16th annual chicago asian american showcase, april 1-14

Chicagoooo! Cinema lovers, it's that time of year again. The Foundation for Asian American Independent Media presents the 16th Annual Asian American Showcase, one of the midwest's premiere celebrations of Asian American art and culture -- including Asian American cinema. The showcase runs April 1-14 at the Gene Siskel Center.

new music: "go" by aziatix

This video came my way earlier this week... and I'm really digging it. It's a teaser for "Go," the debut single from the relatively new Asian American R&B/hip hop label Aziatix, currently comprised of emcee Flowsik and vocalists Eddie Shin and Nicky Lee. Take a look:

job announcement: oca-gla civil rights fellow

Here's a great job opportunity from the OCA-Greater Los Angeles chapter... They are currently looking for a qualified individuals to apply for the second annual Civl Rights Fellowship Program, a year-long opportunity to work on advocacy issues critical to the Asian Pacific American community. Here are some more details about the fellowship:

kina grannis: world in front of me tour 2011

Kina Grannis is coming to your town! The popular musician and YouTube darling is embarking on her World in Front of Me Tour throughout the next two months, starting this week in Chicago. As someone who's been to multiple Kina shows, I can attest that she's pretty darn good (in addition to being a sweetheart).

Here's a video of Kina performing an excellent cover of Adele's "Rolling In The Deep," talking some more about the tour and reminding you about the upcoming deluxe re-issue of her album Stairwells:

insane kung fu action: true legend trailer

Check out the recently released U.S. trailer for True Legend, the latest martial arts flick from venerated action director Yuen Woo Ping hitting American theaters this spring. I don't think I have to explain much -- it's got bad guys and good guys and flying swords and fighting styles. And, um, for some reason... David Carradine. Take a look:

ucla aasc: 2011 statistical portrait of asian americans, native hawaiians and other pacific islanders

File under useful information... The UCLA Asian American Studies Center recently posted a 2011 Statistical Portrait of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The portrait -- divided into two sections between "Asians" and "Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders" -- provides current census data, population projections, and internet links that should be useful for research, planning, writing and general educational purposes. For example, Asians:

sung kang gets tmz'd

I wasn't going to post this because, well, it's goaddamn TMZ. But if this is what passes for celebrity journalism, and a lot of people are going to see this, I guess I should say something. Sung Kang and TMZ. Click at your own risk: Ask the Asian Guy -- Featuring 'Fast & Furious' Guy. [EDIT: The link has been mysteriously taken down. Check below to see the video.]

disrespect: city snatches nypd cop's body from family

Talk about disrespect. The family of NYPD cop George Wong, who died last week after a two-year battle with gastric cancer, is accusing the city of basically snatching his body from a Manhattan funeral home -- ten minutes before the scheduled wake -- causing Wong's viewing and funeral to be postponed for a day.

Wong's doctor listed his cause of death as a result of "9/11 toxic exposure." The city, apparently hell-bent on disproving this, sent morgue workers to the funeral home to take away the body while his grieving family was holding memorial services: Family of NYPD cop George Wong who died of cancer rages at city for taking body to disprove 9/11 tie.


aatc presents songs of the dragons flying to heaven, march 24 - april 16

If you're in the Bay Area, and want to see something a little bit different... check out the Asian American Theater Company's latest production, the west coast premiere of Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, now playing through April 16 at the Thick House in San Francisco. Take a look at this crazy-ass trailer:

4.29 essay contest

Young people! The Korean American Coalition and Elite Educational Institute invite you to participate in the 4.29 Center Essay Contest, an opportunity for a generation of young Americans to gain deeper insight into the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. Your essay could win you the grand prize of $1000. Here are some more details about the contest:

support relief efforts in japan: download "the breaking light" by vienna teng & alex wong

Singer/songwriters Vienna Teng and Alex Wong have recorded a new song, "The Breaking Light," -- recorded live at the legendary Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland -- and are offering it to fans as a digital download for a minimum $5 donation to help Japan. 100% of proceeds from the song will go to earthquake/tsunami relief. Here's a preview of the song:

Beware: Rich Old Pickpocket LAdy Who Hates Chinese People

Asians behaving badly... Chinese-hating Robin Hood edition!

This week in New York, a wealthy retired restaurateur was arraigned on grand larceny for an alleged pickpocketing spree last week in Chinatown, in which which robbed Chinese pedestrians... to give to the poor?

Well-heeled Florida retiree is a compulsive Chinatown pickpocket: DA.

Bizarre. 67-year-old Ha Vasko, a former refugee from Vietnam who apparently owns a $400,000 home in Florida, faces three years in prison -- and possible hate crime charges -- for stealing $350 from the purses and pockets of four victims last week. Why did she do it? She apparently hates "the Chinese people."

fundraising for american revolutionary: the evolution of grace lee boggs

Our filmmaker friend Grace Lee is currently working on her latest feature American Revolutionary, a documentary on legendary Detroit activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs. She's been working on this project for the better part of the last decade -- gathering nearly 100 hours of material -- and recently launched an online campaign to raise funds and get the film finished. Take a look at the video pitch:

minneapolis morning radio show mocks hmong people

I've been informed that this sorry-ass excuse for radio programming recently aired on KDWB 101.3 in Minneapolis. It's basically a straight up racist song making fun of Hmong people (there is a significant concentration of the Hmong population in the Twin Cities), to the tune of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." It's pretty astounding. You have to listen for yourself:

the bruce lee salad?

Mad Greens, a restaurant chain in Denver, is promoting their new Bruce Lee-themed "Asian-style" salad. The above image was sent out in a recent email.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Bruce Lee Enterprises was not contacted for permission to use Bruce's image. I'm also fairly certain they didn't get an official 'OK' from Sanrio for the use of Hello Kitty.

But hey, if you're going to advertise your new Asian-y food, might as well appropriate the two most recognizable Asian faces in the world. (Thanks, Tommy.)

stop the deportation of manolo and his parents

Got word passed along to me about this desperate situation involving yet another person facing deportation despite having lived in this country basically his entire life: Stop the Deportation of Manolo and His Parents.

Manolo, who is Chinese American, came to the United States from Venezuela with his parents when he was just two years old. As they laid down roots, he grew up, going to school and building a successful life for himself. But today, he could be taken from the only home he's ever really known:


pan asian rep presents monster, march 30 - april 17

If you're in the mood for some Asian American theater, the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in New York presents Monster by Derek Nguyen. Directed by Kaipo Schwab, it's part of the Pan Asian Rep's 2010-11 season focus on Vietnam. The show runs March 30 through April 17. Here's some more information about the production:

the morning benders release japan echo ep

The Morning Benders, who are a seriously kickass band, have put together a special EP of unreleased material to help support relief efforts in Japan. You can download the Japan Echo EP for donating whatever you can. Proceeds will be given to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund. Here's a note from the band:

call for submissions: 2011 vancouver asian film festival

Hey filmmakers! The Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Canada's oldest festival dedicated to exhibiting films and videos by North American artists of Asian heritage, is currently accepting film and video submission for their 15th annual festival, happening November 3-6, 2011. Here's some more information:

police leave teens locked in van overnight

Over the weekend in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the kids had to go find something else to do after police broke up a rowdy house party. Pretty typical Saturday night, right? Not quite. A group of five teenagers say they were rounded up by cops and left in a van outside police headquarters overnight: Teen says he and others were held overnight in a Fort Lee police van.

According to 17-year-old Adam Kim, while several minors were taken into the police station, he and a group of guys were left inside the police van without supervision, or anything to eat or drink, or even a pot to piss in, for more than 14 hours -- in 20-degree weather:

video: "forget you" by kero one & david choi

Check out this recently released video of Kero One enlisting the vocals of David Choi for a cover of Cee Lo's "F*ck You." Or rather, "Forget You." (I've always thought the radio-friendly lyrics definitely deflate the punch of the original track.) Anyway, they're just having some fun in the studio. Take a look:

ivy league-bound honor student goes gangsta on her mom over a used car

This story, brought to my attention by our dear friend Jen of Disgrasian, is some kind of amazing. Asians behaving badly... pistol-whipping Ivy League teen edition! Last week in Florida, a 17-year-old girl was arrested for pulling a gun on her mother during an argument: Deputies: 17-year-old girl assaults mother with gun to get new vehicle.

Rachel Anne Hachero, who was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and battery, was apparently upset and threatened to kill her mother because she wouldn't co-sign on the purchase of a car. So she pistol-whipped her and forced her to go to the car dealership -- at gunpoint:

ching! chang! pok!

Check out this weird-ass reading passage that was recently spotted in a third grade standardized (MAP) test in Missouri. In this educational essay, the author explains that rock-paper-scissors -- allegedly called "Ching! Chang! Pok!" in China -- is an ancient game that originates from Asia. A few things immediately come to mind:

dr. peter rhee on gun background checks: "common sense"

Dr. Peter Rhee, Director of Trauma at University Medical Center in Tuscon, was the attending physician to U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords as well as other victims shot by gunman Jared Loughner on January 8. With experience serving as a battlefield casualty physician in Afghanistan and Iraq, he was arguably the best man for the job on that terrible afternoon.

Having also treated his share of gunshot wounds at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, you could say that Dr. Rhee is someone who can speak with authority on at least the physical repercussions of gun violence. Here's a Huffington Post piece he wrote in support of a new plan to fix gun background checks in Arizona: One Gun in the Wrong Hands, Six Innocent Lives Lost.


the man's guide to love: peter, 27

"You have to be comfortable with heartbreak. Heartbreak is universal."

Check out this video of Peter, 27, imparting some words of wisdom in today's edition of The Man's Guide to Love, which offer daily doses of love advice, man-to-man. Peter Nguyen blogs at The Essential Man. For more advice, check out previous editions of The Man's Guide to Love here.

more than just a numbers game: asian americans and racial diversity in the ivory tower, march 29

Short notice, but if you're in New York, just wanted to plug this talk, More Than Just a Numbers Game: Asian Americans and Racial Diversity in the Ivory Tower, happening tomorrow afternoon at Hunter College, with panelists Oliver Wang, Oiyan Poon and Margaret M. Chin. It's happening Tuesday, March 29, 1:00pm at The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Here are some more details:

kickstarter: 8+1: an asian american literary symposium

In May, the Asian American Literary Review is hosting 8+1: An Asian American Literary Symposium, a day-long celebration Asian American literature, writers, and community. Featured readers will include Joy Kogawa, R. Zamora Linmark, Kip Fulbeck, Hiromi Ito and translator Jeffrey Angles, Rishi Reddi, Brian Ascalon Roley, Ray Hsu, Viet Nguyen, and Reese Okyong Kwon.

It's happening Saturday, May 7 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. The event is free and open to the public, but they're currently trying to raise funds on Kickstarter to ensure that it all comes together. That's where you come in. Here are some compelling reasons to pledge:

2011 asian american short story contest

Writers! Time to put pen to parchment and prepare your submissions to Hyphen and the Asian American Writers' Workshop's 2011 Asian American Short Story Contest, a unique nationwide competition highlighting the amazing literary talent coming out of our communities. I know there are some kickass writers out there reading this, so read on for more details:

video: the music box by daniel cloud campos

Fantastic little piece of performance for your Monday morning: The Music Box, written/directed/edited by and starring Daniel Cloud Campos. A guy goes to check out a potential apartment rental... and the place speaks to him. So of course, being the amazing-ass dancer that he is, there's really only one thing Mr. Campos can do:

indiana prosecutor's brilliant plan: fake assassination attempt

Asian behaving badly... faux assassination plot edition! Last week, Carlos Lam, a deputy prosecutor in Johnson County, Indiana resigned from his job over emails he wrote last month encouraging a fake attack on the governor of Wisconsin: Indiana Prosecutor Encouraged 'False Flag' Assault On Walker To Discredit Wisconsin Unions.

Lam reportedly emailed Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's office and recommended that they conduct a "false flag operation" -- to fake an assault or assassination attempt on the governor -- in order to discredit the unions and protestors opposing Walker's anti-public employee union bill:

who is the dumbass who yells "konnichiwa, bitches" during a moment of silence for japan?

I weep for us, America. On Saturday night, at the United States/Argentina soccer match at New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, the game opened with a moment of silence for disaster victims in Japan. Nice gesture.

Unfortunately, one of the 79,000-plus spectators in attendance decided that this would be an appropriate moment to yell, "Konnichiwa, bitches."


With all due respect to Dave Chappelle, too many assholes watched his show: Yes, Somebody Yelled "Konnichiwa Bitches" During A Moment Of Silence At The Meadowlands Last Night.

secret identities online auction for japan relief

Check it out! Our friends behind the Asian American superhero comic book anthology Secret Identities have announced SIUniverse For Japan, an online auction to raise money for ongoing relief efforts in Japan.

Through ebay Giving Works, 100% of the final sale of any item sold through SIUniverse For Japan will go toward GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Search for eBay seller ID "siuniverseforjapan."

Over the next several weeks, you'll be able to bid on everything from original artwork to action figures, action figures, t-shirts, DVDs, CDs, comics, books, and other unique items donated by some of the creative talent behind Secret Identities -- and all proceeds will go towards rebuilding the lives of the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami disaster.


read these blogs

The Greatest Fake Girlfriend Story Ever Told: This is a weird-ass story, like a reverse-Asian version of Catfish, involving some dude named Peter Coffin who made up an eight-month online relationship with a fictional Asian girlfriend... and got caught. Really really caught.

The Mocked Minority: Why do public incidents of ignorance and bigotry towards Asian Americans -- yes, I'm talking about Alexandra Wallace's "Asians in the Library" video -- continue to plague institutions of higher education?

A Mother's Rant About Racism & Reconciliation: My good friend Kathy Khang weighs in with her better-late-than-never response to the "Asians in the Library" video, and some thoughts on racism, respect and reconciliation.


what I'm listening to: the blue note by trebles & blues

I've been meaning to write about this for weeks.... The Blue Note is the debut album from Los Angeles-based hip hop producer Trebles & Blues. He's kicking these amazing, soulful, jazzy beats that make you wanna turn it up and think about some s#!t for a minute. The album's been on heavy rotation on my iPod for the better part of a month. And now I share it with you:

the slants vs. u.s. patent and trademark office

Here's an article on Portland-based rock band The Slants, and their recent struggles with trying to officially their band name through U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The problem is, the government won't let them do it: Portland band the Slants and the United States government ask: What's in a name?

Basically, the government has repeatedly rejected The Slants' application on the grounds that it finds the band's name offensive and disparaging against Asians. Take note: The Slants are an Asian American band, their songs often deal with Asian American issues. They're clearly flipping the ethnic slur on its head. But trademark office isn't getting it:

research survey: children of immigrants and child abuse

I recently heard from Richard Tran, a graduate student in San Jose State University's School of Social Work. He's currently conducting research on the correlation between poverty level and the rate of child abuse among children of immigrants in the United States, and is looking for Asian American subjects to participate in an online survey. Here some more information:

free play reading: the last of the nisei cougars, march 27

If you're in Los Angeles, here's a free play reading that a bunch of my friends are involved with: The Last of the Nisei Cougars, a comedy written by Philip W. Chung, directed by Jeff Liu, with Emily Chang, Lynn Chen, Ki Hong Lee and Kim Miyori. It's happening Sunday, March 27 at the Japanese American National Museum. Here are some more details:

could "ching chong ling long ting tong" be the best thing to ever happen to jimmy wong?

Jimmy Wong continues to get mad love for his brilliant little response to Alexandra Wallace's infamous "Asians in the Library" video. His good natured musical response, "Ching Chong," went viral almost as quickly as Wallace's original video, and garnered Jimmy widespread attention across the internet.

His moment in the spotlight continues... Yesterday, Jimmy appeared on NPR's All Things Considered. He says he harbors no hard feelings towards Alexandra Wallace, and says he would just like to give her a big hug: A Racial Rant Inspires An Internet Balladeer.

t-shirt love: miyazaki club

Check out this awesome new t-shirt design from artist Martin Hsu: MIYAZAKI CLUB, a tribute to visionary animator Hayao Miyazaki, in the style of the old Mickey Mouse Club logo. How cool is that? A must-have for any Miyazaki fan.

u.s. census data: asians are the fastest growing race in the last decade

Some noteworthy new census data, dropped into our mailbox from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders... According to newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation's Asian population became the fastest growing race over the past decade.

The Asian population grew from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010, gaining the most in the share of the total population, growing from 4 percent to about 5 percent over the last decade. In other words, we're hardly taking over... but our numbers are growing pretty fast.

angry reader of the week: jen ju

It's time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Jen Ju, who has some words for Harry Shum Jr.


capital hearts for japan, march 26

If you're in the Washington D.C. area this weekend, a coalition of APA groups are organizing, Capital Hearts for Japan, a fundraiser for earthquake/tsunami relief. The event will feature remarks from the Japanese Ambassador to the United States Icihiro Fujisaki, remarks by Norman Mineta, a silent auction, and live performances from local artists.

100% of the proceeds will be donated to Save the Children, an international aid organization that provides emergency relief for children affected by disaster and devastation. It's happening Saturday, March 26 at The Park at Fourteenth. Here are some more details about the event:

south asian summit, april 1-4

The South Asian Summit 2011, happening April 1-4 in Washington DC, is a national conference to raise issues concerning South Asian communities, and collectively strategize for solutions and future collaborations.

This year, 150 participants, including representatives from nonprofit organizations, corporate employees, students, advocates and activists from across the country will be gathering at the conference. Here are some conference details:

donate to disaster relief, get a comic book from greg pak

Our friend and comics scribe Greg Pak doing his part to raise some cash for Japan earthquake relief by giving out copies of his Vision Machine trade paperback to anyone who donates $20 to any Japan relief charity -- your choice. Twenty bucks, simple and easy. Here's how it works:

bus crash hits chinatown's funeral row

This is an extremely sad and heartbreaking New York Times story on the row of funeral parlors along Mulberry Street in Manhattan's Chinatown, which has seen a flush of activity connected to the horrific tour bus crash that killed fifteen passengers on an overnight casino trip earlier this month: After a Bus Crash, Grief and Custom on Chinatown's Funeral Row.

music video: "omg (if I was you)" by far east movement feat. snoop dogg

Far East Movement just released the official music video for their latest single "If I Was You (OMG)" featuring none other than Snoop Dogg. Caution: the video is pretty damn down and dirty sexy, with some serious skin, grinding, and even a little cage match wrestling -- no joke. Your eyeballs just might fall out from the craziness. Take a look:

showtime working on chew tv series

So we've known for a little while that Circle of Confusion, the company behind AMC's The Walking Dead, has been working on a TV series based on John Layman and Rob Guillory's bestselling comic book series Chew.

Chew tells the darkly comic story of federal agent Tony Chu, a "cibopath" able to get psychic impressions from the things he eats, who is asigned to the most unusual and bizarre crimes. The comic book is great, and goes to some really entertaining and gross places.

And now the show has a network. According to Deadline.com, Showtime has bought a script for Chew, described as "a quirky half-hour cop show": Showtime Developing Comedy Series Adaptation Of Comic 'Chew.'

asians, alcohol & abs: k-town reality show promo

It's been a minute since we heard a peep about the K-town reality show... but I know you're interested. Still no definite word on when "the Asian American Jersey Shore" will be hitting airwaves, but for now I give you this one-minute sizzle intro. This was apparently the video the producers used pitch the show to TV networks. Don't ask me where I got it. Just take a look:

dumbass laptop thief vs. smart computer nerd: you know who wins

This is the story of two people. One extremely stupid thief who stole a laptop, then recorded himself dancing on the computer's built-in camera. And one clever laptop owner who used the video in question to identify and shame the dumbass thief: Why You Shouldn’t Steal Computers From Nerds.

The laptop belonged to a young entrepreneur named Mark Bao, who accessed the computer's backup storage cloud, found this embarrassing video of this fool dancing to "Make It Rain," and was able to identify Mr. Idiot Thief through Facebook:


han benefit concert: rock to fight hunger in north korea, march 25

If you're in New York, there's a cool concert going down this Friday for a good cause. The Han Benefit Concert will raise funds to sponsor a micronutrient program for nursing mothers and infants in North Korea. The lineup features PaperDoll and the top altrock acts from the Seoulsonic tour. It's happening March 25 at Soiree in New York. Here are some more details:

help minami tamaki & jcccnc reach their $100,000 goal for japan earthquake relief

Just passing this along... the law firm of Minami Tamaki in San Francisco is raising funds for the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California towards earthquake/tsunami relief. If you donate before April 30, Minami Tamaki will match it. I'm told they surpassed their original goal by raising $67,000, and the new goal is $100,000. Here's some more information:

akufuncture donating sales to japan disaster relief

Check it... more t-shirt sales going to Japan disaster relief. From now through the end of the month, Asian American clothing design company Akufuncture will be donating 50% of proceeds from sales to the American Red Cross.

I've blogged about Akufuncture before, and they've got some really cool and fun Chinese folk-inspired designs, so hop on their website, take a look at their designs, and buy a shirt or two. You'll be throwing in a couple of bucks to those in need.

apalc launches asian american & pacific islander naturalization network

Last week, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center announced the launch of the Asian American & Pacific Islander Naturalization Network, a statewide campaign to encourage Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrants in California to become U.S. citizens.

The Asian American & Pacific Islander Naturalization Network will directly assist hundreds of AAPI green-card holders throughout California, providing assistance in determining eligibility for citizenship and helping those that are eligible complete their application forms and apply for fee waivers.

Here's an excerpt from APALC's press release:

video: "asians in the library" response by kt tatara

Comedian/actor KT Tatara coming at you with yet another rap response to this whole "Asians in the Library" debacle, aka The Biggest Mistake of Alexandra's Wallace's Life. This one features hordes of Asians, libraries, and an Alexandra Wallace lookalike -- filmed on what looks like the actual UCLA campus. Take a look:

t.v. carpio injured - yes, another one - on spider-man musical

Damn. This show can't catch a break. The producers of Broadway's troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical announced this week that actress T.V. Carpio, who plays the villainess Arachne, has been sidelined with an injury: Another Injury Rocks 'Spider-Man' Broadway Musical.

Ms. Carpio was reportedly hurt last week during an onstage battle scene, and will be out of the show for the next two weeks. At this point, with all the setbacks and injuries and firings and accidents, it's not even funny anymore. This is the most dangerous show on Broadway.

file under badass: hideaki akaiwa

Hideaki Akaiwa is the Badass of the Week. On Friday, March 11, when an 8.9 mega-earthquake caused a raging tsunami that flooded his entire town, this insane badass strapped on scuba gear and dove into the goddamn tsunami -- multiple times -- to rescue his wife, his mom, and other survivors:

pennsylvania population shifts bring changes and challenges

Some interesting new information about demographic shifts in Pennsylvania... According to Census data, the state's population grew for the first time in sixty years, thanks to large numbers of Latino and Asian immigrants -- nearly 97,000 -- moving in during the last decade: Immigrant surge: Why area grew.


out of the margins: asian american movement building, march 25-26

If you're anywhere around the University of Michigan, just wanted to make sure you knew about an awesome event happening this weekend: Out of the Margins: Asian American Movement Building, a two-day conference on the past, present and future of Asian American political activism.

Guest speakers and performers will include Grace Lee Boggs, Nobuko Miyamoto, Geologic (of Blue Scholars), Kiwi and DJ Phatrick, Bao Phi and more. It's happening March 25-26 at Michigan League and Trotter Multicultural Center. Here are some more details about the conference:

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