Monday, January 26, 2009

Word from around the way:

Protest At The Avatar Extras Casting In Philadelphia

Uh oh. We know about the whack-ass white people casting for the upcoming live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, an animated series heavily influenced by anime and Asian culture, and yet somehow completely devoid of any Asian stars in the Hollywood movie version. And we know fans are not happy about it. Bloggers and online fans, Asian American and otherwise, have been speaking out about Hollywood's latest act of whitewashing.
A Militant Review Of Gran Torino

So what about this movie? I was a big fan of Clint Eastwood and actually went through the trouble of seeing this because I was curious about the relationship or interest he had with the Hmong people. As I suspected, Gran Torino is rice-packed with racial epithets and stereotypes about Asians in a platform that lends no balance or convincing story to the contrary. I know having an artistic license has its perks, but just because Eastwood put his holier-than-thou name in a movie doesn't mean it gets a pass in my book.
Hot K-pop: After School

A lot of blogs out there seem to be following K-pop jailbait: the Wonder Girls and Big Bang Seungri’s abs have been written about by Perez Hilton, and SNSD — also known as Girls’ Generation — has been covered by Marc Ecko’s Complex Blog as well as FourFour. I’d like to scoop everyone and introduce the latest addition of the decidedly non-jailbait variety to the K-pop scene: After School.
“Slumdog Millionaire” opens in India, nominated for 10 Oscars

On the eve of its release today in India, the British independent film “Slumdog Millionaire” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. It’s already won four Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Score. The movie’s up for all of those categories at the Oscars, and may well win some if not all of them, and then some. We saw the film just last weekend and I was stunned by its power and eloquence, and for me, its sheer entertainment value in spite of the grimness of the life it portrays. It deserves its kudos.
No need to fear, the end is not near...

With the swearing in of Barack Obama as our 44th president this week, the world is aflutter with questions about where we, the United States, are in terms of race and race relations. "What does it mean to have a Black president?" "How far have we come?" "Have we finally pushed past the color line?" I like that the The Atlantic and writer Hua Hsu got down to brass tacks and simply blurted out, "Is this The End of White America?" I encourage you to read the article, mainly because I loathe paraphrasing but also because it's an interesting read. Here is my favorite snippet...
New Tv Show: Azn Lifestyles Tv

Azn Lifestyles TV is an independently produced, weekly 30-minute program about Asian pop culture. It features interviews with notable personalities, popular topics like food and car shows, and sketch comedy segments.
My NEA Poems

The poems that were part of my NEA Fellowship in Literature Application this year were a number of well-known pieces of mine, as well as some lesser known examples of my writing: Burning Eden One Branch At A Time appears in my first book, On the Other Side of the Eye and elsewhere, and it was the opening poem in my sample set. For me, this is one that's always raised a particular number of controversies as a visual poem and as an Asian American poem among many other reasons.
Reflecting on “Asian American” Digital Identity Politics on MLK Day

Is “Asian American” coming to stand in for a keyword, tag (in the speak of blogosphere), or a hip buzzword in our current media environment as digitally informed and constructed? Is there “real content” beyond the textual reference of “Asian” and “American”? If so, how do we assess this content considering the methods of information retrieval, i.e. Google Alerts, and the context of presentation, i.e. hypertextual state of Internet media?