So, did you catch Law & Order: SVU on Tuesday night? Lots of angry stuff in that one. All those great, offensive stereotypes jammed into an hour. But you know what bugged the crap out of me? Being forced to listen to Ming Na's faux Chinese accent. It was simply painfulespecially knowing that she normally speaks perfect English.
In case you missed it, AMWd has posted some video highlights.
Ming Na guest stars on an all-new Law & Order: SVU! You gotta love it. Every so often, the big cop shows tackle an Asian-themed plotgangsters, illegal immigrants, whatever. It's a practice I affectionately call, "The Chinatown Episode." Send those cops into Chinatown/Little Tokyo/Saigon/Koreatown, bust some badguys, learn 'em a thing or two, and everything is back to normal. A few Asian actors get some work, and we see some Asian faces onscreen for a bit. Oh, but at what cost? As I mentioned previously, tonight's episode of Law & Order: SVU is one of these joyous Asian-themed episodes. Thanks to an anonymous source, I actually had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the episode's script, and MAN, it's a doozy.
This one's got it all... Abandoned Chinese children (who only speak Mandarin); an enterprising Chinese American businessman who runs a dating service setting up white dudes with Chinese brides; sweatshop labor (making fake designer purses); Chinese laundry workers; evil illegal immigrant smugglers; extortion; enslaved Asian hookers. And best of all, an evil, murderous Chinese gangster who makes a living exploiting and pimping his community. Yep, this is Chinatown. Tell me, why the hell does it always have look like this? It's always more of the same craaaap. This one just does it on multiple levels. That's racist!
I know you don't believe me. You're thinking, how can one episode cram so many stereotypes into an hour? But dude, it's all there. See it for yourself tonight on NBC.
A quick heads up: Asians on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit! Tomorrow night's episode, "Debt":
DETECTIVES STUMPED BY CULTURE BARRIER WHEN SMUGGLERS HOLD ILLEGAL CHINESE IMMIGRANT CAPTIVE; MING-NA ('ER') GUEST-STARS -- After Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) find two small Chinese children mysteriously abandoned by their missing mother, they soon discover that the mother is an illegal immigrant whose older daughter is being held against her will until the mother can pay off the smugglers' fee for bringing the family to America. The police use the missing woman's sister, Li Mei (guest star Ming-Na from NBC's "ER") , to penetrate the secretive society and find out what happened to her -- but their plan backfires when Li Mei is found severely beaten while bearing an ominous message from the kidnappers. Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Diane Neal, B.D. Wong and Ice-T also star. TV-14
Don't you know? Asians on network television usually require stories about illegal immigrants, smuggling rings and secretive societies. Gaaaah. I've actually had the opportunity to get a preview of this episode's script... I'll write more on this when I get the chance.
Big ol' critical analysis of Derek Kirk Kim's comics at The Webcomics Examiner.
The new Katie Holmes movie, First Daughter, opened in theaters of Friday. Why on earth am I telling you this? My man Parry Shen has a bit role in the movie. Yay. It's just too bad that the 12% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, among other things, strongly compels me NOT to see the movie. But do check out Parry's blog. It's got a lot of useful, insightful observations on being a working actor.
I should also add that Amerie Rogers has a role in the movie as First Daughter's roommate. If I'm not mistaken, she's also simply known as Amerie.
Are you getting the idea? Vote, my people: Groups try to inspire U.S. Asians to join vote
Michelle Kwan will skate to "Bolero": Kwan Grows Musically. But it seems the question still remains... Will she compete at the 2006 Turin Olympics?
Seems like there has been a lot of press lately on the Japanese American Internment experience. This is a good thing, given the kind of press Michelle Malkin (boooooo.) and her book have been getting. Here's another article: Japanese-Americans' Army Service Honored
All right, a handful of film-related articles from the New York Times...Here's a fat article on Wong Kar-Wai's 2046: The Director's Director
"The crazy-cool Hong Kong cop trilogy Infernal Affairs is sold out, but you may be able to score a ticket by prostrating yourself in front of the society's Walter Reade Theater with a fistful of dollars and public declarations of love for pulp crime fiction at its finest." The New York Film Festival: Around the World and Into the Psyche
12-movie Shaw Brothers retrospective, as a sidebar to the film festival: How Hong Kong Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Martial Arts
While many Vietnamese Americans express anger over John Kerry's antiwar activities in the early 1970s, there is little desire in the community to reopen those wounds: For Many Who Were Born There, Vietnam Fatigue
An apology, sort of, from Elton John:
So that Elton John outburst that was all over last night's news? The one in which he was shown repeatedly calling photographers at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport "rude, vile pigs!"? Well, Elton says he's sorry, sorta. "As you know, we had a little incident at the airport," the musician told his audience later that night, adding, "the television and photographers at the airport were the rudest people I've ever met. I've been to 60 countries, and they are a disgrace to your country." Nevertheless, he said, "I'm sorry if I offended anyone in Taiwan. I did not mean to. And to those guys, I meant every single word I said."
So Taiwan, he's sorry. But those photographers? Still vile, rude pigs.
In my opinion, Jackie Chan has had a pretty cruddy Hollywood career. Back in Hong Kong, at his prime, he made some movies that are nothing short of legendary. But in America? Crap like The Medallion, and The Tuxedo. Movies that seriously underuse his talents. And Jackie knows it: Chan Complains of Limited Roles for Asians . The also goes for most of the HK actors who've crossed over. Where's the respect? At the same time, Jackie's expressed that wants to take roles that move outside the action genre... that's cool for him, but do you honestly see that happening? Granted, Jackie's getting old, and he can't do the crazy-ass stuff he made his name doing. But Jackie as a convincing serious actor? Sadly, I'm having a hard time picturing it. Meanwhile, I'm ready to watch New Police Story.
While we're talking about Hong Kong stars... Can't remember if I already posted this, but here's the official site for Stephen Chow's upcoming movie, Kung Fu Hustle. It screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, and got a rave write-up from Ain't It Cool News. I'm so there.
And how 'bout some Jet Li, for good measure... Check out the trailer for Unleashed (formerly Danny the Dog, what looks like a very different kind of Jet Li movie. I'm intrigued. Then again, I recall I also liked the trailers for Kiss of the Dragon and The One, so what do I know? Here's hoping...
Took forever, but Wong Kar-Wai's 2046 is hitting theaters: 'It was like being in jail'. So... how about a U.S. release? Soon.
This is a weird, frightening, fascinating article on Japanese kamikaze pilots: They've Outlived the Stigma
My buddy Marian Liu, reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and all-around cool lady, has a nifty new blog up chronicling her adventures as a pop culture reporter: Going Out With Marian. Check it out.
A whole mess of high profile music artists have donated tracks for a benefit album, For the Lady: Dedicated to Freeing Aung San Suu Kyi and the Courageous People of Burma. Who's the lady? Aung San Suu Kyi, an imprisoned Burmese humanitarian known to some as "Asia's Nelson Mandela."
Just a reminder: the very first Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival kicks off tonight with a screening of Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The festival runs this weekend and next weekend, with a wide range of films from the Korean and Korean American experience.
And over on the East Coast... Silkscreens, the Boston Asian American Independent Film Festival. September 24-25 at MIT. Looks like they've got a solid program going on, with Greg Pak as Keynote Speaker. I dig it! What can I say? I'm a sucker for film festivals.
Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim give some interesting insight on the development of their characters on Lost: Actors explore Korean heritage in 'Lost'
Four elderly Filipino World War II veterans were arrested and fined $50 each for chaining themselves to a fence at the White House to protest being barred from a meeting to discuss pension benefits: 4 PINOY VETS ARRESTED IN WASHINGTON, DC
"RUDE, VILE PIGS!" That's what Elton John thinks of you, Taiwan. Says Sir Elton: Taiwan media 'rude pigs'
Ah, before I forget. Karl Yune (Anacondas) has joined the cast of Memoirs of a Geisha. He'll play Koichi, Gong Li's love interest.
This is MESSED UP. According to civil rights and legal experts, millions of U.S. citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the Nov. 2 presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks: Millions Blocked from Voting in U.S. Election. The kind of crap people will pull! Don't take your right to vote for granted. FIGHT FOR IT!
"Asian Pacific Islander Americans, from 18 to 25, are the least likely to vote. You can change that." Watch the public service announcement I mentioned the other day: The Least Likely. A film by Mark Allen, featuring Kelly Hu, Maggie Q, Ming-Na, Russell Wong, Tamlyn Tomita, and John Cho. It's pretty kickass. But the message is simple: Choose or Lose.
Once again, repeat plug for some voting-related links:
CAUSE - Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment
APIAVote.org - Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote 2004
Chooose or Lose. MTV's campaign for the youngsters.
Hey, how about sportin' one of these cool ROCK THE ASIAN VOTE t-shirts? Stylish and empowering. Wear it, and tell people what's up.
Did you know: one out of 10 New Yorkers is Asian American. But only one out of 10 Asian Americans in New York votes. That is sad, my friends. So, the logical thing to do is to put on an Asian American indie rock concert series: AARYV - Asian America: Raise Your Voice. In partnership with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA), the Asian Pacific American Voters Alliance (APAVA), and other groups dedicated to making sure that our votes are counted, and our issues are heard. New York represent!
Oh, this is funny. So the book, How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men, by Adam Quan, received a surge of customer reviews at Amazon.com last week. Some hilarious, some simply offensive. Either way, the comments keep coming, and Amazon keeps deleting them. Well today, I get this email, presumably from the publishers of the book:
FROM: Q M [firstname.lastname@example.org]
DATE: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 12:21:48 -0700
SUBJECT: re book: How to date a White woman, a Practical Guide for Asian Men
Your site is simple yet awsome, and very well known for its stated purposes. Our tribute and high regard.
Regarding the book, which have helped countless Asian men, please change the link from Amazon.com to http://www.AsianWorldPress.com
Sometimes good readers comments from Asian readers keep disappearing from Amazon.com . We prefer to make the book available directly and eventually only
from http://www.AsianWorldPress.com for many reasons among those ideological.
Comments about the book can be read at http://www.asianworldpress.com/ReaderComments.html
Ha. Somehow they've gotten into their heads the notion that I support and endorse this pathetic-ass book, going so far as quoting me on their Reader Comments pagemissing the sarcasm entirely. Actually, I don't think they got any of it. Check out the rest of the reader comments, lifted from Amazon.com before they were deleted. Are ANY of them for real? Like I said, hilarious. My favorite is not-so-shrouded Tom Vu reference. Funny as hell.
I've got a better quote for AsianWorldPress.com: "Hey Adam. I read your book, and it's not working. I mean seriously, I used your techniques, and they're worthless. And then I started thinking, maybe I shouldn't regard white women as objects to be 'obtained.' And maybe it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm Asian, and they're White. Maybe a book that specifically instructs Asian men how to date White women simply perpetuates the stereotype that there's something wrong with Asian men, or that our ability to have relationships with White women is inherently deficient. I don't know, man. I think I want my money back."
I encourage everyone to drop them some of your own comments.
From ESPN.com, a quote from Scott Spiezio, regarding teammate Ichiro Suzuki, who went 5-for-5 on Tuesday night:
"I always thought he was amazing, but I never knew about his preparation and his mind-set before the game, and how consistent he was with it," Spiezio
said. "It's almost like a martial arts-type thing, where he gets into a zone and he finds a way to get on base."
Oh please. He did not just throw in a martial arts remark. But yes, he did. You think Spiezio would've used that specific analogy if Ichiro wasn't Asian? Come on, man. That's just too easy.
Interesting New York Times article on a collection of close to 10,000 Chinese restaurant menus, some going back to the 1800s: As All-American as Egg Foo Yong. They're the centerpiece of a new exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in Chinatown about a rarely examined phenomenon: the Chinese restaurant in America.
I'm glad the article also mentions Indigo Som and Chinese Restaurant Project. It's all pretty fascinating. I mean, really, don't you sometimes wonder what the heck that Chinese restaurant is doing in, say, Greenville, IL? Who owns it? How did it get there? But most importantly, is the food any good? Yep, all these restaurants have a story...
In the latest issue of TIME, four young Asian/Asian American designers steal the spotlight at New York's big fashion show: Visions From the East
Also in TIME, a review of Infernal Affairs, which has made its way over to the U.S. for a theatrical release: Caught in Double-Cross Fire. By the way, the Infernal Affairs trilogy will be showing at the New York Film Festival. Luckyyyyy.
And just for good measure, here's Salon.com's article on Andy Lau: Cool hand Lau
Oh, Hollywood, how we tire of your stinkin' Asian stereptypes. A good read on the recent wave of exploitation: Sex, Money & Asian Stereotypes
Shazia Mirza is a Muslim female stand-up comedian. Yes, such beings exist. And she's not afraid to joke about 9/11, sexist Muslim men, or the fact that she's a 28-year-old virgin. Read the Salon.com article here: Last Female Muslim Comic Standing (You have to first get the Free Day Pass by watching the commercial).
Too bad, but you won't be seeing Spike Lee's Sucker Free City in theaters, nor will you be seeing the proposed television series it was intended to be. The multicultural drama, written by Alex Tse, was originally conceived as a pilot for a Showtime series this fall. However, the project was scrapped. Instead, Showtime will air Sucker Free City as a standalone film. The story follows the lives of three very different young men in San Francisco: Nick, an entrepreneurial white boy from Mission Point; K-Luv, a black gang-banger in Hunter's Point, and Lincoln, a debt collector for the Chinese Mafia. Despite coming from different walks of life, unforeseeable and violent events inevitably push them together. Here's coverage from Ain't It Cool News. Ah, what could've been...
Fine Line Features has picked up the rights to The Year of the Yao, Jim Stern and Adam Del Deo's documentary about Yao Ming's first year in the NBA: YAO Walks Fine Line
Tonight's the premiere of Lost on ABC. It's about a bunch of people who survive a plane crash in the middle of nowhere, and have to learn to survive, not kill each other, etc. etc. I'm a big fan JJ Abrams' Alias, so I'll definitely be checking it out... If that's not reason enough to tune in, the show's got Daniel Dae Kim, Yun-jin Kim and Naveen Andrews in the regular cast. Whoa. Multiple Asians in one show. Who knew you could do that? Here's a review of sorts: 'Lost' finds fresh adventure in familiar story
Naveen Andrews played Sayid, "a Middle Eastern man who must wrestle with the racial profiling directed at him by some of his fellow survivors." Should be interesting, because it's also revealed that Sayid was once a member of Iraqi Republican Guard...
Daniel Dae Kim and Yun-jin Kim play Jin and Sun, "a Korean couple whose traditions, values and language are foreign and thus causes much to get lost in the translation." Unfortunately, I've been hearing a few not-so-nice things about Daniel Dae Kim's character. Apparently, the pilot episode has been floating around the internet for a while. There are reports that his character does NOT speak English and he's a "grunting, domineering man and borderline abusive husband." However, as you know, I'm a fan of DDK, and I'm willing to give this role the benefit of the doubt. The characters of Jin and Sun are not what they seem... The following message from DDK was posted on his fansite: "To those folks who are worried about my role in "Lost," please tell them not to be. What I do in the first episode is definitely not the whole story. Things are not necessarily what they seem on the island...." And on the ABC website, Yun-jin Kim reveals that Sun "speaks English, but she pretends not to. You don't know why, yet. But we'll find out..."
Ooh. Lots of "..." I'm pretty intrigued. Oh, and as usual, AMWd is watching.
Heads up... Rock the (Asian) Vote. There's a very cool PSA currently running on MTV, funded by CAUSE, part of MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign. In short, it's designed to urge Asian Americans to GET OUT AND VOTE. Featuring Maggie Q, Russell Wong, John Cho, Tamlyn Tomita, Kelly Hu, and Ming Na, the 30-second spot is set in a futuristic world where the human race is fighting for survival. Can you dig that? Asians on TV! But more importantly, the message: this is URGENT. It's important. Get out and VOTE, my people. Be on the lookout for the ad on MTV...
Alice Wu's feature film debut Saving Face premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last week, and has been reportedly picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics: Winners and Deals Mark Final Weekend At Canadian Fest. The movie is described as "a sexy, bittersweet, cross-cultural and cross-generational tale set in New York's Mandarin-speaking immigrant Chinese community," starring Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec and Lynne Chen.
I get the idea. It's a travel article, and it has nothing to do with sex tourism. But doesn't this headline just SOUND wrong? Oh, it's subtle: Southeast Asia: More bang for your buck than Europe
Things to do, more stuff going down: ComedyZEN. Comedy and laughter and such things, with none other than Dat Phan headlining. Now, I know I've been known to rag on Dat Phan from time to time, but really, he seems like a cool guy just trying to make it with what he's got. And I do wish the best for him and his career. So yeah, it's him and other comedic talents of the Asian persuasion. The show's this Thursday, September 23 at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA.
Along with hepatitis B, the other MAJOR health awareness issue for our community is getting Asians into the marrow donor registry. A few weeks ago, I mentioned the Nguyen brothers, who are still looking for bone marrow donors (particularly of Vietnamese descent). Sadly, their situation isn't rareeach year, hundreds of Asian and Pacific Islander children and adults are stricken with blood diseases, and many must search for a matching marrow donor outside their family. So, here's an organization you should know about: Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, or A3M (a program of LTSC in Los Angeles). A3M works to do outreach,
recruitment, and patient support for Asian Americans with leukemia and other blood-related diseases that require bone marrow transplants. Not only do they host bone marrow typing drives in the Asian American community, but they also work with people who need transplants to provide culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate patient support services.
That's pretty awesome. How awesome? Just fourteen years ago, before A3M was established, there were only 5,834 Asian Americans registered with the National Marrow Donor Program. Now, there are 356,124 Asiansand A3M is responsible for registering 25% of them. See? That's awesome.
So anyway, A3M is having its seventh annual concert fundraiser, Moment of Hope, with featured performers The Ahn Trio. Sunday, October 3rd at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center in Cerritos, CA. They need to sell some tickets, get some butts in those seats. This is a good cause, so if you're in Southern California, why not consider making an evening of it?
I mean, come on, look at some of these people who need your help: faces of hope
Some more you information you should know, following up on the previous post on hepatitis B... Asians have the highest rate of hepatitis B of all ethnic groups. Hepatitis B rates for the Asian Pacific American population range up to 15%, compared to the 0.3% among the general U.S. population, and Asians make up more than half of the 1.3-1.5 million known hepatitis B carriers in the U.S. That is crazy. Thus, I direct your attention again to the
Jade Ribbon Campaign, launched in 2001 by the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University. Its purpose is to create awareness within the Asian American community about its susceptibility to hepatitis B, aka THE SILENT KILLER. So they're out to get people informed, and help prevent Hep B! Check out the site. There's a fat load of information, and it's pretty eye-opening: http://liver.stanford.edu/
Here's a short audio interview with Ryan Suda, the man behind Blacklava, the baddest Asian American t-shirt line around. (Listen to the file with Quicktime.) The interview is from the Go Guys Show.
Whoa. Senator Daniel Inouye and Senator Daniel Akaka, the nation's only two Asian American U.S. Senators, both just turned 80 years oldin the same week! And believe it or not, they both plan to seek re-election. Still going strong: Way Past Middle-aged and Still Energized
Hepatitis B has been referred to as the "silent killer" within the Asian/Pacific Islander community. It's an asymptomatic disease that often leads to liver cancer. By then, it's usually fatal: '3 for Life' tries to save Asians from hepatitis
This article is on the breakdown of the White vote, and its importance in the upcoming election: GOP, Democrats Search for Strategic Key to All-Important White Vote. But really, one line in the article stood out for me: " In general, the Asian vote is too small to show up reliably in polls." Aw hell, people. Come on. We need to get out there and vote. Just to get COUNTED, at least.
Jen needs your help. It's a long story, so read it for yourself here: www.pleasehelpjen.com
So much for breaking stereotypes: Teen achieves perfection on test scores. Ah well. Maybe she's like the kids in Better Luck Tomorrow, and does something illicit on the side. You never know...
New documentary on Yao Ming, Year of the Yao, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival: Yao Ming opens his gilded cage on the silver screen
Weird looking toys doing the tourist thing in Japan: Bratz Tokyo A Go-Go. The rest of the "Tokyo A Go-Go" line is here. It's sad, the stuff they peddle to kids these days. Come on, a freakin' Sushi Lounge? Apparently, this toy line is rather popular. I think the dolls look kind of freaky.
Timothy Huang's And the Earth Moved, a new musical inspired by the tragic earthquake that struck Taiwan in September 1999, is playing at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, September 16-29: 'And the Earth Moved,' New Musical About Asian-American on Unsteady Ground. Here's the show's official site: www.AndTheEarthMoved.net/
Check it out: NAASCon presents NAASCon 2K4, the first national Asian Pacific American student conference, November 5-7 at the University of Southern California. Actually, the full title of the conference is "NAASCon 2K4 - Returning to Our Roots: The Past, Present, and Future of the Asian Pacific American Student Community." Basically, it's a big-ass gathering for APA students nationwide, with speakers, panels and workshops on empowerment, unity and things of this nature. Doesn't that sound freakin' awesome? Register now at http://usc2004.naascon.org/
In 1942, Fred Korematsu was arrested and convicted by the government. For being Japanese American. His commentary: Do we Really Need to Relearn the Lessons of Japanese American Internment?
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin is scheduled to appear tomorrow on C-SPAN2's BookTV. Tune in for crazy talk.
The state of New York boasts the second largest Asian American population in the nation, yet not a single politician of Asian descent has ever been elected to the state Legislature. However, this November, Jimmy Meng, a 61-year-old immigrant from Taiwan, is expected to be elected in the state Assembly's 22nd district in Flushing, Queens: Queens poised to produce first Asian-American legislator
Forbidden Warrior, an independent, English-language fantasy film reportedly set for release at the end of 2004. It looks like an entertaining movie, with an attractive cast, but I don't know if I'm a huge fan of a western production, starring Asians, doing the whole martial arts/sword and sorcery thing... Aren't these the kinds of roles we're trying to get away from? Granted, I have not yet seen this movie.
But DAAAAAAAANG, this movie looks awesome: Silvergun Samurai. Now casting.
Everybody knows Korean cinema is the hot new thang. That's why we've got all these nifty Korean film festivals popping up all over the place. Going on right now, through October 31: Korean Film Festival DC 2004, apparently the largest festival of Korean cinema ever presented in the United States. Also, starting next week, the very first Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival. Running September 24-25 and October 1-2, the festival also includes a one-day conference featuring scholar, journalist and industry panels. Funny, because you think LA would've started a Korean film festival a long time ago... I told you mang, Korean cinema is the hot new thang.
New California Media has released the findings of a poll surveying Asian-American opinions toward the upcoming presidential election. More than half of the interviews were conducted in languages other than English, and the findings show an Asian-American community with very diverse views: New Poll Shows Diversity of Asian-American Opinion. Meanwhile, this article reports that Asian-Americans lean toward Kerry.
So, do you know where you stand? Don't know if this helps, but here are websites created by the Bush and Kerry campaigns, targeted towards APA voters. Learn where they stand on the issues:
But most importantly, may I reiterate: REGISTER TO VOTE
I watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow last night. While the movie is visually stunning, I'm sorry to say that it's depiction of Asians runs along the same old story. Whether you want to call it retro-futuristic, vintage sci-fi or whatever, the movie makes some room for Asians, but once again they're relegated to a handful of the usual stereotypes. There's the previously mentioned Bai Ling as "Mysterious Woman," who is not only mysterious, but also a silent, ninja-like asskicker. The movie also features some shifty Tibetan sherpas, along with the benevolent mystic healers of Shang Ri-La. And of course, all the protagonists are white. Yay.
I also got up early this morning to watch some Saturday morning cartoons. Namely, The Batman, WB's new take on the Caped Crusader. It's okay. As a big fan of the The Animated Series (1992-95), I can't say this new one really measures up. But then again, TAS raised the bar pretty high. Anyway, this new series features the voice of Ming-Na as Detective Ellen Yin, which is kind of cool. The episode I just saw thoughnot so cool. It had Batman facing off against The Penguin, who unfortunately has just returned from "the Orient," and is now accompanied by two solemn henchwomen in full geisha getup. And when they shed their kimonos, they turn out to be deadly bladed assassins! What the hell???
According to a new study, the 1.16 billion Han Chinese, the world's biggest ethnic group, owe their rise thanks to massive southward migration from northern China led by the men of their tribe: How the Han Chinese became the world's biggest tribe. And now they're everywhere! EVERYWHERE! Invading your town! Your country! Muhahahahaha.
Here's the Salon.com article that started it: Lou Dobbs is angry and he's not going to take it anymore. Andrew Leonard throws in a line at the end, "It's time now for my children to start studying Chinese or Hindi," which evoked a bunch of irate Letters, citing "overpopulated repressed Asian masses" and those job-stealing Indians. Of course, this produced another round of Letters in response... For instance: "The U.S. has been raping the Third World for so long I really doubt anyone is going to feel sorry for us. We just don't deserve it." Nasty, nasty...
For the twelfth year: Taiwan Loses Bid for U.N. Representation
As I mentioned earlier this week, the premiere of NBC's LAX featured a plot involving an Asian Mail-Order Bride character. Asian Media Watch has some good coverage of the episode and its relevant scenes, including video clips. They never explicitly call her a "mail order bride," but the implication is pretty obvious as the storyline descends into usual enduring stereotypes. Note how the fat white dude (her "fiance") calls her China Doll. That's racist!
With 233 hits (as I write this) and 16 games to go, Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki is honing in on George Sisler's single-season hit record (257, set in 1920). Here are some useless stats for you: Defying the law of averages. And here's a flattering New York Times article on the guy: An Artist Who Makes the Field His Canvas
Bai Ling is the 'Mysterious Woman' in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which opens in theaters today.
A puzzling saga of red tape, family frustration and post-9/11 suspicion: Red tape stops dad from visiting
Divanee Magazine is an online magazine for South Asian women.
A scary, sad phenomenon: China grapples with legacy of its 'missing girls'. I fear that articles like this will fuel and strengthen tragic outcomes stateside, similar to what happened in the Anna Mae He case...
Japanese police were barred from U.S. military helicopter crash site in Okinawa, but pizza-delivery was allowed through: A Crash, and the Scent of Pizzatocracy, Anger Okinawa. But you see, they were really hungry.
More than 500 Buddhist monks marched in the Sri Lankan capital Monday expressing outrage and demanding a ban on an upcoming movie, Hollywood Buddha, threatening to fast even to death if their objections were not heeded. The movie, made by independent filmmaker Philippe Caland, will be released in California on September 24. Monks from the Patriotic National Movement marched to the U.S. Embassy denouncing an advertisement of the movie that shows a man seated on the head of a Buddha statue: Buddhist Monks March to Protest Film
And here's sort of an update onthe matter: Etiquette Book for Foreign Tourists?
A street in New York's Chinatown was renamed "Zhe Zack Zeng Way" on Saturday in honor of Zack Zeng, a Chinese American who sacrificed his life to rescue other victims during the September 11 terror attack: NY street renamed to honor Chinese American 9/11 hero
I don't think this is much of a surprise... According to Amnesty International USA, racial profilingauthorities' targeting of people because of their racial background or religious affiliationis a deep-rooted problem in the United States, with nearly 32 million people reporting they've been racially profiled: Study: Racial Profiling a Growing Problem. Um, yeah. This isn't news.
Tonight's the premiere of NBC's LAX, which looks like typical stupid/fun TV... and the reviews are indicating the same. I wasn't planning on watching it, but now here's something to look out for: Asian Mail-Order Bride! From the Chicago Tribune:
"a handsome, doe-eyed customs agent (David Paetkau) is torn between duty and his love-at-first-sight for an abandoned Asian bride, who may be a drug smuggler"
And from the San Francisco Chronicle:
"All in a day's work at "LAX," and if that's the kind of implausible and mindless entertainment you want, it's your choice. This is a free country. The same kind of country where you can import an Asian mail-order bride and then turn her into a hooker, right under the noses of customs officials."
There seems to be a discrepancy between the two reviewsis the mail order bride a drug smuggler or a hooker? Because it's all about the details, ya know? Or perhaps she's both. Either way, I love America.
Much like the Twelve Girls Band, it seems like I've been hearing about this guy everywhere lately: Ken Oak. Like, here and here. Been listening to some of his stuff here and there, and I'm digging it. His new full length album, Half Step Down, will be out this month.
Okay, so really nothing like the Twelve Girls Band. I just said that to get your attention.
This fall: Life & Style a new television series co-hosted by Kimora Lee Simmons (and three other ladies), where they talk about, um, life.. and style. I guess the pot arrest didn't hurt her career too much...
We're about halfway through September, and there's a lot of stuff going on... Maybe you've heard of Kollaboration, the huuuge annual Asian American community talent event in Los Angeles. Well, this year marks the first NY Kollaboration, this Friday, September 17 at Tribeca Performing Arts
Center. Maybe you'll see something crazy cool like this guy.
Also on Friday, over here on the West Coast, there's the 3rd Annual Dragon's Roar Showcase Festival at the Sunset Room in Hollywood. It's a big-ass Asian American music and art festival, featuring a whole mess of diverse, up-and-coming Asian American talent. Want to go? Everything you need to know is right here.
Hey Chicago, don't feel left out. My close, personal friend Kristina Wong is coming to blow your mind with her crazy one-woman show, "Free?" at the 3rd Annual Single File, a festival of solo performance. Perhaps you may know her as Big Bad Chinese Mama. Ah yes, you do.
Gah. And of course, I must not forget APAture 2004, September 14-25, 2004 at the SomArts Cultural Center in San Francisco. You know it. Lots and lots of cool stuff going on there, with artists, writers, poets, musicians... All that good stuff, including one of my favorites, comic book artist Derek Kirk Kim. Oriental Flavor!
That should keep you busy next weekend...
So, we have now seen the arrival of ImaginAsian TV, America's first 24/7 Asian American
television network. But has anyone really SEEN it? At the moment, it's only airing in a handful of marketsand not even in New York, LA or San Francisco. True to form, AMDw is firing up another letter-writing campaign in support of ImaginAsian TV: Please carry ImaginAsian TV in Basic Service! For more info, see here.
New York Times review of Gish Jen's new novel, The Love Wife: Who's the Outsider? Well, That Depends on Where You Stand
I'm pretty sure this person will be voting for John Kerry: Can a Vietnamese-American be Heard?
The decision has been made, but the debate continues... Last week at a meeting of the Bainbridge Island School Board, concerned community members debated Sakai Intermediate School's curriculum that teaches sixth-graders about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The school will stick with it, though a few changes will be made. But the basic lesson, that the internment was a mistake, was illegal and a tragedy remains the same: Decision made, but debate lives on
It's going down in China, October 14: Shanghai readies for Rockets-Kings basketball preseason game
Sulu's in an upcoming indie sci-fi film, along with Q: Takei Sees Patient 14. Sulu is awesome.
Journalists applying to the Commission on Presidential Debates for credentials to cover the presidential debates are being asked to provide their racial data: Race Inquiry for Debates Upsets Reporters. In addition to requesting that applicants provide their name, Social Security or passport number, gender, address and country and date of birth, the online application asks respondents to describe their race using one of the following: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, black, not of Hispanic origin, Hispanic, white, not of Hispanic origin. I question how knowing someone's race will help identify a security risk. What's up with that?
But no doubt, Michelle Malkin has no problem with this.
The parts of the Patil twins have been cast for fourth Harry Potter movie... Parvati Patil will be played by Shefali Chowdhury, and Padma Patil will be played by Afshan Azad. In the book, they are Harry and Ron's dates, respectively, to the Yule Ball at Hogwarts. See here: New Castings for Goblet of Fire. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's okay too.
Utada Hikaru is gearing up for a stab at crossover success in the United States with the her English-language album Exodus on October 5. I'm told that the first single, "Easy Breezy" is starting to pop up on radio stations...
A jumble of thoughts. Today is September 11. It's been three years since that horrible, shocking day, and still, this country will never be the same. Like many people on the West Coast, I remember I was just waking up to the news of the collision of the first tower. It was surreal. And the TV news footage seemed like something out of a movie. On the other side of the country, I lifted up a prayer for NYC. Today, my heart goes out those whose families members were lost in the tragedy, as well as in subsequent conflicts.
I also have to acknowledge those who have the been the innocent victims of hate crimes and prejudice under backlash in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately, within our country's borders there are still too many hate-mongering idiots. Sadly, members within the South Asian and Arab American community have experienced bias, violence, victimization and racial profilingscapegoats for the ignorant and misguided. That's racist!
This Amnesty International poll outlines some of the concerns of Arab, Pakistani and Iranian Americans in a post-9/11 world: Multilingual Poll of Arab, Iranian and Pakistani Americans on President Bush's Iraq Policy and Post-9/11 Discrimination. CivilRights.org has a form letter you can send urging Congress to pass the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, a hate crimes amendment to the Department of Defense authorization bill. It could be under consideration in the House as early as Tuesday, September 14.
We live in a different world than we did three years ago... I do believe that the upcoming presidential election in November will be one of the most important in my lifetime. If you are eligible to vote, I urge you to do so. Register here.
I had the chance to see Michelle Malkin this past week. Yes, the notorious writer behind the book, In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror. She was speaking at the USC Law School, a lunchtime event sponsored by the Republican students organization. The talk was NOT well-publicized (probably on purpose), nor was it open to the public. There were no protestors, no flyers, no indication whatsoever that she'd be on campus, except for a single mention on the online law school event calendar. But I had to make the effort to see her speak. First, I had to actually find USC's law school building, then navigate its halls and find the designated room. I slipped in the back of the classroom, trying to be inconspicuous, but the event was pretty casual anyway. There were about 50 people in the room. I listened to her give her basic three-point case in support of the Japanese American internment, which was ultimately her case for present-day policies concerning racial/ethnic/religious profiling in service of homeland security and the war on terror.
The woman is out of her mind.
It took immense willpower to restrain myself from throwing something at her. I hadn't really thought it through, but it probably would've been my shoe. I had a death grip on the arms of my chair. I wanted to stand up and shout, YOU'RE STRAIGHT UP CRAZY, LADY. I refrained. Instead, I tried to guage the reaction from the students in the audience. I had to know if they were hearing what I was hearing, and whether or not they were with Malkin on this. It became apparent that they were not diggin' this. People were visibly uncomfortable with her arguments. She spoke for about an hour, but due to time constraints, the question time had to be short. But all three people who spoke up were in essence challenging her views. One guy even asked Malkin if she, as a Filipino American, would ever be in favor of ethnic profiling measures that focused on citizens on Filipino descent. She said she'd be all for it!
This woman has sold us out. It's really somethin' crazy. I'm glad I had the chance to see her talk, because I had to see if she's for real. It was eye-opening. I left that room shaking my head.
All new pool of candidates on NBC's The Apprentice... including Ivana, 28, from Boston, MA. A venture capitalist, she's a self-described "intersection of personality, brains and sass." She also unfortunately shares a same name with Donald Trump's ex-wife. This ought to be interesting...
On the other team, there's also Raj, who is of Indian descent. Yes, he's the dude with the bowtie.
I gotta admit, I didn't think it would happen. Paul J. Kellogg, General Counsel of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, Inc (manufacturer of Enzyte) emailed AMWd, and issued the following statement of apology:
Date: 9/8/2004 14:53:36 -0400
From: "Paul Kellogg"
Subject: Please Accept our Apologies
STATEMENT TO THE ASIAN COMMUNITY
REGARDING "SMILING BOB" COMMERCIAL ENTITLED "THE BIG DEAL"
Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, Inc. apologizes to anyone who has been
offended by our Smiling Bob Enzyte commercial entitled "The Big Deal" which contained a storyline depicting a business deal between the lead
character and a group of Asian businessmen. We were unaware that this particular commercial --one of a series that depicts men of a variety of
backgrounds-- would raise issues and sensitivities of concern to the Asian community. This certainly was not our intent.
We are discontinuing the airing of this commercial as quickly as possible.
Please accept our sincere apologies.
* * *
Paul J. Kellogg, Esq.
Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, Inc.
1661 Waycross Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45240
Well what do you know? Sometimes they listen. However, you wish they'd had the sense not to come up with that whole campaign in the first place...
What the hell? This is for real: How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men by Adam Quan -- an actual book available for purchase on Amazon. You gotta love this crap... Because, of course, we Asian men are hapless and pathetic when it comes to finding ourselves a woman. Especially a white woman!
Do you want to "feel confident about approaching attractive White women" and "avoid making irreversible blunders"? How to Date a White Woman, written by "an Asian with Asian men in mind within the context of a western society," promises to provided the "knowledge, framework and tools necessary for an Asian man to understand, to plan and to put into action the steps to successfully date a white woman."
What could possibly go wrong? Hard pass, man.
I especially enjoyed the customer reviews. Also note that, according to Amazon, customers who viewed this book also viewed How To Attract Asian Women by Ming Tan, which also created a little controversy a few years back. Remember that? She was going to teach a course at the Learning Annex in New York (the class was eventually cancelled before it began).
Oh, the crazy things people do for money.
Here's what happened at Michelle Malkin's UC Berkeley talk last night, according to The Daily Californian: Michelle Malkin Defends Racial Profiling in Speech. And in the Oakland Tribune: Pro-profiling author draws Berkeley protest
In the latest edition of NBC's Last Comic Standing, they've pitted teams of standup comics against each other. A "Battle of the Best," with the comics of Season vs. the comics of Season 2. They've even brought back Season 1 winner Dat Phan. I haven't caught any of the recent episodes, but I'm told Dat is still doing his thing. The same thing. It appears he's relying on the same old schtick. You know what I'm talking aboutthe Vietnamese momma accent jokes. Dat Phan's greatest hit!
Ping Wu stars in this ad spot for AARP: "Volunteering"
Like I mentioned last month, the Twelve Girls Band seems to be everywhere: Twelve Girls Band Highest Debut by an Asian Artist in History of Billboard 200. Yesterday, I saw them on a bus stop bench ad. All twelve of them. Holding instruments. Staring at me.
The "Berkeley Stop the War Coalition" is organizing a protest at Malkin's speech tonight... The following email was forwarded to me:
Wednesday, September 8
Dwinelle Hall, 6:30pm
Dear campus activists,
This Wednesday, the Berkeley College Republicans are bringing Michelle
Malkin, a notorious ultra-conservative and an outright racist, to
campus. The title of her appearance is "In Defense of Internment:
The Case for Racial Profiling."
Michelle Malkin has written a book of the same title defending the
internment of the Japanese in America during World War II, and she
argues that racial profiling of Muslim and Arab Americans would be an
appropriate measure for the "War on Terror." She has written
numerous articles raising the alarm about "Islamofascism" and
arguing that America needs to drastically restrict the immigration of
Middle Eastern people. (Check below for more info on her writings.)
At a time when thousands of Americans of Middle Eastern descent are
being constantly harassed, detained, abused, and deported by the U.S.
government, it is our responsibility to stage protests against these
injustices and against the people who defend them.
We believe that racists like Michelle Malkin should not be given a
free pass to come on campus (UC Berkeley for crying out loud!) and
advocate for a sweeping crackdown on our sisters and brothers in the
Arab and Muslim communities. We are calling for a protest against
this event and against the ideas that she spews.
Let's meet at 6:30 and make a confident, noisy protest near the
entrance of Dwinelle until 7:30 or so ? unless we have the
numbers and the will to go further. Please bring signs that oppose
racism, racial profiling, scapegoating, and so on.
Let's make it heard loud and clear that racism is not welcome at
- Berkeley Stop the War Coalition
To learn more about Michelle Malkin, check out michellemalkin.com.
She has written another book called "Invasion: How America Still
Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our
Here's a Cal student's view in support of Malkin: Racial Profiling Not Racism
Finally, this is funny as hell: Michelle Malkin, Deposed Leader of the Coalition of the Insane
Yellow men can jump, and sprint too: Racial 'Handicaps' and a Great Sprint Forward. Take that, suckas.
Chino Latinos! Times article on the growing acknowledgement of Chinese-Latino identity in New York: Identity Stew. "It's diversity within diversity..."
"My parents are from two different ethnic backgrounds. They created me out of love and I am a perfect mixture of both!" Whoa. Remsen, Tillary, Quincy, Willough and Goodwin are Real-Kidz, a line of mixed race plush dolls. Baby, we're livin' in a different kind of world.
College Board, you fools! People aren't just "ducking" the race question on the SAT. Somtimes, for many, that's the only reasonable choice available on the form: On SATs, many students avoid race question. Sorry, I'm kind of just generally bitter when it comes to standardized tests...
Pacific Fusion is a new half-hour, English-language television magazine on Asian Pacific American people and lifestyles. Hosted by former Miss Hawaii/USA/Universe Brook Lee. Check it out here: www.pacificfusion.tv
David Henry Hwang's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's music Flower Drum Song FINALLY opens in San Francisco, where its story is set. Here's the review from the San Francisco Chronicle, but it's not particularly enthusiastic: 'Flower Drum' rewrite fails to fully unfurl
An exhibit, "What's Going On? California in the Era of Vietnam," opened late last month at the Oakland Museum of California and is scheduled to run through February before traveling to Los Angeles and Chicago. Five years in the making, it's bringing up a lot of still-sensitive issues within the Vietnamese American community: In Imperfect Compromise, Exhibit Tells of Vietnam Era
Can this Vietnamese American guy play a realistic Vietnam War video game in good conscience? A commentary: New Vietnam War Video Game Sparks Controversy
These kids need your bone marrow! Anthony, Kevin and Tuan Nguyen suffer from Hyper IgM Syndrome, a rare disease that can only be cured by a bone marrow transplant. They are especially looking for people of Vietnamese descent: 3 brothers in need of marrow transplant
This is from Asia Cine Vision and Woo Arts:
CASTING CALL - FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, SEPT 10 AND 11
Asian CineVision in collaboration with WooArt International is looking for REAL Asian Americans who can articulate their political opinions on camera for a Get Out The Vote PSA to be broadcast on national cable television. Issues include: War in Iraq, foreign policy, economy, health care, job outsourcing, gay marriage, separation of church and state, and more.
15-30 years old, men/women, any Asian ethnic background, any political party affiliation. Small pay. Must be available in New York City, Sept 17-19.
Please call 212-989-7870 by Thursday 6pm to schedule an audition.
Your opinions on camera, for a good cause. Not a bad deal, right?
Been reading about an ongoing debate going on in the Pacific Northwest regarding historical perspectives on the Japanese American internment. Apparently, there is a brewing consensus of folks challenging school officials for narrowly teaching that the internment was the U.S. government's mistake. The debate was sparked when a local school created "Leaving Our Island,"curriculum designed to allow students to apply lessons from the internment to current events: Debate lingers over internment of Japanese-Americans. And here: Bainbridge school course on internment is under fire.
Listen, tell those parents to put their Malkin books down, and visit this site: www.densho.org. It features interviews and firsthand accounts from the internment experience. Tell it to them, the victims.
Tell them their civil rights weren't violated. But hey, it's just your kids' education. My request to Bainbridge: KEEP THAT CLASS. It's an invaluable tool. The controversy is invalid. And hey, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer agrees with me: Protect internment class
Speaking of Michelle Malkin, here's her latest op-ed crap, in the San Francisco Chronicle: Reparations for internment were just a curtsy to political correctness. Eh, get out of here.
By the way, is anyone going to the Malkin appearance tonight at UC Berkeley? 7:00 pm, Dwinelle Hall. The event is sponsored by the Berkeley College Republicans. Somebody please head over there, raise some hell. Tell me how it goes. She'll also be speaking at the USC Law School on Thursday at 12:30pm in Room 7. This appearance, however, is not open to the public... Oh really?
Yuta Tabuse, waived after training camp last year by the Denver Nuggets, has signed with the Phoenix Suns and will make another bid to be Japan's first player in the NBA: Tabuse set for Japanese NBA breakthrough. Here's the official Yuta Tabuse Press Conference Transcript.
I should add that while Tabuse might be the NBA's first player from Japan, he is not the first basketball player of Japanese descent. That distinction belongs to Wataru "Wat" Misaka. In 1947, the New York Knicks drafted Misaka, the first NBA player of Asian descent, in the first round. Misaka, a 5-7 guard, appeared in three games and scored seven points for the 1947-48 Knicks before he was cut for reasons never made clear to him. Perhaps America wasn't quite ready for an Asian baller. Nevertheless, he was truly a pioneer who broke the sports color barrier. Read some more here: "Wat" A Player
Oh, and surprise, surprise. For the second week in a row, Hero was number one at the weekend box office.
And hey, guess what? Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War became the highest grossing opening weekend for a Korean film in the history of American cinema. Over the holiday weekend, it took in an estimated $364,386 on 29 screens, and garnered the highest per screen box office gross, earning a $12,565 average per screenbeating out even Hollywood films. Apparently at some cineplexes over the weekend, theater managers were compelled to move Tae Guk Gi to their larger theaters in order to accommodate the high demand from the public. If it's not playing in your city, it's okay. There are plans to continue to release the film in other US markets over the next two months. Cool.
Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Now get off your ass and register to vote. Just a gentle, friendly reminder. Head on over to APIAVote.org. They've got lots of great stats and info, but most importantly, you can register to vote. And get your friends to do so as well. And hurry, becaused the registration deadline is coming up soon in some states. You should also try to get a move on if you're doing the absentee ballot thing.
A few voter-related volunteer opportunities: The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is doing a big APA voter survey project, and they need volunteers to hand out bilingual voter surveys at polling places that will gather data about APA voters. Specifically, what issues APAs vote on, how they voted, and most importantly, what types of problems, if any, they encountered with the voting process itself (lack of language assistance, hostility from poll workers, being told of requirements that don't really exist, etc.) AALDEF needs as many people as possible. To find out more, people can contact Glenn D. Magpantay at email@example.com or Connie Sheu at AALDEF@hotmail.com or call AALDEF at 212-966-5932.
Also, check out the Election Protection Volunteers. People can volunteer to monitor polling sites in areas with a history of minority voter suppression. They train you up in election law, and send you out to a state where help is needed. Go to www.electionprotection.org to sign up.
Have a nice day.
Members of an extended family of Pakistani descent claim they were twice illegally detained at the Canadian border in July, and now want their names removed from the government's data base, along with an apology: Pakistani-American family says they were detained at border
Speaking of Mira Nair, the Monsoon Wedding director might helm the fifth Harry Potter movie. Apparently, she's been offered the job of shooting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Reported earlier this week, according to Entertainment Weekly:
Mira Nair's "Vanity Fair" is about to hit theaters on Wednesday, but the director may not be done with colorful epic adaptations of quintessentially British novels. In fact, her next project may be "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." In an interview published Monday in the Times of India, she said, "I'm getting offers to direct 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.' I read it over the weekend. I'm still deciding." The Indian-born director added, "I'm not letting all this go to my head. I'm grounded. I practice detachment. It helps me keep my balance."
If she takes the job, she'd be the series' fourth director, after Chris Columbus (who directed the first two), Alfonso Cuaron (who directed this year's "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"), and Mike Newell, who's currently shooting "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" with an eye toward a Nov. 2005 release. "Phoenix" would presumably star the same cast of kids, if they haven't gotten too old, and would hit theaters in June 2007. One person who may be able to persuade Nair to take the job is her 12-year-old boy. "My son Zoharan's excited," she said. "I've seen all the Harry Potter movies with him."
Don't forget, Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, opens in select theaters today. Also, China's Warriors of Heaven and Earth opens in New York and Los Angeles. And if I'm not mistaken, Vanity Fair, directed by Mira Nair, hit theaters this week.
South Korea sent the third largest number of soldiers to Iraq to aid Bush's "war on terror." Hell, a South Korean hostage lost his life because of it. You think the least George W. could do is acknowledge this participation, especially if you're thanking everybody else in the "Coalition of the Willing." Must have slipped his mind: Bush Fails to List Korea in 'Coalition of the Willing'. Sucka!
So what does John Kerry have to say to the Asian American community? AsianWeek gets to sit down with the Democratic candidate: Kerry Speaks Out in First-ever Interview With Asian American Press
In San Francisco, a sexual predator has been stalking women in the Sunset and Richmond districts, exposing himself to, and in many cases masturbating in front of, more than 40 girls and young women. Hidden under a hooded sweatshirt and behind mirrored sunglasses, the pervert targets mainly young Asian women: Flasher targets girls on avenues. Somebody catch this guy and hang him by the balls.
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki has been named the American League Player of the Month for August, batting .463 (56-121) with four home runs and 15 RBI. The 56 hits in a month were the most since 1938: Ichiro named American League Player of the Month. Can he reach George Sisler's 1920 record for hits in a season? Maybe, and that would be awesome. However, Ichiro has some detractors: Ichiro a good player but no MVP
Hey, remember U.S. Air Guitar Champion MiRi "Sonyk-Rok" Park? She went on to rock it and win at the 9th Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland. However, like any good international competition, her victory was not without a tinge of scandal. After the re-count of the total points it appeared that the national champion of New Zealand, Tarquin "The Tarkness" Keys scored more points in the first round. In the second round the points were even. In the end, the Jury decided the two competitors would share the title and announced both Champions, because "Sonyk-Rok" and "The Tarkness" were extremely even during the whole competition. This was the certain and clear opinion of the Jury. One cannot help recall the recent controversy at the Olympics. Read more and view video here: SCANDAL IN THE AIR GUITAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Didn't catch the premiere of Hawaii, but I haven't been hearing great things. Specifically from my man Mike, who writes:
"...this new lame-ass show "Hawaii." I'm not even going to go into all the semiotic reasons for why this show is so offensive. It's exactly what you would think. The show is about non-Asian cops in Hawaii bringing the savage black magic locals and evil drug lord Asian gangsters to justice. And then the one hapa Japanese cop character is the object of desire in a love triangle where her choices are a white cop and a black cop. And to top it all off, they threw in some comic relief with an old Japanese fisherman who is straight out of the mold of Arnold from Happy Days."
Doesn't look good...
UPDATE: AMDw has done their thing, with some coverage of Hawaii. They've created a petition urging NBC execs to give the APA characters bigger roles: Let Hawaii be Hawaii!. They've also posted a video clip from the third episode. Check it out...
Segment from NPR commentator Jan Ting, an Asian American who is representing Delaware at the Republican convention: An Asian-American Delegate's View of the RNC
Enter the Dragon, in Mostar. We love Bruce, and apparently the Bosnians do too: Bosnians to Build a Monument to Bruce Lee. Who knew?
Asian! Protesting! APAs joined the estimated 250,000 protesters at the United for Peace & Justice march in New York: Asian Americans Call for Social Justice at Republican National Convention Protest
Jet Li is on the cover of this month's Men's Health Magazine. Just so you know.
This article is nearly two years old, and it looks kind of familiar, but I can't remember if I ever posted it or not. Anyway, it was recently brought to my attention: Sister, Can You Lend Me An Ear? It's an interesting read, on one our favorite topics...
...On the other hand: White Guy/Asian Girl
So, are we Hot or Not?
Oh yeah, Hawaii premieres on NBC tonight. There are a few APA actors on the show, including Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa, Aya Sumika, and Peter Navy Tuiasosopo. Though you wouldn't know it from the commercials, would ya?
Jake Shimabukuro, the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele?
So Hero did pretty well at the box office over the weekend. Which is cool, because I'd personally like to see more Asian films make their way over to U.S. theaters intactnot just gutted and remade. Thus, I draw your attention to Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, opening in select theaters nationwide this Friday, September 3. Directed by Kang Je Gyu (Shiri), the film is South Korea's #1 all-time box office hit. It's being distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films to 30 theaters in 8 markets, with additional markets following throughout September and October. For an Asian film, this is a big dealthis marks the largest opening for a Korean-language film in the history of American cinema.
The movie's an epic story about two brothers during the Korean war. A fair comparison would be likening it Saving Private Ryan, in scale and style. I had to the opportunity to see the film a few weeks ago, and it's pretty powerful. I will admit with no shame, tears were shed. Tae Guk Gi is a gritty war film, but it does go a bit overboard with the melodrama. Nevertheless, it covers a sensitive area of Korean history that I couldn't help feel a sort of connection with. I can see why this film resonated so deeply with Korean audiences. According to ticket sales, 1/3 of South Korean adult population has reportedly seen the film!
I do recommend seeking out Tae Guk Gi in theaters and checking it out this weekend. It's a powerful, well-made film, but also a milestone for Korean films in America. If you'd like to see more of this kind of film distribution in America, vote with your ticket dollars, and make a statement... Check out Tae Guk Gi's Sony Pictures site here. Or better yet, the official Korean site here.
Recently discovered that Jessica Cutler, the infamous "Washingtonienne," is actually half-Korea. Don't know who the heck I'm talking about? Read this article: Blog Interrupted