An Open Letter to White People on Their Love for Madama Butterfly


Dear White People:

Since I’m not one to beat around the bush, let me get straight to the question at hand—what’s up with your love for the Madama Butterfly story?

In recent weeks, we’ve been experiencing what sounds like the beginnings of a Butterfly renaissance. There was the announcement that Brett Ratner (of Rush Hour fame) will be producing a modern version of the story entitled Magnitude 9 set against the backdrop of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan. The upcoming 25th Anniversary London revival of the musical Miss Saigon (based on the Madama Butterfly story) is breaking box office records and a revival currently running at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul is drawing the ire of Asian American activists.

For those reading this who may not be aware of the Madama Butterfly narrative, here’s a quick rundown: the most famous iteration of the story is Puccini’s 1904 opera of the same name which is about an American naval officer in Japan who marries a Japanese woman and gets her pregnant before bailing for America; leaving the woman (his “Butterfly”) pining for his return. When he does return, it’s with his new American wife. The heart-broken Butterfly agrees to give up her son for the American couple to raise and commits hara-kiri with a knife.

An Open Letter to Guys Whose Girlfriends Ask You to Help Torture and Murder Their Ex

Dear Dudes:

I totally understand that we are often driven by our horniness biological need to do things for women who put out we are attracted to that we normally wouldn’t do in order to get laid make a positive impression on these women, but if your girl asks you to help kidnap, torture and kill her ex-boyfriend, there is only one thing you should do—get the fuck out of there and go to the police!

Now, that may sound like the obvious thing to do in such a situation, but when we’re thinking with our little head not thinking clearly, it’s easy to make the wrong decision.

Take the recent case of 22-year-old UC Riverside student Barbara Wu. Not only did she solicit her current boyfriend’s help to kidnap her ex-boyfriend, torture him with “needles” and then kill and dump his body in Mexico—but this is the second time she’s done this. Yup, there was another ex-boyfriend that she asked to do the very same thing.

An Open Letter to My Fellow Koreans on Their Misplaced Shame

Dear fellow Koreans:

I get it—we’re a very proud and nationalistic people. When one of our own makes an impact outside of the motherland, it’s a cause for celebration—think Psy and the unprecedented global success of “Gangnam Style”—but let’s not go overboard with this.

I’m talking about how in the aftermath of the Asiana plane crash at SFO, South Koreans are feeling a sense of national shame and embarrassment at the fact that it was a South Korean plane that crashed. For example, the president of the airline not only apologized to the people affected by the crash, but to all of South Korea.

And this isn’t the first or only time this has happened. Remember back in 2007 when Korean American student Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, and prominent Korean and Korean Americans took it upon themselves to publicly apologize to America on behalf of Korean and Korean Americans?

To which I say—what the fuck?!

An Open Letter to my Fellow Asian Americans on Giving Too Much Racial Credence to White People

Dear fellow Asian Americans:

So many of the folks who happen to inhabit my social media feeds are fellow Asian Americans and this past week, I’ve noticed you’ve been busy sharing two news items involving our community/racism/Hollywood.

The first is a piece that ran on Jezebel entitled “Why Aren’t Asian Actors Getting Leading Roles in Hollywood” (click here to read in full) and the other are the stories about the racist tweets that have been flying around in the wake of the new film Olympus Has Fallen which once again features North Koreans as the baddies.

And all I have to say is—this has to stop! Now! Why you gotta be kissing the white man’s ass when it comes to anti-Asian racism? Let me explain:

An Open Letter to the Asian American Brotha who Wants a Hot Chick (who puts out) to Accompany Him to Coachella

Dear aforementioned Asian American brotha:

So I noticed this ad you placed in the Bay Area section of Craigslist soliciting a “date” to accompany you to this year’s Coachella Music Fest:

For those readers who want a clearer look at the ad text, here it is:

I will provide the ticket, hotel, food, drinks, etc – requirements:
1. You like the XX , the Local Natives, and Of Monsters and Men
2. You are skinny, blonde or brunette, and have a kick ass personality and down to earth sense of humor
3. You like / don’t mind going to a music festival with a 6’0″ asian american guy, and no, its not small, and no – I do not have glasses, look like a nerd or have a fob accent (im 25)
4. You have to put out
Send me an e-mail with a photo if interested, i’m 100% serious. It might even be a VIP Pass if you’re lucky ;)

All I can say is—dude, what the shizzat is up with y’all?!

An Open Letter to the Chinese Billionaire Heiress Unable to Find Love

Dear Zong Fuli:

I’m sure most people think you’ve got it made. After all, you are the daughter of Zong Qinghou a.k.a. the richest man in China (with a fortune worth $10 billion) and being the child of a billionaire, well, let’s just say it’s a nice position to be in. However, it’s apparently not all roses and caviar parties. As you recently told China’s Fuzhou News, you have never had a boyfriend.

As the photo above shows, you’re an attractive woman and by most accounts intelligent as well (oh, and let’s not forget that you’re the daughter of the richest man in China). So what’s the problem? It seems that the men you meet aren’t interested in you, but more in your wealth. That makes sense—being the daughter of the richest man in China, it’s got to be difficult to meet someone who’s not out to get their hands on that vast fortune.

So what’s an otherwise attractive 30-year-old billionaire looking for love supposed to do?

SAF Seeking… An open letter to a God or someone to thank.

Maybe the answers are in the clouds.

I don’t know about you, but for about 40-60% of my breathing time, I’m wondering what I’m supposed to be doing with this life. I think it’s a first world problem. If we are middle class and therefore above the poverty level, we might be well-fed, have a room over our heads, and have some kind of access to making money and friends. Basic needs more or less covered. (I’m not talking about the poor so bear with me here. I know they exist.) I think a lot of us americans walk around thinking, “What can I do to make the world a better place?”

Sometimes we don’t know what our purpose is. (I sure as hell don’t know mine.)

An Open Letter to Spam on its 75th Birthday!

Dear Spam:

You turn 75 this month and while that may not be a cause for celebration for many, I just want to say—those people don’t know shit about nothing. Otherwise, they’d see you for the wonderful creation you are.

Yes, many look down on you and make fun of you and think of you as an unhealthy “mystery meat”. Someone even named all the unwanted emails we get after you—though if I ever meet the asswipe who did that, I’m gonna kick his Spam-hating ass.

If those people took the time and effort to really get to know you and see how tasty and versatile you are, I have no doubt they would have a different opinion about you.

What other foodstuff can be used to make Spam Musubi:

Pick Out the Immigrant Game

[youtube][/youtube]Who knew that C-SPAN can be so entertaining? Witness feisty Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez and his presentation against the Arizona “Show Me Your Papers” Law recently upheld by the Supreme Court.  His point? That AZ’s government officials and law enforcement must be psychic to figure out who’s the real immigrant here. Who knew that Ted Koppel was a fish and chips eating red coat?

An Open Letter to Couples Thinking of a Holiday Wedding

Dear About To Be Married Couple:

I bring up the following issue because this past weekend was the Memorial Day holiday and it seemed like there were a more-than-usual number of weddings that took place (though I should point out that I, myself, did not attend any weddings this past weekend). Now, I understand why a three-day holiday seems like the perfect time to hold your wedding—your guests will most likely have that extra day off from work so it seems like the most convenient time for your special day.

But if you’re thinking of scheduling your wedding on an upcoming holiday, I implore you to stop and think about what you’re doing. Because if you truly did, you would understand that holidays—and especially long holiday weekends–are the worst time to schedule your special day.

SAF Seeking… an Open Letter to Chris Norby

Paige Sultzbach: the Phoenix girl who made boys indignant.

Oh Chris Norby, aren’t your balls in a bunch!

I understand. You hate women’s sports. They’re terribly boring to watch… women’s basketball, women’s softball, women’s table tennis, hell… the only woman-dominated sport that gets much ESPN action is ‘Cheerleading’ and that’s only when it’s the Nationals.

I know it’s been a week, I hope you’re really thinking about what you said on Monday’s CA assembly to recognize the 40th Anniversary of Title XI.

An Open Letter to the Little Girl who No Longer Believes in Unicorns

Dear Little Girl:

What I saw happen to you this weekend was a travesty that broke my heart so I feel that I have to write about it in the hopes that you will read this and not give up on your dreams. And that you’ll continue believing that magic does exist in the world.

You see, I was at the same Mother’s Day gathering as you and I overheard what that grown-up woman said to you about unicorns. She told you that unicorns do not exist and that if you wanted to be a big girl, you must stop believing in them. I saw the expression on your face when this woman said that. I saw your look of disappointment. Your look of sadness. That all-too-familiar look of the innocence of youth being crushed like an aluminum can at the recycling center. I don’t know if the woman who told you this was your mom or a friend or a crazy homeless woman who had randomly wandered off the street, but whoever she was—she’s a lying whore!

Because I am here to tell you that unicorns are real. They are as real as the sun up in the sky. As real as the breasts hair $2000 Louis Vitton purse on the woman walking by my table at this very moment. As real as this bottle of Jack Daniels I’ve almost killed off while writing the previous sentence. And how do I know this?