Archived Posts - February 2001


Tonight I saw an Isuzu commercial featuring Joe, from the old Isuzu commercials. He's apparently making a comeback. And this commercial was about him training to get back in shape for his duties. Among other athletic activities, his regimen included martial arts training. Guess who they had as his trainer? A crazy kung fu Asian man, delivering mad punches and kicks all over the place. That's racist!


This is about something that angers me. A lot. I get angry shivers just thinking about it. This is about hate violence. Specifically, hate violence against Asians. I'm bringing this up because of an article I read today in AsianWeek, reporting about a disturbing wave of recent anti-Asian hate crimes on the UC Davis campus. Racial tensions have been mounting, propelled by racially-motivated altercations, racial slurs and even violence over past months. I can't even begin to tell you how much this angers me. All I will say is the problem of hate-violence is REAL, although people, Asian or not, are led to believe otherwise. Do not underestimate the ignorance of some of the people in this country. Here is a link to the article: Hate Crimes Galvanize U.C. Davis Students That's racist!


I was watching TV. You only have to watch cable TV for a few minutes before spotting something racist. I found a little theme coming together: white dudes who think they're badass experts of the Orient. On one channel you could watch Rising Sun, a fat racist movie about power-hungry Japanese in America, starring Sean Connery as our resident Japanese expert. On another channel you've got some racist movie about Vietnam starring Chuck Norris. To my knowledge there are like 15 racist movies about Vietnam starring Chuck Norris. In this one he had a Vietnamese wife, who dies or something, and he is forced to dish out some VC karate beatdown. Finally, on like the Superstation or something you've got Marked For Death, starring Mr. Steven Seagal, the mastah white dude expert of all things Asian. This guy wants to be Asian so bad he's poking himself with acupuncture needles and lighting them on fire with incense. In the particular scenes I saw, he was doing some hardcore martial arts training and engaging in mystical Oriental activities like meditating in front a candlelit Buddha statue. Ponytail and all. Get out of here, you white dudes! Stop pretending you have any idea what I'm about. That's racist!


The cool folks at Giant Robot magazine put out a quality magazine about Asian pop culture and beyond. Good stuff.


Has anyone out there seen the the WB drama Gilmore Girls? Yeah, neither have I. But I caught a few minutes of it once, and they have a regular Korean American character on the show! Apparently she is one the Gilmore girls' best friends, who has problems dealing with her conservative Korean family. Sadly, I hear this show isn't doing too well in the ratings, which probably means a short lifespan for it. Still, it makes me want to watch it, in support of more Asian American people on TV.


The San Jose Mercury News calls Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon "a film about fighting set in China." Yeah, I guess.


Well, it's cool that Ang Lee was hooked up with so many Oscar nominations, but it does bring to light some uncool realities. This is the fourth time an Ang Lee effort has been recognized by the Academy. His films, The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman were both nominated for best foreign language film. Here's the part that sucks. In 1996, Sense & Sensibility, directed by Ang Lee, was nominated for best picture, best actress, best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay, among others. BUT NOT FOR BEST DIRECTOR. What's up with that? That's racist!


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Ten Oscar nominations. Impressive.


I am a Star Trek fan. And Star Trek always keeps it real with a multicultural cast. There's Sulu, played by George Takei, in the original, old school show. There's Harry Kim, played by Garrett Wang on Voyager. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because I watch a lot of Star Trek: Voyager, and I've noticed you can always see Asian actors in the background playing members of Voyager's crew, like they're just regular dudes. I like that.


My dad frequently watches Telemundo—Spanish language television. He doesn't really understand what's going on; it just amuses him. Anyway, tonight Best of the Best was on Cinemundo. If you haven't seen it, it's a pretty bad, but mildly entertaining movie about a group of Americans training for a martial arts competition against the Korean national team. It has its share of lame and cheesy moments, and yet at times I love watching it. There are a hundred wrong things about this movie, but one thing I particularly like is the fact that one of the main characters on the American team is Korean. Korean-American, that is. But that never seriously seems to be an issue. He's just American. That's cool to me. Of course, he would just happen to be the most adept martial artist on the team. But whatever. It's lame, but fun. Oh yeah, it was pretty fun watching it in Spanish.

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