The East Side

The East Side

The East Side

Bizarre Climate Solutions From Asia

By 2100, climate change will make most of the Maldives uninhabitable. Solution? The world’s first floating city to house 20,000 people, at a price most Maldivians can’t afford. Meanwhile in Japan, a man has come up with “edible” plastic bags to protect deer. These floating cities sound great until you learn that each home costs an estimated $250K. Taking the GDP of Maldives into consideration, each person would need 30 roommates to afford a house. What’s the point of solutions that lack income awareness? And speaking of short-term solutions to a long term problem, edible plastic bags are a new invention to protect an animal considered sacred in Japan: the deer. It’s going to take a lot more than biodegradable plastics to fix climate change, but doesn’t every effort count?

The East Side

What Asian Women Have In Common with Amber Heard

Domestic violence cases continue to legally and socially mask men's violence as masculinity and strength, while women in danger are still fighting to be heard--and believed. 55% of Asian women report being victims of intimate partner violence, and most don’t reach out because they feel misunderstood and unsupported. Whether it’s cultural barriers or pressures, when Asian women do report their abuse, most cases are categorized as “without injury” and charges are dropped. If powerful white women like Amber Heard aren’t believed, what does that mean for our communities? In the recent Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial, people on TikTok turned Amber’s heart wrenching sexual assault testimony into quirky trends. As we see repeatedly, women are supported when it’s socially expedient to do so, and otherwise continue being treated as bargaining chips. In coming months, Angelina Jolie, Evan Rachel Wood, and Megan thee Stallion are all facing their abusers in court. Will these survivors also be fighting million dollar misinformation campaigns created by their abusers?

The East Side

Boycott Qatar, Not Islam

Qatar hosting the WorldCup has been a controversy since the moment it was announced, as it should be. The stadiums and infrastructure built for hosting led to nearly 7,000 deaths, mainly from South Asian workers. But boycotts have rapidly become Islamophobic and racist. According to Qatari government statistics, 15,000 migrant workers have died in Qatar in the past decade. These were deaths from premature heart attacks and other physical injuries and illnesses that may have to do with working in above 100 degree weather. But Qatar doesn’t have horrible human rights violations because it’s a Muslim country. Most countries have horrifying human rights records, like the US, who is hosting the next World Cup. As we see celebrities and known figures boycott Qatar, will we see people boycott the prison industrial complex? The US is one of the few developed countries in the world without universal background checks for firearms, leading to 45 thousand gun related deaths a year. Will every country be held accountable, or only Muslim ones?

The East Side

Chess Drama and the Return of the Kohinoor Diamond

Indian politicians request the return of $600M seminal Kohinoor diamond–23% of India’s GDP. Stealing this diamond from India is equivalent to stealing Walmart’s entire stock value from the US. And drama in the chess world: player accuses opponent of cheating - using an unusual method. Two prolific chess players went head to head in a chess tournament in September. When the young underdog Hans Neimann unexpectedly won, his opponent Magnus Carlsen pulled out of the tournament and implied Hans cheated. The most popular conspiracy theory is that he used morse code via anal beads to cheat.

The East Side

Rishi Sunak and the Pitfall of Identity Politics

Imagine going to a bad restaurant and leaving a review that the chef tried to kill you but it was refreshing to see an assassin be Indian for once. “Politics aside” posts about politicians need to come to an end, especially when it comes to UK’s newest PM Rishi Sunak. Hindu Nationalists are calling this stance self-hating, but does it matter that he “looks like us” given what he stands for? Previously, Priti Patel served as home secretary for the UK from 2019-2022 and Bobby Jindal was the first American senator of Indian descent. Both took charge of some of the most racist and regressive politics in modern history: including being against trans and LGBTQ inclusivity, advocating against progressive climate policies, and constantly slamming “the woke mob.” This is the pitfall of identity politics. Just because they are a minority doesn’t mean they will champion progressive immigration and social safety policies.

The East Side

The East Side Ep. 3: South Korean Military + Partition VR

After canceling dinner with Nancy Pelosi, President Yoon has announced he wants South Korea to become the world’s top weapons supplier. After Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Yoon protects his relationship with China by abruptly devolving their dinner plans to a phone call. These plans for South Korea to lead in the arms industry makes many fearful. Meanwhile, Project Dastaan unveils a new VR initiative for Indian and Pakistani people to revisit their ancestral home villages pre-partition. University of Oxford is allowing people, who were alive during the partition that separated two nations into Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India, to visit their villages. Is this a moving idea or creepy and sensationalist?