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6.30.2006

Archived Posts - June 2006



06.28.06

Take a look at the website for Danny Boyle's upcoming sci-fi film Sunshine. It's got an awesome-looking cast that includes Michelle Yeoh, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong and Maori actor Cliff Curtis. There's a pseudo-trailer here. Looks pretty damn cool... I just hope they don't kill off all the Asian characters first!

06.28.06

Interesting article in the Washington Post on cell phone company Helio specifically marketing its products to Korean Americans: Cellphone Company Makes A Call: Korean Americans. Makes sense. Asians do love their cell phones. And while Korean Americans make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, South Korea is one of the most wired countries on the planet.

06.28.06

Check out the latest issue of Asia Pacific Arts—it's overflowing with good stuff related to Asian American arts criticism, including interviews with Oliver Wang and Jeff Chang, an investigative piece on Keith Tamashiro, and A Who's Who of Asian Americans in arts criticism. Somehow, this website made the list, though I don't know I feel about being included among such luminaries (Ben Fong-Torres!).

06.28.06

Here's some follow-up on that news story from a few months back about that Filipino kid in Canada who had been repeatedly punished by his school for eating with a spoon and fork: School won't apologize in Filipino fork dispute. Again I say, this has to be the most idiotic thing a kid has ever been punished for.

06.28.06

Here's a good opinion piece by Karen Narasaki of the Asian American Justice Center on the Voting Rights Act: We still need Voting Rights Act. AALDEF just released a new report entitled "Asian Americans and the Voting Rights Act: The Case for Reauthorization." Earlier this month, AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung testified before the Senate on the many barriers Asian American voters nationwide have faced in the electoral process, including hostile poll workers, voter intimidation, and denial of interpreters and translated materials. It's all in the report (47 pages). Download it here.

06.28.06

Sheridan Prasso, author of The Asian Mystique, was on WNYC Public Radio last week. You can download an MP3 of the segment here. The interviewer sounds like a tool, but Sheri makes some pretty interesting points. For those interested in reading the book, it was released in paperback last month. It's an interesting read, so check it out.

06.28.06

Something cool theater event going on this weekend in southern California... eleven old friends have one week to create a show: Oymun's Eleven. Starring Armando Gutierrez, Bryan Yamami, Debbie Cheng, Edren T. Sumagaysay, George Huang, Jason Oymun Fong, Keiko Agena, Parry Shen, Ryan Suda, Tammy Yamada, Traci Kato-Kiriyama. June 30th and July 1st at GTC Burbank. Pretty interesting story behind this project... It's been a long time coming together. Read the details over at Parry Shen's Xanga. And go check out the show this weekend.

06.28.06

Here's an interesting article from OMMA about the questions and challenges in marketing to Asian Americans. I got a little mention near the end of the story: Markets Focus: Cracking the Asian Conundrum

06.28.06

This week, Oregon State's baseball team beat North Carolina 3-2 to win the College World Series: Underdog Oregon State wins College World Series. They've got two APA players on the team: Mike Lissman, and Koa Kahalehoe.

06.28.06

The Hans continue to make headlines... For those not familiar with the case here's the short version: On June 14 Heijin Han committed suicide by driving her van off a cliff. Her husband Victor Han, who stepped out of the car before it happened, was charged with helping her kill herself. Their two children, who were also in the car, were not seriously hurt. This week, Victor was released from a psychiatric hospital after eight days of evaluation: Suspect in Wife's Suicide Leaves Hospital. The funeral service was last night: Woman Killed in Cliff Plunge Is Mourned

06.28.06

All right, NYC. As if I haven't talked it up enough... The Motel, directed by Michael Kang, opens tonight for a two week run at the Film Forum. Cast and crew members will be there in person this weekend attending screenings. Tell them AAM sent ya. It's a great little indie film that needs your help. Here's a rallying message Michael sent out last week:


Dear Friend of The Motel,

Please help spread the word. My feature film debut "The Motel" will be
making its theatrical debut from June 28 - July 11 at The Film Forum in
New York City.

I am really excited to be finally getting the film out into the real
theaters with the sticky floors, turned-off cell phones and everything.
I also couldn't be more honored than to have its initial run be held at
The Film Forum, one of New York's premiere spots for independent
cinema.

The road to this point has been long and bumpy. Though the initial
spark of an idea for this film came about seven years ago, I like to
think of it as thirty-six years in the making. Welcome to my debutante
ball.

But this is just the beginning of the real battle. As we are about a
week away from the opening, I can't help but get those butterflies in
the stomach. Will people actually show up? Will they tell their
friends? Will Superman annihilate us with his super PR powers?

I realize I have no control over any of that. But what I can do is what
has always worked for me in the past -- ask for help.

As you have probably heard in the past with other independent films,
the box office is king. The life of a film depends on its ability to
earn that green. In this age of media gluttony, it is a struggle to
just get people to notice us through the hazy white noise called the
mainstream press. We don't have Super Nacho-sized ad dollars or the
ability to open on 5000 megaplexes across the country. We are just a
sweet quirky little film about a kid growing up in a sleazy motel and
we want to be seen by as many people as possible.

After this first two weeks, the film will be moving on to other cities
and theaters. How far and wide and when depends largely on the success
of its exclusive initial run at The Film Forum.

With a modest film like this, much of that success will rely on the
help of friends like you to spread the word. So please help. Thanks.

- Mike (the director and hopefully friend)


It's a funny, bittersweet story about growing up that rings true in ways that I am too embarrassed to admit. Highly recommend. But don't take my word for it. Here's the round-up of reviews thus far on Rotten Tomatoes. For those of you who live elsewhere, it'll be expanding to other cities soon. Oh, and if you haven't yet, check out my Q & A with Michael Kang.

UPDATE: Also check out this essay on The Motel by my man Chi-hui over at the Center for Asian American Media website: Headlong Into Who Knows: Michael Kangís THE MOTEL

06.27.06

Check out this video clip of At Last's audition on American Got Talent last week: At Last on America's Got Talent. As you can see, they kicked everyone's asses, including David Hasselhoff. Visit the group's official site here.

06.27.06

MTV K, "the first music and pop-culture destination for young Korean-Americans," goes live tonight, announcing the winner of the website vote for the first video to air on the network. I'm actually pretty curious to see who wins... Here's a Daily News article on the launch: MTV adds some Seoul

06.27.06

According to this article, Alex Tse, who wrote the awesome Sucker Free City pilot for Showtime, is writing the screenplay adaptation of Alan Moore's comic book classic Watchmen: Horror flick director on duty for 'Watchmen'. There's been a lot of talk about this project over the years, but none of it has panned out. If they can do the original story justice, let's hope it gets off the ground this time around.

06.27.06

For the comic book geeks... A little bit of follow-up on the Great Ten DC Comics characters I mentioned earlier this month. You know, the superteam of Chinese heroes? I'll admit, I haven't actually read the issues in question, so I have absolutely no idea what the writer is actually talking about in this article: GREG RUCKA ON THE GREAT TEN IN CHECKMATE

06.27.06

Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column is about two Asian lady asskickers, pro boxer Dee Hamaguchi and actor Brenda Song, star of the Disney Channel Original Movie, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior: Warrior Women. I tracked down a copy of Wendy Wu to watch, but haven't been able to check it out yet. Brenda Song sounds like a cool girl... but I still say the movie sounds whack.

06.27.06

A new book, The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale, tells the story of how the filmmaker parted ways with Walt Disney Studios, and it sounds like it wasn't pretty: Shyamalan Book Tells of Breakup With Disney. I don't know... Every now and then, I think studio execs are full of crap as much as the next guy, but the book just sounds self-serving. Just sever your relationship and be done with it. No need for a tell-all book. But hey, what can you expect from a guy who puts himself in all his movies?

06.27.06

I think more than a few folks will be happy to hear that Hot 97's ratings have been declining: Choosing hip over hype

06.27.06

Been out-of-my-mind busy with stuff...trying to play catch-up with everything that's been going on. Well, everybody I've been rooting for has been knocked out of the World Cup, with South Korea's heartbreaking loss to Switzerland last Friday. Here's an image I got from Mike2Cents:



Those who saw it know what I'm talking about. Frustration. But it was fun while it lasted. I tell ya, nobody does World Cup quite like South Korean fans... here's an article from the New York Times about a Korean church in Flushing praising Jesus, World Cup style: Fervent About God and World Cup Soccer

06.24.06

As reported earlier in the week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper rose in the House of Commons Thursday and officially apologized for the country's past treatment of Chinese immigrants, offering them a redress package for the head tax that includes millions of dollars for anti-racist education: An apology for 'a grave injustice'. Aside from the formal written apology, the government said the 20 or so surviving Chinese-Canadians who paid the tax, or their surviving spouses, will receive a symbolic $20,000 payment. That's pretty significant when Prime Minister specifically acknowledges the head tax as racist, then actually does something about it.

06.24.06

AsianAmericanFilm.com has an interview with Karin Chien, producer of Michael Kang's The Motel and Chris Chan Lee's Undoing: Producer Karin Chien talks about "The Motel" and "Undoing" -- both screening this week!. And Backstage.com has an article (written by my pal Margaret) on Sung Kang, who's also in both films: Sung From the Heart. Undoing makes its world premiere tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and also screens June 27th and 30th. Check the LA Film Festival website for ticket and screening info.

06.24.06

All right, Southern California... Asian Elevation, the premiere Asian Pacific American talent show has arrived. It's going down tonight at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Ten finalists of various talents competing for a $3000 cash prize, along with a bunch of guest performers. Oh, there will be Asians, and they will be elevated, my friends. Here's a story on comedian Jo Koy, who will be at the event tonight: Elevated Laughter. Very funny guy. Here's his official site.

06.24.06

Behold, the potency of Korea's national dish: The power of kimchi

06.24.06

Here's an update on community action over the possible police brutality incident against a group of Asian Americans in Quincy, MA: Support the QUINCY 6! There's background info on the incident, as well as details about a rally today at Quincy City Hall, and how you can show your support.

06.24.06

Wang Wenyi, the Falun Gong follower who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao at a White House ceremony back in April has reached a deal with prosecutors under which all charges against her will be dropped. She could have faced six months in jail and a fine: No Charges for Woman Who Heckled Chinese Leader

06.24.06

Here's a funny piece in the New York Observer on "legendary" reporter Sewell Chan, who has filed 422 stories in the last year—more than any other reporter—for The New York Times: Byline Beast of N.Y.: Times' Sewell Chan

06.23.06

Big news of the day... Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, who has served longer than anyone now in the Cabinet, announced today that he was resigning, effective July 7: Mineta to Quit as Transportation Secretary. In a letter to President Bush, dated Tuesday and released today, Mr. Mineta did not give a reason for leaving now, saying only, "It is time for me to move on to other challenges." The man has had an amazing career, and I applaud him.

UPDATE: Good article on Mineta in the San Jose Mercury News: Mineta praised for service

06.23.06

Lots of good hype leading up to the release of Michael Kang's The Motel. Some interviews with the director over at Greg Pak's Film Talk and Tripmaster Monkey. The Film Forum is also hosting a podcast series for the film. Listen to them here and here. Also, if you're in New York City, the good people at Mixed Media Watch are planning a "field trip" to go watch the movie on opening night. Details here.

Finally, check out my own Q & A with Michael Kang over in the "extra angry" section. Some good stuff there. Remember, the movie opens June 28 at the Film Forum in New York. The cast and crew will be present on opening night. Be there!

06.23.06

Remember that white accounting professor who was told that, according to a DNA test, his ancestry was descended from Genghis Khan? I actually got angry emails from readers who proclaimed, "That's another thing the white man has taken from us!" Well anyway, it turns out that test was wrong, and there isn't any of Genghis in his blood: Falling From Genghis's Family Tree. Rest assured, Genghis still "belongs" to us.

06.23.06

Check out this new blog, an interesting destination for folks to find out everything they need to know about progressive Asian American candidates and issues for 2006 and beyond: AsiansVote.com. It's just starting out, but it looks like it'll be a pretty good place for news/information.

06.23.06

More yellowface news! There's a Marco Polo TV miniseries in the works, telling the story of the 13th-century traveler and his journey to Mongolia and his time in the court of Kublai Khan: 'Lost' Vet Plays 'Marco Polo'. Ian Somerhalder, formerly of Lost, will play Marco Polo. That's not the yellowface news. B.D. Wong will plays Marco Polo's servant. That's not the yellowface news either. Brian Dennehy will apparently play Kublai Khan... who, if history remembers correctly, was Asian. Now how are they going to pull that one off?

06.21.06

Briefly spotted the singing group At Last in commecials for NBC's new talent competition America's Got Talent, which premieres tonight. Looks like they auditioned... but will they make it through? It looks like they'll also be performing as finalists at Asian Elevation (the premiere Asian American talent show!) this Saturday. I guess they're not calling themselves a "boy band" anymore...

06.21.06

Here's a follow-up on an incident I mentioned earlier this month, regarding a radio station in Toledo... Basically, a DJ named "Lucas," aka Josh Garber, of WTWR-FM ("Tower 98") called up local Asian restaurants during his show and made fun of their English. This was supposed to be funny. An Asian American student group at Bowling Green State University has been trying to draw attention to this incident, demanding that the station take action against Garber. The local news has finally picked up on this: Local radio DJ insensitive, Asian-American group says. It's the same old story, isn't it? Radio personalities do racist stuff like this all the time, and think they can get away with it—and usually do—thinking no one will care, or just laugh it off. Props to ACU for speaking out.

06.21.06

Just under a week left to vote for MTV K's very first video when the network launches on June 27. Watch videos and vote here. You can vote as many times as you want. Personally, I'm rooting for Heather Park and Far East Movement...

06.21.06

Gawker reports on this MySpace Extortionist, some 20-year-old fool named Elvin Chuang, who scammed some really naive women into sending him naked photos of themselves, then blackmailing them. He's been charged with identity theft, computer trespass and tampering, coercion and grand larceny: XXXTORTION RAP FOR CYBER 'PERV'. The guy is an ass, but I can't say the ladies he extorted are too bright either... General rule of thumb, for your online activities: when your "friend" asks you for nude photos for his "art project," politely decline and delete their ass.

06.21.06

Another positive review of Sandra Oh starring in Diana Son's play Satellites: Sandra Oh lifts 'Satellites'

06.21.06

The annual conference of the Asian American Journalists Association kicks off today and runs through Saturday... in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wish I was there... You lucky journalists! The rest of us can peruse the Conference website and read the features longingly.

06.21.06

Spotted this casting call over at Hipstomp, looking specifically for Asian roles in "UNTITLED Koreatown Comedy Project" (presumably in New York): Seeking Asians. Thought some of you actors or actor-wannabes might be interested...

On the other side of things, an observant reader passed along this excerpt from a casting call for a Verizon print ad:


[ CAUCASIAN MALES ]

Casting Caucasian Males who appear to be between 17-24 years old.

[ CAUCASIAN MALES ]

Casting Caucasian Males who appear to be between late 20s-mid 30s.

[ HISPANIC MALES ]

Casting Hispanic Males who appear to be between 17-24 years old.

[ AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES ]

Casting African American Males who appear to be between mid 20s-mid 30s.

[ CAUCASIAN FEMALES ]

Casting Caucasian Females who appear to be between 17-24 years old.

[ CAUCASIAN FEMALES ]

Casting Caucasian Females who appear to be between mid 20s-late 30s.

[ ASIAN FEMALES ]

Casting Asian Females who appear to be between 30-40 years old.

[ HISPANIC FEMALES ]

Casting Hispanic Females who appear to be between mid 20s-mid 30s.

[ AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALES ]
Casting African American Females who appear to be between late 20s-mid 30s


Man, why didn't they just save themselves time and say [ EVERYONE BUT ASIAN MALES ]?

06.21.06

Seems like there's been a lot of comic book news lately... I'm told that Astounding Studios, created and founded by actor/screenwriter Kevin Grevioux, has a superhero title called Guardian Heroes recently published through Alias Comics. It features a handful of Asian characters: Bolt is Japanese, Phaser is Korean, Sonic is Indian and Proteus is Filipino. I haven't read it so I don't know anything about these characters, but let us hope they're nothing like "Samurai" from the old SuperFriends cartoon.

06.20.06

Got this from Riding Sun... It seems that neither the Associated Press nor CBS News knows the difference between China and Japan, judging from the ridiculous illustration that accompanies this news story on China's plans for a lunar mission: China Plans To Land On Moon By 2024. Yeah, that's a Japanese flag (perhaps the news service believes that by the year 2024, China will be re-imperialized by Japan). I assume someone will fix this... sooner or later. I know they must think Asians are all the same, but DUDE, that's a huge mistake.

UPDATE: The error has been fixed. I guess they got someone with an elementary school education to take a look at it. But here's a screenshot of what the original article looked like:



06.20.06



Not Asian, suckas.

Here's a review of the new Charlie Chan movie DVD box set that's out in stores today: New DVD's: Charlie Chan. It mentions the Fox Movie Channel controversy from a few years back, though Fox seems to have changed its mind about these movies... rather, it re-realized that there is money to be made, regardless of controversial Yellowface caricatures. I don't care if Charlie Chan is a "positive" character. WARNER OLAND IS NOT ASIAN.

UPDATE: Speaking of white actors in "_____face," this article recounts several of Hollywood's missteps in this area, in honor of Jack Black's casting as a Mexican wrestler in Nacho Libre: The Great White Nope

06.20.06

On Thursday, June 22nd, the Prime Minister of Canada will officially apologize in the House of Commons for the Head Tax imposed upon Chinese Canadians over a century ago: Head-tax foes trek to Ottawa for apology. The government is apparently flying families out to attend the ceremony, paying for travel, accomodations, food, everything. I received this email from Kevin, a great grandson of Head Tax immigrants:


The Canadian government seems to be keeping low key.

The Can. gov is flying my family and I plus Canadian head tax decedents from
across Canada to Ottawa (our capital), where the Prime Minister will issue a
formal apology in parliament. The Can. gov is paying for plane tickets,
hotels, taxi, gas, food, everything. It's a surreal time for Chinese
Canadians. 100 years and now this.

He is rumored to also be discussing how much compensation will be paid.

My grandfather wants to take the train to Ottawa. ;)

The attached files are government documents that my family received
outlining how we can attend the apology.

-Kevin


No word yet on how much if any compensation the government will offer the community. Still, this seems like a pretty big deal.

06.20.06

Some more background on the controversies that have been plaguing the Westminster school district—most recently, the un-hiring of KimOanh Nguyen-Lam, who would've been the the nation's first Vietnamese-American school superintendent: Westminster School District Lives in a Furor

06.20.06

Officials in Highland Beach, Florida voted this month to rename a rocky section of the coastline from "Jap Rock" to "Yamato Rock," in honor of the Japanese settlers who used to fish and picnic there: Highland Beach Yamato Rock honors Japanese

06.20.06

The Seattle Times has a story profiling Marcus Tsutakawa, conductor of the Garfield Orchestra in Seattle—named the best high school concert group in the country by Down Beat magazine: Speak softly (and carry a small stick)

06.20.06

There an Asian guy in this weird promotional "show" for Brawny—yeah, the paper towel makers: Brawny Academy. Tom, a bartender from Seattle. I watched about a minute of Episode 1 and kind of grew disinterested.

06.20.06

I believe I posted a story on this earlier in the month... The Bush administration is promoting its nuclear deal with India to members of Congress, and officials are relying on a new political force, Indian-Americans, who see this as a test case for their influence on Capitol Hill and have been lobbying hard to get the deal through: Indian Americans Lobby for U.S. Nuclear Deal

06.19.06

This week's edition of TIME features a cover story on what it says is the world's next great economic superpower: India. Desi blog Sepia Mutina deftly breaks down the cover photo, an image of the oft-maligned call center worker: Why you should be nice to call center workers

06.19.06

Gilbert Lee lost his father three years ago to liver cancer related to the Hepatitis B virus. As you may or may not know, the Asian American community is at disproportionally high risk for this virus, but there are some easy ways in which you can protect yourself and your family from Hep B. To help bring awareness to this issue, Gil has put together a simple website and video with some information and tips about the disease and its prevention. Take some time to peruse the site, and pass the information along... Who knows, you could help save someone's life.

06.19.06

By the way, today is the 24th anniversary since the hate crime murder of Vincent Chin on June 19th, 1982 in Detroit—a milestone in the APA civil rights movement. For those who don't know, here's some background info, from an old AsianWeek article: Remembering Vincent Chin. Wear your t-shirts in remembrance.

06.19.06

Sandra Oh stars in a new play, the New York Public Theatre's production of Satellites: Woman rage revealed. Here's a story on the playwright, Diana Son: Candor as a Cure for Writer's Block. And here's the New York Times review of the play: Settling Down on Shaky Ground, in Diana Son's 'Satellites'. And here's a really entertaining review from PopMatters by Nina Shen Rastogi (who I actually know from back in the day): And Baby Makes a Mess

06.19.06

Good article in the San Francisco Chronicle on Richard Wong's Colma: The Musical, which is becoming a sleeper hit on the film festival circuit: First-time filmmakers sing out against stereotypes in 'Colma'. Check out the movie's website here.

06.19.06

Brian Ching, who is currently playing for the U.S. Soccer Team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, is keeping a record of his thoughts and experiences, courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News: Brian Ching's World Cup Diary. I particularly enjoyed his Day 10 entry, written in the aftermath of Saturday's crazy-ass game against Italy.

Speaking of World Cup, the New York Times has a funny article on the unique fervor South Korean soccer fans in New York: Beer for Breakfast. I can tell you, it extends nationwide. And estimated 20,000 fans gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to watch South Korea play France yesterday (1-1 draw): Thousands of Koreans watch World Cup match at Staples Center. There's nothing like a soccer match to get otherwise composed grown men and women act wild and crazy: For Koreans, Soccer Is a Family Affair

06.19.06

What a bastard... according to Media Matters, on the June 14 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck responded to a clip of the film An Inconvenient Truth in which Al Gore says that global warming could cause Shanghai to be submerged:


Stop. Just a second, stop. This is what would happen to Shanghai. Does anybody really care? I mean, come on. Shanghai is under water. Oh, no! Who's gonna make those little umbrellas for those tropical drinks?


Hey, it's just human life. Chinese human life, at that. The thought of a major Asian city submerged, just throwaway joke to this guy. That's racist! Read more about it, and listen to the clip here: Beck responded to An Inconvenient Truth: If "Shanghai is under water," "does anybody really care?"

06.19.06

Hey, there's an article in the Washington Post on Poplicks' Junichi Semitsu, official designated blogger (aka "Man Ass") for the Dixie Chicks: Chicks Magnet. Indeed, it has to be one of the greatest summer job in the history of summer jobs. Funny how they cropped the original photo for the article. Junichi writes his reaction to the article here.

06.19.06

In this perspective piece, a Filipino American woman ponders the implications of her mixed-race son's fair skin and cute good looks: Emil's Big Chance Leaves Me Uneasy

06.19.06

Connie Chung and Maury Povich's half-hour talk show, Weekends with Maury & Connie, aired its final edition this weekend: MSNBC Cancels Povich, Chung Talk Show. Oh well, I say—I had no idea they even had a show. Then I saw this clip of Chung singing farewell, and I almost cried... from the pain: Everytime Connie Chung Says Goodbye We Die A Little, Especially This Time. Painful. Seriously, I only made it about halfway through the clip. Stop, Connie. Just stop.

06.19.06

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... Korean women rule at golf. Why? I do not know, but this article takes a look: South Korean Society Is Producing Sport's Top Women

06.19.06

Recently spotted at a grocery store in Maine:



Apparently, this is what you need to make "Chinese Style" pork, chicken and spareribs. All the Ancient Chinese Secrets you need, available in a convenient squeeze bottle! So authentic. By golly, I hate that font. (Thanks, Mai)

06.19.06

Just saw the trailer for The Rock's new film, The Gridiron Gang. Looks like it has the makings of a decent sports movie, with a few twists. It hits theaters in the fall.

06.19.06

New York Times has a book review of Robert Asahina's Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad, another book that tells the story of the 100th Battalion/442d Regimental Combat Team in World War II: G.I. Japanese

06.18.06

Also just in time for Father's Day, an article on blogging fathers, featuring Pierre Kim, who authors the immensely popular MetroDad (of which I am a fan): Hey, dude, are you there? It's me, daddyblogger. Check out MetroDad here. Also see Rice Daddies. Beware the crazy cute photos of babies up top.

06.18.06

Seven Japanese Americans sent to internment camps during World War II were granted high school diplomas in a special ceremony at San Jose High Academy last week. The new graduates, who are now in their late 70s or early 80s, would have graduated between 1942 and 1945: Interned Japanese-Americans receive diplomas in San Jose. Props to Trisha Yamaichi, a sophomore at the school who tracked down the new graduates by looking through old yearbooks and worked with the California Nisei High School Diploma Project, the result of state legislation that allows school districts to issue retroactive diplomas to Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II.

06.18.06

An op-ed piece in the New York Times in honor of Father's Day by Monique Truong, author of The Book of Salt: My Father's Vietnam Syndrome

06.18.06

Asian Cinevision and the Asian American International Film Festival have set up a feature page in conjunction with the relase of Michael Kang's The Motel. It includes interviews with Michael, along with actors Jeffrey Chyau (the kid has grown huge!) and Jade Wu, and producer Karen Chien. Check it out here. Remember, Wednesday, June 28th at the Film Forum in New York. It's a great film, so be there!

06.18.06

Heard this on NPR the other day... Morning Edition is doing a series of conversations on immigration. Here, they speak with Traci Hong, head of the immigration program at the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, DC: Immigrants and the Importance of English

06.18.06

I just learned about this dude, Denis Kang, a Korean-Canadian mixed martial arts fighter who currently holds a record of 22-7-1, and is considered a favorite to win the welterweight Grand Prix: Denis Kang - Road to the Welterweight Crown. The guy sounds like a badass. Here's his official website: deniskang.com

06.18.06

I heard about this several weeks ago, but I tried to avoid posting it because I just didn't want to give Maxim any more attention than it already gets... but people keep sending me it (a lot of you out there seem to read Maxim). This is from a sex advice column by Heidi Fleiss:


My buddy and I have a $100 bet on this one: What's a more popular request among guys who pay for sexóa threesome or an Asian chick? óSal, 20, New York City

I would say it's 50-50. Asians are really hot right now. The standard thinking about Asian women is that they're great because they're submissive and they do anything, and there might be something to that. But beyond the whole submissive stereotypeóand I know plenty of Asian women who don't fit that profile at allóAsian women always seem to have really great skin. That's part of the attraction. They look very clean and presentable in public. Guys want a girl they can bring to a charity function, then take home and get her down on all fours and do the nastiest things they ever thought of. Classy on the town and a porno star in the bedroomóthat's what guys are after.


Ah, Maxim. Always asking the hard questions. Not surprising, considering what appears to be the magazine's target demographic—the idiotic white frat boy set. But I am glad to know that "Asians are really hot now." That's racist!

06.18.06

News on another Lucy Liu project, though the title (Watching the Detectives) and co-star (Cillian Murphy) are all you really get: Liu & Murphy are Watching the Detectives. It's apparently a romantic comedy.

06.17.06

AsianAmericanFilm.com has a big list of all the Asian and Asian American films at the Los Angeles Film Festival, happening June 22nd through July 2nd. I'm looking forward to checking out Chris Chan Lee's Undoing.

06.17.06

Next Big Bang, the very first conference of Asian American theatre, happpens this weekend, June 18-20 in Los Angeles. It's a gathering of more than 200 theater professionals, educators and artists designed to look at the current state and future of Asian American theater. Here's an article in LA Times on the conference: A more flexible 'ethnic'

06.17.06

The Center For Asian American Media has a good interview with the Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana, the writing/directing team behind Cavite: A Thriller with an Asian American Twist. Here's the official site for the movie again. I highly recommend seeking out this movie in theaters while you can.

06.17.06

News story out of Boston about a Vietnamese kid whose sister was shot to death over a drug deal gone awry: Teen faults himself for the slaying of his sister

06.17.06

On Monday, June 19th, Asian Cinevision presents an evening with award-winning actress Sandra Oh at the Cantor Film Center in NYC. Details here: ONE ON ONE WITH SANDRA OH. Man, I remember first seeing her way back when in Mina Shum's Double Happiness. She's come a long way...

06.17.06

Another profile on Democratic Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, who lost her legs as a helicopter pilot in Iraq: Out of the War, Into a Fierce Battle for Congress

06.17.06



The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, directed by Justin Lin, opened in theaters on Friday. So what's the verdict? Is it fast? Is it furious?

06.17.06

The Lake House, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, opened in theaters this weekend. Yay. Little do most folks know, the movie is actually a remake of the South Korean film Il Mare, directed by Lee Hyun-seung—endlessly sappy and cheesy, yet oddly compelling. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first of the many announced Hollywood remakes of Korean films. And it's only the beginning...

06.17.06

Another suicide/murder attempt in the Korean community. What is going on? This is all over the news in New York... At first, it sounded like a tragic accident. A minivan rolled off a cliff in Bear Mountain State Park, killing a 35-year-old Staten Island woman and injuring her two daughters: Bear Mountain: Woman Dies in Plunge Off Cliff. Then things got complicated, when the police charged the husband, Victor K. Han, with promoting a suicide attempt and endangering the welfare of children: Husband Charged With Promoting Suicide Attempt. And then throw in another twist. Enter the female co-worker of Mr. Han's who says says the two had a romantic relationship: Husband Aided Wife's Suicide in Cliff Plunge, Police Say. I'm willing to bet you'll see this plot on Law & Order next season...

06.17.06

Here's some news that Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, CA will start offering Korean language classes to students: High school will offer Korean classes According the article, around the country, 5,000 students at 60 schools currently take Korean as a foreign language.

06.17.06

Ha ha! What the--!? JohnnyD informs me about little Jordan Eugenio, an 8-year-old Filipino/Korean American golf phenom and hip hop artist ("L'il Jordan") who's on his way up. Here's his official site, and here's his MySpace. The kid's got an album coming out in July. Is he the next Tiger Woods? The next Bow Wow? I don't know, but maybe in ten years you'll see him starring in The Fast and the Furious 7 or something.

06.17.06

Golfer Tadd Fujikawa, 15, is one of the youngest players to compete in the U.S. Open, the youngest since 1941: Against all obstacles, Fujikawa, 15, ready for the U.S. Open. He's probably also one of the smallest, at 5'1" and 135 pounds. But he says he can drive the ball on average 280 yards.

06.15.06

Here's an interesting article on actress Brenda Song in the New York Times: Brenda Song Turns Warrior in Disney's 'Wendy Wu'. Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior airs tomorrow night on the Disney Channel. I'm still not too keen about its high school girl/ancient kung fu warrior premise, but after reading this article and getting some background, I'm warming up to it. A little.

06.15.06

Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis. Yes, the people behind the controversial Grand Theft Auto bring you a regular ping pong video game without sex scenes or thug shootouts. And apparently, it's pretty good: From the Maker of Grand Theft Auto ... Table Tennis? With some Asian characters, no doubt.

06.15.06

Just a reminder about a few film festival Call For Entries... The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is currently accepting entries for its 10th year anniversary festival, happening November 15-19. For details, go here. The deadline is July 3rd, so get to work.

Also, the Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival is accepting submissions. Just two weeks left before the June 30th deadline. The festival will take place September 22-28, 2006 at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatre in West Hollywood. For entry guidelines, go here.

06.15.06

Current TV, Al Gore's network, aimed at sponsoring a summer video contest, "Seeds of Tolerance," aimed at promoting understanding, tolerance and diversity: Current TV Plans Contest on Tolerance. Judges include Paul Haggies (boo), Melissa Ethridge, Edward Norton and Margaret Cho. The winning film will receive a $100,000 prize, along with $15,000 to give to the charity of his or her choice.

06.15.06

Saving Face director Alice Wu is briefly mentioned in this article for her involvement in a screenwriting contest for high school students: Rio Grande City graduates win scriptwriting contest

06.15.06

By now, you've probably seen one or two or a hundred commercials for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which opens on Friday... and now, a reviews have begun to trickle in. This one over at Ain't It Cool News is fair, but with someone excellent things to say about co-star Sung Kang, who plays "Han." There's a good interview with him here (including video). Here's also a good video interview with director Justin Lin. And another interesting article on Lin and Co. over at MTV: 'The Fast And The Furious' ó Now With Brains Under The Hood

06.14.06

Police in Santa Cruz are reporting an alleged hate crime this week against two Asian American men who were attacked in Jack in the Box parking lot: Santa Cruz police probe second possible hate crime Tuesday. Some crazy guy apparently just started yelling slurs and beating on these people. That's racist!

06.14.06

Check it out... a first look at Palm's final poster design for The Motel:



It cracks me up. The more I look at it, the more I laugh. The Motel opens at the Film Forum in New York on June 28th, with more cities to follow. Michael Kang and Co. are currently looking for any young, energetic, responsible people who want to get involved with their street team and help get the word out about the film. If you're interested, contact pubertysucks@gmail.com.

06.14.06

This is a really interesting article on two professors studying the benefits and dangers of e-mail and other computer-based interactions. While email can be a powerful and convenient means of communication, it also lacks a lot of benefits of face-to-face interaction. Namely, the conveyance of emotion: It's all about me: Why e-mails are so easily misunderstood. One particularly interesting part of their research is email's ambiguity and its implications for minorities and women, because it tends to feed the preconceptions of a recipient:


The professors then handed each interviewer what they said was a photo of her subject. In reality, each got a picture of either an Asian or an African-American woman (in reality, all were white).

E-mail interviewers who thought the sender was Asian considered her social skills to be poor, while those who believed the sender was black considered her social skills to be excellent. In stark contrast, the difference in perceived sociability almost completely disappeared when interviewer and target had talked on the phone.


It's pretty interesting. Read more about it here. This actually reminds me of something I read a few months back, a very handy blog entry by Guy Kawasaki: The Effective Emailer. As someone who deals with a considerable amount of email every day, I can completely appreciate this advice (and hope that the kind emailers to this site will follow it).

06.14.06

Yet more love for Daniel Dae Kim, this time from TV Guide, who names Lost's Jin as one of TV's Sexiest Men. Not as "prestigious" as People's similar annual list (he made it on that too), but who's complaining?

Speaking of People, the magazine just published its annual "Hottest Bachelors" issue, and actor Archie Kao of CSI made the list. Not bad for a former Power Ranger. This morning on NBC's Today show, in honor of this list, they had Archie participate in a "Dating Game" segment as Bachelor #2, alongside JC Chasez(?) and Ace from American Idol (the girl chose Ace). Film festival-goers might also recognize him as the star of Jerry Chan's short film Fast Money. I met him last month at VC Filmfest. Cool guy.

06.14.06

More racist radio stuff... Got this email from Andrew, who details something he heard earlier this week on "Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning Show" on 97.5 The Hawk in the NYC metropolitan area:


The departure of Howard Stern from "free" radio has apparently left an offensiveness vacuum for morning DJs in the NYC metropolitan area. This morning, the "Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning Show" on 97.5 The Hawk, the call-in topic of discussion was reminiscences of times listeners, as children, had been lost or left behind by their parents.

At approximately 8:15 am, a female caller called in to tell about the time when her parents had accidently left her at a Chinese restaurant, and she had to walk home. On DJ (possibly "Free Beer" -- I can't tell these idiots apart) told her that she was lucky she hadn't been "sold into slavery" or "cooked". She was also asked if she tried to speak with the waitstaff, at which point the other DJ ("Hot Wings"?) started to make "ching-chong"-type noises. The first DJ then praised him on his "excellent Chinese impersonation", and the second DJ then made more "ching-chong"-type noises, followed by "Me so sorry."

They then discussed a summer job that another DJ "Vance" had at a Chinese restaurant. One DJ then stated that "Chinese food stinks" and asked why it was that when one went to a pizza restaurant, one did not smell like pizza, but when one went to a Chinese restaurant, "you stink."

This happened this morning, June 12, 2006, between approximately 8:15 to 8:21 AM. I'm glad that I was alone in the car, and didn't have to explain to my son why these idiots were mocking his heritage on-air.


Did anyone else out there hear this? Sadly, as we all know, this kind of crap that passes for funny radio happens waaaay too often.

06.14.06

I think we've already sort of covered Mike North's apology, but here's an article that spells it out a little more: North apologizes for remark. He claims he didn't know it was offensive, but now he knows, so it won't happen again. What bugs me is how adamantly disrespectful he initially was when people started calling him on it... but the station puts the pressure on, and look at him change his tune.

06.13.06

Filmmakers in Utah making a theatrical movie about Japanese American internees during World War II are looking for local extras. According to this article, the film, American Pastime, "tells the story of Japanese Americans herded into the Utah internment camp in Topaz who turn to baseball as a way to deal with their plight." The filmmakers are looking for people 18 years or older of Asian descent to work as extras. Details here: Extras sought for film about WWII internees

06.13.06

Over at Amazon.com, you can hear M. Night Shyamalan read from his children's book version of Lady In The Water. It says he wrote the book as a bedtime story for his own children.

06.13.06

Here's an interesting article in the New York Times on the Buddhist movement in the United States adapting to fit changing cultural circumstances: Buddhism With a New Mind-Set

06.13.06

According to this press release, Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today on the continuing need for voter language assistance under the Voting Rights Act: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee and Submits Voting Rights Act Report. AALDEF has submitted a comprehensive report to the Committee, in which it finds that voters continue to face pervasive racial discrimination, harassment, and institutional barriers in the electoral process.

06.13.06

At 7 feet, 9 inches, NBA hopeful Sun Ming Ming is a very large man who has had to deal with his share of taunts and stares. And it hurts his feelings: TALL TASK; 7-FOOT-9 Sun Ming Ming is working to convert himself from SIDESHOW into a SHOWSTOPPER. Though he's listed as the seventh tallest person in the world, and has a whole eight inches on Shaq, the NBA is still a long way off.

06.13.06

The follow photo was taken this morning just before 6:00 in Los Angeles' Koreatown, right outside Radio Korea. Hundreds (thousands?) of enthusiastic fans gathered together at the crack of dawn in full red regalia to cheer on the South Korean team playing Togo in the FIFA World Cup (soccer, people). Broadcast live on the jumbotron!



Guess who won? KOREA REPUBLIC 2-1 TOGO

06.13.06

Check it out... Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco presents 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors in "Asian Bird Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest," as part of its First Annual Sketch Comedy Festival. June 23rd and 24th at Theater Artaud. Funny stuff, yes, but that's not all! They're offering discounted tickets to you, the good readers of this website. The first 50 people for each show get discount tickets (just $7.50). All you have to do is enter the password ANGRY when you order tickets. Cool, right? Order now, and support Asian American arts!

06.13.06

Got this from Tian over at Hanzi Smatter. Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and American Dad, recently spoke to students at Harvard's 2006 Class Day and offered some special words of wisdom:


Number 1, Don't get a tattoo of a Chinese character on your fanny if you don't understand the language. Tattoo removal services are making a killing off people's stupidity. It's because "Little Miss Individuality" walks into a tattoo parlor and gets an Asian symbol she thinks it means "spiritual woman," but then she later finds out it means "sugar substitute."


Definitely advice to live by. Video of the speech here.

06.13.06

New York Asian Film Festival 2006 kicks off on Friday, June 16th, and runs through July 1st. Featuring some of the best kickass cinema from Asia (duh), playing at the Anthology Film Archives and The ImaginAsian. Good stuff. Not to be confused with the 29th New York Asian American International Film Festival, which happens next month.

06.13.06

This week, Se Ri Pak of South Korea won the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock Golf Course, her first victory in two years and the fifth major of her career: Pak Wins in Playoff; Wie Ties for Fifth

06.12.06

MTV K, MTV's soon-to-be-launched network aimed towards young Korean Americans, has a minimal website up and running. Similar to the previous launch of MTV Chi a few months back, visitors can vote on what they'd like to see as the very first video to be aired on MTV K. They've got a lot of Korean artists on the ballot, but personally, I'd like to see a Korean American artist represent the first video. Better yet, how about one of the indie artists? (e.g. Heather Park, Far East Movement, Mike Park, etc). The signal goes live on June 27th.

06.12.06

Here's a lengthy, rambling interview with director M. Night Shyamalan over at Ain't It Cool News. His latest film Lady In The Water, "a bedtime story," opens in theaters next month. The interview seems to indicate that the movie will have a fairly diverse cast (including Shyamalan himself, of course).

06.12.06

From NPR's Morning Edition business report, "why China isn't as scary as it seems"... Last year, a report cited in The New York Times and quoted on the House floor claimed China graduates nine times as many engineers as the U.S. Skeptical, a Duke professor had students check the numbers: Figures on Chinese Engineers Fail to Add Up

06.12.06

This is a shout-out to all the filmmakers—directors, writers, actors, crew—who are frantically completing their short films for the 3rd Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout. This year's theme, announced on Friday, is OBSESSIVE/COMPULSIVE, along with an added music challenge (every team is required to incorporate music into their film). Good luck!

06.12.06

Watch what you put on your MySpace/Friendster/Facebook profile for everyone out there on the internets to see... You never know who could be watching. Forget potential stalkers, what about potential employers? Your online activities could seriously mess up your chances at getting that job, like the guy in this article found out: For Some, Online Persona Undermines a RÈsumÈ

06.12.06

Here's a news story on a botched robbery in Memphis, where a guy tried to steal a Chinese restaurant's cash register, but the employees chased him down and beat the crap out of him: Restaurant serves him only slugs

06.12.06

Notorious MSG continues to blow up: Their Hard-Knock Life. The article goes a little into their backstory as smuggled immigrants turned Chinese restaurant workers. While I appreciate their efforts to illuminate this particular plight, I still don't buy it. That said, they're pretty entertaining.

06.12.06

After being greeted with a great deal of fanfare upon his arrival in New York two years ago, Kazuo Matsui was traded last week to the Colorado Rockies, after a disappointing run with the Mets: Matsui's Fall From Grace Ends in Trade

06.12.06

Interesting piece in the New York Times Magazine on an immigrant named Deng Chen, who at age 14 was sent by his parents to the United States from China, by himself, with the assistance of smugglers. Over the next four years, Chen worked to pay off a smuggling debt of $45,000, plus interest: The Smugglers' Due. The details of his experience are harrowing, though not out of the ordinary.

06.11.06

Lots of Asian/AsianAmerican cinema going on all over the place...

Steven E. Mallorca's Slow Jam King is currently playing a one week run at The ImaginAsian in New York. Here's an interview with the director over at AsianAmericanFilm.com: Steve Mallorca talks "Slow Jam King". I also highly recommend Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana's Cavite, now playing at the Cinema Village in New York, and opening in San Diego, San Francisco and Berkeley on June 16th. Check the website for the full details. And here's another article on the movie: Guerrilla Filmmaking in the Philippines

I've already mentioned the South Korean action film, Kwak Kyung-Taek's Typhoon, as well as Park Chan-Wook's revenge thriller Lady Vengeance. Both continue their releases in various cities across the country.

And as you know, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift opens on Friday, June 16th. You've also got Michael Kang's The Motel opening at the Film Forum in New York on June 28... Throw in Chris Chan Lee's Undoing premiering at the LA Film Festival on June 24th, and that's a whole lot of Sung Kang. It's the Summer of Sung!

06.11.06

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later... New Line Cinema has bought the remake rights to the controversial Japanese film Battle Royale: New Line Takes on Battle Royale. I guess I always felt like this was one of those untouchable films. I guess there is no such thing. Is nothing sacred??? I also wonder if they're going to make the characters a little older—high school kids killing each other is kind of a touchy topic in America. On the upside, I suppose it'll generate more interest in watching the original stateside.

06.11.06

Really interesting, sort of bizarre story Ken Eto, also known as "Tokyo Joe," one of Chicago's most well-known mobsters: Mobster 'Tokyo Joe' is dead. He apparently died two years ago while in protective custody, though it wasn't reported until this week. His story is especially crazy because the guy survived an attempted gangland hit in 1983—three shots to the head that failed to penetrate his thick skull. Somebody needs to make a movie about this guy.

06.11.06

This week, NPR did a story on the murder of Jae Sang Kim, who was killed during a robbery at his store last year: Family's Hunt for Justice Honors Man of Character. His family hasn't relented in their search for justice.

06.11.06

Listen to the sweet sweet punk sounds of Red Team Go! They've got free music available for download on the site, and they'll keep it coming. It's their mission.

06.11.06

Very interesting LA Times story on Bich Vu, who at age 10 prayed and promised to devote his life to God if his family survived their escape from Vietnam. This weekend he made good on his promise and became ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange: Making Good on a Promise to God

06.11.06

In Fort Lee, New Jersey, half the students in one of the school district's kindergarten classes next fall will be Korean speakers who struggle with English, while the other half will be native English speakers. School officials are basically hoping that the Korean speakers will gain critical English skills, and the English-speakers will pick up Korean fluency. This proposed Korean-English bilingual program is the first of its kind in the state: Bilingual schooling is topic for PTA

06.11.06

Last week, the Senate blocked legislation introduced by Senator Daniel K. Akaka, known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, that would have led to the creation of a governing body for the estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians in the United States. It essentially sought to afford Native Hawaiians similar legal standing to American Indians and Native Alaskans: Senate Blocks Bill to Convey Special Status for Hawaiians. The bill failed to get the 60 votes required to bring the matter to the Senate floor for an up-or-down tally.

06.11.06

Here's an interesting LA Times article on Hapas and Kip Fulbeck's new exhibition: Mixed-Race Asians Find Pride as Hapas

06.11.06

According to the U.S. Consul General to Seoul, Korean prostitutes who stay illegally in the U.S. are a major psychological barrier to a visa waiver for Korean visitors there. Basically, it doesn't help Korea's efforts for a visa waiver if Korean women are uncovered every time there is a prostitution bust in the U.S.: Korean Prostitutes Threaten Visa Waiver. Apparently, it makes a bad impression.

06.10.06

NBC has a four-minute preview of Heroes (click on "video"), an upcoming fall show about ordinary people who discover they have incredible super abilities. The cast includes Sendhil Ramamurthy as "Mohinder Suresh," and Masi Oka as "Hiro Nakamura." It looks pretty cool. Has the success of Lost opened up possibilities for more multicultural casting on television? Just a thought. I might also add that E! Online's weekly "Watch with Kristin" chat recently mentioned Heroes, saying "Loooved it. Just my humble opinion. And there is a new Asian actor on there who I'm obsessed with." Interesting...

UPDATE: The website of actor James Kyson Lee indicates that he'll have a guest starring role on Heroes as "Ando Masahashi, a womanizing doubter and one of the lead's best friends."

06.10.06

Another good article on Justin Lin and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift: Switching Gears. It has some good insight into the process of making the film, and some of the big story and casting changes Lin made to the original script. Apparently, the original draft was pretty awful, and Justin Lin said something to the effect of "Hell no." To the studio's credit, they worked with him to create the kind of movie he wanted to direct. The result is a pretty fun summer blockbuster, with an Asian American director at the helm. Read the article here.

06.10.06

Been seeing a series of Volkswagen commercials involving "stereotypes" about Jetta owners. Check them out here:

Hike

Yoga

Dance

You get the idea. Kind of clever, but does anyone else think that these commercials sort make light of folks who actually have to deal with real stereotypes in their lives?

06.10.06

Next week in Los Angeles, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and the Organization of Chinese Americans are presenting an educational discussion forum, Asian Americans and Immigration Reform: Where Do We Stand? Thursday, June 15th at the The Pico House at the El Pueblo Historical Monument. Speakers include Mike Eng, Monterey Park Councilmember; Anna Prasad, Executive Director, US-Asia Business Forum; John TrasviÒa, Interim President and General Counsel, MALDEF; Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Center for Labor Research; and Su Yon Yi, Director of Special Projects, NAKASEC. It's free and open to the public, but you have to RSVP to apafp@apaforprogress.org. For more information, go here.

06.09.06

This is the message the management of WSCR-AM 670 is sending in response to letters regarding Mike North's "Chinaman" remark:


I am writing in response to your email concerning a recent remark by Mike North. Your comments on this matter are welcome and we recognize your concerns. The matter is not being taken lightly by Mr. North or WSCR-AM.

Since the incident we have taken several constructive steps to rectify the situation. On Wednesday, June 7, Mr. North twice broadcast a formal on-air apology during his morning drive show to Mr. Ryu and the Asian American community acknowledging the comment was disrespectful and unacceptable and vowing to never use the word again in the future. The station also has echoed those sentiments with its own apology to those in our audience who were offended by the remark.

Additionally, we have reached out to leaders in the Asian American community to further discuss the issue and will be hosting a meeting in our offices with representatives of several organizations in the coming weeks.

Thank you again for reaching out to WSCR to share your perspectives and insight. Please feel free to reach me at 312-245-6067 if you have any questions or wish to discuss the issue further.

Sincerely,

Paul Agase

VP/General Manager

WSCR-AM "670 The Score"

455 N. Cityfront Plaza - 6th Floor

Chicago, Illlinois 60611

Phone: 312-245-6067

Fax: 312-245-6015

paul.agase@cbsradio.com


Did anyone out there in Chicago actually hear the apology this week? Judging from North's subsequent comments about the incident, I doubt it was really that sincere. The station management probably put the pressure on, and he relented. When will they learn?

06.09.06

This is kind of cheesy, but what the heck... in honor of Father's Day, AOL's got a feature on Dreamy TV Dads. Jin from Lost is one of the chosen. Though, he's not quite a dad yet, is he?

06.09.06

Here's an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle by Helen Zia on the vindication, finally, of Wen Ho Lee: Why privacy matters -- the case of Wen Ho Lee

06.09.06

More news on that possible police brutality incident that occurred on April 30 in Quincy, MA. Karen Chen, 26, a community organizer for the Boston-based Chinese Progressive Association, alleges that police officers manhandled and wrongly arrested her and three friends because they are Asian American: Asian activists protest arrests: Misconduct allegations being investigated by an 'outside agency'

06.09.06

"Damn, this girl's kickin' knowlege!" Check out this cool short film, Slip of the Tongue by Karen Lum, hosted by the Media That Matters Film Festival (click "01" on the right). It's adapted from the poem "Slip of the Tongue" by Adriel Luis.

UPDATE: This film is amazing. I've watched it four times since I posted it. Something really mesmerizing about it...

06.09.06

For folks in LA, there's a cool event going on this weekend at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo... a party on the plaza, celebrating the opening kip fulbeck: part-asian, 100% hapa, Saturday, June 10th, 7:00-10:00pm. Featuring DJ sets, spoken word artists, and a book signing. The exhibition will be on display through October. Details here.

06.08.06

Another NPR story on award-winning Chinese composer Tan Dun: Tan Dun's Cultural Evolution

06.08.06

I believe I've mentioned Dave Liang's Shanghai Restoration Project a few times around here. The album blends traditional Chinese music with hip hop beats... while on paper that may sound pretty weird, it actually works pretty well. Anyway, one of the songs, "The Bund," will be featured on this Saturday on the ABC crime show The Evidence. Doesn't take a wild guess to figure out what/where the episode's about:


Saturday, June 10 at 10/9c

"Yi vs. Li"

When a very traditional Chinese business owner is killed in cold blood, Bishop and Cole must look to his strident Confucian practices to help solve his murder.


That's right, baby. The Chinatown episode!!!

06.08.06

John Cho and Kal Penn, stars of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, are supposed to appear on the next episode of Filter, a show on the G4 network. According to the website, they're apparently participating in "a real mid-air dogfight." Whoo. Unfortunately, G4 is still playing reruns of Banzai. Booo.

06.08.06

More on First Lt. Ehren Watada, who refuses to deploy with his unit to Iraq, claiming that his participation would make him "party to war crimes": Army officer says won't fight in "unlawful" Iraq war

06.08.06

Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop, is doing a special blog for PBS.com the entire month of June on their "Borders: American ID" series. He'll be discussing hip hop and American identity. Not quite as wild as blogging for the Dixie Chicks, but still pretty cool. Check it out here

Also, if you're a college professor or lecturer or a high school teacher interested in using Can't Stop Won't Stop in your classes this fall, you might be able to get a free examination copy from the publisher. Just email your name, school mailing address, and the name of the course for which you're considering the book, to: academic@hholt.com.

06.08.06

For my Bay Area brothers and sisters, a very cool event for you this weekend: Danger & Beauty, an evening of spoken word, hip-hop, and acoustic soul featuring Ishle Park, Taiyo Na, and Denizen Kane. Sunday, June 11th at space180. It's gonna be hot. Details here.

06.08.06

Another movie project for Lost's Naveen Andrews, playing "a badass military scientist" in Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror": Naveen Andrews Finds Grind House. It's part of Rodriquez's horror collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, Grind House.

06.08.06

This week, the Rosemead Buddhist Monastery held its first-ever ordination ceremony for a nun—an occurence that's apparently pretty rare in the United States. On Tuesday, Sandie Tran, 43, became Venerable Hui Cheng: Testament of faith

06.08.06

Come on! This is another casting notice on Craigslist for that Balls of Fury movie. You're gonna love this one:


CASTING EXTRAS FOR THE FEATURE FILM "Balls of Fury"

This movie is a comdey starring Christopher Walkin, George Lopez, Maggie Q, Carey-Hiroyuki Tagawa, James Hong.

I need beautiful Japanese girls to play Geisha. Japanese only. This will work June 15th, 16th, 19th-23rd, and also 26th-29th so you need to have an open schedule. This will be early morning calls, working up to 12 hours a day. The outfits are going to be sexy with a lot of leg so you must be comfortable with being sexy;)18-28yrs. I will get into more of the details if you fit the part.

I need hot sexy Asian women to play sexy servants. This works the same days as the Geisha . You need to be 18-28 years of age and have great bodies.

I need tough looking Asian men to play Triad,Yakuza and guards w/weapons. The tougher the better and tattoos are a big plus. This will work the same dates as the Geisha.

Please, when you submit you must include a currrent clear picture, and your contact information. Also let me know if you are SAG or not. I have more non union spots left then SAG. Do not waste our time only apply if you are totally open for all the days!


I know this is a comedy, but forgive me, I can't seem to muster up a sense of humor about this. You'll remember last month that people got pretty pissed off (death threats, I recall) when this production posted a casting notice explicitly stating, "No Asians." They defended themselves saying that there were actually many many roles for Asians in this film. If this is what they meant, I say hell no. Thank you, Balls of Fury, for being so sensitive to the kinds of roles Asians get to play in Hollywood.

06.08.06

Actor Tim Kang is in this commercial (the guy answering the door) for Carrier: Messenger Advertisement. I think it has something to do with heating/cooling your house.

06.08.06

Here's a brief article on Hyun Choi "Hank" Conger, an up-and-coming Korean American bbaseball phenom from Orange County, and the Angels' top pick in the draft: Kershaw, Conger Don't Wait Too Long for Calls (scroll down halfway)

06.08.06

Check out the music video for Far*East Movement's "Round Round," which is featured on the soundtrack for The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. They're actually the only unsigned group on the album, something director Justin Lin apparently had to lobby for with the studio, considering that they're three random Asian guys some exec has probably never heard of. But the song made it in the movie, and it's a fun track. And a fun video, featuring Sung Kang, Leonardo Nam (as the Kobayashi-esque hot dog eater), Kaila Yu and Aiko Tanaka. Maybe this can make it on MTV...ya think? Oh, the Tokyo Drift Soundtrack is out on June 20th, and Far*East Movement's new album drops on July 4th.

06.07.06

Sam, a "self-proclaimed ladies man," is one of the "Geniuses" on the new NBC reality show Treasure Hunters, where teams quest to find hidden treasure. Looks kind of fun, though I don't think I can afford to watch yet another reality show right now.

Also spotted Kris, "The Party Girl," on commercials for How To Get The Guy, ABC's new reality show about "four young, attractive and available women who are looking for Mr. Right" in San Francisco, with the help of two "Love Coaches." The website boasts that the show is shot in "docu-soap style," which doesn't necesarily make me want to watch it... I think I'll pass.

06.07.06

Last week, I mentioned the Westminster school board's sudden decision to retract its hiring of Kimoanh Nguyen-Lam as the district's new superintendent. She would've been the first Vietnamese American superintendent of an Orange County school district. Some are calling the decision racist. Here's more background on the situation, according to these articles, ordered chronologically:

Westminster School District hires school chief

Westminster school board retracts hiring

Westminster Board Rescinds Superintendent Job Offer

Reversal on Westminster hiring defended

Supporters of Nguyen-Lam are planning to attend the Westminster School District Board meeting, wearing blue, on June 15th, 6pm at
Westminster School District Headquarters, 14121 Cedarwood Avenue, Westminster. They're looking for a fight! Interested parties are encouraged to come out and show your support.

06.07.06

Here's an editorial on the bill sponsored by Hawaiian Senator Daniel Akaka that would extend federal recognition to Native Hawaiians as indigenous people. After languishing for years, the bill is heading for a Senate vote. If passed, it would create a governing body for the estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians that would negotiate with the state and federal governments over land and other resources: A Chance for Justice in Hawaii

06.07.06

Interesting story in the Daily News about a New York human rights group called Desis Rising Up and Moving, or DRUM, releasing a report that challenges the way youth get treated under public school safety procedures. Working-class Desi kids, according to a survey summarized in the report, are sick of seeing metal detectors, armed cops and bullying administrators prowling school halls: Marching to their own DRUM

06.07.06

Check out Tripmaster Monkey, a recently launched online Asian culture magazine. Though their use of the word "Asiaphiles" set off some initial red flags—t calls itself "a cheeky magazine for 'Asiaphiles,'"—I'm pretty sure they intend it to mean something broader than the more pejorative use of term we've come to know and love. Looks like it's just getting off the ground, but there's some pretty interesting stuff. Take a look.

06.07.06

This week, eighty-six Japanese Americans were officially recognized by the Okinawan goverment for their service as interpreters during World War II: Interpreters earn overdue praise. While we've heard a lot about the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, these guys have received relatively little recognizition until now.

06.07.06

This has been all over the news today... a Fort Lewis Army lieutenant, Erhen Watada, was scheduled to make his his first deployment to Iraq this month, but has refused orders to lead troops in what he believes is an illegal war of occupation: Officer at Fort Lewis calls Iraq war illegal, refuses order to go. His refusal to accompany the Stryker brigade troops puts him at risk of court martial and years of prison time. I say props to this guy for standing up for what he believes in, but he also needs to be ready to face the consequences of his actions.

06.07.06

Dude, Phoebe Cates, darling goddess of the infamous red bikini (see Fast Times at Ridgemont High), is still agelessly gorgeous at 42. Spotted at the New York premiere of A Prairie Home Companion, she looks the same as she did seventeen years ago: Phoebe Cates Never Ages

06.07.06

This is pretty crazy... Thomas R. Robinson, an associate professor of accounting at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, is the first American to be able to claim descent from Genghis Khan. It's a long story, involving family trees, genetic tests and Y chromosomes: In the Body of an Accounting Professor, a Little Bit of the Mongol Hordes. Though somehow, I doubt he'll be claiming that he's Asian in the next Census.

06.07.06

Here's a lengthy story on kids trying to break into Hollywood, including nine-year-old named Jaysha Patel trying her darndest to cry on cue: Hollywood Elementary

06.07.06

It looks like this rumored Zhang Ziyi/Weinstein Brothers collaboration may actually be happening... She's in negotiations to star in three pictures for the Weinstein Co., including the previously mentioned remake of Seven Samurai (nooooooo) and a possible non-Disneyfied "Mulan" movie: Zhang, Weinsteins in film talks You know, I caught Rush Hour 2 on TV the other day, and I realized it's one of the few Zhang Ziyi roles that she wasn't in some sort of period dress or costume. I guess we figured out a long time ago that she's the go-to girl for these kinds of productions. I wonder if she gets tired of the floppy sleeves.

06.06.06

In Canada, the prime minister will apologize to Chinese head tax payers and their families. A redress package will also be announced in parliament within the next month. Thousands of Chinese immigrants were forced to pay the tax as the price of admission to Canada between 1885 and 1923. Today, fewer than 20 Chinese Canadians who paid the racist tax are still alive: Head-tax payers to get an apology

06.06.06

Not so fast, Michelle. The latest from the Wie Watch: Wie Wows Gallery but Misses Chance at Open. She fell short yesterday in her attempt to become the first woman to qualify for the US Open, but I have a feeling she's still destined for great things: Michelle Wie prompts gallery debate. It's crazy. She hasn't really won anything yet, but we can't stop watching. Today, she's threw the first pitch at an Orioles game: Wie tosses out first pitch

06.06.06

Taiwanese composer-turned-filmmaker Hou Dejian plans to make a $66 million English-language martial arts fantasy film, Lady White Snake, and hopefully get himself back in to China: Taiwan artist hopes film ends Tiananmen exile. Not to be confused with Whitesnake, the band that totally wails.

06.06.06

Been hearing this song "Me & U" on the radio a lot, but I didn't know the singer, Cassie, is part-Filipino (and Black). Now I know. And so do you. Apparently, she first blew up on MySpace, got signed by Tommy Mottola, and is releasing an album this summer.

06.06.06

It shows itself in all forms... Blogger-turned-published author Julie Powell has herself a Crash moment, and makes some admittedly racist assumptions about some purse snatchers who may or may not be Hispanic/Vietnamese: Mean Streets of LIC

06.06.06

All right, suckas. It's time to get off your ass and become a filmmaker. Regular registration for the 3rd Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout has been extended! They're keeping the regular registration application fee at $150. So if you've been holding out because of the fee, now you've got a second chance. Besides, it'll be fun, and it builds character. Get your teams together and make it happen! The final registration deadline is June 8th. All the details are available here. It all kicks off this Friday, June 9th at the Official 2006 72 Hour Shootout Launch Party at M1-5 in New York, where they'll announce the theme to this year's competition. Now get moving.

UPDATE: Here's an interview with AAFilmLab's Matte Chi, courtesy of AsianAmericanFilm.com: AAFilmLab's Matte Chi talks about the 72 Hour Film Shootout

06.06.06

According to the results of a survey released this week, Asian American voters gave a huge plurality—97 percent—to Jun Choi in last November's Edison mayoral election: Solid Asian bloc voted for Choi. Choi won the election by a mere 273 votes over fellow Democrat William Stephens, who ran as an independent.

06.06.06

Remember that story about Patrick McDermott, Olivia Newton-John's boyfriend who disappeared last year? He was believed to have fallen overboard on a fishing boat, though some of those details were kind of sketchy—some speculated that he faked his death to dodge mounting debts. Well, apparently the guy has been spotted a few times over the last few months hiding out in Mexico: Singer's missing boyfriend 'seen'

06.06.06

Very insightful commentary on this whole crazy affair between Wen Ho Lee and the big bad press: Newsroom Lessons From The Wen Ho Lee Fiasco

06.06.06

Oh, how wonderful. A classic piece of yellowface cinema coming soon to DVD... 20th Century Fox is releasing the Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 1 on June 20th. Five Charlie Chan films, starring Warner Oland in full yellowface glory. Not to be confused with The Charlie Chan Chanthology that MGM released a few years back, or even Fox's Mr. Moto Collection coming out later in the summer. It saddens me that there are fans clamoring for these films on DVD... White dudes playing Asians, people!

06.06.06

Has anybody ever heard of this book? After 9/11: A Korean Girl's Sexual Journey, by Younghee Cha (a pseudonym). Don't know much about it, except that it sounds kind of weird, and the Amazon.com reviews ring a tad bit inauthentic. I only heard about it because of this recent Craigslist posting:


Seeking a Co-Screenwriter For Adapting My Own Book

Do you like "Memoirs of a Geisha?"

I self-published this book, "After 9/11: A Korean Girl's Sexual Journey, (358p)"
under a pen-name. Now I am going to adapt it myself into a feature-film.

Please check the bookís website: http://www.youngheecha.com

1. If you are interested in,

2. Just send me your e-mail address.

3. I will send you the PDF file of the whole book.

4. If you see a big future for yourself in my book,

5. Then tell me about yourself, and

6. I will get back to you.

7. Remember, you can suggest any new ideas...assuming they work toward our big future.

You have to know the following:

1. There will be a 50/50 split on everything we do together and receive together.

2. I live in Hollywood.

3. I use final draft, and you have the same.

Thank you for your time.


I don't know, any project that identifies with Memoirs of a Geisha raises a skeptical eyebrow for me.

06.05.06

Here's another article on children adopted from China... it raises the interesting point of how they'll address the inevitable questions from other kids about their white parents, their Chinese heritage, and why exactly those things don't quite match up: Chinese adoptees, families share cultural riches

06.06.06

According to this article, Indian Americans are lobbying heavily for President Bush's plan to aid India's civilian nuclear program, spending a load of cash campaign contributions and public relations to persuade Congress to approve the deal: Indian-Americans Test Their Clout on Atom Pact

06.05.06

So, maybe you've seen the trailer for The Motel, directed by Michael Kang. And maybe you've seen the trailer for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, directed by Justin Lin. But have you seen the trailer for "The Motel and the Furious"? Yep, it's one of those wacky mash-up jobs between The Motel and The Fast and the Furious, both starring Sung Kang. Cracked me up. Check it out here.

If you didn't know, The Motel begins its theatrical run on June 28 at The Film Forum in New York. I highly recommend this film. It's a tiny little indie Asian American film with a whole lotta heart. But it needs some extra support from good people like you. Further screenings will be dependent on its box office performance during the initial weeks of its theatrical run. So mark your calendars!

UPDATE: The movie's in the running this month on the MySpace Film site. Vote for The Motel! I'm not sure what happens if you win, but it's probably something cool.

On the complete opposite side of the film spectrum... Last night, I attended the world premiere of Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which was pretty fun. I actually had the chance to talk to director Justin Lin last week, and it was really interesting hearing about the struggles and challenges he faced working within the studio system, and getting a film like this made. I have a few things to say about this film—believe it or not, I actually liked it (well, most of it)—and I'll definitely discuss it at length when I have a little more time. Meanwhile, here's a pretty good article on Justin Lin: Pedal to the metal

06.05.06

Just read this press release about AAGolf Magazine a new bimonthly publication targeted to Asian American and Asian golf audiences: AAGolf Magazine Tees Off! I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. Actually, I'm sort of surprised it didn't happen sooner. Here's the magazine's website.

Speaking of Asian Americans and golf, Michelle Wie is trying to become the first female to compete in a men's major: History on line for Wie as U.S. Open qualifier begins

06.05.06

Tian of Hanzi Smatter is interviewed in the Spring 2006 of Inked, a magazine for tattoo enthusiasts: Mistaken Identity. Apparently, even the editor-in-chief of the magazine has gotten Asian character tattoos that didn't mean what he thought they meant. Silly white people.

06.05.06

This week in terrorism! Seventeen Canadian residents—mainly of South Asian descent—were arrested and charged with plotting to attack targets in southern Ontario with crude but powerful fertilizer bombs: 17 Held in Plot to Bomb Sites in Ontario

06.05.06

Check out the official website for Filipino Canadian Romeo Candido's horror movie Ang Pamana: The Inheritance. It's got a whole bunch of photos and info and downloads, including a new full trailer. Looks pretty creepy.

06.05.06

According to researchers in Singapore, dark soya sauce may prove to be more effective than red wine and vitamin C in combating human cell damage: Dark soya sauce healthier than red wine. Antioxidants, baby. Take that, free radicals!

06.05.06

Here's an article in the New York Times about a new clinic in Brooklyn that's been carefully designed and built to serve the area's fast-growing Chinese population: A Spoonful of Foreign Culture Helps Western Medicine Go Down

06.05.06

This week, US film producer Gerald Green announced that he'll be making a film based on the infamous siege by Japanese forces of Nanjing during late 1937 and early 1938—the "Rape of Nanjing": "Nanjing" to Be Filmed in China, Recreating Japanese Attack in 1937. The screenplay will be written by William Macdonald (HBO's Rome). What's this story going to look like when it gets the Hollywood treatment? Forgive me if I sound wary... And even if the movie turns out to be good, man, talk about heavy. I'm not sure I'd want to see it.

06.05.06

A Canadian court has delayed the deportation Lai Changxing, of one of China's most wanted men, because he claims he faces torture or execution if he returns to China: Canada delays Chinese deportation

06.04.06

Naveen Andrews (Sayid on Lost) has joined the cast of The Brave One, a thriller directed by Neil Jordan: Lost's Andrews Joins The Brave One. It's a thriller about "a woman struggling to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a dark psychological and physical journey for revenge and justice." Andrews will play the man who's engaged to marry the victim.

06.04.06

The LA Times has an interesting article on Southern California's Chinese American political power couple, Assemblywoman Judy Chu and Monterey Park Councilman Mike Eng: Political Power Couple Facing New Dynamic. Some question whether or not their politics still represent the Asian American community, one that looks a lot different from when they began their careers in the 1980s.

06.04.06

An article on 14-year-old actress Zoe Weizenbaum, who stars in the film 12 and Holding: From Amherst to big screen

06.04.06

Here's another one for you... I've been alerted to the recent harassment of Asian businesses by (suprise, surprise) a radio personality. A fool named Lucas of Tower 98-3 FM in Toledo, Ohio has apparently been making on-air prank calls to Asian restaurants, making fun of their accents, and generally being a racist ass. Unfortunately, if you've listened to radio for any amount of time, you know that this kind of crap happens all the time. A student group has decided that this has to stop, and has created an online petition. Read it for more details: Stop Racist Harassment on Toledo Radio Airwaves

06.03.06

This week, lawyers for Troi Torain, aka DJ Star, asked a judge to dismiss the criminal charges he faces for making on-air threats about the child of a rival DJ: Disc Jockey Seeks Dismissal of Charges. He's claiming that his remarks were "part of an on-air battle between the announcers," and not a crime. If you ask me, it's part of a larger pattern of dangerous, dehumanizing behavior that somehow passes for "entertainment." Lest we forget, he also called DJ Envy's wife a "gook," "slant-eyed whore," and "lo mein eater." And back in 2004, he called an Indian call center worker a "filthy rat eater." Yeah, you won't see me too broken up if this guy goes to jail.

06.03.06

DiversityInc presents its list of The Top 10 Companies for Asian Americans—companies who demonstrate a long-term commitment to recognizing, developing and promoting top Asian American talent. Topping the list is Hewlett-Packard, where twelve percent of managers and 9 percent of CEOs and direct reports are Asian American.

06.03.06

This might be kind of interesting for fans of Lost... it's a promo for the show that apparently only aired in the UK: Rejected Original Promo. Totally bizarre and surreal, directed by David LaChappelle (Rize), scored with a Portishead song (see Sun and Jin doing a dance). I can kind of see why it might have been perceived as a little too weird for American TV screens. I think it's really cool.

06.03.06

Check it out... my man Raymond Lee (you may remember him as a contestant on the show Fame a few years back) is making his Broadway debut this weekend in the hit show Mamma Mia! playing the character of "Eddie." If you go, you'll apparently see him dancing in scuba gear and playing the bagpipes. Well heck, why wouldn't you want to go?

06.03.06



Making the Cultural Revolution fun for everyone.

There's been some hoopla in the news lately about DC Comics' announcement that the new Batwoman character is a lesbian... it's a part of a larger discussion about growing diversity in comic books: Straight (and Not) Out of the Comics. We've already mentioned the Korean American character who's the new Atom. Also among the new crop of characters is a Chinese government-controlled team called Great Ten, which make their debut next month... here's a look at the characters: DC's THE GREAT TEN PREVIEW GALLERY. Let me get this straight. Their rank includes:

  • Celestial Archer, who has ties to Chinese mythology
  • Ghost Fox Killer, an emissary from a dwindling colony, whose task is to kill evil men
  • Mother of Champions, who can give birth to a litter of 25 super-soldiers about every three days
  • Accomplished Perfect Physician, who uses sound to cure cancer and promote healing
  • Thundermind, who, um, looks like Buddha
  • Socialist Red Guardsman, who used his solar powers to carry out the Cultural Revolution
  • Immortal Man in Darkness, who gives off dark, swirling vapors (kind of like SARS, or bird flu?)
  • August General, who is known for preventing the Shaolin Robots from enforcing a return to imperial rule

At first I thought it was a joke, but it's for real. It's a Chinese superteam comprised of a mythical archer, a mystic killer, a cancer curer, a Buddha, a Socialist robo-suit man, a dark vapor guy, and—my favorite—a woman who literally gives birth to more Chinese men. Not only does it sound stupid, the character names and designs are ridiculous as well. It's a whole team of Chinese stereotypes! Someone actually thought this was a good idea. Can't wait to see where they take this.

06.03.06

Wong Fu Productions, a filmmaking collective out of UCSD, presents their first feature-length film A Moment With You. It premieres tonight, June 3rd, at UC San Diego. They're the guys behind that Yellow Fever film that was making the rounds a few months back, which I wasn't really such a big fan of, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy. Anyway, this is short notice, but it's tonight at 8pm. Details here.

06.02.06

Hey Houston! Come out and see some fine Asian American films this weekend. The sixth annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images is happening this weekend at the Aurora Picture Show, Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th. Join Melissa Hung, editor in chief of Hyphen, for two days cinema goodness, featuring works from emerging Asian American directors. For details, go here.

06.02.06

As I mentioned a few weeks back, the South Korean action thriller Typhoon, directed by Kwak Kyung-taek, opens in select theaters nationwide today (Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Houston, Hawaii), with more cities to follow in coming weeks. I wasn't very impressed with the film, but it does have the makings of big ol' loud, explosive summer action flick, if that's what you're looking for. Again, what I think is noteworthy is that Korean distributor CJ Entertainment has put up the money to release this film directly to U.S. theaters. If this experiment proves successful, it could open the door to a lot more Asian films making their way to America in this manner... Anyway, here's the website.

06.02.06

Wen Ho Lee, the former nuclear weapons scientist once suspected of being a spy, settled his privacy lawsuit today and will receive $1.6 million from the government and five news organizations over a violation of his privacy rights: Wen Ho Lee settles privacy lawsuit. Lee will receive $895,000 from the government for legal fees and associated taxes in the lawsuit in which he accused the Energy and Justice departments of violating his privacy rights by leaking information that he was under investigation as a spy for China. And the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and ABC have agreed to pay Lee $750,000 as part of the settlement. Some justice—of the monetary kind—finally.

06.02.06

All right. Mike North of Chicago's WSCR-AM 670 is the latest radio personality to open his big fat mouth and offend Asians: Asian-American group decries North remark. In discussing Cubs rookie right-hander Jae Kuk Ryu (who is South Korean), North said on air, "Who was the Chinaman on the mound the other day? Whoever it was shouldn't wear a major-league uniform ever again. He was dreadful." This of course, has drawn the ire of Asian American groups like the OCA, who are calling for a public apology. And of course, North refuses to acknowledge that he said anything wrong (this isn't the first time he's made remarks like this), claiming that he didn't know the word "Chinaman" was offensive: "I don't get it. I grew up in the streets, and we used to say that all the time. I've got buddies living in Chinatown who are Italian. Wait, can I say 'Chinatown'?" Ah yes, the good old "I didn't know" and "We used to say it all the time" defense, which is basically his way of saying "I don't give a crap." That's racist!

UPDATE: Here is contact information for WSCR 670 AM. Do what you feel is necessary.

06.01.06

Awwww yeah. Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column is a lengthy one all about comic books, superheroes, and the Asian folks who write/draw/love them: Look ... Up in the sky! It's Asian Man! He interviews comics veteran Larry Hama, writer of the classic G.I. Joe comics, as well as filmmaker-turned-comic book scribe Greg Pak. Lots of good geeky info. I'm quoted somewhere in there too, for anyone who's ever been curious about the action figure that greets you when you visit this site. Check out the story.

06.01.06

According to this article, China International Television Corporation is planning to produce a 40-episode television drama series entitled The Legend of Bruce Lee: Kung Fu Legend Lives on in New TV Series. Sounds pretty badass. The show will chronicle Lee's life from when he was 9 years old to early 1973 when he made Enter the Dragon, and is slated to premiere on Chinese television in early 2008, to coincide with the Olympic Games in Beijing. Question is, will we over here in the States ever get to see it?

06.01.06

This article is about Alhambra, CA, on new Chinese immigrants finding community through Chinese churches, but it could easily be a story about an Asian community in any number of cities across the country: Ministering to New Face of Migrants From China

06.01.06

The New York Times has a really interesting article on the significance of the life and legacy of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King... in China: Found in Translation: King's 'Dream' Plays in Beijing

06.01.06

I don't really get it, but it seems that phone maker Kyocera has built a marketing campaign around this character: Cindy Yu, Text Champion

06.01.06

This week, the Westminster, CA school board, without citing a reason, voted 3-2 to rescind the hiring of Kimoanh Nguyen-Lam as the district's new superintendent: Westminster school board retracts hiring. Lam would have been the first Vietnamese- American superintendent of an Orange County school district. Her supporters are calling the decision racist.

06.01.06

Sepia Mutiny reports about a hate crime against an Indian family in New Jersey, in which their home was spray-painted with threats and other profanity targeting their ethnicity and Hindu roots: Bigots target Hindu family

UPDATE: Some follow-up on this story: Hate crime resurrects S. Asian solidarity

06.01.06

It's going down tonight... a competition for the ages. Thirteen competitors left. The finals of the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which Asian kids always seem to dominate these days: 13 Hot Spellers Go for Spelling Bee Title. It's airing tonight on ABC. Prime time, baby.

UPDATE: A new spelling champ has been crowned. Katharine Close, an eighth-grader from Spring Lake, NJ, spelled "ursprache" correctly to win: 13 - Year - Old N.J. Girl Wins Spelling Bee. Runner-up was Finola Mei Hwa Hackett, a 14-year-old Canadian who got knocked out when she misspelled "weltschmerz."

06.01.06

Remember Arthur Chi'en? He's the former reporter for WCBS-TV in New York who got fired last year for dropping the F-bomb on air while cussing out some background hecklers (see video here. The incident even sparked a minor movement. Well, yesterday an arbitrator ruled that Chi'en should have been disciplined, not dismissed for his actions: Station Erred in Firing Reporter Who Cursed, Arbitrator Says. Fight the power, Arthur!

06.01.06

Earlier this week, police in Garden Grove, CA discovered a gruesome crime scene in which a family had been stabbed to death in their home: Phong Le, 30; his wife, Trish Lam, 25; and her 6-year-old son, Tommy. The attackers also beat the couple's 1-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, and left her for dead, but she managed to survive and is now hospitalized in protective custody. With no significant clues or apparent motive, investigators are asking for the public's help in tracking down the killers: Public's Help Is Sought for Leads

06.01.06

The Weinstein Brothers handling a remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai? Potentially starring Donnie Yen, George Clooney(!) and Zhang Ziyi: OCEAN'S SEVEN SAMURAI?!?!?! Yeah, pardon me, but this pretty much sounds like the worse idea ever.

06.01.06

It's June, which means the 2006 FIFA World Cup—the world's most popular sporting event—is going down in Germany. It so happens that there's an Asian American guy on the U.S. team, forward Brian Ching from Hawaii. Keep an eye out for him.

06.01.06

The Seattle Times has a story on Many Uch, a Cambodian American who pretty much grew up in the United States, now with a family and a business, but faces deportation because of stiffened immmigration laws: Cambodian refugee and former gang member lives a life in limbo

UPDATE: Here's a similar story about a Cambodian gang member from St. Paul: No Way Home

06.01.06

Okay, this is pretty ridiculous. This denim blog (you can blog about anything!) Denimology writes about the Ltd Edition Levi's x Clot UNIONRAIL 501 jeans, made in commemoration of the Chinese Americans who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad. They look pretty ugly, but hey, if that's your thing... Great idea, but if they're supposed to celebrate this monumental Chinese American contribution to the United States, why are they only available on Hong Kong and Taiwan?

06.01.06

The body of Diana Ham, who had been missing for more than two weeks, was found in the Hackensack River on Monday morning: Woman's Body Found in River in New Jersey. According to police, a preliminary autopsy revealed no signs of foul play: Woman's death in creek wasn't case of foul play