: You talk a lot
about the Bible and religion. There’s this moment with
a teacher, Miss Truex. EDDIE HUANG: Oh, she’s
the worst. EDDY MORETTI: So just explain,
how much did you hate being Chinese growing up in Florida? EDDIE HUANG: You know, I really,
really was like why can’t I just be normal
like everybody else? The thing was, it was just
I’m sick of being weird. It wasn’t even Chinese
as much as I just don’t want to be different. When you’re a kid, you
want to have friends. You want to be invited to
fucking birthday parties. You want to get fucking presents
like everybody else. You want to get Christmas cards
like everybody else. I just want to be normal. You don’t understand as a kid
the value of difference. You have very simple
needs as a child. EDDY MORETTI: You
want to belong. EDDIE HUANG: I want to belong. I was sick of being an
outcast, sick of being picked on. Always getting pushed down
on the floor, teachers making fun of me. I had to eat soap. They’d always make
me eat soap. EDDY MORETTI: Why? EDDIE HUANG: Because I didn’t
know about the “Bible.” So these were private schools. And I remember one of the
first things was I saw Adam and Eve. And I saw the pictures, and
I remember as a five or six-year-old I said, why
is Adam and Eve white and I look like this? They don’t look like me. And they literally just
picked me up and took me outside the room. EDDY MORETTI: Are you kidding? EDDIE HUANG: Like, get this
kid out of the room. EDDY MORETTI: Who did? The teachers? EDDIE HUANG: The teacher. EDDY MORETTI: Get
the fuck out. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. And then I remember,
I asked again– EDDY MORETTI: Was this like
a Christian school? EDDIE HUANG: Christian school. Christian fellowship. They made me eat soap. EDDY MORETTI: So they took you
out of the class because you questioned Adam and Eve’s– EDDIE HUANG: Race. EDDY MORETTI: Race. And then they made
you eat soap? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. It’s almost like– EDDY MORETTI: How do you
eat soap, by the way? EDDIE HUANG: They literally take
a bar of soap and make you put it in your mouth. EDDY MORETTI: Do they
still do this? EDDIE HUANG: This was
in the ’80s, like ’88-’89 was the year. But they put me in there– EDDY MORETTI: This is awesome. EDDIE HUANG: They
had me eat soap. EDDY MORETTI: Awesomely bad. EDDIE HUANG: I’m a natural
lefty, made me use my right hand. EDDY MORETTI: So you
have to swallow it? EDDIE HUANG: The soap? EDDY MORETTI: Yeah. EDDIE HUANG: No, they just make
you hold it in your mouth and then you’re just
like, eh– EDDY MORETTI: Gagging. EDDIE HUANG: So you don’t
ask questions anymore. EDDY MORETTI: That’s
fucked up. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. Then I got older. I asked Adam and Eve again and
they’re like Tower of Babel. And I’m like, I don’t think it
makes sense that this tower fell and then there was
colored people. And they were just like
out, get out– even in third grade. EDDY MORETTI: Yeah, that’s
pretty extreme. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: Was it like that, generally speaking in Florida? Were you confronted by a
lot of fundamentalist Christianity? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. I don’t think people realize
that in the ’80s in the south in Orlando, Florida, which
some people don’t even consider the south, there’s
a lot of that going on. There’s a lot of that
stuff going on. My brother’s faced a lot
of similar things. I kind of caught the
tail end of it. I doubt it’s still
going on now. But I remember even though they
had stickers on books that were like evolution
is just a theory. They didn’t even call
evolution natural selection is a theory. And there was always those
stickers on books. EDDY MORETTI: Wow. EDDIE HUANG: I remember that. EDDY MORETTI: So what’s your
take on religion now, and Christianity? EDDIE HUANG: I’m a very
spiritual dude. I believe that there’s
a universe beyond us. There’s karmic spirits. I do think that there is some
sort of be a good person. And there is, not a reward, but
you have a duty to be a good person. EDDY MORETTI: Are your
parents religious? EDDIE HUANG: My parents are
Buddhist, but they’re not practicing Buddhists. They’re kind of like
non-practising Jewish people. But me, I definitely
believe in karma. I believe in the Golden Rule– do unto others as you would
like them to do unto you. And I talk to my grandparents
a lot. EDDY MORETTI: You say the
easiest way for Americans to make sense of Chinese history
is to compare it to Jewish history. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. There’s just a lot
of parallels. EDDY MORETTI: Yeah. Do you extend that all the
way into religion? EDDIE HUANG: The religions
are different. Because Buddhism, at the core
of it, a lot of it is to believe that life
is suffering. EDDY MORETTI: Which probably
is pretty– EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, now that
I think about it. Woody Allen will probably
agree with that. He probably thinks life
is suffering, too. Life is about suffering and
banging Asian chicks. So it’s probably
pretty similar. And the Dao De Jing though, the
Dao De Jing is super ill. That’s less of a religion than
it is a philosophy, and I think everyone should read
the Dao De Jing. That book, I think, has
such a good handle on the human spirit. I love that book. That book’s very good. EDDY MORETTI: OK, I need a
quote from your book now. I’m going to roast you with
the shit that you’ve been saying about everyone. So I’m just going to read
this passage here. I guess the question is how you
define your American-ness. Because you say here in the
book, “look, legally I’ve always been a citizen. I was born here. But even now, you’ll never see
me hold an American flag.” You know what follows
in the paragraph. You love New York, but you feel
New York is not really America, it’s like an
international city. So explain, how American
are you? EDDIE HUANG: In a funny way, the
day that the book released I wore this American
flag poncho to our Barnes and Noble event. EDDY MORETTI: On purpose? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, on purpose. And kind of in an ironic, funny
way to be like, yo, today I’m an American. Because I can’t front. I definitely don’t think that
people in America have the same opportunities. I think that depending on
race, your opportunities aren’t reflected. The level of opportunities
that you receive are definitely affected by race. Not to blow hot air up your ass,
businesses like Vice that are trying to represent people
in the margins, people that are different, trying to give
everyone a voice, are definitely fixing
that problem. I was never comfortable with
other places I worked that wanted me to be Asian guy, or
wanted me to curb who I was and curb my speech to fit into
what they thought how people should behave in public. I don’t fuck with that. And I definitely think
that America– there’s no middle
class here even. Let’s get beyond race. Let’s talk about America
in general. Like 0.04% of America
holds all the bread. Not even though 1%. The 1% person is almost
like a misnomer, because it’s the 0.04%. And then after that, it’s
just drops off. And if you think about
it, Kobe Bryant is probably middle class. Entertainers are middle class. Startup guys are middle class. EDDY MORETTI: And that’s
what you identify with? EDDIE HUANG: I’m not
even on that. You know what I get paid. So I mean, Suroosh might
be middle class. Suroosh is probably lower middle
class, if you really look at the metrics of it all. I love America. I would not live
anywhere else. I choose to live here. I have the power to live
other places, and I choose to live here. I love the people here. I love a lot of my opportunities
here. But do I buy into this American
dream, equality? Do I think we actually have the
rights that the Bill of Rights talks about? No, I don’t think so. I think that a lot of the teeth
has been taken out of our social contract. I think that big business has
pulled the chair out on the social contract, and so I can’t
fully support that. But is there a country
out there that I can fully support? Probably not. EDDY MORETTI: Right. EDDIE HUANG: There isn’t. So is this the best
that there is? Yes. EDDY MORETTI: Tell
us about this. Because you basically
encountered a bit of this 0.04%, as you call it,
in class at Rollins. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: Tell us a little
bit about this one particular English class, Dr.
Jones’ class. And explain the school and
what you saw there. EDDIE HUANG: The school
was funny. And there was this guy, he was
a writer and I think he was from “People” magazine
or something. He came to school once and he
said, Rollins, if you want to explain it to people, the only
time its name’s dropped is in “American Psycho.” They name
drop it in “American Psycho.” The mad dog from “Mike and
the Mad Dog” is from Rollins, Mr. Rogers. But beyond that, nobody
knows this place. The only thing they know is that
it’s a place to send your daughter if you don’t want
anything to happen to her. But if something happens to her,
it’s from the right guy because people just have
bread out there. And it was wild. I ran into kids that were
18-years-old that had their own yachts. I knew a kid that would
like– he’s a really cool kid, actually– would leave class to
go marlin fishing. EDDY MORETTI: That’s
pretty cool. EDDIE HUANG: I was like, this
motherfucking young Hemingway over here. There wasn’t even a hashtag, but
that kid would have been Young Hemingway. It was just extreme money. People were the heir to
the Tupperware fortune and things like that. It was crazy. But it was also crazy to
see these kids and how much power they had. How much power will be
transferred to them, and how little they were connected
to the greater society. They were so insulated. They were so unaware of what was
going on outside of them, that actually the kid that went
marlin fishing was one of the only ones that was actually
connected and understood. I thought fishing had
a lot to do with it. He’s a cool kid. But overall you met a lot of
these people, like children of government officials, children
of presidents and vice presidents of companies. And it was just really scary to
know that these kids would be running the world. EDDY MORETTI: But you
go a little further. Because it’s not just that
they’re unaware, I think you say that they were
hustling you. The anecdote in the
book is about do you believe in welfare? Instead of giving you a straight
answer, these kids would run around with– EDDIE HUANG: They were
media trained. These motherfuckers were
like media trained. EDDY MORETTI: But you think that
they were fucking with you and they were
bullshitting. And that what they were really
saying is I really don’t give a shit about poor people. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: So was
it that bad? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. The disconnect was insidious. It was like they actually knew,
but they were the type of people like let’s not talk
politics and religion. Let’s not talk politics and
religion, because they already know how they feel, and they
know how they’re going to impress their opinion,
how they’re going to exert their influence. So when you actually
try to grapple with them, it’s just elusive. They’re very elusive. EDDY MORETTI: What
year was that? EDDIE HUANG: I was
there at 2001. I was in class at Rollins
when 9/11 happened. And that was some wild shit
just to see how people responded and things
like that. That was a very strange time. EDDY MORETTI: It’s an important
part of the book, too, your reaction to 9/11. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. Man, it’s hard to talk about. This is a cool thing about
writing a book. I like books and I like writing,
because you get to spend time with yourself and
make sure you get it right. EDDY MORETTI: You reflect? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. You reflect, you sit, you make
sure you get it right. And talking about feelings and
9/11 is one of those things that you do not want
to get wrong. And my thing, I remember
I was in a class called social problems. Literally in a class called
social problems. And we see on the television
they just went down, just everybody lost their shit. And people started running
around the building, oh my God, oh my God. Because so many kids at Rollins
were from New York. And it was interesting, too,
because we had kids in class who their parents were
government officials in DC, who worked downtown
in New York. Everyone was kind of affected. Immediately– I’m sure this happened around
the nation, not just where I was at Rollins College,
but there was a lot of just pure anger. And there was a lot of
anti-Islamic sentiment. I remember these girls started
wearing American flag mini skirts with the ass
hanging out. And I was just like,
that’s dope. But, united we stand. ‘Hos for America. EDDY MORETTI: Really? Wow. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, it was just
like the way they expressed their patriotism was
crazy and weird. And it was very much like when
you saw people celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s death, it
was kind of surreal to me. When these people were cheering
the kid being caught in Boston this weekend, that
was very surreal to me. These people deserve everything
they get. Obviously, these people that
we captured, they deserve everything they get. But human to human, I feel like
you take the high road. I would never go celebrate. He’s dead. You got him. EDDY MORETTI: So some of this
patriotism after 9/11 kind of freaked you out? EDDIE HUANG: Freaked
me out a little. It is very dope to see people
who love their country, that is cool to me. Americans who love their
country, that’s cool to me. And love it in a passionate
way is cool. There were people who were very
articulate about how they felt, and how they felt
like it was an attack on a way of life. I thought those were pretty
valid sentiments and things like that. But the hate against an entire
group of people. The hate against an entire
religion which actually has nothing do with these radicals,
they have nothing to do with what they’re
talking about. That’s the funny thing with war
in countries in general, not to get like OD about it. But these wars they’re fighting,
you’re not sending these guys out there. I’m not sending them
out there. They say they’re for us, they
say it’s for our way of life, but I always question it. I’m just like, who is this for,
really, because I don’t want to fight. EDDY MORETTI: You’re
constructing a really interesting portrait of yourself
as an American kid who’s torn between different– EDDIE HUANG: I’m torn between
the idea of America and what it actually is. EDDY MORETTI: Right. Can you explain a little
bit, this discussion of authenticity and what it means
to be authentic for you? In the book, there’s this whole
passage here about you can’t win, basically. You don’t know what to be in
order to win, and you never feel really truly yourself. So you know what, fuck it. EDDIE HUANG: Authentic to
yourself is something I like, thought about for a long time. A lot of philosophers
talk about it. And this is where I tried to
grapple with the issue, the essential self. Is there an essential self? Is there one Eddy Moretti
inside you? And you try to peel back
the layers, and you try to find it. But the thing is that I
realized, at least my philosophy on it, my thinking
and feeling is that the self evolves. The self is constantly
reinventing and evolving itself, and in the funniest
fucking way. The one thing that rang true
to me, that made all of it make sense, is motherfucker
Harry Potter. EDDY MORETTI: Why? EDDIE HUANG: Harry Potter
got the illest quote. I think in book one when he’s
talking about I want to be in Gryffindor. I want to be in the
good kid’s school. I don’t want to be in this
snake kid school. And he’s like, what if
they choose me to go to the bad school? And I think it’s like
the ill wizard dude, I forget his name. Gandalf? Was Gandalf from fucking
“Lord of the Rings?” EDDY MORETTI: I think Gandalf
is “Lord of the Rings.” EDDIE HUANG: “Lord of
the Rings?” Well, whatever, the dude– I think it’s the same
dude plays them. EDDY MORETTI: I don’t
read those books. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, anyway, the
ill wizard dude is like look, you have a choice
in who you are. And that’s powerful to me. That is very powerful to me. And that’s so funny it
comes from Harry. You never know where you’re
going to learn shit from. But the choice to
be an American. The choice to be Chinese and
represent the place where my blood is from, my
history is from. The choice to also identify
with Taiwan– that’s my choice. I used to allow other people’s
expectation and other people’s understanding of identity
reflect on me, and control me, and arrest me in
a lot of ways. But the thing that liberated
me was to understand that there’s nature, there’s nurture,
but there’s choice. And the third leg of
it that they don’t talk about is choice. Because let’s say– EDDY MORETTI: You have
a lot of fun with choice in your life. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: Because this
is how I want to dress. These are the books
I want to read. These are the books I
don’t want to read. I want to do a show with Vice. I want to do something else. I want to write a book. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: You’re
having fun in the choosing part of life. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, and I’m
creating my own education. Like colleges are doing the same
thing, interdisciplinary. They’re understanding that this
is how the mind works, this is how we operate. EDDY MORETTI: It’s
more normal. EDDIE HUANG: Postmodern. This is like very,
very postmodern. People read astrology. It’s like you give yourself
up to this. You give yourself up
to your genetics. You give yourself up
to environment. Oh, I’m from Boston. I’m from Southie. This is the way I am. I’m from New York, this
is the way I am. You have a choice. EDDY MORETTI: So you’re
a little– EDDIE HUANG: It’s almost lazy. Don’t you think it’s lazy
to be like everything’s predetermined for me because
of my genetics? EDDY MORETTI: We’re not
interviewing me. But if I were to answer that
question, I would say society is predicated on people being as
lazy as possible in a way. Just to get through things and
not complicate life, because it’s already complicated. EDDIE HUANG: Like I’m Muslim
because my parents are Muslim. I’m Baptist because
my parents are. You’ve got to question it. EDDY MORETTI: I go
to McDonald’s because it’s what I do. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: So you’re actively
choosing the kind of American you want to be. But you’re also a little
disappointed or frustrated with Chinese-American, your
peers, your peeps. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, I’m fair. I shoot the fair one. Whoever it is, I really
always give my honest opinion of shit. EDDY MORETTI: “That was one of
the things,” I’m quoting, “that really annoyed
me about growing up Chinese in the States. Even if you wanted to roll with
the Chinese/Taiwanese kids, there were barely
any around. And the ones that were around
had lost their culture and identity.” EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: So how
disappointed are you? And what are they
missing out on? EDDIE HUANG: The funny thing is
is a lot of these Chinese kids that don’t speak Chinese,
or they don’t cook, or they don’t know how to celebrate the
new year, or they don’t know a lot of the traditions
and religion. I think they’re insecure
about their identity. And they start to hang onto
stereotypes and stigmas. And then it’s like yo, Eddie,
you dress this way, therefore you must not be Chinese. Eddie, you talk this
way, therefore you must not be Chinese. Eddie, you play basketball
like a black person, you therefore must not be Chinese. People literally would
say things like that. EDDY MORETTI: Do a lot of
Chinese, your generation, first generation American
Chinese and Taiwanese, are they really forgetting
their culture? Are they really not adopting? Is there a real problem? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, I think
it’s a real problem. A lot of kids lose
their language. EDDY MORETTI: Fact, right? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. I was just at my Chinese herbal
doctor, my herbalist. I go to him all the time for
most of my ailments, unless I’m getting blood
work and shit. But I went to go see him. I brought one of my
cooks at work. His mother had a problem, so I
brought her to the doctor. And I see him and his
son was there. And I was like, yo, your
dad is the illest. Like, you’ve got to learn
this shit from your dad. And he’s like, I would, but
I don’t speak Chinese. And it was so sad. I was like, your dad has held
down Chinatown on Mott Street. These guys on Mott and Bayard
had this little Chinese herbal shop for I think upwards
of 35 years now. EDDY MORETTI: Wow. EDDIE HUANG: Everybody
goes there. EDDY MORETTI: Authentic? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: As authentic
as it gets. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. And I don’t go there
because it’s authentic or dingy or whatever. But it’s like he cures people. He’s cured someone with leukemia
before, this guy, and people know it and
I go to him. And it was so sad to
be like, your son doesn’t speak Chinese. He can’t learn this. And I was like, is there anyone
that is your disciple, your student? He said nope. And I was like, I’ll come learn
this shit from you. And he was like, it’s years. Like, you want to
spent 20 years? And I was like, if you
had told me that when I was 18, yes. I would have dedicated
my life. Like, that practice is so
ill, you know, to be that kind of doctor. You’ve got to come. I’ve got to bring
you sometime. It’s very, very good. But I think a lot of the
culture is being lost. Luckily, it’s still preserved
in China. But even in China, people are in
such a rush to westernize. And that’s the scary part of the
internet, we chase trends. Countries literally,
civilizations chase trends. It’s not just do’s and don’ts. It’s not just people
copping sneakers. It’s like the internet,
the speed of things. You can actually turn your
civilization on its head in a matter of two to three years now
with the internet and the things that are available. And it’s scary, because before
you have a time to test things, before you have a
chance to see the side effects, before you have a
chance to see the overall detriment to society aftershock
of the changes, you can turn your civilization
on its head and not be able to go back. We’ve let a lot of genies out
of the bottle with whether it’s fracking, even just
original oil drilling, the industrial revolution. There’s a lot of genies we can’t
put back in the bottle, and the internet enables
more of that shit. EDDY MORETTI: So Taiwan was
a turning point for you? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. Taiwan was crazy. EDDY MORETTI: Your life kind
of changed after that trip? So that was your first
trip there, right? How old were you? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, Taiwan
was awesome. I was 19, I think I
just turned 20. EDDY MORETTI: So what year
are we talking about? EDDIE HUANG: 2000– it was
the summer of 2002. So I’d just turned 20,
summer 2002 I went. And yeah, that was a
life changing trip. That was a life changing trip
for me to go out to Taiwan. When I went when I was younger,
I was just trying to find Jordans and video games
and eat Chinese food. And it was delicious, but I
still wanted to be normal. And when you’re a kid, you pay
so much attention to things like oh, the laundry is moldy,
it smells nasty. Why is there cockroaches
in auntie’s apartment? Why you motherfuckers out here
playing basketball in sandals? So it’s all little
shit like that. Like why I got athlete’s foot,
what is going on out here? But when I came back
as a 20-year-old, I didn’t mind it as much. Moldy clothes, whatever. Cockroaches, whatever. And it wasn’t even that bad. Taiwan had progressed
as a country. So standard of living was
actually quite good. But I got to explore, and I
remember the thing that hit me the hardest. I didn’t realize it
as a 12-year-old. As a 20-year-old, it hit me
like a fucking monsoon. As soon as I got in
the airport, I saw all Asian people– Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese,
whenever. I saw all Asian people. There was not a white person or
a black person to be seen, or a Hispanic person. It was all Asian, and it made
me realize I’m not weird. I’m actually, in the globe,
the majority. There’s a lot of us
motherfuckers. EDDY MORETTI: There are more
than us than anyone else? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. And I was like there’s doctors,
there’s engineers, there’s cab drivers, there’s
skateboard kids. And I was like I’m not weird. There’s a whole country
with people like me. EDDY MORETTI: Did you
feel at home? EDDIE HUANG: I did. I did. I immediately felt at home. And they adopted me, too. They were like, yo, you’re
American, but like– this is a cool thing about
Taiwan and China. They will point out all your
differences, but they want to claim you. They’re like, you’re
still ours. And I thought that
was pretty neat. I never say neat. It’s just like that heartwarming
moment that you talk like a 15-year-old girl,
you know what I mean? Like, that was neat,
but it really was. It really was on some back
to the motherland shit. And you go and people were so
excited to show you the country, show you where your
parents used to live, show you where your aunts used to live. And just be like, this is you. This is your shit. EDDY MORETTI: You’re
going to go back? EDDIE HUANG: I go back
all the time. EDDY MORETTI: You go
back all the time? But you’re going back
soon, right? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, I’m going
to go back this summer. EDDY MORETTI: So explain what
you’re doing this summer? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, this summer
for book two, it’s an extension of that
idea of choice. And to go back to China, I’m
going to go to Chengdu in the Szechuan Province. Right next to where my father’s
family’s from in Hunan, a neighboring province. And I’m going to live in an
apartment and cook downstairs in the stall five days
a week serving– I think I want to cook
Taiwanese food in Szechuan, China. I think that’ll be really cool,
to cook Taiwanese food there, see how people
react to my food. Because I have my ideas
of Chinese food. I have my understanding that
comes from the home. But I want to see what their
understanding is, because mine comes from the Taiwanese-Chinese
home, this is China-China. So it’s very interesting
to see. I think that’ll be cool, and I
want to see how the society embraces me. And I know what the struggle
is as an American business person, as an individual in
America, as a creative person in America, I want to see as
much as I can what that struggle is in China. EDDY MORETTI: Forget about for
a second that you’re doing this show with us. You’re going to do this
project in China. Why another food book? Why another food show? Why does the world need this? Can you explain? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, this
is the thing. I think constantly, and you may
be mad at me saying this. I don’t feel like our show
is even a food show. And I know that book two is
not a food book, just like this wasn’t really
a food book. The food thing is a trap. I use food as a trap, just
like cheese for mice. Because a lot of times you say
hey, we’re going to write a book about choice and identity
in China, fucking tune in. People don’t want to tune
into that shit. But the food is a trap. I tell you I’m going to
go cook food in China. We’re going to see lots
of interesting things. And I’ll show you these
interesting things, but it’s a trap. EDDY MORETTI: But it works? EDDIE HUANG: It works. People got to eat. EDDY MORETTI: Thinking you
were born in the ’80s– EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: General cuisine
and food literacy in America has kind of gotten better– EDDIE HUANG: Much better. EDDY MORETTI: –coast
to coast, right? For sure in big cities,
it’s kind of amazing. Like, New York right
now is amazing. You go to the top eight to 10
cities in America, you’re going to find some really
fucking cool shit. EDDIE HUANG: Yes. EDDY MORETTI: But like you said,
it’s a trick to educate people and introduce them and
bring a little more choice into their lives. But it’s working, right? EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. I love this. Like this interview with the
things we’re talking about, I’ll talk about forever. The thing is I realized that
to get people to– it’s that fucking shit,
the sugar for the medicine to go down. Like titties and soup
dumpling sell. You know what I mean? People want to see titties
and soup dumplings, so give them one. EDDY MORETTI: It works, but it’s
not always done as you do it, and Anthony Bourdain does it
for sure, is that model of I’m actually using food to
learn more about the world around me. And I’m going to bring
that to you. And then there is walking into
the Food Network on the flip side of things. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah. EDDY MORETTI: So describe that,
why you knew from the day you walked into their
offices like, oh fuck, this might not actually work out. EDDIE HUANG: Food Network
is a vocational channel. Just like a vocational school,
like the University of Phoenix or some shit. I’ll explain it this way. I always told people, it doesn’t
matter what you decide your major is in college. Go get a liberal art–
whether it’s philosophy, music, art, history. Those are just purely lenses
to understand the world and its inhabitants through. Those are just disciplines and
lenses you put on to see and to analyze and to understand
yourself and others. Music is that way, you do it
with noisy, we do it with food, we do it with art,
we do it with music. That’s what subculture is. Subculture is just something
that people connect with, they feel passionate about,
it speaks to them. But then it’s used as a
vehicle to understand everything else. EDDY MORETTI: But it’s not
stuck in the dish itself? EDDIE HUANG: No, no. It’s all beyond the plate. You go to the Food Network, it’s
like stand and stir all right here. Here it is. You could actually do amazing
stand and stir shows that extend beyond that pot and talk
about the family, and where you got the ingredients. And you could actually have an
ill talking head show with a stand and stir. EDDY MORETTI: Like storytelling kind of over a pot. EDDIE HUANG: I’ve been
talking with people. I want to do something like
that, like a stand and stir talking head show. Because food is such a ill
trap, it’s beautiful. That’s what you’ve been catching
mammals with for centuries is food. This is what you will
get them with. And so the Food Network I don’t
think understands it. And I don’t think they want
to have a higher calling. I want to be on the Hebrew
National of networks, we answer to a higher power. So I just have a much bigger
agenda in terms of speaking to people who watch what
we’re doing. Otherwise, I mean, I’m not
a pretty motherfucker. The only– EDDY MORETTI: I think
you’re pretty. EDDIE HUANG: –reason I’m
here– thank you. But the reason I’m here– EDDY MORETTI: I wouldn’t use
the word pretty maybe. EDDIE HUANG: Yeah, like I
have ideas and I want to get those across. And we’re using food to do that,
because the food will draw you in. And it’s Muhammad Ali’s boxing,
Charles Barclay’s basketball. But that’s the thing– whatever
it is that speaks to you, whatever skill that you
have to share with people, use that skill to talk about the
human spirit, I think that’s what it is. EDDY MORETTI: I think that’s
a perfect place to end. EDDIE HUANG: Word. EDDY MORETTI: So, I’m looking
forward to season two. EDDIE HUANG: Yo, I’m
super hyped. EDDY MORETTI: Yeah, I’m hyped. And I’m looking forward to
this new book in China, because I think if anyone’s
going to go there and let us know what it’s really
like on the street, it’s going to be you. EDDIE HUANG: And I want to
be a bridge between the American-Chinese, the
Chinese-Chinese, and street food diplomacy. EDDY MORETTI: I like that. That’s what it should be
called, the books. EDDIE HUANG: Yes,
definitely man. Dumpling diplomacy’s
some funny shit. EDDY MORETTI: OK,
thanks, buddy. Good to see you. EDDIE HUANG: Thank you, man. Thank you. Good shit. All right.

100 thoughts on “Eddie Huang on Fresh Off the Boat and More: VICE Podcast 003

  1. No shit bro. A serious and extremely articulate side of you that is not present in your FOTB videos. Salute and all the best to you in China. I want to see you fucking around with the pandas in Chengdu. It would be hilarious.

    Btw, the Chinese in Singapore are proud of you too.

  2. The part where he described pops reaction to his memoir…."I'm sorry, I had no idea how hard it was for you to grow up here"……
    My parents are immigrants as well, from Mexico….I'm a lot like Eddie without the college education yet can hang with the college educated damn it! lol….(you wont be able to tell any indifference, lol) but that part fucked me up. One day I will have a conversation with my father and perhaps he will admit the same as Mr. Huang, I still love my dad tho….

  3. The choice is working!!!!! and im a fatboy so food works, but Im conscience of learning not only my own identity, but others aswell, yet appreciating Eddie's trap to teach to make a better world with better people that dont submit to the governing but allow understanding of the world and its cultures to help you find your own truth..i LOVE IT

  4. The more I listen to Eddie talk, the more I realize just how smart he is. But even in being a 'smart guy', he rejects the typical mold and doesn't bother trying to tell it to you. If you get it, you get it. If not, whatever.

  5. 48:00 this is exactly how I felt, when I began watching 'Off the Boat' I thought it was about food in different places but I learnt so much more than that and I am so glad I subscribed and watched it :D… I will be buying the book

  6. I could expound on florida being America's bunghole. I knew this was going to be a good interview when Eddy starts off by bashing florida. this state is so horrible. I can't wait to leave!!!

  7. Oh snap so that's what Rollins is. I go to U of Central F, and saw the campus couple times. It's freakin well built and beautiful. I see tons of lacross players, and alot of very rich looking white kids around campus there. It's also near the rich neighborhood in upper Orlando. I didn't know it was a college for rich…wait..heir children.

  8. this might be my favorite interview so far from vice. i wish i was as proud and connected with my heritage as eddie is. just now realizing how much ive tried to remove myself from my roots and think of myself as a raceless, generic person, even when i cant escape the fact that people will always view me as just an asian person. ive grown up trying to be white. its time to "choose" to own my roots and embrace them. 

  9. Yo Im from the Wild Wild West Coast (((CA))) and when I moved to Orlando I thought the same thing, these Orlando muthafukas are a bunch of strange individuals, weird like a muthafuka, off brand like hell. Cuz hit the nail on the head. Orlando need to elevate they game. 
    Taba-nakle!

  10. Orlando is a funny style ass town, he aint neva lied. And yes I do know how to spell, I just choose to pronounce things in a Wes-wes-way, U-Bitch!

  11. Maybe this is an interview for elementary so it explain the interviewer?????
    Not all black people end their sentences with "shit"
    Do they think it is cool this way????

  12. I thought Eddie was just another Asian pretender trying to put a thick New York accent to compensate for a lack of identity.  But the more I listen to him, I see that he is a proud Asian, and is very passionate about trying to advocate for Asian Americans.  

  13. I don't like his shows, but we think a lot in common. I am proud to see an ABC who values his history and identity so much. 

  14. He articulates his thoughts into words so well. Eddie is the man, and he definitely has a great mind on him. I wonder when the new book is going to be released?

  15. To those of you complaining that the interviewer isn't doing a good job I'd like to see you ask Eddie questions and chat with him as he does. Go on.. I dare ya.

  16. Seriously, great interview. Just when you thought it couldn't get more real… it gets more real. As a kid of an immigrant, an outsider within, a hip hop loving, book reading, truth seeking American, I can relate to so much this man says. Tell it.

  17. As an immigrant and US citizen, I'm glad my parents didn't put me in snobby private schools that don't have tolerance of immigrants. Hopefully that's no longer true today.

  18. Did the interviewer actually say "that is awesomely bad"? Is this guy for real? Am i the only one noticed that comment about soap bars? =D Wtf?

  19. wutz good bro. i need a copy to borrow, something new to read ^_^ lol hahaha

    much love from the west coast bay area

    XxTRUBLZxX
    XxK.i.L17708xX

  20. 42:46 "People are in such a rush to westernize" As a Chicana I definitely feel this in regards to Mexico in its own way. I guess thats were decolonization ideas come in

  21. Holy shit some real scary hate on some of these comments. Eddie is the realest. definitely looking forward to seeing more stuff from him

  22. I wanna make a rap after I finished high school, which is in 3 years so i got plent of time… I'm Chinese and i was born and raised in Georgia, all my life I've been teased or made fun off for being Asian……. But that's made me a tough guy..

  23. good interview apart from the part where he said china is preserving their traditions… they ain't preserving shit they are razing their culture to the ground over there.

  24. if the expression 'down to earth' applied to anyone and still means something nowadays it should apply to Huang

    the dude is seriously a cool cat

  25. At the extreme, the peeps that went to Taiwan from China with Chiang Kai-Shek view themselves as the real China now, and the PRC as not-the-real China.

  26. Why this moderator missed where he was born lol Eddie constantly talked experiences where he grew up in the states and about his family.

  27. eddie goes on like he wants white people to appoligise for being white. im white and my ancestors were heavily persicuted in there native country and my generation is suffering too. this doesnt only affect blacks and asians

  28. It was so hard to listen to this interviewer. Trying to be open minded but these two are not on the same level. Eddie haungs great but the interviewer made Eddie look like a philosopher on another level like the next Plato or Socrates.

  29. Eddie Huang is like a Tawainese thug version of Mr. Rogers, educating viewers about culture, professions, and life.

  30. I'm a first generation American born in Jersey and I completely understand. Being just a few years younger then Eddie and growing up in South Jersey in that era; his story sounds pretty familiar. Outside of Atlantic City in the early 90s not too many Latinos or Asians. There was a time in Atlantic county when I was one of like 3 Latino kids. And I'm not of Mexican decent and English was my first language. For years I was a strange bird. At a certain point the Black kids thought I was White. Back then I didn't get much sun. (1991-1994) a crazy era to grow up.

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