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9.30.2005

Archived Posts - September 2005



09.30.05

The second season of AZN TV's sketch/stand-up show Asia Street Comedy premieres tonight. I've seen a few episodes, and it's a little rough around the edges... but worth a look. It's definitely got that low-budget, do-it-yourself feel, but at this point, I think an Asian American comedy show HAS to have that D-I-Y flavor. Because I certainly don't see the networks giving us our own In Living Color anytime soon...

09.30.05

Here's another piece by Brook Larmer on Yao Ming, basketball, and China: The Center of the World

09.30.05

Theater review of an off-Broadway play, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: Ms. Roboto. What's it about?


Jennifer Marcus (Julienne Hanzelka Kim), a Chinese girl adopted by an American couple, wants to find her birth mother, but an antisocial cocktail of agoraphobia and OCD keeps her from leaving the house. Luckily, sheís also a robotics genius, able to design and build, in her bedroom, the most sophisticated machine the world has ever seen: a Robo-Me.


Maybe it's the android she plays in Robot Stories.

09.30.05

Dude, check out this video clip, from Nick Cannon's improv show on MTV. Desi girl, representin' the Red Team, takes Black team down a peg: Rasikas Booty Call. See, she didn't have to go there with the curry jab. And you gotta love that pose with the other Asian guy at the end of the clip.

09.30.05

Hey. The San Diego Asian Film Festival kicked off last night. Check out the schedule, go see some films. It's a party. You'll have a good time. Dig? I will see you there.

09.29.05

ESPN.com has an interview with champion pro poker player Johnny Chan: $5,000 an hour with Johnny Chan. You may remember him from his brief appearance in the movie Rounders. Okay, I know that was a pretty dumb "DID YOU KNOW?" moment, but I'm tired.

09.29.05

Jeff Yang's latest Asian pop culture column for SFGate.com takes a look at Asian Americans doing their thing on reality television: Reality Bites. By the way, have you been keeping up with Fox's So You Think You Can Dance? Awesome lady Melody has danced her way into the final four. Can you dig that? I can. She's a charmer.

09.29.05

That's what I'm talking about: Asian Political Influence Grows in U.S. Oh, and speaking of which... Californians, meet the newly elected Assemblyman Ted Lieu: Former Torrance councilman is Assembly's newest face

09.29.05

Get this. On September 11, an off-duty New York City firefighter was arrested in Greenwich Village after allegedly assaulting a newsstand employee and calling him a terrorist. According to witnesses, the guy said, "You look like you're Al Qaeda." And you look like a racist sucka: Fireman attacks him for 'looking like Qaeda'. Yeah, way to remember fallen heroes, buddy. That's racist!

09.29.05

There's good interview with Sheridan Prasso, author of The Asian Mystique over at this blog. Here's Part One and Part Two. Pretty interesting stuff.

09.28.05

Sports Illustrated has an excerpt from a new book by Brook Larmer, Operation Yao Ming. It's "the riveting story behind NBA giant Yao Ming, the ruthless Chinese sports machine that created him, and the East-West struggle over China's most famous son." Well, that certainly sounds pleasant. The SI article focuses on Yao Ming's mother, a former basketball for China and apparently also a fanatical Red Guard in her youth. You need a subscription to read the article, but I might be able to send the article's text (thanks, KiSik) to interested readers. Shoot me an email, and I'll reply with the goods. And please try to put "operation yao" in the subject line—it would make my life a lot easier.

09.28.05

Talk about tenacious... Veteran Frank Fong lost his sight in one eye as a fighter pilot in World War II. He filed a claim for his injury with the Department of Veterans Affairs back in 1950, but was denied. Now, more than half a century later he's getting what's owed to him—a check for about $67,000 in payments the VA should have started making in 1950: Vet to get payment at last

09.28.05

Here's a blog that's dedicated to keeping up with news surrounding the urination hate crime at the University of Michigan: http://umichstopthehate.blogspot.com/. It features articles, letters and responses from the Ann Arbor community. Stop the hate!

09.28.05

Author/writer Ed Bok Lee has a new book, Real Karaoke People: Poems & Prose. It'll be available October 1st. Sounds pretty interesting, and it has a picture of a dead fish on the cover! Now that's cool.

09.28.05

Someone drew my attention to Lijie, one of those singer/songwriter types. Lijie. Just Lijie. I sampled a few music clips on the website, and kind of dug her sound. Don't know much else about her.

09.28.05

Park Chan-Wook, director of Old Boy, J.S.A. and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, will be in New York tomorrow signing stuff. Here are the details: Holy Crap! You NYC people can meet CHANWOOK PARK!!!!. Thursday, Tower Video, 6-7pm. I actually met Mr. Park last year. He signed my Old Boy DVD. For a guy who makes such crazy-ass movies, he seems pretty normal. I dare someone to ask him to autograph a hammer or something.

09.27.05

Check out this cool profile on Gus Lee, author of China Boy—"a modern classic of immigrant storytelling": Gus Lee mined his isolated boyhood for a novel about the city he loves -- now it's a book club pick. It's San Francisco's inaugural selection for One City One Book: San Francisco Reads, a citywide book club that just launched. Very cool.

09.27.05

This week, more than 350 people attended the 60th annual memorial service held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl, Hawaii to honor the fallen men of the decorated 100th Infantry Battalion, the first Japanese American unit in the U.S. Army, aka the "Purple Heart Battalion": 100th Battalion veterans praised. I'm not one to do the whole mushy patriotic Greatest Generation thing... but these guys are real American heroes.

09.27.05

Oh yeah. This dude, Daniel Yabut, is in Roll Bounce. (Hey, isn't L'il Bow Wow in that? I love that guy. [I don't.]) Though, I don't really know how big his role is. You get a brief glimpse of him in the trailer. Skate on, brother.

09.27.05

"It is with disappointment that we have come to the decision to oppose Judge John Roberts for Chief Justice," says Karen Narasaki of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium: NAPALC Opposes John Robertsí Confirmation
as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
. It appears they were disatisfied with the answers he gave during his confirmation hearing. Ha. What answers?

09.27.05

Still no satisfactory answers on the police shooting deaths of Richard Kim and Kwang Tae Lee in Dublin, CA: Diverse Crowd Remembers Korean Men Shot and Killed by Police. They want justice. Explanations, answers, anything. Some peace.

09.27.05

Oh what the hell is this? Check out this Bud Light commercial ("Self Defense"). Just another Asian karate dude—complete with accent and Oriental music (GONG!)—getting his ass kicked. Nuts, actually. By an old lady, to add insult to injury. All in the name of selling crappy beer. That's racist!

09.27.05

This week, 229 Vietnamese refugees arrived in the United States from the Philippines: Vietnamese Boat People Arrive in Los Angeles. They're the first of some 1,600 Vietnamese refugees expected to make their way to America under an agreement allowing asylum-seekers scattered in the Philippines since 1989 to resettle here. New life, new beginnings... welcome. But be a good little immigrant. Not a bad one. They don't like the bad ones.

09.27.05

Welcome to LA's K-Town, where the Latinos speak Korean, and the Koreans speak Spanish: English bypassed in L.A. How about that? Take that, English!

09.27.05

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson acknowledges in his new autobiography that Wen Ho Lee Was 'Mistreated'. If you remember, scientist Wen Ho Lee was accused in 1999 of espionage, and held in solitary confinement for nine months... but they never had anything on him. He wasn't a spy. He was, however, a Chinese guy handling sensitive information, and that was enough to cast suspicion in the eyes of the government. That's racist! Richardson may acknowledge that Lee was "treated badly," but here the Governor says he still "stands by everything he said and did" in the case. By the way, this guy is considering a run for the presidency in 2008...

09.26.05

Aw man. Chai Soua Vang is being looked at for another unsolved murder from four years ago: Detective wants to ask Vang about Clark County shooting. Oh, there we go. We have opened the floodgates. It must be the dirty murderous Asians.

09.26.05

Well, chances that Fast and the Furious 3—directed by Justin Lin—might be not be that bad... just got that much slimmer: Bow Wow joins Fast and the Furious 3. Yes, the artist formerly known as L'il Bow Wow will play the main character, Shaun. Yeah, I have a solid feeling this movie is going to suck.

09.26.05

Hyphen is having release party for Issue #7—"The Body Issue." Whoa, check out the naked dude in the tub on the cover. The party's this Friday at The Social Club in San Francisco. Follow the Evite here.

09.26.05

Check it out: RELIEF: A Benefit for APIA Survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Happening this week in three cities—New York (Thursday), San Francisco (Friday) and Los Angeles (TBA). All proceeds will go to organizations that provide direct service to Asian-American communities in need, such as Operation Biloxi Relief, Viet Bay Area Aid to Viet Victims of Hurricane Katrina, and ThereAreNoWords. Looks like New York's got a solid event, while the West Coast is still coming together. All the information you need is here.

09.26.05

An interview with Katie Leung, who plays Cho Chang in the new Harry Potter movie, here at a Scottish website. She dispels the rumor that she's been getting hate mail from jealous Harry Potter fans. I do know for sure that there are anti-Katie websites out there. That's sad. Losers.

09.26.05

More on the hate crime at the University of Michigan: Asians harassed at U-M, says letter seeking officials' aid. It happens, and it happens a lot more than you think. That's racist! However, according to the Michigan Daily, the alleged urinator insists it didn't happen the way people are reporting it: Suspects dispute hate crime

09.24.05

I don't fully understand what's happening here, but involves schools and kids being shuffled around... There's this one school in New York, PS 137, with declining enrollment. Its students are mostly Hispanic or Black. The department of education plans to move PS 137 students and faculty a few blocks away into the building that houses PS 134, a school with a similar population and declining enrollment. But there's another, top-performing school housed at PS 134, called the Shuang Wen school. Most of its students are Asian. The plan would put the Shuang Wen school into the 137 building, so it can continue to grow. The other two schools would share a building, after extensive renovations. Of course, parents of PS 137 students aren't happy: Plan for Some Neighborhood Schools Called Racist

Here's what bothers me about this article: we don't get to hear any opinions from parents or administrators of the Shuang Wen school. It just further perpetuates this idea of Asians as these quiet, model minority brainiacs making trouble for other people of color. Once again, pushing the Blacks and Latinos out so we can take over. The media loves that. That's racist!

09.24.05

Here's an editorial by Tou Hang, on racial tensions in the community surrounding the Chai Soua Vang trial: Don't judge Hmong by one man

09.24.05

Check out this short film, Miracle Mile by Dong Hyeuk Hwang. It's available for viewing online from Cinequest (you have to register first). I've seen it at a couple of festivals, and it's a solid short.

09.24.05

Behold, ridiculously low-budget Asian American theater at the University of Iowa: Dreaming Death Valley in a lobby

09.24.05

Here's the response Heineken's been sending out to people who sent protest letters regarding that commercial with the two Asian dudes and the Black guy:


Dear Consumer:

Thank you for your recent email. I appreciate you sending us your candid
views on this commercial. Let me begin by assuring you that it is not our
intention to offend anyone through the airing of this or any other
commercial. The commercial was intended to demonstrate Heineken's
appreciation for the global transcendence of urban culture. Moreover, we
hoped to honor the influence this culture has had on so many people and,
more importantly, to celebrate the bridging of gaps between seemingly
divergent cultures. Heineken takes its commitment to respecting the
diversity of our consumers very seriously.

Promptly after receiving negative reaction to this spot from you and from
other consumers, we instructed our media agency to remove the commercial
from rotation (effective August 28). Further and in accordance with our
internal procedures, we sent your complaint and the commercial to our
independent advertising complaint review board for their recommendation as
to whether or not the commercial complied with the Beer Institute
Advertising and Marketing Code and the Heineken Rules and Guidelines on
Commercial Communication. The Board decided that this commercial did not
violate those guidelines.

Despite their recommendation, we have decided that this spot will not go
back into rotation because of the perceived inappropriateness and
insensitivity of the commercial expressed by consumers like yourself. I
hope our prompt action to stop airing the commercial is evidence of our
good faith in that regard.

Again, we truly appreciate you contacting us with your concerns and we hope
that you will continue to to support and enjoy Heineken in the future.

Thank you.

Kind Regards,

Mercedes T. Bangari

Corporate Affairs

Heineken USA


"The commercial was intended to demonstrate Heineken's appreciation for the global transcendence of urban culture." Clever, clever. And Heineken is soooo urban.

09.24.05

This is kind of interesting... Fellow Californians, something you should know about: APACalifornia.org/. "APAs for an Informed California is a coalition of APA organizations working to educate APAs about the manipulative 2005 special election and its anti-education, anti-worker, anti-health care, and anti-public safety ballot measures." Looks like the site hasn't launched yet, but it looks like it'll be a good place to get informed. 'Cause you know I ain't no fan of the Governator.

09.24.05

Vietnamese shrimp fishermen in Port Arthur are among those who are probably going to be affected by Hurricane Rita: Rita Weakens, Takes Aim at Oil Industry

09.24.05

The new TV drama, Inconceivable, starring Ming Na, premiered last night on NBC. It's about life and adventures at a fertility clinic. Sounds pretty mundane, next to all the new crime procedurals and supernatural shows—no aliens, no crime labs. Maybe that's why NBC stuck it on Friday nights. But hey, Ming Na is a headliner. Hopefully, they'll give her more to do than they did on ER.

09.24.05

Next week, check out Visual Communications' 35th anniversary celebration, Past/Forward 2005. Thursday, September 29th at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. It's gonna be huge. Take a trip through VC's illustrious history, with exclusive highlights of over three decades of Asian Pacific American cinema introduced a whole mess of celebrity presenters, along with nearly forty works by award-winning artists. Good times! I will be there.

Oh yeah, VC has announced its Call-For-Entries for VC Filmfest 2006. The festival will run May 4-11, 2006.

09.23.05

This is very cool. News I've been waiting on for a long time... Mike Kang's film, The Motel has been picked up for distribution by Palm Pictures. I can dig this. Read more about it at Mike's Xanga: Mike2Cents. Meanwhile, The Motel continues its mighty festival run in October. Congratulations, Mike!

09.23.05

Did ya see the season premiere of Lost? No sign of Jin, last seen jumping overboard on the raft to save Sawyer. However, here's an excellent, in-depth interview with Daniel Dae Kim. He actually mentions this site, and has some good words to say. How cool is that?

Meanwhile, Canada chimes in with another article on DDK: Lost actor proud of show for putting Asian characters front and centre

Also, here's a lengthy general article on Lost: 'Lost' in the face of death. Talk of killing some more characters off makes me nervous for Jin.

09.23.05

Some recent interesting arguments against Michelle Malkin, from UNC law professor Eric Muller: Michelle Malkin's Ever-Shrinking Defense of Racial Internment. Michelle Malkin is a fool. A fool!

EDIT: Apparently, Muller has previously said that more people have learned about the internment from Michelle Malkin than any other source, first-hand story, historian or whatever, combined. That is a seriously scary thought.

09.23.05

Someone recently asked me if I knew where they could buy Asian American artwork, photos, posters—you know, activism stuff. I had no idea. Wouldn't that be cool though? Anyone have any idea where one might acquire such items?

09.22.05

Still more on Hurricane Katrina (and now we have Rita to worry about)... It's estimated that there are still over 4,000 Vietnamese in the Biloxi area affected by the hurricane. This blog is keeping up with some of the relief efforts: Operation Biloxi Relief

And see here too: Vietnamese translators help process FEMA papers on Gulf Coast

A message from Helen Zia and Renee Tajima-Pena, forwarded along to me:


Hello,

Many of you know of the Burtanog sisters of St. Bernard Parish, Lousiana, who have helped to keep alive the history of Filipino Americans in New Orleans through their stories, family archive, and warm welcome to researchers, journalists, and filmmakers. The Burtanogs have helped to bring forth the stories of the "Manila Men" who lived in the Louisiana bayou since the 1700s--the last remnants of their early villages were destroyed by Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

This is our chance to give back. The extended famliy lives in St. Bernard Parish, which is to the south and east of New Orleans, interlaced with
waterways and directly in the path of Hurricane Katrina. All evacuated safely - in some cases through perilous rescues - but they have lost everything. Lillian Mae Burtanog Faxon, Joyce Burtanog Pascual and their families are now living in a camp at a state park in Lousiana (Benita was able to evacuate to her family in Houston; unfortunately eldest sister Audrey passed a few years back). "We've lost all things material, but thank God we're all alive, and together," says Rhonda Fox, Lillian Mae's daughter, who has taken on the mantle of family historian.

We hope you will join us in showing our gratitude and support for the extended Burtanog family by sending whatever you can, even if it's just a few dollars. You can send it to Lillian Mae or Rhonda at the address below:

Lillian Mae Faxon, Cabin 4

Rhonda Fox, Dorm 302

Jimmie Davis State Park

1209 State Park Road

Chatham, LA 70226

Thank you,

Renee Tajima-Pena and Helen Zia


On PRI's The World, Nguyen Qui Duc follows the fate of Vietnamese immigrants who still hang in evacuation limbo after the devastation of Katrina: Post-Katrina Report

And finally, someone out there is telling the real truth about Hurricane Katrina. According to meteorologist Scott Stevens of Idaho, Japan's Yakuza mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina in a bid to avenge itself for the Hiroshima atom bomb attack — and that this technology will soon be wielded again to hit another U.S. city: Weatherman: Mobsters caused Katrina. Freak.

09.22.05

Here's an update on that racist ass who urinated on an Asian couple from his balcony: Students may face charges for racially motivated felony. Yes, it was racially motivated urination. Turns out, he had a fellow racist accomplice. This is disgusting, but is it really surprising? We, as Asian Americans, are well aware that this happens. It may not go as far as pissing on someone, but certainly we know how it feels to be racially taunted. Somehow, these guys got it in their heads that they could get away with this (plus, they were probably drunk off their ass) because the couple was Asian. It was an easy conclusion for them, and that's effed up. This has got to stop. That's racist!

UPDATE: Believe it or not, here's a LiveJournal entry by the urinator's friend.

09.22.05

So Chai Soua Vang is guilty. I think most people saw that coming. But what does that do? It doesn't bring the six dead people back, and it certainly doesn't ease the community's pain: Racial tensions continue after Vang verdict. Racial strife in that community will continue grow, until the next incident... hell, another tragedy could easily happen the other way around. What happens now?

09.22.05

Golf phenom Michelle Wie will turn pro sometime between now and October 11 — her 16th birthday — perhaps as early as next week. In doing so, she'll become the world's highest-paid female golfer: Wie to turn professional before 16th birthday. Michelle Wie, the new young Asian face of Nike?

EDIT: I'm certainly aware that the face of Nike Golf has already been represented to some extent by Asian America in Tiger Woods. But still, dude, a sixteen-year-old Korean American girl = golf? Who'd a thunk it?

09.22.05

Who is Chang? "Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society. I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down." Yes, meet Florida Governor Jeb Bush's mystical companion. Chang. What a freak: Gov. Bush & his mystical buddy. I can see it now. Chang will become a new symbol for victory and righteousness. Bumper stickers, t-shirts... UNLEASH CHANG.

UPDATE: It's actually "Chiang." As it Chiang Kai-Shek: The Secret History of Unleash Chiang

09.22.05

I'm kind of looking forward to Serenity, the new movie from Joss Whedon. Firefly was a great show that never got a fair shot. That said, I'm bummed they never had any Asians in the cast. Instead, they had someone who kind of "looked" Asian. The series takes place in the future, when China has presumably become a world superpower, and thus a major influence on the culture at large. The characters sometimes utter a few lines in Mandarin (like a curse word) just to show how Chineeeese the world had become. But of course, there were no Asian characters. Creator Joss Whedon unsatisfactorily gives an explanations on the show's lack of Asians in an interview here.

09.22.05

New York Times book review of Fan-Tan, this weird-ass Oriental fever dream story Marlon Brando wrote more than twenty-five years ago: 'Fan-Tan': Last Tango. Looks like Brando never got over Oriental fever after Sayonara and Teahouse of the August Moon.

09.19.05

John Cho is in the cast of Fox's Kitchen Confidential, which premieres tonight and got a decent review here. But wait! He's actually NOT in the cast, having been written out of the show after the first episode. It says so here. So close. False hopes for one more Asian guy on prime time...

09.19.05

So get this. Some racist asshead in Ann Arbor is standing on his second-floor balcony when an Asian couple walks by. And because he thinks he is ruler of his little racist balconyland and the surrounding street, he starts yelling at them, telling them they should get "green cards" and learn to speak English. Of course. Pretty standard, by-the-book racism. Sadly, to be expected. But then, the guy urinated on the woman. Is there anything more inhumane and disrespectful? Goes to show, vividly, that there are still people out there that look at us as less than human—objects to be pissed on. Literally: Man Charged After Urinating On Woman. He faces charges of assault, ethnic intimidation and indecent exposure, which would require him to register with the state of Michigan as a sex offender. It's a freakin' hate crime. That's racist!

09.19.05

Hey, Lost won the Emmy for Best Drama. Okay, you all know I watch the show fantatically, and I mention it here all the time. But I think this win is pretty significant, given that it has one of the most diverse casts on television. I eagerly await the season premiere this week.

09.19.05

Check out this article on the latest trends in naming New York's babies, which reveals a little something about the changing ethnic makeup of the city: In New York Cribs, Jeff and Lisa Give Way to Ahmed and Chaya. Pretty interesting observation on Asian American babies...


And Asian-American names have their own quirk: They lag mainstream America, with last year's top 10 list of Asian-American baby names filled with names that hit their overall peaks a generation ago: Jason, Brian, Eric, Michelle, Tiffany, Nicole, Amy and Kelly. This results from a tendency of Asian-American parents to take a cue from the names of adult peers, Professor Lieberson said.


This is true, though certainly not a new trend. I think I have Asian friends with all these names, and most of their parents immigrated to the United States around the same time, in the mid-to-late seventies.

09.19.05

Hey New Yorkers, something for you to do this week: In Tune: Asian Americans in Music. Yeah, that's right. Asian Americans in freakin' music! With The Ides, Maggie Kim, Vudoo Soul, Jinny Kim, Flowsik, No Luck Club, and Sumeet. Like that? Hosted by Hot 97's Miss Info. Thursday, September 22nd at the Knitting Factory. Proceeds will go to Hurrican Katrina relief. I think people should check this out.

09.19.05

An article on the storytelling challenges for a kooky TV series like Lost, which reveals a little bit on how the storyline between Jin and Sun (and Michael) has evolved: The Laws of the Jungle. Specifically, this passage:


The writers had planned, for example, to ratchet up the animosity between two characters, Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) and Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim), while developing a romance between Michael and Jin's wife, Sun (Yunjin Kim). But they became invested in the married couple's relationship as they developed their back story in Korea. Meanwhile, as Mr. Perrineau and Mr. Kim became good friends on the Hawaiian set of "Lost," the creative team sought to exploit the chemistry between them, even though their characters did not speak the same language. "When we see stuff we like, we write to it," Mr. Cuse said. "We're viewers with control."


Pretty interesting. I'm sure as hell glad they didn't go with the direction they were planning... at least, so far.

09.19.05

After two hours of lively discussion, the Davis Board of Education picked a name for the school district's newest campus: the Fred Korematsu Elementary School at Mace Ranch: Korematsu is name for new school. How cool is that? Years from now, kids will get to say they went to Korematsu Elementary—and if they're lucky, they'll know why and how their school got that name.

09.19.05

During World War II, some people came up with the BS excuse that the internment of Japanese Americans was for their "protection" against retribution. The internees' common response to that rationale... something to the effect of, "If we were put there for our protection, why were the guns at the guard towers pointed inward, instead of outward?" Very true. Now, Guard Tower No. 8 has been re-created at Manzanar—a reminder of the true camp experience: Manzanar Icon Now More Than a Memory

09.18.05

Looks like Kal Penn will be returning to his breakthrough role, starring in the sequel to Van Wilder: Penn to Headline Van Wilder Deux. The guy's career is on fire. I believe the movie's full title is Van Wilder Deux: The Rise of Taj. You know, I never saw the first Van Wilder, so I think I might be totally lost.

09.18.05

Got this email forwarded to me... It's a guy asking for money, as usual. But for a change, it's not some scammer pretending to be the son of a deposed African ruler. He's a filmmaker working on an Asian American youth documentary, trying to scrounge up some cash. I reprint it for you here, because it actually sounds like a cool project:


From: Gerry Kim [ravenswood1979@gmail.com]

Reply-To: ravenswood1979@gmail.com

Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 01:18:06 -0400

To: ravenswood1979@gmail.com

Subject: NEED YOUR HELP IN A DOCUMENTARY PROJECT

Hello all,

So as some of you may already know, I'm starting a documentary project
here in NYC, where I'll be following three inner city Asian American
youth through the course of an academic year. I've already teamed up
with two different Asian youth organizations Coalition for Asian
American Children and Families (CACF) and the Asian Professional
Extension (APEX). Both of these groups have assisted me in recruiting
teens for the film (two are set, and a third should be secured in by
the end of next week). Also, my current boss, who has produced
programs for PBS, National Geographic, and CNN, stated that she will
serve as Executive Producer/Consultant through the course of the film.

Now this is the part of the email where I get down on my knees and
plead..I am in need for some startup funds for this project...I'm
already planning to invest fair share of time and $$$ into this thing,
but I still need some help getting some mula together for some of the
equipment.

Part of the project will require me to purchase camcorders for all the
students involved, which will run about $250 a piece, totaling
$750...All other equipment and costs (such as mics, tape stock, new
procamera, transportation, meals) will be covered by me, out of my own
pocket...

If you can find some spare change to help this project out (i don't
care if it's even a $1), I will be forever indebted to you, and you
would assuredly not only get a thank you credit in the film, but also
receive a tall, frosty beverage of your choice next time I see you.

If you or anyone else you know might be interested in helping out,
check out www.medflyproductions.com, and click on support...Please
forgive the basic structure of the website, for I am still learning
the mysterious language of nerd (otherwise known as
Dreamweaver/HTML/Flash). You can also read more about the project by
clicking on "projects."

Thanks in advance, and please feel free to email me or phone me if you
need any other information, or if you just want to chat and catch up
on stuff.

Cheers,

Gerry


Check out www.medflyproductions.com for more information.

09.18.05

Remember when the big thing was all these Asian stars making the transition to Hollywood? Jackie Chan, John Woo, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat... There was a period when it looked like they were all poised to be the next hot thing. Well, guess what? They weren't. Their films mostly sucked, and they know it. Hollywood has treated them badly, like it treats most dudes with yellow faces. So they're heading home: Hong Kong actors, directors return home after pilgrimage to Hollywood

09.17.05

From the pages of UNC's Daily Tar Heel... You've got to be me kidding me, you ignorant, tasteless, racist child: Itís sad, but racial profiling is necessary for our safety. Somebody's been reading Michelle Malkin's book. Sadly, there's probably a job waiting for you at the Department of Homeland Security after graduation.

EDIT: Apparently, this snazzy piece of journalism sparked quite a controversy last week, with lots of irate folks writing in to slam her opinions. Ultimately, it resulted in the firing of the columnist, Jill Bandes, not because she's an idiot or a racist (she is), but because of faulty quoting. Do a search in the paper's archives for "Bandes" and all the relevant reactions will pop up.

09.17.05

Crap. Apologies. I overlooked the 2005 Boston Asian American Film Festival, going on this weekend. It started on the 15th, and runs through tomorrow, the 18th, at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Hey Boston, show some love to Asian American film.

09.17.05

Check it out... You can get Greg Pak's Robot Stories : And More Screenplays, published in paperback from Immedium. With a foreward by David Henry Hwang. And it'll be shipping soon from Amazon.com. Nifty.

09.17.05

We hear a lot about Japanese American veterans of World War II, and that's cool. But seldom do we hear the stories of the first Chinese American units that served during the war. The historic 14th Air Service Group and the 987th Signal Company were men of Chinese ancestry who enlisted in the U.S. Army and were sent to China in 1944 to help fight invading Japanese forces: Historic WWII units will reunite

09.17.05

A jury has convicted Chai Soua Vang of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of six deer hunters, rejecting his claims that he fired in self-defense after being shot at and taunted by racial slurs: Hmong Man Found Guilty in Hunter Deaths

09.17.05

The shirt was straight-up racist. It wasn't even one of those A&F laugh-it-off excuse shirts. This one had a confederate flag on the front with the words "Keep it flying." On the back, a cartoon depicted a group of hooded Klansmen standing outside a church, waving to two others who had just pulled away in a car reading "Just married," ...and two black men in nooses were being dragged behind. No wonder the wearer got his ass kicked: Fleming senior wears racist T-shirt to school. He bought it at a flea market for ten bucks. Even worse, the kid had enlisted in the Marines. Yeah, this is the kind of guy you want representing the U.S. in combat. And of course, the kid is adamant that he's not racist. Dude, you are.

09.17.05

Yahoo's got the trailer for Memoirs of a Geisha, which actually doesn't look much different from the international trailer I mentioned here a few weeks back. Rewatching it, I'll say I'm impressed by its obvious epic scale, and I'm a huge fan of many of the people involved... but still, I just can't get behind this—the whole thing just bugs the hell out of me.

My disdain aside, here's something noteworthy: Geisha Trouble. Apparently, the movie has been confusing American text audiences with its Japanese culture. White people aren't diggin' the chopsticks and kimonos, I guess. So Anthony Minghella, director of The English Patient and Cold Mountain, has been brought in to write a voice-over that'll probably dumb it down for Average Joe Dummy Moviegoer. Interesting, but not all that surprising. But then again, isn't this how America likes its Asians—foreign and exotic?

09.16.05

There's a photo here from New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It's just a guy, Luan Nguyen, pumping water. But it struck me that this was one of the first images of an Asian guy I've seen in mainstream press regarding the disaster. See? There are indeed Asian people down there, and they were affected. We have photographic proof.

09.16.05

More on the trial of Chai Soua Vang, focusing on his testimony: Vang: 3 hunters deserved to die. If you ask me, it looks pretty damning.

09.16.05

Hey look! Melissa O'Neil is the newest Canadian Idol. I think I would like to see all the Idols from around the world compete against one another. But not in a singing competition. Battle Royale, in the ring. An all-out brawl. That would be awesome. Though, I have the feeling America would lose, big time.

09.15.05

NAVASA has created an online forum in order to accomodate everyone interested in posting topics related to Hurricane Katrian relief efforts. It's a great way to keep current with what's going on, find out ways to help, or find out ways to be helped. Sounds good.

09.15.05

New York Times profiles Himanshu Bhatia, Chief Executive of Rose International, an information technology servies company in Seattle: A Flair for the Unconventional

09.15.05

Aw, come on. Let the kid play: Young Pianist's Gift Grates on Ungrateful Ears

09.15.05

Big fat trailer here for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Catch a good glimpse of Katie Leung as Cho Chang. Also note Afshan Azad and Shefali Chowdhury as Padma and Parvati Patil. Man, these kids are growing up.

09.15.05

Hey Seattle, fun stuff for you... Sketch comedy group Pork Filled Players (PFP) have some fresh media-spanking material to share with you, all packaged up in their new show, K-SPAM: Yellow Journalism and Other Jaundiced Programs. In it, you will see "the debut of Seattle's first South Asian superhero, singing Zen Buddhist monks, the trials and travails of Asian American news anchors and
the Bush Administration's final solution for NPR funding." Plus, you'll get to see the Seattle stage debut of my pal Maggie Lee! Hell yes. The show runs September 16 through October 8, at the Northwest Actors' Studio Cabaret Space. See here for all the details.

09.15.05

An update on the Chai Soua Vang trial in Wisconsin: The Hunter Slayings: Self-Defense Against Racism?. Call me skeptical, but is this all-white jury really going to believe that he shot those eight people because he was afraid of a racially-motivated attack? As I keep saying, this is going to turn out bad, no matter what happens. The Hmong community will feel the repercussions of this trial.

09.15.05

Ted Lieu wins! This is pretty big: Democrat Elected To 53rd Assembly District

09.14.05

A new website, The Refugee Relief, has been put together with aims to help the Asian community affected by Hurricane Katrina. Looks like it just got started, but it's a good example of people doing what they can to help out. Check it out.

09.14.05

This is pretty gruesome: The beauty products from the skin of executed Chinese prisoners. Yeah. Gross.

09.14.05

Four years after the September 11th attacks, Chinatown is slowly starting to revive its local economy... and it hasn't been easy: Chinatown Slowly Recovering From Impact Of 9/11

09.14.05

Chink this, Jap that, and now, the latest—Chinaman's Arch. The Utah Organization of Chinese Americans has submitted an application to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names seeking to change the name of Chinaman's Arch, a limestone formation at Golden Spike National Historic Site: Asian Americans railing against Chinaman's Arch. It was apparently once named in honor of the area's Chinese railroad workers. But come on now, that name's no good anymore. It's time for change. Let's hope the locals aren't too attached to Chinaman's Arch, or they could be looking at a drawn-out fight, like Chink Peak or Jap Road. Ridiculous.

09.14.05

The votes are in. Madison Nguyen wins in San Jose: Madison Nguyen cruises to victory in District 7 election

09.14.05

It was one of the most gruesome crimes in Boston's history: five men shot execution-style in a Chinatown social club as they begged for their lives. Nearly 15 years after the massacre, two men are scheduled to go on trial next week. A third suspect has never been apprehended: Men Finally Going On Trial For Chinatown Slayings

09.14.05

California is getting closer to passing AB22, the country's most comprehensive legislation on Human Trafficking. As you may know, this is a serious problem that affects the Asian community in this country. It passed the Senate Floor on September 9 and is now on Governor's desk. It could use your help. Consider writing Arnold with some encouraging words in support of the bill:

Office of the Governor

ATTN: Legislative Unit

State Capitol Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

And call: (916) 445-2841

Make sure you mail an original copy on official letterhead if you can, as they won't accept copies or faxed letters as proof of support.

AB22's highlights include criminalizing trafficking as a felony, creating a Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking, providing restitution to victims of trafficking, and establishing a victim-caseworker privilege to increase trust.

Looks like they could use this bill... in North Dakota: Two charged with smuggling Chinese restaurant workers into Upper Midwest

09.14.05

Film festivals! Everywhere. This weekend's the 2nd Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival, September 16-18. I thought last year's schedule of films was all-around more impressive, but this year does have one real gem: Grace Lee's The Grace Lee Project. Solid doc about Grace Lee. The many many many faces of Grace Lee. It screens on Saturday night at the Egyptian Theatre. Check it out if you can... New York, you'll get your chance in December.

This weekend's also the Independent South Asian Film Festival in Seattle, September 14-18.

And next week's the 43rd New York Film Festival, September 23 to October 9. Looks like they've got a nice selection of films from Asia, but what I'm really dying to see is Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy For Lady Vengeance—the third and final installment of the director's "Revenge Trilogy." You New Yorkers are frickin' luckyyyyy!

And may I remind you again, later this month, the 6th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. A solid schedule of films, now stretched over eight days. I am going to try to make it.

And heads up—next month, it's the 2005 DC APA Film Festival, October 6-16. DC represents! Lots of good stuff, including the Opening Night Presentation of my man Mike Kang's The Motel. (It's also playing at San Diego. So's The Grace Lee Project.) I like it.

09.13.05

This weekend in NYC, the first ever human rights for all in Pakistan rally, put on by the Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Women (ANAA) and Amnesty International. Saturday, September 17th, from 12pm to 3pm, on the corner of Madison Ave. and 45th Street in New York. Be there to stand in solidarity with women from Pakistan who are struggling for survival. Learn more here.

09.13.05

Support the arts! The Asian American Writers' Workshop presents their first-ever online fundraiser: Person Place Thing: An Eclectic Cyber Benefit Auction. It runs September 15 through October 14, and will benefit a youth performance workshop. Bid for some cool stuff, and support a good cause.

09.13.05

Katie Leung (Cho Chang in upcoming Harry Potter film) is in the October 2005 issue of Teen Vogue magazine. There's a photo of her pages here. I hope this girl's a halfway decent actress—she's about to become the most famous Asian face to kids everywhere. Though apparently, she's been getting racially motivated hate mail (I can relate) from jealous female admirers of Daniel Radcliffe (I cannot relate). Crazy freaks. That's racist!

09.13.05

Only NOW the mainstream press starts picking up on alternative perspectives from Hurricane Katrina: Katrina through a different lens. Hey, what do you know? This thing is about more than just black and white. Props to ethnic media.

09.13.05

Have you taken 80-20's poll yet? The 80-20 Initiative wants to know if you want work to be done towards getting an Asian American appointed to the Supreme Court. Basically, they want to know if you think it's worth their trouble. Take the poll here. They need 3000 respondents—that's 3000 people who are willing to FIGHT. At the time of this writing, there are 2950. Getting close...

09.13.05

Apparently there's some new upcoming show on TLC called That Ying Yang Thing, premiering in October. What's it about? "East meets West when a Zen master and a Western businessman square off to assist groups, families or organizations that have reached a point of no return. Whether it's newlyweds who can't see eye-to-eye or a rock band on the verge of breaking up, TLC's Eastern and Western masters have unique remedies for the problems that ail us all." Ah yes. The healing, mystical powers of the East joins forces with the rational confidence of the West. Hilarity ensues.

09.13.05

In this SI.com article, John Donovan opens up the mailbag, and some dude poses an interesting (and borderline racist) question:


For all the talk about the Curse of the Bambino over there and the Kentucky Fried Curse smashed by the Hanshin Tigers over here in Japan, no one seems to have spotted the latest mystical force -- the Curse of the Rising Sun. For the past three years, the losing team in the World Series has been the one with the Japanese player on the postseason roster. Does this mean the White Sox and Cards can stop hoping now? -- Ben Kiggell, Tokyo

All right, Ben, I'll play along. So Taguchi for the Cardinals last year. Hideki Matsui of the Yankees the year before that. And the Giants' Tsuyoshi Shinjo in 2002, right? And, of course, Taguchi and Tadahito Iguchi of the White Sox this year. But let's not forget other playoff possibles whose teams may be doomed by the curse: Kazuo Matsui, Kazuhisa Ishii and Shingo Takatsu (Mets); big Matsui of the Yankees; and Akinori Otsuka and Dave Roberts (born in Okinawa) of the Padres. That's just off the top of my head, too. As far as you know.


I fear the possible repercussions of this theory, in the hands of an idiot racist fool...

09.13.05

White woman plays banjo and sings in Chinese: Abigail Washburn: Chinese Lyrics, American Roots. What a crazy world we live in.

09.13.05

So they're making a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. Sequels, actually—Parts II and III. I heard they were in LA last month specifically casting Asian men as extras. Now I hear they were in Orlando today, with a call for "Asian men ages 20-40yrs needed to portray pirates and Asian seamen." I guess they need hordes of Asian guys to play members of Chow Yun-Fat's crew. Among the perks: a trip to the Bahamas, paid for. If any of you guys out there got the gig, keep your eyes open, and let me know how it goes.

09.13.05

This is for the ladies. East West Woman, "a lifestyle magazine for women interested in both East and West," is offering a special discounted subscription rate for you Angry Asian readers. One year for just $7 (regular price is $17.50). That's a steal. Want to know more about East West Woman? Here's the official word:


East West Woman magazine is the only publication where you'll find a mix of
east and west for every aspect of your daily life. With the latest in
beauty, fashion, celebrity life and politics, East West has a unique view of
our global society. Where else will you find stories on Women's Sumo in
Japan, the epidemic of Hepatitis b, Domestic Violence, Breast Cancer News,
Fusion Fashion and Spicy in Kitchen all in one place?


You want this? Visit www.ewwoman.com and subscribe. Again, that's one year for seven bucks. To get the special offer, just use the code "EW2005" at checkout. Sounds good to me.

09.13.05

Hurricane Katrina is not just a black/white thing, and these stories continue to prove it: Bayou's Asian-Americans try to recover: 'We'll get by'

09.13.05

There's a good, lengthy interview with Daniel Dae Kim over at AsianSource.

09.12.05

This is awesome. The ethnically divided Bosnian city of Mostar has agreed to erect a new symbol of unity — a statue of Bruce Lee, worshipped by Muslims, Serbs and Croats: New Bosnia icon: Bruce Lee. Did you hear me? This is awesome. Imagine, this city of fighting and discord wanted a unifying symbol of justice, mastery and honesty... and they chose Bruce Lee, of all people. Someday, I want to travel and see this statue.

09.12.05

Andrew Lau will direct Richard Gere and Claire Danes in the thriller The Flock: Claire Danes Joins "The Flock". If I'm not mistaken this is the same Andrew Lau who directed Infernal Affairs and Initial D. This will be his first English-language film.

09.12.05

Two Asian kids on a champion college football team? Twin brothers Brandon and Ryan Ting are defensive backs for the USC Trojans: Some Tings to Talk About. That's an awful headline. But good for these guys. Fight on.

09.12.05

Ang Lee's latest film has won the Venice Film Festival's top award: 'Brokeback Mountain' Wins Top Venice Award

09.12.05

Chops (you know him from the Mountain Brothers) has a new mixtape out: It's Going Down 2, a production with Bun B and DJ LT Dan. More info here.

Speaking of mixtapes, also check out Chan's latest, The Killa Tape. It'll be available on September 23. Pre-order yours now and get free shipping. Come on now, that's a deal.

09.12.05

Hey hey, my Bay Area people. It's time again for APAture, the annual arts showcase of emerging Bay Area Asian Pacific American talent. It features over 100 artists with a gallery opening, an evening of films, a night of integrated performances and a 12-hour finale of visual, performing, musical and literary arts. Doesn't that sound neat? September 13-24 at SomArts Cultural Center in San Francisco. All the details you need are here.

09.12.05

I hear there's another subway pervert on the loose in New York, though it hasn't really been reported by mainstream press. This time, the suspect is apparently a Black male, six feet, approximately 190 pounds to 200 pounds, targeting Chinese women at the Grand Street B,D subway station in Manhattan's Chinatown—all this according to the September 7th edition of the Sing Tao Daily. I don't read Chinese, so if that's NOT what the article actually says, somebody please let me know. And to the Chinese sisters in New York, be safe, keep an eye out, and get those camera phones ready.

09.11.05

Tennis sensation Sania Mirza, 18, is the first Indian woman to break into the top 50 WTA rankings. Rock on. But she's also created a minor stir, after a Muslim group in her hometown issued an edict describing her short skirts and sleeveless shirts as un-Islamic: Finding Support

09.11.05

Another violent Asian street gang in New York has been taken down! Gotcha, suckas: 39 arrested in Asian street gang bust. I find it funny that the article makes it a point to mention three times that the gang's activities included the distribution of pirated DVDs and CDs. That's gangsta.

09.11.05

News from the South Asian community... it's September 11, and we're still suffering and recovering from disasters:

Diverse South Asian Community Grapples With Post 9/11 Issues

Hurricane Katrina wrecks New Orleans Bangladeshi community

09.11.05

Viet Dinh for Supreme Court Justice? Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal seems to like the idea. An interesting thought. But who actually believes that this is really going to happen?

09.10.05

According to this survey report from the Pew Research Center, there's a huge racial divide over Hurricane Katrina and its consequences: Two-In-Three Critical Of Bush's Relief Efforts. Of course, is this really a surprise?

09.10.05

An update on the Chai Soua Vang trial: Jury chosen for Vang trial. Yeah, the jury is set, and all fourteen are white. This is the beginning of something bad. More here: Jury Set in Murder Trial of Hunter. Man, this has everything to do with race, and it's going to be ugly. You have this whole segment of the community who wants his head, while the Hmong community is scared. And can you blame them? Because in a lot of people's minds they're on trial too: Communities Bracing For Vang Trial

09.10.05

Another one of these stupid Asian-esque images on Yahoo! mail:



What is the point? There are many many viruses looming amongst the dirty Asians. And Yahoo can zap them. Didn't you know?

09.10.05

Apple has an article on ImaginAsian TV: All Asian American, All The Time. To be honest, I have not yet been able to check out the channel due to lack of carriage in my area, and plus I am too broke for cable, and things of this nature. So I wonder how it's doing—content-wise, audience-wise, and most importantly, money-wise.

I have, however, been randomly able to check out one the channel's rivals, AZN TV. I think it's doing ok job so far as Asian American network, though I don't have much to compare it to. Of course, I'm still waiting on MTV's announced channels: I Want My Hyphenated-Identity MTV. I think MTV Desi has already launched. And MTV Chi and MTV K will soon follow.

These are interesting times.

09.09.05

More Asian American stories from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

Gulf Coast region rich with Asian-American history

A Fisherman's Ordeal

Community adopts other Vietnamese

A Center of Solace for Families

Poor Again, but Feeling Grateful

Thousands of Vietnamese uprooted from homes again

Katrina Hits NOLA's Bangladeshi Community

'The Vietnamese people are refugees again'

South Asians Grapple with Katrina

Vietnamese Americans Use Their Media as Katrina Lifeline

09.09.05

Next week's city council runoff in San Jose is symbolic of Vietnamese Americans' growing political power. The race between school board member Madison Nguyen, 30, and attorney Linda Nguyen, 28, is a huge milestone: San Jose race shows Vietnamese-Americans' growing political clout. POWER!!!

09.09.05

The verdict on the Homeland Security officer Robert Rhodes is in: Border security officer acquitted. He beat the hell out of this woman, and gets off clean. What the hell just happened here?

09.09.05

Yuri Kochiyama is my hero, and she should be yours too: Oakland: Inspired by Malcolm X, Asian American activist makes her own history

09.09.05

Not surprising... Yao Ming makes a lot of money: Yao tops Forbes' list of Chinese celebrities. Zhang Ziyi's second on the list.

09.09.05

I've had numerous people telling me about a questionable Pine Sol commercial. Yeah, Pine Sol—the floor cleaner. In the ad, some fool ass Asian man is in deep meditation floating a few feet off the floor. Suddenly, his concentration is broken when he smells something powerful. He sees that his wife is cleaning the floor with good ol' Pine Sol. Says the narrator, "Now that's the power of Pine Sol." Naw, that's the power of racist advertising. Asians don't float off the ground doing mystic meditation crap. But hey, who cares how we portray these Asian fools. We gotta sell more bottles of this floor cleaner, stereotypes or whatever. That's racist!

09.09.05

Willie "Woo Woo" Wong stood at a less-than-towering 5'5" but was one of San Francisco's biggest basketball names in the 1940s, and among the finest Chinese American players ever. He died earlier this week from leukemia at age 79: Willie Wong -- 1940s basketball star

09.09.05

For my SoCal pals... Another event going on this weekend: The 14th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture—the largest Filipino-American Music and Arts Festival in the country. September 10 and 11 at the Point Fermin Park in San Pedro.

And next week, there's the 10th Annual Volvo Harvest Moon Festival. Sunday, September 18 at Arcadia County Park. With the likes of Ken Oak, Scott Tang, Jing Jing, and others performing. And hey, you could win a Volvo.

And hey, while I'm at it, let me again mention K-Town 9-1-1. Tomorrow (Saturday) at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. With speakers, political MCs and poets telling it like it is.

09.09.05

Hooray for everyday racism! A letter from Bevery Wyer, published in the Christian Examiner:


English is in danger

America is a great nation as we have many cultures and I have learned much from these other cultures and their people, but there is something that is bothering me and many other people and resentment is growing whereby one day there will be an explosion.

I am talking about people who come to this country and when in public use their native language instead of English. Also, billboards inland are now advertising in foreign languages. This is an insult to me and my country and my language. If I moved to your country I would have to learn your language and I wouldn't be able to demand that ballots be in English or my children taught in English.

No one is asking that you give up your language, but keep it your own home. To me this is very rude and what you are doing is Balkanizing this country whereby we should be one nation, you are dividing us into several nations. I know Europe does it, but we are not Europe, we are America.

But there is another aspect to this. If you don't know English and refuse to learn it, one day when you have an emergency and need help, if no one can understand you and, by the time a person is found who knows your language, it might be too late for you and for your loved one.

I know some people may call me "racist" but America is my home and English is our language and all I ask is if you want to live here, please learn it and speak it especially in public.

Beverly Wyer

El Cajon, California


Basically, leave your ethnicity at home. Right, lady? It might be just a letter from a kook published in a free Christian paper, but sadly, this is still a prevalent racist attitude we have to deal with in this country. And you know this, man. That's racist! (Thanks, Garrett.

09.09.05

The first season of Lost just got released on DVD this week. For those of you who haven't seen it, now's your chance to check out what the rest of us have been going crazy about. Here are some interviews with cast members at the DVD release party, including Naveen Andews, Daniel Dae Kim, and Yunjin Kim: Lost Cast Interviews

09.09.05

"He can be any shape, size or age -- just as long as he whisks her away from the poverty of her farming village in Bulacan, just north of the Philippine capital Manila." Ah, the eerie world of internet brides from Asia. Kind of sickening, isn't: "E-brides" seek to escape Philippines poverty. Ladies, there's got to be a better way!

09.09.05

Surprise, surprise. North Korea is Hollywood's favorite new cinematic villainous country: Lights, camera, action on N.Korea with excess of evil

09.09.05

Northeast Philadelphia. A new hot spot for Chinese immigrants? Apparently: Chinese immigrants reshape a neighborhood

09.09.05

I assume this dude on CBS' RockStar has no idea what the Chinese on his shirt means... OR DOES HE? Tian explains: Go F_ck Your Self. Sadly, this is not uncommon. If you wanna rock, you gotta wear the shirt with the kewl Oriental writing! But what does it mean? He don't know. It just looks kewl and rocking.

09.09.05

According to the Chinese consulate, between 10 and 20 Chinese residents are missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, though no Chinese casualties have been reported: Hong Kong Immigrants Lose their Homes in New Orleans

Here's some more info from BPSOS on hurricane relief for Asian Americans relocated to Houston...

Monetary donations can be sent to:

Boat People SOS

PO Box 1775

Falls Church, VA 22041-1775

Their tax ID# is: 54-1539619

In-kinds can be sent to:

Boat People SOS

11205 Bellaire Blvd., Suite #B22

Houston, TX 77072

For supplies that will directly benefit evacuees:


  • sample size over the counter medicine (tylenol, advil, children's tylenol)
  • eyedrops
  • toothbrushes
  • sample size toiletries: toothpaste, shampoo, soap
  • Baby formula
  • Similac (with iron)
  • Baby food (#1, which I'm told is baby food for the youngest babies)
  • Diapers (sizes N thru 8)

BPSOS has just opened an annex office to handle the overflow of clients. So they're also in need of general office supplies:

  • pens
  • filing/paper bins
  • reams of paper (white & color)
  • stapler
  • scissors
  • legal pads
  • clipboards
  • dry erase boards (small) & markers
  • stick-on name tags
  • manila folders
  • fax/copy machine
  • toner
  • phones
  • mini-fridge
  • laser printer
  • phones

They could use some help.

Also, there's a benefit concert this weekend featuring Hiroshima in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. At the JACCC Plaza on Saturday, September 10th from 7-9 pm. They'll be taking donations for Red Cross' Hurricane Katrina victim relief.

My favorite actress from Lost, along with other cast members, pitches in: Kim Yun-jin raises $160,000 for Hurricane Katrina victims

Lisa Ling was part of Oprah Winfrey's coverage of Katrina's aftermath... I like how she calls out the powers that be: "If this had happened to an affluent, white community, would people have had to wait for five days in a dangerous, dark, disgustingly dirty environment, or would something have been done? This is America, that's the thing that is most disconcerting about this." She's right.

09.08.05

A special event this weekend offering alternative responses to the 9/11 fear machine, featuring diverse voices of women of color: What's 9/11 Got To Do With It?. Including my crazy pal, Kristina Wong. Sunday, September 11 at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica. Performance and dialogue begins at 2pm.

09.08.05

With the passing of Chief Justice Renquist, a second Supreme Court position has opened up. News articles are already speculating that "the nominee may be a woman or a minority." Is there even the slightest chance the spot could be filled by an Asian American judge? 80-20 Initiative would like to know what you think on the matter. Take the poll.

09.08.05

Toral is the latest Asian American candidate on the new season of The Apprentice with Donald Trump. And as I mentioned before, Jennifer is on The Apprentice with Martha Stewart.

Oh, in other reality TV news, last night on So You Think You Can Dance, both Melody and Ryan—representin' for the Filipinos—got placed into the bottom four (along with two Black contestants—racist?) I've seen the show, and they're both pretty damn talented. I hope people phoned in and voted for them...

And if anyone is interested in what's happening with the latest edition of Canadian Idol, check out Melissa O'Neil, who has made it to the top two.

09.08.05

Oh bloody hell. More authors cashing in on Asian stereotypes with "how to" books for an ignorant public. But this time, it's for the kids: Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers - and How You Can Too, by Soo Kim Abboud, M.D. and Jane Y. Kim, J.D. Learn our ancient Asian secrets of discipline and meditation! Okay, so not quite as offensive as Ming Tan's How To Attract Asian Women, or Adam Quan's How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men. But it still definitely doesn't give me a good feeling inside. You can just imagine some white kid in class, leaning over to the Asian kid next to him and whispering, "I know your secrets."

09.07.05

News from the aftermath of the hurricane continues to trickle in... We're still baaarely seeing coverage of Asians in mainstream news:

Houston Mall Is a Lifeline For Vietnamese Who Fled

Vietnamese Americans Stranded at Lavang Church in Versailles, New Orleans

Another email being forwarded around... a call for volunteers:


From: Howard Lien [howardlien@gmail.com]

Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 19:50:41 -0500

Subject: [Abercrombie] VOLUNTEERS, SUPPLIES URGENTLY NEEDED FOR APA HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF

Please forward!

Over 50,000 Asian Americans live in the hurricane disaster area. If you know anyone willing to help, as of today (Tue September 6), volunteers are still URGENTLY NEEDED at Boat People SOS on Bellaire Blvd. in Houston to distribute relief supplies, set up a satellite office, intake victims, man phones, etc. Vietnamese language skills are helpful, but not required, ANY HELP is greatly appreciated as they are helping thousands of hurricane victims (see story at bottom).

Boat People SOS

11205 Bellaire Blvd., Suite #B22

Houston, TX 77072-2545

Tel: 281-530-6888

Fax: 281-530-6838

Cash and supply donations are also URGENTLY NEEDED. Cash donations are best, as they allow on-site volunteers to purchase the items they need most. Donations are tax-deductible and should be made out to "BPSOS" and sent to the address above.

Supply donations are also needed, especially baby items and medicine. The items that are most urgently needed are below and can be dropped off at the BPSOS office. If you are not in town, supply donations can be sent via mail/Fedex/etc. to the office.

Baby formula (e.g. Similac with iron)

Baby food

Diapers (all sizes)

Various over the counter medicines (e.g. Tylenol, antacid, etc.)

General office supplies (pens, notepads, scissors, filing trays)

If you donate, please email APARelief@gmail.comwith your name, address, the amount or quantity of your donation, and estimated arrival date to allow BPSOS to plan accordingly and to ensure that you receive receipt for tax-deduction.

Finally, please get in touch if you are willing to help coordinate fundraising and donations in your local community, please get in touch with me by calling cell 302-559-5948 or by email: howardlien@gmail.com

We have found out that the Houston Chinese Community Center also needs volunteers, especially those with Chinese language skills. Contact information is below. They are also accepting relief supplies at the address below. Please also email donation info to APARelief@gmail.com.

CCC

9800 Town Park Dr.

Houston, TX 77036

Tel: 713-271-6100

Volunteers should contact Teresa Chen, Community coordinator

Call main line or 281-370-9404 to schedule volunteer times


Also, OCA-Greater Houston has set up an online donation system to help collect online donations to be distributed to the 2 APIA community relief funds that currently don't have online donation capacity. Visit www.ocahouston.org to donate online.

OH hell no. She did not just say that. Barbara Bush: Relocation 'working very well' for poor

09.07.05

The death of Kenny Luong was just the latest incident in recent troubles for Lambda Phi Epsilon... Things do not look good for the fraternity: Asian Frat in Spotlight After Death

09.07.05

My pal Marian, intrepid entertainment reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, blogs about her strip club encounter with Jin—now simply known as "The Emcee." Oh, she also wrote an article on him: The artist formerly known as Jin

09.07.05

This news is from last week, but I got all caught up in the hurricane stuff. But this is important too: Victim testifies in officer's assault trial. Beatin' up on an Asian lady. All in the name of homeland security.

09.07.05

Director John Woo says he has little interest in movies that "propel their stars into the sky during fight scenes." Of course, he has no problem with movies that propel their stars across a room while shooting two guns. I don't know, I'm pretty sure I saw that motif in one or ten of his movies: Woo: No Actors Flying by Wire in His Film

09.07.05

The Giant Robot army grows stronger, with the grand opening of a GR store in Silver Lake. Now you LA cats don't have to drive all the way over the west side for your Asian pop culture goods. They're taking over.

09.05.05

According to Viet Bao: More than 70 Vietnamese Feared Dead in Empire, Mississippi

09.05.05

I think we can all agree: Breakfast at Tiffany's is a Yellowface classic. In the history of Hollywood's grand racist tradition of dressing white folks as Asians, Breakfast truly stands out at the top of the heap. And it's truly sad how well-loved this movie is, despite the unfortunate, outrageously racist character of Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yonioshi. It's as though people conveniently forget that, oh yeah, there's that guy... That said, I hadn't heard about this screening in San Jose: 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' Goes on, with Disclaimer. I wish I'd known. I think I would've attended... and boooed. That's racist!

09.05.05

Hey filmmakers... The Northwest Asian American Film Festival is currently seeking entries for 2006. The festival "presents works by Asian American artists working or living in the Northwest along with the best Asian American works from across North America." The entry deadline is September 30, so get to work.

09.05.05

Teen fiction sleuth Nancy Drew gets a manga-influenced update: Now 75, sleuth Nancy Drew looks younger, hipper in graphic novels drawn by S.F. artist Sho Murase

09.05.05

This NASA article's from last month... It seems that U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao is something of a photographer. Except he gets to experience views that most of us will never see in our lifetime: Shooting for the Heart: Astronaut Finds Passion for Photography in Space

09.05.05

I haven't really been following this case, but it's pretty damn depressing: Teen Faces Murder Charge In Mother's Stabbing. Esmie Tseng, 16, faces first-degree murder charges. No word yet whether she'll be tried as an adult (and face a life sentence).

09.05.05

I am fan of Michelle Yeoh, even though she is in that stinkin' Geisha movie. Boo to Geisha. But this sounds kind of cool: Yeoh Reportedly Tapped for Boyle Thriller

09.05.05

Profile on Doris Ling-Cohan, who in 2002 became the first Asian American woman elected as a justice on New York's Supreme Court: Coming Sew Far. It really plays up the daughter-of-proud-immigrants angle, pointing out that she has apparently sewn her own judicial robe—"a skill she learned as a teen working summers in sweatshops in her native Chinatown."

09.05.05

Here's an article on Ang Lee's new film, Brokeback Mountain: Cowboys in Love . . . With Each Other. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and will be released theatrically in December.

09.05.05

You don't really see any Vietnamese people on news coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—once again it's a Black/White issue (welcome to America)—but they're there, and they've also been hit hard. This has been frustrating for people on the outside, trying to hear word from friends and families on the inside: Vietnamese in O.C. Fear for Gulf Coast Relatives

This plea from BPSOS was forwarded along to me... they're in need of interpreters and tech-saavy volunteers:


Hi everyone!

As youíve seen in the Vietnamese press, THOUSANDS of Vietnamese folks are stranded in Houston. Our office there is in Hong Kong Mall V and is being overwhelmed with people needing food, gas money, a way to contact their relatives to let them know they're ok.

If you're in the Houston area, please give me a ring . Weíre in desperate need of people who can speak Vietnamese & are tech-savvy so we can apply for food stamps and FEMA emergency funds for these folks. Weíll especially need help this weekend so our staff can go home and be with their families and recoup for the work theyíll be doing in the coming weeks. Weíre expecting a shipment of food & water from the Red Cross any day now. So, weíll need some folks to unload and distribute those.

I arrive in Houston at 8am tomorrow (Saturday). If youíre in Austin, San Antonio and can help through the weekend, youíre more than welcome to crash on our floor in our hotel room.

Cell: 703-304-7392

Houston office: 281-530-6888

Thanks!

Ha Hoa Dang


And the follow-up email:



Hello everyone:

Sorry this has to be short. We had an amazing day yesterday with volunteer response & were able to apply for FEMA aid to several evacuees. Our medical clinic was also able to meet some immediate minor needs.

WE NEED MORE HELP! We're extremely short-staffed today because of the holiday weekend.

If you're able to come by Hong Kong IV Mall, please come by and ask for me. My cell again is: 703-304-7392

More to come later...

-- H H


Here's the address for volunteers in Houston:

Boat People SOS (located in Hong Kong City Mall)

11205 Bellaire Blvd., Suite #B22

Houston, TX 77072

Tel.: 281-530-6888

Fax: 281-530-6838

By the way, have you all seen Kanye West's live telethon outburst? It was far from eloquent, but it took some guts. The guy is my new hero.

And some more good blogging race/class over at Hyphen: A "Problem People"?

09.05.05

A review of Margaret Cho's new performance film, Assassin: A Multiple-Minority Comic, Happily Drubbing the Right. Rumor has it, she's not a big fan of those Republicans.

09.05.05

Former U.S. Olympian boxer Brian Viloria may be nicknamed "Hawaiian Punch," but the guy is Filipino American, and he wants you to know it: Sept. 10 card appeals to L.A.'s diversity

09.05.05

Empress Chung, an animated Korean folk tale, has become the first film to be released at the same time in North and South Korean movie theaters: Uniting the Two Koreas, in Animated Films at Least. I am a lifelong fan of the film's director, Nelson Shin, if only because he also directed one of my favorite movies of all time: Transformers: The Movie.

09.04.05

Behold, Philadelphia's Chinatown Oral History Project—started from the ground up, homegrown from within the community: Chinatown tells its story, in a book of ordinary voices. That's power.

09.04.05

LA Weekly column says goodbye to the infamous "Godmother of Punk," Esther Wong —aka Madame Wong: A Considerable Town

09.04.05

Here's a follow-up on the death of Kenny Luong, that guy who died playing a fraternity pledge football game: Family speaks out about pledge death

09.04.05

Like most folks, I've been following along with coverage of Hurricane Katrina... mostly in horror at the destruction and desperation, but also in frustration at the lack of deliberate, immediate response from the powers that be. Yes, this was a devastating natural disaster. But what about the aftermath, and all the media coverage? Let's call it what it is: racist. This has been discussed elsewhere, with a lot more insight than anything I could add. But I do think O-Dub is especially on point: IT'S ABOUT POVERTY AND RACE, STUPID. Crayon People and New California Media have also been doing a good job covering discussions of Katrina and race.

The "looting" vs. "finding" photo captions I posted a few days ago stirred up a whole lot of crap all over. Snopes.com put up a page looking into the controversy. Salon.com also has an article on it: "Looting" or "finding"? Also, the photographer who took the Getty/AFP picture ("find"), Chris Graythen, also posted the reasons behind his caption: Finding vs. Looting (scroll down a bit). Oh, someone passed this animated image along to me. Simple, but I think it sums it up kinda nicely. Hey kid, that's my line.

At Asiavists, there's an open letter emphasizing the need for cross-racial work
—especially between Asians and Blacks during this time of crisis.

And yes, Asian American communities have also been directly affected by Hurricane Katrina: Dozens of Vietnamese Americans Stranded Outside of New Orleans

At Asiavists, there's an open letter emphasizing the need for cross-racial work
—especially between Asians and Blacks during this time of crisis.

09.03.05

Almost forgot about this... The New York Korean Film Festival is going on right now, and running through September 11. They've got a pretty darn kickassing schedule of films. I am jealous of you New Yorkers.

And while I'm at it, I might as well mention that the Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival is going down in a few weeks, September 16-18. That's cool too.

And hey, while I'm on this Korean cinema tip, I should also mention A State of Mind, a documentary on North Korea. Specifically, it takes a look at the lives of two North Korean schoolgirls and their families as they prepare for the Mass Games. What are the Mass Games? Oh, watch it and you'll find out. North Korea—it ain't just about nukes and crazy dictators.

09.01.05

Hey, this is cool: Asian Pacific Islander American Blog Network. You gotta love that picture of Yuri Kochiyama.

09.01.05

Gotcha, sucka. Police in New York have arrested and charged Daniel Hoyt for public lewdness, after exposing himself to a woman on the subway two weeks ago. Props to Thao Nguyen, who snapped a photo of Flashy on her camera phone and filed a complaint with police. The guy's photo ended up on the cover of the Daily News, where dozens identified the guy... and there you have it. Justice in the digital age: Man Caught On Camera Phone Flashing Subway Rider

09.01.05

Yao Ming reportedly signed a five-year contract extenstion with the Houston Rockets that will pay him more than 80 million dollars: Yao signs five-year, 80 million-dollar deal with NBA Rockets: reports. The deal will keep him with the Rockets through the 2010-2011 NBA season. Well, all right!

09.01.05

It ain't no secret that mainstream media has an ugly bias in reporting race. Here is an example, straight out of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: You Are a Thief! I Stole a Loaf of Bread!. Compare. A photo of a black man wading through flooding waters. The AP caption reads: "A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday." Now, a photo of a white couple wading through flooding waters. The AFP caption reads: "Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store in New Orleans, Louisiana." Lesson to be learned: Black people loot, white people find? That's racist!

09.01.05

Police are investigating the death of a student, Kenny Luong, during a fraternity football game at UC Irvine: Irvine police probing whether student's death linked to hazing. The question is whether or not the game was actually a hazing ritual for Lambda Phi Epsilon—an Asian American fraternity. Luong and the other pledges attended Cal Poly Pomona, where they apparently wanted to start a Lambda chapter. When these things happen, I was always imagine what it's like for the guy who has to call up this poor kid's mom. Who wants to tell her that her son died... for what? To join a freakin' fraternity?

09.01.05

Got this email forwarded to me, with the subject line, "APIs needed for Extreme Home Makeover show." Dude, people LOVE this show. I have watched it on occasion, and I am surprised how they can top sad stories with even sadder ones, from one week to the next. Anyway:



Hi All,

ABC's hit reality show Extreme Makeover Home Edition is looking for API's to
be a part of their program. This is part of their effort to include more
people of color in their programming. Below are a few guidelines for
consideration.

Please support their efforts by forwarding this message to clients, friends
and aquaintances. Remember, you can nominate families who you think are
deserving of this wonderful opportunity.

Please note the deadline date for submissions, and please send your
nominations/applications directly to CHARISSE SIMONIAN, Family Casting
Director at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (address below) so she can review
the applications personally (as opposed to the general p.o. box on the
application).


---------------------------------------------

ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

*We are currently casting families in the Southeast / South and Southwest
for Winter shoots. All others are still welcome to apply, however if they're
on the East coast we can't consider them until Spring of 2006.

* Families must OWN their home. The home should not be larger than 2,000 Sq. Feet and MUST be a single family residence (no townhomes, condos or apartments)

* Families must have a clean criminal history and pass an extensive background check

* Families should have children (School age) still living at home

* Families should be outgoing, emotional and yet humble and extremely likeable

* Families should speak Fluent English

* They should be in a situation where, by changing their house in some way, we can help that situation. Their story should be compelling & moving.

* Currently we ARE NOT looking for the following stories relating to: Adoption, Wheelchair accessibility, Cancer, death of or dying parent, Armed Services, hearing impaired or visually impaired

* They should be "deserving" - i.e. help out the community, their neighbors or hold jobs such as police, fire, teachers, nurses, medics, do voulnteer
work, non-profit, etc. (not all memebers but one at least!)

* Families houses should LOOK like they need repair!

* And, finally families should live on an accessible street, no hills, no cul-de-sacs

To download an application for the show, go to this link:

http://abc.go.com/primetime/xtremehome/casting.html">

Applications should be sent DIRECTLY to me at the below address, NOT the PO
Box on the application. This way I can personally review each application.
If the family is in the Southeast or Texas, we will need applications in no
later than Sept. 15th! If they're in California, October 1st.
But, the sooner the better!

Charisse Simonian

Family Casting Director

ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

1149 N. Gower St. Suite 100

Los Angeles, CA 90038


And by the way, that guy Ty has waaaaaaay too much energy.

09.01.05

Stephen Chow told the Associated Press he'll start filming the sequel to Kung Fu Hustle either late this year or early 2006: Chow on the Kung Fu Hustle Sequel. Hell yeah.

09.01.05

Check out Bento, a cool Asian American band out of the Bay Area. Nice sound. Listen to some of their stuff here and here. I think I likes it.

09.01.05

More Asian American comedy for your azz. See, us yellow folks can be funny too. It's Amy Andersen's Chop-SCHTICK. Haha, I get it.

09.01.05

Just can't stop celebrating those great Little League champs from Ewa Beach: Team Returns Home to Thousands of Fans. Hawaii's new hometown heroes.