To everyone out in blogosphere - I hope you have a very happy New Year. Thanks for reading and finding this corner in the world of blogs and beyond - and be on the lookout for more posts looking back at '07 as there's still some more to come...be safe and give someone a hug - even if it's yourself :-)
Some links and news from stories around the web and beyond:
Battered Asian women find help Downtown (Downtown Express)
The New York Asian Women’s Center, based in Lower Manhattan, was founded in 1982 to help Asian and Asian American women who were victims of domestic violence. Today, its counselors and caseworkers support and guide women through the tumult of leaving their abusive partners in 15 different languages, including several dialects of Chinese, Hindi, Bengali and Vietnamese.Best API Films of '07 (Nichi Bei Times Weekly)
I have numerous beefs with film criticism, and "best film" rankings embody several of them. The idea that art can be ranked by number is kind of absurd and perhaps even insulting to the work it is supposedly lauding. Giving a personal opinion on what was good or bad about a film is one thing, but assigning it a number is sort of like saying "apples are my number three fruit, oranges are number 5, and bananas came in at 2." It's completely ridiculous and it's no way to examine art. That said, here is my list [...]The full, unadulterated Q&A with Paula Kamden on Iris Chang (NAM)
Editor’s note: The night before Iris Chang, best selling author of “The Rape of Nanking,” committed suicide using an antique gun, she contacted Paula Kamen, one of her closest friends. Chang was 36 and had much to live for – fame, fortune, beauty, a loving husband and caring parents, a beautiful new baby. Seeking to reconcile Chang’s “perfect” life and her mysterious suicide, Kamen scoured correspondents, diaries, archival material as well as her own memories.10 Most Bigoted Remarks of 2007 (Right Celebrity)
It’s time once again for a top ten list. This time we’re going to look at the 10 Most Bigoted Remaks of 2007 (and part of 2006). It’s hard to believe that these things still happen, but unfortunately they do.Amul Thapar, First South Asian Federal Judge in U.S. (Indiawest)
More than 84 years after Bhagat Thind, a Punjab-born immigrant and World War I veteran, was stripped of American citizenship by the U.S. Supreme Court because the color of his skin was not white, Amul R. Thapar, the 38-year-old son of India-born immigrants, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the first federal judge of South Asian descent in U.S. history.The Many Shades of Chaka Khan, Now in ‘Purple’ (NY Times)
The Broadway stage has seen celebrities come, and it has seen them go, but it may just have to get up off its doubts for Chaka Khan. This R&B and funk star begins performing as the sassy, fearless Sofia in “The Color Purple” on Jan. 9.Racism allegations prompt diversity training (Battle Creek Enquirer)
Albion Public Schools personnel will undergo diversity training as part of a settlement reached with the state Department of Civil Rights concerning complaints filed by parents last spring alleging racial discrimination. Similar complaints were lodged against the city's Public Safety Department, which arrested four black students after a March 2007 fight at the high school. Those are still pending, said Harold Core, state Civil Rights Department spokesman.Suspect surrenders in string of burglaries at Asian diners (East Bay Daily News)
A man suspected in a rash of takeover robberies at East Bay Asian restaurants surrendered to police Friday afternoon, two days after another suspect in the hold-ups was charged with 57 felonies connected to the heists. Mandi Coleman, 19, of Oakland, turned himself in to San Leandro police about 4 p.m. Friday. Another suspect, Lance Lindquist, 19, was charged Wednesday with 57 felonies in connection with a string of 11 robberies at Asian restaurants in Oakland and other nearby cities, according to police.
Sure - the XXX crowd probably has some other male and female contenders, but in order to include them I'd have to sit through countless hours of gonzo flesh consumption - and really - I just don't have the time for those kinds of wrist action marathons anymore - but even if I did, I'm sure my pick of Roger Fan, who wasn't afraid to get it lathered up as the narcissistic Breeze Loo in Justin Lin's Finishing The Game would actually rank quite high among all entries.
While 2007 saw the rise of more Asian Americans in blogosphere and around the Web, one of the most original voices to come out this year has been the duo from Disgrasian.
With posts like The Harapuka Girls and If We Had Dicks, We'd Want to Do the New Kristen Bell, regular contributors to 23/6, a Disgrasian dictionary, and the tag line You're a disgrace. To the Race. - bloggers Jen and Diana tackle everything from Asian American news and media to pop culture to national and world politics, and do it in their own hardcore-tell-it-like-it-is way that most other bloggers, Asian American or not, just haven't done before.
If you're looking for some more things to do in the next week or so, check out some of these happenings:
- Lao rapper Gumby will be playing a show this 12/28 along with Thai stars Ya-Ya-Ying, Jennifer, and Birdie down at the KOC in Minnesota. For more information check out his MySpace page or call their information hotline at 1-763-537-5576.
- Charmaine Clamor will be heading out 2 shows, one at the Seattle Asian Art Museum Concert on 12/29 (1-206-654-3100), and down at Ella's on the 31st for A New Year's celebration, jazzipino style! (1-509-747-8243).
- Kenny Eng will be playing some shows in the New Year on 1/5 2008 at Across the Street: Music at Mueller College 4601 Park Blvd, San Diego, California 92103 Cost : $8
- Brenda Xu will be on 1/4 2008 at the Starbucks benefit show 4176 Oceanside Blvd., Oceanside, California 92056 Cost : donation. She'll be performing with Melissa Vaughn.
Hoang Thuy Linh
For this category we have to go outside of the U.S. to Vietnam where 19 year old Hoang Thuy Linh from the ever popular TV drama Vang Anh's Diaries - which has now been cancelled - decided to have sex with her 20 year old ex-boyfriend which was recorded on a cellphone, stolen, and then posted on YouTube (where it has been deleted, but copies of the grainy sexual affair apparently still exist).
Unlike in the U.S. where a sex tape scandal can make someone a pseudo star (or at least hasn't killed a "career" yet), in Vietnam it's not only killed the series, and her career - at least for a time being - but also may result in legal action (jail) against the four college students that have allegedly posted it.
Forget Vietnam Linh - the U.S. is waiting for you to take the crown from Paris.
While a lot of people don't want to be outed by someone else (see T. R. Knight and Isaiah Washington), if there's one outing of a gay man in 2007 that was cool for young and old alike that didn't cause any bad blood - for the most part - it would have to be JK Rowling coming clean that her character, top wizard Albus Dumbledore, was in fact part of the GLBT crowd - and while we probably won't see Dumbledore kicking it in any parades in '08 - there are now hundreds of millions of copies with a great gay character in circulation - and that's pretty cool.
With over 1000 signatures already, and gaining more momentum, a group of students from the University of Washington are pushing for a statue of Bruce Lee on campus, where one in four students are Asian American:
Meditating peacefully, or blazed in bronze getting ready to fight, either way it's about time Bruce gets a statue there - read the full article here, as well as another down at UPI.
When she closes her eyes, college sophomore Courtney Ioane can visualize the statue of Bruce Lee that she wants erected on the University of Washington campus. It is bronze and life-size -- not so big that it dominates the area but substantial enough to be noticed. And the legendary fighter would not be punching or kicking but sitting in a meditative pose.
"Bruce Lee was more than a martial artist," said Ioane, 20. "He also had an amazing philosophy of life. He's a cultural icon recognized all over the world -- except on this campus," where Lee studied for three years in the early 1960s.
While Vietnam has banned access to certain sites and information online, since the news in July that it would be drafting regulations on what could, and could not be posted on blogs, there hasn't been a lot of news on it since then - until now.
According to recent news stories, Vietnam officials are making another statement:
Deputy Information and Communications Minister Do Quy Doan this week told a conference on Vietnam's press law that "controlling weblogs is about developing them in accordance with the law, not forbidding them". Bloggers would also be held responsible for information they access, he reportedly said, adding: "Once we have obvious regulations, I think no one will be able to supervise weblogs better than the bloggers themselves."
So basically "regulation" means censorship - and as "free" as Vietnamese are in the sense of new economic opportunities - they're still under the rule of a communist government.
And in case you thought things like this only happened in communist countries, Australia is also getting some net censorship as well in the form of age verification - and outright bans - for the majority of online content.
Sites - big or small - will now have to get professionally assessed by a third party which will deem whether or not a site is rated MA15-plus, or R18-plus, and then if accessed will have to provide age verification tools for users.
At the same time the Australian Communications and Media Authority will have full force to take down sites and content which they deem as being offensive - and that means anything which is rated as X18-plus - and sites outside of Australia will be added to a non-approved inaccessible censored list.
So America - country that I love - while you've partially been built on the backs of slaves, the colonization of indigenous people, and forced those into camps for looking like me - at least you still give us the freedom to bash you while looking at copious amounts of naked people without retribution.
Some breaking news and links from the wire on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto:
Pakistan's Bhutto Killed in Attack (The Guardian)
Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, aides said. "The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred," Bhutto's lawyer Babar Awan said.Pakistan's Bhutto assassinated in gun, bomb attack (Reuters)
Police said 16 people had been killed in the blast, which occurred during campaigning for a January 8 national election. It is unclear if the poll will now go ahead.Russia condemns bomb attack in Pakistan targeting Bhutto (Xinhua News)
Russia on Thursday condemned the bomb attack in Pakistan that killed the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, a foreign ministry spokesman said. Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister, was shot Thursday minutes after she addressed a rally of thousands of supporters in the city of Rawalpindi, police said. The attacker blew himself up immediately after the shots.Benazir Bhutto assassinated in Pakistan (AFP)
It was the second suicide attack at a Bhutto event since she had returned from exile in October, aiming to contest the elections, and comes amid an unprecedented wave of violence in the country. The deadliest terror attack in Pakistan's history targetted her homecoming rally just hours after her return, leaving 139 people dead.
With a smooth voice and accessible tracks with an edge like GGUU and Alive, if you haven't heard the music from singer/songwriter Kawehi, born and raised in Honolulu, you can check it out now at her MySpace page and her official site - and if you want to see her live, she'll also be playing a gig down at The Hotel Cafe in LA on January 7th.
They were promised they would only be homeless for a maximum of 18 months. The local administration says the first batch of 200 houses will be handed over on Wednesday, three years to the day since the tsunami struck.2007: The Year of the Asian Man - Not
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 2007 was not a new contender for "year of the Asian man." Not by a long shot. If anything it was the year of the Asian mug-shot.What Does It Mean to Be "Hapa?"
Wei Ming Dariotis, an Asian American studies professor at San Francisco State, wrote an interesting article on the definition of the word "hapa": Rethinking the definition of hapa. Prior to reading her article, I had a vague understanding that hapa was a Hawaiian word used to describe any Asian of mixed race heritage.YouTube, Land of the Brave Asian American (also check out previous Slant Eye blog posts here on David Choi and Happy Slip)
Vast and brimming with trailblazing opportunities, YouTube is the Wild, Wild West version 2.0 for people seeking to create entertainment that defies the boundaries of traditional media.
To everyone out in blogosphere - have a safe and Happy Holidays.
If obesity is more about health than how big or small you are - than Asian kids need to get some exercise and lay off the McDonalds for a bit - because at least according to one article, the sedentary life style and take-out cravings are making our youngest generation ripe for death from heart attacks and strokes - and really - that job should be left to booze, cigarettes, and running from The Man as he tries to incarcerate you for crossing the border illegally for cheap prescription drugs.
When you think about the holidays, you're thinking about good food, presents, spending some time with loved ones - but what you're not thinking about is your house getting spray painted with racial epitaphs right before family and friends are set to come over and celebrate - which unfortunately just happened to a Michigan couple:
If you live in the area and know anything that can help find these racist perps call the Michigan hotline at 1-800-272-7463.
Racism wasn't a part of Tim Ross' life in Cedar Rapids. Until Sunday. That day, his neighbors came over to tell him and his wife, Robyn, that they saw racist graffiti written in white spray-paint on the side of their brick house on Mallory Street SW.
They went outside to see that, sometime Saturday night, a vandal or vandals had painted "White power" there, and a picture of a hangman's platform with a stick figure hanging from it, using the "n" word below it. "LEAVE NOW" was scrawled in large letters on the back of the house."They painted a swastika on my bedroom window, right by my head where I was sleeping," he said.
Tim is black. Robyn is white. And Tim is one of the few minorities who live in the predominantly white southwest neighborhood, the Rosses said. Ross, who filed a police report, said it had to have been a personal attack.
Some things just don't translate - and while The Eye remake could in fact work, from the looks of this trailer - Hollywood has taken a perfectly good movie from Takashi Miike and turned it into something fans of the original probably won't even recognize, or worse yet - flat out laugh at - and while I'm interested to see how it actually compares to the original - it's not looking too good.
For those interested in Street Fighter, or Kristin Kreuk, CinemaBlend reported a few days ago that Kreuk has signed on to play the role of Chun-Li - and the movie is already garnering a lot of opinions:
You would think that, after the last Street Fighter movie, nobody would want to touch the franchise again. It was an embarrassing flick that pretty much killed Van Damme’s mainstream career and can be blamed for killing Raul Julia period. Okay, maybe that’s taking things to an extreme, but it’s pretty darn bad [...]
The movie will focus on Chun-Li’s journey for justice, which is a hell of a lot better than having the character as a news reporter like she was in the previous picture where she was played by Ming-Na Wen. Ming-Na’s career survived the fiasco of a film, so there’s hope for Kreuk even if the movie doesn’t fare that well.
While there are a lot of good Desi reads out in blogosphere, Sepia Mutiny - doing it since 2004 - still has to be regarded as one of the best - and on this list - the best of the year.
Chalk it up to the number of bloggers and contributors, new and interesting posts, great perspectives, or just the community dialogue that their blog brings - Sepia Mutiny has a vibe that is distinctly its own as it brings a Desi voice to the masses through its political, personal, and irreverent posts.
With a debut album on Sony's Epic label, her songs and voice in film and television like Must Love Dogs, One Tree Hill, Days Of Our Lives, and Beowulf, Susie Suh has been making the best of her talents since she came onto the scene - and she's got a new song (a live version of Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice, It's All Right) you can grab for free by going to her site and signing up for her mailing list. Get the new music here.
Far*East Movement, Smile
If you haven't seen the video for the FM collaboration with Ken Oak - check the video above - because it's not just one of the best Asian American music videos to come out in '07 - it's just flat out one of the best this year has had to offer.
Paris Hilton on the David Letterman Show
This is the way that smackdowns should happen - and from the build-up throughout the show, you knew something grand was coming, and when Letterman finally introduced Paris Hilton as a "Film Star" with many talents - true to form, Letterman completely man handled and gave the smackdown to Hilton as no other person could, or would have the balls to do, even making Hilton look offstage for help.
Maybe next year he can do the same with Michelle Malkin.
With words and phrases like fugitive, conman, pyramid scheme, federal charges, and 20 million dollars in fraud attached to his name, even if Hsu did in fact do some good with the money he swindled from investors by giving some of it to worthy causes like scholarships and political campaigns - in the end it was tainted - it was for nothing.
While he was once known as a high-profile-behind-the-scenes political supporter with ties to people like former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and the most famous being Hillary Clinton, who even called him "our friend Norman" - since it was made known that he was indeed a fugitive on the run for 15 years conning good people out of their life savings - not only have all ties been severed with Hsu - but his legacy could have a lasting effect on how major Asian American donors and supporters could be scrutinized in the future (no matter how unjust it may be).
Where: On YouTube in the video Perfected: The Ann Coulter Song from Barelypolitical.com at around the 2:08 mark (you have to spot them quick though...)
When: First saw December 18, 2007
Who: Random Asians lip syncing along on the streets of NY to help keep spreading the word on what a complete hump Ann Coulter is - because apparently people still don't get it.
Help Slant Eye spot more Endangered Random Asians In The Media when you see them by e-mailing the spotted Asian's vitals, links, or pics if ya got 'em, down to firstname.lastname@example.org. If inclined to do so, feel free to also send along your vitals, and/or a 150 X 150 pic so you can get credit for helping to spot more Endangered Random Asians In The Media.
I like rice. I like making an impact - even in a small way. And I like word games - even if they show me how much I still need a Word of the Day calendar.
Wired has a quick item on Andy Huang, an up and coming filmmaker:
Catch acclaimed animated short "Doll Face" in the lineup of First Post's Online Animated Film Festival 2007. From the imagination of rising Asian-American filmmaker Andy Huang, this elegant film is an allegory on beauty that suggests a dark genre of a robo-fairy tale. Perfect for the holidays.
Check out the trailer for the new flick directed by Daniel Lee starring Andy Lau, Sammo Hung, Vanness Wu, and Maggie Q.
After 14 years on the air - only 11 of which have been funny - Conan O'Brien has kept on rocking late night TV with his gift for self deprecation, uncanny timing, and the show's unique blend of humor and skits which he helps write and produce - and after years of getting nominated but never winning, this year the show finally won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program.
At the same time, O'Brien has been paying for the salaries of his nonwriting production staff of 80 people out of his own bank account so they wouldn't get hit financially during the holidays because of the WGA strike.
Pale or non-pale, that's pretty damn cool.
Where: On the Newsweek.com site, featured in a Flash based advertisement for Vytorin, a prescription cholesterol tablet of some sort helping with cholesterol levels.
When: December 20, 2007
Who: An Asian grandma looking cute as a button with cherry earrings next to a tasty looking ice cream cherry sundae.
Help Slant Eye spot more Endangered Random Asians In The Media when you see them by e-mailing the spotted Asian's vitals, links, or pics if ya got 'em, down to email@example.com. If inclined to do so, feel free to also send along your vitals, and/or a 150 X 150 pic so you can get credit for helping to spot more Endangered Random Asians In The Media.
Read the article down at the NY Times on the current New Orleans housing protests and how it will be getting even worse as the government tries to move 30,000 people displaced by the floods from current government owned trailers to permanent houses - all of which begs the question of how much longer it's going to take for the government to take care of its own still two years after Katrinagate.
The nominations are in for the 31st Japanese Academy Awards, and some of the top contenders and nominees are, Tokyo Tower - Mom & Me, and sometimes Dad, Always 2, and I Just Didn't Do It. Check out some of the trailers below, or past posts.
Tokyo Tower - Mom & Me, and sometimes Dad
I Just Didn't Do It
While it had an intriguing pilot episode, I wondered where the series could actually go and if it would wear out its welcome with lines like "3 days, 2 hours, 21 minutes...", and in effect - if it would be a one-trick pony - the show that could have, but didn't - and in the wrong hands it had the potential to be cancelled before you could say "1 pilot, 1 episode".
As the series has gone on though, I've kept on being surprised with the great writing and cast, keen touches to detail, cameos, and the growing relationship between Chuck and Olive, Chuck and Ned and Olive, and how the knitting Private Eye seems to keep it all together.
The only real question I have is this: If Chuck and Ned can kiss between cellophane plastic, can't they use some Trojan rubber to get a little closer too?
Some end of the week hip hop tunage from Zeebra's World of Music CD, featuring Sphere of Influence & May J - and yes - that's a lot of Snickers.
With standout tracks like Capture Me Burning, Love Within My Sins, Kokoro, and the bitchin' Kokoro SoR dance remix, The Slants don't just play and produce great music - they press the flesh and do whatever it takes to make sure their Chinatown dance rock gets heard.
From getting the right people to help promote them, playing an endless array of shows and conventions, keeping their MySpace pages and e-newsletters up to date and relevant, to making sure they get the word out with as many interviews and videos as they can - in just a short amount of time The Slants have been able to make a big Asian dent in the music scene, and it's looking like 2008 is going to be even better.
Check out this post down at BlackPerspective.net on how Duane is trying to improve his image and how one blogger isn't falling for it:
I talked about targeting his advertisers before but now I’m really going to make a Campaign of it in coming weeks as the snakes at A&E are trying to slither the show back on to the schedule. Should start by thanking SiCap president Wayne Perry, who pulled his advertising from day one with unequivocal language
"A&E should wash their hands of this guy. Dog’s rant has personally disrupted my faith in people, and we will never associate any of our brands with any forum that supports racism in any way. As far as we’re concerned, the only way A&E will be in our ad budget next year is if they dump the Dog.”
This category was a tough one because of all the insane racist competition from companies that thought they could get away with discriminatory practices who finally got the smackdown this year.
But because of how well known the company is all over the world, the size of the settlement, and the total number of employees involved - the winner goes to NIKE Inc. - who still got off way to damn easy.
And as much of a slavemaster as NIKE Inc. is - and they are the biggest this year - let's not forget some of their brethren who also tainted the corporate landscape, and are worthy racist competitors coming in a close second place:
B & H Foto and Electronics Corp for having to pay out $4.3 million to its Hispanic and Latino employees who were paid less, never promoted, and denied health benefits because of their national origin.
Quietflex Manufacturing Company, L.P. for having to pay out $2.8 million to 78 current and former Latino workers for employee discrimination.
Target Corporation for having to pay out a total of not just one, but two times this year for race discrimination. In their first settlement which came early this year they paid out $775,000 to 13 black employees in Pennsylvania for racial harassment, and this December they just paid out another $550,000 for not hiring black applicants because of their race. Still yet, they have more litigation coming down the pipes.
And if there was a bronze...
Benenson Rehabilitation Pavilion for the racial harassment of 29 black and Caribbean employees, with a settlement of $900,000.
Local 580, Ornamental Iron Workers for getting smacked for $800,000 for not directing non-whites to the same jobs as their white counterparts resulting in a disparity of work and pay.
Looking at some of the past winners of Reality TV shows this year, while Apolo Anton Ohno got some MILFs out of their seat to watch Dancing With The Stars, he wasn't a trash talker - not by a long shot - in fact he was anything but a trash talker. And while Victor Lee and his team demolished every team around them in the World Series Of Pop, talking a big game even predicting his team's win (which took a huge set of balls) - it was really more confidence than anything else - he just knew they were better.
But if there was one winner who had it all, and not only blew through the competition but also talked a grand game of smack throughout the process - showing no mercy even to the judges that would in fact decide his fate (and you know Tom Colicchio whispered something Godfather into his ear the night of his win) - it has to be - hands down, no questions asked - Hung Huynh from this season of Top Chef, who was the baddest mofo to step into the kitchen in quite some time.
Even though I hadn't watched some of the last few episodes - in watching the flashback scenes as well as the last two dates in the finale - it wasn't really hard to guess who she was going to pick.
The little kisses she gave Dani "snuggling" versus the hot tub treatment with Bobby just solidified that in the end it was going to be Dani being left to get a table for one.
But remember that she is getting her own Futch clothing line out of all this - so she'll at least have some cash to keep her warm, and while it's not love - we all know TV love fades, but that cash - that Futchy cash is gonna keep on earning interest.
And sure - Bobby will end up getting some winner 1/2 and 1/2 out of it, but in the end he'll be single, lonely, broke, and without a clothing line. So if you think about it - Dani really did get the better deal.
Check out an insightful article down at Asian-Nation on Indian companies in relation to Chinese companies and the bad press they've been getting:
The recent troubles concerning the quality of Chinese products has undoubtedly hurt the reputation of all Chinese companies. But what about India? In many ways, India lags behind China in terms of economic development and still experiences high-profile incidents of bad publicity, but should these shortcomings suggest that all Indian companies are inferior?
Boston Progress Radio
One of the best things about BPR is that it's cool without being commercial. In the current haze of pimping profiles, or loading pages with everything under the sun, when you visit the BPR site it's refreshingly different. It's clean and contained with a sense of depth not just about the music, but about the community BPR is looking to explore and open to the widest possible audience.
At the same time, with limited resources, while they don't have live DJ's and programs, they have a playlist lookup of songs, new in-depth blog posts on added artists to their catalog (among others), podcast interviews, event sponsoring - and above all - play some great music.
It's Asian American radio the way it should be.
Justin Lin's Finishing The Game
There really isn't any other movie that could fit into this category, but if you're going to do a pseudo-retrospective on Asians and the 70's and the film biz, that means you gotta represent the skin - and while sticklers for detail will note that Nautica Thorn wasn't even born in the 70's (damn IMDB bookworms don't get that she was "in character" as Trombone Girl) - the Hedgehog Ron Jeremy was in fact kicking it up in his first film Coed Teasers - and interestingly enough (for all you film buffs), while Dustin Nguyen starred in 21 Jump Street, Big Ron starred in the film homage 21 Hump Street.
The bottom line is that you don't put up signs in your restaurant that say "This is America. When Ordering Speak English" unless you're some xenophobic cave dweller.
Really. It just doesn't happen.
The owner of Geno's Steaks, Joe Vento, even admits that he put up the signs "because of concerns over the debate on immigration reform" - and a commision found probable cause against Vento for discrimination because his "policy" does in fact try to intimidate against certain people of ethnic and racial backgrounds.
I've never - ever - come across someone who, when English isn't their first language, just steps up into a place and starts speaking in their first language when ordering or buying something, unless they know someone at the store speaks that same language.
What people really have a problem with is when a person comes into their establishment and orders in English - but they have a thicker accent, or since they may be new to the language may rearrange some words grammatically.
The last time I checked though - that's speaking English.
But people like Joe don't really have a problem with people who are learning the language - that's just their excuse - they just don't like certain non-white people who are learning the language - because you know if a white Russian Victoria's Secret model came into Geno's with a thick accent trying to order a foot long - Joe Vento would be all over that, and would be welcoming all the "non-english speaking" people he could find into his restaurant, regardless of if it took them a little extra time to order.
Mike Shinoda/Linkin Park
This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. With some of the best first week record sales of this year with 625,000 CDs, Mike Shinoda's band Linkin Park and its latest offering Minutes To Midnight has so far cleared over 5.3 million copies, and the single Bleed It Out where Mike rocked the MC duties reached the #2 spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts.
Shinoda has long been known as one of the main driving forces behind the band (if not the main force), who also shares lead and backing vocals with Chester Bennington, and on Minutes To Midnight, also gets co-producer credits with famed producer Rick Rubin.
Frontman, band leader, producer behind the scenes - how could you not pick Mike Shinoda for this one?
The year 2007 is almost gone, and that means a definitive review from the past year is in order - so in the coming weeks (starting today) be on the lookout for posts that look at some of the best people, places, and stories this year has had to offer - as well as some of the worst, comical, or just plain strange that it had to give of us as well; and in order to make things easier to find, all the new Year In Review post links will be under a special header on the sidebar.
Even if you're not a Hillary Clinton supporter - it still is great to see how the Asian American community is starting to rally a lot more around her, and overall, just seeming to be a lot more involved in the upcoming elections.
As a community, we're realizing that we can in fact have a very direct impact on the next President of the United States - and that is definitely cool to see:
Iowans for Hillary today unveiled the Iowa Asian American Pacific Islander Leadership Council for Hillary, a group of 24 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders from every corner of the state who support Hillary Clinton.
Read more about new the council at the Clinton web site.
A recent press release is making it known that the tradition of lighting the Empire State Building in red and gold for the Asian Lunar New Year may not be happening:
The management of the Empire State Building denied recognition of the Lunar New Year by rejecting a request to light the building in red and gold in celebration of one of the most cherished occasions for Asian Americans, defying a custom that has been put in place since 2000.
"It is simply outrageous for the Empire State Building to deny over one million Asian Americans in the city the recognition of this most important holiday by rejecting the request to light the building," said John Wang, President of the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC), the group that has been responsible for organizing the Lunar New Year celebration at the Empire State Building.
Lunar New Year: 0, Empire State Building: -10
According to cinematical, the new Jet Li/Andy Lau film The Warlords is running rampant across Asia and its closest competition, the new Will Smith film I Am Legend (which looks pretty slick as well) may have some catching up to do:
Even as Will Smith battles for his life in I Am Legend, the film is set to fight it out with Hong Kong action epic The Warlords for box office supremacy in Asia this weekend. Who will win? Will and his dog will have to come from behind because The Warlords is already ahead.
If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer below
The first Asian Idol has been crowned and the winner is Hady Mirza from Singapore:
Singapore’s Hady Mirza has been crowned the region’s first singing champion at the inaugural Asian Idol competition in Jakarta on Sunday. He defeated five other Idol winners from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam. The Singapore Idol Season 2 winner said: "The pressure I think is that it’s going to be shown across six countries. I started off being quite nervous. But then, as we went along, it was fine and I did pretty well. I think I did pretty well and I’m happy with my performance."For more information on Hady check out the following links:
So Todd won Survivor China, he'll be picking up his million dollar check - and from the last tribal council you could tell it was going to swing his way - but what was interesting to note was when asked for a show of hands if it had been a final of Peih-Gee, Denise, and Erik - that it would have been Peih-Gee who would have gotten the votes...so close. At the same time Peih-Gee was also in the running for the $100,000 fan favorite vote - but just like the game - just missed out.
Still - good game, good show - great role model. Check out an exclusive interview with her down at BuddyTV where she dishes on contestants (nicely) as well as talks about being the only Asian female on the show and being in China.
If you're looking to hole up this weekend and are in the mood for some love and romance, dark love, or romantic comedies - here are some random movies done Asian style with a little something for everyone - see them for the first time, or watch them again:
My Wife is a Gangster 3
You kind of have to understand the series as a whole to understand this romantic comedy where the love and romance is there - but at arms length (which some see as questionable chemistry but in essence is really on par with the rest of the series in many ways, even though this is a totally new story in the series). With Shu Qi playing the daughter of a Hong Kong crime boss exiled to Korea where Lee Bum-Soo and his pack of Korean bumbling gangsters are forced to keep an eye on her - this is a cute and funny movie (and Yeong Hyeon as the interpreter provide some of the funniest parts in the movie).
Who doesn't love this movie? With a great cast of Michelle Krusiec, Joan Chen, Lynn Chen, and directed by Alice Wu, the movie isn't just about two young women falling in love and the quirky and sweet moments that go along with finding a person to take that ride with you - but it's also about the love of family, lost love, the love of community, and those sometimes difficult moments that you have to go through in order to find out who you really can be. Definitely a classic "opposites attract" movie that can be watched over and over again with tons of great romantic moments (like the candy machine scene between Vivian and Wil).
A Moment to Remember
This South Korean movie starring Jung Woo-sung and Son Ye-jin has it all - love, romance, laughing, crying - and a great soundtrack to boot. If ten people in a room watch it and there isn't one person that has "something in their eye" by the end of it - that's a jaded group. The story centers around a young woman broken up with a married co-worker who goes back home to live while she mends her broken heart - where afterwards she meets her match and they fall in love, having a great romance - but then tragedy strikes, and you see how they both handle it. A little longer of a movie - but well worth it with some great visuals.
This movie isn't so much about love - but in many ways more about the want of love - love lost. It was nominated for a 2003 Independent Spirit Award and focuses around the character of Michael who is torn between two women - his downstairs neighbor who he can't quite have, and a free spirit who he meets - the two sharing more in common than meets the eye. Definitely more of a gritty love story (shot digitally), but worth the watch.
No one said love and romance can't be dark - and any movie based on Hamlet is bound to be a little dark. The movie stars Zhang Ziyi, Daniel Wu, and You Ge, and while some questioned Zhang being able to play an "older" empress character - she handles the job quite well - if anything detracts from the film it's actually some of the battle scenes which aren't always needed - but overall, this was good movie to see, especially if you're a fan of any of the actors.
News outlets are reporting on a man who is targeting Asian woman at bus stops groping and attacking them in South Seattle. According to news sources 14 women have now been attacked (at least those who have come forward as police suspect that there have been more victims who have not come forward) - and the attacks are getting more violent and more frequent. Unfortunately they don't have any real good descriptions of the perp at this time - but are hopeful that they will catch the person soon as more deputies are being added to the transit lines.
If you didn't now about it already - students, get your backpacks trip-worthy. From February 15-17, Cornell University will be hosting the 2008 East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference where students from more than 100 universities and colleges will be in attendance for the three day conference and workshops helping to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ECAASU.
Early registration is encouraged - after Jan. 5 the fee will go from $45 to $55 for non-Cornell students; $15 for Cornell students; and $65 for all walk-ins. Contact Andrew Lee at 201-562-3537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the ECAASU site here for more information on the conference and organization.
It's about time the streets of Vietnam got safe as the 21 million motorcyclists, under a new law enacted, will be required to wear helmets - affectionately known as "rice cookers" - and the new law couldn't have been enacted sooner as 1 in 4 Vietnamese now have a ride and sales are on the rise - fast.