another reason to hate kenneth eng

Well, I suppose it was inevitable. My first piece of hate mail regarding the Kenneth Eng/AsianWeek "Why I Hate Blacks" column. Fun times:
FROM: "keith lilly"
DATE: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 10:27:26 -0600
TO: [angryminsoo@angryasianman.com]
SUBJECT: YWhy I should hate Asian people.

You eat dog.
You jam 30 people in a house that was made for 4.

You set up stores in the neighborhoods where people live you claim to
hate....................THAT's DUMBASS ON YOUR PART.
Set your shit up in WHITE NEIGHBORHOODS.
Oh.................I forgot.
White people don't like you SLANT EYED ASSES EITHER.

Most of you motherfuckers can't speak English.
None of you motherfuckers want to deal with BLACK PEOPLE yet you want our

You hate Black people........................Big deal.
Take your ass back to where you came from and surround yourself with a whole
country of dumb, dog eating motherfucking 3 fott tall monkeys like yourself.

To the Editors of the trash.........................How do it feel.
We all know you knew the backlash that would come.
You money hungry hookers printed it anyway because bullshit sell's.

Gotta go lock my dog up.
Would not want him to end up here.
Hey, dumbass. I didn't write the damn column. And it sure as hell doesn't reflect the views of all Asian Americans. And yet somehow this email lands in my In-Box. Man, that's one more reason to hate Kenneth Eng. Ignorant assfools like this guy are confusing me with him.

25th sfiaaff trailer... the musical!

Check it out... the official trailer for the 25th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, starring H.P. Mendoza of Colma: The Musical. They've gone all out, sing-a-long musical style! Crazy fun.

The 25th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival runs March 15-25. For more information, go here.

first asian american president?

Among all the talk about the possibility of the "First Black President" or "First Woman President," this Daily Kos diarist asks the question nobody is asking: will there ever be an Asian American president? Of the United States, that is: The Forgotten Minority. Let's face it. Nobody ever talks about it because nobody—even a lot of Asian Americans—believes it's a possibility. Just another way of saying that we still have a long way to go in this country...

buy some sandals, get a free ninja throwing star

File under weird. At this site, if you buy a new pair of sandals, you'll get a free Ninja Throwing Star. Hell of a deal. Note the totally awesome picture of a white girl fighting ninjas on the beach. That girl needs a throwing star.

teaching korean youngsters... the anti-semitic way

Korean American community leaders are planning to launch a protest against the publisher of a popular South Korean comic book that contains anti-Semitic images: Anti-Semitic cartoon spurs Korean outrage. The book was written by South Korean university professor Lee Won-bok, and is part of a series of comics that tries to teach youngsters about other countries. The problem is...
One comic strip in the book shows a man climbing a hill and then facing a brick wall with a Star of David and a STOP sign in front.

"The final obstacle to success is always a fortress called Jews," a translation says.

Another strip shows a newspaper, magazine, TV and radio with the description: "In a word, American public debate belongs to the Jews, and it's no exaggeration to say that U.S. media are the voice of the Jews."

Cooper, who learned of the book from bloggers in Seoul, said some of the cartoons "echo classic Nazi canards" by "recycling various Jewish conspiracies."
It seems that Professor Lee has been taking a few cues from Adolf Hitler. Not the kind of misinformation you want to be teaching impressionable young Korean kids. Unfortunately, the series has sold more than 10 million copies.

"hmong men have no talent other than to kill"

Law students at the University of Wisconsin accused Professor Leonard Kaplan of making statements that denigrate Hmong people, apparently telling his legal process class that "Hmong men have no talent other than to kill," and that second-generation Hmong become criminals, among other crazy racist statements: UW professor accused of Hmong slurs.

Kaplan claims that this was all a "terrible misunderstanding," though I have to wonder what he was actually trying to say if he was indeed misunderstood. More here: Anti-Hmong Comments Set Off a Law School. That's racist!

Not a great week of news for Hmong Americans... According to this article,the USA Patriot Act has apparently classified many Hmong residents as terrorists, and thus unable to obtain a green card: Patriot Act Classifies Hmong as Terrorists.

The snag comes because of the Patriot Act's definition of "terrorist." A number of Hmong veterans are considered terrorists because they were guerrilla soldiers during the Vietnam War. The part that doesn't make any sense: they fought as allies alongside American troops. Shouldn't this service make things easier for them to obtain citizenship?

And in Fresno, Southeast Asian farmers have been hit hard by the recent severe winter freeze, with many losing more than half their crops: Fresno's Hmong farmers stung by freeze. The city is stepping in to help.

shout out: the five points

Just wanted to throw a little shout out for The Five Points (formerly Teabag), an
arts organization that promotes Asian American artists in New York City's Chinatown. They recently launched a blog featuring interviews with Asian American artists and other news items. They've also added a podcast to their website with commentary and interviews with artists, like this one, with Kevin So. Check it out, and if you're in New York, visit the Variety Hour happening every week.


asianweek apologizes

The controvery over Kenneth Eng's "Why I Hate Blacks" AsianWeek column continues to grow, gaining attention in the mainstream with stories like this one: Asian paper's 'I Hate Blacks' column assailed. And this one: Asian weekly's "Why I Hate Blacks" column blasted. SFGate's got a scan of the original column here.

Forget Eng. He's a punkass hack with a pathetically limited worldview, no better than a neo-nazi or a member of the KKK. His racist barking will be his own undoing. The people who really need to answer for this are the editors of AsianWeek, who chose to run the piece in the first place. Here's the apology AsianWeek issued regarding the matter:
"AsianWeek sincerely regrets any offense caused by the one opinion piece which reflected that author's personal views. We apologize for any harm or hurt this has caused the African American community. AsianWeek has great respect for all that the African American community has done for Asian Pacific Americans

AsianWeek's operation and editorial policy are based on a philosophy of diversity. This includes fighting to promote diversity of opinion in our own community and even to expose its disturbing warts. It also includes a proven record on promoting cross-cultural diversity and inter-racial interaction. AsianWeek as an organization is proud of its deep and unparalleled history of working with, interacting with, and building connections among all the diverse groups that make up America."
Not much of an apology. This statement does nothing to denounce Eng's views. There's a big difference between promoting "a diversity of opinion" and a publishing an all-out racist hate rant. And don't give us fakespeak about "cross-cultural diversity" and "building connections" if you're going to give a guy like Eng a platform to spit on diversity. It's ridiculous. Continue to contact AsianWeek and tell them how you feel about this at asianweek@asianweek.com.

give me the "special" menu

More reason for folks to suspect something shady is going on at their local Chinese restaurant... in New York, the city Human Rights Commission has filed a discrimination complaint against the Canal Seafood Restaurant for allegedly giving a different menu with lower prices to customers who are Chinese: How mean for chow mein!. Non-Chinese customers got one menu, while Chinese customers got "special" menus—written in Chinese—with prices an average of $1 cheaper per dish. Thought you were being sooo clever, eh? Caught, suckas.

toby dawson's birth parents

Last year during the Winter Olympics, U.S. skier and bronze medalist Toby Dawson told reporters that he was looking for his birth parents. He was born in Korean but adopted by American ski instructors in Colorado at age three.

Through all the publicity, a number of people came forward claiming to be Dawson's parents, including a guy named Kim Jae-soon, who said he actually lost Toby ("Bong-seok") at a market in 1981. Looking at his photo, there was definitely a strong resemblance.

Now, "Awesome" Dawson has learned through genetic testing that Kim is indeed his father: U.S. skier Dawson to claim Korean bus driver as his biological father. More here: DNA Test Confirms Busan Man Fathered Ski Ace. He's in Korea now to meet his long-last family face-to-face. I hope it goes well.

the remake of that japanese movie

So... The Departed wins Best Picture. Big whoop. But what does Hong Kong think about their beloved Infernal Affairs getting the American remake treatment, becoming all Boston Leonardo-fied, and winning Hollywood's highest honor? Not much, apparently: Martin Scorsese's Movie, The Departed, Weakens Hong Kong Classic. I know I've said this many, many times before, but if you haven't watched the original, do yourself a favor and watch Infernal Affairs. Heck, watch the whole trilogy.

the new face of baseball

ESPN is running a five-day series on the impact of Asia on baseball, with some interesting stories and information on the all the Asian players that have made it over to the Major League: Inside Asia

the pinkberry takeover

The latest dessert craze to hit the nation (at least, Southern California) is... frozen yogurt. Not just any frozen yogurt, but frozen yogurt topped with fruit and stuff. It's the Pinkberry takeover, a trend that originally creeped over here from Korea. A store will be opening near you soon. There's one opening right now, as you read this. The original Pinkberry location in West Hollywood has drawn the ire of neighbors complaining about all the crowds and traffic—all gathering to get a piece of that crack-like addictive fro yo goodness. The trend has also sparked a number of copycat store rivals, all wanting to get in on the action. All this, over frozen yogurt: Heated Competition. Steaming Neighbors. This Is Frozen Yogurt?

myspace friends = music sales?

Tila Nguyen aka Tila Tequila, a model-turned-musican who has gained notoriety by having MySpace's most popular profile, releases her first single "I Love U" today, and is counting on her gazillion "friends" to help her become the first unsigned artist in history to land on the Top 20 Billboard chart: Tila Tequila To Engage In The Ultimate Test Of Her MySpace Friends' Loyalty. "Hell... even make #1!" she says on her blog. Basically, she's hoping to leverage her phenomenal MySpace popularity into record sales: The Toast of MySpace Tries the Music Business. I don't know... something tells me her popularity on MySpace thus far doesn't have a whole lot to do with music... Also, if I'm not mistaken, isn't Lisa Loeb the first unsigned artist ever to hit number one? For her single "Stay (I Missed You)" in 1994.

"ten things every brand should know about asian american youth"

I missed this when it was published a few weeks back... a press release from SnapDragon consulting, a "brand insights firm": Ten Things Every Brand Should Know About Asian-American Youth. These insights were developed in partnership with performer and artist Kate Rigg, who spoke with hundreds of Asian American youth about their experiences and thoughts about growing up in America. Here are some key insights:
1. Many Asian-American youth feel excluded and misunderstood by most brands. It's made worse by the fact that they see advertisers actively wooing the African-American and Hispanic markets.

2. Mixed race kids are proudly identifying as Hapa, a once derogatory word in Hawaiian to mean "half." Hapa is also slang for marijuana in Japanese (spelled Happa). Hapa is supplanting terms like Amerasian, biracial, and blasian.

3. Asian-American youth are secret fans of "easy listening" adult contemporary music. Lite FM is a hidden passion.

4. There's a "hero gap" among Asian-American kids, which is being filled for many by activists from other cultures. Martin Luther King is a role model and hero to many young Asian-Americans.

5. Most Asian-American kids refer to white people as "white people" the same way African-Americans do.

6. Underage gambling is huge. The "new" American poker obsession is nothing new to Asian-American kids. Gambling has a long history in Asian culture. Many students Rigg spoke with are avid online gamblers and card players. Some organize private online poker tournaments.

7. Asian-American kids want an end to the hyper-nerdy images of themselves on TV and want to see more punked-out skater and graffiti DJ images which reflect a different energy. The feeling is: Enough with the math geeks, future doctors and violinists. Asian-American kids crave street credibility -- not just academic accolades.

8. Asian-American kids universally hate the question: Where are you from -- especially since the answers are usually something like "Westchester" or "Boston."

9. All things Korean are hot and getting hotter. Fashion. Foods. DJs. Online communities. Korea is the new Japan.

10. The 15 minutes of seemingly benign American Idol fame for William Hung had a surprisingly negative effect on Asian-American students. There's a feeling that Hung perpetuated the worst stereotypes about Asian people and gave non-Asians permission to indulge in two years of racial stereotyping and mocking.
There you go. Interesting, but definitely nothing we already didn't know. And now... this information can be used for the glorious good of capitalism.

And man, while we're on it, I really have to agree with number 10, the William Hung thing. Like I've said many times, he's the living stereotype that will just not go away. I guess that's why I was so hopeful about Paul Kim making it to the top 24 on American Idol. The guy made it clear that he was there to address those stereotypes, and make sure American knew that there was more to us Asians than that goofy guy who sang "She Bangs." And he was going to do it the old-fashioned way, with solid talent. But alas, America didn't give him a chance to get further: 'American Idol' contestant Paul Kim says song choice, illness got him bounced. Hey, at least there's still AJ Tabaldo and Sanjaya Malakar competing in the top 20...

kid needs a history lesson

Heard this news about an event held by a Republican student group at NYU last week: 'Find the Illegal Immigrant', a mock hunt for a student posing as an illegal immigrant, while other students play the part of border patrol agents and wearing nametags saying "INS." I've heard of similar events happening at other college campuses around the country. The College Republicans said the event is intended to "bring attention to the issue of illegal immigration." Seems to me it's just a bunch of people running around acting like fools. Like this kid Wesley Chan, a NYU freshman who took part in the "game." According to this article, he was actually one of the few nonwhite students among the group. Young Wesley, who is Chinese American, seems to be uninformed of the history of U.S. immigration... including racist laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act: How easily he forgets racism. An unjust law that never would've let his parents come to America in the first place, if it was still on the books. Prejudice and xenophobia at its American finest. But hey, this... this is just fun and games, right Wesley?


angry asian reader survey

Good readers of this website, here is your chance to help a brother out. As I mentioned a few weeks back, I've been running this site for about six years now. It's been a kickass, fun time, and I've made some great friends and allies (and enemies) along the way. When I first started this site, I never expected to gain any sort of audience or following, but here you are. So what I want to know is, who the heck are you? Who's out there? Where do you live? What's your deal? Thus, I am launching the very first angry asian reader survey. Basically, it's about thirty or so questions that will tell me a little bit about yourself, where you're coming from, what you think of this site, and how the site could be better.

To be completely frank, the demographic information would also help me out a great deal. If you haven't noticed, I've recently introduced paid advertising on the site. Nothing too flashy or intrusive. Just a few banner ads that help pay the bills. Since day one, I've been paying for the cost of running the site out of my own pocket. It's a labor of love, so I really don't mind. But as years have gone by, and I've toiled and made a living one way or another, it has become increasingly clear to me that I certainly wouldn't mind making a living from what I really love—writing and maintaining this website. And so... advertising. It's a small but necessary step that a lot of people are surprised I didn't take a long time ago. But one thing I need is a clearer sense of who you are. Not only because I'm really curious, but also because it's the first thing advertisers want to know. I promise, none of your personal information will be shared with third parties.

As an incentive, I'm giving away some free stuff. If you fill out a survey, for your help you can be included in the drawing for the Big Fat Angry Asian Giveaway. Prizes include an iPod Shuffle, free subscriptions to Tiger Cinema, DVDs from Tartan and Palm Pictures, and whole bunch of other cool random stuff--goodies for your collection. Winners will be picked at random from the pool of survey responses received. Answer the questions, help a brother out... and maybe you'll win a prize. Again, your personal information will be kept strictly confidential. One survey per person, please.

Please take a moment to fill out the angry asian reader survey here. And thank you for your cooperation.

chinese community groups take on cw channel 11

A few weeks ago, I posted something about CW11 in New York, which ran a story about something resembling a mouse that was discovered in an order from a Brooklyn Chinese takeout restaurant. The segment was criticized by Councilman John Liu for being unfair and inflammatory, to say the least. Today, Chinese community groups in New York are planning more protests against CW Channel 11: Chinese Community Plans More Protest of 'Broccoli Mouse' TV Report. It's happening 2:00pm today at WPIX-CW11, 220 East 42nd Street in New York. Be there, and speak out!

academy awards: big fat yawn

Did you watch the Academy Awards? Booooooring. The highlight of the evening was seeing Ruby Yang win for her short subject documentary, The Blood of Yingzhou District, about a community orphans in China who have lost their parents to AIDS. It's probably one of the most depressing films I've ever seen, but it's an amazing film and absolutely deserves the award. That said, I was suprised that it actually won. Other than that, it was another sorry night for Asians scraping at the Academy for some recognition. There was Rinko Kikuchi pretty much resigned to that fact that Jennifer Hudson owned the Best Supporting Actress trophy. You had Ken Watanabe presenting an award. You had some Asians dressed up in silly costumes for Curse of the Golden Flower. And there was Mako included in the annual tribute montage for those who passed. Oh, and on the red carpet, Al Gore joked to Ryan Seacrest that he'd like himself to be played by William Hung in the movie about his life. Ugh, the name that will not go away.

What probably sucked the most was how little recognition Infernal Affairs received for being the original source material for The Departed, which won several Oscars including Best Picture. Martin Scorsese, ever the director's director, did acknowledge Andrew Lau ("Andrew Law," I think he called him) in his acceptance speech for Best Director. But when it won for Best Adapted Screenplay, the announcer said The Departed was adapted from a Japanese film. Completely wrong. What a slap in the face. The guys who write the copy couldn't do even the basic freaking level of research? I guess all Asians really are alike to them. And when it won for Best Picture, producer Graham King made absolutely no mention of Infernal Affairs at all. You've got the top spot of the evening and you can't throw a bone to the movie that made your win possible? That's disrespect.


beau sia schools rosie

A few weeks back, I posted Beau Sia's powerful, amazing, eloquent open letter to all the rosie o'donnells, his response to Rosie O'Donnell and her now-infamous "ching chong" mockery on The View, asking her to just do the right thing and own up to her mistakes.

A few days ago, Beau reposted the video (prompting everyone to email me about it all over again) with added remarks addressing his critics. The video has sparked quite a discussion in the comments, ranging from "a well done response" to "get over it, chinkboy." A

But wait. Rosie O'Donnell has apparently seen Beau's video and posted the following message on her blog:

oscars: same old story

Tonight's the Academy Awards, Hollywood's annual night of self-congratulatory pomp and circumstance. There is actually a noteworthy degree of Asian/Asian American representation in the awards, including Rinko Kikuchi's Best Supporting Actress nomination for Babel, Iris Yamashita's Best Original Screenplay nomination for Letters from Iwo Jima and Ruby Yang's The Blood of Yingzhou District, nominated Best Documentary Short Subject. I guess some people are pretty happy about that: Asians cheering Oscar inclusion. But should we really be all that pleased that Hollywood threw us Asians a bone? Considering what this really means for us: the same old story. I think I lean a little more with Bao Phi's point of view, nicely spelled out this essay he wrote a few weeks ago: One Cranky Asian During Oscar Season. Who's going to win tonight? Honestly, I'm not all that thrilled to care.


who the hell is kenneth eng?

When I first heard about this, I thought it was a joke... but it is indeed true. I received an email on Friday afternoon alerting me about an opinion piece in the latest edition of AsianWeek titled "Why I Hate Blacks" by Kenneth Eng. I took a look, and it was as blatantly racist as it sounds. I was shocked. AsianWeek is far from perfect, but it's been around for a while, and has established itself as a publication that operates with a minimal amount of journalistic responsibility. So I'm surprised that they'd let an unabashedly hateful piece like this see print. But there it was, on the website and in the print edition as well. I read it over carefully, perhaps looking for the possibility that it was some kind of joke gone wrong. But no, it's just one guy and his ridiculous hate.

I checked back a few hours later and the column had been taken down off AsianWeek's homepage. Upon further searching, I came across some of Kenneth Eng's previous diatribes. The guy has got some serious issues, with inflammatory pieces like Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us and Why I Hate Asians. The self-proclaimed "Asian Supremacist" doesn't really offer any substantial or compelling arguments—just a lot of offensive stereotypes and bitter, self-righteous whining in order to provoke cheap controversy. (Oh yeah, Eng also calls himself "God of the Universe.") I'm really perplexed as to why AsianWeek would allot regular column space to this joker, whose credentials include authoring two science fiction novels nobody's ever heard of. Impressive.

AsianWeek has taken down the column off its website, but I managed to save a copy. By reprinting this, in no way do I support Eng's views. I just thought people should be aware of this piece:
Why I Hate Blacks

Kenneth Eng, Feb 23, 2007

Here is a list of reasons why we should discriminate against blacks, starting from the most obvious down to the least obvious:

- Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us.

In my experience, I would say about 90 percent of blacks I have met, regardless of age or environment, poke fun at the very sight of an Asian. Furthermore, their activity in the media proves their hatred: Rush Hour, Exit Wounds, Hot 97, etc.

- Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years. It's unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back.

On the other hand, we slaughtered the Russians in the Japanese-Russo War.

- Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including Reverend Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians.

Yet, at the same time, they spend much of their time whining about how much they hate "the whites that oppressed them."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Christianity the religion that the whites forced upon them?

- Blacks don't get it. I know it's a blunt and crass comment, but it's true. When I was in high school, I recall a class debate in which one half of the class was chosen to defend black slavery and the other half was chosen to defend liberation.

Disturbingly, blacks on the prior side viciously defended slavery as well as Christianity. They say if you don't study history, you're condemned to repeat it.

In high school, I only remember one black student ever attending any of my honors and AP courses. And that student was caught cheating.

It is rather troubling that they are treated as heroes, but then again, whites will do anything to defend them.
The Asian American Justice Center has sent out a press release and online petition in response to the column: Asian American Leaders Criticize AsianWeek for Printing Kenneth Eng's Column 'Why I Hate Blacks'. Here's the link to the petition: Act Against Racist AsianWeek Article. Eng sounds like a bratty-ass kid who just want to stir up some sh*t to provoke attention. The people who really need to answer for this are the editors at AsianWeek.

On a really weird note, an internet search revealed this crazy webpage dedicated to hating on Kenneth Eng: Kenneth Che-Tew Eng - Songbook. That's right, an entire page of songs lyrics written about dear Kenneth. Songs include "Kenny's Brain" and "Shut The F*ck Up You Kenneth C. Eng." I don't know whose page this, or why they crafted these songs, but man, they must really hate one Kenneth C. Eng.

richard tom, first asian american olympic medalist

Richard Tom, who was the first Asian American to win an Olympic medal, died this week at his home in Hawaii. He was 86: First Asian-American Olympic medalist dies. Competing as a bantamweight in weightlifting for the United States, Tom won the bronze medal in the 1948 Games in London. Odd fact: his teammate was Harold Sakata, who went on to play "Odd Job" in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger.

call for entries: dc apa film festival

Hey filmmakers, another festival... the DC APA Film Festival is now accepting entries for its 8th annual festival, happening September 27 through October 6, 2007. They're looking for works directed, produced, or principally acted by Asians or Asian Pacific Americans (even if the subject matter is not Asian). The early deadline is April 20 and the late deadline is June 1st, so get your entries in. For more information, go here.

gin yee, nypd precinct commander

Last week, with 26 years on the police force, Gin Yee became commander of Manhattan's 5th precinct in Chinatown, becoming the only Asian American heading a precinct in the New York City: He's Finest pick
for Chinatown

something about chinese americans, business and traditions

This Los Angeles Times article is about Chinese Americans, talking to a bunch of different people in Southern California, but I honestly couldn't get a handle on the story's focus. Something about Chinese Americans, business and traditions: Feeling the tug of tradition. This other LA Times article is an interesting look at the long history of Chinese restaurants in the Los Angeles area: From chop suey to Chiu Chow. Why all the Chinese-interest stuff in the Times? It's the Year of the Pig, baby.


the heartbreaking case of anna mae he

Saw this ABC News segment on the Anna Mae He case the other night... it was absolutely heartbreaking: Custody Battle Gets Desperate. Last month, the state supreme court granted custody of Anna Mae back to her birth parents, ruling that the original judge on the case wrongfully took away their parental rights. What absolutely incenses me about this news segment is that it's really skewed toward the plight of the Bakers. They're obviously desperate over how things have gone, and now they're reaching out to get sympathy and support from national media. The segment showed them playing together as a family, all happy and fun homelife, but now this new ruling is going to split their family apart. What about the Hes? They've been separated from Anna Mae for eight freaking years. How does it feel now?

As I've maintained from the very beginning of all this, like six years ago, the real victim has always been Anna Mae. And now, the 8-year-old completely denies her Chinese heritage (she says she's "Mexican"), because being Chinese represents those who will take her away from the only parents she's ever known. What did the Bakers think would happen? That after all this, Anna Mae's birth parents would just relent, give up and forget about her? It's just a sad situation.

UPDATE: More on the case, and the Bakers' last-ditch desperate media ploy: After custody battle, Chinese girl set to be united with birth parents. I can't believe what they're putting her through—the sidebar ("All Eyes On Anna Mae") is the worst part. There's also an informative timeline of events, for those unfamiliar with the case.

peter james smith on monk

Peter James Smith guest stars on tonight's episode of Monk, "Mr. Monk and the Really Really Dead Guy." He does not play the really really dead guy. He plays an FBI dude named Agent Keao. You may remember Peter from several seasons as the recurring character "Ed" on The West Wing. There's an interview with him on the Monk Fun Page here. And brief video clip of him here (he's the dude with the gadget thing). You can also catch Peter as a regular on the upcoming NBC half-hour comedy Andy Barker P.I.

EDIT: Scratch that. Peter tells me his character has apparently been excised from Andy Barker, P.I.

paul kim eliminated from idol

Aw crap. Alas, our hopes of Paul Kim becoming the next American Idol were short lived. He was among the four contestants who got the boot on Thursday night's elmination show: American Idol: Saratoga's Paul Kim eliminated. He just didn't get enough votes to go the distance. I will admit, I missed the show the other night, and did not call in to cast my vote. I apologize, Paul. Hopefully, his brief moment in the spotlight was enough to turn a few heads... let's hope we haven't seen the last of Paul Kim.

worst episode of lost ever

Did you catch Lost this week? Worst episode of the series. Seriously. After such an awesome, mind-bending episode last week, they come back with this disaster, and a useless Jack flashback. What was the point? Dude, I don't give a crap about Jack's tattoos (ooh, so exotic!), and I sure as hell don't want to see any more of Bai Ling's special nasty brand of guest starring. She was awful in this episode, and just... gross. In true Bai Ling fashion, her clothes practically fell off while she was just standing there. Ugh. Gave me the creeps. No more Bai Ling! Ever. Please. Thankfully, next week we're back with Jin, Sun, Sayid and the rest...

cha vang murder: no hate crime charge?

I just received this press release from the Asian American Justice Center... the AAJC, Hmong National Development, Inc. (HND) and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) are disappointed that law enforcement authorities did not charge James Nichols with a hate crime for the murder of Cha Vang in his preliminary hearing in Marinette County, Wisconsin last week: National Asian American Organizations Concerned With Omission of Hate Crimes Charge in the Murder of Cha Vang. Nichols has already been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, being a felon in possession of a firearm and concealing a corpse, and he will be formally arraigned on March 19. But with no hate crime charge?

asian equality in admissions

Two Brown University students have started Asian Equality in Admissions, an organization with the goal of investigating and identifying possible sources of Asian and Asian American discrimination in the University's admissions processes. Basically, they think the admissions process is messed up, and they want some transparency. They're just starting out, but this whole dialogue started a long time ago. Check out the website here.

miss chinatown usa pagaent

The Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco comes at you with another cool exhibit: Miss Chinatown USA, all about the history and culture of the Miss Chinatown USA Pagaent. The exhibit includes archival photos, gowns, and interviews with Miss Chinatown queens, contestants and pagaent organizers. It runs now through June 30th. For more information, visit the CHSA website.

yul kwon gets bare

Putting part of his million dollar Survivor winnings to good use, last week Yul Kwon donated $50,000 to the Asian American Donor Program, in the hopes the money will help educate Asian-Americans about the importance of bone marrow donation: Local 'Survivor' puts winnings to good use. Meanwhile, Yul is also taking part in The BARE Campaign, a benefit fashion show created by Citizens for the World, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote awareness about poverty issues affecting Asia. Yul will be getting bare "to embrace the essence of having nothing and to internalize the bonds of poverty." Whatever the case, it will surely bring some attention to the cause. It's going down March 3rd at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. For more information, go here.

hong le webb profile

NBC4 in the DC area recently ran a profile on Hong Le Webb, wife of Virginia Senator Jim Webb: The New First Ladies: Hong Le Webb


jazz singer mary kaye dies

Influential jazz singer and guitarist Mary Kaye, who is credited with introducing the word "lounge" into the lexicon of Las Vegas shows and whose jazz trio helped pioneer all-night performances on the strip's secondary stages, has died. She was 83: Mary Kaye, 83; singer ushered in all-night lounge acts in Vegas. Born Mary Ka'aihue, her grandfather was Prince Kuhio, brother of Queen Liliuokalani, who was the last monarch of Hawaii.

death of a deliveryman

Police in Queens are searching for three men who robbed and murdered Hungqi Zhang last weekend: 3 sought in Qns. deliveryman slay. He was stabbed to death on the street after leaving a Chinese New Year celebration on early Sunday night. Zhang had apparently immigrated to the U.S. five years ago, and was supporting a wife and teenage daughter in China by working as a restaurant deliveryman. Another Chinese deliveryman killed—this time not even while on the job.

it's on the back of the bottle, fool

Another old Asian dude imparting ancient wisdom in Snapple's Super Bowl ad for green tea: Snapple's Green Tea Big Game Day Ad. Note the totally awesome gong sound effect. It's on the back of the bottle, fool. It's a companion piece to this older white tea ad: Snapple White Tea - Light But Powerful!

iris chang movie in the works

Interesting, more Iris Chang/Nanking news... Here's a casting call for The Woman Who Couldn't Forget, a documentary feature film about the life Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking. The call is from last month, looking for a 23 to 30-year-old Chinese Canadian actor to play Iris Chang. There's more information on the project here, on the production company's website. The film also gets a brief mention in this article from last month, on Iris Chang's mother: The real healing begins for mother of Iris Chang

conferences, conferences, and more conferences

Heads up... some interesting conferences coming up all over the place in the next few weeks/months. Next weekend, APALSA presents the 13th Annual Asian Pacific American Conference on Law and Public Policy: "The New Yellow Peril?" March 2-3 at Harvard Law School. There will be a strategic focus on the significance and impact of Asian Americans—for better or for worse—becoming increasingly influential economically, politically and culturally in the United States. Speakers include Congressman Mike Honda and Professor Vikram Amar, with entertainment from the comedic stylings of Dat Phan. I will actually be participating in the conference as panelist during the "Blogging and APA Political Awareness" session. If you're planning on attending, please come say hello. For more information about the conference, go here.

Next month, VASCON3, the Vietnamese American Student Conference, goes down March 30 through April 1 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. All the usual conference craziness, with speakers and workshops and entertainment and networking. Looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. The conference organizers stress that you do not have to be Vietnamese to attend—it's open to everyone and anyone who wants to learn and engage in Vietnamese American community issues. To learn more, go here. Also see VASCON's MySpace.

Also next month, SAALT (South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow) presents the South Asian Summit 2007, March 16-18 in Washington, DC. It's an opportunity for South Asian American organizational leaders and community members to engage with policymakers, governmental agencies, South Asian advocates, and funders. Looks like going to be a really solid event. The website indicates that registration is closed, so if you weren't already planning on going, you may be out of luck. But it wouldn't hurt to try. For more information, go here.

Looking further ahead, for educators... the Asian Educators Alliance 2007 National Conference, April 20-21. After being hosted in San Francisco for the past two years, the conference is coming to New York, and will be held at Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School in Greenwich Village. Speakers will include artist Maya Lin and filmmaker Kavery Kaul. To learn more, go here.

And looking way, way ahead for APA Heritage Month, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center presents the very first Asian Pacific American Book Festival, focusing on the literary contributions of APA writers. Saturday, May 12th at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. Save the date! There will be panel discussions, readings and book signings exploring the festival's inaugural theme of "Family." I will be participating on one of the panels. More details forthcoming on that. For more information, download this PDF over at the APALC website.

george takei loves tim hardaway

So... former NBA player Tim Hardaway has recent come under fire for making homophobic remarks. Basically, he said he "hates gays." No real way to misinterpret that. And now, actor/activist George Takei responds, in fine form with this video: George Takei owns Tim Hardaway. It's pretty funny. Hear that, Hardaway? Sulu loves you back. He loves sweaty basketball players.

return of the fighting 44s (again)

Heads up... The Fighting 44s has relaunched and returned, with a new look and the same bad attitude. Some good stuff kicking things off there, including a commentary on the case of Anna Mae He, an article on race, stereotyping and socially-constructed knowledge, and a very encouraging welcome back message. Check it out, join in on the conversation.


"the everything guide to chinatown"

In honor of Chinese New Year, New York Magazine presents "The Everything Guide to Chinatown," with a buttload of related articles: The Enduring Micro-City. I haven't had the chance to look through it all, but the articles have cool titles like "Random Cool Cheap Stuff," "Successful Bargaining in Six Easy Steps," and "The Best Late Night Spots." Very informative to a west coast kid like myself.

ailee loves david choi loves youtube

Last week, I wrote about this fun, clever song "YouTube (A Love Song)" posted by David Choi on YouTube (obviously). I'm normally not a fan of watching webcam videos of people singing and/or lip synching, but I thought it was pretty catchy. I went back to listen to the song again, and noticed a ton of responses to David's video. It's a hit! But I was particularly taken by this harmony sing-a-long, by this girl who's got one hell of a voice: Youtube(a love song) David Choi. ft. Ailee. It also helps that she's enormously cute. A look at her other videos and some searching revealed that she's a professional singer, or at least trying to be. Here's Ailee's MySpace.

bai ling ruined my favorite tv show

Well, kids. Tonight's the episode of Lost I've been dreading for weeks—the one where Bai Ling guest stars. Oh, Bai Ling, how I detest thee. We will likely find out in a flashback the story of how Jack got his tattoos... from the crazy exotic Asian woman whose clothes always seem to fall off. I will try to resist any urges to throw things at my TV.

Also, according to this Lost spoiler site, next week's Hurley-centric episode is entitled "Tricia Tanaka is Dead." Not really sure what that means, or if it has anything to do with the 2000 Queen of Los Angeles' Nisei Week Festival, but it's certainly intriguing. Sung Hi Lee will play the episode's titular character.

las vegas loves chinese new year

Did you know that Las Vegas' Chinese New Year celebration is one of the city's biggest and most profitable events of year? It's a big-ass 15-day bash that draws thousands of Asian and Asian American visitors and hundreds of millions of their dollars every year: Las Vegas Adapts to Reap Chinese New Year Bounty. The casinos have gone to great lengths to cater to the holiday's Asian gamblers... and there are a lot of them.

tribute to james kim

A tribute to James Kim, the husband and father who died in the Oregon wilderness trying to save his stranded family, was held this past weekend in San Francisco: James Kim remembered in San Francisco tribute. His wife, Kati Kim, thanked the hundreds who gathered at Golden Gate Park on Saturday to celebrate her husband's life. More here: San Francisco tribute remembers father lost trying to save family. It's been two months and his death still haunts me. The guy was a hero and an inspiration.

"hot" designer derek lam

I don't know a whole lot about fashion, but here's a pretty good article in the San Francisco Chronicle on "hot" fashion designer Derek Lam, who grew up in San Francisco's Chinatown: Young designer at the crossroads

nascar is turning japanese

I've been hearing quite a bit about the controversy surrounding Toyota and its entrance for the first time into the sacred tracks of NASCAR. Basically, a lot of NASCAR folks, fans and professionals alike, are upset that a Japanese company has invaded this wholly ultra-American pasttime, and the sentiment has quickly crossed over into unabashed, naked xenophobia: The Jingoism 500. It's the same kind of racist rhetoric that killed Vincent Chin in 1982.

controversial pig-themed art

In Alhambra, CA, several prints part of a city hall art exhibit intended to commemorate Chinese New Year have actually offended some residents because of their pig-themed depictions of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Red Army: Art exhibit in Alhambra offends some residents. One of the pieces imposes Mao and George Washington's images onto four piggy banks. I don't know what that's supposed to me, but you can't tell me that's not supposed to evoke some kind of political undertones. The works in the exhibit were created by four Chinese American artists. Guess you can't please everybody...



Oh yeah, Happy Lunar New Year. It's the Year of the Pig, 4705. And apparently, it's not going to be a very good year: Year of Pig will bring disaster

livin' large in north korea

Here's an article on the film Crossing the Line, Daniel Gordon's documentary on James Joseph Dresnok, an American deserter who has been living in North Korea since he defected in 1962: Deserter film offers glimpse of a life in N.Korea. The guy literally ran across a minefield to his new life, eventually becoming a star of North Korean cinema by depicting evil Americans in young Kim Jong-Il's propaganda movies. The film sounds pretty fascinating, rounding out Daniel Gordon's trilogy of films about North Korea. I saw his documentary Game of Their Lives a few years back, about North Korea's 1966 World Cup soccer team, and thought it was great. I found it, as well as A State of Mind, available on DVD here.

99 ranch market is coming, and there's nothing you can do...

Saw this item over at Curbed LA (a blog about Los Angeles), about "onslaught" of Asian businesses and supermarkets in Chino Hills, which has many local residents (= white people) worried that their 'hood is being taken over: Some in Chino Hills nervous about ethnic shift exemplified by Asian supermarket. Wow, open up a 99 Ranch Market in the area and everybody gets all crazy and xenophobic. It's the Asian Invasion! God forbid your neighborhood should experience a shift in demographics.


link love: ninja pants

Just wanted to throw some link love to Ninja Pants, a recently-launched blog dedicated to Asian American music. Things got started just a few weeks ago, but I'm really enjoying the news and reviews. Check it out here. Good stuff. One day, though, I would like to see a blog entry on actual pants for ninjas.

upcoming film: akira's hip hop shop

I've been hearing quite a bit over the last week about Akira's Hip Hop Shop, a film by Joe Doughrity, starring James Kyson Lee (Ando on NBC's Heroes). Here's the description:
A Japanese man falls in love with a black woman. Akira co-owns a record store on Melrose in L.A. with his friend Jeremy (a black guy who loves Japanese culture). His life changes when he meets Daphne, a passionate African-American woman with her own ambitions. Exploring issues of race, friendship, love, and the globalization of hip-hop culture, this is a romantic comedy for a new generation.
One of those two-worlds-collide kinda romance films. Here's the teaser trailer. Here's a "sneak peek.". And here's the film's MySpace. Not an entirely original concept, but intriguing nonetheless...

people who make me angry: michelle malkin

The Washington Post has a story on one of my least favorite people in the world, Michelle Malkin: A Hard Right Punch. Vomit, vomit, everywhere.

marian interviews jin and paul kim

My pal Marian Liu, plucky entertainment reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, wrote a story on Jin and his new all-Cantonese album ABC: Rapper's road. The record drops tomorrow, February 20th. The few tracks I've heard off of it are pretty kickass... and I don't even understand Cantonese. It's just too bad Jin hasn't blown up with the mainstream success and acclaim he truly deserves, because releasing an indie Cantonese-language hip hop album probably isn't going to get him any closer to that. Read the story here, and listen to a podcast of Marian's interview with Jin here.

Marian also interviewed American Idol contestant Paul Kim, "the pool boy" with some soul: 'American Idol': Interview with Saratoga's Paul Kim. South Bay represent! The guy has given me a reason to watch American Idol, instead of just cursing the show for introducing the world to William Hung (I still curse it for that). Also listen to a podcast of Marian's interview here (don't mind the clickety-clack sound of Marian's keyboard). He sounds like a guy you really wanna root for. All the way, Paul.


bobby lee hooks up with chloe from 24

Another edition of "24" with Bobby Lee from MadTV, with Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from the real 24) confusing him with "the guy from Heroes": 24 with Bobby Lee. Yeah, it's a big ol' mixup of TV shows on a four-minute YouTube clip.

jet li in mummy 3?

Weirdest movie rumor I heard this week? That Jet Li is going to be the villian in the third Mummy movie: Jet Li the Villain in Mummy 3?. Nooooo. Goodness, I really really hope this isn't true.

chinese sculptor to carve mlk memorial

Master sculptor Lei Yixin of China was chosen yesterday to carve the image of Martin Luther King Jr. for a memorial to be built on the National Mall in Washington DC: Chinese sculptor to carve King memorial.

That's a pretty amazing responsibility, one that Lei does not take lightly: "When I was assigned to the task, I felt tremendous pressure and responsibility... This is the most important project I have ever had." According to officials, he will carve King's likeness in the memorial's 28-foot granite "Stone of Hope." The project is expected to be completed in 2008.

infernal affairs trilogy dvd

Out on DVD this week, The Departed, Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed remake of Andrew Lau's Infernal Affairs. That's cool. But even cooler, the same day (probably not a coincidence) saw the U.S. release of The Infernal Affairs Trilogy on DVD. All three installments (one is a prequel and one is a sequel) in one box set. The series has been called the "Godfather Trilogy" of Hong Kong cinema—it's that good. Highly recommended viewing.

acknowledge, apologize, accept

This week at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing, three former "comfort women" pleaded with lawmakers to adopt a resolution urging Japan to "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner" for the sexual enslavement of comfort women—women who were forced to have sex with millions of Japanese soldiers during World War II: WWII sex slaves testify against Japan

more on mtv world's demise

I'm supposed to have a conversation with someone over at MTV World regarding the slaughter that reportedly happened this week with MTV Chi, MTV K and MTV Desi, but my contact and I haven't gotten in touch. I want to hear some details. The Hollywood Reporter paints a pretty grim picture: MTV Nets layoffs include executives. When all these Asian Amerian television ventures started popping up around the same time, a lot of people were wondering if there was room for everybody. I figured we'd just have to wait and see until the dust cleared. With this latest news, and AZN still sort of barely limping along, it looks as though ImaginAsian is the one still standing. For now.

bill donohue really likes to say "gook"

How many times can a guy say "gook" on television? Ask Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, trying to make a point, but really just finding ways to say "gook" over and over again in front of this kid Andy Hao: Bill Donohue's "Gook Joke". That's all I hear, at least. There's a video clip and a transcript of what has to be the most unproductive conversation ever. Donohue's analogy just does not work, and he ends up sounding like an ass. That's racist!

cpaf benefit: the vagina monologues

Heads up, save the date... if you're in the Los Angeles area, here's something to check out next month. The Center for the Pacific Asian Family presents The Vagina Monologues, featuring an all-Asian American cast that includes Tamlyn Tomita, Tsai Chin, Janet Choi, Michelle Krusiec, Amy Hill and others. Friday, March 2 at the Aratani Japan American Theatre in Los Angeles. All proceeds from this performance shall go to the Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), which runs shelters and prevention programs in Los Angeles County for Asian and Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and to the 2007 V-Day spotlight of women in conflict zones throughout the world. To learn more about the show, go here.

preserving language and culture

Here's a story from the San Francisco Chronicle on a handful of publishers/online retailers in the Bay Area focusing on Indian language and culture and catering to the region's growing population of Indians: Sharing heritage with next generation. It's pretty interesting, the kinds of projects and initiatives that can grow out of the simple desire to preserve cultural heritage within your child.

casting call: american dreams trilogy

I'm trying not to make a habit of posting every little casting call that comes my way (there are just way too many), but this project sounds particularly interesting... It's for an indie film called the American Dreams Trilogy, and it's about "the complete destruction of an Asian American family because of the so called American Dream." Sounds pretty heavy. Here's who/what they're looking for:
Film: American Dreams Trilogy

SAG Union film. ( days worked on this film will count towards union card )

We need:

Asian man: (late 30's -early 50's) ( Lead. Preferably Chinese or
Chinese American)

Asian woman: late 30's - late 40's (supporting lead. Preferably
Chinese or Chinese American)

Asian teenager girl : (supporting lead) 13-18 years old. ( or can
pass for a teenager)

Asian young girl (supporting lead) 4-10 years old.
The project will be shooting around the Bay Area in May. If you're interested, get in touch with Doris at dorisng@cinemasia.nl.

top design contestant: goil

First Project Runway, then Top Chef... and now Top Design. Basically Bravo's interior design-focused version of the two previous shows. And there's an Asian American contestant among the chosen: Goil, a self-employed interior designer/architect and teacher at Parsons School of Design. I haven't seen the show, but apparently he's done pretty well in the first two episodes. Keep an eye for this guy.


last chance for discounted telemongol tickets

TELEMONGOL: Not for the faint of heart.

All right, to all my people in the Bay Area, this is your last reminder (for now)... this weekend is your final frakkin' chance to see the hilarious sketch comedy extravaganza TeleMongol, presented by Asian American Theater Company and Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, featuring the crazy talents of Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, Cold Tofu, 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors and OPM. This is the final weekend, with shows February 16-18 at the Theatre on San Pedro Square in San Jose. So it's time to get your ass to the theater! But before you go, head over to Brown Paper Tickets and get yourself a discount, good readers. When you order your tickets, enter the code "tmangryasian" and you get a couple bucks off the ticket price. Wataaaaah! It's that easy. Wow, reading this website will finally pay off. To learn more about the show, go here. Oh, and here's a review: TV Takeoff. Have a good time.

the anti-hung

The San Jose Mercury News has a story on local American Idol hopeful Paul Kim, who has indeed made it to the competition's coveted top 24: Saratoga singer gets 'Idol' break. The way I see it, the guy is the Anti-Hung. William Hung, that is. The guy who, with one lousy rendition of "She Bangs," set back Asian Americans in music a good twenty years. When he auditioned on Idol, Paul said:
"It kind of bothers me that when people think about 'Asian singer,' they think 'William Hung,'" Kim, a Korean-American, said in an "Idol" interview. "And I'm not hatin' on William Hung, but I mean, come on... There are many talented Asian people out there, you just don't see them. They don't get an opportunity in the entertainment industry... at all."
That's all right, Paul. Feel free to hate on William Hung all you want. Now, millions will see Paul perform on national television, and have the chance to vote him into the next round. And maybe he'll get that big break we've all been wanting to see...

glaceau's clunky damage control

For those of you who didn't get a chance to listen to Glaceau's racist voicemail system greeting before they took it down last week, Eric Stoller has posted the audio on his blog: Glaceau + Racist Voicemail Message. Just in case it gets forgotten as some sort of urban myth. The funny thing is, someone named "Lauren" actually posted a comment on Eric's blog in defense of the greeting. A little sleuthing revealed that Lauren's IP address happens to match the IP address of Energy Brands... aka Glaceau. Pretty damn funny, considering that the commenter tries so hard to sound like the average casual vitamin water consumer. Nope, corporate flunky in disguise. Busted! Anyway, listen to the clip. You'll be saying, that's racist!

ching chong song saga continues

The latest in the saga of Ching Chong Song... I've been hearing from folks who attended last night's protest of the band Ching Chong Song at NYU, passing out flyers educating attendees about the term "ching chong." Hey folks, guess what, it's racist. According to the press release I received, the band is going to change its name:
When the band learned of the impending rally, it agreed to change its name and to make an apology during its performance. Band pianist and singer Dan Gower said the name wasn't changed until now because of "all the action people have taken."
Jinglu tells me the new name is "Church of Lurch." Before we all go celebrating, I'm told that the band was really sarcastic and insincere with their "apology," and refused to see why people were so upset over the whole thing:
NYU senior Lily Yuan expressed concern about the sincerity of the band's apology. "But, even though the band changed their name, they announced it with sarcasm and pride and few words that meant nothing and left us standing in humiliation and shock." Yuan was brought to tears during the band public apology when band member LaMendola said, "The college banned me from performing and then I wrote them a letter calling them retarded twats [the audience laughed]...Yea I thought it was pretty funny too..."
I guess LaMendola's pulling a Rosie—a slap in the face shrouded in a crappy non-apology. Here's the NYU campus paper's coverage of the protest: Protests meet V-Day band

david choi loves youtube

Saw a video of this guy David Choi singing songs on YouTube the other day, and thought he was a really clever and charming guy. I particularly like "YouTube (A Love Song)", but he also does some really great acoustic covers and funny songs about bodily functions. Who the heck is this guy? He's apparently a staff producer/songwriter for Warner Chappell Music. I think I'm a fan. He's also got a MySpace page here.

journey from the fall: your story

Just heard about this realy cool opportunity... In conjunction with the upcoming theatrical release of Ham Tran's Journey From The Fall, ImaginAsian Pictures is inviting Vietnamese Americans and Vietnam veterans to share the story of their own personal journey from Vietnam to America. Submit a video (up to five minutes in length) of you, your friend, or family member narrating a personal story of leaving Vietnam and coming to America. Selected submissions will be included in the special features of the Journey from the Fall DVD. To learn more about how to submit your story, go here: My Journey, My Story

ursula who?

The Korea Times reports that Korean American model and actress Ursula Mayes, on a recent trip to Korea, said that she wants to help biracial children in need in Korea: Mayes Aims to Help Biracial Kids in Korea. Kind of like Hines Ward. That's really great... but I have to ask—who the heck is Ursula Mayes? The article says she "starred in the hit television series Lost, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and 24. I have a feeling they're applying a very broad definition of what it means to "star" in something. Her claim to fame these days seems to be as "Model #5" in Deal or No Deal. But good for her.

wasn't easy being named bich

Another story on author Bich Minh Nguyen and her new book Stealing Buddha's Dinner, a memoir: Born in Vietnam and raised in Grand Rapids, author examines culture via food. I'll say it again. Things couldn't have been easy for a girl named Bich Minh growing up in Michigan.

smithsonian exhibit on vietnamese american experience

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, "Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon," tells the story of the Vietnamese American experience in America, from 1975 (the fall of Saigon) to today: Smithsonian exhibit focuses on Little Saigon. It's curated by Vu Pham, a professor of Asian American studies who teaches at UC Irvine and UCLA. It sounds pretty fascinating, apparently the first exhibit of its kind in the nation. It runs through March 31st at the Smithsonian. For more information, go here.

dat nguyen on cowboys coaching staff

Former Dallas linebacker Dat Nguyen has been added to the Cowboys' coaching staff as assistant linebackers coach: Cowboys add Wesley Phillips and Dat Nguyen to coaching staff. The guy had a pretty impressive career, but had to retire last year because of a neck injury. Looks like he'll still get to put his talents to good use.


six years of anger

Well, hey. It's Valentine's Day, and that's all well and good. Love one another. But today also happens to be the sixth anniversary of angryasianman.com. Crazy, but an early incarnation of this site went live six years ago today. And man, it's been quite a ride. I certainly never expected this space to grow into some kind of full-fledged online destination. In the beginning, I just wanted a space to write about some of the stuff I was thinking about... but somewhere along the way, folks out there seem to have connected with it. So thank you, good readers, for making this site what it is. And a big fat thank you to all of you out there who have helped me out along the way, providing story ideas, articles and links, moral support, good laughs, and free food. I know I write a little message like this every year, but I do really mean it. Thank you. And to all the Haters, keep it up. You fuel my anger.

There are actually some big changes and plans in the works, including a big fat contest, new features, a significant layout change, and a cool event or two. Coming soon! Good times. Thanks, again. Stay Angry.

mtv chi/k/desi gets the axe

Word on the street, according to Gawker, is that MTV World—which includes Chinese American-themed MTV Chi, South Asian-themed MTV Desi and Korean American-themed MTV K—have completely folded: What's Left At MTV After Slaughter. This news seems to be coming from someone who works there. Can anyone out there confirm this rumor? Have the three Asian American MTV networks really gone to the chopping block? And things really seemed to be looking up... Of course, we were reporting the demise of AZN a while back and they seem to be still hanging on. So what's the real deal?

UPDATE:I got an email from Simon Yin of MTV Chi, and posted it here earlier today. Since then, I was asked by one one of the behind-the-scenes people to take it down until they sorted things out over there. Things at MTV are still apparently up in the air, so who knows what could happen? One thing's for sure, it's not very stable at the moment. But let's wait and see what happens. Maybe there's some hope for Asian Americans on MTV...

sfiaaff schedule is up

Awwww yeah. The 25th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival website is now fully operational, including the full festival schedule. Yes, you read that right: 25 years of Asian American cinema. It's a landmark year, and they're going all out to celebrate with an amazing schedule of events. I'm really digging the lineup. Where do I begin?

Opening and Closing Night present what you could call the future of Asian American cinema, with two very distinct works, Justin Lin's Finishing the Game and Chen Shi-Zheng's Dark Matter. This year's Narrative Competition is populated by twelve exciting new feature films, several of which I've had an eye on for quite some time, including So Yong Kim's In Between Days, David Ren's Shanghai Kiss, Joy Dietrich's Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Chris Chan Lee's Undoing, and Grace Lee's American Zombie (fresh from Sundance), among others. This is the best and brightest of Asian American cinema, and it's pretty damn exciting.

The festival's 25th anniversary will also include a special spotlight acclaimed veteran documentary filmmaker Spencer Nakasako (AKA Don Bonus, Refugee), in conversation with another trailblazer, Justin Lin. They're also doing a special retrospective program, Out of the Vaults, showing crazy stuff like Big Trouble in Little China and crazy fun stuff like a Flower Drumg Song sing-a-long at the Castro Theater. Crazy fun! That's just a quick glance at the schedule. I could go on and on. It's gonna be a great time at SFIAAFF next month. Peruse the festival schedule here. The festival runs March 15-25 in locations throughout the Bay Area. Make your plans now!

And while you're at it, the place to be tomorrow night is at the official Festival Launch Party. Pick up the Festival Program Guide, have a drink, and mingle with fellow festival-goers... Thursday, February 15th at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. Always a good time. For details, go here.

UPDATE: Here's an article in the Examiner about SFIAAFF: S.F. Asian American Film Festival goes silver

don't be coming around here with your ching chong song

The latest on the Ching Chong Song controversy at Bryn Mawr College... As I mentioned here the other day, the school recently canceled the band Ching Chong Song's scheduled campus performance. (Because, you know, the name.)

Band member Julia LaMendola wrote to the school's paper to whine and point fingers about the show's cancelation: Ching Chong Song Treated Unfairly. This caused all sorts of trouble.

Here's a response from the paper's managing editor on why she decided to run LaMendola's offensive letter: Ching Chong, this Witch Is Dead. For the most part, I have to agree with her. How else would we know that the Ching Chong Song lady is a raving crazy?

The paper's editorial board also chimed in: On Letters to the Editor. Meanwhile, the school's Office of Intercultural Affairs also responded to the letter: Office of Intercultural Affairs Responds to LaMendola.

And here's a good one from a student: Ching Chong Song Letter Shows Ignorance. Don't mess with Bryn Mawr, and don't be coming around there with your Ching Chong Song. Bryn Mawr don't play that.

UPDATE: The fight against Ching Chong Song continues... I received this a little too late (I'm working on Pacific Standard Time), but Ching Chong Song was apparently scheduled to perform tonight at New York University, opening for Jeffrey Lewis & the Jargonauts. Organizers of NYU's Asian Heritage Month, as well as other concerned groups, were planning on staging a peaceful protest this evening outside the event. I hope it went well...

a brighter day official release party

What's up, NYC? Forget your Valentine's Day plans. It's all a Hallmark sham. Tonight, February 14, you want to head over to Mo Pitkins for the official release party of Kevin So's new album A Brighter Day. Guaranteed good times. Learn more about the release party here: An Evening with Kevin So & Friends


yul kwon supports asian american donor program

Yul Kwon, winner of Survivor: Cook Islands, makes good on his promise and announces his support of the Asian American Donor Program at press conference tomorrow, February 14th (his birthday) at Pier 27 in San Francisco. Here are the specifics:
Yul Kwon, who on Dec. 16, 2006 was the winner in the reality show "Survivor: Cook Islands", announces his support of the Asian American Donor Program

Pier 27 (the Embarcadero and Battery St.)

San Francisco, CA 94102

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Press conference from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

With time afterwards for one-on-one interviews

When he won Survivor back in December, Yul said that he really wanted to use his newfound fame and notoriety to draw attention to some of the causes he cared about, including Asian American marrow donor registration: 'Survivor' winner turns to charity. Back in college, Yul had a close friend who died of leukemia. Good to know that it's a cause that remains close to his heart.

but what about verbal?

Uh oh. Kids, don't let your parents see this one—it's your one-way ticket to SAT prep class. This 10-year-old kid, 5th-grader Darryl Wu of Bellevue, WA, scored a perfect score on the SAT math section: 5th-grader scores perfect SAT. When I was ten, I sucked at math. I still suck at math. I will always suck at math.

chinese food news

Disturbing news of another Chinese food delivery robbery, out of Springfield, IL... Two men were arrested after Kin Ming Poon, the owner of Mr. Eggroll, was badly beaten and robbed while making a delivery late Saturday: Two men arrested after owner of Mr. Eggroll beaten, robbed. According to police, the robbers stole cash from the victim and hit him twice in the head with baseball bat or similar object. When did delivering Chinese food become such a dangerous task?

In other Chinese food news, this week a food factory worker in Ontario, CA pleaded not guilty to federal charges he sprinkled glass and other debris into wontons packaged and shipped across California three years ago: SoCal man pleads not guilty to federal food tampering charges. The company was alerted to the contamination when customers complained about finding odd items in their wontons. Besides glass, prosecutors alleged the guy also placed seeds, pebbles and spit inside. Dude, that's nasty. What the hell was this guy's problem?

mass kissing record

Over the weekend in the Philippines, more than 6,000 couples kissed simultaenously in a Manila parking lot, apparently breaking a world record: Philippine couples pucker up for world record. Good job, Philippines. I knew you could do it. Let us follow their lead! This is what the world needs. More mass kissing! Who's with me?

third thursdays only dates chinese

Third Thursdays, the Bay Area's monthly APA dinner/discussion series, is doing their annual Valentine's Day-themed event on relationships, and it looks like a fun one: i only date chinese*..., talking about inter-ethnic Asian relationships.
If you say you only date Chinese, you might be going for the largest pool, trying to appease your parents, or just a bit narrow-minded.

This month, we look at what's often considered the next most acceptable option, inter-ethnic Asian relationships. We'll talk about why, what, and leave out most of the how. Join us for some perspective.

* DISCLAIMER: Insert your ethnic group of choice. Third Thursdays does not recommend any particular dating preference or strategy. We do recommend coming to our lively discussion on February 15th.
Panelists include Wei Ming Dariotis, Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, and Frederick Y. Huang, MD, psychotherapy and general adult psychiatry. This Thursday, Feburary 15 at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center in San Francisco. Should be a very interesting discussion, to say the least. For more information, go here.

On sort of a related note, according to a new sociological study, there were "unprecedented" declines in interracial and inter-ethnic marriage in the United States during the 1990s: New American Sociological Review study shows increase in Hispanic and Asian intra-ethnic marriages. The findings, published in "Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage," suggest that the growing number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants to the United States has led to more marriages within these groups, and fewer marriages between members of these groups and whites. This should give people something to talk about...

to asia and back again

The New York Times has a story on Maggie Q, who seems poised as Hollywood's up-and-coming Asian It-girl of the moment: Stuck in Asia, Dreaming of Hollywood. She's got a slate of high-profile releases this year, including the upcoming Die Hard sequel and the dreadful-looking comedy Balls of Fury. The article mentions that she's part of a trend of Asian American actors who head over to Asia for a crack at stardom—sort of a roundabout way of hopefully making it back to Hollywood. She seems to be one of the few who have been able to make the jump back.

racist housewives of orange county

I've been getting a ton of email about this... who knew so many people watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo? It's a trashy reality show about a group of wealthy, shallow (white) women from Orange County. On a recent episode, one of the ladies, Vicki, mocks a customer of hers after talking with him on the phone: "He's a ching-chong Chinaman." She said what? That's racist! This moment apparently caused a bit of controversy on the Real Housewives message board, eventually prompting Vicki to post an apology on blog:
Please accept my sincere apology for the comment about one of my Asian clients. It was no way meant to be racist in any way. I have a very large clientele that are Asian and I respect their communities and cultures. I would appreciate accepting my apology for anyone that was offended.

Vicki Gunvalson
It was not meant to be racist in any way? Are you serious? It seems that people think the only way to be racist is to shave your head and join a hate group. You can be racist with your lame-ass "ching chong" jokes. You can be racist thinking it's okay to belittle someone because of their Asian name and culture. You can be racist whether you intended to be or not. And don't give me that B.S. about "respecting" your Asian clientele's communities and cultures. If that were true you wouldn't have said what you did in the first place. Ridiculous. Your apology offends me. What's worse are all the commenters below the apology who come to her defense. Like I said, ridiculous.

2007 iris chang memorial essay contest

The Iris Chang Memorial Fund has announced the theme ("The Denial and Its Cost") and rules for the 2007 Iris Chang Memorial Essay Contest, in honor of late writer Iris Chang, author of the critically-acclaimed Rape of Nanking. All are eligible to enter the contest, and they've even added Youth Award this year for the top three essays submitted by high school students. The deadline is June 30th. For more information about contest, go here. To learn more about Iris Chang, go here.

where were you, aaron?

So I got all these emails last month from Aaron Ikeda, who has a recurring bit role as "Rex" on Scrubs, telling me about this big Bud Light commercial he shot that was going to run during Super Bowl. It sounds like he basically emailed everyone he knew and ever met in his entire life, telling them to keep an eye out for this Bud Light commercial called "Japanese Restaurant." Well, the Super Bowl came and went, and no commercial, no "Japanese Restaurant," and no Aaron. What happened? Don't know, but Aaron was pretty bummed. However, the spot is now online and available for viewing here. Type in the code "1876," choose your player/speed, and wait for the video to load. Check it out and make Aaron feel better. It's a pretty goofy spot (it's a beer commercial). Was it worth the hype, dude?


secret asian man gets syndicated

Good news! United Features Syndicate has picked up Tak Toyoshima's comic strip Secret Asian Man as its newest feature for daily syndication. That means Secret Asian Man will be the very first daily American comic strip featuring an Asian lead character. Cool, right? The official launch date is Monday, May 7, 2007—just in time for Asian American month. If you like Secret Asian Man, consider writing to your local daily paper and asking them to run the strip. Tell them Family Circus and Marmaduke just aren't doing it for you anymore. Secret Asian Man is just what the comics section needs to kick some ass and liven things up. Learn more about the strip over at www.secretasianman.com.

so hot right now

South Asians are so hot right now! Trends seem to indicate a "growing American fascination with books by and about Indians, Indian-Americans and the South Asian subcontinent": South Asians suddenly popular in U.S. books, culture

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