Slant Film Festival Starts Tonight

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey movie fans - the Slant Film Festival starts tonight. Go to the site here, and also check out a post by curator Melissa Hung who helped start the festival.

Bloomberg: Just don't report on the NBA

Friday, May 30, 2008

I was doing a search on Kevin Garnett this morning to see what articles might have some extras in it (because I'd read everything from the Boston/Detroit papers and watched the post-game interviews, etc.) and one of the first pieces that popped up on Google News was an article from Bloomberg - and even though in a previous article I stumbled upon they told me the Cavs won when it was really the Celtics - I figured I'd check it out. No way they could blunder another one.

But then I read:

"Kevin Garnett, whose 13.2 points-per-game scoring average during the playoffs was more than 4 points less than his regular-season average, contributed 33 points...."

Do they write with one hand on a PDA while wiping themselves in the bathroom?

The sentence barely even makes sense for one, but Garnett is averaging 21.3 points per game in the playoffs (and 24.2 in the Detroit series, and he averaged 18.8 in the regular season).

That's an 8 point difference in the real number versus the fake Bloomberg number.

Mariah Carey's Bad Tokyo Pitch: Maybe it was the heels

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Friendster Goes Vietnamese

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Capitalizing on their large presence in Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea), and adding to their support of seven languages, social networking site Friendster recently came out with support for Vietnamese to make the experience easier and better for people that wanted to join up in Vietnamese and to hopefully tap more into the growing Internet users in Vietnam (18+ million).


Gov. David Patterson: Because it's about human rights

Thursday, May 29, 2008

While Gov. Patterson didn't need to do anything else except stay away from high priced hookers for the remainder of his term in order to make it a successful one, it's great to see that instead, he's actually doing something worthwhile:

Gov. David Patterson of New York has told state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states and countries where they are legal, his spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The governor's legal counsel told state agencies in a May 14 memo to revise policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in California and Massachusetts as well as Canada and other countries that allow gays and lesbians to marry, said Erin Duggan, the governor's spokeswoman.

The memo informed state agencies that failing to recognize gay marriages would violate the New York's human rights law, Duggan said.

The directive follows a February ruling from a New York state appeals court. That decision says that legal same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions are entitled to recognition in New York.
Now I'm just wondering when everyone else is going to wake-up and realize the same thing.

Read more down at CNN.

Tokoni and Mary Lou Song

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What or who is a Tokoni?

Here's what Techcrunch had to say about it:

Tokoni is essentially a community of connected blogs with a social networking slant. After creating a personal profile, members can write an unlimited number of stories. Each story (which is basically a blog post) can be tagged with keywords and placed in ‘Hubs’, which are essentially groups of related stories. Stories can include embedded images or YouTube videos, and other members are encouraged to leave comments and participate in a discussion at the bottom of each story.
Who's Mary Lou Song and what does she have to do with Tokoni?

Mary Lou Song has always been a storyteller of sorts. With a background in journalism and media, she has a nose for news along with an innate desire to spread the proverbial word. Now, she and her husband Alex Kazim are co-founders of Tokoni Inc. (, a social media company that helps people share their first-hand stories and connect through shared experiences.
She was also eBay employee #3 which should hopefully add some credability to the venture. Catch more of her bio down at The Huffington Post.

New Word I Didn't Know Existed

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Manimony. Sweet sweet Manimony.

Jimmy Au and $5000

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Caught this via the and while Jimmy probably doesn't need the extra 5 grand - it is nice to be recognized - and let me just say for the record that if you're 5'8 and under you aren't short at all, you're just not a giraffe (cute as they may be) who needs to duck for cover everywhere you go, and really, who wants to be taller than 5'8 because all you ever do is get called upon to change lightbulbs way too high for you anyway.

Since, in times of tornadoes, I'd rather be closer to the ground.

5'8 and under and loving every minute of it.

Get your suit on at Jimmy Au's.

Video Views And Linkage

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Here are some videos that happened to catch my eye over the past few days:

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
Happy APA Heritage Month

Jamie Nared 12 year-old Hoops Phenom Banned Because She's Too Damn Good

I caught this over the weekend and all I can say is - you've got be kidding me. Priceless moment was seeing Jamie's mouth drop to the floor on the Good Morning America interview.

ImaginAsian TV - Your Voice, Your Choice PSA's

Some new PSAs on YouTube from ImaginAsian TV for their "Your Voice, Your Choice" campaign with James Kyson Lee, Lynn Chen and others.

Mock Olympics Tibetan Style

I caught this video of Tibetan exiles who held their own Olympics to mock the real ones in Beijing and keep on pushing for an independent Tibet.

Kobe's Response On The Snake Jump

Definitely not as good as the Aston Martin (and I'm sure you've seen the new one already), but I thought the response was even better than the jump.

More Jeff More Yang More Pop

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Here's some more thoughts on the Jeff Yang ASIAN POP column I mentioned in a previous post from a blogger down at Byron's Blog where Yang also gets into the conversation via some comments afterwards.

Good read.

What's New Maulik Pancholy?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The new season of one of my favorite shows Weeds is coming up, so I thought I would do a quick post on some of the other projects Maulik Pancholy is slated to be in:

  • See You in September (Romantic Comedy)
  • Good Sharma (Feel Good Drama)
  • Love Ranch (Brothel Drama)
  • Tug (Comedy/Romance)

And yes. I'm wondering what happens with his love-child in Season 4 too.

Sharon Stone: When Dumbass White People Speak

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I read about this over at Disgrasian yesterday and then read some follow-ups down at the AP and (which are also reporting that some cinemas have banned films with Sharon Stone in it) and just had to throw in some of my own commentary.

Get a clue.

Game 4: Kevin Garnett

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


You know I dig your game, and unlike a lot of people who seem to jump on and off the bandwagon at the turn of each quarter, I'll be a fan of yours for as long as you play and hope that one day I'll see you finally get that elusive championship ring.

But while I'll let you get away with some things, like calling yourself 6 '11, I can't really let you get away with that piss-poor performance from last night because let's face it - the Pistons pretty much wanted to give that game away from about the middle of the second quarter and all you and the Celtics needed to do was take it and say "Thank You" and you could have been on your way headed back to Boston with a 3-1 lead.

Now, it's tied up again.

It's not that you shot like crap (which you did), the lack of defensive rebounds (count a whopping 7), or even the fact that you dished out only 3 assists (even though the team as a whole barely had enough dimes to get a Spicy Chicken Burrito).

No Kevin, what I need to chastise you about is that after Jason Maxiell ended up blocking your run-away dunk (and it was a clean block), you seemed to fold physically and mentally.

You didn't even try to get involved in the majority of plays.

You decided to set up camp outside the free throw line waiting for someone to bring you some marshmallows.

You just checked out.

Now I don't know much, but I do know that if you can't rebound from one play by Jason Maxiell - especially in the next Game 5 - you'll have all the time to roast up as many smores as you want while you watch Detroit move on to the Finals.

And seriously - do you really need any more sugar?

Asian Pop and Jeff Yang

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A quick thought:

I was reading the ASIAN POP column down at SFGate and I agree a lot with what Jeff Yang is saying which is part of the reason why I blog about some of the things I do, and I can't really help but not too.

I'm Asian, and I'm American, and the two can't really be untangled.

And I don't want them to be either.

Yao Ming goes NASCAR

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just a funny blurb about Yao Ming taking his turn as part of the pit crew at NASCAR:

Before the green flag dropped to start the 49th Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, one pit crew performance already stood head and shoulders above the rest – literally. Seven-foot, six-inch international basketball superstar Yao Ming and two-time U.S. Olympic taekwondo Gold Medalist Steven Lopez experienced the world of NASCAR today and invited NASCAR drivers and fans to “Connect with the World Over a Coke.”
Read more here.

CNN's Betty Nguyen

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

News anchor Betty Nguyen earlier this month received the Outstanding Young Texas Exes Award. Here's a little from her interview over at Asiance Magazine:

ASIANCE: How has Vietnam changed and have you seen any specific changes that surprised you or you particularly took notice of?

NGUYEN: For all that Vietnam lacks, no one can deny that it’s currently undergoing a period of aggressive growth. It has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Just look at Saigon, businesses are popping up everywhere. Every time I go back I see new buildings, new infrastructure – signs of economic progress.
Go here for the full interview.

ALTRA Magazine Gets Ready For A Makeover

Friday, May 23, 2008

Just a quick post about ALTRA Magazine and that they will be re-launching as an Internet magazine pretty soon. I e-mailed out their team and the revamp should be up and running in the next week or so (June). Look for a post when the new zine is live.

Cashmere Mafia: You've been cancelled

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Well - I guess it's official. Cashmere Mafia and Lucy Liu have been voted off the Great Big White TV Island.

How sad is that?

Update: Go here for more shows with Asian Americans that have been cancelled.

IFC Snaps Up The Chaser

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I've posted before on this flick back in late February and how the word of mouth had pushed it to #1, and while Warner Bros. has already snapped it up for a remake, IFC just picked up the North American rights.


AsianWeek’s Comedy Night

Thursday, May 22, 2008

If you want to check out some Asian American comedy, which is being hosted by AsianWeek and sponsored by Bud Light, definitely head on down to The Purple Onion where the lineup will feature Tessie Chua, Nitin Kant, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Joe Nguyen, Princess Leah, Duat Mai, and Edwin Li.

Here are the details from the press release

Comedy Night 2008 takes place on Friday, May 30 with two different shows at 7 – 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. – 12 midnight. The venue is The Purple Onion (140 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, Calif.), which has the world-renowned reputation as one America’s birthplace of stand-up comedy. This year, AsianWeek is proud to return to this storied venue and again feature already established and up-and-coming Asian American comics during the Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage month celebrations.Attendees of Comedy Night will receive free admission to the after-party at Suite 181 (181 Eddy St., San Francisco, Calif.)

Word to my Westchester County

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 31, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla for the tenth annual Asian-American Heritage Celebration which is being put on by the Westchester and Hudson Valley Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans:

The day’s festivities will feature a wide array of live performances of the music and dance of many Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma. The festival will feature the Magical Chinese Opera Face Show and include Kung Fu and Japanese drumming, along with Asian arts, cultural and religious exhibits. There will also be free medical and dental screenings.
For more about the festival check out

Juliana Hu Pegues, David Mura, Bao Phi, and Q and A

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For all my Asian Americans in MN, make sure you get on out and support the new production by Juliana Hu Pegues called Q and A which is playing down at the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis.

Here's a quick write-up:

For the past six months, Juliana Hu Pegues has been working over time. Besides taking on the second semester of her PhD program in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, she has also brought together two years of work, recruiting brilliant talent and marrying her academic and artistic passions to produce her play, “Q and A.” The play opens next week, at the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, and will run through June 8th.

Directed by David Mura, Q and A is a new play that observes Asian American identity through two incarnations of the question-and-answer motif: speed dating and prison interrogations. Three characters, who remain nameless throughout but for identifying numbers, are confronted with questions of racial and sexual identity ranging from the absurd to the severe. Ultimately, when indicted by an unspecified governing regime, they must confront difficult truths about themselves and their allegiances.

What: Q&A by Juliana Hu Pegues, directed by David Mura.
Who: Presented by Mu Performing Arts, featuring Katie Leo, Thien-Bao Phi, and Laurine Price.
When: May 22 – June 8 (previews May 20 and 21, no performance June 5), Thurs – Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Pay-what-you-can Mon, June 8 at 8 pm.
Where: Mixed Blood Theatre (1501 S Fourth St, Minneapolis)
Tickets: $18 adult, $16 student/senior, $14 groups 10+, $10 previews. 612-338-6131 or
Go the Twin Cities Daily Planet for the full article and interview.

Dale gets eliminated from Top Chef

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So self-proclaimed badass Dale got the boot on last night's Top Chef - it should have been Lisa - here's a quick link to a Hyphen post A Letter to Top Chef's Dale Talde.

Confucius is laughing because Jesus still can't find his shot

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We'd all be happy with just one three. Just one will satisfy us. After that you can go back to your chosen profession as a carpenter, who just for the record, works with wood, not bricks.

Is Zeng Li Asia's Sexiest Vegetarian?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just a note to my Asian veggies - who I love but I still think have been brainwashed because as cute as a cow is they were still made to be milked, rubbed, and ate with a side of bacon - and that goes double for humans if I'm stuck on a plane in the Andes mountain range and you start making a "moo" sound -- you still have time to vote for Asia's sexiest vegetarian where recent votes have put Zeng Li in first place.

And if you're in Tulsa

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glad to see that my folks down in Tulsa are on their 6th annual Asian American festival, which continues next month on June 7th - but maybe next year they could add in more than two hours worth of Asian Americaness, because really, how much can you savor in two hours?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nice beats. Good Melody. Catch the pen twirling. What more do you want?

May 31st: Asian Fusion Festival

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For my peeps down in Elgin Illinois (or if you happen to be traveling down that way), make sure to check out the Asian Fusion Festival coming up this Saturday:

Liah Tehan comes from a country where three ethnic groups create a unique tapestry. Tehan is from Singapore, where the population has Chinese, Malay and Indian ancestors. "My background is Malay," she said. "(But) you cannot just say I am Malay and I just keep my Malay culture. You have to introduce all three (cultures)."

Tehan will teach Americans and Asian Americans about her country's dance, culture and art through the Asian Fusion Festival, a daylong event slated for Saturday, May 31, in downtown Elgin. The festival showcases 15 different Asian cultures in celebration of Asian American Heritage Month.

• What: Asian Fusion Festival
• When: 3 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31
• Where: Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin
• Tickets: $20 for adults and $10 for children 10 and younger
• Info: Call (847) 877-8224
• On the Net:
Read more about the festival and what will be going on down at The Courier News.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A few headlines and posts from blogosphere and beyond that caught my eye from the last few days:

Pin the tail on the Asian male: Asian American Feminism Pt. 3 (with Bi Bim Bap)

The story is this: some crazy Asian guy had a girlfriend who left him for a black man. He was crazy and angry, and he started writing threatening letters to black men married to white women, including (half-black) Derek Jeter and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He posed as an angry white woman, sending threats to black men for two decades. Finally he was caught.
Oakland activist keeps spirit of revolution strong

Yuri Kochiyama embodies the spirit of activism that one might find in an ebullient college student, but this long-time activist for social justice turns 87 today. Kochiyama is most well known as the woman who cradled Malcolm X in her lap after he was shot Feb. 21, 1965, during a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
Chicago kollaboration 5 this saturday

Chicagooooooo! This one's for you. This weekend, do not miss Chicago Kollaboration 5, the annual talent show extravaganza. Come see up-and-coming artists from the community compete in band, dance, vocal, songriter and rap categories. It's like Star Search, only with a lot more yellow people. With special guest performers Far East Movement, and guest judges Michael Kang, Elle Pai Hong, Joshua Lee, Sung Yang and Alice Kim. It's all going down Saturday, May 24 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
Bruce Lee on Broadway

Playbill announced yesterday that the musical "Bruce Lee: A Journey to the West" will be coming to Broadway in the 2010-2011 season. The musical will be written by Tony award-winner David Henry Hwang (of M. Butterfly fame) and directed by Bartlett Sher whose revival of South Pacific was recently nominated for 11 Tony awards.
George Takei is getting married!

After the decision by California to allow same-sex marriages last Thursday, hundreds of queer couples are planning to get married, including George Takei and his partner, Brad Altman. In his announcement on his web site, George Takei notes parallels in the struggle for same-sex marriage to the struggle for redress for Japanese Americans who were placed in concentration camps during World War II, noting that it took the federal government nearly 60 years to finally compensate those who were placed in these camps.

You're My Hero, Sex and the City, And That Asian Girl's Got A Name

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The nameless Asian kid from the upcoming Sex and the City film who I wondered about in a previous post apparently is a real live person and wasn't just a figment of my imagination after all (because I was seriously starting to wonder).

Head on over to DISGRASIAN who found out who she actually is.

Yeah that's right: Kristi Yamaguchi Wins DWTS

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If Kristi Yamaguchi, who ended up with a perfect 90 between the show's two day finale (which was a first) didn't win the whole damn thing, I would have had to ask the question of what the world had against a slick Asian American woman who danced her ass off to perfection.

On a side note: I've slowly become a fan of that trophy. It's actually kind of cute.

Interview: Simon Young from The Slants

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If you've been following this blog since its inception (and who hasn't?) you'll know that one of the bands I've tried to push is The Slants, even doing a CD giveaway with them early on. I figured since I hadn't done a post on them in a bit I should check in, see how they were doing, and decided to throw some random questions the way of bassist Simon Young.

Here's what he had to say.

It's been about two months since you withdrew from the Bodog Battle of the Bands contest where you were in the semi-final round and on your way to the finals where you could have been competing for a million dollar contract. For those who aren't familiar with the situation, can you talk a little bit about why the band withdrew, lessons learned, and what - if anything - you gained from the experience, or was it all a wash in the end?

We originally joined an international Battle of the Bands competition last year in order to get some face time on national tv as well as a chance to win a million dollar recording contract. We made it through several rounds fairly quickly, placing in first each time. However, we dropped out during the semi-finals because they wanted us to sign a huge non-negotiable contract that would have nullified any rights that we had as artists. Our legal help told us to stay away…not only did it seem risky, but the company itself was revealing its true colors and we didn’t feel comfortable working with them. We’ve always wanted to stay independent for as long as possible and this experience just supported that decision. I think its safe to say that The Slants won’t be joining anymore “battle of the bands” type competitions again.

How's the summer tour shaping up?

The tour plans are going well, just trying to fill in as many dates as possible! It’s a quite a bit of emailing, following up, and phone calls…but it’ll be worth it once we’re on the road. There are some great shows coming up and we look forward to playing new places that we haven’t been yet!

You took out a second mortgage on your house to produce Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts. Are you feeling the pressure yet? Have the sales been what you've expected?

The other day, I was joking with our publicist, Alex, and I told him that “I don’t need a girlfriend, I have The Slants…it’s enough to make me go broke on it’s own” The pressure is always there, especially since I’ve just been laid off of my day job. But I strongly believe in this band and I know that everything will work out. Sales have been pretty strong and the album is going to be available in stores nationwide starting this July, so there’s definitely a lot of excitement going on! I’m very proud of the album, so even if we didn’t sell a single copy, I’d say it was still worth doing.

I noticed the band isn't selling individual tracks via your MySpace page. Any plans in the future to do so, or was this a conscious effort on the band's part? The reason I ask is because more and more you're seeing bands and artists sell their tracks individually as well as one complete CD.

Our publicist advised us to stop selling our music through Snowcap (the company that links music sales to bands’ MySpace sites) but we’re still selling strong through iTunes and other companies. Fans can still buy individual tracks, though I always think its best to get the whole album so that you can get the whole feel of what we’re doing.

Recently you teamed up with clothing designer Tina Richard for a custom line of clothes. How has it been working with her?

It’s been great! Tina’s very innovative and has brought a lot of unique, creative merchandise pieces to our lineup. She’s also designed some personal stage wear for Aron and Jen Cho. We’re all looking forward to what she comes up with next!

Almost immediately the band started getting a lot of attention, playing a lot of shows, and also finding a niche in anime conventions. What do you credit that success too?

I think it’s a combination of things….there aren’t many synth-pop bands out there right now, certainly not many that are inherently Asian, so I think that’s been getting us some attention. The Asian community has been especially supportive, writing about our band and encouraging us to continue what we do. We also have an amazing publicist helping us get press, as well as a very enthusiastic fan base willing to share our music with others.

I was reading on your blog about a write-up you got in Music Spectator magazine which said (sic) "The Slants are a self parody, a tongue-in-cheek mocking finger pointing at themselves. This is an American band using their ethnicity as fodder for their own brand of humor, which carries over to their marketing and even their sound to a degree". When I think of a "self parody" I think The Notorious MSG, not really The Slants. What do you think of the description, and then how do you think fans see you?

I don’t really see ourselves as a self parody, but we do take on Asian stereotypes with a certain sense of humor. We don’t wear wigs of awkward “Asian” hairstyles and we certainly don’t speak with fake Asian accents or anything. However, we do incorporate a lot Asian themes in our merchandise, image, and songs. It isn’t necessarily aimed to be humorous, most of the time its because its something we enjoy (such as Asian artwork, cinematic themes, or food). I think our fans understand that we maintain this theme because of we’re proud of who we are (just look at the name of our band). They understand that we do have a certain sense of humor, but we’re certainly not mocking ourselves nor the cultures that we stand for.

Right now you're doing a lot of touring and promoting the album which also just got re-mastered. How long do you plan on promoting this album before starting on your second album? Is there a timetable for a release?

We’ve already started writing songs for the next album, which should be released in early 2009. In the meantime, we’ll probably continue touring and promoting Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts into late fall. It will always be our debut album so I’m sure it will always have a special place in our hearts.

So I gotta ask - what's up with Gaijin only getting to show his belt buckle and having to wear shades? Is there no love for the white guys?

It’s his personal preference; maybe he’s a bit camera shy. We don’t force him to wear a mask on stage or anything : )

I had talked with April Baer about a NPR story she was looking to do on The Slants and one of the things I had mentioned was that while I think in the world of hip hop and spoken word there's more talk about race and racism and ethnicity - there's an awareness there - in the genre of techno/synth/dance there isn't that awareness out there, and that's where I think The Slants are different - you bring that awareness about race and ethnicity and being Asian American to a genre that hasn't typically had that. While I know it's about the music, it's also about the message too and I was wondering about the reaction so far from your fans about that message and being Asian American.

We’ve had some mixed responses to our ethnic theme, though for the most part it has been positive. We’ve had a lot of fans tell us that its refreshing to find an Asian artist playing dance rock, that they kind of sing certain songs like “Sakura, Sakura” as an anthem (“We sing for the Japanese and the Chinese and all of the dirty knees…”). It’s an amazing feeling to be playing these songs and watching kids sing along to every word.

We had one review recently that took some jabs at us for being Asian; saying that we had self-confidence issues and because of our Asian themes. Rather than reviewing our music at all, the entire article focused on this – which resulted in a substantial amount of hate mail sent to the publication for their “racist” remarks.

Last question. Five things you really miss when you're touring on the road.

1. Seeing my friends in my hometown or having any semblance of a “normal” relationship.
2. Home cooked meals.
3. Sleeping in my own bed
4. Time to myself (not that I don’t love my band…but think about being in a 15 passenger van everyday for a few months with the same 5 people and you’ll understand).
5. Sitting down in something that isn’t moving (the van).

Actually this is the last question. Where are you and what are you wearing right now (because I'm sure someone wants to know)?

I am sitting in the airport wearing a black D&G jacket, some kind of rising sun t-shirt, jeans, and some rock n’ roll boots.

And underwear too.

For more on The Slants check out their site and their MySpace page.

The Finals: Kristi Yamaguchi

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Here are the final dances from Kristi Yamaguchi on DWTS where she got a perfect 60.

The Cha Cha Cha dance off

The Freestyle

Update: These were the last two dances from part one of the finals.

The Cultural Revolution, The Gang of Four, and The Detroit Pistons?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Is it just me, because I'm an Asian American who knows about these things, or is it that sometimes people aren't just up to snuff on their history?

If it doesn't pertain to them, do they just care less?

Take for example Bob Ryan, a Boston Globe columnist who wrote a recent article on the upcoming Celtics/Pistons matchup in the Eastern Conference, and when talking about the four veterans from the Pistons that have been together now for five years, he referred to them in the following way:

This exemplary Gang of Four consists of [...]
Because he capped the words "Gang" and "Four", I have to believe it was intentional emphasis, but I'll also give Ryan the benefit of the doubt in that he probably didn't realize that when someone who's Asian American read that line - like me - that they immediately thought of the infamous Gang of Four and the violence they spread during the Cultural Revolution where millions of people were persecuted, stripped of their human rights and displaced, and where scholars have put the numbers of the deaths during this period in the millions.

But I also have to ask the question "How can you not know?".

I love basketball, and I love the NBA, but when you use a reference to the Gang of Four for something that in the end is a game - no matter how much that game inspires - it essentially minimizes one of the worst periods in history; a history that Asian Americans who immigrated to the U.S. from China haven't forgotten about because of the toll that it took on their families and loved ones. A history that just like the Holocaust should never be forgotten.

I'm not sure if I'm trying to give Bob Ryan and The Boston Globe editors a way out, or if I'm pointing out to them that they should know better and that not knowing only takes you so far.

It's probably a little bit of both.

The Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just a FYI out there to all of you writers that the Hyphen Short Story Contest has begun, and that they are taking submissions up through July 11, 2008. Here's the scoop from their site (where I'm also helping to blog):

Hyphen magazine and the Asian American Writers' Workshop are taking submissions for their 2008 Short Story Competition.

The winner pockets a $1,000 prize and has his or her story published in Hyphen magazine.

The winner of the 2007 Short Story Competition was Preeta Samarasan (for her story "Our House Stands in a City of Flowers"), whose debut novel Evening is the Whole Day will be published by Houghton-Mifflin later this year.

Writers of short fiction are encouraged to enter the 2008 Short Story Competition jointly sponsored by Hyphen and The Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW). The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, publication in Hyphen magazine, a one-year subscription to Hyphen and a one-year membership to AAWW. Ten finalists shall also receive a one-year membership to AAWW and a one-year subscription to Hyphen.

The competition is open to all writers of Asian descent living in the United States and Canada. To be eligible, manuscripts must be previously unpublished and in English. No email submissions allowed. Only authors who have not published a book-length prose fiction manuscript are eligible. The competition is limited to short works of fiction, including short stories, novellas and excerpts from novels; the latter must stand alone as a separate work. There is no required theme or page limit.

Submissions must be postmarked by Friday, July 11, 2008 and accompanied by a $10 entry fee per story. Please send four copies of your story using paper clips. Manuscripts will not be returned and will be acknowledged only if a SASE is provided. Include a cover letter with name, address, email, daytime telephone number and a 3-sentence bio. The story title and page number should be clearly labeled on each page of the submission. Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript, except on the cover letter. Manuscripts should be typewritten and double-spaced on 8 1/2 X 11 plain white paper. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Manuscripts may be under consideration elsewhere, but please notify us immediately if your story is accepted for publication. Hyphen retains first publication rights and the right to publish a portion of the story on its website. All rights revert to the author upon publication.

To enter the short story competition, please send submission to:

The Asian American Writers' Workshop
2008 Short Story Competition
16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10A
New York, NY 10001-3808

Make checks payable to "Asian American Writers' Workshop."

Entrants will be notified by or on Monday, Oct. 6, 2008.

4bia: Getting Your Thai Horror Flick On

Monday, May 19, 2008

If you're looking for a Thai horror flick to sink your teeth into when it comes out on DVD (if you can't catch it before then), a movie that's been doing well at the box office with crowds in Thailand is 4bia (aka See Prang). The film has four stories to it with one of the stories "In the Middle" directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun, part of the team that brought us Shutter and Alone.

Check out the trailer

For more on the movie go to Scheda Film, Chiangmai Mail and the official site.

Wing Luke Asian Museum Gets A Makeover

Monday, May 19, 2008

I posted on the renovation last year, and it's almost time for the doors to be opened. Check out the article on the newly revamped Wing Luke Asian Museum:

The new Wing Luke Asian Museum, opening May 31, doesn't just have artifacts -- it is one.

Although it has moved just one block from its former home in a one-time garage, the 42-year-old museum has undergone a complete transformation, expanding to more than eight times its previous size.

The centerpiece of the $23.2 million project is the building itself, the 1910-vintage East Kong Yick Building, financed by 170 Chinese immigrants who pooled their resources to establish a foothold and offer a place where new residents could find a room, a meal and social support.
Yeah. I'm there. See more down at their site.

Is APAH month for us or for them?

Monday, May 19, 2008

So I was reading this post down at Gil Asakawa's blog about who the audience of APAH month should really be:

Then it occurred to me that the event didn’t feel satisfying to me because it was still, 10 years later, just Asians celebrating APA Heritage Month with other Asians. It’s time, I think, for this group to follow the examples of a couple of other high-profile local events, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival and the Boulder Asian Festival, and start showing off the myriad APA communities not just to each other, but to the public at large.
And I can definitely see some of that because while APAH month should be about us, it's also about exposing great Asian/Asian American culture to the communities that haven't been exposed to it, who aren't really sure of even where to begin.

Read more from Gil here who also has a new post on “Twittering” the APIA Vote Town Hall.

James Hong Interview

Monday, May 19, 2008

Last week there was a good article and interview on veteran actor James Hong who talked about how he got into acting, the frustration of being an Asian American actor, and his push for diversity. Here's a quick snippet:

Hong has been active in fighting discrimination in the film industry since his early days as an actor. When the 1962 film Confessions of an Opium Eater was going into production, he organized a group of concerned actors to speak to producer Albert Zugsmith.

"The film was full of those Fu Manchu types, sneaking around, eating opium," Hong recalls. "So we went in to see Albert, who didn't like me leading that protest. In essence, he warned me I might not work again."

Asked if he feels the roles have gotten better for Asian actors today, Hong pauses.
Read the full article here.

Instant Classic

Monday, May 19, 2008

What Do You Expect?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I was reading about the deportation of an American pro-democracy activist and all I could really think of was simply "What the hell did you expect was going to happen?".

DVD: Hellcats/Some Like It Hot

Sunday, May 18, 2008

For some reason I couldn't get this DVD to play in one of my players and some other computers, so I let it sit for a few weeks, tried it again in a bedroom player, and next thing you know I was off and running watching the film (the Korean title is Some Like It Hot), and it turned to be a really good film with Kim Min-hee, Lee Mi-sook, and An So-hee.

Here's a quick snippet from a review down at the

Relationship drama Hellcats centers around three women who live together in an old neighborhood of Seoul. Ami (Kim Min-hee, below) is a 29-year old screenwriter who has been holed up in a motel trying to finish a screenplay, but like most people involved in the film industry, her career is not progressing smoothly [...]

Meanwhile Ami is getting little sympathy from her older sister Young-mi (Lee Mi-sook of Untold Scandal fame), who rents out a room to her. A successful 41-year old interior designer working on a new theatrical production, Young-mi has an active love life, and has lately gotten entangled with the much younger Gyeong-su [...]

Young-mi also has a daughter in high school named Kang-ae (An So-hee from the phenom teen pop group Wondergirls). A bright, optimistic sort of kid, Kang-ae enjoys a strong friendship with Mi-ran who grew up in Brazil, but she worries about her boyfriend of three years Ho-jae [...]
Check out the trailer

Jessica Alba, kevjumba, Baron Davis, and The Stare

Saturday, May 17, 2008

If you have nothing better to do (like yours truly) - you might as well check out one of the latest ibeatYou contests happening called The Stare, which was originally started by Baron Davis who called out kevjumba, who then called out Jessica Alba.

Here's the kevjumba video which is a response to Baron Davis

And here's the Jessica Alba response

That was unexpected: Part 2 of Bill Hudson, CBS affiliate WCCO, Neiggerhood, and now News Director Scott Libin

Saturday, May 17, 2008

WCCO News Director Scott Libin

I had sent out an e-mail to CBS affiliate WCCO in MN about this past post regarding their news anchor Bill Hudson and his use of the word "Neiggerhood" about a community of color, and if he would have to undergo any special training or sensitivity classes on race or racism, or if he would be penalized (suspended or fired) for his "gaffe", and interestingly enough, I received a response that was more than your typical PR response - which to be honest, I wasn't expecting.

Check out the quotes and the condescension in News Director Scott Libin's e-mail (I've bolded some of the more interesting parts):

To answer your questions:

No, Bill Hudson will not "have to undergo training" as a result of his on-air stumble last week, although our anchors all participate in continuing performance coaching that focuses on their on-air delivery.

No, he will certainly not be fired for innocently and accidentally mispronouncing a word live on the air. There is not an anchor in television who has not done so. Bill was exceptionally unfortunate that what came out of his mouth sounded so much like such an offensive term. However, to punish him for the incident would imply that the mistake somehow indicated anything about his intent, his values or his beliefs about communities of color -- and that would be simply untrue.

Bill apologized on the air the day after the incident. That apology has been online since then. You can find it at
So here are a few things that I love about this response:

1. I liked how Libin used the quotes in "have to undergo training", as if the idea of Bill Hudson needing to take a racial sensitivity class or multicultural training - after calling a neighborhood which is predominately of color a "Neiggerhood" - was completely out of the question; that you would have to be a complete idiot to ask that question. I don't know about you, but at least from a PR standpoint of a news organization, I'd think having someone do a refresher on racial sensitivity and multiculturalism might be a good thing after something like this happened. In fact, I'd think that a news company would be doing this regardless of any sort of incidents on a regular basis because they have to work with a diverse public - because education is key in a multicultural society.

Obviously though, the folks down at WCCO must be above learning about racial sensitivity and multiculturalism. And really, I must be a complete idiot to think that ongoing education about race and racism is important in the workforce, especially after something like that, and especially for people that deal with the public on a day to day basis. I guess instead of taking loans out for college I should have borrowed the money to stock up on zuclopenthioxol instead.

It is nice to know though that the CBS backed WCCO affiliate news anchors are still getting "performance coaching" in lieu of getting ongoing education about multiculturalism.

2. I don't know about Scott, but while I've heard news anchors make a spoonerism or two at times, this isn't even close to being in the same league - but it's funny how he put those two in the same category, which only serves to try and minimize the effect of what actually took place.

I'd give Scott Libin a challenge. Show me the anchors - give me at least 15 anchors in different markets who've had the same "exceptionally unfortunate" accident, because according to Scott, this happens all the time. According to Scott, there's not one news anchor who hasn't made a mistake like this. And sure, you could say that this isn't what Scott was saying, that he was just alluding to anchors making gaffes, but then you too would be admitting that someone saying "Neiggerhood" versus "Neighborhood" about a community of color is the same as someone saying "A lack of pies" versus "A pack of lies" in a general conversation, when clearly, the two aren't even in the same league.

The bottom line is simple.

When you use the word "Neiggerhood" versus "Neighborhood" about a community of color, you should, at the very least, have to undergo some type of racial sensitivity classes and education, because it begs the question of your inherent and subtle racism - like grabbing your bag when you see someone of color walking down the street even though you may not even realize that you're doing it, or how you may perceive a group of young black kids to be more threatening than a group of young white kids, or how you may automatically think that a Black or Asian or Hispanic/Latino co-worker isn't up to par like someone who has white skin, or how when you see an Asian American you automatically think they can't speak English.

Do you see what I'm saying? Is this really that tough to understand?

Libin says that punishing Bill Hudson for the incident would imply that the mistake somehow indicated anything about his intent, his values or his beliefs about communities of color. So what does not doing anything about it imply? What does it say about CBS backed WCCO that Bill Hudson simply offered up an apology and there was absolutely no follow-up whatsoever from the company that employs him?

As a person of color, as an Asian American, it tells me that they won't even acknowledge that there could be inherent racism in the "exceptionally unfortunate" accident. It tells me that they think Bill Hudson, with years and years of living with White Privilege, unequivocally, must not have one prejudice bone in his body whatsoever, even if he doesn't know. It tells me that even if they thought he could - that in the end - they really don't care.

I'm not really sure why WCCO News Director Scott Libin sent me the response that he did versus a canned WCCO is extremely sorry about the situation, however we feel... type of response, because he had to have known that I'd tear it apart (and really, is that the type of response you want coming from a major metropolitan news organization).

But am sure of this.

His response smells of redlining and conversations in back rooms that people don't want to admit too and the Old White Boy's Club that has dominated our society for as long as I can remember.

Pang Brothers: Bangkok Dangerous Remake

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I've been forgetting to post on this for a bit, but the Pang Brothers will be coming out with their latest U.S. film this August with Nicholas Cage in the starring role, which is a remake of their classic film Bangkok Dangerous.

While the remake looks to veer from the original - especially seeing as how Cage actually talks in the movie, versus the original, where part of the storyline centers around the character Kong who's deaf - some things are looking familiar from the original, and I'm happy to see the Pang Brothers coming out with something new after The Messengers, and anxious to see the new spin they'll put on it; in an interview the brothers also said they knew they would have to change around some things because Cage needed some speaking parts.

It'll be interesting to see how it compares, and how the film actually plays out and I'm sure I'll have some more thoughts later on, but from the trailer - it's not looking too bad - and I think it will have people thinking again about the fact that the Pang Brothers aren't just about horror (they never really were anyway...).

Check the trailer

Reading is Fundamental: Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm just going to put it out there that I don't really read that much anymore, at least when it comes to actual novels. When I was a kid I scooped up anything I could get my hands on, but now, somehow I just can't find the time, or I can't seem to find too much that actually interests me like a movie, or things that I read online. I'm not saying that there isn't good literature out there anymore - because there definitely is - but I guess sometimes a good book has to hit you over the head, and there haven't been too many books that have done that for me lately.

There are exceptions though. For instance I'm still working my way through Stealing Buddha's Dinner, which I actually like - I just need to finish it. The Gangster We Are All Looking For I ended up reading in one sitting because it was that good, and while I've sucked up a few Harry Potters, a Da Vinci Code, some Kim Wong Keltner - and how I could I not want to read The Unwanted - if you're keeping score - that's like one book a year - maybe (and I still haven't been able to finish IBM And The Holocaust).

Enough about my illiteracy though - here's another book I might have to add to the list (which I'll hopefully get through in 2009...) called Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City, which is a collection of essays about the Southeast Asian American population in Lowell.

Here's a quick snippet from The Boston Globe:

The 1970s, Tem Chea remembers, were a time of fear, running, and crowded refugee camps. The Cambodian refugee and his family moved four times from camp to camp while escaping the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime that claimed about 1 million lives. After landing in Oregon, he later moved to Lowell, where he integrated into American society by becoming a teacher and eventually helping create the Cambodian American Voter League.

Last week, a book recounting the struggles of Chea and other Southeast Asian-Americans in Lowell was released at a special event at the Mogan Cultural Center [...]
Chea said the book depicts how people from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have contributed to Lowell. "This gives us the opportunity to share our story," Chea said at the book-release event. "It's kind of therapeutic, so to speak, for some of us who went through so much and rarely talk about it."
Read more here.

Fundraising for Earthquake Victims

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A couple of headlines about local groups in Chicago and Boston who are organizing fundraising efforts for Chinese earthquake victims:

Local Fundraiser Held For Victims Of China Quake

The Association of Asian-American Professionals held a local fundraiser Wednesday night for victims of the massive earthquake in China. The death toll of 15,000 is expected to soar as soldiers just begin to reach the outskirts of villages buried under tons of rubble.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the fundraiser took on special significance, with proceeds earmarked for the Red Cross now going directly to Chinese earthquake relief. They are hoping to get emergency food, supplies and medical assistance to those who need it most.

Forty-eight hours after the powerful quake literally shook structures off their foundations, people are still being pulled from the wreckage.
Boston Chinese to Collect One Million for Relief Funds

Initiated by the board members of the Sichuan and Chongqing Folk Association in Boston, about fifty Chinese organization representatives met tonight in Building 56 of MIT, to coordinate support and relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake disaster that occurred two days ago in Sichuan, China.

The animated discussion lasted for three hours, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, and the attendees reached a confident consensus on raising a million dollars to help the Sichuan earthquake victims. The meeting recommends three relief fund accounts to all who intend to donate, namely the Chinese Red Cross' Emergency Fund (by check), the American Red Cross' China Relief Fund, and Tzh-Chi's Sichuan Earthquake Relief Fund (by check). The organizers will either collect checks to be sent to these organizations, or receive information on donations made to determine progress toward their goal.

Just for fun: tells me the Cavaliers won in Game 5

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I have to poke a little fun at (because they have lots o' cash and editors who you imagine look at things, versus lone blogger) for the headline telling me that it was the Cavs that won Game 5, versus the Celtics who actually happened to be the home team even though the article tells me the same thing (or different depending upon how you look at it).


Stuff I can trust.



*And yes, I know this post will come back to haunt me sometime in the future*

You're a Stud: Paul Pierce and Game 5

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Boston Herald

I know Rondo and KG had great games in the Celtics' Game 5 win over the Cavs last night, but I have to give the game ball up to Paul Pierce.

When the C's seemed cold and lackadaisical in the first quarter, I thought he was the one who gave them their energy, and without it, they would have been even more behind in the second. At the same time, when it came down to the wire (because the Cavs had a chance to steal one), you have to credit Pierce for making clutch free throws down the stretch that kept Lebron and Co. at bay (I think he scored like the last 8 or so in a row from the line).

And he still defended Lebron just as he has all series long while managing to put in a game high 29 points.

DVD: Lost in Beijing

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The film Lost In Beijing came out on DVD last week, and I just finished watching it a few minutes ago and it's raw emotion. It's that type of film where you feel it in your gut after the movie is done because the acting and the filming were so good you felt like you were watching real life happen before you. A life that at times you almost wanted to turn away from but couldn't because you had to know how it ended. Because you hoped things would get better before they got worse.

In that sense, I had to actually remind myself, by looking at pictures of Fan Bing-Bing in other roles and red carpet promotions, that it wasn't real.

That it was indeed just a piece of fiction.

If you're into lighter movies, this isn't the DVD for you. But if you want something visceral, something like In The Bedroom or Bad Guy (and yes, I question why I watch films like this sometimes), you'll want to check this out too.

Just remember though - you've been warned.

Bilingual ballots, And You Never Really Know What That Chinese Character Really Means

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I was reading this article down at The Boston Globe and the ongoing fight about having candidate names in Chinese and I couldn't help but pause at a few pieces:

Last year Boston started printing the names in Chinese characters on the ballots for the first time, drawing opposition from Galvin, the state's top elections official, because of the potential that the names could mean something else entirely. But Chinese-American voters say the translations are rarely misunderstood and help elderly voters who struggle with English [...]

He said the translations do not always reflect the person's name and at worse could have a negative connotation. As examples, Galvin said, Mitt Romney's name could have been confused in Chinese characters with "sticky rice" on the ballot; Mayor Thomas M. Menino could be "imbecile." [...]

Jian Hua Tang, a 59-year-old Chinese schoolteacher, said she never would have confused Romney's name with "sticky rice," like Galvin suggested last year. "That's like saying if your last name is Green, I should confuse you as a green person," she said.

I wonder if maybe Galvin, in addition to thinking that people would confuse Romney with sticky rice was afraid that maybe somehow people would be communicating government secrets through the use of ballots, because you never really know what's going on with those strange and quirky characters and you can't really ever trust those Chinese people anyway because they just might be spies - or at least calling you an idiot.

But in this case that might not be such a bad idea.

One year and counting

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Because I love myself, I wanted to wish myself a Happy Birthday - well not me really, but last year around this time, I started up this blog on Wordpress, made the move over to Blogger, and while it's gone through some changes - and sometimes I'm all over the board on what I'm posting about - the time has gone fast and I've met some nice people along the way.

Who knew I'd still be out here in blogosphere doing what I'm doing with people who actually read this rag.

Happy Birthday to another Slanty.

Which would be me.

O.K. - that's enough self love - at least for now.

In Pictures: 29th Annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Festival NYC

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If you couldn't attend, here are some pictures from the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Festival at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in NYC. The pictures were taken by Edgie168 - make sure to check out his Flickr photostream page for the complete set.

Sex, The City, And Who's That Adopted Asian Kid?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Maybe this is just a child actor thing - but I wonder how come I can't find the name of the actual girl that plays Charlotte's adopted Chinese daughter in the Sex and the City movie and why she's not listed in the credits.

Doesn't she matter?

On another note, somehow it just seems apropos that one of the characters would get herself a new shiny baby direct from Asia - because it's kind of like a handbag you know? I nice accessory to the family because that's like Charlotte's character isn't it? Someone who likes a nice doll that she could show off to her friends?

A supposedly smart, well mannered Asian China Doll? And she might even play piano too...

I know it's a tough line to tow, but when are people choosing children for the sake of children and when are they objectifying Asian kids as Asian memorabilia?

Why not a white kid from NYC? Why did Charlotte have to get a kid from Asia?

I get tired of hearing about people who simply want to get kids from Asia or elsewhere versus looking in the U.S. - it gets old. It gets tired. It keeps on making you wonder why white people want to choose from the Asian persuasian versus in their backyard, and the only conclusion you can come up with is because they must think Asian kids in those "third world" countries need a helping hand from some white people and at the same time, they'll be really nice and submissive too.

It's kind of like killing two birds with one stone I guess. They get to feel good about themselves and they get a little Asian "prince" or "princess".

Either way, it would be nice if the nameless Asian kid could get some name recognition.

Update: Check out my friends over at Disgrasian who found out who she was.

Kristi Yamaguchi: Headed to the DWTS Finals

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So Kristi Yamaguchi made it to the Dancing With The Stars final round.


Check out her Tango and Jive from Monday.



Democrats: Get it together

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

As things get down to the wire in selecting a Democratic candidate for the general election, even if Obama wins - which is looking more likely - what does it say if that win was made on the backs of voters who were penalized because they lived in states who held their primaries early, nullifying their votes and their delegates?

It's like that 3rd quarter basket Billups got credit for in the now dead Pistons/Orlando series which shouldn't have been counted because the ball clearly was raised after the shot clock, but because of the inept rules of the NBA, nothing could be done about it.

It was a momentum killer. It changed the game, and it changed the series, and unless you're the Pistons and Flip Saunders, who was looking to keep his job, how can you say otherwise?

It's the same with Florida and Michigan.

They counted. They did matter. Don't think so? Tell that to the people that waited in line and voted for their candidate. And unlike the NBA refs who couldn't go back to the TNT truck and check it out for themselves, the Democratic party still has the chance to rectify the situation.

It has a chance to make it a fair game.

What's bothered me most about this situation is that in the general election Florida and Michigan will count, and the fact that Clinton won these states could prove key in the general election. But because the states' delegates aren't being counted right now, people are looking past that fact - and it could come back to haunt them.

Here's to hoping the party gets it together soon, and that no matter who wins the nomination, they don't play their hand like Stern and the NBA.

P.S. - Why is it always about Florida?

Music: Chequendeke

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This is a 7 musician and vocal band out of Tokyo that has a Latin and Nu-Jazz sound that I just got introduced too, and I kind of dig the sounds.

See more about Chequendeke down at their MySpace page.

Conectiv has to pay out $1.65 million for Racial Harassment

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On one hand I just get sick of reading things like this - on the other - I'm glad companies like Conectiv and their sub-contractors, which include Matrix Services Industrial Contractors, Steel Suppliers Erectors, Inc. and A.C. Dellovade, Inc. have to pay out close to 2 million for their threatening racist acts.

From the EEOC:

Conectiv was the general contractor and property owner on a project to build a new energy power plant on the site of a defunct steel plant. Construction on the project began in January 2002 and the plant was operating by the end of October 2003. The EEOC charged in the lawsuit that the defendants, acting as joint employers, subjected a class of African American employees to racial slurs and graffiti as well as threats by hangman’s nooses.

The EEOC said that harassment included a life size noose made of heavy rope hung from a beam in a class member’s work area for at least 10 days before it was removed; the regular use of the "N-word"; racially offensive comments made to black individuals, including "I think everybody should own one"; "Black people are no good and you can't trust them"; and "Black people can't read or write." Additionally, racist graffiti was present written in portable toilets, with terms such as "coon"; "If u not white u not right"; "White power"; "KKK"; and "I love the Ku Klux Klan."
That's just sad.

Here's to hoping the employees who were involved take some of that money, start up their own construction business and put Conectiv and their subcontractors out on the street.

Obama, Raw Racism, And Getting A Clue

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Washington Post

While I'll have to BushWhack Clinton if she drops out of the race - because you don't go this far to drop out when there hasn't been a winner - nothing gets to me more than good people working on a good campaign who have to put up with dumbasses.

Here's a snippet from the Washington Post article Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause:

In Muncie, a factory town in the east-central part of Indiana, Ross and her cohorts were soliciting support for Obama at malls, on street corners and in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and they ran into "a horrible response," as Ross put it, a level of anti-black sentiment that none of them had anticipated.

"The first person I encountered was like, 'I'll never vote for a black person,' " recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. "People just weren't receptive."

For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.
Get a clue people.

Quiznos Commercial

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So I caught this down at the Chicago Sun-Times as well as down on AAM and I don't really have a problem with the woman eating the $5 bucks or not saying anything - but c'mon, do you really have to have her sitting in some laundrymat? Why not outside in a park or something?

Here's a snippet from the Sun-Times article:

That meaty assertion, however, really is the least of our concerns with Cliff Freeman's incredibly tacky approach to hyping the Quiznos promotion. The Freeman agency is notorious for never pushing propriety when there's an opportunity to gross out viewers. And the agency doesn't disappoint in "Laundromat," a 30-second spot. In it we see an Asian-American woman -- who appears to be the proprietor of a laundromat -- first eyeball and then devour a $5 bill taped to the laundromat wall.
Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times and AAM for more.

Stalking Lee Hyori

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If you're a Lee Hyori fan how could you not like the new Mnet show she's on called Off The Record where it basically follows her around with hidden cameras everywhere - even in the shower?

Doc Rivers, The Blame Game, and Lebron's a Mama's boy?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So I know my last post on the Celtics when I gave the blame to Doc Rivers was really more out of frustration (like a good cheap foul). But this time, I really am blaming Doc Rivers because he just couldn't adjust his matchups and he couldn't keep Rondo from shooting the shit out of the game even though they should have kept on going to Ray Allen when he was hot as hell.

I'd go into more detail - X's and O's and all that other good stuff - but really - just watch the game again, you'll see what I mean.

The most interesting part of that loss though, was seeing Lebron's mom come to his defense after a hard a foul and Lebron screaming at her to sit her ass on down - which I'm hoping the Boston Celtic fans have a fun time with.

Sure - the dunk on KG was nice, but having his mom come to his defense in an NBA game? That shit's classic.

And yeah - I know - this post isn't that coherent - or even that interesting - but I felt like making a post where I really can't decipher even what I'm saying.

I'm chalking it up to APAH month, because I'm Asian and I can do that.

What do you expect?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I know this plays into the hands of the "Asian people work really hard" stereotype - and you don't need to look any further than myself to break that stereotype (because I'm kind of a lazy S.O.B) - but in all reality, after you fled your ass from Vietnam, get stranded for six months, and then get imprisoned for another four, creating a company that's a top 10 finalist among the 50 Fastest-Growing Asian American Businesses should really be just like dusting some dirt off you shoulder (sorry, I couldn't resist - I was having a Black Album flashback):

As a teenager in the late ‘70s, Tran and his sister Thu-Hong fled Vietnam on a commercial ship from Panama that took 2,500 refugees to Hong Kong. Stranded in a Hong Kong port for six months and imprisoned for another four, the brother and sister finally got to the U.S. with the help of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and lived in Fort Collins with a foster family.

They spoke no English and had few possessions, mostly the clothes on their backs. In 1981, Tran's sisters, Thu-Van and Thu-Nga, also made it to Fort Collins. In 1992, Tran sponsored his parents, Be Tran and Ngo Vo, his older sister Thu and brother, Mai-Quang, so they also could come to the United States.

Since then, Tran, his family and co-founder Bruce Hottman, have worked 70, 80-hour weeks to build ITX, a successful software and network support company that continues to grow.

Read the full article at The Coloradoan.

Devastation in China and surrounding areas

Monday, May 12, 2008

This is bad - and things keep on getting worse. To everyone that has family out in the affected areas - I hope you got in contact with them and that everyone is safe:

A powerful earthquake toppled buildings, schools and chemical plants Monday in central China, killing more than 8,700 people and trapping untold numbers in mounds of concrete, steel and earth in the country's worst quake in three decades.

The 7.9-magnitude quake devastated a region of small cities and towns set amid steep hills north of Sichuan's provincial capital of Chengdu. Striking in midafternoon, it emptied office buildings across the country in Beijing and could be felt as far away as Vietnam.

Snippets from state media and photos posted on the Internet underscored the immense scale of the devastation. In the town of Juyuan, south of the epicenter, a three-story high school collapsed, burying as many as 900 students and killing at least 50, the official Xinhua news agency said. Photos showed people using cranes, mechanical hoists and their hands to remove slabs of concrete and steel.

Read more coverage here.

Can you have two Asian American Top Chef winners in a row?

Monday, May 12, 2008

While there's a part of me that is hoping a woman breaks the mold and finishes as a Top Chef this season - I've wondered this before (and I'm not alone, check chezpim - who also happens to be guest judging on Iron Chef America) - can there actually be two winners in a row who are Asian American?

Would producers allow it? Or would they be thinking "We can't have two Asian American winners in a row, what the hell would people say?".

I think there's an honest to goodness vibe out there that says if you'd have another Asian person winning Top Chef, people would think the show would be overrun with Asians and they might actually stop watching.

There might even be a riot.

And then there would be the quotas.

Not just on Top Chef, but on all reality television shows.

Just for a moment imagine what happens if Dale wins Top Chef, Yamaguchi wins DWTS - and then just for fun, Peih-Gee actually won Survivor, Ron and Christina won the Amazing Race, Brandi Milloy won Oprah's Big Give, and Ramiele Malubay won American Idol.

Are you kidding me?

I just don't have the faith in our society that if Asian Americans ran the table on some of the most watched reality television shows, that it wouldn't be the impetus for some mini race-war that would get totally out of control.

I can't help it. I know it's wrong but I just don't see it happening any other way.

Xu Yong: Sadly, we never got to know you

Monday, May 12, 2008

Unfortunately, Chinese player Xu Yong, who looked like he was destined to head to the NBA and be the next great prospect out of China, has been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer where the treatments will most likely end his basketball career, and while his life - living his life and beating the disease, is more important than being an NBA player, it would have been nice to see him suit up in an NBA jersey and realize that dream.

Celtics and Cavs: Game 4 tactics

Monday, May 12, 2008

I think it's pretty simple really - and I'll go out on a limb and give Doc Rivers the sole credit for losing Game 3 of the Celtics/Cavs matchup, because he didn't adjust to the game and run enough plays in the post when they still had a chance to close the gap to under 10.

Even though you have 3 star players on your team, when you're down and you have time to get back into the game, you have to slow it down. You have to go to your big man in the post and run the offense through him because he commands the double teams - he has cutters to the basket. He's got other big men who are waiting to get an easy basket at the rim.

I know this is uncharted territory for the Celtics and Doc Rivers - having 3 legit ballers on your team and knowing when to ride each one and when to call plays for them, but while ball movement is their game, so is working inside-out.

It doesn't mean you go away from your main guys, but right now Lebron is on Pierce - the best player on the Celtics team who can be a whirling dervish to the basket - it makes more sense to start some of the sets in the post with KG versus having Pierce take it out from the top of the key, especially when Rondo's defender is completely sagging off him because Ronda can't find his offensive rhythm right now.

Get your big 3 going and you'll get a win. Slow down the game and you'll get a win. Throw it in the post a few more times and you'll get a win.

And if not?

Then it becomes a 3 game series.

Film: The Warlords

Sunday, May 11, 2008

While I posted on this film a while back about the awards it received, I just got a chance to sit down and watch this film myself - and while I could go on and on about how good it was, the way the movie really put into perspective the toll that war took on not just communities but on individuals, or how Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro had some of the best acting that I've seen by them - it's really just easier to say go see the movie - because you won't be disappointed.

If you needed more prodding - here's the trailer again.

First Gas, Then Rice, Now Beer?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

First it was gas, then it was rice - now there's also a shortage of hops for making beer?

If you didn't go anywhere because you couldn't afford the gas, and you didn't eat because you had to ration the rice, at least you could drown those sorrows in beer.

But now that might not even be possible?

Two words that should never be heard by the human ears: "dry hopping".

M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chalk this up as a movie I'll be wanting to see when it comes out next month.

Here are also some links to recent interviews with M. Night Shyamalan:


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Just a quick note that Asian American Acoustic/Folk Rock/Pop singer Kiyomi has her new EP out - A Part of Me - with tracks available on iTunes.

Check out her MySpace page for more info and updates.

More on Asian Eyelid Surgery

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I was contacted out by Karen Zraick from NYC24 about an article they were doing and while I didn't actually do anything (nor was even quoted - something about not being able to quote people who are called "Slanty" - but I can't hold that against her) - she does give up some facts that I've talked about before - particularly this:

"Almost half of all northeast Asians are born with an eyelid fold, which has long been considered more beautiful in Asia, according to Dr. Edward Kwak. Many people feel like people who get the surgery aren’t trying to look white; they’re just trying to look like the many other Asians who have the fold."
Check out the full article down at NYC24. And you can also check out Karen's blog about the Myanmar cyclone (which is pretty in-depth) at

Fusion Stories: 10 books for young readers for APAH Month

Saturday, May 10, 2008

From L to R: Cherry Cheva, David Yoo, Paula Yoo, Mitali Perkins, Grace Lin

This is pretty cool on just a lot of levels, and if you have kids, know kids, or just want to be in the loop about what's out there for young Asian American kids to read, you definitely need to check out the site Fusion Stories.

The project and site is a group of ten Asian American YA (young adult) authors who have joined together to promote awareness of Asian American young adult literature. The authors include Paula Yoo, David Yoo, Justina Chen Headley, Mitali Perkins, An Na, Joyce Lee Wong, Grace Lin, Lisa Yee, Janet Wong, and Cherry Cheva.

Here's a little more from their site about the project:

Ten new contemporary novels by Asian Americans aren’t traditional tales set in Asia nor stories about coming to America for the first time. They’re written by authors who understand two-time Newbery Honor Book author Lawrence Yep’s (Dragonwings and Dragon’s Gate) removal of the ethnic qualifier before his vocation. “I think of myself principally as a writer,” Yep told the International Reading Association’s The Dragon Lode. “I often write about my experiences as a Chinese American, but I’ve also written about faraway worlds. Writing is a special way of seeing.”

Without a doubt, an Asian American vision has moved into the mainstream of the children’s literary world. In 1994, only 65 of the 5,500 children’s books published featured Asian American authors. Last year, that number doubled. Some of these have become national bestsellers that are guaranteed a place on bookshelves for years to come. Linda Sue Park (A Single Shard) and Cynthia Kadohata (Kira Kira) each won the prestigious Newbery Medal, while Allen Say (Grandfather’s Journey) took home a Caldecott Prize. An Na (A Step From Heaven) won the Printz, an award for young adult novels, and Gene Luen Yang garnered a National Book Award for his graphic novel, American Born Chinese.
There's also a good interview with author and Printz Award winner An Na from the School Library Journal:

Tell me about Fusion Stories and how it relates to Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Fusion Stories was the brainchild of a bunch of APA (Asian Pacific American) writers like Paula Yoo, Grace Lee, Mitali Perkins, Joyce Lee Wong, and many others. They invited me to join, and I was honored to accept. Fusion Stories serves as a helpful resource for parents, educators, and young readers. The Web site is a way for us to connect with a wider audience and raise awareness about Asian American History Month. Sadly, very little is done in schools to talk about the history of Asian Americans in the United States. And now, more than ever, APA writers and their stories are getting published!! It's really something to say that I belong in such a fabulous group.

You have said that as a child, books were your "cultural teachers." Do you think your books are "cultural teachers" to your non-Asian readers?

My stories give a glimpse of what it might be like to be immigrants, and specifically a Korean immigrant. I don't know that they are teachers, but rather, they might offer a sense that we all struggle with identity, acceptance, and love. That struggle takes on a different shade than say a non-Asian experience, but the emotions and issues probably remain true across colors and economics. It's always a journey to find your voice. I am just offering one perspective. I would hope that non-Asian readers would want to pick up other books from other cultures just for the adventure of being immersed in an unfamiliar world.
Read the full interview here, and then check out the Fusion Stories website at