Hollywood and Asians: Why Protests Alone Won’t Change Anything

thegoods_kenjeong01The other day I was talking to an acquaintance who was very involved in the recent protests against the film The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. I’m sure most of our readers know about the scene from that movie which has outraged some Asian Americans: Ken Jeong plays a car salesman who gets assaulted by his white co-workers after another salesman, played by Jeremy Piven, invokes Pearl Harbor. You can read about it here.

Now, this acquaintance was very passionate about protesting this film, as well as the whitewashing of the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender. He planned to participate in on-going actions against these two films because of the “vital” need for us to demand that Hollywood increase its representation of Asian (Americans) and to portray us more accurately.

Finally!

I never thought this day would come- Someone with a nickname that doesn’t necessarily have to match his/her ethnic background. For way too long we’ve had to endure the same lame ass nicknaming treatment when it came to people’s ethnicity. If a white guy is good at basketball, he’s ‘vanilla- something’. An Asian nickname had to somehow include ‘dragon’ or some far east flavor. Anyone with a latino background had to have something that started with ‘el’ or ‘la’.
But Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants has broken through. He is affectionately known to the fans as…
sp-huddle10_sand_0500004672
‘Kung Fu Panda’
kung-fu-panda-sandoval
Don’t get me wrong. A good nickname is a good nickname. Some of my favorites are ‘Chocolate Thunder’ and ‘White Shadow”. I just don’t think we need to try so hard. That and I still have hope to be called ‘el Nino’ one day.

innovating backwards…

Every now and then I come across a book that really makes me think.  Last week a very good friend of mine, who happens to be an exceptional runner, gave me a copy of BORN TO RUN by Christopher McDougall.  It basically states that human beings were never meant to wear shoes.  Prior to 1970′s and the birth of Nike, pretty much all sneakers were flat bottomed, rubber soles with no arch support or any other technological trickery that is injected into the current $200 running fare.  Hence, it is no coincindence that during the pre-1970′s era, there were virtually no ankle, knee, hip, lower back problems, etc. reported.  But once Nike came into the scene and created all this “support” & “cushioning”, all those medical problems came into existence and skyrocketed.  Diagnosis…the human foot is not meant to be cushioned or supported.  The natural arch is a wonder in design that only millions of years of evolution could have crafted.  By wearing expensive shoes with all this technological support gadgetry, we are removing our feet from it’s natural state…hence innovating backwards and creating problems.  Blew my mind.  I’m going to go run barefoot for a while and find out for myself.

What’s something you’ve come across recently that totally blew away your current mode of thinking?

Born To Run

Born To Run

Chinky Or Not Chinky: TV Commercial Edition

A quick entry for our loyal weekend readers. The following clip was posted a few weeks ago by our friends at 8asians–a Jell-O commercial from the 1960s:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCKxWQCs3f0&feature=related[/youtube]

I’m not sure if there’s any question whether or not that particular ad is chinky or not chinky, but it reminded me of other commercials from the past that may or may not be offensive, but probably wouldn’t be made today. 

The Frito Bandit:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWhjl5NaLq4&feature=related[/youtube]

Calgon’s Ancient Chinese Secret:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjNRXfRXnoc[/youtube]

Afro Sheen:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EN-Hpk4s7M&feature=related[/youtube]

But my favorites are the ones geared towards the children:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNF-0QsQOE&feature=fvw[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZvHiiWFbBU[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qfmWWZ9uSE&feature=related[/youtube]

Have a great weekend! Yabba Dabba Doo!

An Open Letter To White People: Embrace Your Whiteness

brady_bunch_onstairs_sDear White People:

I know some of you tend to be overtly sensitive so I want to say up-front that I have nothing against white people. In fact, I love white people! Some of my best friends are white. Oh, and I love white people food. Why, just the other day I had some vanilla ice cream and crepes. And don’t get me started on your women. Who’d want to be with a quiet, subservient Asian woman when you can be with someone bitchy and loud? Sign me up!

Chinky or Not Chinky: The Swedish Meatballs Edition

ikea-china_48853918
The L.A. Times had an article about a new phenomenon between Beijing residents and their local IKEA. It turns out a lot of  the “customers” were not there to necessarily buy the furniture. Some stopped by to take naps on the display beds and couches while others just wanted to take pictures of themselves in the showrooms as if it were part of their home. People even planned day trips to IKEA as if it was Disneyland (but instead of Mickey and Goofy they got a bunch of sleepy Chinese people). The thing that struck me when reading the article was it didn’t really surprise me at all. Though I have to admit, there was a time in my life where I would go to IKEA just for the food. Can’t have enough of ‘em meat-a-balls!

Thirteen Ways To Tell If Someone Is A Filipino

i-am-a-filipinoI’m sure some of our readers are not Asian, but sincerely want to know what makes all the different Asian ethnic groups unique. Periodically, I’ll write about how each ethnic group is distinct. Today, I start with our Pinoy and Pinay brothers and sisters—the Filipino Americans. You’d think it’d be simple to tell Filipinos apart from other Asians because they tend to be physically darker in complexion, but you could easily be fooled. That person you think is Filipino might actually be a really tan Korean from Jeju Island or a Mexican. But here are thirteen things that are pretty good tip-offs that the groovy dude and/or chick you’re hanging with is Filipino:

Coffee Anyone?

I was just introduced to this new type of coffee house catered to men. I’m probably about a couple years late but supposely there are Vietnamese coffee shops in Orange County that resembles establishments you might find with a red light outside or even a karaoke bar in Asia. Though its neither of these, the prices still do mimic them. Ten dollar coffee? Girls in lingerie serving them to you? They make small talk with you whether you’re an overweight dim sum lover or a scrawny pale guy. Could this all be true? Should I bring single bills? Has anyone been to any of these?
Viet Coffeehouse3
Viet Coffeehouse6
Viet Coffeehouse4

Martha’s Vineyard, Reprezent!!

Honorary offender and Mister to the Sister, Konrad, chilling in Martha’s Vineyard with the First Family. Kind of cool to see some flavah in “the Vineyard.” Cape Cod Times has a play-by-play on the Obamas stay, including exclusive video of sightings and even a psychic reading of the Obama vibe on the island.

Update: AP did a report of the Obamas vacation and bad timing with the rest of the world (i.e. incoming storms, Ted K’s death, etc)[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG_NlFfjyuQ[/youtube]

How To Survive Your Best Friend’s Wedding When You’re Secretly In Love With Her

154242__bestfriendswedding_lAh, summer. The season of weddings. And this year, it seems like there’s been more than the usual amount of weddings to attend. At one such event, I spied the bride’s best friend (an Asian American male) looking at her with what I could swear was longing in his eyes. I’m pretty convinced he was in love with his best friend/the bride who was marrying this other man.