8.31.2006

Archived Posts - August 2006



08.31.06



Check out this great, short little film that packs a punch, created by X. Dean Lim for the San Diego Asian Film Festival: Asking Permission. I love the look on the face of the guy with the shaved head at the end.

Speaking of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, they've just announced that this year's festival includes a record-number 13 Asian American feature films, including the Opening Night presentation of Ham Tran's Journey From The Fall. They haven't released the full schedule yet, but other features include Colma: The Musical, Shinobi, A Bittersweet Life, Three Times, Last Atomic Bomb and Citizen Dog. The seventh annual festival runs October 12-19, at the Mission Valley UltraStar Cinema at Hazard Center. Read their latest press release here.

08.31.06

Got something interesting for you automobile enthusiasts out there... Spike TV is now casting for a televised road rally from Vancouver, BC down to LA. They're apparently looking specifically for Asians to apply for the rally. Basically, it's an all-expenses paid road rally, and thereís a $250,000 prize at the end for the winner. It shoots in October, and the requirements are as follows: 1) Each team (2 persons) must have fantastic mechanical knowledge of cars (how to build engines and repair their cars); 2) Must be 21-40 years of age; 3) Must have a dynamic personality and a fierce competitive drive. I know there's got to be more than a few of you out there who qualify. To apply, and for more information, go here or contact Beth at bethl@rocketsciencelabs.com.

08.31.06

The latest developments in Survivor: Race War... General Motors, which has accounted for roughly one-fifth of the advertising revenue on the CBS reality show Survivor this year, and has been a prominent sponsor since the show's debut in 2000, has decided not to advertise on the show's upcoming season—though the company says the decision is unrelated to the new race-based format: G.M. Drops 'Survivor' but Says Racial Format Isn't the Reason. Other advertisers that have pulled out include Coca-Cola, Home Depot, United Parcel Service and Campbell Soup. More here: Top Marketers Pull Out of 'Survivor'

08.31.06

IGN.com has posted a brief interview with Yunjin Kim, talking about Lost's Season 2 DVD (out next week) and theories about the upcoming season.

08.31.06

Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column is all about the man poised to be the Next Big Movie Asskicker, Thai action star Tony Jaa: A Hero Gets The Call. The Protector opens in U.S. theaters on September 8th.

08.31.06

Here's a nice piece from the Arizona Daily Star on the story of Jim and Katherine Tagawa, a couple that met in the "Rivers" detention camp in Arizona during World War II: From detention to Purple Heart

08.31.06

Another article on the popularity of the so-called Korean Wave across Asia, with Japanese women apparently going crazy over Korean men: Japanese Women Catch the 'Korean Wave'. Your time to be fetishized has come, Korean men. Your time has come.

Speaking of the Korean wave... Korea based artist management agency JYP Entertainment will be scouting Southern California for the next "Chinese Rain." (Who was the first Chinese Rain?) They'll be holding auditions in collaboration with Asian television station LA 18 "to discover a stand-out Chinese talent (singer, actor, model, VJ, MC) to add to their impressive list of performers." Saturday, September 23rd, at Santa Anita Park's Top of the Stretch Auditorium in Arcadia. For more information, go here. Hey, maybe it's you.

08.31.06

Here's a story on Chinese women going under the knife to look more beautiful (= Western): Chinese students spend summer holidays trading faces. Says one woman:


"I want to be more beautiful, to perfect myself," Pan, a student at one of China's most prestigious law schools, told Reuters in the waiting room of EverCare Xingfu hospital.

"My face is too big and flat, like all Asians. I would also like to make my nose higher," said the attractive 23-year-old.

The EverCare in Beijing is one of thousands of plastic surgery clinics mushrooming across China with promises to make patients more beautiful, more successful and more marriageable.


It's just kind of sad, isn't it? (Thanks, GB)

08.30.06

NOBODY LOVES AN ANGRY ASIAN MAN

Re-introducing... the official Nobody Loves An Angry Asian Man t-shirt!

All right, folks. Gather 'round. So, about two years ago, Urban Outfitters came out with a line of "Everyone Loves A..." t-shirts. You know, "Everyone Loves An Italian Girl," "Everyone Loves A Jewish Girl," "Everyone Love A Latin Girl," so on and so forth—you get the idea. And of course, they had the Everyone Loves An Asian Girl shirt (which, strangely, is being modeled by a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girl on the website). Feeling a little left out of the love, as a joke, I created my own line of t-shirts, NOBODY LOVES AN ANGRY ASIAN, and sold them through Cafe Press (Urban Outfitters eventually also sold "Everybody Loves A ________ Boy" shirts). I didn't really expect to sell too many, and planned to take it down after a week. Weeks turned into months, and I just kept the link up without really keeping track... and over the last two years, I've sold a bunch of them. Not enough to make a fortune, but a hell of a lot more than I anticipated, and enough to know that there are people out there who are willing to wear the damn things. And so... it's time to close up the Cafe Press shop. If you're one of the buyer/wearers of the original shirt, thank you (BIG PROPS to Evan and Tony, two guys who I actually met in person wearing the shirts). Hey, you've got yourselves a collector's item.

Now, we've got brand-spanktastic new shirts! AAM has partnered up with Blacklava, maker of fine Asian American apparel. We've spruced up the design and color, but the message is the same: "Nobody Loves An Angry Asian Man ...But Someone's Gotta Do It." It's available in various sizes as a unisex shirt, though other styles (i.e. women's shirts) are a possibility if there's a demand. Get yourself a shirt here, and wear it proudly.

08.30.06

Honestly, I don't want to turn this into a George Allen-bashing space, but he just makes it so darn easy! Another good article here: Welcome to America, Senator!. And here's some background information on the Senator's past association with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor organization to the segregationist White Citizens Council and among the largest white supremacist groups: Allen and his racist hate group friends

08.30.06

A California Korean grocers group is suing former Andrew Young and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., alleging libel over Young's derogatory comments about small grocery stores in urban communities: Grocers Group Sues Wal-Mart. If you recall, he resigned from his position with Wal-Mart after saying in an interview that Jewish, Korean and Arab grocers "ripped off" African Americans by overcharging them for "stale bread, and bad meat and wilted vegetables."

08.30.06

I truly fear what this will look like if this Craigslist posting is answered. Basically, this group is looking for an Asian guy to play Mr. Miyagi (presumably, they have no Asian friends) for their Karate Kid-themed Halloween outing. Possibly even worse is what this will look like if they don't find an Asian guy, and they resort to dressing up some white dude to play the part...

08.30.06

Here's an inteview with Bob Watada, father of U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada: Saying No to War Is Defending the Constitution. Here's the website that's rallying support for Watada and his cause: ThankYouLt.org. They're asking people for their help in urging the powers that be not to court martial Watada: Tell Fort Lewis: "No court martial!". Seems to me that it's a longshot, but every little bit helps, right?

08.30.06

For theater fans in Los Angeles... actor David Huynh is in the play This Is Our Youth, written by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Danilo Di Julio, and produced by the Chugg Actors Group. David plays "Warren Straub." The play opens September 1st and runs through October 7th at the Actor's Playpen. For more information, do the MySpace thing and go here.

08.30.06

Been hearing some news from the UK about this girl, Lucy Gao, who sent a very very very detailed email to 39 of her friends regarding her 21st birthday bash: Embarrassed city girl apologies as party email goes around the globe. The email was so amusing it got forwarded to some folks, who forwarded it to some folks, who forwarded it to some folks... Apparently it got a lot of people talking. Here's more: More from Lucy Gao. Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is...

08.30.06

"Finally! The ultimate event strictly for single professional Caucasian men who wish to meet cute single Asian ladies! So what is going to happen when EAST meets WEST? Come and find out this FABULOUS evening at M-Bar featuring delicious drinks and free appetizers!" Oh my barfness. Tell me, does this work the other way around? Does this company also plan the ultimate event strictly for single professional Asian men who wish to meet cute single Caucasian ladies? I'm just curious.

08.30.06

Hey, Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim's good-looking mugs are on the cover this week's TV Guide. Sun and Jin, baby. According to this article, this makes Yunjin Kim the first actress from Asia ever to be on the cover of TV Guide. Eagerly anticipating the new season...

08.29.06

This is an excellent diary piece in Daily Kos about Asian racism: Asian Racism: A primer. And another great one here that pretty much kicks George Allen's ass: Sen Allen, Welcome to America

08.29.06

Visual Communications and the Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture present the thirteenth edition of Pinoy Visions, showcasing some of the best in Pinoy filmmaking talents. Lots of screenings and events, including the Closing Program, Richard Wong and HP Mendoza's Colma: The Musical on September 7th, and culminating with the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, CA on September 9th and 10th. Be sure to check out the online portion of the festival, already up and running.

08.29.06

More on Edison Mayor Jun Choi trying to get a handle on the growing racial tensions in his increasingly diverse city: Edison's novice mayor caught in a racial divide

08.29.06

Rapper Foxy Brown pleaded guilty in a New York court yesterday to assaulting two Korean nail salon stylists over a $20 manicure, but later changed her mind and told the judge she was innocent: Rapper Foxy Brown flip-flops on plea. So Foxy, aka Inga Marchand (who is of South Asian/Trinidadian descent), pleaded guilty to assaulting the two women in August 2004 by hitting and kicking them in a dispute over payment for a manicure she said she never received. She then later told the judge that she wanted to change her plea...


Brown had appeared in court in December 2005 to plead guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct in a deal with prosecutors that would require her to perform 10 days of community service.

But after balking several times at going through with the proceedings, Brown then stuck her tongue out at the judge and was handcuffed to her seat until she apologized, forcing the case to be adjourned.


Ah, the old stick-your-tongue-out-at-the-judge strategy. A time-tested legal maneuver. But it looks like the judge wasn't buying it this time.

08.29.06

Meet Peter Leung, the first Asian American person ever to serve as president of an NAACP chapter: Setting firm ideals in motion

08.29.06

"Stars of Asia will be World Stars!" Korean talent label SM Entertainment is conducting an Asian talent search (singers, dancers, actors, music producers) across North America from September 17th through October 28th. For audition information, go here. Who knows? Maybe your beautifully airbrushed Asian face can perform on the global stage!

08.28.06



An update on the film Shanghai Kiss (previously "The Shanghai Kid"), directed by Kern Konwiser and David Ren, and starring Ken Leung... The Konwiser Brothers website has a nice clip from the film (click "Features," then "The Shanghai Kid"). Here's a brief plot summary, according to the website:


Liam (Ken Leung) is a struggling actor wasting his time picking up on beautiful, plastic girls in hip Hollywood bars with his buddy, Joe (Joel David Moore), a writer who hasn't written a damn thing. The closest thing to an emotional connection in Liam's life is a flirtatious friendship with 16 year old Adelaide (Hayden Panettiere), a precocious high school girl who is actually more mature than Liam.

When Liam learns he has inherited his grandmother's home in Shanghai, China, he travels to the bright and beautiful city and discovers a profound connection to his family legacy. Liam meets a sophisticated Chinese woman named Micki (Kelly Hu) and finds himself falling into instant infatuation with her. Liam decides to move to China, leaving behind Adelaide who is quite possibly the only girl who has ever loved him - but will running away from his problems really solve anything?


Parry saw an early screening a few weeks ago and had some good things to say about it. Don't know anything about distribution, or if it's going to be in any film festivals any time soon, but I'm looking forward to checking it out.

08.28.06

We've got some winners! Thank you to everyone who participated in last week's Take the Lead and One Take Only DVD giveaways. Congratulations to the following folks:

Take the Lead:

Lily T. of Alexandria, VA

Tom L. of Richmond, CA

Robyn T. of Ann Arbor, MI

Eugene L. of Los Angeles, CA

Thanh C. of College Station, TX

One Take Only

3rd: Kien D. of Raleigh, NC

2nd: Brian C. of New York, NY

1st: Kelvin S. of Seattle, WA

They'll be getting something shiny in the mail. Keep an eye out for more contests in the near future...

08.28.06

Macaca-gate isn't going away, not if these Three Cute Lil' Macacas have anything to say about it. Here's a story on S.R. Sidarth, the Indian American guy who was the object of George Allen's ridicule, sparking this whole controversy: Fairfax Native Says Allen's Words Stung. Meanwhile, Senator Allen gave protesters and supporters the slip last week, cancelling a scheduled visit to downtown Staunton, VA on Friday: Allen, dogged by protest, dodges downtown. Do note the awesome photo of protesters dressed as a banana and a monkey.

08.28.06

It's Bruce Lee Fever, I tell you! Thirty-three years afer his death, Bruce Lee is all the rage: What's In a Name? Cash In addition to the previously announced biopic being made by his family, CCTV in China is producing a 40-part documentary about him, David Henry Hwang is developing a Broadway musical, and there's even plans for a Bruce Lee theme park in the southern Chinese city of Shunde. The Los Angeles-based company Concord Moon (Bruce Lee's daughter is a managing partner) apparently owns all rights to Bruce Lee's name, likeness, trademarks and works, and their planned Lee-related projects include an animated television series, a CGI movie, an animated feature film, a live-action TV series, and the Hwang musical. That's a whole lot of Bruce Lee. I just hope nobody comes after me for the images incorporated into this website's design. Should I be expecting a C&D letter in the mail sometime soon?

08.28.06

Here's a San Francisco Chronicle story on San Francisco's Bindlestiff Studio, the nation's only performing arts venue dedicated to the Filipino American community: Bindlestiff's next act: to settle down in a new home (finally!), and flourish as an arts venue for Filipino Americans. If all goes according to plan, they'll moving into their new theater space next year. Check out their website here.

08.28.06

Last week, Wen Shyu Liu, 69, was arrested in Seattle on charges of conspiracy, receipt and possession of stolen trade secrets, wire fraud, illegal monetary transactions, perjury and asset forfeiture by FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents: Arrest in Baton Rouge on Charges of Conspiracy, Receipt and Possession of Stolen Trade Secrets, Wire Fraud and Others. The Justice Department alleges that Liu, also known as David Liou, conspired to sell trade secrets from Dow Chemical Company to companies in China. More here: US man accused of plot to sell Dow Chemical secrets in China. If convicted of all counts, Liou faces up to a 300 years in prison and a fine of $9.75 million, or, if greater, twice the gain he received or twice the loss he caused to the company. This guy needs one hell of a lawyer.

08.28.06

Shout outs to Brian and Ada, the new Head Asians In Charge over at Asia Pacific Arts, one of my favorite regularly updated online APA publications. Former managing editor Chi Tung is off to bigger and better things, so good luck to him. The new issue is up and running for your perusal here. There's a bunch of interesting features, so check it ouuuut.

08.28.06

I'm told that the Chicago-based singing trio IBU performed "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch at the Twins/White Sox game over the weekend. They've got a CD, Redefined, available here. Hard to keep track of all the Asian American male vocal groups (I dare not call them "boy bands") that have been popping up all over the place these days...

08.28.06

I recently became aware of this film, Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story, a documentary about Megumi Yokota, a Japanese student who was abducted by a North Korean agent in 1977. The film follows Megumi's parents as they battle to bring her home after learning the truth about her disappearance. Produced by Academy Award-winning director Jane Campion, the film premiered earlier this year at the Slamdance Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. It screened last week in Hollywood, where it was actually met with a protest. Not against the film itself, but "against the hypocrisy of Japan's repeated calls for justice in Megumi Yokota's case." According to this website, the Japanese government apparently refuses to extradite "the long list of Japanese citizens who are themselves wanted for arrest on charges of international child abduction." This the first I've heard of any of this, but it's pretty interesting...

08.28.06

Kurt Suzuki, a 2004 second-round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics, helped America beat Brazil with his 10th inning home run during Team USA's second game of pool play at the 2006 Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Havana, Cuba: Team USA rides Suzuki to win

08.28.06

Well, I'm not really sure who came first, but the online world of Asian Men just got a little bigger... We have a lot of guys airing out their gripes, whatever they may be. There's this website, Secret Asian Man, Bitter Asian Men... and now, singleasianmale.com—not a dating site, but "a place to celebrate the Single Asian Male (SAM)." I wonder if it'll eventually become Dating Asian Male, or Married Asian Male. Or Married Asian Male with Kids?

08.28.06

Another article on YouTube guitar sensation "funtwo", revealed after much notoriety to be 23-year-old Jeong-Hyun Lim: Web Guitar Wizard Revealed at Last

UPDATE: NPR did a brief story on him too, with analysis by musician G.E. Smith (formerly of SNL): Guitarist Behind 'Canon' Video Revealed

08.28.06

The 17-year-old Indian American boy in Wayne, NJ who terrorized his own family with anti-Hindu graffiti and letters was charged last week along with nine friends: Teens charged in hate crimes. His activities included sending hate letters and spray-painting slurs on his own family's home. That kid is so grounded.

08.28.06

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is dedicating $100,000 of funding from the state Lottery to specifically address Asian problem gamblers: Massachusetts addresses Asian gambling addicts. It's a pretty huge, growing problem in the APA community, exacerbated by aggressive marketing by casinos to Asian gamblers. You don't see states with even larger Asian populations committing this kind of money to the problem...

08.28.06

According to AP, Bollywood star and former Miss Universse Sushmita Sen has signed on to co-star with Richard Gere in The Expat, directed by Sutapa Ghosh: Bollywood beauty to co-star with Gere

08.28.06

City hall corruption! Last week, former Los Angeles City Commissioner Leland Wong pleaded not guilty to a 20-count indictment that alleges he took a bribe as part of a "pay-to-play" arrangement: Key Hahn Figure Pleads Not Guilty

08.25.06

Ah, the good ol' annual report telling us how few Asian faces are on network television... a new report, "Asian Pacific Americans in Prime Time: Setting the Stage," released by UCLA researchers and the Asian American Justice Center finds that APIA actors are practically absent from starring roles in prime time programming. File under Tell Us Something We Don't Know. Of the 102 prime time programs, only 14 feature at least one APIA actor—that's 2.6 percent of all show regulars. Just based on my own TV watching habits, I would've pretty much told you the same thing. Things have at least gotten slightly better in the last few years: instead of no Asians on TV, we've moved up to almost no Asians on TV. Yipeeeee! The report can be downloaded here.

08.25.06

Everybody's talking about this upcoming of season of Survivor: Cook Islands, where the teams will actually be divided up by race: 'Survivor' to Divide Teams Along Racial Lines. The more I think about it, the more insanely stupid the idea becomes. It's downright irresponsible. According to this article, New York City officilas are launching a campaign to persuade CBS to reconsider airing the show: NYC Officials Want New 'Survivor' Pulled. The charge is being led by (suprise, surprise) City Councilman John Liu. Also, check it out! Internet friend Jen Chau of New Demographic (Mixed Media Watch, Addicted to Race) was on MSNBC yesterday talking about Survivor.

Oh, here are the cast bios of Becky Lee, Brad Virata, Anh-Tuan Bui ("Cao Boi"), Jenny Guzon-Bae and Yul Kwon—the Asian American Team. Survivor: Race War, as it is being affectionately called, is scheduled to premiere on September 14th.

08.25.06

Hey! The New York Korean Film Festival kicks off today and runs through September 3rd. I've been perusing the program, and it looks like they've got a pretty interesting lineup spanning a really diverse range of Korean cinema. For more info, go here.

08.25.06

Bob Watada is on tour in the Bay Area speaking out on behalf of his son, Lt. Ehren Watada, the American soldier who publicy refused deployment to Iraq (and faces seven years in prison): Dissenting Army officer's dad says, 'I am very proud of him'. Meanwhile, nine Japanese American veterans groups have publicly criticized Lt. Watada's decision: Japanese Americans criticize Watada. I don't know. While I certainly respect the legacy of Japanese American veterans, this is a different case entirely—Watada's actions are not about a question of loyalty, but about the morality of this war.

08.25.06

Here's an interview with Today show anchor and Dateline reporter Ann Curry (who, I will admit, I sort of have a crush on), over at More.com: Ann Curry for Real. Hard to believe she's 49.

08.25.06

Asian American music collective Komuzika presents its first installment of Komuzika Fall Residency 2006, tomorrow night (August 26th), 8:00pm at Chow Fun Restaurant in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Free! All ages! Featuring performances by Jimi Yamagishi, Scott Tang, Kiyoshi Graves, and David Tran. Learn more about Komuzika here.

08.25.06

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on an interesting rising trend in reverse migration—Chinese people around the world returning back to China, drawn by affordable housing, food, recreation, and the country's booming economy: EMIGRES FEEL CHINA'S PULL

08.24.06

Just a reminder, I'll be accepting entries until the end of Friday for the Take the Lead and One Take Only DVD giveaways. Just email me with your name and mailing address, along with "ONE TAKE ONLY" or "TAKE THE LEAD" written in the subject line (you can enter both, just send separate emails). Easy, right? Oh, and please, only one entry per person per DVD. That means you, Sarah of New Hyde Park, NY. You know what I'm talking about.

UPDATE: Both contests are now closed. Thank you for participating. Winners will be announced shortly.

08.24.06

One more plug for ComedyZen... If you're in Los Angeles and looking for something to do this weekend, why not attend the second season taping of the stand-up comedy showcase ComedyZen, to be aired on Imaginasian TV. Good times, good laughs! Multiple shows on both Friday, August 25th and Saturday, August 26th at the David Henry Hwang Theatre in Little Tokyo. Reserve yourself a spot and get more information here.

08.24.06

Check out this profile on Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung's art and apparel line, Poketo: Carry Art. Here's their official site. Lots of cool-looking stuff. I first heard about them through Giant Robot, and then through wallets they designed based on Derek Kirk Kim's incredible comic strip Same Difference (if you haven't read it, stop what you're doing and but it now). Poketo also has a MySpace page.

08.24.06

Senator George Allen personally apologized yesterday to S.R. Sidarth for referring to him as "macaca" nearly two weeks ago: Senator Apologizes to Student for Remark. More here, for the NYT registration-challenged. I guess he realized that it was in his best interest, career-wise, to get past this incident. But I hope people aren't that quick to forget this, as well as Allen's racially charged past, when election time rolls around... Never forget the Macaca.

08.24.06

Dallas Morning News columnist Esther Wu writes about the unfair pressure (and stereotypical expectations) placed on Asian students to be academic overachievers: Unfair expectations add to pressure for Asian students. I can tell you, as an Asian American student, there was nothing inherently easy about school for me.

08.24.06

For my people in San Diego, here's something fun... cinema under the stars. The San Diego Asian Film Foundation presents Darryl Fong's martial arts spoof Kung Phooey!, Friday, August 25th at Market Creek Plaza. The movie is a lot of stupid goofy fun, parodying pretty much every martial arts film ever made. And it's free! For more information, go here. Make sure bring a blanket, and pack a picnic basket.

08.24.06

Vera Wang, famous for her $10,000 wedding gowns, has hooked up with department store Kohl's to create a new fashion and lifestyle brand, "Very Vera by Vera Wang": Kohl's to Offer Designer Vera Wang Line.

08.24.06

Here's a little more information on the filmmakers and projects selected for the Korean Film Council's inaugural Filmmakers Development Lab 2006. According to the press release, the five fellows are:


Philip Chung, a playwright and screenwriter, artistic director of the Asian American Lodestone Theater, and columnist for Asianweek newspaper. He has written and directed the acclaimed play ìThe Golden Hour.î His Lab entry ìThe Crimson Flower" is a noir-inflected thriller.

Kim Young Il is a screenwriter and filmmaker whose work has been recognized by the Film Independent and Austin Screenwriting competitions. His Lab entry "Hyung's Overture" is a passionate family drama of the sacrifice that one brother makes for the musical career of the other.

Abraham Lim, a filmmaker and writer whose films "Fly," "Roads and Bridges" and "MVP" were well received at various film festivals. Lim also edited Robert Altman's "Cookie's Fortune." His Lab entry "Orientation" follows one woman's tragic journey into Alzheimer's disease.

Jinoh Park has made several internationally acclaimed short films "Lunch," "Request" and "Slowly Silently" that have screened at Cannes and Sundance.
He was also chosen for the Cinefondation and Residence du Festival de Cannes. His Lab entry "Proposal" follows a filmmaker who makes a mysterious deal with a man to finance his film.

Mora Mi-Ok Stephens' debut feature film "Conventioneers" won the 2006 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature, and following many festival screenings including Tribeca, Pusan, New York and Hawaii, will be theatrically released later this year. She is preparing her second feature with Billy Bob Thornton and Kim Yunjin. Her Lab entry "The 38th Parallel" is an action thriller set in Korea.


The filmmakers will participate in workshops and meetings and all that good stuff to get their projects realized... and hopefully, you'll eventuall see them at a theater near you.

08.24.06

The San Antonio Current has an interview with writer Irwin Tang, whose short story collection How I Became a Black Man and Other Metamorphoses was published last year: Skip the Fortune Cookies, Please. He's actually the guy who originally set off the Shaq/Yao taunt controversy back in '03 with his commentary in AsianWeek.

08.24.06

Heads up... an event happening in Los Angeles in a couple of weeks: Showtime 2006, "Changing Lives and Saving Families," featuring the comedy of the Seoul Brothers. Bobby Lee, Dr. Ken, Kevin Shea, and Steve Byrne—The Kims of Comedy. Saturday, September 9th at the Aratani Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo. Proceeds will benefit the Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP. Should be pretty fun night, for a very worthy cause.

08.23.06

Survivor: Cook Islands

Okay, this news has been flooding my mailbox this morning... Get this. The upcoming season of the hit reality show Survivor will divide contestants into four tribes based on race. That means Blacks, Whites, Asians, Latinos in separate groups: New 'Survivor' divides groups by race. This is not a joke! I don't know, maybe it was bound to happen sooner or later. Survivor is now more ethnically diverse than its fictional counterpart Lost. But this just sounds disastrous. More here: 'Survivor' Race Battle. The Asian American contestants are Brad Virata, 29, a fashion director from Los Angeles; Becky Lee, 28, an attorney from Washington DC; Anh-Tuan Bui, 42, a nail salon manager from Christiansburg, VA; Jenny Guzon-Bae, 36, a real estate agent from Lake Forest, IL; and Yul Kwon, 31, a management consultant from San Mateo, CA. Survivor: Cook Islands (might as well call it "Race Battle"), premieres on September 14th. Dammit, I might actually tune in this time.

UPDATE: Yup, it's already begun. Media Matters reports that Rush Limbaugh has already made some asshead comments about this new edition of Survivor: Limbaugh handicapped races in new Survivor series, suggested "African-American tribe" worst swimmers, Hispanics "will do things other people won't do". Said Limbaugh:


"The Asian -- the Asian-American tribe probably will outsmart everybody, but will that help them in the ultimate survival contest? Intelligence is one thing, but raw, native understanding of the land and so forth -- this is probably why the Native Americans were excluded, because they were at one with the land here, and they probably would have an unfair advantage."


Media Matters has an audio clip of Limbaugh's diatribe, along with all the relevant contact info for his show, just in case you want speak your mind. This is ridiculous, and it's only the beginning. Expect a lot more of these kinds of comments...

08.23.06

Acclaimed director Deepa Mehta has signed on to helm The Julia Project, the biopic about an American interior designer who married the last crown prince of Korea: Mehta Falls For "The Julia Project". Based on the a true story, the film is being produced by Focus Features in partnership with Korean company LJ Film.

08.23.06

Heard about this from Anita over at East West Magazine... Nirali Naik, an 18-month old baby in Chicago, is in dire need
of a bone marrow transplant from an Indian donor. However, there is unfortunately a severe lack of South Asian and Asian bone marrow registrants. Get more information on how you can register and help out: Help Save Nirali

08.23.06

Happy birthday to New York's oldest bartender, Hoy Wong, who turns 90 today. He's been a bartender at the Algonquin Hotel for 27 years: NYC's oldest bartender still going strong at 90. What an interesting character. The guy must have some great stories.

08.23.06

Another interesting profile article on City Councilman John C. Liu who has made a reputation for himself (and drawn criticsm from amongst some of his colleagues) for speaking on Asian American issues: Political Trailblazer Is Quick to a Microphone. When asked if he was interested in running for higher office, he responded: "Yes, I am." Can you see it? John Liu for Mayor?

08.23.06

Federal agents in four states have arrested 13 men on charges that they plotted to buy weapons for a Sri Lankan separatist group and bribe agents posing as State Department officials to remove the group from a list of foreign terrorist organizations: 13 Tied to Sri Lankan Separatists Are Charged by U.S. With Aiding Terrorists. The men were said to have close ties to the terrorist organization, the Tamil Tigers. They sound like baseball team or something.

08.23.06

Here's a San Francisco Chronicle story on Tony Jaa, in town to promote the U.S. release of The Protector: Tony Jaa can kick some serious behind. But can this Thai martial arts action star make the leap to American movies? It's pretty obvious he's being groomed to be the next martial arts star successor to Jackie Chan and Jet Li. And you can bet your ass Tony is taking English lessons.

08.23.06

Kimberly Kim, the youngest U.S. Women's Amateur champion in history, was named to the 2006 USA Women's World Amateur team this week by the Women's Committee of the U.S. Golf Association: Kim named to World Amateur team. Not bad for a fourteen-year-old.

08.23.06

Filipino American rookie police officer Joselito "Lito" Barber was killed last week in Seattle in a traffic accident blamed on an intoxicated driver: Funeral services for officer draw hundreds of mourners

08.23.06

Terence Tao, a native of Australia, is one of the youngest Fields Medal winners ever at age 31. The Fields Medal is pretty much the math equivalent to the Nobel Prize. It's given out every four years, and several can be awarded at once. Pretty damn prestigious. The big news this year though, is that one of the recepients declined to accept his award: Highest Honor in Mathematics Is Refused

08.23.06

Okay, I have never seen this show on VH1, Flavor of Love, nor did I know that there was a Flavor of Love 2. According to the website, it's Flavor Flav's "romantical experiment." My man Tien recently wrote in to tell me about Jasmine, aka "Payshyntz," a Black/Chinese model who has been featured on the show. I'll let him explain:


Thought you might like to know that a friend of mine, Jasmine, is a mixed race (Black/Chinese) model that has been featured on the reality show "Flavor of Love 2". What is notable is her proclaimation on each episode that she has only dated Chinese men in her life. She has gotten much negative feedback from fellow contestants for such comments, eventually leading to her self-elimination from the show this week. However, she has, at each moment, defended Asian guys as ideal partners. She also speaks Mandarin fluently, lives in Hong Kong, and has tried to promote Asian guys in general during her tenure on the show. Thought that might be interesting to you. There seems to be growing buzz around her comments, as evidenced by chatroom traffic, etc.


Thought that was pretty interesting (though not interesting enough for me to tune in). Maybe she saw Gina on America's Next Top Model ("I'm not into Asian guys...") and decided she'd go the opposite route.

In other reality TV news, I was flipping channels the other night and happened to catch the finale of Treasure Hunters, after catching the premiere then missing everything in between. Turns out that Sam and his two Genius teammates found the treasure. I guess brains do win out over all that other stuff.

08.22.06

So it may not be a Mel Gibson-caliber gaffe, but Tom Hanks reportedly said something stupid to Alex Wong, frontman of the indie band The Animators, last week at a party: HANKS: PHYSIQUE-CONSCIOUS


When Alex Wong, frontman of the indie band the Animators, approached to say hello, Hanks cracked, "You look like one of those pedicab drivers!" Wong was taken aback, thinking it was a slap at his being Asian. But Hanks' flack, Michelle Benson, insisted, "[He] only meant that he was impressed with his physique because he was so muscular and lean like the guys who drive pedicabs all day."


I don't know, maybe Alex was wearing one of those rice paddy hats. What is it with PR assistants coming up with completely farfetched BS excuses for idiotic remarks? (I guess that's their job.) Tom Hanks looks like he's seen better days.

08.22.06

Comedian Russell Peters' new stand-up special Outsourced will premiere this Saturday, August 26th on Comedy Central. Here's a press release on the show. Outsourced will also be available on DVD and CD next week. There's a preview of the show over on his MySpace page. Very funny stuff.

08.22.06

Nguyen Qui Duc, founding host of KQED's APA news/affairs show Pacific Time, is returning to Vietnam: Good morning, Vietnam -- decades after he fled, a radio host is going home. His last edition of Pacific Time will be September 14th.

UPDATE: (H)API is hosting a farewell party for Mr. Nguyen on Friday, August 25th.

08.22.06

I've been seeing commercials for Beerfest. Up until recently, I had no idea what it was about, except that it involved lots of beer and men behaving like idiots. Turns out, that's exactly what it's about. The movie's directed and co-written by Jay Chandrasekhar (The Dukes of Hazzard, Super Troopers), who also stars in the film as "Barry," one of said idiots. Man, getting paid to drink beer and act stupid—sounds like a pretty darn good job to me.

08.22.06

Here's an interesting piece from Audrey on the immigration debate by Joann H. Lee, a Los Angeles attorney with the Korean Resource Center: Inside the Immigration Debate: A Korean Perspective

08.21.06

How about a giveaway? Heck, how about two? Read on...



TAKE THE LEAD

Take the Lead, starring Antonio Banderas, gets released on DVD next week, August 29th. It's about a teacher who inspires a bunch of inner city kids through the awesomeness of ballroom dancing. You know the drill. Dante Basco has a fairly large part in the film as "Ramos." Our good friends at New Line are giving away DVD copies of Take the Lead to five lucky readers of this website. (If you recall, our previous DVD giveaways have either involved basketball stars or gunfighting criminals, so ballroom dancing is a nice change of pace.) To enter the contest, just send me an email with "TAKE THE LEAD DVD" clearly written in the subject line, along with your name and mailing address (where we can send the DVD if you win), by Friday, August 25th. Winners will be drawn at random. Cool?


ONE TAKE ONLY

Also, something completely different... The good people at Tartan Video are offering prize packs for the upcoming release of Oxide Pang's crime thriller (and solo directorial debut) One Take Only, which comes out on DVD tomorrow. The plot synopsis, for your information:


When Som and Bank meet for the first time in the sprawling metropolis of Bangkok, they are strangers. Bank doesn't know that Som is a hooker, and Som doesn't know Bank is a drug dealer. Soon they become partners, and the drug deals they make bring them a kind of wealth they have never known. With a taste for the highlife, they plan a deal that will make them rich beyond their wildest imagination. But they soon find the price they pay, may be way too much.


If this sound like something you'd like to check out, Tartan is giving away some good stuff: 3rd prize ñ One DVD of One Take Only; 2nd prize ñ One DVD of One Take Only and one DVD of the Pang Brothers' Ab-Normal Beauty; 1st prize ñ One DVD of One Take Only and one DVD of Ab-Normal Beauty autographed by director Oxide Pang. You like that?

To enter, just email me with your name and address, and "ONE TAKE ONLY DVD" written in the subject line. It's that simple. Entries that do not follow these simple directions will be thrown out, because let's face it, you're a sucker. Oh, one last thing: the One Take Only giveaway is only eligible to entrants over 18 years old (I don't want to get in trouble with your mommas). Get your entries in by Friday, August 25th, and I'll pick three names out of a hat. Maybe, just maybe, you'll get something shiny in the mail.

UPDATE: Both contests are now closed. Thank you for participating. Winners will be announced shortly.

08.21.06

Kal Penn has signed on to join the cast of the next season of 24: Penn inks for spot in new '24' plot. He will play "a guy who is somehow involved with the Islamic guru running the neighborhood mosque and might be the key to a terrorist plot." No doubt, Mr. Modi impressed folks with his menacing, wordless glare on Superman Returns, and landed himself a plum role on the hit Fox show... as a terrorist (maybe).

08.21.06

As part of their summer reading series, NPR interviews Chef Sang Yoon of Father's Office in Santa Monica (fantastic burgers!) about his favorite books: Chef Sang Yoon, Cookin' and Bookin'

08.21.06

Two Filipino Americans running for U.S. Congress... in the same district! State Senator Ron Menor and Honolulu Councilman Nestor Garcia are facing off in the Democratic primary for Hawaii's 2nd District (along with eight other candidates): Filipinos vie for seat in U.S. House. If either of them win, they'd become the very first Filipino American member of Congress.

08.21.06

Remember Asian Boston? It's that Asian-interest magazine published by Leo Ballou, who says he's "fascinated by the mystique of Asian culture" (= Asiaphile). Ridiculous. The first issue, filled with lots of scantily clad photos of Asian women, was published back in February, and of course drew a lot of criticism from the Asian American community. Well, now the second issue is out: Asian Boston magazine gets new look after first issue criticized. The models are apparently wearing more clothes, but the yellow fever is still all there.

08.21.06

This is absolutely crazy. Over the weekend in the UK, passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight refused to allow their plane to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed: Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed. The passengers say they feared for their safety after they "overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic." Listen, I know they're spooked after those arrests a few weeks back, and terrorism is a truly scary thing, but this is the worst case of profiling ever.

08.21.06

Got this email forwarded along to me from Georgia Lee, director of Red Doors, which gets a theatrical release next month:


I am writing to you today because RED DOORS is opening theatrically in New York on *September 8* and we urgently need your help!

The first weekend box office determines if a film will sink or swim. Independent films like ours are left to fend for themselves each and every week. RED DOORS is currently scheduled to open in three cities: New York (Sept 8), San Francisco (Sept 22), and LA (date TBD). The opening weekend numbers in New York will determine how wide and how long our film lives.

RED DOORS is a dark comedy about the Wongs, a dysfunctional Chinese-American family coming of age in New York. The film has been described as AMERICAN BEAUTY meets JOY LUCK CLUB.

RED DOORS was an incredibly difficult film to get made. In the financing stages, studio execs who loved the script wanted us to make the Wongs a Caucasian family, or make the lesbian couple heterosexual, in order to have more commercial potential. So Jane, Mia, and I made RED DOORS on our own terms: completely outside of the Hollywood system. We raised our own financing, maxed out our credit cards, and called in favors in order to create our labor of love.

Needless to say, RED DOORS does not have a marketing budget to buy expensive TV commercials or billboards. We have only the power of community and grassroots outreach. Supporting independent films like this one is like voting in an election. You are voting with your feet and your dollars. If you are interested in seeing more diverse cinema, the best way to let the system know is to buy a ticket. If enough people vote for change, then the system will ultimately take notice.

So what can you do? There are two very easy things you can do right now from where you are sitting. Either one of these actions will help us tremendously!

1. Please forward this email to all your friends and any groups you think may be interested in a film like this.

2. Buy tickets and come see the movie! Especially on opening weekend if you can. Tickets are already available on-line now. And if you don't live in a major city where the film is opening in September, consider your purchase to be a donation to the cause. If the film does well enough in its opening weekend in New York, it will come to the rest of America as well!

To find more information about the film, to view the trailer, to read our blog, or to buy tickets, please go to: www.reddoorsthemovie.com

Let's send Hollywood a message that we want to see more diverse faces and stories in film and on TV!

The RED DOORS cast and filmmakers will be at both the Angelika and ImaginAsian theaters in New York during opening weekend for Q&As.

Hope to see you September 8 at the theaters!

Thank you,

Georgia Lee


Like most Asian American films out there, this one needs some help spreading word and getting butts in those theater seats. While I wasn't the biggest fan of the film, I can certainly appreciate what they're trying to do. Learn more about the movie over at reddoorsthemovie.com

08.21.06

Heads up... heard about this really cool event happening next month in Boston's Chinatown: Films at the Gate: Classic Chinese and Kung Fu Films. Five nights of outdoor movies in Chinatown—free! September 13-17 on Hudson Street, near the Chinatown Gate. This community-based event is really about reviving the legacy of the old Chinatown movie houses. All proceeds from the screenings will be donated to Asian Voices of
Organized Youth for Community Empowerment, a program of ACDC. To learn more, download a flyer here.

08.20.06



The poster pastings above have been spotted around Koreatown in Los Angeles. It's a past quote from 2001 by our favorite guy Adam Carolla, and in the bottom right corner it says "K-TOWN COWBOY." Intriguing. So what's the deal? What is it? Part of some sort of anti-Carolla campaign? And who's responsible? Anyone out there know what this is all about?

08.20.06

Yen Ngoc Do, one of Little Saigon's most respected community leaders, died last of complications from diabetes and kidney disease. He was 65: Vietnamese publisher, community leader dies. In 1978, he established the Nguoi Viet Daily News and built it into the largest and most influential Vietnamese-language newspaper in the United States.

08.20.06

I had no idea, but Neill Dela Llana and Ian Gamazon's Cavite was released on DVD a couple of weeks ago. If you haven't seen it yet (most likely, you blinked and missed it in theaters), I highly recommend checking it out—a very resourceful, well-made indie thriller. Great stuff.

08.20.06

"Do you speak English?" It's a question a lot of us have been asked, at some point or another. And its pesky cousin, "Where are you from?" The assumption, of course, is that because you are Asian, you must be foriegner and cannot speak English. And it's getting tiresome: Just consider her the girl next door. Must we all walk around wearing this shirt?

08.20.06

Haven't seen it yet, but I'm told that Lauren Shiohama has a small part in Little Miss Sunshine as Miss California. Don't know much more than that, other than that she has a nice moment in the film. I hope to see the movie soon.

08.20.06

Andrew Young, who stepped down last week from his position with Wal-Mart because of remarks made against Jewish, Arab and Korean store owners, apparently still has a lot of support behind him: Different Focus in Atlanta on Youngís Remark

08.20.06

New York Times story on Councilman Tony Avella of Queens, where two of his constituents, both white, were arrested last week and charged with a bias-motivated attack on four other constituents, all Asian-American: Whose Queens? A Councilman Reads the Signs. The article touches upon some of the growing tensions between the many groups in the area. He professes to have a strained relationship with fellow Councilman John Liu, and has proposed legislation calling for a mandatory English translation of all commercial signs printed in a foreign language... though he insists that there is "no connection between people uncomfortable with non-English signage and the people who committed this crime." I don't know, I kind of get the feeling the attackers probably weren't the biggest supporters non-English signage either.

08.20.06

Tonight on the National Geographic Channel: Fight Science, what looks like a very interesting examination of various martial arts fighting techniques, and how they stack up against each other. At the very least, there will probably be some pretty interesting asskicking footage.

08.18.06

Stand-up comedy showcase ComedyZen will be taping its second season for ImaginAsian TV, and is looking for warm, smiling bodies to be part of the studio audience. Friday, August 25th and Saturday, August 26th at the David Henry Hwang Theatre in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. 7:00, 8:30, 10:00 pm shows on each day. It's free, so come to one or all shows, and have a good time. You just have to reserve yourself a spot here, first come, first served. Tell 'em AAM sent ya.

08.18.06

Civil rights leader and former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, who was hired by Wal-Mart to improve its public image, resigned from his position last night amid criticism over racially insensitive remarks he made in an interview: Wal-Mart Image-Builder Resigns. More here. And here. In an interview published Thursday in Los Angeles Sentinel, he was asked about Wal-Mart's role in displacing mom-and-pop stores:


"Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom-and-pop' stores out of my neighborhood. But you see those are the people who have been overcharging us - selling us stale bread, and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs, very few black people own these stores."


I can expect this from the George Allens and Joe Bidens. Now it's even the so-called civil rights leaders saying this stuff. That's the power of Wal-Mart!

08.18.06

Well, it's finally here. Internet movie geeks rejoice. Snakes On A Plane, a movie that knows exactly what it is, opens in theaters today... and along with the snakes, there are Asian people in the movie. Asian Canadian actor Byron Lawson plays Eddie Kim, the film's bad evil badguy. How evil is he? Evil enough to put motherf***in' snakes on the motherf***in' plane. (Asiance has an interview with Lawson here.) Evil, I can handle. I just hope he's not the usual Asian stereotype. Other Asians in the cast include Terry Chen as Chen Leong, Vancouver news anchor Mi-jung Lee as News Anchor, and Agam Darshi as Dell Girl. The movie is getting fairly decent reviews acording to Rotten Tomatoes. But honestly, does it really matter?

08.18.06

I know the internets are filled with all sorts of social networking and portal sites... so make room for one more: Fanpop, recently launched by four Asian American friends, basically lets fans of anything and everything create portals and share content with links to blogs and websites and videos and all that kind of good stuff. Asian people, as you know, jump all over this kind of stuff. They've even got an Asian American Spot. I see that there is also already a Bruce Lee Spot. In any case, it's another place on the web to waste your time on while at work.

08.17.06

It's like out of sitcom... Earlier this week, when his wife woke up with labor pains, Lousiana Congressman Bobby Jindal had to help deliver his own son when the ambulance didn't arrive in time: Congressman Helps Deliver Own Son. Welcome to the world, Slade Ryan Jindal.

08.17.06

Here's a cool screening opportunity happening in Los Angeles tomorrow night... The Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles holds a regular free screening series of Korean and Korean American films. This Friday, August 18th, they're showing Chris Chan Lee's landmark film Yellow. For a lot of folks, at least in my generation, this was the first Asian American narrative film they'd ever seen. It has its share of flaws, and its about as indie as indie gets, but it's certainly worth watching. See the early the careers of actors like John Cho, Jason Tobin, and Lela Lee. Oh, and director Chris Chan Lee will be present for a post-screening Q & A. Details here.

08.17.06

The latest in Macaca-gate... So Senator Allen offered his apology to Indian American leaders: Allen's remarks called hurtful. Says Allen, "What bothers me the most of all of this, it's so contrary to who I am. It tears my guts up." Really? Is it really so contrary? How about the Senator's long association with the Confederate flag? Is that so contrary? I don't know, I'm having my doubts about the guts thing.

Meanwhile, MoveOn.org has created an online petition asking the Republican National Committee to withdraw support of Senator Allen: The RNC should withdraw support for Sen. Allen

Also, S.R. Sidarth's grandparents recently wrote a letter to the Washington Post: What Did Mr. Allen Mean?



We would like to thank you for taking the right stand on the gaffe of Sen. George Allen ["George Allen's America," editorial, Aug. 15].

It is quite shocking for a person of Mr. Allen's caliber, who is running for a second Senate term and is a likely candidate for president in 2008, to point a finger at a young lad of 20, bullying our grandson, S.R. Sidarth, and calling him a derogatory and uncalled-for name. Sidarth was only videotaping the event.

In the 1930s Sidarth's great-grandfather accompanied Mohandas Gandhi to London as his secretary at the Round Table Conference on political reform in India. We come from a heritage of nationalists and seekers after truth. Hence these remarks hurt all the more, and we are personally affected by such an attack.

BOB NARASIMHAN

MANI NARASIMHAN

Bethesda


And check out this nice photo of mad Allen protestors: Allenís gaffe shows politics to be Internet feeding ground. The dude on the right's name is Gogol Ganguli. Isn't that the name of the guy from Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake?

08.17.06

For those who missed it, here's a clip of At Last's final performance last night on America's Got Talent: America's Got Talent- At Last (Finale). Did you vote? (I did. Multiple times.) Will they win? We shall find out tonight on the results show...SUSPENSE!

08.17.06



More trailers for Hollywood remakes of Asian films... Here's the trailer for The Grudge 2, directed by Takashi Shimizu, who actually also directed the original film. That's Hong Kong actor Edison Chen who has a role in movie as Dude Who Gets Grabbed By Scary Photo. I never saw the first one, as I am not a fan of films with creepy pale-faced Asian cat boys, but it looks scary.

Here's a new, beefed up trailer ("1b") for Martin Scorsese's The Departed (a remake of Infernal Affairs), which fills in a few more details for folks who may not be familiar with the story. I spotted a number of scenes that look like they've been directly lifted from the original film. I tell ya, with the talent involved with this movie, if this turns out to be bad, there is no hope.

08.17.06

The arrest in Thailand of John Mark Karr, suspected in the killing of JonBenet Ramsey, brings to attention the region's reputation for sex tourism and child sexual exploitation: Southeast Asia a haven for child sex predators. No doubt, this will probably fuel more stereotypes, with the article saying things like, "That sex with young teens is not a strong taboo in some Asian cultures makes fighting the problem even more difficult." Can we expect lots of gross sickos to book flights out to Cambodia after reading this story?

UPDATE: More on this here: Lax laws in parts of Asia aid pedophiles. Okay, who is not creeped out by that photo of John Mark Karr?

08.17.06

According to recent estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Asians are now the largest racial group in the Bay Area city of Fremont, constituting a little less than half of the population: Census: Asians dominant in Fremont. That's 104,800—49.8 percent of 210,387. Couple of questions come to mind... How does this population shift affect the city's politics (if at all)? And where are all the white people going?

08.17.06

My pal Marian Liu of the San Jose Mercury News recently interviewed Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas and director Patricio Ginelsa, in town for the premiere of the "Bebot" video: Black Eyed Peas' Apl.de.Ap premieres "Bebot" in San Jose. The video is a little grainy, the sound quality's poor, and it looks like they literally shot it in a closet, but you get the idea.

Meanwhile, the creators of the "Bebot" videos are launching a full-fledged campaign to get the damn thing aired on television. The two versions have already recieved over 150,000 hits online since they launched. Surely, they deserve a life beyond the internet. They're asking folks to watch the video, rate the video, post and comment, and spread the word. They're also trying to get it played on VH1:


CAMPAIGN#1: MAKE "BEBOT" NUMBER ONE on VH1!

Because YOU the fans demanded it! In the spirit of our "Apl Song" MTV
TRL campaign 2 years ago, we're launching our first of many campaigns
to get this BEBOT video aired and it begins with VH1. The VH1 Top 20
Countdown provides a "wild card" opportunity for music videos not on their
regular rotation to air in its entirety on the countdown! Imagine if all the
BEBOT lovers and Black Eyed Peas fans bombarded them with requests.
It's possible!

We'll be targeting the voting period from Saturday, 8/26/06, 11am EST to
Friday, 9/1/06, 11pm EST
in the hopes of getting the video aired throughout
the following week on the countdown.

TO VOTE:

Go to http://www.top20.vh1.com to vote!

Make a wildcard icon:

BAND NAME: BLACK EYED PEAS

SONG NAME: BEBOT

Just place that BEBOT icon under NUMBER 1 and choose the rest of your
countdown with whichever video.

Spread the word and tell all of your friends and family!!!


A video rapped entirely in Tagalog? On VH1? Hey, it could happen.

08.17.06

I hadn't heard about this guy until now, but apparently it was an immensely popular video on YouTube: an anonymous, faceless guy playing his rendition of JerryC's "Canon Rock." It appears that the identity of said anonymous guy, aka funtwo has been revealed as 22-year-old Korean guitarist Jeong-Hyun Lim: The REAL Real Funtwo Comes Forward: By His Pinky You Will Know Him

08.17.06

In reaction to the hate crime last weekend against four young Asian American men in Queens, the Office of Council Member John C. Liu has organized a community gathering this afternoon:

Community Rally for Tolerance & Respect

Thursday, August 17 at 1:00 PM

In front of Flushing Town Hall

137-35 Northern Boulevard

(between Main and Union streets)

Queens, NY 11354

There seems to be some dispute within the community about the attack. Some insist it was an isolated incident, while others argue that it reflects an undercurrent of animosity towards Korean and Chinese residents in the area: Accusations of a Hate Crime Expose Tensions. It's evident that this community has some issues to work out.

08.17.06

Yesterday, law enforcement officials announced the arrest of 31 individuals linked to an international human-trafficking ring operating throughout the Northeast: 31 Arrested in Human-Trafficking Case. They've also taken 67 possible victims of trafficking—all young Korean women—into protective custody. It's believed that the women were brought to the United States illegally and forced to work as prostitutes in a network of at least 20 brothels. Sounds like the operation was pretty extensive.

08.16.06

Some Lost news (it's been a long summer)... Buena Vista Home Entertainment threw a party earlier this week in honor of the release of the show's second-season DVD (Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim were there): 'Something really big'. The DVD (Extended Experience!) will be out on September 5th. And the show's third season premieres on October 4th. Looking forward to it... I hear episode 3 will be a Sun/Jin-centric story.

08.16.06

So Shaquille O'Neal is reportedly in China, having signed a deal with the Li-Ning shoe company: Chinese shoe company sees big things in Shaq. Shaq is apparently the fourth most popular athlete in China. Perhaps people have forgotten O'Neal's mock-Chinese taunts at China's first most popular athlete a few years back. Anyway, here's this really ridiculous photo of Shaq, supposedly taken at the Great Wall.

08.16.06

The Korean Film Council has announced the filmmakers and projects selected for its inaugural Filmmakers Development Lab 2006, which I mentioned here a few months back. The Lab is an initiative to nurture and encourage Korean American filmmakers bring their stories to the screen (much like the Sundance Screenwriters Lab). The five final scripts are:

Orientation - Abraham Lim

The Crimson Flower - Philip W. Chung

Hyung's Overture - Kim Young-il

The 38th Parallel - Mora Mi-ok Stephens

Proposal - Jinoh Park

Don't have much more information than that, but hopefully we'll be hearing more about these projects in the future.

08.16.06

George Allen claims he wasn't singling out S. R. Sidarth, who is Indian American, when he referred to him as "Macaca": Senator Says He Meant No Insult by Remark. Thank you, Senator, but I ain't buying it. When you say stuff like, "Welcome to America," you're stamping a big fat FOREIGNER label on the only non-white face in the audience. Sidarth, by the way, was born and raised in Virginia. More here: Senator denies remark was racist. It really does speak to a common, ignorant, and narrow view of who and who is not an American. I have an extremely hard time believing Allen's insistence that his remarks were not racially motivated.

UPDATE: Senator Allen met today with members of the US Indian Political Action Committee over this whole incident: Allen meets with Indian PAC over remarks. Meanwhile, Sepia Mutiny has all sorts of good info: When in doubt, blame your staff. And of course, someone has created a line of macaca-centric clothing: The Macaca Shop

08.16.06

Here's an article on Ming-Na (remember the "Wen"?) who stars as FBI agent Lin Mei on Vanished, the new serialized drama about "the mysterious disappearance of the wife of a U.S. senator from Georgia": Ming-Na Packs Some Heat on New Fox Drama. The show premieres next week, August 21st on Fox.

08.16.06

This is for my people in the Bay Area... Third Thursdays presents Off the Stage: API Comedians Talk About Comedy and Race, featuring a panel of local Asian American stand-up comedians, Tessie Chua, Nitin Kant, Tapan Trivedi, and Ali Wong, talking about their race, comedy, and their craft. Tomorrow night, August 17th, at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center in San Francisco. Details here.

08.16.06

Take a look at the two-in-one trailer (available on Warner's Japanese site) for Clint Eastwood's pair of upcoming World War II films, Flags of Our Fathers and Red Sun, Black Sand, telling both sides of the battle of Iwo Jima. Just judging from the trailer, it looks like a pretty impressive undertaking—the kind of stuff they throw Oscar nominations at. Flags will released in October, while Red Sun (titled Letters from Iwo Jima in Japan) will be out in December.

08.16.06

The Pacific Citizen has an interview with 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who has been officially charged by the U.S. Army for his decision to refuse deployment to Iraq: One on One With Ehren Watada. He faces a pre-trial hearing scheduled for tomorrow. Lots of information about his case at this website: Thank You Lt.

08.16.06

For spoken word fans in Los Angeles, the incredible artist Skim—her work is amazing, like a punch in the gut—is throwing her first album release party for her new CD 4 Every Tear. Friday, August 18th at Artshore LA. Twenty bucks gets you in the door and an autographed CD. Details here. Check it out.

08.15.06

Got this from the AALDEF mailing list, a public statement made by a collective of organizations speaking out against recent incidents in Edison, NJ, outlining the situation and offering concerns and recommendations to address the city's strained tensions: PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM CONCERNED ORGANIZATIONS REGARDING THE RECENT INCIDENTS IN EDISON, NEW JERSEY INVOLVING THE SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY

08.15.06

Martial arts movie fans in New York, check this out... Tony Jaa is in the United States to promote his latest film The Protector (aka Tom Yum Goong), which hits American theaters on September 8th. He'll be at the Museum of the Moving Image for a demonstration, screening and Q&A session on Sunday, August 20th. You have to buy tickets for the screening, but the demonstration (i.e. kicking and stuff) will take place in the Museum's rear courtyard and is free to the public. How cool is that? Jaa did a similar promotional tour for the U.S. release of Ong-Bak. If you haven't seen it and you're an action fan, you MUST check it ofut. It's the greatest movie I've ever seen where story, dialogue, acting, and even language didn't matter a bit. Just a whole lot of awesome asskicking. That should be the movie's slogan: "Asskicking. It's all that matters."

08.15.06

So I've been hearing about this new cartoon called Thugaboo that aired on Nickelodeon over the weekend. Brought to you by the Wayans Brothers. Yes, the minds that created White Chicks and Little Man. Among the show's characters is an Asian girl named Soo-Young:


Her real name is Soo-Young Kyung-Ja Kim. But in her desperate attempt to fit in with the rest of the her friends, she insists on being called, "Sue." The inventor of the crew, she can knock off anything she sees with her hands. That's why her friends always line up for her brilliant creations. The problem is, because she has poor choice in materials, it never lasts long. She loves fashion but can't dress herself to save her own life. A sponge for knowledge, Sue asks never ending questions, sending her friends running away.


You're kidding me, right? So she's supposed to be this Korean American character who hates her own heritage, is skilled at making poor fake imitation products, and is an unfashionable brainiac who annoys her friends? In the first episode, one of the characters apparently gets her help to make a bootleg version of the sneakers he wants. The show is also rife with all sorts of other offensive stereotypes. And this show is meant for a family audience?

08.15.06

Tomorrow's the big night for At Last. We've been following along with their progress over the last few months on America's Got Talent, where they kicked ass on their audition, got America's vote in the semifinals, and now will be competing in the finale. This could be big. Tune in tomorrow night on NBC, then vote your asses off for At Last.

08.15.06

PepsiCo announced yesterday that its president and chief financial officer, Indra K. Nooyi, would become the company's CEO on October 1st—a move that makes Pepsi one of the largest companies led by a woman: A Woman to Be Chief at PepsiCo. Nooyi, who was born in India, takes over at a time when both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are fighting attempts to ban their drinks in some areas of India.

08.15.06

NPR continues to show love for Vienna Teng. She got a big break a few years back when they featured a couple of her songs on Morning Edition, a feature that shot her debut album up the Amazon charts. Today, "I Don't Feel So Well" from her recently released album Dreaming Through The Noise, is NPR's Song of the Day: Teng's Flamboyant Contraption Takes Off

08.15.06

Received this link to an interesting though inelegantly presented FAQ by the 80-20 Educational Foundation on Asian American in the workplace, in response to suggestions that apparent discrimination against Asian Americans may have subtler explanations which are not based on discrimination: FAQ about the Chart Showing Gross Inequity

08.15.06

The Los Angeles Times has named its list of the most powerful people in Southern California: The West 100. Very interesting group of people, if you're familiar with the economy, politics and players of the region. Among the names on the list are L.A. County health specialist Siu-Man Chiu, Chairman and CEO of Bridgecreek Group Frank Jao, and Chairman of East West Bank Dominic Ng.

08.15.06

Here's an article in the Toronto Star about new initiatives to help Chinese Canadian youth who are excelling academically but perhaps lacking other essential skills, become more well-rounded students: Chasing dreams instead of marks

08.15.06

The Arizona Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of Frank Silva Roque, who went on a shooting spree four days after September 11th and killed Sikh gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi, apparently seeking "vengeance" for the terrorist attacks: 9/11-tied slayer won't be executed. Citing Roque's mental illness and low IQ, his sentence was reduced to life in prison. The victim's family was okay with the decision:


"As long as he is away from society and our family, it's fine," said his brother, Rana Singh Sodhi, though he questioned the high court's assertion that Roque is mentally ill.

"I don't think mentally ill people can make those (deliberate decisions about) targets," he said.


The sad thing is, according to the article, Balbir Singh Sodhi's family lost another member ten months after his death. A brother was shot to death in San Francisco in what they believe was also a hate crime.

08.15.06

Some news that will surely terrify the George Allens of America... according to figures released today by the Census Bureau, minority groups make up an increasing share of the population in every state but one: Minority population growing around U.S. And who's the lucky state that's immune to this explosion of diversity? Good ol' West Virginia.

08.15.06



I recently heard about this DC-based band Exit Clov, fronted by twin sisters Susan and Emily Hsu. Sure, they're cute, but they've also got a really great sound. I've been sampling some of their music on MySpace and enjoying it a lot. The fun part is, though I didn't know them very well, I actually went to school with these ladies, years back. I'm told by sources close to them that they've both got advanced degrees but are dedicating a year to see if they can make it in music. How cool is that? The band is indie releasing a 6-track EP, Respond Respond in the fall, and are currently in the middle of a tour this month (and hitting the West Coast this week). Check them out here and here.

08.15.06

Junior Seau, one of football's great linebackers, retired from the NFL yesterday after 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and three years with the Miami Dolphins: Hall of a career? Junior Seau retires after 13 seasons. There's a nice story on him here: 55 in overdrive

08.14.06

What the hell does "macaca" mean? George Allen, Republican Senator from Virginia, used the nonsensical term in reference to one of his opponent's volunteers, who is of Indian descent. S.R. Sidarth, a staffer for Democrat James Webb's Senate campaign, was singled out during a speech last week by Allen, who called him a word that sounded like "macaca": Sen. Allen's Remarks Spark Ire


"This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great. We're going to places all over Virginia, and he's having it on film and its great to have you here and you show it to your opponent because he's never been there and probably will never come."

After telling the crowd that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie moguls," Allen again referenced Sidarth, who was born and raised in Fairfax County.

"Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," said Allen, who then began talking about the "war on terror."


Allen's campaign tried to offer a plausible, excusable explanation of his remarks:


[Allen campaign manager Dick] Wadhams said Allen campaign staffers had begun calling Sidarth "mohawk" because of a haircut Wadhams said the Webb staffer has. "Macaca was just a variation of that," Wadhams said.


Nice try. Funny. But that's a big, brown, stretchy load of crap. I find it funny that they bothered even trying to come up with an explanation at all. The article needlessly goes on to speculate what the hell "macaca" really could mean, if anything at all:


Depending on how you spell it, the name Allen gave Sidarth means different things.

If spelled M-a-c-a-c-a, the term refers to a species of monkeys in the Eastern Hemisphere. "Is he saying Sidarth is a monkey?" Todd asked.

The word M-a-k-a-k-a refers to a town in South Africa.


It's obvious Allen was just mocking and picking up on Sidarth's Indian-ness, singling out the only non-white face in the crowd. "Welcome to America," my ass. Sidarth was born and raised in the United States. Hell of a coincidence he should make reference to the "War on Terror" just moments after. This is the man who wore Confederate flag pin for his high school senior class photo, and reportedly flew the damn flag on his car... while living in Southern California. This man is the devil. God forbid he should make a run for President. There's a clip of his speech over at YouTube. That's racist!

UPDATE: According to some comments on Daily Kos, "macaca" is apparently a derogatory term used in Tunisia in reference to blacks and dark-skinned people. It so happens that Allen's mother is from French Tunisia. Coincidence? It's a little too shady to discount. A little more digging reveals some really ugly uses of variations of "macaque," culled from white supremacist sites: 'Macaca' or 'Macaque'. Like I said, it's pretty ugly. But it's evident that the term is a commonly used racial slur on par with the "n-word" in the United States.

Allen has since offered his weak little apology, claiming the word had no derogatory meaning for him: Senator says he's sorry for "macaca" comment

If you feel like saying a few words of your own to Sen. Allen and his people, here is some information that you might find useful:

Post Office Box 6859

Arlington, VA 22206

Phone: 703-845-3689

Fax: 703-845-7519

There's also an email form on the Senator's website. Do what you feel is necessary. Personally, I'd like to see a large group of folks show up at Allen's next gathering wearing yellow shirts that say "macaca, or whatever your name is."

08.14.06

Yesterday, 14-year-old Kimberly Kim of Hilo, HI became the youngest player ever to win the U.S. Women's Amateur tournament: Kimberly Kim Wins U.S. Women's Amateur. Dude, they're getting younger and younger. Not bad for a girl who says her hobby is "sleeping."

08.14.06

Two college students from Fujian province, China, bicycled across the United States to create awareness and change the way American society views Chinese Americans: Chinese Students Bike Across North America for Immigrant Rights. Starting in San Francisco with no experience of long-distance traveling by bicycle, Zheng Shao-Xiong and Wu Guo-Yang traversed America for 45 days before finally arriving in New York, where the majority of Chinese immigrants come from Fujian. "Fujianese is not a synonym for illegal immigrant." I'm sure there are plenty of less physically demanding ways to get attention for your cause, but hey, more power to them.

08.14.06

Two young white men have been charged with assault as a hate crime for an attack on four Asians this weekend in Queens: 2 whites charged with Queens hate crime attack on Asians. The four Asians guys were driving when Kevin Brown, 19, and Paul Heavey, 20, pulled alongside them and began cursing and shouting racial slurs ("You gook, stay out of our neighborhood," reportedly), then rammed their car from behind. When they stopped and got out of the car, the two physically assaulted them. Why? Crazy racist ass punks. Now, they've been charged with assault as a hate crime, reckless endangerment as a hate crime and criminal mischief as a hate crime. They'll be back in court on August 28th, and I hope they get what's coming to them.

08.13.06

China has a new eco-crusader... Yao Ming is swearing off shark fin soup, an expensive delicacy, and is speaking out against the hunting of sharks for their fins: Waiter, Thereís a Celebrity in My Shark Fin Soup

08.13.06

Tensions continue to grow in Edison over an alleged police brutality incident... the Indian community organized a rally last week outside township hall to protest police treatment of one of their own: Asian-Indians face off with police allies. According to the article, things got pretty heated with lots of shouting and namecalling (I believe "cockroaches" was used at some point). And here's a New York Times story on the troubles in Edison: Even After Race Is Won, Race Is Still the Issue. Somewhere in the middle of all this, Mayor Jun Choi has to try and work it all out.

08.12.06

Another profile on Yankees pitcher Chien-MIng Wang of Taiwan, who has become one of the team's most solid players: From Taiwan to the Bronx, One Pitch at a Time

08.12.06

YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were interviewed on Charlie Rose last night. Suprisingly, it seems that the full interview has not been posted on YouTube yet, though there is this five minute preview that was posted a few days ago. Ironically, the full episode is actually available for viewing over at Google Video.

08.12.06

"They're taking all our jobs!" No, not really. According to a study released this week by the Pew Hispanic Center, there is no evidence for the country as a whole to support the claim that foreigners take jobs from American workers: Immigration and Jobs Link Is Disputed

08.12.06

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California (APALC) is undertaking a new non-partisan voter mobilization effort for this year's November 7th Elections, designed to encourage registered APA voters in Los Angeles and Orange Counties who do not vote consistently to vote. You know who you are... As part of the mobilization, they'll be conducting a study on the voting patterns of young Asian Americans in L.A. and Orange Counties, so they're trying to get people to participate in focus groups (paid). If you're interested, here's some info:


Participate in a Focus Group and earn $40 in two hours!

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) is conducting focus groups
for young Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) of all ethnicities to discuss
voting in Los Angeles County. Our focus groups are part of the
non-partisan, Asian American Voter Project designed to encourage registered
APA voters who do not vote consistently to vote on Election Day, November 7,
2006.

The focus group will last 2 hours, snacks will be provided and you will
receive $40 for participating!

You are eligible to participate if you are:

1. Of Asian or South Asian descent,

2. Registered to vote but have NOT voted in the past four elections,

3. Between 18-25 years old.

For more information, including focus group dates and locations, please
contact Marchela Iahdjian at APALC: 213-241-0232 or marchela@apalc.org.


I'm sure more than a few of you out there fit this profile, and could spare a couple of hours to offer your opinions and earn forty bucks. Overall, voter mobilization is a good thing. Let us do what we can to help people get off their asses and vote.

08.12.06

Last week, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed a longtime community advocate for the civil rights of Asian Americans, Yvonne Y. Lee, to the city's Police Commission: Asian American advocate named to police board. Here's more info on her in the California Chronicle.

Meanwhile, remember that SF police scandal from late last year where officers appeared in a video of racist and sexist skits? Now, eighteen officers who were in the video have filed a $20 million law suit against the city, alleging that they've been defamed and discriminated against while authorities excused several Asian officers involved in making the tapes: Officers in police video sue. Basically, they're saying it's unfair that they were disciplined, but the four Asian officers who appeared in the video weren't. Okay, the fact that the Asian officers involved didn't get any trouble is definitely worth investigating. But this does not change the fact that all these people were involved with this ridiculous, awful video.... and now they might get $20 million out of it?

08.12.06

Moh-Yoh is a recently-launched website dedicated to promoting Asian American entrepreneurs and small businesses on the internet by selling simple, affordable web advertising space. Interesting idea, especially with all the indpendent merchants out there who don't have much of a marketing budget. But I do have to wonder what will keep visitors coming back if the entire site itself is just a series of advertisements...

08.12.06

This week, the federal Education Department proposed new regulations that would let mixed-heritage students identify themselves in more than one racial category (as many as they want) on all forms: Proposal Adds Options for Students to Specify Race. While the change addresses concerns that frustrated mixed race students for years, it also opens up a whole new set of questions and challenges in monitoring the educational progress among different racial groups... Interesting move, but I have a feeling they'll still be working out the complications for a while.

08.11.06

In honor of the high-concept of all high-concept movies, Snakes on a Plane, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX sponsored the Blanks on a Blanks challenge, asking filmmakers to create a parody of the upcoming film based on a randomly assigned animal and vehicle:



Animals and vehicles: they just don't mix. The biggest film of this summer, obviously, will show us the inherent dangers of putting motherf***ing snakes on a motherf***ing plane. But what will be the biggest film of NEXT summer?


Sounds pretty motherf***ing awesome. Voting is over (I'm not even sure who won), but you can view my man Wes Kim's film Aardvarks on a Tank along with all the other submitted films here.

08.11.06

NPR has been running an interesting series on how Western "hackers" are building low-cost communications networks to bring phone and Web service to displaced Tibetan refugees, and how native peoples are trying to hold onto their cultures as the world becomes more wired: Hacking the Himalayas

In other Asians-and-technology news, here's a story on Chinese bootlegging groups who translate American sitcoms and dramas and upload them on the internet—making American popular culture available in near-real time free to Chinese audiences: Chinese Tech Buffs Slake Thirst for U.S. TV Shows. Kind of scary to think that a generation of young Chinese people are learning about American culture through shows like Sex and the City and Prison Break.

08.10.06

Just got word that comedian/actor/musician Randall Park has joined the cast of the sketch/improv show Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out. The latest season premieres tonight on MTV. Here's the show's website.

08.10.06

Comedian Steve Byrne is doing a special little deal... order his DVD 13 or Bust from his website, and you'll get a bonus DVD of his half hour special Comedy Central Presents Steve Byrne, which aired a few months back. Lots of fun, lots of laughs. 13 or Bust is a documentary that chronicles Steve's attempt to perform a record thirteen stand-up shows in one night. There's a trailer for the film, as well as a crapload of other video clips over at his website.

08.10.06

Toua Xiong, 20, a Pizza Hut employee in Minneapolis, was shot and killed during a delivery on Sunday night—apparently the victim of an attempted robbery. His family and members of the local Hmong community are asking for the public's help in finding his murderer: Reward offered in death of pizza deliveryman

UPDATE: An arrest has been made in connection with the murder of Toua Xiong: Man held in pizza driver killing

08.10.06

Faisal Baig, a Pakistani-born pilot is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for discrimination, claiming the airline rescinded a job offer and told him it was because of his background: Pakistani - Born Pilot Sues JetBlue. Although Baig is an American citizen who was raised in the United States since age 7, an airline manager apparently told him that he was a "security risk." Wow, they didn't even give him a B.S. answer—they flat out told him being a Pakistani Muslim (= Brown) guy makes him a security risk.

08.10.06

A new book, Images of America: San Francisco's Chinatown by Judy Yung tells a photographic story of the neighborhood's evolution from its beginning in 1850 to today: Changing Chinatown. It sounds pretty fascinating. There's a book launch this weekend at the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. Details here.

08.09.06

Southern California soy lovers, it's going down this weekend... LTSC presents the 2006 LA Tofu Festival, August 12th and 13th in downtown Los Angeles. It's going to be a fun time with food, entertainment and community. They've got celebrity chefs (Tommy Tang! Iron Chef Mormoto!), music and dance acts (SickStep! Ill Again! Blackalicious!?), and of course, tofu. People who don't like tofu are suckas. It's hip to be square. Hope to see you there!

08.09.06

Kind of trippy, spotted on YouTube (where else?): Girl takes pic of herself every day for three years. The piece is called Me, by graphic designer/experimental filmmaker Ahree Lee. Ahree, that is crazy.

08.09.06

Another article on hip hop artist Lyrics Born, from the Boston Herald: Hub-bound hip-hop star Lyrics Born makes Quannum leap. If you've never heard his kickass album Later That Day, I suggest you pick it up today. Here's his official site.

08.09.06

Michelle Wie has fired her caddie, Greg Johnston, a day after Wie finished tied for 26th at the Womenís British Open: After Some Ups and Downs, Wie Cuts Loose Her Caddie. No replacement was named.

08.09.06

Nora Sun, the granddaughter of famed Chinese leader Sun Yat-sen recently spoke to Chinese American community members in Sacramento: Keeping alive the legacy of a leader. She was visiting her son, who lives in California's capital. Imagine being that guy. "Sun Yat-sen? Oh, he's my great-grandfather. No, really."

08.09.06

A Korean musical about human rights abuses in a North Korean concentration camp will be staged at the National Theater in Washington DC in September: N.Korea Gulag Musical to Hit Washington. Sounds like one of those feel-good shows.

08.09.06

This week, the Justice Department filed a discrimination suit against Los Angeles Clippers owner and real estate mogul Donald Sterling, accusing him of favoring Korean tenants while seeking to exclude African Americans and families with children from his apartment buildings in Los Angeles County: L.A. Clippers Owner Accused of Housing Bias. In the seven-page complaint, Justice Department lawyers said Sterling's agents at various times have refused to rent to non-Koreans at their buildings in Koreatown, and have been guilty of "creating, maintaining, and perpetuating an environment that is hostile" to existing non-Korean tenants. Looks as though Sterling here has buying into some form of the model minority myth...

08.09.06

According to a new study, "Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms," conducted by the American Bar Association, incidents of discrimination—both subtle and outright—are prompting growing numbers of minority women to abandon the nation's biggest law firms: ABA: Women of color leaving big firms

08.08.06

Just heard that At Last, who have made a big splash on NBC's America's Got Talent, will be appearing tomorrow morning (Tuesday) on the Today show. Early risers may want to check out. Or just wait a few hours and I'm sure it'll inevitably end up on YouTube.

08.08.06

I'm not really sure what this is all about, but I was directed to this link promoting what is apparently Jin's (yes, that Jin) premiere stand-up performance: imnotacomedian.com. Details are super-secretive, with the performance taking place at an undisclosed NYC location on an as-yet unannounced date. So what's it all about? Is Jin making a foray into comedy? Not sure, but either way it looks like it'll be fun.

08.08.06

Another article on that other Chinese basketball player, Wang Zhizhi—the NBA's first Chinese player who joined the Dallas Mavericks in the 1999 draft: NBA Pioneer Wang Deals With Tough Luck. He's now back in China playing for the national team.

08.08.06

Disgraced New York radio personality DJ Star, aka Troi Torain, is trying to get himself on television for his next career move. It seems that he's absolutely unremorseful in regards to the remarks that got himself fired, taking the "get over it" line of thinking: Get over it, disgraced DJ says to critics. The guy is a sorry-ass idiot just digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole. Big props to Councilman John Liu, who will face him in court.

08.08.06

This report from Comic-Con reveals some photos of a really amazing-looking Bruce Lee 12" figure series: Enterbay Honors a Martial Arts Legend. The points of articulation and attention to detail are pretty incredible. I'd actually buy one or two for my bookshelf, but at $299 the pricetag is a little too hefty.

08.08.06

Feels like every week I get an email from Michael Kang putting a call out for help with his next film West 32nd... his latest plea is for an older Korean male actor:


Call Your Dad

He could be a star in the waiting. Why do I say that? Because we are coming down to the wire and are still casting an older Korean male to be in my next film "West 32nd."

It's been really hard finding a Korean guy in his 40-50s who can speak both Korean and English AND act. I am not looking for someone who necessarily has a list of credits and experience -- just someone who is comfortable with themselves enough to act on film. The character is a grizzled 1.5 generation Korean American New York plainclothes cop.

If you have any ideas or know anyone who might be good for this, please email: susan@susanshopmakercasting.com.

Thanks!

PS We are also still casting younger thuggy New York city Korean kids. They don't have to be fluent in Korean but hopefully they are natural at speaking Konglish and being believeably from Flushing.


Got that? Now get your dad on the phone and see if he wants to be in a movie.

08.07.06



Check this out... Patricio Ginelsa and Kid Heroes Productions brings you not one, but two awesome indie-produced videos for Black Eyed Peas' "Bebot"—performed entirely in Tagalog by Apl.de.Ap. Really fun stuff, with some partying, some history, and a whole lotta Filipino pride. Watch both Generation One and Generation Two, with a bunch of great cameos from the Filipino American community. Be sure to read some of the background on this project. And here's an article on the videos from the Stockton Record: Little Manila comes alive. Filipino!

08.07.06

AsianWeek has a good farewell piece on the late great actor Mako, who passed away of esophageal cancer on July 21 at age 72: Mako: Godfather of Stage, Oscar Nominee. The story includes filmmaker Jeff Adachi's (The Slanted Screen) last public interview with the actor.

08.07.06

Kobayashi comin' at you with another record-setting win: Fast food. This weekend, the champion eater from Japan scarfed down 58 bratwursts in 10 minutes to win the Johnsonville World Brat Eating Championship. Meanwhile, Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas was unable to defend her title, eating only 34 brats, half a brat less than last year. That is disgusting.

08.07.06

Some Asian American filmmaker articles... AsianAmericanFilm.com has a good interview with NaRhee Ahn, director of Purity.

Here's a story on director Lane Nishikawa and his Only the Brave, which opened the Asian Film Festival of Dallas last week: 'I knew I had to tell their story'

And an article in the Nichi Bei Times on filmmaker Steven Okazaki and his Oscar-nominated short documentary The Mushroom Club, which premiered on Cinemax last week: Oscar-Winner Okazaki Talks Hiroshima, His New Documentaries

08.07.06

Nearly forty years after the Vietnam War, declassified Army files part of a once-secret archive show that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known: Civilian Killings Went Unpunished. The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators, describing


"recurrent attacks on ordinary Vietnamese ó families in their homes, farmers in rice paddies, teenagers out fishing. Hundreds of soldiers, in interviews with investigators and letters to commanders, described a violent minority who murdered, raped and tortured with impunity."


The article, which details many of the atrocities in the report, is pretty difficult to read. But necessary and relevant today, especially in light of what's currently going on in Iraq.

08.07.06

The LA Times has more on actress Gong Li's (and others') crossover move into high-profile Hollywood fare (Miami Vice, Young Hannibal): China's Finest Exports. Seems like she's suddenly become Hollywood's go-to actress for hot, sophisticated Asian lady roles.

08.06.06

I was recently turned onto the music of Priscilla Ahn, an LA-based indie artist who's been collaborating a bit with the likes of Joshua Radin and Amos Lee (both featured on the Zach Braff-compiled Last Kiss soundtrack). No album yet. Just some sweet sounds on her MySpace page. And here's a Campus Circle article on her from a few months back.

08.06.06

If you're looking for something to do tomorrow night in New York, head over to this launch party to benefit the new nonprofit theater and film company Direct Arts and its first film Gilded Cage. Monday, August 7th at Saint Marks Church. For all the gritty details, go here. Co-sponsored by Hyphen.

08.06.06

This is a really strange story out of China: Foreigner scattering money lures Chinese on street. According to the article, a group of foreigners were apparently throwing coins on the ground in order to deliberately lure and take photos of Chinese passers-by picking them up. Of course, the crowd wasn't buying it, and got pissed off at the photographers. What kind of weird stunt was that?

08.06.06

Here's an Arizona Daily Star profile on Hai Khuu, who runs a popular Chinese restaurant out of an old school bus in the Tuscon area: Chinese food cart finds South Side spot

08.06.06

This is for Southern California theatre folks... Lodestone Theatre Ensemble presents its latest production, the world premiere of One Nation, Under God by Philip Chung. It's a dark, provocative piece that explores "how blind faith can sometimes have destructive and tragic consequences." Sort of a flip side companion piece to the company's previous hit, The Golden Hour. Looks disturbing, but very interesting. It runs through August 27th at GTC Burbank. For more info, go here.

08.06.06

Sung Koo Kim, the infamous Oregon panty thief, may face about nine years in prison for stealing thousands of pairs of underwear from college dorm rooms, laundry rooms and campus-area apartments: Ore. Panty thief gets an extra 18 months. Freak.

08.06.06

This summer, NPR is featuring authors talking about their favorite books in the weekly series, "You Must Read This." Recently, author Victor Lavalle discussed Kenzaburo Oe's 1958 novella "Prize Stock," collected in Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, which chronicles how children in a rural Japanese village react to the detainment of a downed American airman in their midst: Admiring Oe's Talent for Discomfort. It sounds like a really brutal story, though Lavalle seems to appreciate it quite a bit.

08.05.06



The New York Times has a great article with a behind-the-scenes look at Finishing The Game, Justin Lin's latest independent feature currently in production: 50 Guys, All Trying to Look Like Bruce Lee (warning: lots of photos of Asian men in bad clothes and worse hairdos). The writer of the article, Robert Ito, apparently got the idea for the story after seeing the "100 Bruce Lee" casting call for extras on this very website. I was actually on the set as one of said Bruce Lee wannabe extras (sportin' some sweet 1970s threads, no less) on Thursday, checking out what was going on. From what I've seen, it looks like it's going to be an incredibly funny, interesting film...

08.05.06

Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column is all about the wacky world of competitive air guitar, and why Asian Americans are representin' so fiercely with luminaries like C-Diddy and Sonyk-ROK dominating the international scene: Unstrung Heroes

08.05.06

This week, Robert Wone, a well-known lawyer active in Washington's Asian American community, was stabbed to death by an intruder at a friend's townhouse: Lawyer Killed In Stabbing At Rowhouse In Northwest. Details are unclear, and the case is still open. For the past month, Wone had been general counsel for Radio Free Asia, a nonprofit group that broadcasts news in Asian countries that don't have free media.

08.04.06

Chanh Huu Nguyen, the leader of Vietnamese exile group Government of Free Vietnam, returned to his home in California after being detained in South Korea for three months as the Vietnamese government made an unsuccessful attempt to extradite him: Vietnamese Activist Returns to Calif. Vietnam's communist government calls him a terrorist.

08.04.06

Couple of movies opening up today... The Night Listener a thriller starring Robin Williams, also stars Sandra Oh, who is featured pretty prominently in the trailers.

Also, the horror film The Descent opens today in the U.S. theaters. The cast includes Natalie Mendoza as Juno, part of a group thrillseekers on a cave expedition gone horribly wrong. While the plot sounds like a rehash of The Cave, it's actually received some fairly positive reviews. I've heard it's awesome, and pretty frickin' scary.

08.04.06

Here's a nice LA Times profile on author and peach farmer David "Mas" Masumoto, who has not only written and published four books, but is apparently the most famous fruit farmer in America: Everyone wants his peaches

08.04.06

This is for the comic books geeks (like me)... Greg Pak's "Mastermind Excello," aka kid genius Amadeus Cho, who made a celebrated debut in last fall's Amazing Fantasy #15 makes an appearance in Incredible Hulk #100: WizardUniverse.com interviews Pak - Mastermind Excello to appear in "Incredible Hulk" #100!

08.04.06

Choo Shin-soo of South Korea hit a grand slam homer yesterday to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Boston Red Sox, 7-6: Choo! Choo! Choo! Hits Grand Slam. He became the second South Korean player to hit a grand slam in the major leagues (after Hee Seop Choi).

Meanwhile, right-hander Chien-Ming Wang of the New York Yankees is proving himself to be the team's strongest starter during the past month: Hot, Hotter and Wang: Yankees on a Roll

08.04.06

Word of caution to the foolish Western traveler... watch out for shifty, scheming Asian women preying on your money and your papers: Beware the Oriental fantasy. I think I am more concerned about the cocky Western traveler seeking to get their kicks with a submissive Asian fantasy.

08.03.06

For those of you with Cinemax, Steven Okazaki's Academy Award-nominated documentary The Mushroom Club premieres tonight at 7pm. It's a look at Hiroshima sixty years after the first atomic bomb was dropped, with interviews and profiles of survivors. Very powerful stuff...

08.03.06

Filmmaker magazine just published its annual survey of new talent, 25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM 2006. Asian American names among the list include Ham Tran (Journey From The Fall), So Yong Kim (In Between Days), Eunhee Cho (Inner Circle Line), and PJ Raval (Best Kept Secret). Very cool, promising group of artists. Look for their work at a theater near you soon.

08.03.06

According to a press release I received from AALDEF, yesterday, seven former employees of the closed Flushing banquet hall Young Vin Kwan and its parent company, Seoul Plaza Ltd., protested outside the office of owner Chong Min Mun in Flushing, Queens. Mun apparently owes fifteen cooks, waitresses, waiters, busboys, and other workers more than $400,000 in unpaid wages, minimum wage, overtime, and liquidated damages, according to a suit soon headed for trial: Restaurant Workers Demand Unpaid Wages and Protest outside Office of Shameless Restaurateur. Time to pay up, Mr. Mun.

08.03.06

Just heard about this San Francisco pop/punk band 8Past, made up of a bunch of Asian American guys with a pretty good sound. Their debut album No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regret hits stores next week. There's a record release party this weekend at the Factory in SF. Lots of details about the band over at their MySpace page.

Another band I learned about through MySpace is Meg & Dia, a Utah-based alt-pop Korean American sister duo whose new album Something Real is also out next week. Good stuff, from what I've heard. Their band includes Kenji Chan on guitar. Here's their official site, and here's an article on them that ran last month in the Salt Lake Tribune: Alt-pop band stops by home.

And while we're talking about music... Scott Tang's "Freeway" video is MTV Chi's Pick of the Week. I've met and talked with Scott a few times, and he's a really cool guy. Watch the video here, and visit Scott's website here.

08.02.06

It was recently reported that the family Bruce Lee was planning to produce a movie based on his life, in order to set the record straight (I'm sure they'll be completely objective). The question of course remains, who will have the near-impossible task of playing Bruce Lee? Jason Scott Lee did a passable job in Hollywood's Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story back in 1993. Initial rumors suggested that everyone from Keanu Reeves to Stephen Chow were interested in the role. The latest bit of news is that Donnie Yen is currently in talks to take the role: Donnie Yen Might Portray Bruce Lee on the Big Screen. I still say get they should get an unknown actor to play the role. While I think Donnie Yen is a respectable action actor in his own right, I just can't see it.

Speaking of Donnie Yen, the Weinstein's DVD release of the incredible, badassly awesome Hong Kong action flick Sha Po Lang has been given the cheesy Western marketing treatment, renamed with a bad title—"Kill Zone"—and packaged with some fantastically terrible cover art. With an awesome title like that, why would anyone pass this movie over on the Blockbuster shelf? Some details about the DVD over at Kaiju Shakedown: HOW SPECIAL IS KILL ZONE?. It's being released in September.

08.02.06

We can ooh and ah all about the incredible academic achievements of Asian American students, but there's no denying that this perception comes with a lot of negative baggage. This article was written in response to columnist Nicholas Kristof's piece on Asian American students that ran in the New York Times a few months back: The Dark Side of the Asian American 'Model Student'

08.02.06

Attention, Dallas! The Asian movies are coming. The 5th Annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas starts tomorrow with the Opening Night screening of Lane Nishikawa's Only the Brave, and runs through August 10th at Landmark's Magnolia Theatre. They've got a pretty badass lineup of films, so check it out. All the details are available here.

08.02.06

DJ Star, aka Troi Torain, who got in trouble a few months back for making on-air threats against a rival DJ's family (including his 4-year-old daughter), is still acting like a whiny ass baby. He apparently plans to file a $55 million defamation suit against City Councilman John Liu, who publicly denounced his rant and called for a boycott of Power 105.1: DJ Star filing defame claim. You've got to be kidding me, right? Liu, however, is keeping cool about it: "We would much rather he go after me than 4-year-old girls."

08.02.06

This week, a group of Chinese Americans were honored for their work as interpreters for Americans during the later days of World War II: FAB-100 honored with exhibit at airport. They were members of the FAB (Foreign Affairs Bureau)-100, which translated for Chinese pilots learning to fly American aircraft for a mission against Japan. There's now an exhibit in Austin (where they trained) commemorating their work.

08.02.06

China is putting the U.S. in a sticky position... what happens when a country refuses to take back thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants? China is refusing to take back 40,000 deportable immigrants, insisting that asylum-seekers such as Falun Gong members and other political opponents of Beijing be returned as well: China Tests U.S. Immigration Plan. This, of course, seriously undermines Homeland Security's get-tough-on-immigration stance, leaving the U.S. without many options.

08.02.06

Asian American arts supporters in the Bay Area, here's something cool for you to do tomorrow night, Thursday, August 3rd... check out Kearny Street Workshop's APAture 2006 preview party at the Asian Art Museum. It's the official launch of the 8th annual APAture festival season, featuring readings and performances by Shailja Patel, Goh Nakamura, Barbara Jane Reyes, Denizen Kane, and Olga Salamanca. Come on out and support the sceeeeene.

08.02.06

Yet another Asian American piano prodigy kid, Joey Chang: Mozart in the making. Seems like every town's got one.

08.02.06

Here's an article on filmmaker Justin Lin in Backstage.com: Getting the 'Drift'. It's a few days old, but makes no mention of his latest project, Finishing the Game, which is currently in production. Tokyo Drift is so last month.

08.02.06

Earlier this week, a Sikh man in Santa Clara, CA was stabbed by his neighbor, who believed the man belonged to the Taliban: Sikh stabbed in driveway. Iqbal Singh, 40, was waiting in his carport with his 2-year-old granddaughter when the suspect, Everett Thompson, approached him and stabbed him in the neck with a steak knife. Thank goodness nothing happened ot the granddaughter.


There are indications that Thompson, who may suffer from mental illness, believed Singh was a member of the Taliban, officials said Monday. Singh is not.

The Taliban is a Sunni Islamist movement based in Afghanistan. Sikhism is an unrelated religion and culture founded in the Indian state of Punjab.


Yeah, thanks for clarifying that. Thompson has been booked on suspicion of attempted murder and a hate crime. Get it through your thick skulls, you idiots. Sikhism has nothing to do with the frickin' Taliban.

08.02.06

At last! Another yellowface classic comes to DVD! Fox Home Video has just released a box set of the first four 1930s Mr. Moto films: THE MR. MOTO COLLECTION, VOLUME ONE. Though not as popular as the Charlie Chan movies, the series enjoyed a fairly successful run featuring Mr. Moto, "an adventurer, explorer, soldier of fortune" played by Peter Lorre, who is not Asian—"fitted out with gold-rimmed glasses, taped-back eyelids and what appears to be a set of buck teeth." What else can you say, but that's racist!

08.02.06

An unexpected development regarding Brandon and Ryan Ting, twin defensive backs for USC's football team... Last week, USC announced that the brothers had decided to stop playing football so they could concentrate on preparing for medical school: Exit Interview: Ryan and Brandon Ting. But it turns out, Brandon had tested positive for steroids: USC Player Has Positive Steroid Test. So the question is, why are they really leaving the program early?

08.02.06

As I've mentioned before, Michael Kang starts shooting his Korean American gangster movie West 32nd this month in New York. If you are dependable, able-bodied person in NYC, he could use your help. Specifically, the project is still looking to fill a few extra roles, plus they need some very Korean-looking apartments for shooting locations. For details, head over to Mike's Xanga.

08.02.06

Is the proposed film starring both Jackie Chan and Jet Li really ever going to happen? Seems like they've been talking about it forever. This article seems to indicate that it's going to happen very soon: Jackie Chan: Movie Deal With Jet Li Near. Better get to work soon; they're definitely not the young kung fu dudes they used to be.

08.02.06

The other night, I caught the audition special for Star Tomorrow, NBC's new online music competition. Between this, The One, Rock Star and America's Got Talent, it's hard to keep track of all the talent shows out there this summer. Who out there isn't trying to get famous? Anyway, on this show, bands and artists compete against each other based on your online votes. One of the competing bands in Round 1/Week One is vocal group Next Phaze. They've got a nice sound. View video of their performance (and vote) here.

08.02.06

So apparently there's a fourth Rambo movie in the works, with plans to start shooting in October: Stallone Talks "Rambo IV" Plot. Ridiculous. But I guess Stallone's career needs a jolt, so he's going back to familiar territory (there's another Rocky movie coming up too). He recently revealed some plot details about the movie in Entertainment Weekly:


After ruling out the Mideast, Africa, and Korea, the actor finally hit on a solution "I called Soldier of Fortune magazine and said, 'What is the most critical man-doing-inhumanity-to-man situation right now in the world? Where is it?" says Stallone. They came back with Burma (aka. Myanmar), the largest country geographically in mainland Southeast Asia.

Art Monterastelli ("The Hunted") co-wrote the script with Stallone which finds Rambo living a monastic lifestyle in Bangkok and salvaging old PT boats and tanks for scrap metal. When a group of volunteers bringing supplies into Burma disappears, a relative of one of the missing missionaries begs Rambo to find them. He heads off with a team of young guns to find them.


Yay, more Asian badguys. If it's anything like Rambo II, this should be a real treat. Man, that movie stunk it up! I need to rewatch, because it's been a while. I just remember a buffed up Stallone mowing down thousands of Vietnamese dudes with his machine gun. Rambo IV should probably be more of the same.

08.01.06

This New York Times article takes a look at the ups and downs of Asian American television network AZN TV, still hanging in there: After the International Channel: AZN Narrows Its Audience and Widens Its Flaws. In the fall, it'll be airing just one new, original program: a documentary series "that follows four Asian-American high school students as they navigate the college application process." That is so Asian.

08.01.06

I have no intentions of turning this space into a Gong Li- or M. Night Shyamalan-bashing blog, especially since I haven't seen Miami Vice or Lady in the Water. I just try to keep my ears open and listen to what folks are saying... and a lot of people have been saying not-so-nice things. Actually, over the weekend I got a bunch of emails written both in defense and disgust of these films. So I don't know what tell you. Having said that, here's a halfway decent interview with Gong Li, with a few comments on being Asian in Hollywood: Gong Li enters the Hollywood fast lane. And here's what has to be the most worthless excuse for a news story ever: Gong Says She Schooled Farrell in Mojitos

08.01.06

The recent burglary at a Buddhist temple in Chandler, AZ is being investigated by police as a possible hate crime. Thieves broke in and stole a boom box, two projectors, three computers and a 42-inch television. A broken Buddha statue also was found: Temple theft investigated as hate crime. Interestingly, however, the director of the temple doesn't believe the burglary to be a hate crime.

08.01.06

Just saw the trailer for The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese. It's a remake of the brilliant Hong Kong cop thriller classic Infernal Affairs. If you plan on seeing this film, do yourself a favor and rent the original. Heck, watch the whole trilogy. DiCaprio and Damon have got nothing on Tony Leung and Andy Lau. Still, I have weird, mixed feelings about The Departed. One the one hand, gah, another remake. On the other hand, you can't deny that the talent involved is pretty incredible. Could they get it right?

While I see nothing inherently wrong with remakes (if they're good), I'm generally not a fan of this current wave of Hollywood remakes of Asian films. American audiences don't seem to give Asian films a fair shake, unless there are characters in period costumes flying around and kicking each other (don't get me wrong—I love martial arts films as much as the next person). Taking quality Asian films, ignoring the originals, and repackaging the stories in movies starring pretty white people doesn't really help but feed this ignorance. God forbid anyone should have to read a subtitle or two. Sure, a few curious people will probably throw Il Mare or Ringu in their Netflix queue, but on the whole it's a lost opportunity to expand people's consciousness about world cinema. But hey, I'd love for someone to prove me wrong.

08.01.06

Some more information on Naveed Haq, the shooter who killed one and wounded five others at a Seattle Jewish center: Shooting suspect was baptized. It's pretty tragic. Seems like his actions were actually more motivated by personal problems than political convictions. Still, this was a hate crime. Terrible situation all around. Meanwhile: Parents of Man Charged in Seattle Shooting Issue Appeal and Apology to Jews

08.01.06

"For most football coaches, the only thing better than a player who runs a 4.4 and carries a 3.9 GPA is one who has a twin brother who can do the same things." Here's a story on Brandon and Ryan Ting, twin brothers and defensive backs for USC's football team: Some Tings to Talk About. Pretty impressive kids.

08.01.06

Hey mothasuckas. A preview of Notorious MSG's latest video, "Chinatown Hustler." They're throwing a video release party this week. Thursday, August 3rd at club Show in NYC. Details over at notoriousmsg.com. The original Chinatown bad boys, baby.

08.01.06

Fascinated by Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking, AOL Exec and sports team owner Ted Leonsis put up the money to finance a documentary the incident—the killing in 1937 of 300,000 Chinese by the Japanese army: Ted Leonsis Takes a Sharp Turn. His film chronicles the story of a group of Westerners, including a Nazi businessman, who risked their lives and used their influence in Nanking in December 1937 to create a safe zone to protect 250,000 Chinese. Interesting, though I can't help but notice they've shifted the film's focus onto the white characters in order to make the film more palatable (and marketable) to Western audiences...

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