1.21.2018

Read These Blogs


Duckworth slams Trump: I won't be lectured on military needs by a 'five-deferment draft dodger': Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) tore into President Trump on the Senate floor Saturday, calling him a "five-deferment draft dodger" and slamming him for his comments toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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What I've Learned from My 4-Year-Old: "Let that not happen to me, that I become like him. Let me empathize with him, so that I can understand him and feel for him as a human being, even as I oppose him in almost all matters."

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There Are No Good Immigrants Here: Mash-Up Americans co-founder Amy S. Choi tackles the delicate dance between rage and gratitude for this country she calls home.

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Asians were 'refuse and dregs' in the 1880s. Is that how Trump sees Haitians and Africans?: Buck Gee and Albert Shen respond to reports that Trump referred to Haiti and African countries with a derogatory term. “Last week's disturbing comments about Haitian and African immigrants echo the same racial stereotyping that cruelly branded our grandparents from Asia as the most debased people on the face of the earth.'"

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How GOP made family reunification a dirty word: Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan points out how Trump and the GOP are shifting family migration into a negative narrative in order to enforce strict and racist immigration policies.

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Commentary: I'm a Korean American. Why Is Trump Questioning How American I Am?: Jessica Lee, director of policy and advocacy of the Council of Korean Americans, breaks down what's problematic about Donald Trump's remarks to a Korean American intelligence officer.

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The Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown: How Do We Talk About It?: Frances Huynh on the continued efforts to fight gentrification in her neighborhood in L.A.'s Chinatown, volunteering with the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, and finding effective ways to talk about the changing city.

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Darren Criss on Not Whitewashing Half-Filipino Andrew Cunanan In 'Versace' - Turn It On Podcast: The fact that Darren Criss shared an ethnic background with Andrew Cunanan was serendipitous for the American Crime Story producers when casting the role.

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The Deracination of Andrew Cunanan: But... why is The Assassination of Gianni Versace interested in its protagonist's sexuality but not his race?

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Meet Amber Yang. She's trying to prevent a space debris catastrophe: Amber Yang watched Gravity as a high school student, and has started college with a mission: Preventing a space debris catastrophe.

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Meet the Filipina-American rapper making music about bi-culturalism and empowerment: Ruby Ibarra uses hip hop to talk about her experiences as a first-generation Filipino American. In this interview, she talks about her early musical influences and how her lyrics reflect important memories and current issues.

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Ann Curry's New PBS Show “We'll Meet Again" Premieres Jan. 23 — Exclusive Q&A: Award-winning journalist and former NBC News anchor and international correspondent Ann Curry has a new show on PBS, We'll Meet Again.

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Chloe Kim Is Just Getting Started: The Winter Games in Pyeongchang will transform this Korean-American snowboarding sensation into a household name -- and maybe a hero. When you're 17, aren't the Olympics enough already?

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How to Shop a Korean Supermarket: a Chef's Guide to Hmart: Chef Deuki Hong shows Food & Wine his favorite Korean grocery picks ahead of HMart's first food hall opening in Austin.

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Watch: Bruce Lee’s Favorite Dish Is Hidden in Seattle’s Oldest Chinese Restaurant: Eater's "Cooking in America" visits Tai Tung, Seattle's oldest Chinese restaurant -- where Bruce Lee used to enjoy beef in oyster sauce.

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Shazad Latif on playing a man with PTSD and the twists and turns of Star Trek: Discovery: Shazad Latif, who plays troubled Starfleet officer Ash Tyler on Star Trek: Discovery, talks about the challenges of portraying such a conflicted character, keeping Ash's true identity a secret, and South Asian representation.


1.19.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen

"...It would be easier to list what doesn't make me angry."



Hello everybody! You know what time it is. It's time 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 Beth Nguyen.

1.17.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 32: They Call Us Tiffany Chin

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. Each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, we welcome champion figure skater, former Olympian and coach Tiffany Chin. We talk about Tiffany's journey to becoming, as Jeff puts it, "The First Great Asian American Hope" of skating, the changing state of the sport, and why so many Asian Americans are now excelling on the ice.

1.15.2018

Asian American Representation: The Politics of Casting

Panel Discussion on Thursday, January 18 at East West Players



If you're in Los Angeles, Center Theatre Group and East West Players invite you to attend a community conversation, Asian American Representation: The Politics of Casting. The panel discussion will feature myself, Jeff Yang, Amy Hill and Alice Tuan talking about what it means to cast and perform Asian American roles, against the backdrop of historical Hollywood racism, growing awareness of stereotypes, whitewashing and the demand for more nuanced and equitable representation.

It's happening Thursday, January 18 at East West Players in Little Tokyo. Here are more details:

Visors! Perms! Flash Mob at the Korean Market!

The ladies of Ajumma EXP crash the produce aisle in celebration of Korean American Day.



Ajumma EXP strikes back! This is how you celebrate Korean American Day.

If you didn't know, January 13 was Korean American Day, commemorating the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States in 1903. And if you were shopping at Zion Market in San Diego on Saturday, you may have seen a badass flash mob of ajummas getting their commemoration on. Hard.

Ajumma EXP describe themselves as "a crew of fierce women who embrace growing older, getting wiser, and being able to laugh at ourselves." Following their stunning debut last fall at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the ladies of Ajumma EXP recently brought their visor-clad fierceness to the food court and produce section at the local Korean market, busting a move to J.J. Fad's "Supersonic." It was glorious.

Check it out:

Bruce Lee, Jedi Master

Awesome fan edit re-imagines fight scene from Fist of Fury. With lightsabers.



Bruce Lee died in 1973, four years before the original Star Wars hit theaters. Now, Enter the Dragon and A New Hope are two very different movies, but if you've ever wondered what Bruce might look like kicking ass in a galaxy far, far away, or imagined what kind of damage he could do with a lightsaber... here you go.

YouTube user Patrick Nan re-edited a fight scene from Fist of Fury... with lightsabers. Lightsaber nunchucks. Nan says he was inspired by this cool work of fan art, which imagined Bruce wielding this unholy union of a weapon, and just took it one logical step further. In reality, this weapon would likely be extremely impractical and hilariously dangerous to wield. But if anyone could do it, it's Bruce.

The edit totally works, and is immensely entertaining. Take a look:

Aziz Ansari accused of sexual misconduct

Photographer says she felt "violated" during a date with the comedian.



From Vulture: Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari has been accused by a New York–based photographer of sexual misconduct during a date. Speaking anonymously with Babe, the 23-year-old woman claims she met Ansari at an Emmys after-party in L.A. last fall. They exchanged numbers, which led to a date in Manhattan about a week later. The woman said the date began normally, with dinner at an outdoor oyster bar, but when they went to Ansari's apartment afterward, things quickly escalated to a point of discomfort.

"In a second, his hand was on my breast," the woman recounted. "It was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again. It was really repetitive. It felt like a fucking game... most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points, I stopped moving my lips and turned cold." When the woman reiterated her reluctance to do anything sexual that evening, Ansari reportedly listened at first, but soon chose to persist anyway...

More here: Aziz Ansari Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Photographer

1.14.2018

Read These Blogs


How a man's first-ever tweet, about Obama's respect, proved more popular than Trump’s bluster: Gary Lee, former White House staffer under Barack Obama, had never tweeted before Saturday, shared a story that illustrated a stark contrast between his former boss and the current president.

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Say the words as plainly as Trump does: "There is no logical interpretation of Trump's words other than as an assertion of white supremacist purpose, in which he explicitly states what has been the implied core mission of Trumpism all along: To Make America White Again... All of this is why it's important for news audiences to hear another word in association with Trump: 'Racist.'"

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White Identity Politics, Failsons, and Being the First Asian American Woman Playwright On Broadway: An Interview with Young Jean Lee Young Jean Lee’s play, Straight White Men, delves into white identity politics. Her play will make its Broadway debut in June.

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January Nonfiction: "The Birthday Banquet" by Jaime Woo "I think of my grandmother sometimes and wonder what hypothetical good it would do to come out to her at this point. "It’d probably kill her," my partner says. The truth is that I am not ready for another version of my grandmother, one who might reject me, just as she is not ready for another version of me."

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Father's sacrifice helps Kim become snowboard star: Chloe Kim has the chance to become the youngest female snowboarder to win Olympic gold when the 2018 Pyeongchang Games kick off in South Korea next month and the American teen says she owes much of her success to her dedicated dad.

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How The Last Jedi's Rose Changed When Kelly Marie Tran Was Cast: Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson says the character of Rose Tico fundamentally changed when Kelly Marie Tran was cast.

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Locally Produced MeSseD Dives Beneath the Sewer Grates: Jay B. Kalagayan's comic books series MeSseD follows the life and times of Filipino sewer worker Lilliput and her coworkers as they use science to battle whatever's waiting for them in the darkness.


1.12.2018

Trump wanted the "Pretty Korean Lady" to negotiate with North Korea

Donald Trump had a "Where Are You From?" moment with a Korean American intelligence analyst.



By now, you've heard about Donald Trump's recent remarks describing Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries." And by now, none of this should surprise you. Given the consistent, overwhelming evidence of Trump's ridiculous inability to grasp anything beyond his own wealthy white male entitlement, we passed the point of surprise a long time ago. If you're surprised, it's on you.

And so, here is another entry into the long log of Trump's unsurprising racism and sexism. Amid the "shithole" backlash, NBC News reports on a previous exchange, in which Trump asked an Asian American intelligence analyst about where her "people" are from, then referred to her as a "pretty Korean lady," and suggested that she should be involved with his administration's talks with North Korea.

Yup. Trump pulled a "Where are you from?"

It's an annoying, perpetual line of questioning that some of us Asian Americans are way too familiar with. In this case, it came from the President of the United States, but it ran its predictable course like a steady river.

Angry Reader of the Week: Eugene Cordero

"I play pretend."



Hello, good readers! It's that time again. Time 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 Eugene Cordero.

1.09.2018

5 Lessons From Hot Asian Men For 2018

Guest Post by Ada Tseng, Professor of Hotness


(Clockwise from top left) Saagar Shaikh, Mike Bow, D'Lo, Sean Miura, Yoshi Sudarso, Jake Choi, Peter Sudarso, Chris Pang, Simu Liu, and Ilram Choi. Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA.

First, we exchanged Haikus With Hotties. Then we put Haikus On Hotties. It's our third year making hot Asian man calendars to celebrate our favorite talented creative Asian men in the media, and this year, fans wrote Haikus For Hotties, and each spread is designed into a magazine cover, as a nod to the fact that Asian American men (and women, for that matter) are now sometimes featured inside the magazine, but still rarely on the cover.

1.08.2018

When art from internment camps falls into the right hands

"Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection" goes on view.



From the Los Angeles Times: A collection of artworks and other artifacts from Japanese American internment camps made headlines in spring 2015 when protesters successfully steered these pieces of American history away from the auction block, where they could have fallen into private hands. The protesters' goal: Put the pieces on public exhibition instead.

Mission accomplished. On Sunday, every item in the collection (or digital representations of them) will go on view at the Japanese American National Museum’s Hirasaki National Resource Center in Los Angeles. Titled "Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection," the exhibition includes more than 450 paintings, photographs, sculptures, pieces of jewelry and other objects made by hand in camps where about 120,000 people of Japanese descent were incarcerated during World War II.

More here: Contested art and artifacts from Japanese American internment camps go on view

Aziz Ansari makes history with Golden Globe win

Master of None star is the first Asian American lead actor to win a Golden Globe for television.



In case you missed it, Aziz Ansari made a little history on Sunday night at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. The comedian and star of Netflix's Master of None took home the the trophy for Best Actor In A Television Series Musical or Comedy, making him the first Asian American lead actor to win a Golden Globe for television.

"I genuinely didn't think I would win because all the websites said I was going to lose," Ansari joked during his acceptance speech. He was up against some pretty heavy hitters in category, including Anthony Anderson for Black-ish, Kevin Bacon for I Love Dick, William H. Macy for Shameless and Eric McCormack for Will & Grace.

In addition to thanking his cast and crew, Ansari thanked the entire country of Italy "for all the amazing food we ate in season two," and, of course, his parents, for giving him "so much love."

Look at these All-American skaters going to the Olympics

Karen Chen, Mirai Nagasu, Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Madison Chock, and Maia and Alex Shibutani.



Look at all those all-American faces on the podium at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championship! And by all-American, I mean Asian American, set to represent the U.S. next month at the Winter Olympics.

Team USA's 2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Lineup Has Been Announced

The U.S. will send three ladies, three men, three ice dance and one pairs team to compete in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For the interests of this blog, skating on behalf of Team Asian America are Karen Chen, Mirai Nagasu, Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Madison Chock, and Maia and Alex Shibutani.

1.07.2018

Read These Blogs


The Redemption Of Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu: Four years ago Mirai Nagasu placed third at the national championships, but controversially was not selected for the Olympics. This year, things went differently.

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The Alt-Right's Asian Fetish: White supremacists on the far right have "yellow fever." It's a confusing mix.

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She Quit Working For Trump. Now She's Running For Congress To Fight Him. Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones would be the first lesbian, Iraq War vet and Filipina American to fill a U.S. House seat in Texas.

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Interview: Puncturing Model Minority Myth to Embrace Wholeness of South Asian American Community: In conversation with Anirvan Chatterjee and Barnali Ghosh, the founders of the Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour, about their work, state of South Asian activism in the US and more.

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A Nanjing Massacre survivor's story lives on digitally: The survivor community for one of the worst war atrocities in modern history is dying. New technology will allow future generations to hear their stories.

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Kristi Yamaguchi, Unlaced: On the eve of the National Championships, Nicole Chung and champion skater Kristi Yamaguchi discuss life after the Olympics, what it means to be 'the first,' and the state of figure skating in 2018.

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How Childhoods Spent in Chinese Laundries Tell the Story of America: The laundry: a place to play, grow up, and live out memories both bitter and sweet.

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How Kiddie Pools of Kimchi Bind Korean Families Together: The practice of "kimjang," the practice of making kimchi, is about more than fermenting napa cabbage.

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The Good Place's Manny Jacinto on Jason's Voice, Asian Stereotypes, and Ted Danson's Grossest Prank: Manny Jacinto, who plays Jianyu/Jason Mendoza in The Good Place, talks about developing his character's voice, his character’s love triangle, and the grossest gag that Ted Danson has pulled on set.

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As Umeya Rice Cake Co. closes, an era ends in Little Tokyo: After 92 years in business, the Los Angeles-based Umeya Rice Cake Co. will close its doors.


1.05.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Laura Sirikul

"I'm a huge geek and very proud to be one."



Hey, everybody! It is time, once again, 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 Laura Sirikul.

That time figure skating got a little crunk

Jimmy Ma performs to "Turn Down For What" at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.



A few years ago, the International Skating Union changed its rules to allow skaters to use songs with lyrics in their routines, a decision designed to shake up traditional performances set to classical music.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before somebody performed to Lil Jon.

For Jimmy Ma, the time is now. On Thursday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the 22-year-old skater from Queens competed in the mens' short program with a routine that included "Turn Down For What" by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Meet Minnesota's first Hmong American judge

Sophia Vuelo sworn in to become the first Hmong American to serve as a judge in Minnesota.



This week in Minnesota, Sophia Vuelo was sworn in as the 29th member of the Ramsey County District Court bench, becoming the state's first Hmong American judge, and only one of a few in the country.

Minnesota swears in state's first Hmong-American judge

Vuelo has nearly 20 years experience as an attorney in both the private and public sectors, working as both a prosecutor and public defender. She was running her own law firm specializing in juvenile protection, family and criminal law when Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to replace retired Judge Margaret Marrinan.

She is the first Hmong American to serve as a judge in Minnesota, and believed to be only the third Hmong American judge in the United States.

1.03.2018

Apply to the National Fellowship Program for Asian American Organizing and Civic Engagement

Seeding Change seeks young Asian Americans activists for summer fellowship.



Seeding Change is currently accepting applications for the 2018 National Fellowship Program for Asian American Organizing and Civic Engagement. Applications are due online on January 15.

Established in 2014, the fellowship program is an intensive 10-12-week, full-time volunteer program that develops the leadership of a new generation of activists and organizers who are deeply invested in building the power of and improving the lives of working-class Asian immigrant communities.

The fellowship program runs June 4 to August 16, 2018. Fellows will be placed with a community-based organization, where they will spend at least 8-10 weeks, working with the organization, immigrant leaders, and the local community. Host organizations are located in California, the Midwest, Northeast, and North Carolina, where they are working in Chinese, Khmer, Filipino, Hmong, Muslim, South Asian, Vietnamese communities.

This cover of "California Dreamin'" is cool as hell

Japanese Breakfast puts a gorgeous spin on The Mamas and The Papas classic.



Singer/songwriter Michelle Zauner, who makes music as Japanese Breakfast, recently shared this devastatingly gorgeous synth-tastic cover of the Mamas and The Papas' 1965 folk-rock classic "California Dreamin'" she recorded during a session for SiriusXMU. Wait until that beat drops.

John Cho misses 'Selfie' too

'Harold and Kumar' star talks to NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour.



Actor John Cho was recently interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts, NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. He talks to host Linda Holmes about why he misses doing broad comedies, what appealed to him about joining The Exorcist, what it's like being the subject of intense internet fandom (see: #StarringJohnCho), and his latest film, the charming indie drama Columbus. They also lament the late, great Selfie.

Take a listen:

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