I'm Not Betty Nguyen And I Wouldn't Have Sex With You

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've been meaning to post this for the last month or so, but I got an e-mail from someone asking if my email address was Betty Nguyen's email address, along with a big ass whopping picture of himself attached to it.

Now I'm not saying anything, but I figure if you attach a big ass photo of yourself to an e-mail it means your looking for a job or your looking for sex and I had to wonder if this guy was trying to hit up CNN's Betty Nguyen (for either) or just some random Betty Nguyen who isn't on CNN (who I'm sure is just as cool) -- and I had a few thoughts.

1. Apparently this guy is a VP of something or another - he's got a job - so I figure he was looking for sex.

2. If I was Betty Nguyen (either of them) no way in hell would I have sex with him. You need to go through the proper channels. I mean this was kind of like a cold call booty call and somehow that's just not right, and even though I'm not the Betty Nguyens, I still kinda feel violated. I mean at least attach a free coupon for some pizza or something before you send me your "I'm not naked, but I still want to have sex with you" picture.

3. I thought that someone might just be having some fun with me because who in their right mind actually mistakes me - Slanty (who's a dude) - with the Betty Nguyens?

At the same time I figure some people are just really horny.

Either way - still had fun.

Inside the Transition: AAPI

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This got put up on the ChangeDotGov channel and I wanted to post it on up as it shows the Presidential Transition Team's Office of Public Liaison meeting with advocates for AAPI issues.

And You're A Winner Too

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Here's the e-mail from Travis who'll be kicking down to Kollaboration 9 with some free tickets representing the Asian Pacific Coalition from UCLA:

As a Chinese American, it's so obvious to me the glass ceiling that is evident in the entertainment industry. To see such a huge cast of rising Asian American artists is proof that our society is moving in a direction that can precipitate great change. I am particularly excited to see the youtube singing duo, Kina Grannis and David Choi, who are likely going to be charming us with their acoustics and vocals for a long time to come. I'm impressed with their ability to gain such popularity through the internet medium, simply on talent and word-of-mouth alone! With my little dance experience, I'm also extremely excited to see Kaba Modern in person. Coming from Atlanta, it is so refreshing to see this strong API presence, and the energy is just amazing here. I would love to be able to go to this event! MY BIRTHDAY IS THE NEXT DAY 2/22!
Hope you have one hell of a time.

This concludes the Slanty giveaway for Kollaboration 9 tickets. Thanks to the good folks down at Kollaboration for setting aside some tix to give away - definitely cool.

A Song For Ourselves: War Of The Flea

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I caught this down at the Depth Of Sense blog about A Song For Ourselves:

To help publicize the event, Tad enlisted the help of DJ Phatrick to put together a mixtape of both remixes and original versions of Chris’ music. I contributed a track, a remix of a really beautiful song, “War of the Flea,” by Chris Iijima, Nobuko Miyamoto, and Charlie Chin (as the group A Grain of Sand). It features some poignant and heartfelt verses by legendary local emcee/activist Bambu (of Native Guns). I’m really happy with how it turned out, and it’s available for free download, hope you enjoy!
Below is the track.

<a href="http://music.senzofdepth.com/track/war-of-the-flea-senz-of-depth-remix-feat-bambu">War Of The Flea (<span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_6">Senz</span> of Depth remix feat. <span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_7">Bambu</span>) by <span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_8">Senz</span> of Depth</a>

Here's also the trailer for the premiere event.

Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Definitely sounds pretty cool:

Vietnamese women's voices – often marginalized – are front and center in the exhibition Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam, which opens February 1, 2009 and runs through May 24, 2009 at the Weisman Art Museum.

Changing Identity is the first-ever major U.S. exhibition of Vietnamese women artists. The ten artists in the show work in a range of media from dynamic watercolors on rice paper and ink paintings reminiscent of calligraphy to riveting installations and breath-taking photography. The exhibited works offer rarely-seen perspectives on gender roles, stereotypes, cultural identity, and what it means to be a woman artist in Vietnam.

Vietnamese artists have prospered since the country opened itself to the West twenty years ago. Contemporary Vietnamese art has seen newfound attention on the international art scene – but this attention has been bestowed almost exclusively on men artists. Through their work, the women artists in Changing Identity question and challenge that status quo.
Check out more down here.

And On That Dat Phan Video I Posted Yesterday

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So I finally ended up watching that Dat Phan video I posted yesterday - which according to some comments was either really funny or just not that good - and my friends over at Disgrasian apparently really didn't think it was that good either - but I figure since I posted it I should at least watch it (and this should serve as lesson to me for posting stuff I don't watch...at least it should).

And now that I saw it?

I know it's somehow wrong - but I couldn't hep but laugh at it.

Sure it plays on every stereotype, but I figure that sometimes it's O.K. to laugh at ourselves, and I figure white people get to do it all the time so why not us occasionally (although I'm kind of iffy on the blond haired character)?

It's definitely a fine line, and sometimes I'm probably on the wrong side of it, but I also like Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, so my tastes are probably up for grabs sometimes.

Either way - I'm just thankful I didn't get Disgrasian of the Weak.

xo back at ya

Race, The Workplace, And Thinking Out Loud

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So I had interesting day a couple of days ago and thought I would post up on it, because I figure just like everyone else I don't always have the answers and just like everyone else I'm human especially when it comes to matters of race and racism and how I might deal with it - or the perception - in different areas of my life.

Online and offline I'm pretty much the same - somedays I think I have it, other days I don't. Sometimes I'm up for the fight and other times I let it go because it's just not worth it. I like to think that for the most part I balance out - that I find a middle ground where I'm comfortable in my decisions - it's not always easy and sometimes I have to go through a round of questions - but I at least like to think I get there.

On to my story.

Like most people I have a day job, and a couple days ago I happened to be in ear shot of someone saying something that I thought could be construed as - well - less than appropriate in regard to race - but I couldn't quite be sure. While there's a large part of me that says I heard what I heard - I wasn't - and still can't be 100% sure of what I heard.

I could have made a mistake.

But I still had two options.

One was to track the person down and say "A few minutes ago I could have sworn I heard you say..." and get into it - in fact - there was a large part of me that wanted too.

The other option was to simply let it go - because I wasn't 100% sure.

But what if what I heard was actually what was said?

How do you confront something that you have a feeling about? A gut feeling that 95% of the time is on, but has also been 5% off (where you've had to learn from it) - and do it in the workplace (because it's a different environment)?

Since I couldn't be 100% sure, but had that feeling that something just wasn't right, I decided to tackle it in a somewhat indirect way because I'm not going to get on down and be like "You racist MF" when I'm not 100% sure - because that's just not fair.

So here's what I did.

I don't see this person everyday, or even every week for that matter (they're in another department), but someone who I saw with them at the time is actually fairly close to me (at least within ear shot) and seems to kind of know them.

So the next day I pretended to have a conversation on my cell when that person close to me was at their desk, and the conversation I had with myself went something like this:

"Hey man what's up - yeah - just checking in, I need a break - so how's the day?..............Are you serious?.......seriously? That's insane........you know - this is your call, but I would just take that to HR because that's definitely crossing the line........I mean I can't believe someone would say something so incredibly racist - what was the conversation before that.....what?......oh yeah....totally....yeah - definitely cool down, have a smoke, chill, and just make sure you're cool first you know.......definitely......yeah let me know.....totally......yeah, call me later, I'll be around."

While I think I pulled this off pretty good, maybe it wasn't quite as good as it sounds now, but I figure this accomplished two simple things.

1. Anyone within ear shot now knows that I don't mind saying the phrases "incredibly racist" and "take it to HR". Even though I work in a fairly diverse workplace, it just gives anyone who might have listened to the conversation a little heads up to just think a little before they might say anything that's less than appropriate for the workplace.

2. If indeed I heard what I heard, I'm hoping my "conversation" gets back to the person who said what I think they did (even though I'll never be quite sure) because in the end, most people who say racist things are kind of scared of losing their jobs (for the most part), and just like the people in ear shot that were around me, puts the person on a notice.

And if I was wrong?

No harm was really done, and while you might not do the same thing, I just felt like I needed to do something to satisfy that gut feeling I had, because with it, I just couldn't sit and do nothing, I had to do something even if it was just talking to myself.

More On Avatar

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just skimmed on through this and it looks like Jeff Yang has a new column out at Asian Pop on Avatar and some other films. I'll read it in-depth myself a little later, but wanted to post it on up:

When is an Asian cartoon not an Asian cartoon? The answer to this Zen dilemma is at the heart of the latest high-octane kerfluffle currently clogging the Net -- one that's pulled into its vortex two of the most celebrated Asian American creators in comics: Gene Yang, National Book Award finalist for his graphic novel "American Born Chinese," and Derek Kirk Kim, whose work has won comics' most prestigious laurels -- the Xeric, Ignatz, Eisner and Harvey awards.

That's because the two happen to be passionate devotees of Nickelodeon's animated TV series "Avatar: The Last Airbender." The show completed its third and final season last year, only to have the cable network green light a live-action, big-screen adaptation, a proclamation greeted with both anticipation and anxiety by the show's burgeoning fan base.

Last month, with the unveiling of the film's principal cast, their worst fears came true, prompting self-proclaimed "Avatards" -- chief among them 'toon titans Yang and Kim -- to launch a protest that's generated torrents of both support and criticism.
Read it in full here.

Greater Chinatown Community Association Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A little last moment, but caught this down at Asians in America and wanted to post this up here as well:

Something exciting has been happening at Greater Chinatown Community Association (GCCA)! A group of volunteers have chosen GCCA to be the recipient of a 10 day legacy project. Their Chinese New Year gift to GCCA: A new cosmetic makeover (paint job) as well as a resource library for our clients. Their goal was to raise 100% of the funds and materials for this project through fundraising. In addition, they only have 10 days to start and complete the project.

The community is invited to attend a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009: 3pm – 5pm at GCCA to celebrate the completion of this project.

The Agent, KAFFNY, And Drafting For God

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A couple of quick items.

1. KAFFNY is scheduled for February 28th, 2009 with the First Program from 5:00 - 7:00 PM and the Second Program from 8:00 - 10:00 PM. While tickets aren't available now online, they will be available soon, so keep on checking their site.

2. At the KAFFNY site they have an online screening area where you can watch the short film "The Agent" directed by filmmaker David Kim which is just laugh out loud funny, so if you haven't seen it before make sure to check it out by following the link here (the above is just a screenshot).


And Australia Day Seems To Suck

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I guess you won't be catching me down in Australia for this event:

‘Australia Day’ has become a very dangerous day to be non-European. Many Asian-Australians are fearful of even stepping out of their homes as flag wearing, slogan shouting racist mobs rule the street in a manner reminiscent of the Brown shirt gangs circa Germany 1930’s.

'I was abused last Australia day-this year my door is locked and its all day in front of the television’ comments Kim Wang, 28, an immigrant from Hong-Kong.
On beaches from Surfers Paradise down to Manly and Coogee in Sydney mobs of young Anglo-Australians motivated by racism rioted again this year smashing windows of shops owned by non-Europeans, spray-painting racist slogans on them and violently assaulting any non-white Australians unlucky enough to stray into their path. In a bizarre repetition of history one shop in Manly was reported to have been vandalised with the words in spray paint: ‘Aussies: Don’t buy from Muslims’ (derogatory term for foreigners)’.

Over a hundred young men and women wearing neither shirts nor shoes were involved in such a riot in Manly, a beachside suburb in Sydney popular with tourists: Takeaway food outlets owned by people of Asian and Middle-Eastern appearance had their windows smashed and non-Europeans were assaulted. One Asian-Australian lady aged 18 was showered with glass as hoodlums smashed her car windows: with her in the car. One Sikh taxi driver had his turban pulled off and his beard pulled in front of a jeering mob. Some of the rioting racists carried signs saying ‘Australia is full’ others chanted the sports slogan ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi’.

Miriam Gould had travelled to Manly from Bondi, a suburb with a large population of Jewish holocaust survivors. Miriam was five when the Nazis came to power and living in Berlin. 'The last time I saw such scenes I was a little girl. It really was Kristallnacht on the beach: the same faces, the same hateful expressions. I never thought I would experience this again but I just did, on the other side of the world.’ Commented Miriam. ‘The Australian flag was used like the Swastika’ she concluded.
Get a clue people.

Read it in full here.

Dat Phan And Bringing Home The White Girl

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update: For some reason this wasn't playing in IE. Seems to be working fine now.

I got passed this via e-mail and thought I would post it on up. I actually haven't had a chance to take a full look through it yet, but I'm sure it's funny (and if it isn't, well - I've already put up my disclaimer).

Rin On The Rox, Ellen Degeneres, And More Asian Singers In The Bathroom

Monday, January 26, 2009

1.5 million channel views, mostly singing, a little comedy, always entertaining - and now - they get a shout out from Ellen Degeneres on her show.

It's the power of YouTube.

Check it out.

If you want to learn more about Rin on the Rox, view their YouTube channel here, and you can also check out two videos below.

Brandy "Right Here (Departed)"

Neyo's "Miss Independent"

SFIAAFF: Call For Volunteers

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some of the 2008 SFIAAFF Volunteers

Saw this down at the Center For Asian American Media (CAAM) and wanted to post it on up as it's a great opportunity to get involved, do some good, have some fun, get a free t-shirt, and see some films (or at least work off a parking ticket).

Be a part of the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films! Every March, over 300 volunteers from around the Bay Area log almost 2,500 hours to make the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) a success! SFIAAFF volunteers serve in a variety of capacities across the festival, from the box office to galas and receptions, from ticket taking to driving festival guests.

Volunteer benefits include:
  1. Vouchers for festival screenings
  2. Meeting film industry professionals and fellow film enthusiasts
  3. Official Festival T-shirt
  4. Volunteer Appreciation Party
  5. Working off parking or traffic tickets incurred at Bay Area cities through Project 20
We ask all volunteers to commit to a minimum of three shifts over the course of the festival (approx. 12 hours). New Volunteers need to attend one Volunteer Orientation (Dates and Times TBA).

To sign up, please register online: www.shiftboard.com/caam

For more information, contact LeRoid David, Volunteer Coordinator at ldavid [at] asianamericanmedia [dot] org or by phone at 415-863-0814 ext. 214.
Word to the Sessue and the Hayakawa.

ABDC Season 3 Week 2

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quest Crew

Team Millenia

Hear The Women Scream

Monday, January 26, 2009

And your linkage to SS501.

The Economic Model As Said By You Le Vo Phuong Mai

Monday, January 26, 2009

I say if you got $300,000 for post-doctoral research and you can't find a job in Nam as a researcher - I think it's time to move on:

After earning her doctoral degree, Mai received a scholarship worth GBP200,000 or more than $300,000 for post-doctoral research on macro-economic models and monetary policies. This is a prestigious scholarship granted by the UK Ministry of Education to up to 15 candidates who research economic topics.

Mai used algorithms and data to analyse various macro economic models. She focused on developed European and American economies where the banking systems, monetary policies and financial experts have strong influences on the economy. Prof. Patrick Minford, who worked as an economic advisor to former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, helped the Vietnamese student a lot during her research.

In her work, Mai criticised some theoretical principles of European and American economic models. In her opinion, these economies could not develop fast because they used those models from World War II till 2004. She developed a new economic model for the world, based on the current New Keynesian Model and the old New Classical. Here research pointed out that the two models combined together would give better data [...]

She wants to return to live in Hanoi in the near future to contribute her knowledge to the country’s development. However, she is worried about being unemployed in Vietnam because it is difficult for a researcher like Mai to find a suitable job.
It is what it aint?

And You're A Winner

Monday, January 26, 2009

I wanted to post up the e-mail from Sally who'll be kicking down to Kollaboration 9 with some free tickets:

Why I want to kick it to Kollaboration 9 & who I wanna seee:

I really want to go to this show because it's gotten so popular and I've heard great things about it, like how Far*East Movement came from there! I think what the organization does as a nonprofit is pretty awesome, too, in promoting the presence of Asian Americans in the media! I especially want to go see Jane Lui perform! She's sooo awesome live and has such a soulful voice! I also want to watch Jazmin's performance because I caught them when I watched the first episode of MTV's pop-group reality show.


Hope you have a great time!

Still got a couple more tickets to give away so e-mail me on down and get on in.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What more is there to say except that I hope you got (and will) get your groove on in some way, however you do it. And because it's the Year Of The Ox here's some quick picks from the Wiki:

Ox (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water): Dependable, calm, methodical, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.

The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind.

The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights.

Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children.

It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

Random Housecleaning And Jasmine Trias

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yes, the year is already gone, but we're still in January, so that still leaves me some time to finish up The Best Of for 2008.

I blame it on the inauguration.

And just because I can, here's Jasmine Trias singing All I want For Christmas Is You - because I'm still in the holiday mood.

Q & A With The New AAJA...ED That Is

Monday, January 26, 2009

For anyone that's interested (and I know some of you are), here's a little bit of the Q & A with the new AAJA's Executive Director Ellen Endo:

Q: What are some of the other challenges you think AAJA will face?

A: Fundraising. Just like every other non-profit organization in America, we rely on contributions from private and corporate sources and we want to make sure that our mission really aligns with people who are in a position to donate to us and we want to be thought of as an organization that actually fulfills its promises and is really cognizant of the mission in a practical as well as a philosophical way.

Q: On the press release, the AAJA National President talks about your “fundraising expertise.” Could you tell us about some of your previous experiences?

A: I actually worked with several organizations including the Go For Broke National Education Center. I worked with them in raising funds. I’ve also received training from Indiana University School of Fundraising and I worked with the USC Asian-American Alumni Association and their fundraising efforts and I guess a number of organizations as a consultant, including the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation. Heart Mountain was the site of one of the Japanese internment sites. I’m working as an advisor to their fundraising effort. A lot of that is volunteer, but I’ve also been a consultant specifically to raise money. [I] identify funding sources and create the materials.

Q: I know AAJA recently issued a statement on the importance of diversity in the newsroom. How does AAJA hope to maintain and even further the progress made in recent years?

A: I think, number one, we have to be constantly vigilant. We want to make sure that we speak for those, not just for those who are affected, but for those who might be affected. I think one way is to make certain that the decision makers are aware that AAJA exists, that it is going to be very assertive in its efforts to maintain diversity in the newsroom and in the diversity of news coverage. I think, two, we want quality not just quantity. We want people in writing in the ranks, we want diversity in the decision-making levels as well.
Finish it up at the AAJA's Website.

And On That English-Only Thing

Monday, January 26, 2009

I had heard about this on NPR a little bit ago and just caught this post down at RaceWire talking about how the initiative was shot down - and that's some great news to hear:

An initiative to establish English as the official language in Nashville was defeated yesterday, bucking a nationwide conservative push for “official English” in response to perceptions about immigrant populations. The city’s “English first” initiative would have basically mandated that all government business be conducted in English—in sharp contrast to immigrant-rich cities like New York, where government agencies are supposed to offer multi-lingual documents and access to translation services.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean hailed the vote as proof of “Nashville’s identity as a welcoming and friendly city, and our ability to come together as a community.” Of course, proponents of the referendum, led by City Councilman Eric Crafton, used similar rhetoric, arguing that “a community is more united, more efficient under one common language.” Crafton even pointed to Latinos who supported the initiative as a means toward assimilation.
It still amazes me that people keep on trying to get these laws passed.

But then again...

Read the article in full down here.


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?

Get Your Filmmaker On: SLANT Film Festival Call For Entries

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reprinting out from the aurorapictureshow site.

SLANT FILM FESTIVAL: Bold Asian American Images


* What: 9th annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images
* When: May 30 – 31, 2009
* Where: The Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX
* Deadline: Postmark by February 23, 2009

SLANT, an annual film festival of short films, seeks works by Asian American filmmakers. For the ninth year, Slant will showcase an eclectic mix of the best in emerging Asian American cinema. All genres are accepted.

--- details, details, details ---

Program Content: All genres, including narrative, experimental, film art/video art, documentary and animation.

Eligibility: Filmmakers or film content should be Asian American or Asian Canadian.

Running Time: Each work should run 30 minutes or less.

Formats: Selected works may be presented on DVD, Mini DV or Quicktime. Please note we do not have Beta.

Formats for submission: DVD, or provide a link to the work online

Send To:
Aurora Picture Show - Slant
1524 Sul Ross
Houston, TX 77006

Postmark Deadline: February 23, 2009. Please include a SASE if you want your submission returned.

Entry Fee: $10 for up to three shorts. Send a check or money order made payable to Aurora Picture Show. DO NOT send cash. You can also make a payment through PayPal by using the PayPal button at the bottom of this webpage. Please include a printout of your Paypal payment in your submission.

Payment to Filmmakers: Makers are paid $4/minute of film/video with a $40 minimum. Aurora also pays return shipping on films included in screening and insurance on tapes and films. We pay distributors their published rate for rentals, but are happy to receive discounts as we are a nonprofit organization


* Your name
* Contact info (including address, phone numbers, and email)
* Year the work was made
* Original format of the work
* Total running time
* A brief filmmaker bio
* A two-line description of your film

This list is not optional. Please include all information requested.


Curator Melissa Hung: slantfestival (at) gmail (dot) com
Aurora Picture Show: 713.868.2101

Being Randomly Bookish - Field of Mirrors: An Anthology of Philippine American Writers

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just thought I'd make a short and random book post on Field of Mirrors: An Anthology of Philippine American Writers which came out last year but that some of you may be interested in if you haven't checked it out. Here's some info from Filipina Soul:

The book, “Field of Mirrors: An Anthology of Philippine American Writers“, was edited by Edwin A. Lozada. It covers a variety of topics, eras and settings, written by the following authors:

Ceres S.C. Alabado, Patricia Isabel Amoroto, Jennifer Almiron, Rick Barot, James M. Constantino Bautista, Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Luis Cabalquinto, Nick Carbó, JP Catenza, Maria Teresa Mendiola Crescini, Janice De Jesus, Rey E. de la Cruz, Shirley B. Dimapilis, Helen Dizon, Ernesto V. Epistola, Rey Escobar, Robert Francis Flor, Penélope V. Flores, Luis H. Francia, Allen Gaborro, Eric Gamalinda, Sarah Gambito, Victor P. Gendrano, Almira Astudillo Gilles, Bienvenido C. Gonzalez, Remé A. Grefalda, Michele Gutierrez, Luisa A. Igloria, Jaime Jacinto, Paolo Javier, Antonio K. Joaquin, Korina M. Jocson, Vanessa Verdadero Kenyon, Susan T. Layug, Lewanda Lim, Karen Llagas, Edwin A. Lozada, Jennifer Mangantulao Macagba, Enriqueta Cartagena Mayuga, Melanie Medalle, Lora Mendoza, Cora Monce, J. Mark Muñoz, Alex G. Paman, Oscar Peñaranda, Rhodora V. Peñaranda, H. Francisco V. Peñones, Benjamin Pimentel, Jon Pineda, Elmer Omar Pizo, Edgar Poma, Cristina Querrer, Charity Ramilo, Barbara Jane Reyes, Maureen Roble, Al Robles, Tony Robles, Gayle Romasanta, Marie I. Romero, Patrick Rosal, Anthem Salgado, Juliana Seneriches, Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon, Luis Malay Syquia, Leny Mendoza Strobel, Eileen R. Tabios, Annabelle A. Udo, Alberto Vajrabukka, Elsa Valmidiano, Jean Vengua, Marianne Villanueva.

PAWA is a non-pofit nation-wide organization of writers and artists established in 1998. Its primary mission is to disseminate the works of outstanding Filipino writers who include Philippine/Philippine American culture in their works.

Asian American Society And VA

Monday, January 26, 2009

Caught this down at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and wanted to post it on up as it's always nice to heard about local groups giving out some awards:

The Asian American Society of Central Virginia recognized four area leaders during its second annual awards gala at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. About 250 people attended. Rumy Mohta, the organization's chairman, said the awards recognize the efforts of individuals and companies that make a difference in the entire community, not just the Asian-American community [...]

The Community Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Vicki Mirandah, a member of the Asian American Society of Central Virginia's board of trustees representing the Malaysian community. In addition to serving as chairwoman of the Virginia Asian Advisory Board, she has volunteered with the Susan G. Komen Richmond Race for the Cure, Run for Read, Richmond Folk Festival, Junior Achievement and Habitat for Humanity. She also teaches English as a second language to refugees and immigrants.

Founded in 1998, the nonprofit organization has members representing 16 Asian communities, said Malik Khan, its community-relations director. Khan said the society promotes cultural, civic, business and educational programs.
Read it in full here.

And Yao Should Be Fine

Monday, January 26, 2009

Well maybe not fine "fine" - he'll miss a few games - but at least it's not looking like he'll be out for the season, so we can all exhale - at least for now.

Don't rush back too soon big guy.

P.I.C At Arlene's Grocery

Monday, January 26, 2009

Got this sent out from MySpace and wanted to post it on up:

P.I.C will not only be playing our first show of ‘09, but will also be shooting the entire set for a live performance video! We'd love to capture all of your awesome body-shaken-smilin'-faces on tape. Don't miss the chance to be in the video. Come on out and bring some of that feel good energy to the dance floor this Saturday, January 31, when P.I.C will not only be playing our first show of ‘09, but will also be shooting the entire set for a live performance video! We’d love for your swank selves to grace the screen!
Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 11:30 PM

Arlene’s Grocery
95 Stanton Street (bet. Ludlow & Orchard)
New York

Goh Nakamura And Big Phony Live At Cafe Du Nord

Monday, January 26, 2009

Goh Nakamura and Big Phony are going to be playing live down at Cafe Du Nord (The Goh Birthday Show). Here's some more info on the show:

Tickets are $10 at the door, but believe it or not- we actually sold it out the place out last time, so you can buy advance tickets here. I'll be playing 2 sets, with many special guests and with an opening set from one of my favorite singer songwriters Bobby Choy aka "Big Phony". Check out some beautiful live video performances here and some mp3's.
Friday, Jan 30, 2009 8:30 PM

Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market Street
San Francisco

And About That Gown...

Friday, January 23, 2009

While I can definitely understand where The Black Artists Association is coming from - because it was a great opportunity to show a black designer's work - versus (or maybe rather in addition too) someone like Jason Wu, who pretty much everyone knows now - I gotta be honest that when I heard about "the gown" and that it was from a "Wu", I just thought that was pretty cool news - because it was an Asian face in the spotlight.

At the same time I can't help but think one specific thought:

In some ways you couldn't pay me enough to be the President or the First Lady because think about all of us that they have to try and satisfy on multiple levels.

I can barely satisfy myself.

Random Come Back To Me Utada Pic

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just thought I'd post this up as it's the pic for the single on the Island Records' site.


M.L.: One More Time

Friday, January 23, 2009

Caught this video down at Asian Rap Worldwide by M.L. that samples out Daft Punk.

Hot Tracks: Ming Dynasty

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sometimes good music just finds you, and in this case, it literally happened. I popped onto MySpace and in my friend requests was the band Ming Dynasty fronted by Ming Chan (who also plays bass, piano, and synths) and seriously - you need to take a listen to them because they have some hands down incredible hot MF tracks.

Go to their site at mingdynasty.tv and listen to these four songs from the alternative/indie/rock band's new CD "Yellow Tiger" (you can also pick up the CD before the release party from CD Baby and iTunes):

01. Yellow Tiger
02. Twisted Flower
06. From Below
10. Bad Reputation

CD release party at Arlene’s Grocery

Ming dynasty will have it’s official CD release party for
Yellow Tiger At:

Arlene’s Grocery 95 Stanton St, NYC
Thurs Jan 29th at 10 pm.
Admission is 8 dollars

Also check out their MySpace page here.

And That's A Lot Of Inauguration Links

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I got these links passed out to me from Racewire as they've been out in D.C. covering the inauguration.

Check it out:


Inaugural Reflections from the Streets of DC
Shot by Jorge Rivas, edited by Channing Kennedy

Over a million people filled the mall in the nation's capitol for this historic inauguration. Colorlines cameras were there to ask people on the streets why they came to DC and what are their hopes for the next four years?

King Day in SF "Youth Speaks" of a New Dream to Overflow Crowd
Shot and edited by Channing Kennedy

The 12th annual "Bringing the Noise" celebration filled the over 900 seats at the Herbst Theater. By all accounts it was a great success for Youth Speaks who brings together literary arts education, performance, youth activism and social change empowerment.


Lowery Called On White People Too
By Rinku Sen

Did anyone notice that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert left off a most important line of Reverend Lowery's benediction in their inauguration coverage last night?

Preemptive Love Isn't Really Love
By Rinku Sen

As I was writing The Accidental American and reflecting on the dismal immigration and civil rights record of the nation since 9/11, a prominent economist told me the question I would have to answer as I peddled the book: "Rinku, why do you hate this country so much?"

The Dome is Mine
By Tammy Johnson

I am one of thousands of activists who had come to DC to petition my government many times over the years. And to me, that dome had come to represent an impenetrable domain that benefited a privileged few. But standing there today I felt something different.

In Obama We Trust
By Tracy Kronzak

I spent most of the morning at the Oakland Coliseum tearfully watching Barack Obama take the oath of office and become our 44th President. I suspect, like a great deal of people today, I've been caught up in Obama-mania.

Racial Justice Advocates Gear Up for the New Administration
By Dom Apollon

I'll give you two thoughts in brief, besides the session's overarching theme that you likely already know better than most - the real work now begins to make Obama follow-through on all of his grandiose promises for change and hope.

The Darkness
By Adrienne Maree Brown

Now, at this moment, we have a black president. Black like many black people are, with a lot of other stories woven into his blackness, having organized for justice for years. Black in ways that many black people are not, with known relatives in Kenya and a clear knowledge of his ties to Africa.


Immigrants March on ICE Building
Photos by Megan Izen

Hundreds are gathered in DC, a day after inaugurating our new president, to demand A New Day for Immigration. Led by Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), immigrants are marching to demand an end to the raids on their communities.

Access to the Inaugural Opening Concert
Photos by Jorge Rivas

On Sunday, we were among the tens of thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear artists like Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, and Beyonce. Check out a few photos from the event.

Thanks Sonal!

More Owl, More Sparrow, Nhu Loan, And Vudoo Soul

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So I've been catching more and more of these promotions from Wave Releasing for Owl and the Sparrow and wanted to post up this one I caught down at BPR with Nhu Loan and Vudoo Soul.

On The Presidential Inauguration

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Like the previous post before this said, I've just been taking everything in over the last few days. MLK day, the inauguration right after, just feeling it for what it is - a moment in history that says so much about who we are as a nation, what we've become, and where we could go.

I have to admit that it took me a while to get it. It didn't just hit me over the head like everyone else. I was all over the board. From McCain to Clinton to Obama, I figured it was a fair fight for everyone and I'd listen to what each had to say. I knew McCain, I knew Clinton, but I had to get to know Obama because I didn't really know much about him.

At the same time I couldn't help but root for the underdog of the Democratic Party in some ways - because in a lot of respects, Clinton was the underdog. There was something that drew me to her simply because of that - because I like a good fight.

But the more I learned, the more I began to know, even if pretty much 50/50, I ended up leaning just a little bit closer to hear what the now President of our nation had to say.

But I was also still apathetic in a lot of ways regardless of what I was watching, reading, or even blogging about. Even though I wanted to know what was going on, even though I sometimes became entrenched in certain events or the perceptions of the Asian American community throughout the process, I still wondered if it really was going to make a difference no matter who won and how historical it was going to be.

Fast forward after the primaries and my vote was sealed. I knew I would go Democratic simply because of certain issues, but in a lot of ways, still didn't quite get it.

I heard about it. I technically knew about it. On a historical level and what I was witnessing I got it (how could I not get such a monumental shift in history?) - and I loved every bit of it.

But still, deep down - I didn't feel it. I didn't get that buzz from Obama himself that everyone else was getting on a personal level, that connection they seemed to have with him. For everything there was about the election that I was into, as much as I was rooting for him to win, that was still missing for me.

Flashback to March and April -- I was back to the Mother Ship in SE Asia leaving during the time that Obama gave his "A More Perfect Union" speech and while I'd heard references to it here and there after that, I never actually sat down and listened to it.

But then one day I did.

And I don't actually recall how I ended up there - but I heard and saw this conviction of truth on matters of race in our society from someone who by all measures didn't have to say as much as he did - as honestly as he did - and by the end - I felt it.

I got it in a way that hadn't hit me before.


So when I saw him standing there taking the oath, making his inaugural speech, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe and admiration that I haven't felt before, something I know I'll never quite feel again - and while I know it had so much to do with the history, the electing of our first black President, a President of mixed race, a President of color - I also know it had everything to do with what I heard, and what I'm still hoping to hear.

Quick Breath

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just like everyone else I've been taking in everything that's been going on - letting it soak on in - thinking about what it all means, and just enjoying the moment...back to regular posting soon.

Can you believe it?

Slanty Giveaway: Win Tickets To Kollaboration 9 And The Afterparty

Monday, January 19, 2009

So here's the deal.

You should already know about Kollaboration 9 and the artists that are going to be there:

Jane Liu, Paul Dateh, David Choi, Kenichi Ebina, Jazmin, Kina Grannis and Lilybeth Evardome. They'll also have special performances by Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak, Norman Ng and Jo Koy, and celebrity judges that will be there are Moon Bloodgood, James Kyson Lee and Teddy Zee.

Now you can win free tickets to the show and the afterparty.

So not only do you get to see great performances by David Choi, Kina Grannis, the dancers from Kaba Modern and a slew of other cool AA artists, but you also get to hit the afterparty, where who knows, you just might get to rub shoulders with a few of them too (I'll get you there but the rest is up to you).

What do you have to do to win tickets?

The folks down at Kollaboration gave me four tickets to give away, so I'll either give away 2 sets of 2 for you and a friend, or some singles.

Just e-mail me down at slanteyefortheroundeye@gmail.com with why you want to kick it to Kollaboration 9, who the artists are that you really want to see, and then I'll pick 2-4 from there (if you want 1 or 2 please let me know in the e-mail along with the names of the people who will be going as your tickets will be waiting for you down at Will Call the day of the show).

I'll post the winners (first name only) and what you sent my way in a few days.

So what are you waiting for you?

The Asia Society, Asians In "Yellow Face", And David Henry Hwang

Monday, January 19, 2009

Speaking of Yellow Face (see the previous post), here's an exclusive interview with David Henry Hwang from the Asia Society:

David Henry Hwang on Asian American racial identity and "the face we choose to show the world [versus] who we are" -- in his new play "Yellow Face." With excerpts from a January 2008 performance at The Public Theater in New York. Exclusive interview conducted by the Asia Society.

Here's the original clip link down at YouTube.

And Rob Schneider Is At It Again

Monday, January 19, 2009

I was watching Bedtime Stories over the weekend and caught the clip above and had a few thoughts pop up:

1. We have blackface and yellowface, but is there even a word that's been coined for someone doing the same thing to American Indians? To be honest I couldn't really come up with anything off the top of my head and then kind of realized what that said - about a lot of things.

2. Is Rob Schneider kind of like our Mickey Rooney?

3. I'd really like to see a lot more POC playing white people. I think it'd be funny and entertaining.

Coolest White Lady In An Asian Or Asian American Flick

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crazy Grandma

How could I not go for Crazy Grandma?

She definitely was the coolest white lady to hit the screen (or floor for that matter) in what was one of the best Asian Or Asian American films of the year in Benson Lee's Planet B-Boy where I got sucked into the world of Ichigeki and Last For One - and while I'd like to tell you more - if I did - it would ruin the ending and then you probably wouldn't clap at the end like I did - and really - I did clap at the end because it was just that damn good.

Best Technology Site To Shutdown in 2008

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stage 6

I don't know about the rest of you, but when Stage 6 shutdown last year, I think I almost cried. There just wasn't another site that could match the breadth of videos that you could watch in hi quality and automatically save to your computer if you were so inclined too (which really happens automatically, and I always made sure this just happened with the public domain movies...which was a great channel)

Easy to find videos - tv, music, film - it had everything you could ever want, but even more so - it showed the power of the technology. It showed the way that a small indie film or music video could get a lot of traction in a short amount of time in a format that rivals pretty much almost any other as far as quality and streamability is concerned (when you can take a 7G movie and shrink it down to around 600-700MG and stream it to the user with little buffer time, while still keeping great quality - that's a winner).

And while you'd think that a lot of other sites would have jumped up to fill Stage 6's place, surprisingly enough, not many have. Sure there are some out there that have tried - but a lot of them are more torrent/pirate sites then anything else, and they lack any type of corporate branding like Stage 6 had behind it, so there aren't any contests like Stage 6 had that showed off the technology and the content creators where there video could also be copied to disc and then played on your DivX compatible DVD player.

It was online to DVD in one fell swoop.

Too bad it had to die.

Southern Arizona Asian American Pacific Islander Conference

Sunday, January 18, 2009

For all my people out in Arizona, this one's for you:

First Asian American Pacific Islander Conference

Coming up on April 25, 2009, the first (annual?) Southern Arizona Asian American Pacific Islander Conference, will be held here in Tucson at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road, just east of La Canada. The theme is "Unity Through Diversity: the Asian American/Pacific Islander experience."

Keynote luncheon speaker will be Robert Kiyosaki, well-known author the bestselling book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

This conference will be an all day affair, 8 to 6 p.m., sponsored by the Pan Asian Community Alliance, a local non profit organization which "promotes and develops education and community services of Asian and Pacific Islanders".

For further information, contact Ross Iwamoto at rmiwamoto@comcast.net or Dorothy Lew at dorothylew@aol.com or (520) 512-0144. Please spread the word to the diverse Asian communities in Southern Arizona, as this is an inclusive event, with conference registration set at $40 ahead of time, $50 at the door, $10 for students, and some scholarships.
Read it in full down at the Tucson Citizen.

Tell Me Something I Didn't Know (But It's Still Good To Hear): Asian American political profile rising in US

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saw this out on Salon.com and thought to myself "Are people finally starting to take notice a little more?"

Asian-American political profile rising in US

When three newly elected Chinese-American city supervisors climbed on stage in Chinatown, flanked by dragon dancers and lit up by camera flashes, they were hailed for making history in a city their forebears have shaped since the Gold Rush Days.

Now their November sweep has been topped with the election of one of them, David Chiu, as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors -- the second most powerful position in local government.

It is fitting that San Francisco, which is 34 percent Asian and home of the nation's oldest Chinatown, is leading the way on Asian-American political representation. But the country's fastest growing minority group also is reaching new heights on the state and national stage.

Experts say their newfound clout is not due to numbers alone.

The political engagement of Asian-Americans is growing. Many immigrants are earning citizenship. Community organizations are mounting voter registration drives. Ethnic media increasingly are endorsing candidates and covering political campaigns. And politicians are scoring victories, even in areas without a strong Asian electorate.

Countrywide, there are more than 2,000 Asian and Pacific Islander elected and appointed representatives, according to UCLA's Asian American Studies Center. In California, Asian-Americans hold two seats in the state Senate, 10 in the Assembly, plus the posts of state controller and chief of the Board of Equalization. A decade ago, there was only one high-ranking Asian-American official, the state treasurer.
Check out the full article here.

And Now You're Making Tunage With Yo-Yo Ma

Friday, January 16, 2009

If you've been following - or even if you haven't, Yo-Yo Ma picked the winners to his mashup contest, and after listening to 350+ submissions -- today he choose a winner.

Well, two winners, actually:

Ma encouraged musicians of any stripe to download his own version of the traditional tune "Dona Nobis Pacem," then add their own rendition, mix the two and upload the result to the music site indabamusic.com.

Now, after listening to 354 submissions, Ma has chosen not one, but two winners — hear him pick the winning entries by clicking the link above — whose musical DNA couldn't be more opposite. Toshi is a native of Japan whose father wanted him to learn their country's traditional music.

"Instead, I chose to bang my head," Toshi says. "That was the beginning of my heavy-metal history. Thanks to Iron Maiden. I formed my very first band when I was 15."

Now, Toshi writes music for his band Antiquus, based in Vancouver.

From the opposite end of the aural spectrum comes the gently clanging tones of hand bells, courtesy of composer and arranger Kevin McChesney. His music has won him a number of awards, and he now directs the Pikes Peak Ringers from his home in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Since Toshi and McChesney won the contest they'll get to sit down and collaborate with Ma on some new music.

Check out more out about the winners and listen to Yo-Yo Ma down at NPR.

Tim Kang From The Mentalist

Friday, January 16, 2009

I have to admit that I haven't seen a lot of episodes, but what I have seen hasn't been too bad (although I've always liked Robin Tunney).

Here's a clip of Tim Kang on TV Guide's BroadBand.

And more from his CBS Bio:

Tim Kang can be seen in the upcoming feature film "Mr. Sandman." His other film credits include "Rambo," "The Forgotten," "Two Weeks Notice" and "Robot Stories."

His television credits include "Third Watch" and "The Unit," on the Network. He has had guest-starring roles in "Ghost Whisperer," also on the Network, "The Office," "The Sopranos," "Monk," "Chappelle's Show," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Law & Order: Trial By Jury." Kang can also be seen on a wide variety of national commercials spots.

Kang graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Science and went on to receive an M.F.A from the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University. He was born and raised in San Francisco and currently lives in Los Angeles. His birth date is March 16.

Niranjan Shah And Being Board

Friday, January 16, 2009

Interesting and cool (although just remember I never said this was always going to be exciting - unless you think this stuff is exciting, and then I just have to pat myself on the back and say "Job well done", because this could be exciting, depending on who you are):

Trustee Niranjan Shah was unanimously elected to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees during Thursday's meeting on the Chicago campus.

He is the first Asian-American to serve as chairman of the Board, and succeeds trustee Lawrence Eppley who served as chairman for six years, and chose not to seek re-election.

"That is what the American society is all about," Shah said. "We give everyone a chance."
Any which way you can get what you get.

Team Millennia, Quest, Boxcuttuhz, And America's Best Dance Crew

Friday, January 16, 2009

Video of some of the Asian American crews and folks, competing on America's Best Dance Crew this season.

Team Millennia



Kartika Review

Friday, January 16, 2009

Found this from trailing out an alert:

Kartika Review publishes literary fiction, poetry, and essays that endeavor to expand and enhance the mainstream perception of Asian American creative writing. The journal also publishes book reviews, literary criticism, author interviews, and artwork. We turn our focus on works relevant to the Asian Diaspora or authored by individuals of Asian descent. Kartika plans to sponsor readings, panel discussions, writing contests, and other creative activities for the Asian American community in Boston, New York City and the Bay Area
Check out the site and download the Winter issue here.

Random MV: Koi no Mahou

Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't Believe The Hype: We're Losing Our Homes Too

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If the financial state of the economy hasn't hit you in some way - even if it means going to the dollar g-clubs - well - you're better off then most of us. And contrary to popular belief, we all didn't come to the country and two years later become multi-millionaires throwing wads of cash at naked circus animals for fun while we order insane amounts of wasabi just because we can:

The American Dream of prosperity and home ownership is collapsing on the borough’s South Asians as their mortgages balloon and banks move in to foreclose, deflating the stereotype of Asian prosperity, an advocacy group has found.

According to research conducted by two students of the Milano New School for Management and Urban Policy for the Jackson Heights-based CHHAYA Community Development Corp., South Asians made up the majority of homeowners facing new foreclosures in two Queens neighborhoods over the last six months and comprised a substantial percentage of those facing foreclosure in several others.

“A lot of research has indicated that Asians are not affected in the mortgage crisis,” said Seema Agnani, executive director of CHHAYA. “We wanted to find a way to dispel that myth.”

The nonprofit found that 53 percent of homes about to enter foreclosure proceedings in the Briarwood and Jamaica Estates area belong to South Asian families.
53% percent?


Pinoy Captial

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just wanted to post up on a new book caught down at the Philippine American Writers And Artists blog:

Home to 33,000 Filipino American residents, Daly City, California, located just outside of San Francisco, has been dubbed “the Pinoy Capital of the United States.” In this fascinating ethnographic study of the lives of Daly City residents, Benito Vergara shows how Daly City has become a magnet for the growing Filipino American community.

Vergara challenges rooted notions of colonialism here, addressing the immigrants’ identities, connections and loyalties. Using the lens of transnationalism, he looks at the “double lives” of both recent and established Filipino Americans. Vergara explores how first-generation Pinoys experience homesickness precisely because Daly City is filled with reminders of their homeland’s culture, like newspapers, shops and festivals. Vergara probes into the complicated, ambivalent feelings these immigrants have—toward the Philippines and the United States—and the conflicting obligations they have presented by belonging to a thriving community and yet possessing nostalgia for the homeland and people they left behind.
Check more out here.

An Open Letter To The One Who Pissed Me Off The Most In 2008

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I wasn't going to write this post, but I thought you know what - it is my blog, and like I've said before I'm not a brand, an organization - hell - I'm no one - so what should really stop me from completely going off about the thing that personally pissed me off the most in 2008?

Sure, some of you might say that there's really no use in it, that it's not constructive, that I should just let it pass, that it does absolutely no good for the community, and you know what?

You might be right.

But if you haven't figured it out by now, I really don't care. In fact, I just can't help myself. We all do things our own way and I had to get this one off my chest.

So, here it is:

Dear fucking cricket that infiltrated my goddamn house this year and kept me up for a solid no-shit fucking week,

Listen to me you crazy motherfucker. I still don't know if you're dead, because I couldn't actually find you, and while you might think that makes you smarter than me, if you are still alive and do happen to resurface, I just want to let you know that I'm gonna seriously fuck you up.

I mean you may not be a racist cricket, a GOP cricket, or a cricket that blamed the black voter for Prop 8, but goddamn cricket, you still pissed me the fuck off to no end this year. And seriously - what was up after Day #3? I mean didn't you figure out by then that you weren't going to get any cricket sex from a cricket hoochie mama by rubbing your scrawny little cricket legs together in my fucking kitchen, or were you just fucking with me?

Because seriously, if I ever find out that you were just fucking with me and it wasn't just some natural instinct of yours (because that sucked ass enough), I'm not just gonna beat you down, I'm gonna beat down all of your fucking people too.

Take my word for it cricket.

You better watch your ass.


And You Can't Stop Chinese People From Using The Internet

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

While the Chinese government may be keeping a watchful eye over the content that people are viewing, in some ways you might think that the Internet usage would plateau (well not really...but that just sounded good) - but in all reality - I guess it doesn't matter:

The government-related information center CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) claims the nation’s online population has grown 41.9% in 2008 to an astounding 298 million users, reports the BBC.

That’s about the size of the entire U.S. population, while eMarketer pegs the online population in the States to be about 200 million.

This further cements China’s position as the world’s largest online population, although internet penetration is still fairly low (22,6%) even if it exceeds the world’s average by almost one percent.
I guess I need to get this blog translated.

Most Viewed Asian American Comic Of The Year Who Everyone Seemed To Hate But I Still Didn't Mind

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Esther Ku

For me Esther Ku was a mixed bag in '08. I loved the fact that at times she really did push some of the boundaries in some of her standup, and I thought she had a lot of smart comedy, but at the same time I couldn't help but cringe when she simply told some of the jokes that you get tired of hearing rather than actually using them to flip the stereotype in ways that she could have and that she did at other times.

But I still thought there was more of an upshot to her routines then there was that actually pulled her down, and I also can't help but wonder how different we might react to someone like Sarah Silverman versus an Esther Ku (see Ku at the Friars Roast Of Omarosa).

While Silverman can get away with using racial language what happens when it's an Asian American?

Sure, while you can say the above has more to do with delivery, or that there wasn't even a joke there at all (and if you watch the clip you'll know what I'm talking about) we really don't expect anything else from a white comic like Silverman because in a way there's just an assumption that there's something more behind it (that there has to be something more behind it regardless of whether or not there actually is) - but for an Asian American comic?

I'm not actually defending or debating the merits of the routine or the joke itself, but simply asking the question of how far we let comics of all other races go and if that same standard applies to Asian American comics?

I don't really know myself, or even if it's that easy, but I do hope that I'll see Ku and other Asian American comics at least trying to find that answer.

Best Asian Epic Of The Year

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Red Cliff

In 2008, or late '07 (with wide releases last year) there were really three films that qualified for the list - Red Cliff, Three Kingdoms, and The Warlords. Three Kingdoms was mildly entertaining, but nothing special (sorry Maggie) so in the end, that really left John Woo's Red Cliff (Part 1) and the Jet Li/Andy Lau/Takeshi Kaneshiro Blood Brothers epic The Warlords.

I almost put The Warlords on the top of the list - I think in part simply because of Andy Lau and Jet Li. Compared to Part 1 of Red Cliff, I couldn't help but think that in some ways they had stronger, better acting.

But Red Cliff pulled me in - even if slowly (because I didn't really get into it until the fifteen minute mark). Maybe it was the grand sweeping shots of the landscape, or Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, or Zhao Wei whispering into a horse's ear, or just the fact that it actually made me want to see Part 2 (which isn't always the case for me) - whatever the reasons really were - I guess in the end I had to agree with the rest of Asia.

Late Nite Spam-O-Rama And The Pork Filled Players

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Got this passed to my inbox and sounds like it should be pretty cool:

The Pork Filled Players (PFP), Seattle's oldest sketch comedy group, unveils Late Nite Spam-O-Rama, a monthly late night comedy/live music cabaret, which debuts January 24, Saturday, at 10 pm at the Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave S. in Seattle's International District).

Joining the Players in the inaugural Spam-O-Rama are the Entertainment Show, regular denizens of the People's Republic of Komedy, and special musical guest star, the Dana Sweeney Trio (jazz ensemble with Dana Sweeney, vocals, Dave Anderson, sax, Owen Yen, guitar).

"The I-District and Seattle's Asian American artists have a long history of late night entertainment," says Roger Tang, producer for PFP. "Shows like NWAAT's 11:07 and Hypnotica have long presented the best in comedy, dance and drama. The Pork Filled Players intend to bring this tradition into the 21st Century and beyond."

"PFP plans, each month, to present the best in late night sketch comedy and live music. We've got contacts not only with the top sketch groups in Seattle, but in Vancouver, Canada and across the continent."

Veteran Players Brian Beckley, Maggie Lee, Owen Yen and Yvette Zaepfel welcome Matt Dela Cruz, Laura West and Jon Peck to the monthly madness.

The January Late Nite Spam-O-Rama follows the Cody Rivers Show at the Theatre Off Jackson. Tickets are $6 general, $5 if also seeing the Cody Rivers Show
For more on the Pork Filled Players, check out their site here.

I Drink, I'm Not A Jesus Freak, And I'm Not Really That Creeped Out By Anything

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I saw this post down at Legal Technology:

A MySpace blog entry written by a former intern in the San Francisco public defender's office has prompted the superior court and Public Defender Jeff Adachi to look into whether a lawyer in Adachi's office was once told to keep Asians off a jury. The blogger, Carrie Wipplinger, posted an entry on Sept. 3 about a case that she said involved a drunken man whom authorities found receiving oral sex in a car.

"I got to listen in on a conference regarding jury selection," she wrote. "My bosses gave the following advice to the lawyer … don't pick any Asian jurors, because (and I quote): 'Asians don't drink, they love Jesus, and they're creeped out by everything.'" She wrote that the lawyer followed that advice, and the client was acquitted. The attorneys who worked with the intern deny making such a comment, and it appears that at least one Asian-American juror was seated on that jury.

Both the California and U.S. supreme courts have declared that attorneys may not use their peremptory challenges, which generally do not require any explanation, to dismiss jurors solely because of race or ethnicity. The blogger identifies herself only as Carrie, a 32-year-old law student in San Francisco. Adachi confirmed that she is Wipplinger, a Golden Gate University School of Law student who interned during the fall. [...]

During the Summer 2008 term, Wipplinger was named to the dean's list and received an academic award for her work in a constitutional law course, according to the Golden Gate law school's Web site. Her blog chronicles a roughly 10-month period beginning in February and encompasses her four-month internship at the public defender's office, which ended in December. The case involving the potentially illegal juror challenges is one of several internship experiences she wrote about on her blog.

Adachi said he was "dismayed" that an intern would "apparently write a public blog about her experiences here, including supposedly confidential discussions that she was privy to." He said he is satisfied by Gray and Maloof's explanations and though he is "certainly interested" in speaking with Wipplinger, "she's not here and she's not an employee."

Bryan Hawkins, a San Francisco-based attorney at the firm Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, prosecuted the Robinson case while working at the district attorney's office on a temporary loan program. Hawkins said on Friday that he could not remember whether anyone of Asian descent made it onto the jury, nor whether Gray appeared to be targeting Asians or any other group with his challenges.

Adachi, a fourth-generation Japanese-American who wrote and directed a documentary film about Asian stereotypes in cinema, said he "would be deeply offended by a suggestion that a whole group of people should be excluded from a jury." He said that, with more than 200 staff members and 200 interns working in the public defender's office each year, Wipplinger's blog "doesn't reflect on my administration."
Obviously there's more going on here, but just for the record (again):

I drink. I'm not a Jesus freak. And I'm not really that creeped out by anything...

Unless you count people who don't want a whole race of people (that would be us) to sit on a jury (especially seeing as how in the past we weren't able to testify against white people) because they think we're all Jesus freaks who can't handle a case about a dude getting a hummer in his car.