Archived Posts - August 2003


The totally awesome Sandra Oh is in Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane. View the trailer here.


Last night's episode of The Tonight Show featured the music of Lang Lang.


I've been receiving various reponses regarding LifeWay's "Rickshaw Rally" curriculum. Here is a website dedicated to raising awareness about this matter.


Hey, it's my Q & A with Jenny Choi! She successfully wrapped the AIR Tour last week. Jenny's a cool, talented lady who shares a few thoughts here on the tour and her upcoming record. So check it out.


People are crazy about tennis pro Paradorn Srichaphan: Hopes of Asia on His Shoulders


Linkin Park won Best Rock Video for "Somewhere I Belong" at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.


Have you seen this TV commercial for Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce?

White children are playing outside. When their mom calls out to them for lunch (she's cooked up some marinated meat with her Kikkoman sauce), the kids suddenly FLY INTO THE AIR AND THEN FLOAT OVER TREES (ie: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) before landing into the backyard—in acrobatic kung fu poses—where mom is waiting for them. Chinese Teriyaki Sauce = Flying White Children. Brilliant! That's racist!


I have to post Danielle's response to the Last Samurai trailer, because it's just freakin' funny:

I swear, it looks like "Dances With Japanese," man. It's a Kevin Costner Civil War pic with swords. And I just LOVE Civil War movies that manage to not talk about ANYTHING that has to do with the Civil War.

Heaven forbid we upset anyone with all that slavery, racism, brother-against-brother, state's-rights, making-Irish-immigrants-serve-in-the-Union-army-to-get-their-citizenship, almost-destroyed-the-whole-damn-country crap. You know, that stuff upsets people. We'd rather do something about Tom Cruise rescuing Japan from the Japanese because NOTHING is important until Tom tells us it's important!


ABC's coverage of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, 40 years later: Revisiting King's Dream. A special airs tonight, 10/9c.


Latest trailer for The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise.

"Scheduled for release on December 5, Tom Cruise plays a burned-out 19th century Civil War hero who takes a job to train Japanese troops in the art of modern combat. Instead, he finds himself a partner in the destruction of the way of life of the samurai, Japan's honored and ancient warriors. Can machine guns co-exist with swordplay?"

I don't think I like what I'm seeing. I mean, some of it just looks plain ridiculous. And racist.


Article on actor B.D. Wong, who talks a bit about the "glass ceiling" for Asian Americans on network television: B.D. Wong Explores New Roles


Remember Charlie Chan? If you recall a few months ago, Fox Movie Channel's planned summer film series caused quite a ruckus—and a pain in my booty—from protestors and fans alike. FMC pulled the "Charlie Chan Mystery Tour" due to pressure from Asian American community groups protesting the Chan films' outdated stereotypical racial caricatures. This in turn angered scores of outspoken Charlie Chan fans (who knew there were so many?) who sent over 7,000 letters protesting the cancellation (bowing to further pressure, FMC later amended their statement to convey that they had merely "postponed" the films).

Well, Chan's back. Fox Movie Channel has scheduled to air a series of Charlie Chan films in September. However, each film will be accompanied by an Asian American panel commentary, for five minutes before and after each broadcast. The panelists, headed by George Takei, range from academics to activists to actors: Helen Zia, Frank H. Wu (Author of "Yellow"), Stephen Gong, Yvonne Lee, Ken Narasaki, Peter Feng, Roger Fan and Parry Shen. They will discuss the ramifications of these films being aired in this day and age.

This solution definitely sits better with me. It angered me that FMC was actually celebrating these films with complete disregard for their racial insensitivity. At the same time, I was never fully comfortable with their suppression, nor was I particularly happy with Charlie Chan fans' (false) accusations of censorship. The films definitely have a particular historical value, and are worth watching in some capacity.

I'm told that the panel segments are edited nicely, and FMC will also have an online Forum to discuss relevant issues pertaining to Charlie Chan. The panel actually selected the films to be shown, and incidentally wound up picking the ones they deemed more offensive, in order to point out the most obvious problematic elements. Pretty interesting... These are the air dates, with some official-sounding words:

The following films will be shown on Fox Movie Channel with specific interstitials throughout September (All Times Eastern):

Murder Over New York

September 13 @ 8:00pm

September 14 @ 4:00pm

September 15 @ 6:30am

September 17 @ 10:00am

September 22 @ 8:00pm

September 27 @ 10:00am & 12:00 midnight

Charlie Chan at the Opera

September 14 @ 6:00pm

September 15 @ 8:00am

September 16 @ 4:00pm

September 17 @ 6:00am

September 19 @ 4:00pm

September 20 @ 6:00am

September 23 @ 8:00pm

September 30 @ 12:30pm

Castle In The Desert

September 15 @ 10:00am & 12:00 midnight

September 18 @10:00am

September 20 @ 6:00pm

September 21 @ 8:00am

September 24 @ 10:00am & 12:00 midnight

September 26 @ 6:00pm

September 27 @ 8:00am

Charlie Chan In Honolulu

September 15 @ 6:00pm

September 16 @ 8:00am

September 20 @ 12:00pm

September 21 @ 2:00am and 2:00pm

September 22 @ 4:00am

September 25 @ 2:00pm

September 26 @ 4:00am

September 29 @ 8:00pm

Fox Movie Channel invites the public to participate in this ongoing dialogue at www.foxmoviechannel.com where it will host a web forum throughout the month of September.

I'm really interested in seeing all of this. Unfortunately, I don't even have Fox Movie Channel. If anyone manages to tape the movies, plus the panel segments, I would really appreciate a copy!


Political power among Bay Area Chinese is rapidly migrating from the older established San Francisco community to newer enclaves in Silicon Valley, as evidenced by the rising number of Chinese American candidates for top local offices: Chinese Americans Building On Political Base in Silicon Valley


Upcoming BBC series: Traditional Asian family values investigated on BBC World Service


Sorry, I have to renege on yesterday's promise. Here's a good article eulogizing the end of Michael Chang's career and the impact his legacy leaves behind for Asian American tennis players: Lasting legacy


Brief, interesting profile on Lucy Liu that touches upon on a lot of the opposing forces and contradictions in her career thus far: Minority model


Korean American women have low rates of screening for breast cancer. In an unusual partnership, Korean grocers and supermarkets teamed up with the state of California to give out breast cancer prevention information: Marketing Women's Health


South Asian activists are irate over media coverage of the murder of an Indian woman by her husband. They say the coverage has perpetuated misconceptions and stereotypes about Indian culture: South Asian Activists Protest Skewed Coverage of Murdered Woman


I promise, my final mention of Michael Chang's retirement from pro tennis: Michael Chang Loses Final Match As a Pro


Now this makes me angry. Every year, churches across the country use 'Vacation Bible School' curriculum to reach their kids with Christian education. Well, LifeWay Church Resources has designed VBS curriculum called Rickshaw Rally—and yes, it's as bad as it sounds. It looks like someone's well-intentioned attempt at diversity, but it completely comes off stereotypical, racially offensive material. Talk about cultural insensitivity—did the people at LifeWay consult with anyone about this? As an Asian American Christian (having grown up my entire life in church), this absolutely incenses me. Rickshaw races? Kimonos? Chopsticks? Karate uniforms? The ignorance is astonishing. There are children in churches across the US whose first exposure to Asian culture could be these stereotypical, narrow-minded images, and that thought is simply staggering. And I'm not down with that. Here is some contact info:

Jerry Vogel

Director of VBS Curriculum


Louis Hanks

Director of Publications


LifeWay Church Resources

c/o Your VBS

MSN 136

One LifeWay Plaza

Nashville, TN 37234-0136

Phone: 1-800-458-2772


While certainly not as blatantly offensive as Abercrombie's t-shirt designs or the 'Kung Fool' Halloween costume, Rickshaw Rally is still a few giant ugly leaps backward. Absolutely aggravating. That's racist!


Wowee! LEGO takes you on a freakin' Orient Expedition!!! Yes, the fearless Johnny Thunder is on a quest to find some treasure and crap in the strange and mysterious Orient. Join him, along with a colorful cast of characters that includes Babloo, the brave Indian boy (and his monkey, Pampa); the greedy and ruthless Maharaja; Sangye Dorje, the Tibetan mountain guide; Ngan Pa, the greedy and ruthless Yeti hunter; Jing Lee, the Chinese martial arts expert (always gotta have one of those); and Emperor Chang Wu, the greedy and ruthless Chinese mandarin. Wow, there are a lot of greedy and ruthless folks in this adventure. So much fun. Join in all the oriental action adventure here: Orient Expedition

Man, what kind of freakin' toy is this? That's racist!


As part of a new lineup of original movies, MTV will air a version of Korean language action-comedy Volcano High (AKA Wasango), set to a hip-hop soundtrack and with American actors dubbing the dialogue. What does this sound like? Oh yeah, crap. Part of me appreciates the effort, but really, this does not sound good. Can't wait to see super-powered Korean schoolkids fighting over the sweet sounds of 50 Cent: MTV to Dub 'Volcano High'


Hey, let's make fun of long Thai names! This sports column has some "fun" butchering Paradorn Srichaphan's name: Paradorn the puns (scroll down to the bottom). Pretty tasteless and inane...


I recently learned of The Asia Channel, which describes itself as "a cable TV network for the new Asian America." Apparently, it aims to be the first North American cable-network to bring 24-hour contemporary programming to the English-speaking Asian cable-viewer market. Looks like it's still getting off the ground, and needs a lot of support, but it sounds promising. Currently, they're broadcasting US Asians, a weekly variety talk show with guests and topics focusing on Asian Pacific American issues, culture, and entertainment. It airs every Saturday as a 1-hour webcast... Check it out: www.theasiachannel.com


Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 40 years ago this Thursday. The famous speech endures four decades later because it gave Americans a vision of a nation free of racial discrimination, and has come to be regarded as a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. To mark the speech's 40th anniversary, The Associated Press asked a range of people for their opinions about what kind of progress the nation has made—or failed to make—in fulfilling King's words: A dream revisited; Assessing progress 40 years after King's speech. Including insights from Washington Governor Gary Locke and NAPALC President Karen Narasaki.


A recent census report reveals Hispanic, Asian and black immigrants are leaving the states of New York and California in unprecedented numbers. Part of the reason is overcrowding and lack of jobs. An NPR report: Immigrants Emigrating from California, New York


Advertising in fortune cookies. I'm surprised no one actually capitalized on this sooner: Foretelling a different kind of fortune?. Fortune cookies are crap anyway.


We've got another endorsement for Timmy Chang to win the Heisman: Purple Raiders, Rainbow Warrior


This review of The Medallion goes to great lengths talking about the interracial romantic chemistry (and lack thereof) between Jackie Chan and his white co-star Claire Forlani. Its verdict: "Never pair Asian martial arts stars with White women, unless you want your movie to fail." That's not what the entire article's about, but it dwells on it for a while: "Medallion" is a Worthless Bauble

That said, here's some info on Jackie Chan's next planned project, a low-budget love story(!) opposite an unnamed major Hollywood actress: Martial Arts Star Jackie Chan Plans Love Film "Pure drama -- not even one punch," he says. Man, I really can't see myself plunking down money to watch it...


Meet Alpha Epsilon Zeta, UC Berkeley's very first South Asian fraternity: New face for frats


The Census Bureau's first profile of adopted children reveals some interesting stats... It shows that 1.6 million adopted kids under 18 are now living in U.S. households. About one in six adopted children (17%) are of a different race than the head of their household. About half (49%) of the foreign-born come from Asia, and Korea leads the list. Although only 13% of adopted children younger than 18 were born in other countries, the "adoption of foreign-born children has increased," the report says. The number of immigrant visas issued to orphans coming to the USA for adoption increased from about 7,000 in 1990 to nearly 18,000 in 2000: Census counts adoptees: 1.6M kids


Nice piece on the Yankees' Hideki Matsui, who sounds like a pretty cool guy: A Star, Modesty Included


Lucy Liu is joining the cast of Game Over, UPN's midseason computer-animated comedy series. The show features Liu as the voice of Raquel, the secret-agent wife and mother of the Smashenburn family, who live in an alternate video-game universe: Liu Joins Game Over. The next-door neighbors are the Changs, a family of kung-fu-fighting Shaolin monks, including the Dark Princess and her husband, Sam (played by Marie Matiko and June Sie). Yay.


The University of Hawaii Sports Department is making a big push to campaign to have quarterback Timmy Chang considered as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy: UH Pushes Chang For Heisman


The Medallion, starring Jackie Chan, opens in theaters today.


Is phenom Michelle Wie the future of women's golf? Man, I don't know, but the pressure is on. The kid's only thirteen—let's give her some time to grow a little, eh? Anyway, here's some news: Michelle Wie to Tee Off With Men in Canadian Tour Event


Interview with Jenny Choi on the AIR Tour, with some great observations: Something in the AIR Tonight. I'll be at tonight's show at Q Cafe in Palo Alto. See you there.


The past Sunday's episode of Banzai was supposed to be the finale... I'm hearing varying reports of its fate. Some people are telling me it's been cancelled, while others are telling me the show has been renewed. At this point, I have no idea. But consider these two articles:

08/13/2003 Fox News: The Fox reality show "BANZAI" may be completely and utterly incorrect to the political set, but guess what? Despite critics who only know bad taste, like Godzilla, "BANZAI LIVES!!!" Fox has reportedly ordered more episodes and is trying to cast an American version, according to a memo leaked to the New York Post.

8/12/2003 KTU.com: Congrats to a couple of tv shows getting renewed... Foxës bizarre show Banzai will be back and 3Tough Crowd3 from Colin Quinn is a hit for Comedy Central.

What to think? One comes from Fox News and the other is a Fox affiliate. It will not hurt to keep the pressure on. Banzai has got to go.


Very interesting dialogue on the controversial issues surrounding Vietnam War-themed video games, by the editors of GamePro: Pro Vs. Pro: Vietnam. Check it out.

Speaking of video games, here's a look at the upcoming Asian-themed Batman video game, Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. Well, the bad guy is Sin Tzu, your regular ol' cunning Asian master of strategy and martial arts, with sharp, pointy fingers. Interestingly, he's the first character ever to be introduced in a video game and integrated into the regular continuity of the Batman comics. Anyway, the game sounds like there's a mad army of martial arts dudes after Batman's ass. I am slightly comforted by the fact that they've tapped veteran comic artist Jim Lee as a character designer for the game. Jim Lee rocks.


Spencer Nakasako's Refugee, an excellent documentary (and my favorite film from SFIAAFF 2003), has been selected for the International Documentary Association's InFact Theatrical Documentary Showcase in Los Angeles. The film is paired with the short documentary Olivia's Puzzle by Jason DaSilva, which was met with rave reviews at the Sundance Film
Festival 2002. Both of these films will be qualified for the Academy Awards' feature and short documentary competition. Check them out!


Newsweek article on Jhumpa Lahiri, the 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Interpreter of Maladies. Her much-anticipated new novel is The Namesake: Who Says There's No Second Act?


Interview with actor Gedde Watanabe, forever remembered for his infamous role as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles: What's a-Happenin', Hot Stuff?. Nearly twenty years later still, oh, how we hate that character! However, Mr. Watanabe is not the Donger in real life—don't hate the player, hate the game.


A conversation between Jon Moritsugu and Justin Lin: Total Running Time.


Hey, remember Monica Parales, that funky, cute Asian girl from Missy Elliot's "Gossip Folks" video? She's in a new Target commercial dancin' and doing her thang.


This guy writes an interesting perspective on Dat Phan in his blog: Dat Phan & The New Dysfunctional Asian. There are some intriguing issues, and some hard questions worth asking surrounding the nature of Dat Phan's humor, and why it seems to be popular to Americans. Be sure to read and digest the entire entry, as well as the readers' comments at the bottom. You see, it isn't necessarily healthy to blindly support Dat because he's Asian and successful... I think he's a funny guy, and I also give him props for being a guy who seems to work pretty damn hard. However, I do think his material needs some work. Sooner than later, he'll need an upgrade—he won't be able to do those same self-effacing Asian jokes forever, because it's not going to get him any further, and he'll lose me as a fan. Why is his material considered funny? Hey, comedy is a delicate beast. It's a good question to consider thoroughly... In the meantime, I'm putting my stock in Dat, and hoping for the best.


Interesting profile on Sophie filmmaker Helen Lee: Up and Coming: Filmmakers. It briefly mentions her next project, currently in development. Written by Sonny Kang, it's a semi-autobiographical dramatic feature about gang life in LA's Koreatown, set against the backdrop of the '92 riots. I'm looking forward to it—and so should you.


Hey! Jenny Choi and the gang are coming to get you! The west coast leg of the Asians in Indie Rock (AIR) Tour is in full swing, so you best check it out.


Laura Kim has been named Executive Vice President of Marketing and Publicity at the newly launched Warner Independent Pictures:
Two More Join Gill At Warner Independent: Laura Kim and Michael Andreen


Dude, are they really calling themselves the 'China Dolls'?: China Dolls dominate qualifying for Athens Olympics


The new western series Peacemakers debuted late last month on the USA network... The show is about a Silver City, Colorado marshall teaming up with a Pinkerton detective, knowledgable in forensics, to solve crimes (kind of like Gunsmoke meets CSI). The pilot episode involved some stuff going down in Chinatown. About twenty minutes into the show, Marshall Stone questions two men who had appointments with a murder victim. Marshall Stone decides to question first Mr. Kuen Fong Ling (Colin Foo), a tailor. The other man, Stewart Harrison (white dude), says, "Why does the Chinaman get to go first?" "Because I said so," says Marshall Stone. You might decry the use of the term "Chinaman," as offensive, but to be fair, it's historically accurate for the purposes of the episode. That doesn't mean I wouldn't get angry if some foo called me a "Chinaman" on the street today. The pilot repeats on Monday, August 25 at 11:00 pm on USA. Taayla Markell and Diana Ha also appear in the episode.


Last week, the Screen Actors Guild released casting statistics for 2002, revealing increases in the number and share of roles for Latino/Hispanics and African-American performers in motion pictures and television programs. Women aged 40 and over †also made some progress, showing a slight increase in their share of total female roles compared to 2001. Latino performers realized a net increase of 379 roles, driven primarily by episodic television. Their share of total TV and theatrical roles rose to 6.0%, an increase from 4.8% in 2001, marking their greatest share since SAG began tracking employment. African-Americans realized a small increase of 39 roles, and also gained their highest share of roles ever, 15.5% of all roles cast, an increase from 14.4% in 2001. By contrast, the total number of both Asian-Pacific and Native American roles decreased in 2002. Asian/Pacific Islanders' 2.5% share of total roles cast represents no change from 2001. †On the other hand, Native Americans were the only minority group to show a decrease in share of roles, receiving only 0.2% of the roles cast in 2002, a drop from the 0.37% share in 2001. Read the full article at the Screen Actors Guild website: SAG 24/7. You call this progress?


I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but please note that the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2004 festival: Call For Entries. Works of all genres are being accepted.

Also, a heads up about the 4th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, October 2-5, 2003. Check back soon for a complete program schedule.


I've been playing catch-up for the last few days... Here are a few news items from last week. How about some racist stuff going down in North Carolina? There has reportedly been a string of robberies victimizing Asian restaurants in eastern North Carolina over the last six weeks: String of robberies targets Asian eateries

On a completely unrelated note, here is a brief news bit from last week on Last Comic Standing winner Dat Phan: Tidbits from the world of broadcasting ...

Stand-up comedian and former Santee resident Dat Phan won NBC's "Last Comic Standing: The Search for the Funniest Person in America." The 28-year-old beat out nine other finalists for the title. He was selected to be among the narrow field from among thousands of comedians who applied to appear on the reality show.

Because the victory brought Phan an exclusive contract with NBC, he got to appear on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" last week - the same night Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California.

"It's so fantastic," Phan said this week while en route to Las Vegas for a series of performances. "I can't believe that I went from $35 in my wallet to this. But, it's not about the money. It's about doing what I love doing."

Phan was born in Vietnam and came to the United States as an infant. Once in San Diego, he and his mother lived on the streets and slept on bus stop benches. Phan is a graduate of West Hills High School in Santee and took speech classes at Grossmont College. Now that he's the funniest person in America, Phan has reconsidered his decision not to attend his 10-year high school reunion Sept. 6. "Now, I can go, because high school reunions are all about sizing each other up and comparing notes about what you've done or become since graduation."

Before heading for showbiz, Phan worked as a doorman at the Barona Casino, a bagger at Vons, a waiter, a busboy, and tour guide at SeaWorld. He's been living in L.A. since January 2002.

Phan will be in San Diego Saturday to receive recognition during the Asian American Journalists Association meeting. He's also scheduled to perform on Sept. 13 at 4th & B, downtown.


Kim Tominaga and Michelle Jue, two young Asian American clothing designers, are hosting a brand new event called the Fashion Co-Op. They're trying to help young up-and-coming designers (many of them also Asian American) get their foot into the fashion world. So they're throwing a "fashion flea market" to help designers sell directly to their market without having to go through all the usual channels of sales reps, boutiques, etc... Here's the press release:


Michelle Jue 310.666.5648

Kim Tominaga 310.266.4546


Tired of seeing the same old items on shelves everywhere you go? Well, here1s a chance to explore unique pieces from the untapped fashion talent of more than 20 up-and-coming, hot California fashion designers -- brought together for a special, one-day event at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Fashion Co-Op is Los Angeles1 first event exposing young, fashion-savvy shoppers directly to the designers themselves. Guests will have the unique opportunity to meet with designers and check out their original pieces in an exclusive fashion faire event.

Los Angeles is about what1s new, what1s hot and what1s undiscovered, and Fashion Co-Op will be your only chance to pick up what will be hot tomorrowS?before it hits the shelves.

WHO: More than 20 hot new Southern California fashion designers, displaying and selling their original merchandise directly to the public for the first time.

WHAT: The chance for other designers, buyers, the fashion-savvy and for anyone who loves to shop to get more than a peek at the newest trends. Fashion Co-Op will provide a community for up-and-coming designers and introduces a hip, new way to shop.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, November 8th


Writers Boot Camp at Bergamot Station

2525 Michigan Ave., Bldg. I

Bergamot Station Arts Center

Santa Monica, CA 90404


COST: $3 Admission price per person.

RSVP: fashioncoop@yahoo.com


VV Dachin Hsu's My American Vacation is now available on DVD. It's a great family film, so check it out: www.myamericanvacation.com


Interesting report on two upcoming films, Small Voices and With Honors Denied: Ain't It Cool News.


Hey, remember Dan Lue from Survivor: The Amazon? The guy has been busy stretching his fifteen minutes of fame with various post-reality show activities, including the release of a "hot" new wall calendar... He also has hopes of becoming an actor. Check out his official website at www.danlue.com.


Jin tha MC's highly anticipated album, The Rest Is History, is scheduled to be released on October 7. However, according to Jin's website, it seems that Virgin is apparently reconsidering this release date. For Jin fans, this ain't no good, and they're speaking out: http://www.petitiononline.com/Jin/

Speaking of Jin, check out this interesting NPR segment: Michael Eric Dyson: The Globalization of Rap. NPR's Tavis Smiley speaks with commentator and "Rap Professor" Michael Eric Dyson about the growing number of rap artists in the United States and around the globe who are not African American, and briefly mentions Jin (with a complimentary assessment).


R. Kelly's latest music video is another entry into the exoticization of Asian culture. In the video for "Thoia Thoing," which allegedly takes place in Japan, he sports Japanese lettering on basketball jerseys, wears a karate gi, swings around some nunchucks, and teaches "karate" to women in his dojo. Says director Little X of the video's Asian motif: "I like Japanese culture a lot and [R.] says 'Japan' in the song, so we took that and ran with it. It's performance-driven, but we really kind of float through different themes and keep it moving. Every verse and chorus there's something new happening." The damn thing is just more exploitation of Asian culture. That's racist!


I apologize for the sparse updates over the last week. I've been ridiculously busy. Contrary to popular belief, I do have a life outside of this website... That said, I'll be out of town for several days, so no new posts 'till the end of the week. In the meantime, Stay Angry. PEACE.


Chinese American rapper Jin tha MC gets a write-up in the New York Times: Slim Shady, Watch It: Asian Rapper's Got It. The guy's character. Expect big things in the coming year...


Lots of news over Arnold Scharwezeegfgladjgsger's decision to run for Governor of California. As a Californian myself, it's slightly amusing but mostly disconcerting. (Perhaps even more disturbing is the prospect of the other Arnold—Arnold Jackson, that is—as governor. Yeah, Gary Coleman.) With all this attention on the man we know and love as Conan (The Barbarian, not O'Brien), I thought I'd mention a few comments he made in an interview in regards to some of the work he did for T3:

I love the Hong Kong type of action movies but that only looks good for smaller guys. I think that the reason why that whole style was developed over there was because those guys were very puny guys. They are not powerful looking guys. They are also not powerful guys. There's no weightlifting champion coming out of Hong Kong. They may be in a lightweight division or something like that but normally you don't have really strong men coming out of the eastern countries. Russia, Hungary, and Bulgaria and Germany and stuff like that, England also, but not from over there. So in order for them to be equal in a fighting situation they had to learn a technique that small people can do that is as effective as a big guy having strength. That's where the martial arts came from and all those styles of fighting and all that. So therefore, it was always a smaller person's trick, that a Bruce Lee kind of guy, he looks very ordinary and small but is very quick, flies through the air, kicking and all this stuff looks great.

Read the rest of the interview here: The Arnold Schwarzenegger Interview


These events were occurring months ago, but I think they went relatively unnoticed, and I never heard anything about it till now... Apparently, back in March there was an unidentified man harrassing Asian women in Harvard Square: Man Harasses Asian Women in Square. Creepy. I am uncertain how this was eventually resolved, if it was at all... (Thanks Mike)


Thousands of deceased Chinese are being exhumed by their descendants and reburied in places like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, often places they had never visited in life: Displaced Chinese Ancestors Reburied in U.S.


Received this press release from MANAA. It's going down:




East Coast Asian American Student Union, Japanese American Citizens League, Korean American Coalition, Kabataang maka-Bayan, Korean Churches for Community Development, Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates, Korean Resource Center, Midwest Asian American Student Union, National Asian American Student Conference, Northwestern Asian American Students United, Pulahari Clear Light for Wisdom Culture Center, in alliance with The Media Action Network for Asian American


A protest in front of the Tonight Show studio for Asian Americans to show displeasure over the following:

  • Overall, the Tonight Show1s history of showcasing Asian American talent has been poor.

  • February 13, 2003, in a Tonight Show monologue, Jay Leno loosely compares changing dogs and cats from 3pets2 to 3companions2 is like North Korea changing dogs and cats from 3appetizers2 to 3entrÈe!"

  • A few days later, the Tonight Show hires a Jewish actor to portray North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, enjoying a plate of dog.

  • All this after Jay promised not to make jokes about Asian eating dogs after a meeting a year ago with the Korean American coalition and NAPALC.

  • And after several phone calls from MANAA and other organizations, after letters from MANAA, KAC, NAPALC, and others. NBC replied back with a letter saying, 3we at NBC are not only cognizant of-- but attempt to be- sensitive to the concerns of individuals and groups within our widely heterogeneous audience. In this instance we believe that the program's satirical sketch was completely within the bounds of appropriateness and consistent with our standards2

  • Then on May 20th, comedian Albert Brooks had a message to the people of China, 3Stop eating dogs and maybe you would not get SAR1s!!!

  • Finally things boiled to a point during NBC1s annual diversity coalition meeting when Jeff Zucker dared Karen Narasaki and NAPALC to approach their sponsors, claiming if any pulls out they have other sponsors lined up to take their place.

August 21, 2003

Protest starts promptly at 12:00 PM - noon

In front of the NBC/Tonight Show studios, 3000 Alameda Blvd (Cross Street - Bob Hope Dr), Burbank, CA.

This is a delicate issue for MANAA and Asian Americans in general. To most Americans - including Asian Americans, making fun of North Koreans and Kim Jong Il is not only a way to show displeasure towards the North Koreans but also a way to show your patriotism. MANAA always defends and promotes the fact that Asian Americans ARE Americans so we want to make clear we are not defending North Koreans or promote what Kim Jong Il is doing. What we are shedding light on is the fact that Jay Leno did not make fun of Kim Jong Il and anything specific about him as a person - instead he resounded a tired old racist stereotype that 3all Asians eat Dogs2. On previous shows, he pokes fun of Jesse Jackson, Johnny Cochran, and Al Sharpton but it was specific attacks based on information on their lives and persona. Imagine the outrage if he just made a generic racist comment about their black heritage.

Making fun of Kim Jong Il as a political figure has a different connotation than making fun of him eating dogs, which reinforces a general negative stereotype for Asian Americans. The latter leaves the impression that all Asians should be perceived as the same, including the ones that have been in this country for generations.

Coupled with the fact that Jay Leno and The Tonight Show does very little to showcase Asian American talent, and Jeff Zucker & NBC1s lack of respect towards Asian Americans, we have reached a point where all other options other than protest are ineffective and have been exhausted.

New lifestyle magazine for Asian-Canadian women: jasmine

Long night. It's late, I'm extremely tired, and I don't have time to fully read and comprehend all the stuff in this article. Read it for yourselves, formulate your opinions, and discuss: Jews in Second Place: When Asian-Americans become the "new Jews," what happens to the Jews?. The title alone should intrigue you...

TIME movie critic Richard Corliss offers up questions about his new favorite national cinema: Bollywood FAQs. A decent primer for the uninitiated.

Here is everything you need to know about directing your hatred for Fox's Banzai to the appropriate people and institutions: http://makeashorterlink.com/?D62D12A55. Also, some good news... I'm told that both Sony Pictures and Sprint have pulled ads from the show. Be sure to the thank them. Also, Banzai is apparently undergoing its trial period for the next four weeks. This is the most crucial time for the show's life at Fox...

Here's a sample letter you can send to sponsors:



Dear [Name of contact]:

It has come to our attention that (name of company) is a sponsor of the Fox show "Banzai." We are asking that you immediately and publicly withdraw your sponsorship because it is racist and destructive to the Asian and Pacific American community.

"Banzai" presents images of Asians which are painful for our community to view. The "broken English" narration reinforces the stereotype that Asian Americans are foreigners who are unable to speak English. The bizarre behavior of the all-Asian hosts, along with their exaggerated accents, further promotes ridicule of Asians and Asian Americans. In addition, segments of the show are extremely distasteful and disrespectful to other communities, including the elderly and disabled. In short, "Banzai" amounts to a modern-day minstrel show where entire communities are marginalized in the process of creating audience "entertainment."

(Name of your organization) is calling for all economic sponsors of "Banzai" to stop supporting this reprehensible show. Asian Americans have enormous economic clout: Californian Asians alone have a consumer market worth at least $104.1 billion per year. Our buying power in 2002 was estimated at $296.4 billion by the Selig Center for Economic Growth, a national leader in economic and demographic research. Coupled with the fact that Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in the United States, the buying power of Asian Americans is truly tremendous. Your decision of whether to continue supporting offensive programming such as "Banzai" will reflect your understanding of the show's disturbing effects on the interests of Asian Americans. Sponsoring this show does not bode well for (name of company)'s image among Asian Americans.

Fox is wrong in producing and airing this racist show. We ask that (name of company) not follow its footsteps by supporting Fox's thoughtless programming. (Name of your organization) demands that you end your sponsorship of "Banzai" immediately. We hope to hear from you soon regarding your decision on this important matter.


And here's a contact list of sponsors:

Jim Cantalupo
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
McDonald's Corporation
McDonald's Plaza
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Eddie Yuen
McDonald's Asian Owners Operators Association
15950 Los Serranos Cntry. Clb. Dr.
Chino Hills, CA 91709

Richard D. Parsons
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
AOL Time Warner Inc.
75 Rockefeller Plaza
NEW YORK, NY 10019

Jonathan Miller
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
America Online, Inc.
22000 AOL Way
DULLES, VA 20166

Barry M. Meyer
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
111 Eighth Ave.
NEW YORK, NY 10011

Chris Carroll
Marketing Director
Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust
325 BIC DR

John T. Schuessler
Chief Executive Officer and President
Wendy's International, Inc.
PO Box 256
DUBLIN, OH 43017

DALLAS, TX 75201

Kathryn E. Olson
Vice President, U.S. Consumer Marketing
William Wrigley Jr. Company
410 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

Personally, I don't like this Banzai show.

Freaky Friday opens in theaters today (why not Friday?), to some semi-decent reviews. Ah, mother and daughter switch bodies, hilarity ensues. An uninspired, yet tried-and-true plot premise used in many films previous, including the 1976 Jodie Foster movie from which this one is remade. So why do I mention it here? You see, these films always require some weird, mystic catalyst in order for the body-switching to occur. In Freaky Friday, it all goes down thanks to some good ol' mysterious Chinese fortune cookie magic. Ancient Chinese Secrets! No joke. Check out the trailer. Asian exoticism at its best. That's racist!

The funniest thing to me is that the fortune cookie actually has nothing to do with Chinese culture. It's a wholly American invention, fabricated by Chinese restaurants in the United States and spouting faux eastern philosophies... the joke's on you! Just so you know.

You can also share your thoughts on the matter at AsianAmericanFilm.com.

A group of Chinese American youths get harrassed and beaten by a group of white kids, who call them "gook" and "chinaman," among other things. One of the alleged attackers is arrested and charged with assault. The next day, the youth is released from juvenile hall to his family. That's where the details get really shady: Teen is sprung -- many are livid; Suspect was held in attack on Chinese American youth. Not only was the guy improperly released, and facing much more serious charges, the suspect's mother happens to work for the volunteer auxiliary at juvenile hall, and knows the senior probation officer. Now what the hell is going on here?

Looks like I spoke too soon on Miramax's release plans for Shaolin Soccer: Miramax Still Undecided on 'Shaolin Soccer'

DAT PHAN WINS! DAT PHAN is the Last Comic Standing. I can't believe it. Our man Dat Phan, underdog from the very beginning, beat out the other comics with 35% of the vote! After all the smack he's had to deal with on the show, it's nice to see him come out on top, winning an exclusive contract with NBC... He'll be on The Tonight Show tomorrow (Wednesday). Congratulations, Dat.

First Harlemm on Fame, and now Dat—this is madness!

Three men attacked a family of Indian immigrants in New York on Sunday night. The victims say they were punched, spit on and told "bin Laden family, go back to your country." The police say bias may have motivated the attackers. May? Doesn't seem like much of a question to me: 3 Indians Attacked on Street and Police Call It Bias. Ah, America. That's racist!

After what seemed like years of ups and downs on the matter, Miramax has scrapped its dubbed, edited U.S. wide release plans for the hit Hong Kong martial arts comedy Shaolin Soccer. Instead, the movie will be put into limited release—the original Cantonese language version with subtitles: Miramax Changes Tune on 'Shaolin Soccer'. Whoo. That's a relief... Shaolin Soccer is a ton of fun (I've got the DVD), but I cringed at the prospect of a cruddy dubbed version hitting theaters. This film doesn't deserve that. Hopefully Miramax will see the payoff in this wise change of plans.

Follow-up to the Alex Gong murder case... A fugitive parolee who admitted to his girlfriend that he had shot the champion kickboxer to death killed himself in a South San Francisco motel room after a 12-hour standoff with police: Jeep hit-run probe ends in death

Alex Gong, a world champion Thai-style kickboxer was shot to death in the middle of a busy San Francisco street Friday after he chased down a hit-and-run driver who had slammed into his parked car minutes earlier: Fender-bender hit-run turns fatal in S.F.; Kickbox champ chases down driver, winds up shot to death. The shooter is still at large.

The reason I've chosen Bruce Lee as a motif on this website is because his memory holds a certain larger-than-life iconic status. It's ironic and empowering and intimidating all at once. Well, at least the intended effect. Strangely, according to this article, Bruce Lee's memory has somewhat faded in the country that launched his stardom: Time is the one enemy that may vanquish him

Two Asian American cops are accused of beating a black motorist in Palo Alto last month: Palo Alto seeks answers. Charges were filed against them yesterday, raising a lot more questions about racial profiling and the treatment of minorities in P.A. Racism? Or overzealous cops? I'd say there are components of both, which make a pretty intolerable combination.

A little while ago I mentioned the recent advent of several new Asian American magazines crowding the racks. Add one more: Rice Addict, a good lookin' publication out of Houston, just over a year old. Check out the interview with media activist Guy Aoki, who goes in-depth on his now-infamous altercation with Sarah Silverman, among many other things. Pretty informative, and he doesn't pull any punches.

Conversely, here's a less informative interview with Sarah Silverman, who also has a few things to say about the ordeal, and calls Aoki "a nerd with a porno moustache." Ah, the high road.

Well, you and I both know Bend It Like Beckham has been out for months and months now, with big-time sleeper hit success... but I've been seeing commercials for it all week on the tube. Apparently, it wasn't playing everywhere before, but it really does open in theaters EVERYWHERE today. Thank Fox Searchlight, most likely capitalizing on the recent Pirates of the Caribbean success of fresh face Keira Knightley. So if you live in one of those middle-of-nowhere towns, you just might get the chance to see it now, before it gets released on DVD, September 30.

If you get the chance, check out Tribute and Remembrance: Asian Americans After 9/11, a documentary that examines how September 11th impacted the Asian American community. There is an upcoming screening on August 12 in San Francisco.

Goodness. This white lady's got a serious jones for Chinese culture: Chinatown: Eat, Drink and Speak Cantonese