10.31.2012

13th annual san diego asian film festival, november 1-9



It's on, San Diego film fans. The 13th San Diego Asian Film Festival, presented by Pacific Arts Movement, runs November 1-9. This is always one of my favorite events of the year, and if you're in town, be sure to check out some of the amazing screenings, panels or parties. Seriously, the people attending SDAFF know how to party. Here's the official festival trailer:

speak out against radiolab's "yellow rain" segment and tell npr this can't happen again



If you've heard Radiolab's awful "Yellow Rain" segment from last month, and if you've read Kao Kalia Yang's response, then you're probably like me -- angry. Enraged at the segment producers' complete lack of respect and sensitivity.

18MillionRising is spearheading a campaign to Tell NPR This Can't Happen Again. You can sign and send a letter direct towards NPR's VP of Diversity, Keith Woods, and WNYC's Chief Content Officer, Dean Cappello, to call for a meeting with the APIA community:

nice girls crew launches online



Yes. Nice Girls Crew, the hilarious five-part comedy from director Tanuj Chopra, writer/producer Christine Kwon, finally makes its online debut.

Sheetal Sheth, Michelle Krusiec and Lynn Chen star as three childhood friends who gather for a weekly book club, but never actually talk about the book. Episode 1: "Out of Order" is now available on the Center for Asian American Media's YouTube channel. Check it out:

Taiwanese will no longer need visas to visit U.S.

Interesting. Looks like Taiwan just joined the official list of America's buddies. Starting Thursday, Taiwanese citizens will no longer need a visa to visit the United States, making it much easier for tourists and relatives to make the trip: Taiwanese will no longer need visas to visit U.S.

Taiwan joins a list 37 visa waiver countries, which includes Japan and South Korea. This means Taiwanese travelers will no longer have to wait in line at the U.S. Consulate in Taipei or pay a $164 fee and convince an interviewer that they will return home. Generally, it's just going to be a much smaller pain in the ass for Taiwanese folks to visit the U.S.:

enter daniel dae kim's #ivoted contest and win a trip to the set of hawaii five-0



[UPDATE: Crap. The contest is canceled. See below.]

Check it. In an effort to encourage everyone to vote, Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim is holding a little online contest called #iVOTED, where the winner will win a trip to Hawaii and a visit to the set of Hawaii Five-0. All you have to do to enter is show everybody, via Twitter photo, that you voted. Here are some more details on how to enter:

caaav leading post-hurricane relief for manhattan's chinatown



To all my people in New York City, I hope that you've remained safe and weather-proof amidst the chaos of Hurricane Sandy. But in the aftermath, I'm hearing that Chinatown residents have largely left out of any conversations about the city's restoration efforts.

So CAAAV has stepped up to provide translated information and donated goods for residents. Until electricity is restored, CAAAV will be open each day, 10:00am to 5:00pm starting today, collecting donations of flashlights, batteries, food (perishable and non-perishable) and bottled water.

Two important things to note about Chinatown:

this dad and daughter are going back to the future



Amaaaazing. Came across this awesome photo of Dino Ignacio and his daughter trying out their totally rad Back to the Future Part II-themed Halloween costumes. I think she's doing a pretty convincing Doc Brown.

What costume will you be rocking this Halloween? I invite you to email me photos of your awesome costumes, and I'll post some of them here after Halloween. But only if they're awesome. I don't want to see no sexy geishas and chop suey specs.

Be safe and be awesome.

hurricane sandy's biggest twitter troll unmasked



Asians behaving badly... hurricane Twitter troll edition! The anonymous Twitter user @comfortably smug, who is responsible for deliberately spreading some of the egregious misinformation about Hurricane Sandy, has been unmasked: The Man Behind @ComfortablySmug, Hurricane Sandy's Worst Twitter Villain.

Turns out, he's some dude named Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and campaign manager for Christopher R. Wight, the Republican candidate for the New York's 12th Congressional District. And he apparently has nothing better to do but spread lies about a dire situation. He has since apologized -- anonymously:

10.30.2012

A Joy Luck Club reunion



Whoa. A Joy Luck Club reunion! Came across this cool photo last week on producer Janet Yang's blog. Janet recently met up with Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, Ming Na and Rosalind Chao -- the "daughters" from The Joy Luck Club.

Can you believe next year marks the movie's twentieth anniversary? I know it has its share of detractors, for various reasons, but you can't deny that The Joy Luck Club was a significant moment in Asian American cinema.

And these ladies still look good.

Jay Chen receives another racist rant



More on the political mudslinging and racist attacks getting thrown at congressional candidate Jay Chen. Things are escalating. There were stupid signs, racist emails, and now, a voice mail: Jay Chen, LA-OC Congressional Candidate, Gets Another Anti-Asian Rant And Threat of Violence.

Chen's campaign received the message on Saturday from someone who blocked his number. The caller, who professed support for Republican opponent Rep. Ed Royce, called Chen a "little Chinese fucker," "little shit" and "a piece of crap." Seriously. You can listen to the voice mail here:

10.29.2012

south bay first thursdays presents apis in fashion



San Jose, it's time to talk fashion. South Bay First Thursdays is kicking off its latest event this November 1st with a panel discussion featuring fashion designers, photographers, and models, moderated by Danny "Dandiggity" Le. Here's some more info:

volunteer opportunity: bilingual election protection hotline in dc/md/va

This is for helpful folks in the DC/MD/VA area...

Do you want to help protect Asian American voting rights? The Asian American Justice Center and APIA Vote are hosting an Asian language Election Protection hotline for Virginia and Florida, and they're currently looking for bilingual volunteers.

The training will take place in Washington DC, and there is a stipend available. Here are some more details:

music video: "girl" by das racist



Oh maaaaan. Brooklyn's own Das Racist teams up with Goatface Comedy, and we get the amazing official music video for "Girl." It is a joyous celebration of denim jackets, mullets and hard-hitting dance moves. And now your life will never be the same. Watch and be transformed:

angry poetry corner: "consider the sun" by eugenia leigh

We're getting poetic up here. It's time for another installment of Angry Poetry Corner, a regular weekly spotlight on the work of API poets -- not necessarily angry -- curated by Cara, our Angry Asian Intern.

Because you could use a little more poetry in your life.

In the corner this week, a poem by Eugenia Leigh:

"year of the dragon" t-shirt designs benefit the bruce lee foundation



Check out this cool new Bruce Lee design from the Year of the Dragon t-shirt collection, honoring the life and legacy of Bruce Lee. This is one of several limited edition Bruce Lee shirt designs from artists like Eric Bailey, Brian Flynn, Hydro74, Marok, SSUR, and xGhetto.

Proceeds from all sales benefit the Bruce Lee Foundation and its efforts to raise funds and awareness for the proposed Bruce Lee Action Museum in Seattle. They're currently available from Wears My Shirt.

Here are some more designs:

rza to direct genghis khan biopic

Remember a while back when news emerged that Mickey Rourke was planning on playing Genghis Khan(!) in an upcoming movie epic from writer/director John Milius? Thankfully, that didn't happen. But it does look like the project is going forward... with none other than the RZA at the helm.

The Wu-Tang Clan frontman, whose feature film directorial debut, the kung fu action thriller The Man With The Iron Fists opens in theaters this week, has reportedly signed on to direct Genghis Khan: RZA to Direct Genghis Khan Biopic and Action Thriller 'No Man's Land.'

yet another attack ad starring evil greedy china



From Racist Political Ads... Yet another attack ad starring Big Bad China. This one, courtesy of Karl Rove, goes to great lengths to paint President Barack Obama as Evil Greedy China's Best Friend. Hell, it even ends with an image of the President "bowing" to Hu Jintao -- the way we'll all inevitably have to bow to our future Chinese overlords:

suspect sought in toronto chinatown restaurant brawl



Asians behaving badly... restaurant brawl edition! In Toronto, police are looking for the people -- specifically, one guy who threw a plate -- involved in a fight that broke out early Sunday morning at the Pho Xe Lua restaurant in Chinatown: Chinatown Pho restaurant fight: Plates fly as brawl breaks out.

The late-night brawl, which was captured on video that has since gone viral, involves a lot of shoving, some punching and someone throwing a plate that gets broken squarely on a woman's face. In the middle of it all, a restaurant waitress valiantly trying to break it up to no avail.

Warning, this video contains profanity and violence:

10.28.2012

Read These Blogs



How big is Iron Man 3's "Fu Manchu" problem?: As you may have heard, the villain in Iron Man 3 is The Mandarin. How good of a job did Shane Black and crew do of "removing the weird racial subtext from the character"? Marjorie M. Liu, Jeff Yang, and Marissa Lee weigh in.

Easy Tiger (Nation): Jeff Yang's latest "Tao Jones" column takes issue and lays down the smack on the model minority myth -- must we do this again? -- and reckless blanket celebrations of "Asian success."

Rise of the Tiger Nation: And here's the tiresome hodgepodge article about "Asian success," written by Lee Siegel, that Jeff is responding to.

Memo to the RSC: east Asians can be more than just dogs and maids: Ann Chen on the Royal Shakespeare Company's casting for The Orphan of Zhao, and how having the only three Asian actors play a dog and a maid sounds a little too much like British Imperialism still at play.

Amanda's Story: In Her Mother's Words: Amanda Todd was cyberstalked, bullied, and ostracized for years before tragically, she committed suicide. Her mother tells her daughter's story.

10.26.2012

angry reader of the week: j.p. chan



Hello again! Welcome to another edition of 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 J.P. Chan.

the shattered tour: comics, stereotypes and history

We're coming up on the release of the brand new Asian American comics anthology Shattered, the highly-anticipated follow-up to the pioneering collection Secret Identities. Pre-order your copy here.

To promote the book, the creative team is hitting the road with a unique, interactive multimedia tour -- a modified version of the Marvels and Monsters exhibition currently on display at New York's Museum of Chinese in America, curated by editor-in-chief Jeff Yang.

The Shattered tour programming includes one of more of the following:

first look at justin chon in 21 and over



Check this out. Relativity Media just released this first look image of Justin Chon in the upcoming comedy 21 and Over, described as a "a hilarious movie that showcases a rite of passage gone horribly wrong." Sounds very Hangover/Harold & Kumar-esque. This could be fun. Here's the synopsis:

body washed ashore identified as missing teen

Tragic news out of the Bay Area, where the body of young women who washed ashore along the coast was identified as a missing teenager: Body Washed Ashore ID'd as Richmond Girl.

Authorities identified the body as 16-year-old Cathy Qiu, found dead on a beach near Half Moon Bay last weekend almost one month after she reported missing by her parents.

According to investigators, a friend contacted school administrators after seeing news reports about an unidentified body matching Cathy's description. Her identity was confirmed through matching dental records.

The questions remain -- how did Cathy Qiu die?

10.25.2012

an insider's guide to the history of san francisco's chinatown, october 27



This Saturday at the San Francisco Public Library, architect and Chinese American historian Philip P. Choy will present "An Insider's Guide to the History of San Francisco's Chinatown." This lecture and slideshow explores Chinatown's history, from surviving post-quake to becoming an "oriental" tourist attraction. Here's more info:

to the diner who wrote this craigslist post: you're a moron



Our friend Michelle Woo at OC Weekly points us to this ridiculous nonsense on Craigslist: Chinese Restaurant Customer in Irvine Orders 'Something With Eyeballs,' Freaks Out And Tries To Give It Away On Craigslist.

Food with eyeballs? Gross! On a recent trip to Capital Seafood in Irvine, California, a customer ordered the jumbo garlic shrimp, only to make the shocking(!) discovery that the dish comes with all those little shrimp eyeballs intact. Yucky. Chinese food is so weeirrd!

So the person freaks out and makes a joke-y(?) Craigslist post about it.

10.24.2012

artists at play presents edith can shoot things and hit them, october 20 - november 10



Artists at Play presents Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, a play about a Filipino American sister and brother who are abandoned by their parents. When Edith's brother and his close friend Benji begin to explore a relationship beyond friendship, Edith, equipped with a BB gun, protects her newfound family. The show is running in Los Angeles from now until November 10. Here's more info:

fund this: hyphen stories on richard aoki and hawaiian prisoners



If you didn't know... Hyphen is an award-winning nonprofit publication, run by an all-volunteer staff. Most of the contributors work pro bono, but Hyphen is currently trying to raise some money to pay writers, photographers, multimedia producers and editors a modest stipend for a couple of special projects.

One is a feature story and multimedia on Hawaiian prisoners who are "exported" to a desert prison in Arizona, thousands of miles away from their families and roots. The other is an in-depth story on former Black Panther Richard Aoki and recent revelations about his life. Here are some more details on the Aoki story:

music video: "new chick" by dumbfoundead



Another new music video from Dumbfoundead: "New Chick," featuring Jonathan in various scenarios with a lot of attractive women. Surprise, surprise. Ladies, if you're interested in getting involved with Dumbfoundead, make sure you know a little something about A Tribe Called Quest:

get angry: radiolab, racism and "the fact of the matter"

I implore you to read this Hyphen blog post by Kao Kalia Yang, who speaks out the racist mishandling of Radiolab's "Yellow Rain" segment: The Science of Racism: Radiolab's Treatment of Hmong Experience.

I posted this piece earlier in the week on Facebook and Twitter, where it received a really strong reaction across the board. I was going to include it on the weekly "Read These Blogs" roundup, but on the second thought, it really deserves a dedicated post. That's how much I want you to read it:

watch video of east west players' forum on race and theater



This week in Los Angeles, East West Players hosted a forum discussion on race politics in the American theatre, "Asian American Opportunities in American Theatre: Why Not Asian? Why Asian?"

The panel consisted of the artistic directors of four of the leading theaters in Southern California, as well as remarks from actors Tamlyn Tomita and Sandra Oh. For those who weren't able to attend or tune into the live stream, here's the video:

ming-na cast in abc's s.h.i.e.l.d. pilot

Some super-cool casting news... Fanboys, rejoice. If you haven't heard, Joss Whedon is currently working on the ABC drama pilot Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D., based on the adventures of the international peacekeeping organization featured prominently in The Avengers. Cool, but now even cooler...

Ming-Na, who you know for her roles in everything from The Joy Luck Club to Mulan to Stargate Universe and other best quality credits, will be joining the cast of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Agent Melinda May, an ace pilot, weapons expert and soldier: Ming-Na To Star In Joss Whedon’s ABC Pilot 'Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D.'.

protect the rights of asian american voters



Today 1 in 3 Asian Americans still struggle with English proficiency, and 4 out of every 5 Asian Americans speak another language besides English at home.

Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act provides language assistance to thousands of Asian American voters, allowing them to fully exercise their right to vote. No matter what language you speak, all citizens should have the ability to vote in a full and effective manner.

Asian American voters like Jenn have the desire and the right to vote, but sometimes they need help understanding the ballot in a language they can understand. Will you help protect Jenn's right to vote in Chinese this Election Day? Here's what you can do...

The Return of the Evil Chinese Professor



He's baaaaaack. I've heard from several people that the notorious Evil Chinese Professor television ad, which was all the rage a couple years ago, is back and airing in select markets. Election Day is quickly approaching, so naturally, some anti-China fear-mongering is in order.

In this spot, created by the Citizens Against Government Waste and Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a futuristic Chinese classroom learns about how reckless debt and spending led to the United States' downfall. And then a Chinese professor leads his students in a hearty anti-American laugh.

Haven't seen it before? Take a look:

10.23.2012

boston asian american film festival, october 25-28



Boston film fans, this one's for you! The fourth annual Boston Asian American Film Festival, presented by the Asian American Resource Workshop, is going down this week, October 25-28.

Nine feature-length programs and two short programs of some of the best work in Asian American independent cinema. Things kick off this Thursday with the Opening Night presentation of Quentin Lee's family drama White Frog.

Here's a brief overview of the festival programs:

fund this: angkor dance troupe presents apsara dancing stones



The Angkor Dance Troupe in Lowell, Massachusetts is a Cambodian cultural dance and performing arts organization celebrating its 25th anniversary.

In honor of this momentous milestone, the Troupe presents the premiere of Apsara Dancing Stones, a contemporary dance drama that embodies the beauty and culture of Cambodia. They're currently in the final hours of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the show. Watch this video:

"my brother is the president of the united states"



Here's a nice video from the Obama campaign featuring Maya Soetoro-Ng, whose brother happens to be President Barack Obama: My Brother is the President of the United States.

She talks about the bittersweet passing of their grandmother just days before Election Night 2008, recognizing that she'd have to put her brother "on loan" for a few years, and his enduring strong connection the their family. Take a look:

surprise, your neighbor's a pimp



Ugh. News out of New York, where a Brooklyn man was busted by police earlier this month for operating a sex ring involving a "stable of Asian prostitutes": Brooklyn man busted for running brothels in Wall Street district.

42-year-old William Thomas is accused of running brothels out of a commercial building in the Financial District and apartments in Hell's Kitchen and midtown, advertising services on the websites E4AKorea.com ("Your Midtown Korean Experience") and E4ANY.com:

kina grannis and harry shum jr. in the last by wong fu productions



Oh dang. Two of my favorite people, actor Harry Shum Jr. and and singer/songwriter Kina Grannis, star as lovers in The Last, the newest short from Wong Fu Productions. It's thoughtful and romantic with a sweet layer of cheese, nicely produced, and it just looks fantastic. Take a look:

this is a photo of an american hero



This is Frank Tanabe, a 93-year-old veteran of World War II who is dying of cancer, casting what will likely be his last ballot. This photo, posted online by his grandson, has stirred hearts across the web: Photo of Second World War veteran casting ballot captures hearts.

Tanabe is suffering from an inoperable cancer tumor in his liver. His condition is deteriorating and he doesn't have a lot of time left, but one thing he was determined to do was exercise his civic duty and vote:

first look at ben kingsley as the mandarin in iron man 3



Marvel just dropped the first teaser trailer for Iron Man 3, and after many years of speculation, we finally get out first glimpse of Ben Kingsley as Tony Stark's comic book arch-nemesis The Mandarin.

Traditionally drawn in the vein of the stereotypical "Yellow Peril" Fu Manchu villain, there's always been the question of how Iron Man would handle a contemporary take on the character. Take a look:

racist email calls jay chen a "slant eyed gook"



Our friend Jay Chen, who is running for Congress in California's 39th District, has unfortunately received his share unfair criticism, dirty political attacks, and just plain old hate mail. Like this latest message, where a guy called him a "slant eyed gook," among other things: Jay Chen, LA-OC Congressional Candidate, Gets Racist "Gook" Email From Disbarred Lawyer.

The sender, identified as a former -- now disbarred -- attorney named Anthony Kassas was apparently responding to a mass email from Jay's campaign. Upon receiving Kassas' ridiculously racist reply, the campaign felt fit to share his message with OC Weekly:

10.22.2012

compassion in action: apait health center's 25th anniversary gala, october 24



Hey, Los Angeles. Join APAIT Health Center for their "Compassion in Action" gala on Wednesday, October 24. This fundraising effort will benefit APAIT in its effort to provide HIV/AIDS resources for underserved communities in Southern California. Tamlyn Tomita and CBS news reporter Juan Fernandez will be your hosts, with Congresswoman Judy Cho and Harold and Kumar's John Cho serving as co-chairs for the event.

apply to the asian american women's political initiative's massachusetts legislative fellowship program

This is for Asian American women who attend college in the Boston area... The Asian American Women's Political Initiative invites you to apply to the fourth annual Massachusetts Legislative Fellowship Program.

The Fellowship provides Asian American women with the unique opportunity to participate in state policymaking and experience firsthand how the legislature works through a part-time internship at the State House. Here are some more details about the program:

bitch magnet reunites for u.s. fall tour



I recently heard from musician Sooyoung Park. It's been a while, but you may know him from his work with the bands Bitch Magnet, Seam and/or ee. If so, you might be pleased to hear that Bitch Magnet, his late-1980s post-hardcore band, recently reunited and is currently playing shows in the United States. Here are the remaining tour dates (sorry, Seattle -- the Neumo's show was on Sunday):

angry poetry corner: "dragon" by lan duong

We're getting poetic up here. It's time for another installment of Angry Poetry Corner, a regular weekly spotlight on the work of API poets -- not necessarily angry -- curated by Cara, our Angry Asian Intern.

Because you could use a little more poetry in your life.

In the corner this week, a poem by Lan Duong:

fund this: a picture of you, a feature film by j.p. chan



Just want to draw your attention to another film project that could use your help... Writer/director J.P. Chan is working on his first feature film A Picture of You, described as "a serious movie about life that collides head-on into a funny movie about death." Sounds intriguing. The film has been shot, and they're now raising money for post-production funds. Here's J.P. with the Kickstarter pitch:

the asians on tv: new fall 2012-13 shows



I've been meaning to post this for several weeks... So the new fall television season is well underway, and that means we're seeing some Asian faces on new shows. Well, I watch a lot of TV, and as you know, I am particularly interested in seeing more Asian folks on the tube. So...

For your reference, I have compiled a running list of Asian actors in the starring casts of new scripted prime time network television shows. Some of the shows have premiered, others won't be on until midseason, and some actually have already been canceled (like I said, I meant to post this sooner).

Check it out:

sarah and buster and carmen



A couple of silly San Francisco Giants superfans, spotted on the TV last night during game six of the National League Championship Series. Go Giants.

canadian football player suspended for racist tweet



News from the world of Canadian football... Last week, B.C. Lions' defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell was suspended for derogatory racial remarks he made on Twitter while commenting on the U.S. presidential debate: B.C. Lions' Khalif Mitchell fined by CFL, benched for Eskimos game after 'unacceptable' racial Twitter comments.

In case you can't read that tweet above, it says:

10.21.2012

Read These Blogs



Dream Role: Meet Natalie Nakase, who is determined to become the first female coach for the NBA -- and is well on her way. But is the NBA ready?

Vote, Because I Can't: Ju Hong came to the U.S. when he was 11 years old, just graduated from UC Berkeley, and he still can't vote. He's asking you to exercise your right.

Harvard Student Magazine Satirist Writes Racist Garbage, Doesn't Understand Satire: An anonymous staff writer for the student-run magazine Harvard Voice wrote about the five stereotypes you'll find at job fairs. Second on the list? Asians. Turns out it isn't satire if no one's laughing.

Pucker UP #RSC, cuz I am bending over....: The great news is that the Royal Shakespeare Company's going to run a production of The Orphan of Zhao. The bad news? Of the 17 actors, 3 are of Asian heritage. It gets worse -- two of them play dogs and one of them plays a maid.

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