Archives Posts - February 2003


This excerpt is from The Comics Journal, "Campus cartoon outrage round-up" (2/28):

California's Riverside Press Enterprise reports that complaints have been filed against an editorial cartoon in the University of California Riverside's student paper, The Highlander:

"The cartoon by an anonymous artist named Mizzery featured an Asian teaching assistant standing in front of a classroom speaking broken English. The caption read, 'Where have all the English-speaking grad students gone?"

Highlander editor Kahlil Ford has apologized, but as always, the debate goes on.

There's more where that came from. See for yourself... That's racist!


Roger Ebert offers an interesting perspective in his review for Cradle 2 the Grave:

"Cradle 2 the Grave" will, however, be a box office hit, I imagine, and that will be demographically interesting because it demonstrates that a savvy producer like Silver now believes a white star is completely unnecessary in a mega-budget action picture. At one point, there were only white stars. Then they got to have black buddies. Then they got to have Asian buddies. Then "Rush Hour" proved that black and Asian buddies could haul in the mass audience. Long ago a movie like this used a black character for comic relief. Then an Asian character. Now the white character is the comic relief. May the circle be unbroken.


Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has made a lot of enemies: Unions Angry After Chao's Visit


Cradle 2 the Grave, starring Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos and Kelly Hu, opens in theaters today. The title says it all. Really looks terrible... Yet I still kinda want to see it. Jet Li may have made some pretty cruddy movies these last few years, but the Fist of Legend fan in me won't give up the faith. I'm holding out for you, Jet. Don't let me down. Oh, and do I have to mention Kelly Hu? KELLY HU. Here are a sweep of reviews for the film: Rotten Tomatoes. It ain't pretty.

And you know, X gonna give it to you.

Here is another great HK action star who has gone the way of the sucky movie: Chow Yun Fat in Bulletproof Monk. Co-starring Stifler. Another movie I don't-want-to-see-but-still-kinda-want-to-see.


Anjali, who runs the nifty site Happy Luck Me, informs me that her dad is running for City Council in Cerritos, CA. That's worth a mention: Pino Pathak


Alas, Daniel Lue, the Asian contestant on Survivor: Amazon got voted off tonight. I didn't watch, but apparently he wasn't doing too well for himself... and he came away with malaria too. Bad luck for that guy. I heard mixed reports about his likeability anyway...


Flipping channels, Sung Kang was on the most recent episode of The Shield on FX. Nice.


Yao is attracting fans nationwide: The Tao of Yao


Got word of this disturbing news... At the University of Virginia, student Daisy Lundy was assaulted in an apparent hate crime. Ms. Lundy, who is African American and Korean, had been involved in a highly publicized election for Student Council president. According to her assailant, "no one wants a nigger to be president." Read more here: Daisy Lundy assaulted behind West Lawn


The acclaimed Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song is winding down its run in New York. The show will be performing at the Virginia Theater through March 16th. Visit the Flower Drum Song website.


On March 25th, PBS will air the Bill Moyers special Becoming American: The Chinese Experience. Looks pretty interesting. Mark calendars, check local listings.

Also heard a really interesting program today on KQED Radio's Forum, on the changing face of Chinatown. Listen here: February 26, 10:00 am


Forgot to mention that I recently saw CheeK's Chicken Rice War, a charming Romeo & Juliet romantic comedy out of Singapore. If you have the opportunity to see, I suggest checking it out. It's a lot of fun. It'll be screening at the SFIAAFF 2003. (Have you gotten the idea that I'll be plugging the festival as much as possible?)


Interesting article from a couple days ago, about Indian arranged marriages: Marriage at First Sight. This is not to be confused with Fox's upcoming new reality show Married By America.


New York Times article on the plight of Pakistani refugees the U.S.-Canadian border: U.S. Crackdown Sets Off Unusual Rush to Canada


Story in my local paper today about Natalise, an up-and-coming singer aspiring to be an Asian American star: Singer's sky-high dream


The man has his work cut out for him: Low-key Matsui placed in high-profile Democratic role


The countdown is on! I've posted a letter drafted by Better Luck Tomorrow actor Parry Shen, who expresses the importance of getting out and supporting this film, which opens in select cities on April 4, and then wider on April 11. So get the word out! Feel free to copy, paste, and email the letter. Check it out: A Cast Member's Letter


From SF Gate:

Several Bay Area lawmakers have joined others across the state in condemning recent remarks made by U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-North Carolina, which appeared to justify the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, D-Oakland, Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and three other state assembly members co-signed a letter Saturday demanding an apology from Coble.

According to Chan's office, Coble appeared on a radio talk show earlier this month and said he believed some Japanese-Americans "probably were intent on doing harm to us. We were at war. They were an endangered species. For many of (them), it wasn't safe to be on the street."

The letter, penned by local lawmakers, condemns those reported statements and asks Coble to retract his words and issue an apology.

"Americans need to know that you clearly recognize the difference between protecting a country and protecting the rights of individual citizens,'' the letter reads.

U.S. Reps. Michael Honda, D-San Jose, Robert Matsui, D-Sacramento, and David Wu, D-Oregon, plan to meet with Coble to discuss his remarks, Chan's office announced.

The fight is still going on: http://removecoble.yellowworld.org/


Grammy night. Props to Norah Jones, who walked away with EIGHT Grammy Awards --in every single category she was nominated, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. Amazing. And so gracious. (Makes me even happier that I have tickets to see her live this summer...!) Also, music video auteur Joseph Kahn picked up an award for Best Short Form Music Video.


Was able to watch Sung H. Kim's Book of Rules, an okay indie film about three roommates and their unraveling relationships of security, loneliness and purpose... Great cast and some good performances, though I wasn't quite sold on the story's structure... But I appreciated its honesty, and it does alright for itself. The film will make its world premiere at SFIAAFF 2003.


Couple of screenshots of Kristy Wu as Chao-Ahn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


This AsianWeek article is as heartbreaking as it is angering: Pushed Too Far


New Mountain Brothers CD: Triple Crown


Well, a lot of people did write in re: Henry/Maggie on All My Children... however, most of it was in positive support, so it is appreciated. Also, I personally received word from the webmaster of the previously mentioned website, who incidentally received a lot of crap about the original mission of her site (not my intention, and I'm sorry). But she has since changed her views on the Henry/Maggie coupling, and made adjustments to the focus of her website. Well there you go. All this over a soap opera!


Interesting little article on the thriving Vietnamese community in Oklahoma City: Lemongrass on the Prairie


Whoa, this guy just won $128 million! Mega green thumb! Not bad.


By the way, Vanessa Olivarez advance to the next round of American Idol this week. She is a finalist! Simon told her she should lose some weight. That foo is mean.


Okay, someone pointed this site out to me: NO YELLOW FEVER. This site is against Asians in interracial relationships depicted in the media. It cites various Asian woman/non-Asian man media couplings (although I should note that The Rock (Scorpion King) is technically Pacific Islander), and then goes on to protest the Henry/Maggie, Asian male/White female relationship currently developing on All My Children. I understand where this person is coming from, but I'm going to flat out say right here, I disagree.

There is definitely a disparity when it comes to depictions of Asians in romantic relationships. Hell, there just ain't enough Asians on TV. And you do see a lot of Asian woman/white male couplings. However, I'd the say the bigger problem at hand with this issue is the representation of Asian males as romantic/sexual, which is virtually nonexistent. I'm not going to quibble here --when's the last time you saw an Asian man paired with a white woman? Or how about an Asian man depicted as being romantically interesting, for that matter? All things considered the Henry/Maggie relationship on All My Children is practically freakin' revolutionary!

I know this is a touchy subject. Everyone ALWAYS asks for my opinion on this. Date/marry whoever you want, I say (this comes with many caveats, but let's move on). I am not trying to tokenize white women in this regard. But with the risk of stepping out of my knowledgeable bounds (I am not an All My Children fan), Henry/Maggie is a good thing. Henry/Regina is also a good thing, but I'm fine with Henry/Maggie.

I'm dreading the email I'm going to be getting about this.


Older Asian gentleman in a commercial for Bank of America. Normal guy, sitting in a barbershop. No accent.


We don't know yet if Daniel Lue walked away with the million bucks on Survivor, but he did walk away with a case of malaria: Immunity Challenge. Last week on the show Daniel boasted that the women would never beat them at anything --and then messed up a balance-beam challenge. Bad deal. And now you got malaria, man.


Interview with Jin tha MC at Urbanasian.com. Speaking of Jin, be sure to order your "Best of Jin MIX CD" from holla-front.com.


Here's the original online source for that attack in Utah: Alleged Racial Attack on WVC Student Upsets Asian Community


An Ivan Shaw fansite. He also apparently has his own Xanga site... The guy is doing well for himself as Henry on All My Children, sharing a heated kiss in Maggie's dorm room. Aw yeah.

The other girl's name is Regina, played Lynn Chen. She's got a site here.

This is actually making me want to tune in to All My Children. Goodness.


Here are images of Henry and Maggie gettin' their mack on, All My Children-style: elizabeth hendrickson online. Bowm-chika-chika.


Rep. Howard Coble might not give the commencement speech at his alumnus, Guildford College in North Carolina... From The Guilfordian:

Coble Won1t Speak if Seniors Oppose; Petition in Progress

Guilford alumnus and U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-Greensboro, whose comments about Japanese American internment in World War II have sparked criticism nationally and from Guilford students, told The Guilfordian Wednesday that "if there1s one senior who does not want me to give the graduation speech, I would happily withdraw."

Coble, scheduled to speak at commencement in May, said no Guilford administrator has contacted him yet about dropping or keeping him as a speaker.
"I think that would be up to the college,2 Coble said. "But graduation belongs to the seniors, and if they1re not happy with the speaker giving them the address, that would mar the day.

"So if one senior suggests that I should not be on the podium, I will not be on the podium, with no hard feelings."

President Kent Chabotar said he had been waiting for a more pronounced student reaction before he told Coble about any protest on campus, and said that he has so far received only three comments from students - two of them seniors - requesting that the college revoke its invitation to Coble to deliver a commencement address.

Anyone know any seniors at Guildford?


I can count on Christine with the skinny on All My Children. Here's what's up:

The guy everyone's refering to in All My Children is Ivan Shaw, his character, Henry Chin†gets some really nice booty c.o Elizabeth Hendrickson aka Maggie.† He's a cutie in college that gets thrown in a lab partner relationship with Maggie that heats up a bit.

Last I watched, (which was yesterday) Maggie caught Henry playing guitar in one of the classrooms.† She then asks him to teach her and now they're in one of those looking into each other's eyes pre-liplock holding patterns.

There's also another Asian chick that's around in the same storyline, but she has some sort of beef with him.

Excuse me, did you say booty?


Hate crime! Got this from YellowWorld.org, though I can't find the original source online. In Utah:

Alleged Racial Attack on WVC Student Upsets Asian Community



WEST VALLEY CITY -- Members of Utah's Asian community are stressing the need for a state hate-crime statute this week after a Chinese American boy was assaulted by at least one Anglo classmate.

The 14-year-old honors student and orchestra member at Valley Junior High says he was walking from school to violin practice Monday when he was surrounded by five Anglo students who called him "Chink" while they pressed down their own noses, pulled at the sides of their eyes and asked whether the boy knew kung fu.

"I said fighting isn't fun because people get hurt," the West Valley City boy told The Salt Lake Tribune. "But one of them said he wanted to 'ghetto-smack' me."

He says he then was punched repeatedly in the face and back until he lost consciousness for a few seconds.

"I was lying on the snow with a black eye, a bloody nose, a bloody upper lip and blurry vision," he wrote in his statement to West Valley City police. "I do not know any of these kids except for [one]. . . . He was in my pre-algebra class last year."

After a stranger stopped and drove him home, the boy's parents took him to Granger Medical Clinic, where medical personnel called an ambulance that took him to Pioneer Valley Hospital's emergency room. He was treated for swelling around his eyes, cuts from the braces in his mouth, a bump on his forehead and head trauma.

"I don't know why they wanted me to fight them," said the boy, who was discharged from the hospital Monday evening. "I know some people fight after school for the heck of it, and maybe because I'm Chinese they thought I would make a good fight."

The next day, when the boy and his mother reported the incident to Valley Junior High officials, he was suspended for two days. One of his alleged attackers was suspended for at least four days.

"Four of the six witnesses we interviewed said [the Asian American boy] started the fight, so we are treating this as a mutual-combatant situation," Vice Principal Kirby Bower said Thursday. "We have a zero-tolerance policy for fighting, and it is punishable by one to five days of suspension."

Principal Tim Frost added, "We looked at this very seriously, and we dealt with the other young man with appropriate legal and school action."

The boy's mother, Fan Kwan, is distressed that the suspension for fighting will stay on her son's permanent school record.

"Here my son has been the target of hate. He only kicked back once in self-defense. Why should he have fighting on his record?" she asked. "He works very hard in school and wants to apply to the International Baccalaureate program and a good university. It's not right that this should hurt his future."

But Bower says the suspension appears on a record only accessible to school administrators. "Personally, I don't see how it can hinder his future," he said.

West Valley City Police Capt. Craig Black says prosecutors soon may press juvenile assault charges against the boy who allegedly attacked Kwan's son.

"We will log this as a biased crime because there were racial overtones," Black said. "Kids will look at any difference and say cruel things, so we don't know if the only motivation for the fight was that the kid is Asian."

If that were the case, however, the assault could be categorized as a hate crime under federal law, but not Utah code, according to Salt Lake County District Attorney spokesman Kent Morgan.

"We [Utah] have a hate-crime statute, but it's unconstitutional," Morgan said. "And every year the Legislature fails to enact a new one. So the fact that a crime is logged as biased has no meaning to [prosecutors]."

But state Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City, hopes to change that. He is sponsoring House Bill 85, which would provide enhanced penalties for perpetrators who select their victims based on prejudice against the victim's race, color, disability, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry or gender.

"In Utah, 65 hate crimes were reported last year and 80 were reported the year before, with a surge in hate crimes against Arab Americans after Sept. 11," he said. "People need to realize that hate crimes are different from assault and that we're missing a tool to hold people accountable for this kind of behavior."

A similar bill failed last year after the Winter Olympics.

That worries many in Utah's Chinese American community, where the West Valley City boy's family spends much of its time. His father is the conductor of the Salt Lake Chinese Choir and his mother is president of the Utah Chinese Women's Association.

"We are all pretty troubled by this incident and the lack of legal protection against hate crimes," said Jimmy Lu, former president of Utah's Organization of Chinese Americans and current chairman of the Utah Chinese Heritage Foundation. "And the threat of racial hate crimes exists for all minorities in Utah, because your race is something you cannot hide."

In the past, Lu says he has instructed his own children to ignore comments such as "Chink" and "hong-kong-ching-chong" at school.

"Typically, Asians are not an outspoken minority group," Lu said. "But we have our limits. Nobody likes to be bullied, and everyone deserves legal protection from hate crimes."

That's racist!


America, I hope you voted for Jordan Segundo and/or Vanessa Olivarez last night, 'cause they whipped up somethin' good for American Idol with some pretty solid performances. And I ain't just saying that. The judges were a bit hard on Jordan, but I was pretty impressed. We'll see the results... it's pretty stiff competition. Do they have a chance?


So the other day someone tried to explain to me this whole deal about some Asian guy appearing lately on All My Children. Not being a fan of daytime television, I didn't understand much of what they were talking about, other than the character is a non-stereotypical, cool Asian guy romancing this other girl. So I think I'm going to have to see it for myself. Soap fans, you got the scoop?


Today marks the Japanese American Internment National Day of Remembrance, commemorating the anniversary of Executive Order 9066. What's it all about? This is from Satsuki Ina's Children of the Camps Project:

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense.

The order set into motion the exclusion from certain areas, and the evacuation and mass incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast, most of whom were U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.

These Japanese Americans, half of whom were children, were incarcerated for up to 4 years, without due process of law or any factual basis, in bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards.

They were forced to evacuate their homes and leave their jobs; in some cases family members were separated and put into different camps. President Roosevelt himself called the 10 facilities "concentration camps."

Some Japanese Americans died in the camps due to inadequate medical care and the emotional stresses they encountered. Several were killed by military guards posted for allegedly resisting orders.

At the time, Executive Order 9066 was justified as a "military necessity" to protect against domestic espionage and sabotage. However, it was later documented that "our government had in its possession proof that not one Japanese American, citizen or not, had engaged in espionage, not one had committed any act of sabotage." (Michi Weglyn, 1976).

Rather, the causes for this unprecedented action in American history, according to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, "were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

Almost 50 years later, through the efforts of leaders and advocates of the Japanese American community, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Popularly known as the Japanese American Redress Bill, this act acknowledged that "a grave injustice was done" and mandated Congress to pay each victim of internment $20,000 in reparations.


I need to also mention that in addition to Jordan Segundo, Vanessa Olivarez is an American Idol contestant tonight... I'm told she is half-Filipino. Props....


Hey all you fanboys, X2 looks friggin' awesome! Here's the new trailer. Featuring Kelly Hu as Lady Deathstrike. Aw yeaaaaaah.


This is crazy. Sometime I never knew about... Remembering a dark day in Seattle Chinatown's history: 20 years after Wah Mee massacre, Chinatown longs to forget


Had the chance to watch Eric Byler's Charlotte Sometimes. Great film that just LOOKS and FEELS great. It's a quiet, subtle and absorbing film that doesn't get bogged down by idiotic dialogue or exposition. Just the way I like it. A good cast fills the roles of regular folks being real about relationships... it's amazing how much this film speaks with a volume of dialogue-less moments. The plot? Well there's this guy, and this girl, and this other guy, and this other girl... but this ain't your typical love story. Oh, and the characters are all beautiful, lonely Asian American human beings. Props.


Okay, tonight on American Idol, contestant Jordan Segundo gets his chance to shine. I watched the first audition/elmination rounds, and the guy seriously got ZERO screen time. So now we get to see what's up. I caught a brief snippet (2 seconds, maybe) of him singing on one of the commercials for the show, and he sounded quite good. Maybe he has a shot. Wouldn't that be kind of neat? If I like what I see/hear, maybe I'll actually call in and vote too.


Really interesting website on American immigration. Check out the feature on the Chinese American experience: Immigrant and Ethnic America


I was surfing the net, and was delighted to come across this site: www.ricyoung.com. The Ric Young Web Site! For better or for worse, I am a Ric Young fan. The guy is everywhere.


Over the weekend, I watched Mina Shum's Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity, a quirkly little film about magic, chance and real-life problems in a small Chinese Canadian community, with a solid cast that includes Sandra Oh and newcomer Valerie Tian as a single mom-daughter duo. Not exactly mind-blowing, but it doesn't intend to be. Good movie.


Bobby Jindal, a central figure on Medicare policy in the Bush administration, announced that he would be resigning to return home to Louisiana. Jindal was the highest ranking Indian American in the Bush administration, and might actually go on to run for governor of Louisiana: Top Bush Adviser on Medicare Says He'll Return to Louisiana


This country's sporting history would be so much poorer if Michelle Kwan's grandfather hadn't come to California from China; if Joe Torre's mother, Margaret, hadn't come to New York from Italy; if Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's grandparents hadn't come to New York from Trinidad: Families Widened World of Sports


Emil Guillermo writes about activist Kawal Ulanday's recent run-ins with Big Brother: Internment? No, Harrassment is Enough


Gale was a hater, but I've still got love for Canada! Check out Bambooda. Asian-Canadian culture, people.


Did I mention Asian gangsters in the opening scene of this week's Smallville? Yep. Playing cards and shootin' up the place like usual. If you're gonna have gangsters, might as well make them Asian --they make for great television. That's racist!


New theatrical trailer for The Hulk, directed by Ang Lee. (This one's slightly different from the Super Bowl commercial)


Survivor: Amazon premieres tonight. Among the sixteen contestants, there's Daniel Lue, a tax accountant from Houston. Good luck, and try not to get booted off right away.


Been in contact with filmmaker Michael Kang, recently named a winner of the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. He's currently looking for actors to cast in his upcoming feature film, The Motel. If you're interested, check his website for more details.


Oh my goodness. How can this be? 17-years old, and 7' 3" : Ha Seung-Jin. He's coming to get you, Yao.


I know little to nothing about ice hockey, but Paul Kariya is considered one of the best players in the league: Small frame, big results for Kariya


Interesting article on differing romantic/sexual perceptions of Asian men and women in American society: Chemistry Isn't Color-Blind. By Lakshmi Chaudhry.


A couple of Asian contestants in the premiere of ABC's new reality series Are You Hot? (The Search For America's Sexiest People). Can't say I plan on watching this show.


Better Luck Tomorrow director Justin Lin is on the cover of the latest issue of Filmmaker Magazine.

Yao Ming graces the covers of the latest issues of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine. With extensive articles.


I forgot to mention that Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco's Daughter From Danang has been nominated for the Best Documentary Academy Award. This is a great film.


In the words of Rep. Howard Coble:

"In recent days, there has been considerable media attention and
interest surrounding comments I made on a morning radio call-in
show regarding the internment of Japanese Americans during World
War II and the implications of this policy in today's society. I regret
that many Japanese and Arab Americans found my choice of words
offensive because that was certainly not my intent.

The point that I was trying to make during the radio show was that
given the circumstances in which President Roosevelt found himself at
the time and the information that was available to him, he made a
decision which he felt was in the best interest of national security.
Today we can certainly look back and see the damage that was caused
because of this decision. We all know that was in fact the wrong
decision and an action that should never be repeated.

It is my sincere hope that this situation will be a reminder to us all
that while we have made great strides to improve diversity,
acceptance, and understanding since 1941, there is much work left to
be done."

Keeping updated on the Coble situation... Received an email from the 80-20 Initiative, an Asian American political action org (quoted in this New York Times article: Rep. Faces Protest Over Internment Remark).

On Feb. 8, Associated Press reported: "U.S. Rep. Howard Coble said he won't apologize for comments ..."† At about 4 p.m. Feb. 10, Rep. Coble apparently changed his mind and issued his "apology."

Here is 80-20's time-line of events:

February 4:†† Coble Radio statement

Feb 5:†† JACL press release and Rep. Honda reacts to Coble's statement.

Feb 7:†† Congressmen Honda, Matsui, and Wu write to Coble

Feb 7:†† Coble states he won't apologize (AP article on Feb 8)

Feb 8 (3 p.m.):†† 80-20 sends out mass email, "Call to Action."

Feb 10 (10 a.m.):†† 80-20 issues follow-up, "Unsolicited Responses to Call to Action."† Huge number of faxes and e-mails pour into GOP leadership's offices

Feb 10 (4 pm):†† Coble issues an "apology."

Feb 10:†† Petition put up by "various Members of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans." (first forwarded at around midnight)

80-20 recommends these ways to take action:

Fax (preferred, more effective) or e-mail or phone the following leaders.

Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, R, IL

Fax: (202) 225-0697


Phone: (202) 225-2976

Rep. Tom Delay, R, TX, 10% of his constituents are APAs, Majority Leader

Fax: (202)225-5117

Phone: (202)225-4000

Andrew Card, Chief of Staff, The White House

Fax: (202) 456-1907

Governor Marc Racicot, MT, Chair of the National Republican Comm.

Fax: 202.863.8820


Phone: 202.863.8500

Here is another sample letter. But remember to use your own words:

I support 80-20's position asking Rep. Coble to apologize & resign as the chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee.† A leader like him threatens my sense of security for my family.† It'll
affect how I'll vote in 2004.

††††††††† Signature

††††††††† Name, title, profession

††††††††† Party, particularly if you are a Republican or an Independent

††††††††† Postal address

Or something to that effect. Also, remember the sample letter a posted a few days back. The key is to make sure leaders and lawmakers know what you think, loud and clear. 80-20 Initiative's website is www.80-20initiative.net.


So several people have pointed me to this link: www.yaowear.com. A bunch of Yao t-shirts with goofy slogans. Nothing much to do with Yao's basketball prowess, but mostly phrases with variations on the word "Yao." I wonder how legit this is... Looks like some guys trying to cash in on Yao's name. Though from what I've read and seen about Yao, I doesn't seem like he'd really mind. And can you blame them? Everybody's crazy about Yao!


Caught stand up comedian Bobby Lee on Comedy Central's Premium Blend last night. He's that Asian dude on Mad TV.


Random website spotlight: Small Stories, an online comic strip by Derek Kirk. A daily addiction of mine.


Here are a bunch of images from Cradle 2 the Grave, starring Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos and Kelly Hu. I'm sorry, but this movie looks like ass.


Oscar nominations were announced today. Spirited Away is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film (it better win!) Hero has been nominated for Best Foreign Film. So how many people in the United States have actually seen this film??? Oh, how I'd like to get my hands on one of those Academy voting screener tapes!


Should've mentioned this a while ago... Heard Smilez & Southstar's "Tell Me" on the radio the other day. This rap duo out of Orlando is currently blowin' up on the radio and BET. Did I mention that Southstar is Asian American? Yes, he is. Props.


I have been informed that MTV has set an official release date for Better Luck Tomorrow. The film will be released in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on April 4. With probably a wider release in subsequent weeks. I'll post more info as it comes my way... Check out the website at www.betterlucktomorrow.com


Robot StoriesThe other day I had the chance to watch Robot Stories, a great film by Greg Pak. Four vignettes explore life, death, technology, memory, love... and robots. That's pretty much all the info I had when I started watching it, and I don't know what I was expecting to see. But it's a quality film, with great storytelling and a stellar Asian American cast. I highly recommend it. Robot Stories has been making rounds on the festival circuit, so check out the website for its screening schedule. Also, check out Greg Pak's website for information on his other work. Props.


BoyActor Will Yun Lee (Die Another Day), along with a bunch of other Asians folks in the video for Mariah Carey's "Boy (I Need You)." The whole friggin' video is one crazy, random exercise in the exploitation of Japanese pop culture... There's a gigantic monster terrorizing the city, samurai sword fights, astro boy, video games, speed racer, office salarymen, yakuza, sushi --it's all there. It kind of just jumps from one thing to another, and you have nooo idea what's going on, but I think the two Asian men are enemies. What any of this has to do with Mariah and her song, beats the hell out of me. It's just Asian culture being used as another video novelty --Hollywood's narrow-minded view, of course. That's racist! View the video here: Boy (I Need You)


Asian woman on tonight's episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Giles and Spike have to deal with Chao Ahn, played by Kristy Wu (seen in Gurinder Chadha's What's Cooking? and Bertha Bay-Sa Pan's Face), a potential slayer who apparently doesn't speak a whole lot of English. Cultural miscommunication, no doubt. And hilarity ensues. Greeaaaat. Now, I don't normally watch this show, so I don't know what this is all about... We'll have to see how all this turns out.


The nicest guy in tennis retires: Going Out with Style


Columnist Bill Simmons gives his humorous take on the NBA All-Star game. Too bad he flashes his ignorance when he makes an observation about Yao Ming's former teammates in China:

5:43 -- First shot of Yao's old Shanghai Sharks teammates watching the game. Here's their buddy Yao, playing in the NBA, making good cash, endorsing products, hanging out with hot American groupies ... meanwhile, they're stuck in China making three yen an hour and looking forward to that two-day weekend they get every July. You know they're just bitter right now.

Now, I'm not ready to lead a Super Vacation tour to the Great Wall, but Simmons obviously knows a whole lot of nothing about China, except maybe that it's home to millions and millions and millions of Oriental people. Yen? Please.


"I was just stating historical fact. If those comments were offensive to anyone, I apologize for that. I did not intend to be insensitive or uncaring." - Rep. Howard Coble

Check out Model Minority.com's coverage of Rep. Coble's remarks about the internment. And here's an online petition someone drafted: Removal of Rep. Howard Coble

Coverage on YellowWorld.org.

And Yahoo's coverage has a lot of useful links.

Online petitions and protests are great, but actual physical paper letters carry a lot more weight, and have proven to be pretty effective in efforts like this. You can write to to Rep. Coble at:

The Hon. Howard Coble

U.S. House of Representatives

2468 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515-3306

If you don't have the time to write a letter, here's a sample letter you can cut and paste and send. Drafted courtesy of Gerry:

Dear Congressman:

I am writing in regards to your February 4, 2003 comments regarding our
country1s internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. I
find your comments justifying the internment on grounds of national security
and for the protection of the Japanese Americans to be insulting and
patronizing. If the internment was truly motivated by national security
then why were German Americans and Italian Americans not also imprisoned?

In 1983, the Congressional Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment
of Civilians concluded that there was no probative evidence that any
Japanese American posed a threat to our nation's security. In light of the
Commission1s findings, your assertion that "some [Japanese-Americans]
probably were intent on doing harm to us, just as some of these
Arab-Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us," is both perplexing
and odious.

Just as it was then, today our nation is confronted by the nascent specter
of what the Congressional Commission condemned as "race prejudice, war
hysteria and a failure of political leadership.2 Your views regarding the
Japanese American internment, which you have repeatedly defended,
demonstrate an understanding of fundamental American values, and
constitutional rights that is far out of step with the U.S. Congress and the
American people. I consider your statement that "I apologize if I offended
anybody. I certainly did not intend to offend anybody" as a non-apology as
an affront to all freedom-loving Americans.

I urge you to retract your statements, issue a formal and unequivocal
apology to the American people, and resign from your position as Chair of
the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.




But I suggest being creative and drafting your own. Make it personal. (Thanks Gerry) Whatever you do, phone call, email, snail mail, SPEAK UP. Coble's office reports that email and phone calls are only a little busier than normal. So if you're going to say something, SAY IT NOW. AND SAY IT LOUD.


And Dan McClintock, the basketball player who took Yao Ming's place in China: The Man Who Would Be Ming


That Yao is a pretty funny guy: Humor serves Yao well


Yao Ming will appear alongside Derek Jeter and Payton Manning in a Gatorade commercial. All things considered, this is a pretty high profile endorsement, Gatorate being one of the biggest sports-related brand names in the advertising game. The Apple commercial worked because Yao is humongously tall, and the Visa commercial worked because Yao has an odd-sounding name. Now perhaps the Gatorade ad will show the guy as an athlete...


Did you know Rep. Coble is chair of the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security? Scary thought. I received an email full of useful info:

North Carolina's Charlotte Observer is conducting an online poll of whether Reps. Coble and Myrick should apologize for their remarks: POLL: Should Myrick, Coble apologize for their comments?

The JACL has created a form to contact your congress representative to voice your concern regarding Rep. Coble's views on the Japanese American internment: JACL Calls for Rep. Coble to step down as chair

Call House Speaker Hastert and Judiciary Chair Sensenbrenner and tell them what's on your mind:

Speaker's office: (202) 225-0600

Rep. Hastert's office: (202) 225-2976

Judiciary Committee: (202) 225-3951

Rep. Sensenbrenner's office: (202) 225-5101


"We were at war. They (Japanese-Americans) were an endangered species. For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street." - Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., on the Japanese American internment

"Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country." - Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., on Arab Americans

More news related to Congressman Coble's remarks earlier this week: N.C. congressional members under fire for remarks. What is up with North Carolina?


"Shanghai Knights," Jackie Chan's latest action comedy, opens in theaters today. Also starring Fann Wong and Donnie Yen. Oh, and that bonehead Owen Wilson. I consider Jackie Chan one of the greatest movie stars of all time, and perhaps THE greatest action star of all time. But there's no denying, he's no longer the man he once was, and his American movies never quite seem to live up to his capabilities. He's obviously found a successful formula and stuck with it, pairing him with some unlikely character for the usual culture-clash buddy action comedy. The thing i, I'm torn. I love Jackie Chan: he is the best there is at what he does. But in truth, his image does little to advance the perception of Asian males in America, playing up the idea of the scrappy Asian male kung fu hero. This is an image we don't need to see quite so often. Yet this is what Hollywood wants, take it or leave it. That's jacked. And that's racist!


Oh Yahoo! Movies' "Coming Soon" page, they list Chi-Hwa-Seon and describe it as a "Chinese biographical film covers the life of 19th century painter Oh-Won, who grew into fame after coming from meager beginnings early in life." Now, Chi-Hwa-Seon is clearly a Korean film. This is a huge error, obviously made out of ignorance of Asian culture. I'm told it's been listed this way for nearly a week now. No one has figured this out? I've already inquired about it. I know it's a small matter, but come on.


The more I thought about it, the more it seemed quite possible that these emails from "Jen Kupusa" had to be fake. I mean, how could someone so ignorant and bigoted possess the "intelligence" to draft such an email? The emails touch upon such a wide, complete variety of offensive comments, it almost seems calculated. It's absolutely ridiculous. Then I began to think why someone do something like that in the first place... to get a rise out of me? To get published? Either way, I honestly don't give a damn. But it scares me, the kind of people out there. And of course, it makes me angry.

I've been asked repeatedly to publish the email addresses of these haters along with their emails... I've been told it's within my rights. Believe me, I'd love to. I know I could count on many of you out there to deluge these folks with appropriate responses. As tempting as it is, I'll refrain from such measures and take the high road, and keep it between me and the Hater. For the time being... I have to re-examine my policy on such matters. Stay Angry.


She writes back with more hate. More hate! In response to the email I sent back:

FROM: "Jen Kupusa"

DATE: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 22:53:29 +0000

TO: angryminsoo@angryasianman.com

SUBJECT: Re: Thoughts On The General State of Affairs

Dear Another Concerned American,

I thank you for commending me in my vocabulary. It's much appreciated
considering there is no real way of saying slope without meaning slope. It's
like trying to find a way in describing feces when no matter how you sugar
coat it crap is crap. As for you being able to "speak English just fine"?
That's a completly different matter. "--I've been here for a full 24. Not
only that, but I was born here, Jen." your grammer skills are quite dubious
Mr. Wang, oops my mistake that's your mother's nickname for your father, my
apologies. As for you "not going anywhere". That's most definatly a true
statement, but doesn't pertain to the after life as you'll most definatly be
going to hell with all the other gooks. American was fought for by white,
black and hispanic men and women in the Vietnam war to protect our homeland
from defecation like you. May we once again wage war against you and not

Equally Concerned American.

Sometimes I don't know why I even bother writing back.


What the hell is going on? Two in one day! In a matter of hours!

FROM: "Mike Davis"

DATE: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 17:14:14 -0500

TO: angryminsoo@angryasianman.com

SUBJECT: racism

Are you aware of how much we Jap's hate Koreans, how much gooks hate chinks and so on and so on? How does that fit into your anger? Don't lump all of us slopes into one group, that is far more racist than some dumb white guy making a stupid joke.

This could've been said a little more delicately. Again with the slurs. Jap. Gook. Chink. Slope. Did we miss any? What all the hate? That's racist!


Well here go, more racist email coming my way. Check it out:

FROM: "Jen Kupusa"

DATE: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 19:15:14 +0000

TO: angryminsoo@angryasianman.com

SUBJECT: Thoughts On The General State of Affairs

I can't believe sorry let me speak in terms you can understand I can't
"bereve" that such an idiot as yourself is able to put up a web site.
There's a reason everyone hate you gooks. It's because first off you come to
our country and live here for 15 years plus and not learn a single word of
english. Secondly it's been proven through a private insurance company
survey that chinks are in fact "the worst drivers" in the world. There are
more slopes in accidents than any other race. That may be an unfair
assesment though I admit because you slant-eyes procreate more than rabbits
and there are more of you than anyone else. I believe it's a 12:1 yellow
skin to cock roach ratio on this planet. Mind you like any other person I'd
rather have cock roaches in my home than a FOB like you in my home. Well
those are the facts of "rife" and as "simpo" as they may be they all point
to one thing, no one likes chinks!

Concerned American!

I like how Concerned American attempts to use every single conceivable racial epithet and stereotype. Hey, guess what, I'm a concerned American too --concerned that people like yourself are populating the minds and hearts of this country with your hate. That's racist!


So you learn something new every day. The nonsensical lyrics from "Gossip Folks" are actually from the classic hip hop jam "Double-Dutch Bus," which shares the same "make no sense" chorus, that is just a play on the regular chorus about the "Double-Dutch Bus" which almost makes sense... But you know, now we've completely digressed. Anyway, looks for Monica Parales in that video. She's cool. (Thanks, Danielle)


Several people wrote in regarding that girl in the Missy Elliot video. Who knew she was such a sensation? One guy suggested she was Julia Hsu, the girl who plays Soo Yung in Rush Hour. However, I am told by a reputable, trusted source that the girl gettin' funky in "Gossip Folks" is actually Monica Parales. She's also a cast member in an all-Asian children's variety show called "K'POW" in Los Angeles, produced by actress Marie Matiko. Monica was trained in singing / dancing / acting through Matiko's VIVACE conservatory for child (Asian) talent. Very cool. Oh, as for those words in the song we can't understand, here are the lyrics in question (which still do not make sense):

Musi ques

I sews on bews

I pues a twos on que zat

Pue zoo

My kizzer

Pous zigga ay zee

Its all kizza

Its always like

Its all kizza

Its always like

Na zound

Wa zee

Wa zoom zoom zee

...Whatever that means. This is all according to OHHLA.com.


North Carolina congressman Howard Coble stated during a call-in radio program that he agreed with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II: N.C. congressman says internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was appropriate. His argument apparently that it was justified, for the safety of Japanese American citizens on the street. The congressman is ignorant and misguided. Anyone who knows anything about the history of the internment knows that these weren't some kind of safe haven. If that was case, as many have observed, why were the guns and guards at these camps pointed INWARD, towards the internees? The Japanese American internment is one our nation's greatest civil injustices. That's racist!

You can certainly write to Congressman Coble and tell him what you think: howard.coble@mail.house.gov (If you would like a written response, include your U.S. Postal mailing address.)


Cheesy Asian gangsters in Bon Jovi's video for "Misunderstood." Don't ask me why I was watching the video in the first place.

Speaking of music videos, there's a crazy cute Asian schoolgirl dancing around in Missy Elliot's video for "Gossip Folks." She is too cool. She keeps saying something I can't quite understand, near the end. But it's kinda fun. View it here.


Article from my local paper on Enterprise actress Linda Park: Television: From San Jose to Starfleet. Yes, she's a local. As you may know, I am a big Linda Park fan. Here's her newly redesigned official site: www.lindapark.tv. All glammed up.


Now they want us to help: CIA advertising campaign aims to attract Chinese-Americans


Chino Latino is a restaurant in Minneapolis, MN that recently ran a billboard advertising their happy hour. The slogan: "Happy Hour: Cheaper Than a Bangkok Brothel." That's racist! And in poor taste. Protests have already resulted in Chino Latino agreeing to take the billboard down. However, they've insisted they're not racist, and they'll continue with this "edgy" line of advertising. (Edgy seems to be the euphemistic excuse for racist.) Past billboards have apparently included references to Asians eating cats and dogs, and INS persecution of illegal immigrants.

An online petition has been drafted to keep the momentum of protest going and to halt future instances of offensive advertising.

Read all about it here: Chino Latino Campaign


A couple of articles...

From Ohio's Beacon Journal(!), on the lack of Asian American roles in Hollywood (but you and I knew that already): Asian evasion

And Kelly Hu is in E! Online's "Sizzlin' 16," up-and-coming stars about to blow up: Sizzlin' 16 2003


Spotted Derek Basco briefly on the premiere of Dragnet last night. He said like one line, then went away. Also, had an Asian family (with accents, of course) whose daughters got kidnapped by a serial killer. Luckily, Joe Friday saved 'em, and they didn't get killed.


Emil Guillermo's take on things: The State of Our Union


This CNN article on Kalpana Chawla was brought to my attention. For the most part, it celebrates her achievements, being the first Indian American woman in space. But one line near the end of the article seems rather inappropriate:

She became an astronaut in 1994. On her first space flight, she was blamed for making mistakes that sent a science satellite tumbling out of control. Other astronauts went on a space walk to capture it.

Noting this mistake seems pretty insensitive. Why was it necessary to point it out?


Terrible news this morning about the Columbia space shuttle disaster, in which all seven of its astronauts were killed. One of the astronauts was Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla. Born in India in 1961, Chawla earned an aerospace engineering doctorate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Chawla, who has logged more than 375 hours in space, was the prime robotic arm operator on a shuttle flight in 1997. It's a tragedy. World grieves loss of shuttle


I normally try to stay away from promoting individual events, but I'll give this one a plug, since I have something of a connection with it, and hey, it's my site, I'll do what I want. If you're in the San Francisco area, you're invited to the 2003 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Launch Party and Fundraiser:

Tuesday, February 4, 7pm - 10pm

111 Minna Gallery @ 111 Minna Street

(Between Howard and Mission at 2nd)

San Francisco

21 and above

Tickets sold at the door:

$12/NAATA members (w/valid membership card)


Featuring the sounds of:

DJ Nihal (Urbangroove) spinning downtempo indosoul

DJ Vijay (BlackMahal) spinning Indian infused beats

Please RSVP to 415.863.0814 ext. 120 or membership@naatanet.org

It's for a good cause. And 111 Minna is a pretty dope spot. See you there.


Happy Lunar New Year! Blessings and good fortune to you in the Year of the Ram.