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12.31.2002

Archived Posts - December 2002



12.24.02

Taking a break till later next week. Call it a much-needed holiday hiatus... Have a happy holiday, everyone. Stay Angry, and I'll see you in 2003.

12.23.02

Christine points me to a couple of cool indie musicians... Check out singer-songwriters Corrinne May and Moulann (no relation to the Disney cartoon).

12.22.02

Just saw this CRAZY commercial on MTV for some made-for-TV movie called Everybody's Doing It. The commercial starred an Asian dude dressed as syphillis. I guess you really have to see it to understand.

12.21.02

The Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song has been named one 2002's best in theater by TIME.

12.20.02

WHAT THE HELL. I was just watching Conan O'Brien when they had some funk ass weird segment with stop-motion Christmas potatoes. The potato dressed as Santa comes down the chimney with his gifts. ALL OF A SUDDEN this potato with a CHINAMAN HAT jumps in the scene (introduced by the sound of a gong) wielding a sword and proceeds to chop up Santa Potato, all the while making 'hi-ya!' noises. He chops up into mash potatoes and then Kung Fu Potato EATS the remains of Santa Potato. The whole bit lasted a mere minute. Again I say, WHAT THE HELL. Seriously, what the hell just happened? That's racist!

12.19.02

Yao Ming is in the running to be an NBA All-Star starter: Yao second to O'Neal in All-Star voting

In baseball news: Japanese star Hideki Matsui and the New York Yankees reached a preliminary agreement Thursday on a $21 million(!), three-year contract. Check it out here: Godzilla deal pending on team physical. Also, the Mets have apparently signed third baseman Norihiro Nakamura: Power-hitting third baseman reportedly to join Mets.

12.19.02

Keenan Shimizu guest starred on Ed last night.

12.18.02

The Miami Heat recently gave out fortune cookies as a promotion when Yao Ming came to town. Why do people exhibit the most ignorant, idiotic behavior when it comes to Yao Ming? Look here: Nobody Thought It Was a Bad Idea Along the Way?!

12.17.02

Couple of articles:

Flower Drum Song ó The Reviews are In - Critically, the general reviews for the Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song have been somewhat mediocre, although audience reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. This article weighs in, saying most critics just don't get it.

The Pioneer Performers Of The Forbidden City - By Ben Fong-Torres. An article on the stars of Chinatown's famed Forbidden City nightclub in late 1930s San Francisco. I recommend seeing Arthur Dong's documentary, Fobidden City, U.S.A.

Malaysia outlaws 'insulting' Brad Pitt ads - This is ridiculous. I understand some of the issues that hover behind this decision. The western world has perpetuated the idea that there is a 'white' standard of beauty. But why has the government singled out Brad Pitt? His beauty is an insult? Maybe he's just too good-looking.

12.16.02

Recently heard from several people about problematic stuff in the latest James Bond video game, Nightfire... it begins with James Bond entering a Japanese mansion (ruled by a middle-aged white man), featuring no less than a sexy Asian miad, a dragon lady masseuse/personal bodyguard, Asian hot tub ladies, and a whole mess of Asian thugs. All there for James Bond to dispatch and beat down, 007-style. Video game exploitation at its best. Download the demo for yourself: http://www.007.com.au/downloads.php

12.15.02

Taiwanese Tooth Torture (Ric Young) guy was back on Alias tonight. He is definitely one of the series' most memorable villains. Ric Young should do more stuff like this and stay away from crap like The Transporter.

12.15.02

If you'd like to see Yao Ming on the NBA All-Star Team, be sure to vote.

12.15.02

Taiwanese Tooth Torture (Ric Young) guy was back on Alias tonight. He is definitely one of the series' most memorable villains. Ric Young should do more stuff like this and stay away from crap like The Transporter.

12.15.02

If you'd like to see Yao Ming on the NBA All-Star Team, be sure to vote.

12.14.02

Spotted Dante and Dion Basco in the trailer for Biker Boyz.

12.14.02

(X-Men 2) trailer is available for download. Featuring Kelly Hu looking hot and badass.

And the previously mentioned movie, The Guru gets a U.S. release on January 31st.

12.13.02

I should mention that Maid in Manhattan, starring Jennifer Lopez, opens in theaters today. Why should I mention this? The movie is directed Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club, Smoke, Chan is Missing).

12.13.02

They're crazy for Yao Ming in China. Well, of course: Yao Holding Court in China

12.13.02

All right. A couple of days ago, a Chinese American guy wrote into Dear Abby's column, complaining that people in this country frequently assume that he's a foreigner ('where are you from?'). Many Asian Americans are familiar with this plight, no doubt. Well, Abby's response wasn't particularly encouraging. She pretty much skirts the issue and doesn't even directly address his letter. Here is the full text:


From Dear Abby, 12/10/2002

DEAR ABBY: I am proud of being not only American, but a Chinese American. I
was raised bilingually and biculturally. Other than my Asian features, most
people would be hard-pressed to find anything "un-American" about me.
However, occasional racist remarks are still thrown at me for no other
reason than my appearance. Fortunately, that type of bigotry is fading, but
comments and actions like that man experienced at Kmart are common and
should be stopped. White Americans should be sensitive about any treatment
of nonwhite Americans as different.

For example, I am frequently asked where I am from. When I
answer "Pittsburgh" (where I was born and raised), the response I often get
is, "No, where are you REALLY from?" as if I couldn't be from America. I
know people are curious about my heritage, but Caucasians (even ones with
accents) are not treated thus, so why are those of us with Asian features,
but nonaccented English, treated this way? — PROUD CHINESE AMERICAN

DEAR PROUD CHINESE AMERICAN: Don't be so quick to assume that Caucasians
with accents are not also asked where they are from. In this country, anyone
with an accent is considered "exotic" — and as such, inspires curiosity.
When people are curious, they ask questions. I know I'm right, because I
have been guilty of it.


What kind of half-assed answer is that? "I know I'm right, because I have been guilty of it." Thank you Abby, for encouraging your very large readership to go on assuming I'm foreign (even though I don't have an accent), and therefore "exotic."

12.13.02

Serious news on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Since the start of the fall semester nearly two dozen women-many of Asian heritage-have been attacked and robbed while walking alone at night. Don't Be a Victim

12.13.02

More information from Owen about Letterman's "Korean Soap Opera of the Night" segments...


I've only seen the "Korean Soap Opera of the Night" deal once, but it
consisted of about 5-10 seconds of a Korean guy and a Korean girl in a car
having some sort of dramatic discussion. It literally was nothing more than a
clip from a real Korean soap opera. It ends right after the guy slams his
hand on the steering wheel, looks at the girl and lets loose with some
emotional verbage.

It was only one part in this string of inane 10-second mini-segments, and I
really couldn't find anything offensive about it (it basically made fun of
the supermelodramtic Korean soap opera style—which come to think of it, is
just as bad in the U.S.).

Then again, I don't speak Korean, so I can't be sure there was absolutely
nothing offensive in there.


So what's the joke? What makes this segment so funny?

12.13.02

Let me sing you a song:

"Ching Chong, Oh Mis-ter Ching Chong,

you're the king of Chi-na-town,

Ching Chong, I love your sing-song

when you have turned the lights all down;

Ching Chong, just let me swing 'long

thru the realms of drow-sy land;

dream-ing while stars are beam-ing,

Oh! Mis-ter Ching Chong, sing-song man."


Yeah, you better believe it: CHING CHONG is BACK! That's racist! (Thanks Tony)

12.12.02

Oh my goodness. It's the Cradle 2 the Grave trailer. It looks seriously bad, but I still kinda want to watch it. Oh my, is that Kelly Hu? Yes, I think I'll be watching it. And Jet Li vs. Mark Dacascos. Yes. But I can seriously do without DMX. Tom Arnold too. File it under so bad, yet so good. But mostly so, sooo bad. Jet Li just can't seem to get away from this crap in the States...

12.12.02

Kind of weird when I meet readers of this site outside in the real world. It's been happening somewhat frequently lately... Props to Steve, the mind behind Globality.org.

12.12.02

Khoa informs me of these Viet Cong action figures:


My friend gave me a link to a site that sells a figurine of a Viet Cong soldier.

http://www.legendshobbies.com/v-scout.htm

As I'm sure you're aware of, the Viet Cong were the army of North Vietnam that eventually overthrew the South Vietnamese regime causing the massive influx of Vietnamese refugees into the U.S. during the 70's and early 80's.

A manufacturer named "Dragon Models" is apparently trying to profit from commodifying a historical icon that's bitterly embedded in Vietnamese American society. This company is hong-kong based and, in manufacturing this figurine for an American market, plays on many stereotypes that I'm sure you're aware of. For instance, as the pictures on the site show, the doll is capable of contorting and performing karate moves as if it were some Bruce Lee action figure. Needless to say, Vietnamese soldiers during the war were hardly blackbelts. In addition, why is it that a Viet Cong doll is portrayed as some girlish figure with pigtails? If anything, soldiers during the war were real people — husbands, sons, and fathers, many of whom were killed in the carnage of the Vietnam War. Because of this bitter history and the acrimonious impact that the Viet Cong have had on the lives of Vietnamese Americans, it is an outrage for this toy to be sold in America as a commodified "collectible".

This product has unfortunately hit the mainstream market, as I have seen it being sold on the Amazon and KB Toys website. In fact, the doll has been sold out on both sites.

Consequently, I need your help in getting the word out about this by fowarding this to others, and, if you feel as strongly as I about the issue, please contact kay bee and/or amazon to advocate the removal of this product. I can't sit idle while such a large part of my own family and ethnic history is glaringly mocked by consumerism. I hope you share my sentiments.


It certainly trivializes the Vietnam war, whichever side or stance on the conflict one might take. That's racist!

12.12.02

Big props to director Eric Byler and actress Jacqueline Kim of Charlotte Sometimes for receiving two nominations for the IFP Independent Spirit Awards. These are kind of like the Oscars for indie films. The film has been nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, which is given to the best feature made for under $500,000, and Jacqueline Kim has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress. NICE. For other nominees, go to www.indiewire.com

12.11.02

More and more, I find myself having to go through the same explanations about this site. I get a lot of email. I often get mail saying 'why didn't you write about this?' or 'why didn't you call this racist?' etc. and etc. To address those kinds of questions: Beats me, man. This is my site, and I write whatever I feel like writing. Truly, when I began this site I never set out to be any kind of spokesperson or news source for Asian America, and to this day I maintain that view. I mean come on, I'm no authority on such matters. We've all got opinions. I'm just one guy who happens to know one or two things about HTML, writing about the stuff that I care about or find interesting. If you connect with that, by all means, keep coming back to read what's up. But do pick up a paper and try to keep up with what is going on the world. This site is not the be all and end all guide to what is currently offending Asian America. I have no concerns for this site to live up to any standards of journalistic integrity or objectivity. The content is completely subjective and I would never claim or pretend it to be anything otherwise. Wanna know what's racist? Go outside, it's there for you to see, in all its wicked glory.

That is all. Back to the regular flow of things.

12.11.02

The unfortunate thing about a high-profile Chinese player in NBA is that you get a lot of people talking out of their ass, saying/writing/doing some freakin' racist crap. Take for instance, the article by Rick Chan I posted yesterday. Or how about Steve Mason, a sports radio commentator on XTRA 1150 AM in Los Angeles? Jason writes in:


I was listening to XTRA 1150 AM at 12:30pm a sports station in LA and they got this DJ Steve Mason who was saying that China is forcing tall people to mate with each other so they can produce players like Yao Ming. He also said that the Chinese must be using special gentetic methods to produce tall players. Not only that he said the Chinese government probably offers tall people extra incentives to mate with other tall people ie, more food or an extra role of toilet paper. I'm not quoting this directly but one quote I renenber directly out of his mouth was that in China the people live on dirt and dogs. Basically, what I got was China again is looked as the evil empire who forces their people to do things they don't want to do. Unfortunately, a lot of America view Chinese Americans as being from China any way and a lot of us have to suffer through those stereotypes. I doubt he would say the same things about how in history some races have breeded other races for their own purposes.

I called them to complain. Their number is 213-520-1150.

The company that owns them is Clear Channel LA and their number is 213-427-7223.

Steve Mason's e-mail address is Mason@foxsports.com


You just know Mason says crap like this to shock and get a rise out of people, at the expense and alienation of Asians, not just internationally, but definitely here in the states. Emphasizing and stereotyping the "other" only perpetuates a more xenophobic state. This guy would think twice about saying these remarks other people/ethnicities in the NBA, because he would NOT get away with it. Why does he feel it's safe to make those kinds of comments about Asians?

More racism in the NBA... According to this article, at Mavericks game against the Clippers:


Wang Zhizhi, a former Maverick, added nine points in 19 minutes, entering the game to a chorus of boos and a recorded ringing of a gong. Wang would later chuckle and say he had no problem with the sound effect.

Ah, that inescapable gong. More cultural trivialization. The boos can be expected... players returning to play against their former teams usually don't get a warm reception. But the freakin' gong has got to go. Never mind that Wang said he didn't mind. (I like how the article throws that in there, to assuage anyone else who might find it offensive.) Why does gong = Asian? I'm tired of hearing the gong. No more gong.


12.11.02

Heads up on tonight's episode of Law and Order, "The Wheel." From the website:


BRISCOE AND GREEN ARE CAUGHT BETWEEN A RELIGIOUS POWER STRUGGLE AND A HARD PLACE — The discovery of the smoldering body of an Asian girl outside the Chinese Consul General's apartment leads Detectives Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) to suspect the death is a suicide/ political statement, due to the victim's affiliation with the controversial Falun Gong movement. However, when forensics reveal the girl was murdered, the detectives find themselves in the middle of a
religious conflict, with their prime suspect being a representative of the Chinese government (guest star Tzi Ma). Sam Waterston, Elisabeth Rohm, Fred Thompson and S. Epatha Merkerson also star.

Tzi Ma is the perpetual NBC drama Asian guest star.

12.10.02

Several people have told me about last week's (12/1) episode of Boomtown... Since he puts it so eloquently, I'll let Ben do the explaining:


Asian-themed episodes are coming so fast and furious, you can't even
keep up! I sure wasn't expecting anything between the 11-30 Robbery
Homicide and the 12-4 West Wing / Fastlane twofer, but lo and behold,
Boomtown on 12-1 finds the detectives at the home of one Jenny Lam,
Vietnamese teen murdered at a house party hosted by the son of
Hollywood's most powerful and ruthless producer. Predictably uptight
Vietnamese dad, take a wild guess: that's right, the tireless (and
uncredited) Tzi Ma.

(spoiler alert) So whodunit? The straitlaced Jenny turns out to have
been not so innocent — a video of her banging Richie Rich has been
spreading on the internet. The wrapup is shockingly implausible,
especially for this usually well-written show. Jenny started off
tutoring Richie before romance blossomed. When dad discovers the video
and the money, he concludes that Jenny is turning tricks. He follows
her to the party and kills her because he fears ho-ing is "in her
blood." Mr. Lam, was someone in your family a ho back in Vietnam?
(Mother? Wife? Sister?)

"It . . . it was ME !!!" (Blurry flashback of boy in alley with
American soldier.)

I wanted fries and a shake to come with *that* whopper . . .


Kind of makes me sick to the stomach. Asian characters can't even get murdered on TV without turning it into some whacked out man-ho story.

12.10.02

Interesting human interest article from the Washington Post: The Weight of a Family's Hopes. A common story for many in the Asian American experience... (Thanks HV)

12.10.02

Sports stuff. Here's an article on the current state of Yao Ming, from the Sac Bee: Pressure and Poise. A normal life is out of your reach now, Yao. (Thanks Darren)

Here is a fervent Yao Ming dissenter: Ming has run completely afoul. This one is sure to anger a few...

ESPN article on up and coming athletes to watch in the next year, including the Cubs' Hee Seop Choi and tennis player Paradorn Srichapan: NEXT Ones (Thanks Ooj)

12.09.02

Okay, details on that Mad Tv sketch, "Average Asian," courtesy of Danielle:



The MadTV skit featured their new Asian cast member who's name currently escapes me [Bobby Lee]. In the skit, he plays a teen named "Hideki." It opens with two white cast members playing teens taking a math test grumbling over how hard it is. Then one guy says "Hey, there's Hideki he's orien ... I mean Asian. Let's ask him." So, they ask Hideki what's the answers to questions 4 and 5 and a somewhat confused Hideki turns around and says "Gee ... I ..." and the white teens yell, "Thanks" assuming that he said the answers were the letters "G" and "I." Then the theme song kicked.

The theme song, played in cheery, 1950s style sitcom music included the words, "He's an average Asian. He isn't good with equations. He isn't dumb, he isn't smart. He's not good at art. He's an average Asian!" During the song portion, the Hideki character walks around doing ordinary things, reading his mail, reading a comic book, eating while in the background the
title of the skit "Average Asian" is written in yellow letters with the Asian done in that stereotypical Asian font.

The next skit features a music class that Hideki is in. The class, pretty much all white with the exception of a black guy in there somewhere, is practicing a song when the teacher tells them to all stop because they sound like crap. Then she asks Hideki to solo since his race is so exceptionally good at the classical arts like violin and such. A befuddled Hideki stands
up and plays his instrument — the triangle — which of course, you simply tap with a metal rod. Everyone claps and praises his "skill" then ask him to take a picture of all of them together, which he does. (Which I didn't get, at all. Perhaps that some stereotype that I'm not aware of. Is there some phenomenom where random white people walk up to Asians and ask them to take their pictures? Is that a reference to Asian tourists? Don't know.) [Probably the Asian tourist stereotype.]

Then the theme music pops in again ...

In the final skit, two white cast members, still playing teens, are in a car waiting on Hideki, who is going to drive them all home. The white guy is yelling at the white girl for asking Hideki to drive since they're all "gonna die" since Asian people can't drive. Hideki gets in, white girl thanks him for driving and then white boy asks Hideki when he got his license. A befuddled Hideki says "I got mine the same time you did, last year." Then as he tries to drive, the two white people play side street driver constantly saying things like "There's a stop sign!" "Slow down!" and soon their pointing out of the obvious gets ridiculous and he crashes the car. The police pull up and arrest him for wreckless driving.

And then the theme music pops up for a final time.

During the end credits I noticed that Mad TV listed a woman with a Japanese sounding surname as the writer for the skit, but it went by so fast that I can't recall it. Whether you're offended or not sort of depends on how you look at it. Seeing as they only trot out the Asian guy in the cast to play Jackie Chan and the occasional annoying teenager, bogeying in the
background, it was nice to see him actually get his own skit. And then on the other hand it sort of reminded me of the converstation I have with my co-worker, Percy over how in high school people simply assumed he was good in math and that all Asians could do Kung-Fu. I didn't get the driving part (I'm originally from the midwest where we have five Asians per every one hundred square miles). I didn't know Asian people were stereotyped as being bad drivers. But the rest of it was funny in the sort of why that blackpeopleloveus.com is kinda funny ... if you're into that kind of funny that makes you both laugh and feel VERY uncomfortable at the same time.


Now having heard the details of the skit, I think it sounds pretty stinkin' funny. Whether or not it was actually funny, I don't know... But the idea is certainly funny. It's not a sketch making fun of Asians—it's making fun of ignorant stereotypes about Asians. That I can commend. And props to Bobby Lee, Mad TV's Asian American cast member. Unfortunately, I'm thinking the point of this sketch probably flew over the heads of joe average viewer... And for the record, I think BlackPeopleLoveUs.com is a hilarious site.

12.09.02

Morgan Freeman and Jet Li will star in an action thriller called Danny the Dog

12.09.02

From the NY Daily News: Asian students hit in rash of HS attacks

12.09.02

Attention Bay Area. I am reminded by Minjung that this SERIAL RAPIST WHO TARGETS ASIAN WOMEN is still at large. PLEASE be careful.

12.09.02

Anjali makes nifty totes and tees at HappyLuckyMe.com. Check it out.

BlackLava recently got some new tee shirt designs. I am thinking about getting "I SPEAK ENGLISH" or "I SUCK AT MATH" —because it's definitely true, on both accounts.

12.08.02

I've gotten several email informing me of a sketch on Saturday night's Mad TV on Fox (I had no idea this show was still on TV). It was called "Average Asian" (or something to that effect) and apparently employed several negative stereotypes about Asians: bad drivers, math nerds, etc. I wish I could've seen it for myself. I'm wondering if the sketch used those stereotypes outright to be offensive (which would not be funny) or if it was actully intended to be some kind of satire (which could be funny). Again, I didn't see it, so I don't know. Anybody see it?

I'm also informed that Late Show with David Letterman has a semi-regular segment called "Korean Soap Opera of the Night." Not sure what that's all about, but it certainly doesn't sound good. Anybody seen this before?

I was pretty pleased to hear about Mira Nair's television project a couple of days ago. Little did I know about The Kumars at No. 42, a sitcom about an Indian family that runs on the BBC. The clip on the site is pretty funny. (Thanks Sue)

12.07.02

Lots of movie stuff:

The Guru looks like a pretty entertaining comedy. Starring Jimi Mistry, Marisa Tomei and Heather Graham. And is that Ajay Naidu I see? Executive produced by Shekhar Kapur. Apparently it's already been released in England and other countries, but I'm not really sure if/when it's supposed to hit screens in the U.S. From what I can tell, it has received mixed reviews. (Thanks 's k')

The Way Home recently opened in New York and L.A. and is doing quite well at the box office. It expands to several cities this weekend, and if you bring your grandma, she gets in free. For real! This weekend, Friday, December 6 - Sunday, December 8, Grandma's ticket is free when she comes with a grandchild to the following cinemas:

New York - Quad

Beverly Hills - Laemmle Music Hall

Irvine - Regal University

Santa Barbara - Plaza de Oro

Pasadena - Laemmle Playhouse

Queens - Kew Garden


I think that's pretty cool. I'm really looking forward to when this movie opens in my town next week.

Those of you in LA have probably heard a thing or two about Soap Girl. I've heard about it here and there. It's a film by Young Man Kang, and they're going for total self-distribution. You gotta support these kinds of efforts. It's playing at the Laemmle Fairfax Theatres in Los Angeles. Check out the website for more info.

12.06.02

Part of why I haven't really made an effort to go see Die Another Day is because of some of the stuff I heard a while back during the film's production. Namely, Korean actor Cha In Pyo's take on the movie, and why he turned down a role as one of Die Another Day's villains. He wrote an extensive, detailed account of his involvement in the film, until his convictions led him to drop the project. He felt the movie trivialized and exploited the political tensions of the Korean peninsula—a sentiment apparently shared by many. The film has even opened in Korea yet, but it doesn't look like it's going to do very well. Read more here: Korean audiences not fond of Bond. It's just more of Hollywood imposing its uninformed, shorthanded view of what any other culture other than white America should look like. That's racist!

12.05.02

Monsoon Wedding director Mira Nair is developing a comedy TV series for ABC. The show would be about an upper-middle-class Indian family that runs a chain of motels in New Jersey, and the culture clash between the more traditional parents and their Americanized kids. Pretty interesting, considering that Indian Americans make up a small population of the United States. It seems ABC has some faith in Nair's phenomenal crossover success with Monsoon Wedding. I'm definitely interested in seeing how this will turn out. More info here: 'Monsoon' Director Pitches Comedy to ABC

12.04.02

Tia Carrere is the on the cover of this month's Playboy.

12.03.02

I wrote about a little bit on the Trash Talkers line of dolls back in September, but I hadn't actually seen any of them. I recently got an email detailing these ugly racist things... They're basically stereotypical caricatures that actually talk and spew some pretty offensive crap. They're produced by a German company, Perleberg, and distributed by JDK Products.

Mr. Patel
Among the dolls, you've got the turban-clad "Trash Talkin' Mr. Patel." When you bang him on the head, he says:

"What are you doing, you dirty piece of fecal matter?"

"Don't talk like that in front of my back"

"Hamburger, Everything on it please, but no beef"

"In my country, we would've already killed you already"

"I am needing to want sex with you now."


Mr. Chan"Trash Talkin' Mr. Chan" is a nasty, oversexed Chinese perv. I'm sickened. He actually says:
"Ah... you bang my head? I bang your wife! Ha ha ha!"

"Oh don't worry. Peanut oil let me slide in very easy."

"Confucius say: Time for you to bend over."

"You want to pet my Panda Ling Ling...? Who live in my pants?!"

"Ohhhhhh... Me stay hard long time. Ha ha ha!"


THAT'S FRIGGIN' RACIST! There is an entire line of these things, tailor-made to offend all groups. And the company that makes these things doesn't give a damn! In an article about the dolls, VP of JDK, Frank Makan, says that the dolls are for adults, not kids. He says "Political Correctness has gotten out of hand. You've got to laugh, especially with terrorism and the economy on our minds." He, at the very least, agrees that these are stereotypes and are purposely so - but "they are not to offend, but to be dolls that ethnic groups can call their own."

THESE ARE NOT DOLLS ANYONE WOULD WANT TO CALL THEIR OWN. Not me, sucka. I'm sorry, there's a time and place to combat overzealous political correctness, but these dolls certainly aren't doing it. These dolls are reinforcing negative racial/ethnic stereotypes, plain and simple. I'm actually sick.

You can check out the entire line of dolls at Prank Place and at the JDK Products site. Note the introductory page that shows people of all ages and colors having a good laugh with the dolls. Nice try.

You can contact JDK Products to protest these racist dolls, but be warned, THEY WANT YOU TO. There is actually a contest where you can write in and tell them why you hate these dolls. If you win, they'll send you a Limited Edition Trash Talker. No thanks. Obviously, any publicity is good publicity. So do what you will with this information:

Frank Makan

JDK Products

727-556-0763 Ext 3

Contact Form

PrankPlace.com, LLC.

1-866-7PRANKS (Toll Free)

1-860-613-2499 (In Connecticut)

Contact Form

Basically, the company WANTS you to get in their face. So it's questionable how much protesting will accomplish. But you can certainly try. This deserves your attention. And stay alert. According to the site, the dolls have been selling quite well. That's racist!

12.03.02

Strange. Asian-themed episodes on two shows on Wednesday night this week: Fastlane on Fox, where the undercover dudes try to bust up an "Asian drug lord" (according to the website). Why do they have the need to explain that it's an Asian drug lord? Why can't they just say "drug lord"? I suppose other episodes dealing with drug lords also specify race. White drug lords, Black drug lords, Latino drug lords. The episode guest stars Ian Anthony Dale, Catherine Kwong and Daniel Ichikawa. Over on The West Wing, Pres. Bartlett and co., who have to deal with the Chinese and their war games on the Taiwan Strait... Guest starring James Hong (yay), Peter James Smith, Matthew Yang King and Jack Choy.

12.03.02

I had never visited Homestarrunner until yesterday, but apparently it's a pretty popular site. I'll admit, it's amusing. But check out the cartoon called "The King of Town." In it, the King has lost his sheep. The investigation leads to the King's chef, who is YELLOW AND SLANT-EYED. He cooked up the sheep for the King's grub. That's racist!

12.03.02

Some of you may know that I'm a Star Trek fan (Trekkie and proud), so I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Star Trek: Nemesis this month. Well, the main guy's name in the movie is Shinzon. Sounds kind of Asian, doesn't it? Screenwriter John Logan's reasoning was intentional. Read on:


"Shinzon is an old Chinese name. All of the Romulan/Reman names are Chinese. It's my way of honoring Gene Roddenberry because to him the Romulans were the Chinese communists. When I went to find names I went to of all my LAST SAMURAI Japanese research and it wasnít right so I went to Chinese stuff. It's an actual name and I have no idea what it means."

From an interview with screenwriter John Logan. Kind of strange how he throws in these Chinese names left and right. (Thanks, Claude)

12.02.02

New trailer/preview/featurette of Zhang Yimou's Hero. I WISH UNDERSTOOD MANDARIN. The new footage at the end is pretty friggin' awesome.

12.02.02

Check out Paramount Classics' official website for The Way Home, the quiet little movie that became a phenomenal hit in Korea. Also be sure to view the trailer and opening schedule.

12.02.02

Scott is the Asian dude on MTV's Tough Enough, the reality game show where a group of hopefuls train and compete to become professional wrestlers. Sort of like a Making the Band for wrestling... Well, Scott's a scrapper, but I guess he wasn't quite tough enough. He got cut in the most recent episode.

12.01.02

Got this regarding a TV commercial for a Tony Hawk DVD (though I haven't seen it for myself):


There's currently a television commercial advertising a DVD featuring Tony Hawk, a professional skateboarder. Now, this seems all nice and innocent but the entire thing is being promoted by a ridiculous voiceover of a stereotypical Asian/Kung-fu master. He throws out stupid phrases in broken English, addressing Tony Hawk as Tony-san. What the hell does a stereotypical Asian man have anything to do with skateboarding?

When will we get away from this? When will it be considered unclever, outdated and ignorant to use broken-English, old kung fu master Asian man characters in advertising/television/movies/music/media? That's racist!

12.01.02

This article paints a pretty positive picture of Yao Ming's appeal as a cultural personality, an icon. You've got to admit, for Asians, he's a pretty big deal. Let's just hope he's the real deal where it really counts—on the court: Yao's appeal transcends basketball