2.26.2024

They Call Us Bruce 231: They Call Us Past Lives

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.


What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, recorded live at Asia Society in New York City, Jeff welcomes newly minted Academy Award nominee Celine Song, writer/director of Past Lives. (Spoiler warning!) They discuss the real-life autobiographical moment that inspired her film's bilingual, bi-cultural center; telling a story about the people who hold and know the different parts of ourselves; and how things might have ended up differently for Nora and Hae Sung if they just had better tech and a stronger internet connection.



2.25.2024

Read These


Netflix Just Quietly Added the Best Martial Arts Epic You Haven't Seen
Max never truly knew what to do with Warrior, but the series will find a new audience on Netflix.

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Asian Americans Are Often Invisible in Polling. That's Changing.
Polling Asian Americans while accurately reflecting the diverse difference in opinion within the community has traditionally been expensive. Few pollsters have made the investment, leaving Asian Americans without a voice in public opinion polls, which are seen as a key part of the democratic process. Without survey data, there’s little information about what issues matter to Asian Americans.

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Lunar New Year traditions were abstract until my grandmother died
"Most years, I visit my family in Taiwan for Lunar New Year. And each trip, since I was very small, I have found myself before a family altar, with a stick of smoking incense in my hands, wondering exactly what I’m supposed to do, think or say...But something clicked during this year's trip to Taiwan."

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The Divided Landscape of Indian American Politics
"You can tell that an ethnic group is really flourishing in the United States when they start to produce prominent xenophobes and racists, particularly of the anti-Black variety. The trajectory from victim to victimizer is one of the surest markers of upward social mobility... One of the few intriguing developments in the 2024 Republican primary is fresh evidence that Indian Americans -- or at least a significant cohort of them -- might join this longstanding trend."

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Some Authors Were Left Out of Awards Held in China. Leaked Emails Show Why.
The Hugo Awards, a major literary prize for science fiction, have been engulfed in controversy over revelations that some writers may have been excluded based on their perceived criticism of China or the Chinese government. After weeks of suspicion in the science fiction community, newly released emails show that the awards were likely manipulated because of political concerns.

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Ed Park's Korean-American Epic Blends Conspiracy and History
"Park is not writing a historical novel, hoping to dramatize some episode or series of episodes in the past. He is building an alternate history of Korea and its relationship to the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, telling a story by mining and transforming the historical record. And it begins with a question that returns again and again, until it is almost like a chant in a protest: What is history?"

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For Dallas Liu and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Zuko and Iroh's relationship 'was the most important thing'
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Dallas Liu, who play Iroh and Zuko in Netflix's new live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, were already huge fans of the original animated series when they were cast as the beloved uncle-nephew duo.

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These Grandmas Are Going to the Oscars
In the documentary short Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó, filmmaker Sean Wang chronicles the inner lives of his grandmothers, 96-year-old Yi Yan Fuei (Nǎi Nai) and 86-year-old Chang Li Hua (Wài Pó). Now, the film is nominated for an Academy Award.

2.22.2024

They Call Us Bruce 230: They Call Us Nai Nai & Wài Pó

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.


What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome filmmaker Sean Wang, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary short Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó, a love letter to his own grandmothers. He talks about making an unapologetically personal film about the everyday lives of these two extraordinary women, why Wài Pó wields a sword, and the amazing gift of getting to experience the film's success as a family. Also: The Good, The Bad, and WTFarts of making Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó.



2.16.2024

They Call Us Bruce 229: They Call Us The Most Asian Costco

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.


What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we ring in the Year of the Dragon and welcome back friend, journalist and fellow podcaster Ada Tseng to talk about her Los Angeles Times piece which asked and answered a very important question: Which are the "most Asian" Costcos in Southern California? They discuss why the wholesale chain holds a particular appeal for Asian American shoppers, the specialty items you can only find at the Most Asian Costcos, and the spiritual journey of purchasing Kirkland clothing. Also: The Good, The Bad, and The WTF of Costco.



2.14.2024

Twenty-Three Angry Years

Happy Angryversary.


What is time? Seriously, how is it that I'm writing they twenty-third annual version of this post?

Yes, good readers, today happens to be the 23rd anniversary of Angry Asian Man. On this day in 2001, just a few minutes past midnight, I fired up the file transfer protocol and uploaded the very first version of this blog, scotch-taped together with rickety HTML, early Internet energy, and the recklessness of youth. Good times.

At the start, I was just trying to carve out a little corner of the internet to express myself, back before I even knew this space would eventually be known as a blog. So I started writing, and we were off. And what do you know? We picked up a following along the way. And it's been a ride. We've had some wins, endured some heartache, and tried to start a conversation about community, identity, where we've been and where we're going.

And somehow... it's now been two decades and change. I say this every year, but I'm serious: I feel like I did the math wrong. 23. Not a nice, round, commemorative number. Just a number that says I've been doing this for a long-ass time. I've dedicated twenty-three years of my life and sweat and heart to this website. But I'm thankful that it's given me purpose. I'm thankful for the opportunity to contribute a small part to the Asian American conversation. And I most thankful for all the great people this space has brought into my life.

I'll be the first to admit that I've slowed down, and the actual blogging is not what it once was, as I've diverted a lot of attention to podcasting, publishing and other projects. Also: I'm tired. Twenty-three years later also means twenty-three years older. (Seriously, what is time?) But I'm still in it. We're keeping it going.

Thanks for being part of this journey. Stay Angry.

- Phil


2.09.2024

They Call Us Bruce 228: They Call Us Lunar New Year Love Story

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.


What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this episode, we welcome graphic novel superstars Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham, who have joined forces for Lunar New Year Love Story, a heartwarming rom-com about fate, family, and falling in love. They talk about Gene's real-life origins of merging Valentine's Day and Lunar New Year celebrations, the bad dates and relationships that inspired some of their characters' turmoil, and the natural pan-Asian diversity that infuses the cast and community narrative of Lunar New Love Story.



2.05.2024

Read These


Which SoCal Costcos are the 'most Asian'? (Hint: Look for the durian and lumpia)
In anticipation of the Lunar New Year, the Los Angeles Times conducted some very important research, powered by Southern California's Costco-shopping readership, to answer a burning question: Which Costco is the "most Asian"?

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From therapy to qigong: survivors of the Monterey Park mass shooting are still searching for healing
For many Asians, therapy is taboo -- but a year after the worst mass shooting in Los Angeles County's history, some elders in the community are embracing it to heal and process their collective trauma.

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Asian elders return to the ballroom after the Monterey Park shooting: 'Dancing takes me to joy'
A year after a gunman opened fire at a nearby dance studio, Alhambra's Lai Lai Ballroom is a refuge, with neon-lit dancefloors and Cantonese pop hits. Despite the horror of the shooting, many survivors have resumed dancing, both as a way to heal and as an expression of defiance.

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How Asian American voters could help determine who gets George Santos' former seat
Nearly 1 in 5 voters in New York’s 3rd Congressional District are Asian American.

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Palestine Is in Asia: An Asian American Argument for Solidarity
Edward Said's Orientalism brought a burst of intellectual energy to Asian American liberation. The wider solidarity he called for is even more important today.

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A Chinese and a Taiwanese comedian walk into a bar ...
Comedians Vickie Wang and Jamie Wang -- no relation -- create comedy over the cross-strait tensions between China and Taiwan, reminding their audiences that the tense relationship between the two governments doesn't mean there should be tension between Taiwanese and Chinese people.

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A new Avatar awakens: Inside The Last Airbender's live-action reincarnation
Water, earth, fire, and air converge as the stars and creative team behind Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender, a live-action fantasy reimagining of the beloved animated show, lay out what the legions of cross-generational fans can expect.

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Young Filmmaker Lives His 'Fairy Tale' at Sundance
Sean Wang, a first-time director, received the Sundance Film Festival's audience award for his coming-of-age film, Dìdi. He also got the ultimate prize: a distribution deal.

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Lulu Wang on 'Expats', Nicole Kidman and Recreating Hong Kong On-Screen
The Farewell director Lulu Wang discusses her glossy, disquieting new television show Expats, set in the world of Hong Kong's elite.

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This 'Expats' Star Can't Believe She's Actually in It
Watching scenes of herself with Nicole Kidman Expats, Ji-young Yoo said that "it still feels like I was Photoshopped in." The Amazon series is one of three big coming projects for the 24-year-old.

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Mr and Mrs Smith's Maya Erskine: 'I looked at Angelina Jolie and thought, well, I can't be her'
Maya Erskine has gone from cringe-comedy outsider to starring with Donald Glover in a remake of the Hollywood blockbuster, Mr and Mrs Smith. She explains why living up to Angelina Jolie's 'total goddess' was not an option.


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