Archived Posts - September 2002


Really enjoyed watching Daniel Hsia's "How To Do the Asian Squat" at AsianAmericanFilm.com


Interesting article on race and casting: In movies and on TV, staying quiet about race can speak volumes


A Japanese NBA player? Yeah: NBA hopeful Morishita out to show he's no 'Flash' in the pan


I've been hearing some pretty mixed reviews on The Tuxedo... Mostly bad though. Dave sends in a positive one:

Ok, just saw The Tuxedo and have to give it a couple of thumbs up.
I enjoyed the pairing with Jennifer Love. They seemed to hit it off well together. Although there was the obligatory martial arts scenes, it seemed more or less, for the faithful Jackie Chan fans. This movie has serious potential to catapult Jackie to the more serious leading man with ladies kind of roles. Although not in your face sexy( from a male perspective) it comes across as a romantic comedy with action thrown in. Jennifer plays the love interest extremely well as she reveals her true feelings for our hero at the end of the movie. The last scene shows Jackie and Jennifer love walking off into the sunset arm in arm. This is a big plus for us angry Asian dudes. It's as though Jackie had been reading all of our disgruntled posts over the yrs and has decided to be our knight in shining armor. Go see it.

Interesting. I'll definitely go see it, although with all the negative reviews I've heard I'm not in such a hurry...


More racist tee shirts? There are reports of a "China Bowl" tee shirt, manufactured by Mossimo, being sold at Target. Although I can't seem to find any pictures or images online of the design. More details here: NAASCON


Another article on Asians in sports: The Rise of the Asian Superjocks


Check out the official website for the Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song: www.flowerdrumsong.com


Ming Na as Dr. Chen on the season premiere of ER. Love that lady. But yo, why does Dr. Pratt keep jockin' Dr. Chen. Give it rest, son. He had the cheek to utter something about "Yin and Yang" to her. Dr. Chen wasn't taking none of that!

Also a brief bit with an Asian woman as some patient's crazy obsessed "fiancee."


I'm looking forward to seeing Jackie Chan's new movie, The Tuxedo, which opens on Friday. It looks like your standard Jackie Chan stunt-laden vehicle, but after reading this article, I get a slightly different impression... A romantic comedy? Could it really be? The loveable Jackie Chan and ... Jennifer Love Hewitt?! Oh my goodness. This sounds somewhat unlikely, yet I am intrigued. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, eh? I am going to watch this movie. Read the article here: Action Star Chan Says: Show Me the Love


Asian man on the season premiere of The West Wing. He was a congressman from Texas doing a photo op with President Bartlet. Didn't catch the actor's name. It was a brief moment, kind of neat. I just thought it was interesting that he was from Texas.


Saw Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, which wasn't so good. However, Lucy Liu was easily the best thing about the movie. She is quite an asskicker, despite only having like 5 lines in the whole movie --this is a good thing, considering the film's unspeakably bad dialogue. She was cool, although I didn't really like the fact that she made paper cranes and stuff in her spare time, and myseriously leaves them behind or whatever. Then again, I guess that's okay, because as an Asian, I often do that too. Props also go to Terry Chen as Agent Harry Lee. His role is small and he doesn't get to do any asskicking, but I thought his character was pretty cool. Oh and there's this cute little Asian girl as his daughter. Anyway, this movie is not great, but it gets points from me for some cool Asian American characters.

Also saw Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, which was breathtaking. What a beautiful film. And really weird too. I recommend it.


Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever opens today, starring Lucy Liu as Agent Sever... It also features Terry Chen as another agent dude. Oh yes, the film is helmed by Thai director Wych Kaosayananda (aka Kaos). Looks cool. I will see this film.


Soo... did anyone watch the premiere of Survivor: Thailand? How did Shii Ann do? Can someone send me a report? I'd appreciate a few observations/comments on the first Asian American contestant on Survivor. All I know is from the commercial, Shii Ann calls herself "The She Devil." Whoa.


Here's a follow-up to Eugenia's observations on Firefly yesterday:

I wrote to the webmaster of the Firefly fansite, and asked for her perspective on the so-called Asian-influenced setting. Here is what she had to say:

>Hi Eugenia,

>What you asked sounded like an interview or academic

>question, is it?

>To briefly answer your questions:

>No, the Asian influence isn't a bad thing. And to

>correct you, the Chineses aren't cast as the "bad

guys" [Although, they sure as heck aren't on the same

side as the protagonists, so what else was I to

infer?] The Asian influences are derived from America

and China being the dominant political power in

history within the series. The majority of the

characters in Firefly speaks English as well as

Mandarin just as most people in the United States now

speaks English and Spanish in certain regions.

[Although I wonder what people would say if Joss

Whedon had written the series within the context of

Mexican culture, and neglected to cast any Latino


>As far as whether the potrayal is stereotypical, I

>can't answer that question at the moment because I

have not seen enough episodes formulate a definate


>And there are currently no Asians within the core

>cast, which is unfortunate because of the Asian

aspects of the series. [At least, she mentioned this.]

>Hope I answered your question.


I also asked her in a separate e-mail about the character River Tam, and apparently neither she nor her brother are meant to be Asian, despite the use of a very Asian-sounding last name. I think there's a term for people like Joss Whedon - opportunist/culture vulture/exploiter.

Eugenia (Very Bitter Asian Woman)

I think I choose to refrain from all judgments until I actually see the show. Don't like the sound of it though...




What the heck is this: Disney preps martial arts "Snow White". Sounds crazy. Not too sure how this one is going to work out...


Eugenia writes in with a bunch of info on the new Joss Whedon TV series, Firefly. I know next to nothing about this show, so this is pretty good info:

Some information on the upcoming Fox show from Joss
Whedon (the creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer").
According to a review in Time, it's a sci-fi western
inspired by the Civil War, where a group of space
rebels fight against being assimilated into an evil
alliance ruled by the Chinese and Americans that's
bent on uniting all the planets into a universal
empire. (Anti-globalization message, anyone?)
According to the fan website below, the show's setting
is heavily Asian-influenced, with Chinese language
characters and expressions, and Japanese-themed
clothing and interior decorating. (It could just be
the website author mixing up the different Asian
influences, but they seem to use Chinese and Japanese
cultural references almost interchangeably. I guess
they think the two are the same.) There's only one
character who I think is Asian - her name is River
Tam, and she's played by an actress named Summer Glau,
who appears to be hapa. Almost all of the other main
characters, however, are white, (with the exception of
one lone black character) including the actor who
plays River's brother, whose last name is also Tam,
usually a Cantonese last name. To top things off, poor
River is apparently introduced by being sold into the
sex industry, and eventually gets rescued by the
primarily all-white cast. (Talk about subverting
stereotypes there.) It all seems very kitschy -
particularly with the mostly Caucasian cast walking
around in Asian dress - with the potential to be just
plain orientalist, from what I've read. Of course, it
could play out much differently on-screen, but I've
watched "Buffy" and "Angel" over the years, and I
can't say that Whedon has a particularly good track
record on race. (Case in point - almost all the
minority characters end up evil or dead or
marginalized, and the one Asian character with a
speaking role ended up saying "Tell my mother I'm
sorry" or some similar Joy Luck Club crap before she
died.) You might want to check out the premiere, just
in case. Anyway, here's a sample from the fan site
below to give you an idea:

Sample spoiler: Gangsters and geishas mingle in this
Asian-influenced future. In Whedon's scenario, the
U.S. and China have been the two ruling powers for
many years; everyone speaks Chinese and English and
signs in both languages are scrawled on the ship's
walls. The action occurs in a galaxy where numerous
planets and moons have been colonized and
"terraformed" or converted to Earthlike habitable


And here is the official show website:

http://www.fox.com/firefly/ (Official site)

Sooo... the future is ruled by whites and Asians. Thanks a bunch, Eugenia. I had no idea this show would be so heavily Asian-influenced... although in this case it doesn't seem to be such a good thing. The idea premise is pretty interesting, although from the looks of it, the show is executed poorly. I'll have to see it for myself... But the outlook does not look good. Why the hell are people walking around 500 years in the future wearing kimonos and stuff? That's racist!


Really interesting San Francisco Chronicle article on C.Y. Lee, author of the original Flower Drum Song novel: PROFILE: C.Y. Lee


I am imformed that the APAMSA is a medical student organization that deals with many of the issues brought up in the previously mentioned article on Asians and medical research... Props.


I just don't get it sometimes: Stereotypical dolls not so funny, critics say. Dolls that are purposely modeled after racial/ethnic/lifestyle stereotypes. The weirdest thing to me in the article is when a guy says he finds the dolls funny because they're "stereotypical. It's not just one group they make fun of--it's Indians, Chinese, white trash...I wear a turban, and I'm not offended." That's funny --the stereotypes are the reason the very thought of the dolls are offensive to me. But that's just me.


Often, medical literature is based on studies done on white Americans, whose health issues can be very different from those of Asian descent. Here's an informative article on Asians and medical research: Unfocused Research in U.S.


Lucy Liu is Agent Sever
The full site for Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever has launched. I know much of Asian America is somewhat divided about Ms. Lucy Liu, for various reasons. But let me say this: I really dig Lucy Liu, I think she kicks ass, and I'm gonna watch this movie.


I really really want to see the revival of Flower Drum Song: One-on-One with Playwright David Henry Hwang


TIME Asia's article on Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Blood Sport, including a brief photo gallery. Note Uma Thurman in the Game of Death outfit. (Duh.)


Who are the most influential APAs under 30? An interesting question posed over at PoliticalCircus.com. They're putting together a special feature, "Top 30, Under 30," where they'll highlight a different young APA person every day during the month of November. Be sure to nominate someone.


I have to note that Prof. Yuji Ichioka passed away earlier this month at age 66. The UCLA professor was a dedicated social activist and scholar, and is actually responsible for coining the term "Asian America" in the late 1960s. Props.


Got this from Chicago Ben last night:

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

So close! Chicago Cubs first baseman Hee-Seop Choi, the first Korean
position player (i.e. non-pitcher) in major league baseball history,
made his debut home start today against the Montreal Expos. (He made
his very first start on the road last Sunday in St. Louis.)

With Masato Yoshii starting for the Expos, Choi faced his first Asian
pitcher in the bigs. (Walked once, struck out twice.) But the stage
was set for a truly historic event when Yoshii was lifted in the 6th for
reliever Sun Woo Kim. This would be American baseball's first-ever
faceoff between a Korean position player and a Korean pitcher.

Alas, it was not to be -- Kim retired the side in order in the 6th and
7th, ending with Sammy Sosa, leaving Choi, batting in the cleanup slot,
waiting on deck. When Choi led off the bottom of the 8th, Kim had been
replaced by reliever Britt Reame.


Ben Kim


P.S. Choi's first major league hit -- a 425-foot home run in the St.
Louis game -- remains his only one. He's now only 1-for-11. But
despite a bad day today (three strikeouts), he's proving himself a
good-fielding first baseman. (Certainly better than Fred McGriff, the
veteran he's expected to replace next season.) The kid is really BIG
too, my god.

With the balance of the Cubs schedule dominated by series against
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, it looks like Choi's only potential exposure
to a large Korean population will be next week's three-game series in
New York against the Mets.


For those of you in the Los Angeles area, Better Luck Tomorrow will be screening Tuesday (9/17) at the Vista Theater (on Sunset Blvd @
Hollywood Blvd), as part of the Silverlake Film Festival. You can purchase tickets at www.Ticketweb.com.


Peace. Stay Angry and all, as usual. But peace, you know?


This dude was denied entrance to a test screening of Scorsese's Gangs of New York. Was it because he is Asian? Possibly: Ain't It Cool News


Time for some baseball talk: Hee Seop Choi got called up from the minors to the Cubbies. That's cool.

What's not cool is that Dodgers pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii got hit in the face by a line drive, and had surgery yesterday to remove bone chips from his nasal passage. Yesterday also happened to be his birthday. Sad.

The Dodgers called up Chin-Feng Chen to their roster on Monday. He is the very first Taiwanese player ever to play in the major. That's definitely notable. Man, all these talented Asian players... So when are we going to see a whole slew of Asian AMERICAN players? That'll be the day.

I should mention that I went to see the Giants vs. Diamondbacks at Pac Bell Park on Saturday... It was tied 3-3 in the ninth inning, and they brought in Byung Hyun Kim. He lost a run to Benito Santiago (man, that dude is old)... unfortunately for him, it was the game-winning run. He doesn't seem to be the best clutch player, eh? (Benito is.) Giants won (yay), Kim lost (aww). Mixed emotions about that one. Dude, Pac Bell is a great ballpark, but man, we had the lousiest seats. We were in the serious nosebleeds. Literally, the LAST ROW of the upper deck. Our backs were to the wall, no joke. That was crazy.

Anyway, that's all about baseball.


More on the Asian American contestant on this season's Survivor in Thailand: Berkeley Grad to Appear on 'Survivor'


I know this is a controversial topic and all, but seriously, what the hell is this site? I disapprove: Asian Girls and White Guys. Catering to your fetish needs.


New James Bond trailer: Die Another Day. See Rick Yune as some kinda freaky lookin' dude.


Hey all you Trading Spaces fans out there (and there are a lot of you), here's an article on designer Vern Yip: Not Quite as Seen on TV


This site is freakin' AWESOME: Asian Pacific American Toy Chest. A great resource.


In addition to BLT, the Toronto International Film Festival will be screening Mina Shum's Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity, starring Sandra Oh. You'll remember Sandra also starred in Shum's first feature, Double Happiness.

The festival will also be screening Deepa Mehta's anticipated feature Bollywood/Hollywood. Looks pretty amazing.

Oh yeah, the festival will focusing on South Korean films for its National Cinema Programme. How cool is that?

Man, I wish I could go.


Better Luck Tomorrow will be screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens tomorrow.


This is just freakin' racist: http://www.elfrigo.org/flash/chowmein.htm. Brought to my attention by Travis and Brian. What bugs is that someone actually spent a considerable amount of time putting this stupid flash thing together. That's racist!


Brian writes in with lowdown on Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria:

I caught Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria on ESPN's Friday Night Fights
last week and watched as he claimed the North American Boxing
Federation flyweight championship in a unanimous decision over Javier
Lagos. Brian is now 9-0 with 6 KOs.

The good: It was the main event that evening, which I think is pretty
rare for a flyweight bout, and more importantly good exposure for the
Filipino-Hawaiian fighter. The bad: I'm sad to say it was a very
BORING fight to watch. Brian had to pace himself against the elusive
Lagos and ended up going the entire 12 rounds, marking the first time
he ever went beyond the 5th round. The problem: the original intended
opponent (Gabriel Munoz) failed a physical, and so Lagos was the
fill-in fighter, even though Brian's managers knew Lagos' fight style
wouldn't play into Brian's strengths.

But... a win's a win -- and Brian had to go beyond the 5th round
sooner or later.

AP story: http://espn.go.com/boxing/fnf/index.html

Cool. "Hawaiian Punch." Hahahahaaa.


Briefly saw a promo for Girls Club, Fox's new show from producer David E. Kelley. A little while back I mentioned how although this show is set in San Francisco, the none of the three main lawyer women are Asian. Figured as much. Anyway, I believe I also caught a glimpse of Eddie Shin in the promo... hopefully a regular? More on this as details develop.


See The Man Show on Comedy Central? Kirby has:

Was flipping through channels this weekend and passed over The Man Show on Comedy Central.

Not sure if the episode was a re-run or whatever, but it was still pretty fucked up. Basically, one of their skits revolved around picking up "your very own Chinese kid" to do your homework for you so you can go out and have fun. The joke went further with a flashing caption on the bottom of the screen saying "Not recommended for driving tests".

Racist enough for ya?

Sure is. That's racist!


A few keen observations and comments from "The Indian Ninja":

Just somethings you might find interesting:

In Washington State, a toilet seat designing company decided to release some
"Asian" designs for their toilet seats. What they did though, was totally
offensive. They took gods and goddesses from Hinduism and copied them down
to thier toilet seats seats along with Indian designs and patterns.

In another case, on HBO's The Sopranos, Tony Soprano (head thug, mafia) eats at
an Indian restaurant followed by an Italian restaurant. He falls sick, comes
home vomits and while getting into bed exclaims 3 F**KING SIX ARMED
GODDESS2! Later it is discovered that it was not the Indian food that caused
it but the seafood he ate at the Italian Restaurant.

In yet another case, on the Tin Tin cartoon (which aired on Nicklodeon a few
years back), Tin Tin the reporter goes to India where he meets a king named
"Maharaja Gai Pajama" (which literally mean King Cow Pants in Hindi). What's
even more racist about it is that every one in the cartoon has a beard and
a turban and are wearing nothing but briefs or "turkish" style clothes.

And last but not least is the famous Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom movie.
This movie is the biggest piece of racist shit I have ever seen. It makes
Hindus/Indians/Southeast Asians all seem like poor savages who are totally
at the mercy of cults and corrupt tribal leaders. These cults that I speak
of make no sense because they are worshipping a Hindu goddess (Kali) yet the
mercilessly rip out the hearts of other Hindus throughout the movie.

What can I say? That's racist!


So I hear John Cleese will play Lucy Liu's dad in Charlie's Angels 2. What? Now how's that supposed to work? I've got nothing against John Cleese... They just better have a good explanation. Aw heck, it's Charlie's Angels. What am I saying?

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