Militant. I've Been Thinking About You.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Hey Militant,

I was thinking about you last night and decided I should write you out an update. I figure while you might be seeing it all from wherever you are (and I figured you'd like that cause who knows where you ended up xD), you're probably busy writing, getting to know the answers to really big questions that we can only hope to understand, and doing what people do after they've left this place (chasing beautiful things perhaps?).

So honestly--we're still in the shadows--things are changing no doubt, we're getting some exposure, but we're still there--the unpolished ones. The survivalists. The foul-mouthed. The dirty.

We're under-represented.

I'm not saying things haven't moved, and I'm not saying I don't do what I have to do and sometimes that involves the polish--but like everything else--it'll wear off--and it's kind of like we talked about in the past - where's our representation? The fallen, the corrupt, the ones w/o all the connections, the ones who have to hustle it out day in and day out to make it work (or at least that's how it feels, but data-wise I think I can still say that).

In that way, honestly--I miss your voice and what you had to say, and that piece of a larger whole--standing together even at opposite ends, individuals just representing from their own side--in that way, I still miss even just the idea of you.

Because that was something.

I think I'm writing this to you too because man--as far as I think I've come in ways--it still feels like an uphill battle. It's like I can suit it up, chat the chatter, walk the walk, but in the end, it's like I'm walking up the hill with 100lbs of meat on my back with a stench that grows deeper each day--and I don't know if I've gotten used to it.

As far as we've come, we aren't. The brown SE Asian American man, still has to take it. In all my years professionally, and I'm supposed to be in my prime, I've really only seen a handful of us reach at least some rung in the ladder, and sometimes when that happens--it's all a wash. They're the outliers. I've noticed that White Folks--they're happy to do the professional dance with Asians from different countries, and obviously to a certain extent us--but there's a difference.

It's kind of the same thing over and over--speak your mind, do the same things the WF's do--and they don't know how to deal with it.

They're afraid and scared if those Brown men are smarter, quicker, or simply more determined than their privileged-got-too-used-to-control-even-though-they-got-lazy selfs. I've actually seen some of the worst of the worst lately and it's taken me for a ride.

And there's still the ladder of Brown versus Brown. Asian versus Asian.

Probably didn't catch this as you wander and chill--but this Korean guy filed a lawsuit because he said he wasn't getting promoted because he wasn't Indian American. The model is still out there to divide and conquer. Off-shores and outsourcing. Professional caste systems. Fear and Visas to keep the rungs hung as they are...

.....

But onto other things--I became a dad--can you believe that shit? It's crazy. Married, daughter, step-kids. A family man in some ways. And honestly--I never knew how much I'd love someone that looks like me--how much I can't help but want to make sure she's a strong, wonderful, smart, and determined Asian American girl who grows up to be an amazing Asian American woman. I get scared though too--am I being too hard, am I being too soft. Does my inter-generational trauma, born out of the war in Vietnam and all the subsequent aftermath, that need to survive--what will she have to deal with? Will it make her harder than she needs to be? I worry too that I don't get the time I need with her. I feel guilty sometimes. But I have to grind, and I can't lose myself either--self shamed guilt wrapped up in the selfishness of creating a little human.

Sometimes I still feel like I don't know where I'll land. Like I'm close but I'll die not close enough, and I wonder how I'll impart that to my daughter.

And then I know I'm still who I am.

I cope.

I still love to get lost among the trees. I still love the feeling of not sleeping, my body feeling the rush.

I'm still dirty.

I still love to fuck.

And I know that I'm still broken--that piece of the Vietnamese diaspora that an individual of the community still knows, even if 3rd gen+, the piece of pieces, the aftermaths, different for each individual, but the pain in the collective still there, no matter how far we come and go.

I still love all the things that made me who I was and who I am--

and I try to reconcile that with trying to be polished.

Because I'm also cognizant of what it means to be an Asian American Brown Vietnamese SE dad--that perception alone I don't care about--but for my daughter--I have to polish it up some days.

But maybe I'm getting old too...

because I'm okay with that too,

even if I can still be out of control.

A dog still knows its master right?

It still heels when needed. When it feels suffocated. When deep down, it knows it needs to survive, because it still wants to play when it can.

Is this the dichotomy of being who were are?

But I'm building...it's slow...it's small, but in a lot of ways that's all I care about--those little ripples for the community and myself even though I still talk about us being in the shadows--I don't mind the shadows--but I also wonder about the perception and the reality for us as a whole--what I already talked about.

But I can only do so much right?

Resist In Peace,
Adam

Are Asian American Men Still Getting The Shaft Post Crazy Rich Asians?

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

I don't want to start the all too familiar war of Asian American men versus Asian American women - but - I do have to wonder if post CRA - Asian American men - at least visually and from an artistic standpoint - aren't getting their due.

Think about all the movies coming out with some hype featuring Asian American men.

And those NOT NAMED KEANU (because let's face it - as much as we love us some KR - he's an outlier).

Tell me.

And I'm talking mainstream.

Like HOW THE FUCK does Randall Park and John Cho not get more play?

Is there actually going to be an Asian Teen Heartthrob in To All The Boys Part Gazillion?

And can you name me an Asian American MALE actor getting as much play as The Wu and the AWKWA?

And - no - don't read into that last statement that they don't deserve it.

But can you do it?

I highly fucking doubt it.

An Open Letter To Trump Supporters

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Dear Trump Supporters,

Listen - I understand - you feel like we just don't hear you.

You feel like we don't understand your plight.

You need jobs.

You need a home.

And immigrants, POC, Asian Americans - like myself - are just taking it all away.

And you don't feel like you have any power.

Because the numbers are against you.

So you needed a proxy.

Someone to lift your voice of oppression to the masses.

So you could be heard.

So you could go back to days where Asian Americans couldn't testify against White People in court.

To those days, when Asian Americans couldn't marry a White Person.

To those days when you could just use Asian Americans and other immigrants and POC to get what you needed, because you deserved it.

Because no one was worth was much as a White Person - and why would they, no matter what they accomplished, no matter how hard they worked, no matter what they did - they should never be as much as a White Person right?

And when no one is worth as much as a White Person, it just hasn't made sense to you that your voice has been trampled upon.

That you were silenced.

That no one was giving you, your due.

I get it.

It's the same reason I want him out. It's the same reason I want us to take a step backward and go back to the Obama days, when at least it looked like we had a chance.

I get it.

I really do.

So These 2 White Guys From MN Created A Vietnamese Heroine?

Tuesday, September 03, 2019



While I'm late coming to the book release party for "SHOOT THE BASTARDS" - because apparently that happened this summer in June...

Here's the setup from the article down at twincities.com

When her good friend goes missing in South Africa while exploring rhino-horn poaching and international smuggling, Crys gets an assignment from National Geographic to pick up where her friend’s last email came from and continue reporting on this dangerous trade.

Nguyen travels from South Africa to Mozambique to Vietnam, never knowing whom she can trust among the government officials and rhino-protection groups she meets. What she does learn is that there is mountains of money to be made with these horns, and men of several nationalities won’t hesitate to kill anyone who interferes

Is there anything inherently wrong with this plot - not really I guess (however I wouldn't trust any government official - least of all one from the Trump administration) - but, you know - it's just - I mean - and no - I haven't read the book - but...

DO WHITE PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE EVERYTHING?

Why not a new heroine called SUZY FROM ALABAMA?

Why's she Viet?

Can WHITE PEOPLE IN MN NAME ME 5 VIET AUTHORS NOT ALREADY NAMED BAO PHI?

Does that make sense? Most non-Viet people in MN probably can't name me 5 Vietnamese American authors, but yet there's a celebration of a book (small or large I DON'T CARE) written by two White Guys, with a Vietnamese heroine?

It just feels incongruent to me.

And I get it - writers write. Art is art. Fiction is friction is fucktion.

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.

But isn't there also the tenet "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW"?

Even if it's still fiction? Even if it's still made up?

Don't you still have to have that base?

I mean why choose a Vietnamese woman?

Does someone have a Viet wife? Maybe an adopted grandkid? Did they give money to the overseas coin tappers to help save the children and the people? And these books are to honor the Viet people?

I'm not trying to be a dick - that's legit (because maybe I'm just getting soft in the prime of my life) - but again - it just feels incongruous.

It's like when you were a kid and you accidentally peed down your leg.

You knew it wasn't right. You did it anyway. And it did feel good to get it out.

But it still wasn't right...

Why I Didn't See Hobbs And Shaw In The Theaters...Yes It's Mostly Because Of Han...

Wednesday, August 07, 2019



I can't help but say to myself over and over that I want films with POC and members of the APIA community to do well. I feel like if I said "Well - who really cares" that would go against everything I stand for...however, it doesn't always mean that I'll actually go see the film...because I still have to want to actually see the film.

And honestly...I just didn't want to see this bad enough to go out and see it in the theater. If it comes out on HBO or Netflix, or there's a disc floating around that happens to land in my player - well - yeah - I'll watch it.

But I just couldn't get myself to go - and the real reason - if I'm really honest with myself is, well...



Some people love the mythology of Star Wars, The Avengers, Superman, DC Heroes - et al. - and while I myself aren't as deeply embedded into that realm as others - I get it.

For me? My lore and film mythology I follow...one of them is The Fast And The Furious. Say what you want, but I've grown attached to the characters, the stories, and the lore.

Not only are the films good and demand that, but it was also the connection of Asian American director Justin Lin, his hand in the franchise - bringing it back to life - and doing it with the too often maligned "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift".

It wasn't just the film - but the Asian American representation behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Say what you will - but that meant a lot - it sill does.

So when Han died and Shaw later came on to the team - for whatever capacity it was - it just didn't sit right. Sure we watched it, and I thought he'd get his comeuppance...but you know - it didn't happen. And I guess in some ways I thought it would come later - so I was okay with at least what initially happened in the film series.

But the internal fighting, the need for a spin-off - it all just felt....unlike "family" - especially when you consider the actual death of Paul Walker.

I mean - can you desecrate a franchise more then creating a spin-off starring the villain that killed off one of the main family members of the series?

I would get it if he was still a villain - but now I have to root for him in a spin-off?

And yeah - I understand DJ is APIA - and I feel really bad for Idris because they could have put him in a real F & F film - but I just couldn't get past it.

And I Know It's Not Whitewashing But...

Say what you will...but we've all (or at least many) have made the joke about Jason Statham being the White Guy who gets the Asian woman in some of his past films (and I still will never get past Shu Qi...) - or even recently in "The Meg" - somehow he's the only one who can save the world and somehow gets the affections of Li Bingbing. And I know how that sounds - and Asian women, you do you - but when we're looking off screen at the way Asian American and Asian men have been portrayed in Hollywood - there's some truth we get to speak about this.

And we have.

So I can't help but honestly feel a little jaded that Han dies (well at least for now because he's coming back MF's), and his White killer gets a spin-off.

That alone just didn't sit right with me...

Add to it that DJ, who let's say it too - decided to take "family business" and take it public - and kind of said "screw you family", was starring in the spin-off - I mean - that didn't help it either. F & F helped build his film career.

And yes - you can call me petty for thinking all of this - but I can't help it.

It's what I feel.

Long Posts Going Forward....?

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Well - it's been some time since I last made a post here - I think in part because I've been a little busy but also because I've also been doing some more on twitter and I thought to myself that maybe I should start saving posts on the blog for longer posts - or at least more in-depth posts than I am doing on twitter. But I do have to say that I am having a decent time making organic posts on twitter, versus posting here, and then having those go to twitter.

Which will still happen.

But - I think I'm going to save the blog, at least that's my thought now, for longer meatier posts.

I'm not exactly sure if that will happen (or if I'll stick to that doctrine of blog), but maybe...

That's at least my thought.

And then I don't know how many per month - maybe just a few - maybe more - honestly now that I've written that, I wonder if it will actually be true.

We'll see.

And we're moving now...

“Always Be My Maybe” Is Getting a TON OF PRESS. Here's Why And I'll Start With A Quote.

Friday, May 24, 2019



Here's a quote from Indiewire:

If “Crazy Rich Asians” proved movies with Asian American leads could rock the box office, “Always Be My Maybe” is about to do the same thing for Netflix movies. The new romantic comedy stars Ali Wong and Randall Park as two estranged childhood friends who reunite in adulthood, rekindling an old flame that never quite got to burn bright. With these two beloved comedy stars at the helm, “Fresh Off the Boat” creator Nahnatchka Khan in the director’s chair, a hilarious Keanu Reeves cameo, and a title riffing on the greatest Mariah Carey song of all time — “Always Be My Maybe” will soon be part of you indefinitely.

While I disagree that CRA "proved" movies with Asian American leads could rock the box office - because I think there's a lot to that statement because there was already proof of it and in other ways it did happen but wasn't as talked about it (and I'm talking about leads versus an all Asian/Asian American cast) - versus it coming to a very specific head in the way CRA did and the money it made - I do agree it was though, a watershed moment, because people outside of the APIA community were finally ready to embrace and talk about race and ethnicity in a very different way - and accept it on a different level.

I think “Always Be My Maybe” is in that same vein. We've always had great actors and actresses - but it's been whether or not people accepted them. When they do - and they are - now people will actually give us our fair shot - and let's be honest - “Always Be My Maybe” looks MF AMAZING. If you like ROMCOMS - and I DO - you know this is a great movie.

10-15 years ago this could have been made (forgetting about certain references) - but wouldn't have been received like this.

It's about timing.

Everything's about timing.

So yeah - that's a piece of this.

And Ali Wong and Randall Park look awesome as fuck in this.

Can't forget about them...the actual actors...and director...Nahnatchka Khan.

I guess they have a little something to do with it too...

But still a lot about timing....well you know what I mean...just watch this MF on Netflix on May 31, 2019.

And yes - it also has Keanu Reeves, Daniel Dae Kim, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Karan Soni, Charlyne Yi, James Saito, Lyrics Born, and Susan Park in it.

Did You Do Anything For APAH MONTH? Anything?

Friday, May 24, 2019

Seriously what did you do?

I tweeted, represented my people. I've even done three blog posts - two of them shitty for sure - but still posted. I backed an Asian American Kickstarter project.

I thought about backing another (but didn't but only because I had to choose between that and a happy meal and I choose the happy meal).

Did you at least GET NAKED?

Rub yourself with Asian American stuff? And no I don't know what stuff you should be rubbing yourself with.

No you probably didn't.

And yes - this is all this post is fuckers.

And you know by fuckers it means I think you're really really sweet.

Do something - anything - for this month.

Because it's dedicated to us.

Fuckers.

#APAHM For This Month - Again - Be Naked

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

While running around yelling "HAN LIVES YOU FUCKERS!!!!!".

F & F is the only mythical lore I love?

Not completely true but you get the picture...

Be naked. Yell. Believe in the lore you love.

Nadya Okamoto + Leading the Menstrual Movement

Wednesday, May 01, 2019



https://www.instyle.com/celebrity/badass-women-nadya-okamoto-period

Nadya Okamoto started a nonprofit, got into Harvard, ran for public office, and wrote a book — and she’s barely 21 years old. “I never feel like I am doing enough,” Okamoto tells InStyle. “Every night when I go to sleep, I always feel like I can be doing more to reconcile the privilege I have in this world and doing more to fight for equity.”

Yet, when Okamoto describes her teen years, the word “privilege” doesn’t spring to mind. In high school her family didn’t have a permanent home of their own, and it took Okamoto two hours to get to school. During her commute she had to change buses, and this is where she met women living in homeless shelters in the area. She started talking to some of them and discovered that in addition to the obvious — not being able to afford food, health care, or a place to live — they also couldn’t afford sanitary products for their periods. As a result they had to use toilet paper, cotton balls, socks, paper grocery bags, or even cardboard in lieu of pads and tampons. Resorting to these unsanitary methods carries all kinds of health risks, says Okamoto, “anything ranging from skin irritation to something more serious like toxic shock syndrome.”

I feel shame for all I haven't done....

I Was In The Motherlands So I Have An Excuse?

Monday, April 29, 2019

If you've noticed - but you probably haven't.

I've been away. No blogs. No tweets.

If you would be nice you'd say I was on a little vacation break.

If you weren't you'd say I'm just a shitty blogger (wait, didn't I use that in my last post title?).

Either is fine with me.

And now onto your regular White Washed TV.

Damn I'm A Shitty Blogger This Month (AKA So Here's Some News)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Well, since I haven't been blogging much this month--can I blame that on fake news and Trump?--instead I give you the news of people better than me.

Reappropriate - Oakland Unified School District Votes to Cut Program Serving Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

With reporting from Reappropriate intern V. Huynh.

“Today is a historic day in the city of Oakland where teachers, educators are united with parents, students, and we are demanding that we have schools that our students deserve here in the city of Oakland,” said Keith Brown, President of the Oakland Education Association last month at a gathering of over 3,000 educators, students, and parents at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. The activists represented over 87 schools in the Oakland United School District (OUSD), and later marched to OUSD headquarters chanting phrases like “Education Not Incorporation” and “Invest in Equity”.

The educators were marching to demand better wages, better support for students, and the better allocation of educational resources to schools who share histories of disproportionate funding and attention. Pithily put: This one’s about the kids.
National Review - Wesley Yang’s Asian-American Experience
Yang’s The Souls of Yellow Folk articulates the struggles of a ‘model minority.’

The word “coolie” comes to us from a Chinese term for “bitter labor,” and in Park Avenue law firms to this day there is an assumption that the heirs of these immigrants are the ones to be given the grunt work. White people in the same firms, says law professor and writer Tim Wu, manage to float above that, to seem like officers rather than cannon fodder, managers rather than minions. Guess who gets promoted to partner and who doesn’t? “The loudest duck gets shot,” is a Chinese proverb. “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is a Japanese analogue. In English, we say, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
As the Harvard Admissions Case Nears a Decision, Hear From 2 Asian-American Students on Opposite Sides
Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a group led by conservative anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum, has alleged that Harvard discriminates against Asian-American students by holding them to a higher standard than other racial groups. SFFA lawyers have focused on a statistical analysis showing that Asian-American applicants on average were given a lower “personal rating” by Harvard’s admissions office than applicants of other races. Harvard has said that analysis is flawed and has denied it discriminates, arguing that race-conscious admissions policies are necessary to maintain a diverse student body.
8 Badass Asian-Americans We Can't Overlook This Women's History Month
Not only do Asian-American women have to contend with the glass ceiling, but we also have to worry about the “bamboo ceiling”: an invisible barrier that systematically keeps Asians out of leadership positions in spite of success in the workplace and in school. Below ― to mark Women’s History Month ― we give props to eight Asian-American pioneers who became heroines in their respective fields. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so feel free to share who would have made your list in the comments.
Head of Warner Bros. Resigns Over Alleged Quid-Pro-Quo Relationship With Actress
On Monday, Warner Bros. announced that chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara, the first Asian American man to run a major Hollywood Studio, had resigned amidst an investigation into alleged misconduct. The news follows a report in the Hollywood Reporter last week featuring leaked text messages dating back to 2013, allegedly sent between Tsujihara and actress Charlotte Kirk. The messages seem to show Tsujihara offering to help with her career while the two had a sexual relationship.
GenAPA hosts cultural show ‘Technicolor: Vivid Past. Vibrant Future.
On Friday night, about 200 University of Michigan students, families and alums lined the halls of the Michigan League eager to enter the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre for the annual Generation Asian/Pacific American’s cultural performance. The event, advertised to be the largest Pan-Asian cultural show in the Midwest, has been a tradition of GenAPA since the group’s founding in 1995.

Asian Women On Asian Women Who Color Their Hair Blond...

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I'm just going to break this one down because I feel like it should be broken down, even if not all the way, because I just have to roll this one up and smoke it - even if I come back to it later on ('cause sometimes you just have to save a little).

Maybe I'm wrong and generalizing on this one but I feel like Asian women, on Asian women, can sometimes be the harshest of the harsh, on Asian women.

I'm not saying that's wrong - because of anyone gets to be harsh on Asian women, it's Asian women - I'm just saying.

Sometimes I do hear the "Why does she have to be blond? Why's she trying to have the White Woman hair? Why can't she just be who she is?"--and I'll concede that at times, I can ask this question myself - but honestly - only in some cases, and usually, only after I hear an Asian woman comment on it.

My take is that White Women get to color their hair all the time. Why can't Asian women color their hair too?

Just because it's blond does that mean it has to be bad?

I mean I get it too and I love the beautiful black and brown hair of my people, and I understand the ropes of colonization we must unwrap ourselves from, but sometimes, I feel like the hair color is just a little difference.

Sometimes a rock is just a rock.

I like pink and red too btw - or steaks, or tips.

And--is it okay for an Asian woman, to like a White Woman's style, and emit portions of that, or make it their own?

Is it being colonized?

Or is it appreciation?

Or - does it have nothing to do with them anyway?

I should also say - you hear Asian guys rap on this (myself included) - so it does cross over - and then that gets me thinking about how I don't hear the same criticism of Asian guys who do a little blond in their hair, and that begs the question of why do we question one more than the other?

Hmmm....more to think about.

3X DUMBFOUNDEAD (Cafe Bleu)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A little behind putting these up - but you know - just vibe...





Daylight (Music And Music): Year of the OX - Seven Rings (TRAKTIVIST Radio mashup), G2 - I Don't Know (feat. Lyricks)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Year of the OX - Seven Rings (TRAKTIVIST Radio mashup)




G2 - I Don't Know (feat. Lyricks)