2.28.2013

Dis/orient/ed Comedy, March 16



Make some plans, Seattle. Dis/orient/ed, an all-female Asian American standup comedy showcase, is coming to you on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Laugh with local up-and-comers and talent from throughout the country at the Renton Civic Theatre. Here's more information, including the line-up:

Giveaway: Win tickets to CAAMFest, March 14-24



This is for all my people in the Bay Area. The Center for Asian American Media invites you to CAAMFest, an eleven-day celebration of film, music, food and digital media form the world’s most innovative Asian and Asian American artists. It's all going down March 14-24. Two weeks to go, I'm giving away some free tickets! First, here's a fun video teaser for the festival:

Who won Top Chef Season 10?



Last night, Bravo's cooking competition show Top Chef crowned its tenth season winner. It was an awesome, eventful season, but it the end, it was a showdown between Kristen Kish and Brooke Williamson in front of a live audience. I'm a crazy fan of this show, and I honestly would've been cool with either chef taking the title. But of course, you know I was extra pulling for Kristen, my Top Chef crush...

After several courses of heated head to head cooking, we had a winner. Here's the video:

2.27.2013

Hyphen Hoedown: Issue 26 Release Party, March 2



Think fast, Bay Area. Hoedown with Hyphen in celebration of the release of its 26th issue this Saturday, March 2 at Gallery 4N5 in San Francisco. The party is themed after their latest issue, The South, and will feature eats from Brenda's French Soul Food, acoustin blues and country music from Wilson Wong and Toshio Hirano.

P.I.C at MOCAMix: "Computer Afro Blue"



Here's a fun one... Got a big kick out of this video, shot at the recent Prince Tribute edition of the Museum of Chinese in America's MOCAMix live music series. P.I.C jams out an awesome "hiphopunkfunkmamboska" rendition of the Purple One's "Computer Blue." Check it out:

Music Video Parody: "I'm Asian American" by Douglas Kim



Got this passed along to me, found it kind of amusing... Los Angeles-based actor Douglas Kim recently wrote and produced this music video, "I'm Asian American," a parody of Ben Folds' "Rockin the Suburbs." It skewers some popular misperceptions and recent portrayals of Asians in media, alluding to some of the issues and incidents that I've mentioned here on this blog. Check it out:

Because every photo shoot needs some exotic human props...



Oh, hell. More of this... If you enjoyed all the exotic human props in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, here's some more of that in the same spirit, this time from a luxury retailer: Vietnam And Its 'Exotic People' Are The New Black, According To Absurd Luxury Retailer Campaign.

A new campaign by Americana Manhasset, a Long Island luxury shopping outlet, features pretty, well-groomed white ladies photographed in front of the "exotic" locales of Vietnam, including lots of laboring Asian people wearing their requisite pointy hats. From the Spring 2013 Lookbook:

Universal picks up Julie Kagawa's new fantasy book series

Almost missed this bit of movie news from a couple of weeks ago... Universal recently picked up the rights to a fantasy book series proposal from hot author Julie Kagawa: Fantasy Author Julie Kagawa Sells New Book Series to Universal.

Young adult imprint HarlequinTEEN recently signed a seven-figure deal with Kagawa for the untitled new fantasy series, based on a 104-page proposal revolving around mythical creatures in a contemporary setting.

Chris Morgan, best known for writing Universal's Fast & Furious movies, is on board to produce:

This door is protected by Bruce Lee



Got this passed along to me. I don't know what this is or where it came from, but it is awesome. Man, I seriously want this to be an actual thing. I wish I had a door chain, just so I could replicate this in real life. (Thanks, David.)

Kentucky super PAC attacks Elaine Chao with racist tweets



I've got little love for Elaine Chao, but this racist bullshit. In Kentucky, a liberal super PAC is under fire for tweets attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao: Liberal Super PAC Sends Racist Tweet About Mitch McConnell’s Chinese Wife.

McConnell (R-KY) is running for re-election in 2013. Progress Kentucky, a super PAC focused on defeating McConnell, posted multiple tweets highlighting Elaine Chao's Chinese heritage, going as far as blaming her cultural ties for the outsourcing of Kentucky jobs and the growth of industrial China:

2.26.2013

Kero One's LA Album Celebration & Birthday Bash, March 1



Check it. If you're in Los Angeles, one of my favorite emcees, Kero One is throwing a long overdue release party for his latest album Color Theory. Come on out and enjoy some good music, good people and good times. It's going down Friday, March 1 at Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown. Here are some more details:

Job Opportunity: OCA Civil Rights Fellowship

Spreading the word... OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well being of Asian Pacific Americans, is seeking qualified candidates for the OCA Civil Rights Fellowship.

The program is a national advocacy fellowship based at the OCA National Center in Washington, DC. The fellow will work in key OCA program areas including, but not limited to, naturalization assistance, voter registration, hate crimes education and monitoring, and public policy. Here are some more details about the fellowship:

Watch Far East Movement's epic "Turn Up the Love" mashup



FM fans! Don't miss this cool video of Far East Movement performing an epic mashup of their hits. Filmed as part of the "Turn Up The Love" Experiment in conjunction with BioBeats and ISA, the video is twelve minutes long, filmed in one take, and features "Girls on the Dance Floor," "Get Up," "Like a G6" and "Turn Up the Love." Check it out:

Federal authorities shut down Fung Wah bus service



Boom. This week, in a big blow to travelers of the cheap, federal officials ordered the Fung Wah bus company off the road: Discount Bus Company Fung Wah Suspended After Failing Safety Inspections.

The Boston-based discount bus company, known for its cheap tickets to and from major cities in the Northeast (Boston to New York City, just 15 bucks!), has been shut down by the Transportation Department for failing multiple state and federal safety inspections:

My favorite new comedy webseries from New Zealand: Flat 3



Check this out... I'm kind of digging Flat 3, this new webseries that recently got passed along to me. Hailing from New Zealand, it's a comedy that follows three Kiwi-Chinese roommates trying to "figure out who they are, what they're doing in this life, and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper." It starts out a little slowly, but by episode two I was charmed. Here's episode one:

Ken Jeong cast in ABC comedy pilot Spy



Some TV casting news... Ken Jeong, who currently plays the scene-stealing SeƱor Ben Chang on NBC's criminally under-appreciated comedy Community, has landed a role on the ABC comedy pilot Spy: 'Community's Ken Jeong Joins ABC Comedy Pilot 'Spy.'

The show, a remake of the UK series of the same name, is a single-camera comedy about a well-intentioned father, played by Rob Corddry, who joins the Secret Service. Jeong will play the "lithe and mischievous Examiner." I don't exactly know what that means, but it sounds right up his alley:

Kuwaiti Chinese restaurant ad does the slant eye



Wow. This is an actual ad for China Garden, a Chinese restaurant in Kuwait. Yup, relying on the good ol' slant eye, which everyone knows is the international gesture for "ching chong." Say no more.

Man, someone actually thought this was a okay way to advertise Chinese cuisine. Even worse, somebody probably thought they were being clever. Well, you have to hand it to them for just going there with the racial mockery like it ain't no thing. That's racist!

Man attacks wife with meat cleaver in Chinatown



Holy crap. News of a crazy-ass incident in New York's Chinatown... On Sunday, police arrested a man who brutally attacked his wife with a meat cleaver. He reportedly just started furiously hacking at her, right there on Canal Street: Firefighters Intervene in Cleaver Attack on Woman in Chinatown.

The suspect, 28-year-old Ming Guang Huang, was seen on the street loudly arguing with his wife, 24-year-old Jinyia You, when he pulled out the meat cleaver and attacked, hitting her several times. Thankfully, two firefighters stationed across the street came to her aid and were able to restrain the man.

Part of the attack was caught on video:

2.25.2013

11th Annual Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference (VIA-1), March 15-17



The annual Vietnamese Interacting as One (VIA-1) Conference is happening this March 15-17 at the University of Iowa. The theme this year is "From Today, For Tomorrow," taking contemporary experiences and applying them to a vision for a better future. This year's keynote is Minh Dang, a graduate student at UC Berkeley and survivor of child abuse and child sex trafficking. Here's more info:

OCA 2013 Summer Internship

Hey, college students! OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans, has extended the application deadline for the 2013 Summer Internship Program in Washington DC. But the deadline is coming up fast, so get on this.

The summer internship program is one of OCA's signature programs and introduces interns to public policy in Washington, DC. In addition to connecting interns with the APA community and developing their leadership skills, OCA also brings summer interns to the OCA National Convention, the largest APA conference in the country.

Here are some more details about the internship:

Music Video: "Primacy" by Deb Oh & the Cavaliers



Some new music for you... Here's the very first music video by New York City-based indie pop singer/songwriter Deb Oh & the Cavaliers, for her awesome orchestral ballad "Primacy." Great song. Featuring all seven members of the band, the video was apparently shot in a freezing warehouse with no heat in the middle of December. Check the breath:

Writer Ken Liu is a triple nominee for the Nebula Awards

Cool news. Writer Ken Liu, who became the first author to win all of science fiction's three major honors -- the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award -- for his short story "The Paper Menagerie," is a triple nominee for this year's recently announced Nebula Awards: 2012 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced.

The Nebula Awards are presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Liu is nominated for best novella ("All the Flavors"), best novelette ("The Waves") and best short story ("The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species"). Winners will be announced at the Forty-Eighth Nebula Awards Weekend in May.

He's definitely a rising sci-fi talent. View the full list of current nominees here. For further information about Ken Liu and his work, visit his website. You can also follow his updates on Twitter. (Thanks, Christopher.)

The Saddest Sex(?) Ad Ever



This pathetic excuse for a flyer was supposedly found on a sidewalk in Downtown Flushing.

I don't know who made this sign, or what kind of goods or services it purports to offer (I have an idea), or if it's even real (doubt it). But I laugh just imagining that some enterprising person couldn't or wouldn't bother with a computer -- this was going to be a decidedly hand-drawn effort. I don't even what to know what happens if you call this number.

UPDATE: As suspected, this is some kind of joke. A joke on somebody's momma.

Ben Kingsley is just chillin' as The Mandarin in this character poster for Iron Man 3



Marvel recently released this latest character poster for Iron Man 3, giving us another glimpse at Ben Kingsley as the villainous Mandarin. Forgive me, but he looks kind of like a pseudo-mystical-Asian-fusion-military-guru-guy who having a bit of a mid-life crisis. I do not know what to make of him. Take a look:

Meet Stan Lee's Chinese superhero The Annihilator



Beware, evil. Face the power of the Chinese superhero known as... The Annihilator! Comics legend Stan Lee (not Asian), one of men responsible for iconic Marvel characters like Spider-Man, The Avengers and the X-Men, has created a new superhero that will hopefully get his own movie: Stan Lee's New Character, 'Annihilator,' Gets Film Adaptation From 'Enchanted' Producer and 'Bourne Legacy' Writer.

The Annihilator is a young Chinese prisoner, Ming, who undergoes a dangerous genetic procedure that gives him extraordinary abilities. And like any good hero, he uses those abilities to fight bad guys. Does that sound cool? They're working on a film version with producer Barry Josephson and a script by the guy wrote and directed The Bourne Legacy. Here's more about the character:

This is how an Oscar winner celebrates.



Spotted in Hollywood last night after the Academy Awards: Oscar winner Ang Lee, his Best Director trophy, and an In N Out Burger. That's called victory. (I wonder if he went Animal Style.)

Ang Lee wins Oscar for Best Director



A huge congratulations to Ang Lee, who took home the trophy for Best Director for Life of Pi last night at the 85th Academy Awards: Oscars 2013: Ang Lee wins best director for 'Life of Pi'

Besting a category that included competition from the likes of Steven Spielberg, the decorated Taiwanese filmmaker was as gracious as ever, thanking "Movie God." He was all smiles, raising his hands as walked to the stage and looking just as surprised as anyone over the win.

Coincidentally, the last time Lee won the Oscar for Best Director, back in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, he was up against Spielberg then too. Better luck next time, Steven.

Here's video of Mr. Lee's acceptance speech:

2.24.2013

Read These Blogs



Lin Does a Lot by Not Doing Too Much: "The Rockets' up-tempo offense, along with their commitment to spreading the floor around the pick-and-roll, fits Lin's skills wonderfully. The result is not exactly Linsanity redux, but he is developing into a point guard who could be a factor in the NBA for years to come."

The crossover appeal of Jeremy Lin: An interview with Jeremy Lin, who recently launched the Jeremy Lin Foundation, which aims to help underprivileged youth.

Lin and Linsanity Come Home: Before Linsanity swept the nation a year ago, director Evan Jackson Leong and producer Bryan Yang started documenting Jeremy Lin’s career starting in his days at Harvard. Linsanity premiered at Sundance this year, and will kick off San Francisco’s CAAMfest.

The Jeremy Lin of His Day (Just One Day): In 1948, Larry Kwong became the first player of Chinese descent to have a spot in the N.H.L., playing for the Rangers. Too bad he only played for a bit part in one game.

2.22.2013

National South Asian Summit, April 19-22



SAALT's National South Asian Summit is taking place April 19-23 in Washington, D.C. Learn about issues affecting South Asians in the U.S., build leadership and organizing skills, connect with government officials, and strategize together. Here's what's in store:

Angry Reader of the Week: Deb Hwang



Friends, it is time again for you to meet the 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 Deb Hwang.

2.21.2013

Asian American Performers Action Coalition releases diversity report for 2011-12 New York City theater season

The Asian American Performers Action Coalition recently released its annual report, "Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages," detailing the ethnic distribution of actors hired this past theater season on Broadway and at the top sixteen not-for-profit theater companies in New York City.

In the 2011-2012 season, African American actors were cast in 16% of all roles, Hispanic American/Latino actors in 3%, and Asian American actors in 3% (others, including Arab American/Middle Eastern and Native American actors, comprised 1%).

Caucasian actors filled 77% of all roles, and surprise! continued to be the only ethnicity to over-represent compared to their respective population size in New York City and the Tri-State area.

Watch the trailer for Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist



Here's the theatrical trailer for The Relucatant Fundamentalist, the latest film from acclaimed director Mira Nair. It's a dramatic thriller, based on the best-selling novel by Mohsin Hamid, about a young Wall Street-climbing Pakistani man who goes from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy in the wake of September 11:

Justin Lin attached to direct thriller novel adaptation



Movie news... Yet another Justin Lin project! According to Deadline, the Fast & Furious director is reportedly attached to the Warner Brothers screen adaptation of the latest thriller novel by Patrick Lee, author of The Breach: Justin Lin, Michael De Luca Team At Warner Bros On Patrick Lee Thriller Novel.

This is apparently a pretty hot deal, coming off a big studio bidding battle for the film rights to a book that isn't even published yet. The untitled thriller is the first of a three-book series about an ex-special operative dude who must keep a young girl safe from powerful forces:

Jeremy Lin jokes about his first technical foul



On Wednesday night, the Houston Rockets faced off against the Oklahoma City Thuder, and Jeremy Lin played a pretty kickass game with 29 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Alas, Jeremy also hit a career milestone that night: he was also awarded with his first-ever technical foul.

Your favorite point guard was hit with the "T" late in the first half when he came off the bench to argue a 24-second violation called against the Rockets. All good though. The Rockets beat the Thunder, 122-119, and Jeremy was able to joke about his unsporstmanlike conduct -- and the ensuing fine -- via Twitter:

File Under Badass: 101-year-old marathon runner races for women's rights



I've written about marathon runner Fauja Singh before, back when he was younger... when he was 100 years old. Now at age 101, having competed in marathons around the world -- he started running when he was 89 -- he's retiring: Fauja Singh finally says full stop at 101.

Singh says he'll be hanging up his running shoes at the end of the month, after running his final marathon in Hong Kong -- but not before running a "mini marathon" to raise social awareness for the rights and security of women in India: Fauja Singh runs for women's rights and security.

2.20.2013

Lament in the Night Book Launch, February 23



Hey, Los Angeles. This Saturday, February 23, make a trip out to the Japanese American National Museum for a reading of Lament in the Night, a book about the dark underbelly of Little Tokyo in the 1920s. Originally written by Shoson Nagahara, it's been published in English for the first time ever by Kaya Press.

Actors Tamlyn Tomita and Gedde Watanabe will read excerpts from the book, followed by a discussion and Q&A with LA Times book critic David Ulin and translator Andrew Leong. The event is free and open to the public. Swing by Far Bar afterward for the reception, which will include free food and music. Here's more info:

Apply to the 2013 CAUSE Leadership Academy

This is a great opportunity for college students in Southern California who are interested in getting involved with Asian Pacific American affairs, leadership development, community service or politics.

CAUSE invites you to apply to the 2013 CAUSE Leadership Academy, a summer internship program dedicated to developing the leadership skills of college students who are interested in exploring a career in public office, public service or community advocacy.

Here are some more details about the program:

The Fung Brothers are livin' that "Bobalife"



Gather 'round, kids. The Fung Brothers are back with their latest ode to Asian American youth culture, "Bobalife," featuring Kevin Lien, Priscilla Liang and Aileen Xu. Basically, it's about young Asian Americans consuming boba/bubble tea and socializing. You know, what all Asian kids do. The Fung Brothers just putting a name on it: Bobalife. And of course, a fun music video:

Man charged with killing 9-year-old boy in shooting attack

Dammit. Last week in Minnesota, a man was charged with murder after allegedly opening fire at passing cars and killing a 9-year-old boy: Nhan Tran, Minn. man, charged in shooting attack that injured 2 women, killed 9-year-old boy.

34-year-old Nhan Tran was charged with killing fourth-grader Devin Aryal, who was riding by in a minivan and shot multiple times, including in the head. His mother was shot in the arm. Another woman was also injured.

According to witnesses, Tran was just walking down the block in the St. Paul suburb of Oakdale, shooting at passing cars. According to the criminal complaint, Tran was carrying close to 200 rounds of ammunition and two large knives when he was arrested. What the hell was wrong with this guy? Tragic.

Free digital download of Erin Li's short film To the Bone



Hey, film fans. Fresh from its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival, Erin Li's narrative short film To The Bone is now available for a limited time as a free digital download release from Topspin Media.

Inspired by true events, the six-minute short is a coming-of-age story about child migrant farmworkers in the United States. The project was one of six films selected and greenlit by Film Independent for their Project Involve Fellowship. To get your free download, click on the widget below:

Movie about Bruce Lee's most legendary fight in the works



Do we really need another movie about the life of Bruce Lee? Yes. I'll admit it -- I'll always be curious about Bruce-related movie projects. The latest one in the works is Birth of the Dragon, which will focus on Bruce Lee's career-defining, legendary 1965 no-holds-barred fight with kung fu master Wong Jack Man: QED & Groundswell Productions Team For Bruce Lee Origin Movie.

When I say legendary, I mean that the fight has been fodder for a great deal of myth and legend, even in the movies. You'll remember Jason Scott Lee's turn as Bruce Lee in 1993's Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, which also dramatized its own version of the fight. I imagine it wasn't quite as dramatic as the movie made it, but hey, that's what movies are for. I guess this is Hollywood's latest take:

Martin Hsu visits the house from My Neighbor Totoro



Just passing this along for all you Miyazaki fans... Our friend and fellow Hayao Miyazaki fan Martin Hsu has been traveling in Japan and recently made a pilgrimage to Satsuki and Mei's house from the animated classic My Neighbor Totoro: Studio Ghibli’s Satsuki and Mei’s House from Totoro in Real Life!.

Basically, it's a real-life, fully furnished replica of the house from the animated movie, with all the little details inside and out. Martin documented his visit with this visual tour, and is also doing a giveaway of Totoro memorabilia. Here are a few photos from his trip:

Man killed for laughing at pastrami sandwich



What the... Last week in Torrance, California, a man was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for killing a businessman who laughed at him when the pastrami fell out of his sandwich: Southern California man killed New Jersey man for laughing at pastrami sandwich.

26-year-old Ronald Eugene Murray II was facing second-degree murder for killing 56-year-old New Jersey businessman Mun Jang in an October 2011 donut shop incident. Murray punched and kicked Jang so hard -- including a fatal blow to the head -- that Jang died in a hospital two days later.

The whole incident was sparked by a pastrami sandwich. Neither man knew each other, but both happened to be at Donut King that morning. Jang apparently laughed when he saw Murray take a bite out of his sandwich, and some of the meat fell out. That's when Murray lost it and took out his rage on Jang:

2.19.2013

MOCA presents Love in the Year of the Snake, February 22



New York, find some Love in the Year of the Snake. On Friday, February 22, predict your future with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith, co-authors of the Pocket Chinese Almanac, discuss how ancient dating rituals will survive in a modern urban setting. It's all happening at MOCA-NYC:

Texas Asian American Pacific Islander Regional Conference, February 23

What's up, Houston. This Saturday, February 23 is the White House Initiative on AAPIs Texas Regional Conference at the University of Houston.

Join senior Obama Administration officials for a day of open dialogue, where the community and government will work together to empower the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Texas.

Plenty of White House representatives will be there, including Kiran Ahuja, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and a keynote from outgoing Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu. Here's more information:

Ed Wang signs two-year deal with Philadelphia Eagles



Some news from the NFL off-season... It's a deal. The Philadelphia Eagles have signed a two-year contract with Chinese American offensive tackle Ed Wang: Eagles sign OT Ed Wang to two-year deal.

Wang, the first Chinese American player ever drafted in the NFL, was a fifth round pick by the Buffalo Bills out of Virginia Tech in 2010. He played in six games for the Bills before he missed 2011 with a thumb injury. He spent the offseason with the Oakland Raiders, but didn't make the team.

Hopefully, he'll find a place on Philadelphia's roster:

Body of missing tourist found on hotel roof



A terrible turn in the search for Elisa Lam... In Los Angeles, authorities have found a body on the rooftop of the downtown hotel where a missing Canadian tourist was last seen nearly three weeks ago: Body of missing Canadian tourist believed found in water tank at L.A. hotel.

UPDATE: The body has been identified as 21-year-old Elisa Lam, the University of British Columbia student who was visiting Los Angeles from Vancouver, and was last seen by staff at the Cecil Hotel on January 31. A surveillance video showed her acting strangely in the hotel elevator before she disappeared.

A worker discovered her body in a water tank at the top of the hotel building while responding to a complaint about low water pressure. Police had been investigating her disappearance as suspicious and possibly involving foul play. The location is reportedly being treated as a crime scene.

More here: Body Found in Water Tank at Hotel Where Missing Canadian Tourist Stayed.

Music Video: "Aurora" by Gowe



Wow. I am floored by this supercool video game-inspired music video for "Aurora" by Seattle-based emcee Gowe, from his debut album We Are Hypergiants. Six months in the making (animatin' takes a long time), it conjures up fond memories of arcade games and Super Nintendo. Check it out:

Freddie Wong's Video Game High School Season Two breaks Kickstarter film record



Oh, and speaking of Freddie Wong... he deserves a huge congratulations. He and his team recently shattered the record for a film campaign on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter: Freddie Wong Shatters Kickstarter Film Record, Plans to Make 'Harry Potter' of Web Video.

When all was said and done, Freddie, Brandon Laatsch and Matt Arnold raised $808,341 from more than 10,000 backers for the second season of their hit webs series Video Game High School. Their original goal was $636,010 -- the full cost of season one:

The Very Last Harlem Shake



Tired of all the "Harlem Shake" videos yet? I mean, are you really fed up with the Harlem Shake? Then I think you'll probably enjoy this video. Freddie Wong has had enough, and he's not taking it anymore:

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