More film festival news... Don't miss the Vietnamese International Film Festival, running October 23-26 and October 31-November 2 at the University of California, Irvine. It's the first annual festival dedicated to the filmmakers of the Vietnamese Diaspora. Check it out.
Two articles examining the arrest of U.S. Army Captain (and Muslim chaplain) James Yee, which already has concerned people suggesting shades of the Wen Ho Lee case:
Were They Aiding The Enemy?
Wen Ho Lee II?
Don't forget: in addition to BLT, both Charlotte Sometimes and Bend It Like Beckham get their DVD release today. I think I'll head over to Best Buy this afternoon...
The 4th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival kicks off this week and runs October 2-5, boasting an amazing, packed lineup of films and panels, as well as numerous industry guests in attendance. Greg Pak's Robot Stories is the Closing Night Film. I'd make the trip down if I had the time. Check it out.
Linkin Park's DJ (and music video director) Joseph Hahn has purchased the option rights to shoot a movie based on China MiÈville's 1998 novel, King Rat, a horror thriller modern-day tale of the Pied Piper: Linkin Park's Joseph Hahn To Take On 'King Rat'
Golfer James Oh won the Nationwide Mark Christopher Classic Sunday, becoming the youngest winner in Nationwide Tour history: Oh wins Mark Christopher Classic in playoff
Yes, Better Luck Tomorrow come out on video/DVD tomorrow. Buy/rent/share this movie! Order on Amazon.com. Rent via Netflix. Drive on over to Blockbuster. If you're in middle-of-nowhere, USA, and BLT never made it out to a theater near you, now's your chance to catch it. Your purchase/rental dollars still make a difference...
Here are a few release events:
BOSTON: Meet JUSTIN LIN for in-store discussion and signing
Sept. 30th, 7 - 9 PM
Downtown Crossing- 10 School St.
Info/orders: 617/ 557-7188
LOS ANGELES: Meet BLT's cast for in-store DVD signing
Karin Anna Cheung, John Cho, Roger Fan, Sung Kang and Parry Shen; plus BLT writers/producers!
Sept. 30th, 7- 9 PM
1360 Westwood Blvd
Info: 310/ 475-3444
Get the word out.
A new exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern art, The Photographs of Reagan Louie: Sex Work in Asia. Louie, a professor of photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, spent six years photographing the Asian sex trade in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and other places throughout Southeast Asia. A Chinese American, he has said he wanted to disabuse himself of Western stereotypes about the sexuality of Asian women and to explore the nature of sexual relations between Asian women and men. That may have been his intentions, but why do I feel like the exhibit comes off as more exploitative than anything else...?
Fame winner Harlemm Lee's new album, Introducing Harlemm Lee will be released on November 11 by Wire Records. You can pre-order the CD at Amazon.com.
The Denver Nuggets have signed 22-year-old Japanese guard Yuta Tabuse.
This is pretty interesting. The National Archives and Records Administration has compiled a list of the 100 Documents That Shaped America, They are the United States' milestone documents that "best define who we are as a people and what our nation stands for." The list includes the Chinese Exclusion Act and Executive Order 9066 (Japanese Relocation Order). Cast your vote for the documents you think were the most influential.
Here's something for everyone to play on a rainy Saturday afternoon:
Buying stolen properties, pimpin hoes, building crack houses and projects, paying protection fees and getting car jacked are some of the elements of the game. Not dope enough?...If you don't have the money that you own to the loan shark you might just land yourself in da Emergency Room.
This is the description for the wholly offensive Ghettopoly Board Game. Incredible. The elements and details of the game gleefully celebrate the worst of urban stereotypessomeone's twisted, distorted understanding of the African American community. Perhaps the worst part: the creator of this game is Asiana guy named David Cheng. Setting back racial/ethnic relations and making things just a little bit harder in this world... That's racist!
Spotlight: Diversity Players, a new multi-ethnic theatre ensemble in Los Angeles celebrating multiculturalism and diversity. Their inaugural production is You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, running September 25 - October 19. Families, check it out.
Hyphen is hosting a 'meet and greet' event next month, and they're looking for creative, hard-working individuals to join their volunteer staff. If you're interested in any of the opportunities below, bring your resume and yourself to Zebulon in San Francisco to meet the Hyphen crew.
When: 7:00 PM, Thursday, Oct. 9th
Where: Zebulon, 83 Natoma St., San Francisco, CA
Openings include: Ad Sale Representatives, Circulation Director, Fulfillment Director, Tech Director, Bookkeeper, Ad Designer, Grant Writers, News Editors, Copy Editors, and Photo Assistants.
More TV appearances...
Reggie Lee is a recurring guest star on Fox's Luis as Zhing Zhang the delivery boy. There's a scene in the pilot episode where someone is in need of medical attention, so they rush her to the local Chinese restaurantbecause all of the kitchen workers there were doctors when they lived in China. That's actually pretty funny....
Jodi Long is in the cast of NBC's Miss Match, starring Alicia Silverstone. The show premieres tonight.
Kelly Hu guest stars in tonight's season premiere of Boomtown. She plays a dangerous thief. Oh, my favorite.
Edward Said, a polymath scholar and literary critic at Columbia University who was the most prominent advocate in the United States of the cause of Palestinian independence, died in New York City today. He was 67.
Said's best-known and most influential book was Orientalism, published in 1978. In it, he outlined a theory of history in which cultural powerthe power to define othersis inextricably linked with the political power to dominate, and the Western view of the East as sensual and corrupt, vicious, lazy, tyrannical and backward, exemplified this power.
"The relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of power, of domination of varying degrees of a complex hegemony," Said wrote in Orientalism. The idea was that the West invented the East as a way of reinforcing the power of colonialism over the colonized. He was one of the first scholars to introduce such notions of culture and power into the American academy.
Read more here: Edward Said, Leading Advocate of Palestinians, Dies at 67
Heads up about Sundance hit Dopamine, by Filipino American filmmaker Mark Decena. It opens theatrically in select cities on October 10, and is being released through the Sundance Film Series (view the trailer).
Tonight is the return of NBC's "Must See TV," including the season premiere of ER. Ming Na returns as Dr. Chen, and Parminder Nagra joins the cast as a medical student. Actually, NBC's website describes her as "an exotic new British medical student." What?
Tonight's also the premiere of Coupling, with Lindsay Price.
If you've got the time and the interest, check out this recent report produced by Asian American Legal Defense Fund: Asian American Access to Democracy in the 2002 Elections in NYC (PDF, 1.2 MB, 38 pages). I haven't through it all, but it's pretty informative.
This is from Victoria Lai, Asian Pacific Islander American Outreach Liaison for the Democratic National Committee:
APIA Political Activism: Get Involved!
Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) are the fastest growing minority group in the United States, yet highly under-represented in government and politics.††APIAs continue to face obstacles to their voting rights -- in the 2002 mayoral election in NYC, Asian American voters faced voting rights violations reminiscent of Florida's 2000 election.††It is essential that APIAs organize and make candidates hear their voice.
With the 2004 Presidential Election less than a year and a half away, the time to take action is now.††There are more opportunities than ever to participate in political trainings, get involved in campaigns as volunteers, or take part of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston!
Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming campaign skills training in Detroit on October 24 - 26.††This event will focus on the basics of working in a campaign, like field organizing, fundraising, communications, research, technology, voter files, strategic targeting, budgeting, and other aspects of campaigns with an emphasis on Getting out the Vote (GOTV).
For more information on campaign trainings near you, contact Victoria Lai, Asian Pacific Islander American Outreach Liaison, at APIAOutreach@dnc.org.
Democrat, Republican, Independent... It's important for Asian Americans to get politically involved, for change and representationno matter what your political leanings. Angry? Get out there and make a difference! (I have been watching a lot West Wing reruns on Bravo lately.)
Here's another article on that "Asian gang" that beat up a white kid: A Corner Shadowed By Racial Tensions. Notice the tone and point of view is a lot more balanced than the Daily News article I posted yesterday. While it certainly doesn't make the situation acceptable, it definitely makes a difference.
News flash: Jun wins Big Brother 4. I didn't watch a single episode of the show, and I can't say I regret it too much. But this evening the evicted houseguests returned to cast their votes between Jun and Alison. When it came down to it, Jun won the $500,000 prize by a vote of 6-1. Now, from the stuff I heard about here and there, Jun wasn't the most appealing contestant, on many levels. However, I also heard that Alison was fitty times worse. So what can you do?
If anyone is keeping score, that's three Asian American reality show winners this year. Madness.
And then you've got idiots like this... A group of Asian bat- and pipe-wielding teens chased down and beat a white Brooklyn high school student yesterday: Teen gang stabs and beats boy. The kid is in critical condition. DAMN. I don't care what your problem is, how the hell does mob violence against ONE GUY solve anything?
Ah, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado the "classic" yellowface opera. I usually try not to think about it. This article is about some dude who used to sing rock, but now is doing opera blah blah blah: Singer goes from rock 'n' roll to Nanki-Poo. I really couldn't care less. What caught my attention were the accompanying photos. UGH. That's racist! They're like bad Halloween costumes. Speaking of which, I have lots more to say on that matter... but I'll wait 'till next month when the time is right.
Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation has been getting high praise left and right, but I've been reading a few dissenting opinions about its portrayal of Japan and its people. For instance, a reader of Roger Ebert's bi-weekly "Movie Answer Man" column writes in:
I spoke to a Japanese person who saw "Lost in Translation," and she agreed with me that the film took a heavy-handed, anti-Japanese stance. Of course, the story was about two strangers in a strange land who didn't have the ability to plug into the culture, but the movie showed Japan with few, if any, redeeming qualities. From the hotel greeting committee to the talk show host to the prostitute, the film offered us caricatures of Japanese stereotypes, and it was a little hard to watch them -- they distracted from the honesty of the film with their shallow rendering and low humor. Do you think that this was purposeful, or even necessary?
Roy Lambrada, New York, N.Y.
Ebert:The prostitute was a caricature, yes, but anyone who has been to Japan will recognize the greeters at the hotel (there is even a woman to point you to the elevator and bow as you enter it), and the talk show host (a lot of Japanese TV is exactly that goofy). I think the movie involved two cultures failing to communicate, but doing a fairly good job of getting along. As for the TV commercial director -- you can find that type all over the world.
Last week, Jeffrey Wells' "Hollywood Elsewhere" column expressed a similar critical sentiment in his observation of the film:
There are hints of racial/cultural condescension towards the Japanese characters. I'm not trying to get all p.c. about this. We all know these laughing, over-animated Japanese guys (TV commercial directors, a talk-show host, etc.) are there to be made wry fun of by Murray. They're supposed to get all cranked up and Murray is supposed to do his flip wisecare thing. But the film would have been better -- broader in scope -- if Murray had gotten to know a cool Japanese hombre during his stay in Tokyo. Somebody on his level, I'm thinking. Maybe some kind of cowboy samurai type who's quiet and sardonic and gets the whole midnight-loneliness thing.
I think I ought to see this movie for myself.
Interesting new series airing on PBS: Matters of Race. The third installment includes the documentary Who I Became by Mike Siv.
Some salient facts about race and rape. It's noted that while most rapes are intra-racial, rapes of Native American and Asian-American women are more often committed by men from different races, usually white men. Let me repeat thatrapists generally are the same race as their victims EXCEPT for the rape of Native American women and Asian American women by white men. 56% of American Indian victims were assaulted by white men. What we don't we hear about in the media is the terrible impact of rape AND racism on women of color. This is a major issue that often gets lost in the discussions of the intersection of race and
According to Hong Kong paper Oriental Daily, Diane Lane will join Chow Yun-Fat in Sophie And The Rising Sun, based on the novel by Augusta Trobaugh. The story focuses on the romance between a small town spinster and her Japanese gardener before and after Pearl Harbor attack. The project, tailored as a vehicle for Chow Yun-Fat, has been in development for about two years...
An Islamic Chinese American chaplain in the United States Army who ministered to detainees at the camp at Guant·namo Bay, Cuba, where the military holds captured militants and suspected terrorists is now himself under arrest while the Army investigates his activities: Army Cleric Who Ministered to Detainees Is Arrested
Dat Phan is a busy man. He's got a sitcom, movie deal and national tour in the works: Last comic standing has little time to sit
This girl has an incredibly bad idea: Bay Area Teen Wants to Start High School 'Caucasian Club'. And she's surprised that her idea turned into a big deal
The DVD release of Better Luck Tomorrow on September 30 quickly approaches (along with Charlotte Sometimes and Bend It Like Beckhamwhat a month). For folks in LA, here's something you might be interested in:
LOS ANGELES AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!!! - spread the word!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW...
Join the Cast and Writers of JUSTIN LIN's critically acclaimed film BETTER LUCK TOMORROW
For a special in-store DVD autograph signing
Purchase your own copy of history on September 30 and get it signed by:
PARRY SHEN, ROGER FAN, JOHN CHO, KARIN ANNA CHEUNG, SUNG KANG, FABIAN MARQUEZ, JULIE ASATO
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2003
ONE TIME ONLY
7PM - 9PM
BORDERS - WESTWOOD
1360 Westwood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: 310.475.3444 Fax: 310.474.9627
Two Blocks South of Wilshire - Southeast Corner of Westwood and Rochester
"If you don't come from around here, it's in my mind that you're up to no good." This is simply disturbing. The thought of a neighborhood with this mindset is downright scary: SEEING RED WHEN SEEING BLACK ON STATEN ISLAND. That's racist!
Ah, one of my favorite angry words"appropriation": Dalai Lama Lite
Small Voices, directed Gil Portes, is an award-winning Filipino indie film opening in select U.S. theaters today. It is the Philippines official submission to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, and the first Philippine Family Film to find wide distribution by a mainstream distributor in the U.S. Check it out, and support the film
Also in currently in theaters is So Close, an action flick from Hong Kong. Basically, it's Corey Yuen's movie about women kicking ass. 1000 times more asskicking than Charlie's Angels. It's a good time.
Where do you come from? What do you call home? For Asians, this is an increasingly complex (and sometimes touchy) question of identity and belonging. Here's an interesting feature article based on the experiences of prominent writers of the Asian diaspora and their journeys "home" : The Asian Journey Home
Here is an interesting observation about Fox Movie Channel's Charlie Chan discussion series, brought to my attention by Transcriber Jan. A given film is set to start at the top of an hour. Instead of beginning the taped panel discussions also
right at the top of the hour, to serve as its introduction, FMC is consistently starting the discussions approximately 6 minutes before the top of the hour. Before the movie's even set to be shown. The movie still starts at the top of the hour. As a result, the average casual viewer will probably miss almost the entire 5-6 minute pre-movie discussions, every single time, undercutting half of what the panel invested themselves in. Once again, nice job, Fox.
Wayne Wang is listed as director for Because of Winn-Dixie, slated to start filming this month. The movie is based upon the Newberry-Medal-winning children's novel "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo.
Here is the transcript (by Jan) of FMC's panel discussion for Charlie Chan in Honolulu. Panelists: Roger Fan, Peter X. Feng, Stephen Gong, Helen Zia, George Takei, Frank Wu, Parry Shen, Yvonne Lee, Ken Narasaki. It gets pretty interesting.
The rules of racial humor or delicate and tenuous.... a black comic can make jokes about black people, and an Asian dude can crack jokes in a fake accent without much of a stir. Banzai offends the hell out of me, while Dat Phan does Vietnamese jokes and gets the green light. How does it all work? Here's an article on the matter: Race debate continues in comedy. I'm quoted briefly near the end of the article. I really wish I had said something funnier...
Every year more than half a million college students are targets of bias-driven slurs or physical assaults. Every day at least one hate crime occurs on a college campus. Every minute a college student somewhere sees or hears racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise biased words or images. Tolerance.org offers a response guide for college activists: 10 Ways to Fight Hate on Campus
The latest chapter of the pain-in-the-ass Charlie Chan saga continues... As expected, Fox Movie Channel's resurrection of the film series this monthaccompanied by an Asian American panel discussionhas generated more controversy from various sides. I haven't seen the interstitials, so I'm curious about how they turned out. Either way, people don't seem to be very happy with how Fox Movie Channel has handled the whole frickin' deal. But honestly, what did you really expect?
The most outspoken group of Chan fans seems to congregate at the CharlieChan.net message boards. An aggravating bunch... Well, someone has posted a transcript of the panel discussion for Murder Over New York. Check it out.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on singer-songwriter Vienna Teng: An Asian American mainstream pop singer? Vienna Teng defies tradition
Japanese players with major league experience are returning to their homeland to bridge the gap between Japanese and American brands of baseball: The Bases Have Been Circled
The upcoming season of MTV's Sorority Life follows Zeta Sigma Phi, a multicultural sorority in Los Angeles with a large number of Asian American pledges and sisters. Definitely a change of pace from the show's two previous lily-white casts. Hopefully, they'll try their best not to be an embarrassing bunch... but then again, maybe that's simply inevitable. Sorority Life: Los Angeles premieres Wednesday, September 17.
Couple of Asian folks with roles in upcoming movie releases...
I've already mentioned the totally awesome Sandra Oh in Under the Tuscan Sun. Judging from the trailers, she's got the "best friend" role to Diane Lane.
Robert Tsai plays the Asian Kid in The School of Rock, starring Jack Black.
Michelle Krusiec is in Duplex, starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore. Caught glimpse of her in a TV spot for the movie.
Dean Cain is in Out of Time, starring Denzel Washington. Yes, the guy formerly known as Superman. And yes, he's part Asian.
OH YEAH, The Rock stars in The Rundown. Man, I can't wait.
Heard about this up-and-coming singer, Jhené. Half-Asian, and just a wee 15 years old. Her debut album will be dropping some time this fall, and the first single is "No L.O.V.E." The music video should be premiering on BET's 106th and Park sometime next week, but fans can start voting for it on the countdown now.
Actress Christina Chang has joined the cast of ABC's L.A. Dragnet (formerly titled Dragnet) as Assistant District Attorney Sandy Chang. The new season premieres Saturday, September 27 at 10pm. You might remember Chang from the short-lived NBC series Deadline.
Online magazine Generation Rice just did a spankin' new redesign. Looks good. Check it out.
While I'm a Giants fan, here's some info you Southern California folks might want to know about... The Los Angeles Dodgers Chinese-American Community Night on Wednesday, Sept 17 at 7:10 pm. Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, with a pre-game ceremony honoring the Chinese-American Community at 6:30 pm. Tickets start at $6. For more information on the game and tickets, visit: www.asianathlete.com. Oh yeah... limited FREE TICKETS are also available, so email tickets@AsianAthlete.com.
Article on actor Lou Diamond Phillips: Lou Diamond Phillips Looks Back on Career. His next project is about a Filipino singer.
If you've ever been a watcher of MTV's Real World or Road Rules, you've got a question: where the hell are all the Asian men? Season after season, we've seen at least a handful of Asian women, but the men have been sorely unrepresented... Well, believe it or not, the people at Bunim/Murray Productions are aware of this fact, and are very interested in trying to get more Asian Americans, especially guys, to try out.
They just started casting for the next season of both shows. They're looking for real people willing to have their lives on television. They'll be doing open calls in various cities as well as receiving tapes, and they've leafleted schools like UCLA and Berkeley with large APA populations, but without much success.
So... don't you want to be on TV? Asians, get out there: Bunim/Murray Productions: Casting
Some "love" from Canada coming my way:
FROM: "Ray Hopton"
DATE: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 03:51:52 +0000
SUBJECT: it's better in canada
Asians don't get made fun of in Canada. But I think that in Canada, Asian people look normal and there are a larger percentage of Asians living in Canada. I looked at pictures of Asian Americans like you and your eyes are so slanted that people can't help but make fun of you. I guess the round-eyed Asians decided to move to Canada while the chinks moved to the
USA. But don't move to Canada, we don't want our country diluted with slant-eyed Asians like you.
Hey! Are you friends with Gale?
Interview with Smallville's ridiculously gorgeous Kristin Kreuk, who is half-Chinese. She does say a few things on her Asian heritage:
You have Chinese origins and now the Asian community has a little representation in American television. Do you wish for changes to this situation?
I consider myself Canadian above all else. It is only because I'm on television that I'm reminded I have Chinese heritage. I cannot represent the Asian community when I play Lana because she is a White American. In Edgemont, on the other hand, I play a girl that has Asian heritage, like me. Perhaps later I will have the opportunity to defend this community. But I think that the goal is to affect an understanding that your origins have no importance. What can I do that I
am of Asian origin? That does not make a person interesting. We are all similar and people should not have to represent a community on screen or elsewhere. We represent only the human race and her diversity.
I haven't really been following Big Brother, but this commentary In the House) on the most recent episode points out something interesting:
Am I only the only one who found it curious that Julie actually confronted Robert about his demeaning comments towards women yet gave Erika a free pass in her racist comments about Asian Americans directed at Jee?
Referring to that incident on the show back in July. That's racist!
Thankfully, Fox has decided not to pick up a new season of Banzai. Here is MANAA's press release:
Fox1s Banzai taken off air but Asian Pacific Americans groups will still remain vigilant
LOS ANGELES-After much controversy and anger from the Asian Pacific American (APA) community, Fox decided not to pick up a new season of Banzai due to lackluster ratings and loss of sponsorship from nine major corporations. Several organizations, including Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), an internet group called Banbanzai, another internet site called Modelminority.com, and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), helped to organize protests, boycotts, and the withdrawal of corporate sponsorships, in an effort to take Banzai off the air and to raise awareness of negative APA portrayals.
In July, even though MANAA and JACL met with Fox executives to try to educate them about the offensive nature of this show, no significant changes were made before its broadcast. Ken Inouye, VP of Public Affairs of the JACL said, "The fact that Fox decided to air this program, in spite of community requests to Fox not to do so, underscores the need for improved communications between the networks and the Asian Pacific American communities which would result in programming featuring Asian Pacific Americans in a positive and responsible manner. The JACL, along with other community based groups, looks forward to developing a positive and productive working relationship with the networks in the years ahead as we work together to develop such programming."
Fox knew the series would be problematic in May when they screened a preview of Banzai at a "Comedy Night" event for Lodestone Theatre. Many Asian American audience members-- not affiliated with either MANAA or the JACL-- booed at the extreme ethnic images of the clips. After the series aired, many people accused Fox of censoring comments on their message board which protested Banzai, and asserted that the network also erased racist messages, so they could hide the fact that their series was drawing a racist crowd.
In July, MANAA and JACL felt compelled to hold a protest in front of Fox1s showcase of their fall lineup at the Television Critics Association press tour. Jennifer Kuo, President of MANAA said, "After exhausting all means of communications with Fox and their executives (who ignored MANAA1s calls and letters dating back to March), protesting was the next step in fighting Banzai. We wanted people to know how the Asian American community felt about Banzai and Fox and that the network should be held accountable for their actions."
The website, Modelminority.com, started a boycott of all Fox shows until Banzai was pulled. "The executives at Fox have consistently made it clear that they have no understanding of the experiences and perspectives of Asian Americans who have been harmed by Banzai's stereotypes. The boycott was designed to ensure that no matter what Fox decided to do, it would not profit by airing additional episodes of Banzai. Two thousand viewers committed to the boycott in the first week; and by boycotting not just Banzai, but all Fox properties, over an extended time period, the campaign was able to multiply the financial impact." stated Andrew Chin, Co-founder of Modelminority.com.
Another internet group, Banbanzai, which was started in response to the airing of Banzai, was able to organize people to get corporate sponsors to pull their advertising dollars from the series. Nick Sakai, Banbanzai New York City representative said, "What we learned from this is that we do have the power to make a difference and get those big corporations to see what we see. I would love to believe that they did it not only for economical reasons, since we have the strongest buying power per capita, but also for moral reasons as well. We may not be able to erase racism entirely, but we can limit the outlet for racists."
As the weeks progressed and sponsors began to disappear, Fox was forced to fill empty slots with more of their own "house ads." The nine corporations that pulled out of sponsoring Banzai are: General Motors, Ikea, Pepsi, SBC, Sony, Sprint, United Airlines, Wendy's, and Yum! Brands, Inc. In some instances, Fox had to refund money back to sponsors because they didn1t know that they were sponsoring the show. After watching the show, one Fox affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina, decided not to air Banzai at all.
The organizations that supported the protest against Banzai are: American Indians in Film and Television, Community Change, East Coast Asian American Student Union, Japanese American Citizens League, Kabataang maka-Bayan, Korean American Coalition, Korean Churches for Community Development, Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates, Korean Resource Center, Korean American Senior Citizens Counseling Center, Media Action Network for Asian Americans, Midwest Asian American Student Union, National Asian American Student Conference, National Association of Asian American Professionals, Northwestern Asian American Students United, Pulahari Clear Light for Wisdom Culture Center, and Search to Involve Pilipino Americans.
Here's an article on tomorrow's noteworthy Hawaii/USC football match-up... Hawaii is led by Heisman Trophy Candidate Timmy Chang, who is on pace to be the top passer in NCAA history. On USC's sidelines, they've got premier offensive coordinator Norm Chow: Hawaii vs. USC: Watershed Event for Asian Athletes?
This is cool: Parminder Nagra
joins cast of ER. The tenth season premieres on September 25.
Haha. Here's Mark's fun little response to Rickshaw Rally: Yee Haw!
Man, I don't quite know what to make of this. Here is a website dedicated to promoting Asian Men Celebritiescreated by two white women. And these ladies have a SERIOUS love of Asian culture... I know they mean well, but as I read through the site, I couldn't help feeling a bit unsettled. I'm feeling the love a little too much. Honestly, what to make of it?
Got some info from Carmen at EurasianNation... She and two other Hapa women have come together to launch a bimonthly discussion series in New York titled "Fusion: Ethnicity and Identity in a Changing Society." The series will focus on issues that are relevant to mixed adults, mixed families,
transracial adoptees, and interracial/cultural/faith couples. The first panel, "Generations of the Mixed Race
Experience," will take place on Tuesday, September 30th. For more information, visit swirlinc.org.
Here's the full theatrical trailer to Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino's homage to Asian action cinema, complete with Uma Thurman garbed in Bruce Lee's tracksuit from Game of Death. I still don't quite know what to make of this one. I'm a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino's post-modern/exploitation/referential filmmaking, not to mention a lover of Asian cinema as well... Pair them together, I can imagine a pretty entertaining film. At the same, with all the film's exploitative Asian elements, you can imagine my trepidation. We'll just have to see.
Concerned with increasing reports of racially motivated incidents and harassment following the September 11 terrorist attacks, UC Berkeley has inaugurated a new task force to fight increasing instances of bigotry and hate on campus. Last week, swastikas were spray-painted on chalk boards and some students have been the targets of epithets and physical violence: UC task force to fight bigotry. That's racist! The task force will work to improve safety and promote awareness... However, I think a more effective task force would simply be in charge of kicking perpetrators of hate in the balls.
According to a study by the Asian American Federation of New York, many Asian-Americans rejected professional therapy
after Sept. 11: Asian-Americans Face Cultural Barrier to Counseling
Tonight is the season premiere of Enterprise, with Linda Park in the regular cast as Ensign Hoshi Sato. Also guest starring in a recurring role this season is Daniel Dae Kim as Corporal Chang, a member of the ship's new Military Assault Command Operations (MACO) team. Star Trek rules.
This is really interesting. UNC student James Kawika Riley, a 19-year-old native Hawaiian, convinced the U.S. Department of Education to consider his race separate from its previous race classification as Asian American: Taking Action. This raises the ever-present, nagging question: Who is Asian American? We've expanded the definitions, fiddled with classifications and abbreviations (AA, APA, APIA, etc.), but in the end the idea of "Asian American" identity is arguably still a constructed, contrived political notion. It is convenient, helpful and empowering to organize around this idea of a singular identity, yet we still strive to emphasize the diversity of our individual ethnicities. And it seems we're constantly negotiating a balance between these ideals...
Comedienne Margaret Cho has started her own fashion line: High Class Cho
A terrible, terrible idea: "Suzie Wong's Late Nite Cafe," an after-hours lounge at Lotus in New York. Obviously an ill-conceived homage to The World of Suzie Wong, the 1960 film starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan about an artist and his Hong Kong prostitute muse. Ugh. Oh, how we hate Suzie Wong. That's racist!
Q&A with Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Interpreter of Maladies and her new book, The Namesake: Crossing Over
Hey, check this out: AsianAthlete.com. A very useful, informative sports website.
To many Chinese, the appeal of the U.S. is fading as opportunities improve at home and relatives tell of difficult lives abroad: For Many Chinese, America's Allure is Fading
Houston Chronicle article on Where's the Party Yaar?: For local 'Yaar' filmmakers, all's well that ends
Where's the Party Yaar? opens today in select theaters nationwide. Not mind-blowing, but it's fun. An energetic, silly Desi identity comedy that has its moments. Check it out and support it, eh?
Trailer for Lost In Translation, starring Bill Murray. Hmmmm...
Two really interesting articles from The Oregonian(!) on the sensitive, controversial topic of transracial adoption:
For this adoptee, race does matter
Transracial adoption should be a last resort
An Indian American correctional officer in Maryland who endured two decades of taunting at his workplace was awarded one of the largest sums decided by a federal jury in a discrimanatory case: Federal Jury Awards Indian-American $1.6 million in Discriminatory Suit
With elections looming, this op/ed piece cautions that the presidential candidates will turn China into the new economic villain in Asia: Blaming Beijing. Ah yes, it's brilliant. China will be our new economic inhuman scapegoat! And you know such rhetoric means trouble in various forms for Asians in America, Chinese or otherwise. That's racist! So be watchful.
What is the official language of the United States? Contrary to popular belief, it's not English. There is no official language. This story reflects the continual growing pains of a multicultural society as immigrant communities grow and flourish: Pol: Make biz sign on to English. City Councilman Tony Avella is being ridiculous. Aw, feel left out because you can't read Korean? Live with it. This is the natural result of being part of a multicultural community. The signs and businesses will change to accommodate and attract the individuals they serve. Who has the right to dictate how and to whom Happy Call Taxi advertises itself? Does Avella feel similarly discriminated against when he sees foreign-language channels on TV? What issues are really behind this proposed "crackdown"? When I see debates like this, I can't help thinking it just boils down to paranoid community members in fear that their power is slipping away to growing minority groups. Yes, the feared invasion. But that's just me...
With all this attention on Dat Phan, let is also be known that there are actually a whole mess of other Asian American comics out there. Every month at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York, you can check out Tom Teska's Chopschtick, a showcase of Asian American comics. Of course, over here on the West Side, Amy Anderson's got her own ChopSchtick Comedy, every other Saturday at the Hollywood Improv. While we're at it, there's also Asian Invasion, another Asian American comedy spotlight. Every Saturday, midnight, at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. That's a lot of comedy.
"Learn Chinese," the first single off of Jin tha MC's forthcoming debut album, The Rest is History, is now available for download at www.holla-front.com/. Just look under "Audio/Video."
Of course, we all know and love Abercrombie. But are you aware of Aberzombie? A nice, simple effort at poking fun of the evil forces of A&F. And if they had a store, maybe they'd even hire Asians.
Here is Fox Movie Channel's official press release regarding their Charlie Chan film series/panel broadcast this month:
Fox Movie Channel will feature Wrap-Around Panel Discussions on four Charlie Chan movies premiering on September 13
LOS ANGELES, August 29, 1003 - Fox Movie Channel will televise four restored Chan films with a roundtable discussion of experts beginning on September 13. An panel of prominent Asian Americans representing film history, sociology, authors and actors will address racial stereotypes, the casting of non-Asians in Asiatic roles and race relations in America.
Earlier this summer, Fox Movie Channel postponed its previously scheduled "Charlie Chan Mystery Tour." The network researched concerns voiced by Asian-American organizations about the negative ethnic portrayals depicted in the Chan films, while bearing in mind the Fox Movie Channel subscribers who are fans of film history, and in particular, the Charlie Chan series.
"Fox Movie Channel worked with the Asian Coalition to fulfill our charter of preserving film history while meeting the responsibility to place the films in the proper cultural context." said Chuck Saftler, General Manager of Fox Movie Channel. "We felt that it was important to respond to both the Asian community and our viewers."
"We believe that the introductory piece and follow-up discussion will help raise the level of awareness in everyone who watches and promote understanding of the issues many Asian Americans have with these films." said Karen K. Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.
The panel discussions will place the Twentieth Century Fox Charlie Chan films into a historical perspective, which will shed light on how far racial sensitivity has come since the 1930's.
The following films will be shown on Fox Movie Channel with specific interstitials throughout September (All Times Eastern):
Murder Over New York: premieres September 13 @ 8:00pm
Charlie Chan at the Opera: premieres September 14 @ 6:00 pm
Castle In The Desert: premieres September 15 @ 10:00am
Charlie Chan In Honolulu: premieres September 15 @ 6:00pm
All films will be repeated throughout the month.
Fox Movie Channel, Hollywood's first and only studio-based movie network, exclusively features 20th Century Fox films ranging from the greatest titles to the blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
The story of 21-year-old classical piano sensation Lang Lang: A Prodigy, a Piano, Hardship, Stardom
Meet Yi Jianlian. Could this 6-ft. 11-in. Chinese teenager be The Next Yao Ming? A lot of people certainly hope so...
Check out this picture. It's a photo of a game box on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND. It's from a historical exhibit about games children played. It seems to be some sort of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" activity where the "loser" had to mimic something. On the cover one child says, "Now You Have To Imitate a Chinaman!" What is more disturbing? That this game was apparently intended for children to play, or the thought of how the kids actually behaved to "imitate a Chinaman"? Man, that's not a fun game. Yes, it's from the 1930sdifferent times, different attitudes. And now it's on display for all of us to enjoy! That's racist!
In a letter to The Nation, David Low wrote in about and "Unnatural emphasis on Caucasian looks in Thai promotions," regarding regarding the severe depravity of Asian self-image in Thai advertising (the letter is no longer online). This continues to be an interesting issue, not only relevant to Asia, but around the worldincluding the United States. I recall a news item from last year regarding a billboard in Malaysia featuring Brad Pitt that was pulled by authorities because it apparently an "insult to Asians" and could "give Malaysians an inferiority complex." At the time, I laughed it off (perhaps Brad Pitt is too good looking for our health), but there is a darker truth to this phenomenon. Because there is indeed a pervasive, unhealthy "white" standard of beauty that affects people and economies around the world. Think about it...
I've said it once, and I guess I'll say it again: Korean women are good at golf. Nine of this year's 23 LPGA events have been captured by Asian-born players. And of the top 50 money winners, 10 come from the continent, 8 from South Korea: Asian Golfers at Home in L.P.G.A.