Thursday, February 26, 2009

Word from around the way:

Asian Americans and Poverty

Many Americans think of Asians here as a model community with money. Some are but many Asian Americans are truly the working poor. A New York City study found the poverty rate among Asian Americans was higher than African Americans. That study included government programs as income.
AsianWeek WonderCon 2009 Exclusive

Last year over 29,000 comic fans filled San Francisco’s Moscone Center South for the annual WonderCon comic convention, and this year, organizers are anticipating an even larger crowd due to the premiere of Alan Moore’s Watchmen. To celebrate this weekend’s WonderCon, Grapple Entertainment and eigoMANGA will be hosting a Greet and Meet, featuring a special tasting from Haamonii Smooth at Horizon Ultra Lounge on Feb. 28. sits down with Grapple Entertainment President and CEO, Ludon Lee, and Director of Business Development, Lisa Lee –AsianWeek’s former Yin Yang celebrity entertainment columnist, to discuss the company, comprised of members from the local Asian and Pacific Islander community and comic industry.
“Slumdog”: A lesson for Hollywood?

So, will the success of this film — a story about an orphan growing up in the slums of Mumbai — translate in Hollywood to an era of increased diversity of characters on the big screen? If the past is prologue, it’s probably best not to hold our breath.

The powers-that-be in Hollywood have historically presumed that people of color will happily flock to watch movies featuring white characters, but that “mainstream” — read “white” — audiences won’t relate to stories about people of color. Until Sunday, making films like “Slumdog Millionaire” has seemed to make very little sense financially.

Actor Will Smith offered a rare glimpse into the American world of casting a few years ago. While promoting the romantic comedy “Hitch,” he told The Birmingham Post, that the decision to cast Latina actress Eva Mendes as his love interest was a deliberate racial calculation on behalf of the studio...
Asian culture and community events

The "228 Incident" was a tragic day in Taiwanese history. On Feb. 28, 1947, an uprising against Chinese rule resulted in the massacre of thousands of civilians in Taiwan. About 50 years later, the Taiwanese government recognized those who died.

In 1997, the day became a national holiday. The Taiwanese mark what they call Peace Memorial Day by flying their country's flag at half-staff.

Taiwanese-Americans also mark the historic day. The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Taiwanese Association of America will hold a candlelight vigil and a program with music, songs and prayers from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, 319 LaSalle Drive. The event also includes a film about the event and talks by witnesses. Call Sam Tsay at 972-342-8155.
A Victory for the Asian-American Community

Last week, after passage of Obama's stimulus bill, the Asian-American community found a specific reason to celebrate. After decades of activism, congress included a provision in the stimulus package that finally agreed to give Filipino World War II veterans, who fought on behalf of the United States, the full recognition and benefits received by other WWII veterans 60 years ago.

Despite the military service of over 400,000 Filipino soldiers in the Philippines against Japanese occupation and the promise given by the U.S. government for recognition and benefits, Filipino WWII Veterans received nothing. Instead, congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946, which denied them health care benefits because of their racial identity. Last week they found justice.
Behind The Scenes Washington Talk

What is going on in that White House? With so many Asians in the Obama circle, to include his half-sister and brother-in-law, you can't help but wonder if Lou Dobbs had a seizure after learning that Gary Locke was being named to Commerce Secretary. If they so happen to name another minority to the cabinet, you can rest assured that a heart attack is soon to follow. CNN is as guilty of selling Yellow and Brown hate to its viewers as Fox News is for selling Black hate to theirs.
The Chinese Are Coming! The Chinese Are Coming!

...And they're bringing over bags of cash to buy up our property, according to the SF Chronicle. A group of 40 Chinese real estate investors are currently en route from Beijing to California to shop for foreclosed and other "distressed" properties in the Golden State [...]
Amy Tan On Creativity At TED Talk

Some friends referred me to TED Talk today. It's a conference where all of the world's high-minded thinkers and practitioners across disciplinary boundaries come together to give talks on mind-bending issues and perspectives. All the talks have been documented as videos and posted on the website. It's a tremendous resource for innovative ideas that would further thoughtful ideas and actions in the world. ]I heart TED talk.]
Podcast: bigWOWO and the Asian American Movement Blog

Larry from the Asian American Movement Blog visited yesterday, and we did a podcast. Download it here, or listen to it here: It’s 25:39 minutes long and 11.7 megs. During the first 8 minutes and 30 seconds, we discuss Larry’s new blog, how he got involved with the Asian American Movement Ezine, and where they are looking to take the blog. During the remaining 18 minutes, Larry and I talk about the Miley Cyrus incident, activism, the Asian American blogosphere, and getting things done.
Alex Tse, Screenwriter Of Watchmen

One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year is the big screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' landmark graphic novel Watchmen. The movie, which Hollywood has been trying to make for years, finally sees the light of the silver screen in theaters next month, thanks in part to screenwriter Alex Tse. That's right, my friends. An Asian American guy wrote the movie adaptation of the greatest graphic novel of all time.