10.23.2014

Ferguson, Asian America, & Performative Solidarity: Showing Up, Staying Shown

By PaKou Her. Cross-posted from 18 Million Rising



Just over a week ago, I slid into my car and drove away from #FergusonOctober. Buckled in and gearing up for the 4-hour drive back to Kansas City, all I wanted to do was sing. I sing a lot -- the most when I'm alone -- and singing is often an escape route for my silenced stories and tucked-away emotions.

With my heart full of all I had seen and heard during #FergusonOctober, I immediately called upon the musical companion I most wanted with me on the westward journey home: Richie Havens. Havens' deep, raspy baritone tumbled through the speakers and bounced off the windows like a monarch desperately beating its wings against a wide open world it can see but cannot touch.

10.22.2014

JACCC presents the First-Ever All-You-Can-Eat CrabFest

Saturday, October 25 at Nishi Hongwanji LA in Little Tokyo



Los Angeles, get hungry, because it is time to get your crab on. The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, in collaboration with Starry Kitchen, Angel City Brewery and Sun Noodles, invites you to help them eat 2000 pounds worth of snow crabs legs (Singaporean Chili Crab style!) at their first ever all-you-can-eat CrabFest. Whaaaaaat. It's happening this Saturday, October 25 at Nishi Hongwanji LA.

Here are some more details about the evening:

Happy Diwali from President Obama

"...remember, even in the midst of darkness, that light will ultimately prevail."



Today, President Obama wished a Happy Diwali to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and all those who celebrate the festival of lights here and across the world. Here's his video message:

The Most Racist Tour Guide in San Francisco

Disgruntled guide tells tourists "F*ck Chinatown" on her apparent last day on the job.



Got this video passed along to me and... wow. Just.. wow.

Here's one seriously disgruntled San Francisco tour guide losing her shit and going off on a nasty, racist rant about everything she hates about Chinatown. She apparently decided to commemorate her last day on the job by going for a ride, cracking open a beer, getting on the mic and letting everyone know how she felt.

The video, shot by a German tourist on one of those double decker bus things, features the unidentified tour guide going off on a F-bomb-laden litany of her least favorite things about Chinatown. "Fuck your horse tail. Fuck your ginseng. Fuck your little hair salons where nobody in there knows how to fucking speak English. Fuck this bullshit. Fuck your Chinatown gates..." and so on, and so forth.

Jeremy Lin goes undercover as Adidas store employee

Taipei customers can't believe it's Jeremy under that righteous wig.



We all know that Jeremy Lin is a bit of a prankster. From dunking on his mom to pretending to be a wax statue, your favorite Asian American point guard has demonstrated a certain gleeful knack for getting his prank on with fans and family members alike. And it's always fun to see him poking fun at his own celebrity status.

In his latest video, Jeremy pulls some prank shenanigans in Taiwan, sporting a righteous wig and posing as an employee at a Taipei Adidas store (he is a spokesman, after all). Watch as he interacts with several unsuspecting customers who appear to have no idea that a NBA star is trying to sell them athletic wear.

It's all in Mandarin, but if you click on the closed captioning button (CC) you'll get the English subtitles:

Missing: Microsoft employee Krishna Venkatesh

Last seen October 15 in Seattle; car found at Deception Pass



In Seattle, authorities are asking for the public's help in searching for a 27-year-old Microsoft employee, missing since last week, whose car was found abandoned at a state park 80 miles north of Seattle.

Search under way for missing Microsoft program manager

Krishna Venkatesh, a program manager, was last seen at the Microsoft campus in Redmond last Wednesday, October 15. According to the Seattle Police Department, he is believed to have driven to Deception Pass, where his car was found at the south bridge parking lot on Monday afternoon.

Microsoft sent someone to Venkatesh's residence on Friday after he didn't show up to work for two days. His friends, who filed a missing persons report on Monday, say the circumstances around his disappearance are "uncharacteristic."

10.21.2014

2K14 SEOULSONIC at CMJ Music Marathon

Featuring From The Airport, Rock N Roll Radio, Glen Check and Love X Stereo, October 22-24



Anyone in New York wanna hear some supergood Korean music? SEOULSONIC is coming your way with a series of exclusive music showcases featuring some of favorite bands. Straight outta South Korea, you can see From The Airport, Rock N Roll Radio and Glen Check on Wednesday, October 22 and Love X Stereo on Friday, October 24 as part of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon.

Here's a little sampler of selected Seoulsonic sounds:

Giveaway: Jeff Chang's 'Who We Be: The Colorization of America'

From the award-winning author of 'Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation'



If there's one book you pick up this week, it has to be Who We Be: The Colorization of America by scholar/author Jeff Chang, now available on shelves from St. Martin's Press. The book, a follow-up to his award-winning classic Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, examines the seismic racial and cultural transformation of the United States over the last fifty years.

"How do Americans see race now? ...After eras framed by words like 'multicultural' and 'post-racial,' do we see each other any more clearly?" Who We Be covers a lot of ground, offering a wide-ranging history of racialized culture debates and movements over the last half-century. The book is thoughtful, provocative and even playful, remixing comic strips, contemporary art and other media to paint a unique, timely portrait of today's America. Considering everything that's going down in our communities right now, as we speak, Who We Be is required reading.

On top of all that, it's just a cool-looking book. I anticipate that Who We Be will end up assigned on the syllabus of a lot of cultural studies courses. But instead of trading it back to the campus bookstore (what a racket!) at the end of the semester, you'll end up keeping it for your collection. It's that kind of book.

Anybody want to read it? I'm giving away a couple of copies of Jeff Chang's Who We Be to some lucky readers. Scroll down to the bottom for details. First, here's some more official information on the book:

City sells woman's condo over $94.85 overdue tax bill

Xiu Liu was never informed of the outstanding balance due to a clerical error.



What kind of bureaucratic nonsense is this? In Georgia, a woman is facing eviction after her home was foreclosed on and sold at auction -- unbeknownst to her -- all because of an unpaid tax bill of $94.85.

Woman's condo sold over $95 overdue tax bill

Last week in Norcross, Xiu Liu received a notice informing her that her condo, where she lives with her 4-year-old daughter, had been sold at auction and she would need to move out of the property by November 25. This was news to Ms. Liu, who paid for the two-bedroom condo with cash in 2011.

According to city and county records, Liu has paid taxes on the property every year except the year she moved in. So what gives? Turns out, letters about the outstanding balance never reached her because of clerical errors -- and incomplete address. So how was she supposed to pay the 95 bucks if the bill never got to her?

10.20.2014

2014 Boston Asian American Film Festival

Presented by the Asian American Resource Workshop, October 23-26



Boston film fans, this one's for you. The 2014 Boston Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Asian American Resource Workshop, is happening this week, October 23-26, at Emerson College's Paramount Center and other venues around the city. The BAAFF empowers Asian Americans through film by showcasing Asian American experiences and serves as a resource for filmmakers and the Greater Boston Community.

BAAFF opens this Thursday, October 23 with Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo's gritty crime drama Revenge of the Green Dragons, kicking off a stacked lineup of 26 films. Here are some other festival highlights:

Scarlett Johansson offered lead in 'Ghost in the Shell'

Anime classic's Japanese cyborg super-cop gets the Hollywood whitewash.



It appears that this live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell keeps chugging along, with none other than Scarlett Johansson now reportedly first in line to star as cyborg cop Major Motoko Kusanagi.

Scarlett Johansson Offered Ghost in the Shell!

It was previously reported that Margot Robbie was in talks to star in DreamWorks' adaptation of the manga/anime classic, but she's now apparently out of the running. According to Deadline, the role has been offered to Scarlett Johansson, who was last seen killing a lot of Asian dudes -- with her mind! -- in Lucy.

SAG-AFTRA leader Sumi Haru dies at 75

Former Screen Actors Guild president fought for better roles for Asian Americans.



Some sad news out of Hollywood... Sumi Sevilla Haru, longtime leader of the Screen Actors Guild who paved the way for Asian Americans actors to get better TV and film roles, died last week in Los Angeles. She was 75.

Sumi Sevilla Haru, Former Interim Screen Actors Guild President, Dead at 75

Haru served as the interim Screen Actors Guild president in 1995, and was the first and only woman of color to hold the position. She joined SAG in 1968 and AFTRA in 1972 and served as a national board member for both organizations, often working to address the lack of opportunities and roles for Asians Americans.

In her own acting career, she refused to audition for stereotypical roles, like the maid or the dragon lady, and spoke out against the discrimination Asian actors and the racist practice of yellowface in Hollywood.

10.19.2014

Read These Blogs



#FergusonOctober: Communities of Color for Justice Together: 18 Million Rising, in collaboration with Presente.org, recently launched a digital collection of stories about the struggle for justice in Ferguson. Tell them why Ferguson and cross-racial solidarity matters to you.

Dispatch from Ferguson: Convenience Store Owners Talk Race: Deepa Iyer traveled to Ferguson to join a group of South Asians, Muslims, and Asian Americans for the National Weekend of Resistance. There and in St. Louis, she spoke to a few convenience store owners to talk about race.

The Racial Justice Movement Needs a Model Minority Mutiny: "It is time for Asian Americans to unleash model minority mutiny, link arms with the struggle for black liberation, and together, finally turn the world right side up." Soya Jung says it's time to kill the programming.

How both Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart got it really wrong on Asian Americans: Reappropriate's Jenn Fang on how both Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart got it wrong when they had a debate about white privilege.

How a SWAT Team Upended My Baby's Life - and Got Away with It: When a Georgia SWAT team threw a flash bang grenade into a child's crib during a drug raid gone wrong, Alecia Phonesavanh's two-year-old son was seriously injured, but her nightmare didn't end there.



American couple held in Qatar in child's death may soon resolve case: An update on the case of the Huangs, an American couple living in Qatar who were charged with wrongdoing in the death of their adopted daughter. The couple hopes to return to the U.S. next week after a two-year legal nightmare.

Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage: How are YouTube videos criticizing sexist video games important enough to threaten a school shooting? Read the #GamerGate tag and realize that underneath the anger is fear.

Most States Are Failing on Asian American Representation: Last week, the New American Leaders Project (NALP) released a report that surveyed state legislators to determined the number of Asian American and Latino elected officials currently in state government. Here are their findings.

Why Candidates Shouldn't Ignore Asian-American Voters: Asians and Pacific Islanders are a fast-growing population, and as a voting bloc, their numbers have nearly doubled to 3.9 million voters since 2000, but political candidates continue to ignore them, according to a new study.

New Numbers Reveal Asian Wage Gap in Tech: While Asian Americans are well-represented in tech, new research finds that Asian workers average less in salary each year compared to their white coworkers.



Twins separated at birth reveal their incredible reunion story: Samantha Feterman and Anais Bordier were separated at birth in South Korea but reunited 25 years later. They share their story in a new book.

A Korean Adoptee Starts the Search for Her Birth Family: Freelance writer and editor Heather Schultz is currently on a three-week trip to South Korea, where she is researching her birth family's stories in the hopes of finding them and reconnecting with her country of birth.

Why I Changed My Korean Name-And Why I Changed It Back: "Butchered in foreign tongues, 'Seonjae' did not have the beauty and power that accompanied it back in Seoul."

Michigan in Color: The Unbearable Weight of Sunlight: In this op-ed piece for 'Michigan in Color,' Anitha Menon reflects on skin color and beauty standards within the household and beyond.

Finding My Voice Through Cartoons: Vishavjit Singh, the man behind Sikhtoons and Sikh Captain America, talks about how his spark for cartooning came from a cartoon in the aftermath of 9/11.

A tale of sex, greed and Filipinos on Coney Island: An excerpt from journalist Claire Prentice's new book, The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century, a true story of what happened when a group of Igorottes, a tribespeople from the Philippines, was brought to the U.S. by an opportunistic showman.



Will Letter for Lunch: One Woman's Plan to Hand-Write Menus in Exchange for Food: Enterprising graphic designer Lauren Hom was hungry, so she launched Will Letter for Lunch, a project in which she exchanges hand-lettering restaraunts' specials for a meal.

Meet BuzzFeed's Secret Weapon: Meet Dao Nguyen. She helped BuzzFeed quintuple traffic in two years. The secrets behind how she became one of the most important and beloved BuzzFeeders.

The Hollywood Mamalogues: Let Me Tell You My Stage Mom Story: Comedian/actress Amy Anderson talks about becoming a stage mom for her daughter, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays Lily on Modern Family.

In The World Of Chefs, Asian-American Women Are Turning Up The Heat: While food writers have argued that Asian American chefs are "having a moment," they often point to the men in the industry. Here are a few Asian American women chefs that you should know about.

A 'Homeland' We Pakistanis Don't Recognize: In this New York Times op-ed, Bina Shah tries to find verisimilitude in how her home country Pakistan is depicted in the Showtime series Homeland.



Jeremy Lin takes sane approach to his opportunity with the Lakers: Jeremy Lin is no stranger to the spotlight -- yes, we all remember the Knicks, we all remember "Linsanity" -- but now he's trying to shake off two sprained ankles to become the point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sony Pictures' Flash Boys: A Casting Call to Action: As Michael Lewis' book Flash Boys is being adapted to film, John Entrada asks producers not to whitewash the narrative's real-life Asian American characters.

The Fu Manchu Complex, And Today's Anxieties About China: The author of The Yellow Peril: Dr. Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia, tracks past and present anxieties about China through media.

Rappers with Cameras: Geo (aka Prometheus Brown of the Blue Scholars) has teamed up with Thig Nat from The Physics to start a new project, Rappers with Cameras, to showcase their artistry to the community through images and visual stories.

Jin Breaks Down 'XIV:LIX': MC Jin's next album will be released a decade removed, nearly to the day, from his major label debut. From New York to Hong Kong and back again, he's found his stride.



'Dear White People's Naomi Ko on Avoiding the Asian Representation Trap and Being a Millennial of Color: An interview with actress Naomi Ko, who plays Sungmi in 'Dear White People.'

The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun Thinks You're Watching the Show All Wrong : Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead talks about Glenn's transformation, the increasing presence of Asian Americans on television, and the secrets behind all that post-apocalyptic grime.

Arden Cho Grows up, and Kicks Butt, on "Teen Wolf": Arden Cho, who plays Kira on Teen Wolf, shares about her experiences growing up in Texas, what nurtured her passion for acting, and her own perception and hope towards the media landscape and its representation of the Asian American narrative.

22 Asian Actors Who Deserve To Be Romantic Leading Men: BuzzFeed serves up a list of Asian American eye candy. "Because John Cho can not be our only, and last, dreamy Asian lead on network TV."

There Was A "Gilmore Girls" Reunion With Lane Kim's Band And It Was Adorable: Gilmore Girls fans -- if you haven't heard, there was a reunion with Lane Kim's band (Hep Alien) and, yes, it was adorable.

10.17.2014

Family Reunion: A Storytelling Show

Presented by Disoriented Comedy, Thursday, October 23 at Echoes Under Sunset



Good people of Los Angeles, grab some friends and make some plans to be part of the third edition of Disoriented Comedy's Family Reunion, a monthly storytelling show co-presented by Angry Asian Man, Tuesday Night Project, Kaya Press and Mishthi Music. No notes. Everyday folks. Talkin' story.

This month's lineup includes Keiko Agena, Dante Basco, Lana McKissack, Rhianne Paz, Teresa T. Lee, Tess Paras, Scott Okamoto and Erik Patterson. The theme of October's show is "NO REGRETS" (stories of faith, risk and courage). It's happening Thursday, October 23 at Echoes Under Sunset.

Here are some more details about the evening:

Adam WarRock's 24 Hour Rap-A-Thon, October 18

Proceeds will benefit RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.



Heads up. Our friend Eugene Ahn, who makes nerdy hip hop as Adam WarRock, will be doing a 24-Hour Rap-A-Thon this Saturday, October 18 to benefit RAINN.org, which fights sexual violence and assault. For one straight day, he'll be writing, recording and posting as many songs as he can -- all for a good cause.

Last time Adam WarRock did this, he made 16 songs in 24 hours. With the help of people's generous pledges and donations, he raised enough money to replace some stolen equipment and donated the rest to charity.

The last fundraiser was so successful, he's doing it again. This time, Adam WarRock is going to be raising money directly for RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence charity. You can support him by pledging a per-song or lump sum donation to the Rap-A-Thon.

Eugene explains how it works:

Angry Reader of the Week: Cayden Mak

"I'm a giant overeducated dork with a philosophy degree, so I'm really here to understand the world, and deeply."


Not Cayden's cat. His neighbor's cat.

What's up, everybody? Once again, it's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Cayden Mak.

Travis Ishikawa's home run sends Giants to the World Series

Bottom-of-the-9th blast gives San Francisco a 6-3 win over St. Louis in the NLCS



First things first: I am a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan. So excuse me if this is a little gushy.

The Giants are going to the World Series, thanks to a massive, already-legendary bottom-of-the-9th walk-off home run by Travis Ishikawa last night, giving San Francisco a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!

Kawakami: Put Travis Ishikawa among San Francisco Giants' legendary heroes

Instant hero. Pretty awesome for a guy who, earlier this season, was considering quitting the game.

Ishikawa, 31, started his career with Giants back in 2002, was released, bounced around, started this season with the Pirates, got sent to the minors, but eventually made his way back on to San Francisco's roster. The journeyman first baseman found himself playing left field in the postseason, providing the Giants with some key at-bats and defensive plays. And then, tonight, that homer.

That blessed homer:

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