Around The Horn: How Free Should Free Speech Be?

When is it okay to yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater?

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According to the authority figures of my youth, “never.” This question was presented to us as a simplified, kid-friendly way to explain what the limits of free speech were.

Around the Horn: Love Songs Playlist

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Valentine’s Day might be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull out that romantic playlist. Here’s mine, what’s yours?

“Lady” D’Angelo
“Say You Love Me” Fleetwood Mac
“Kiss of Life” Sade
“Tender Love” Force MD’s
“I Would Die 4 U” Prince
“Again” Janet Jackson
“Love Come Down” Evelyn Champagne King
“Saturday Love” Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal
“All I Do” Tammi Terrell
“Maps” Yeah Yeah Yeahs

AROUND THE HORN – Not so fresh, “Fresh Off The Boat” moment…

I had quite a few favorite moments watching ABC’s world premiere of “Fresh Off The Boat” last Wednesday.  One moment I just can’t seem to get out of my mind is when Eddie brought mom’s special Chinese lunch to school and opened it in front of the “popular” kids in the cafeteria.  All the non-Asian kids freaked out, disgusted by the mere sight of one of Asia’s great culinary staples.  And Eddie, trying hard to validate his nut, had to slink away, ashamed, back to the “colored” table.

I had a moment very similar to FOB’s Eddie.  But instead of a bowl of fried noodles, my mom sent me to school with a rice ball.  Now understand, I LOVED my mom’s rice balls.  It was one of my favorite foods that I would eat all the time at home, on our station wagon road trips to national parks, and at countless family gatherings.  We had just moved from Illinois to Southern California.  It was 1978 and I would be starting my first day of 2nd grade at my local elementary school.  Mom bought me a new backpack, new clothes, and a new lunch pail for my first day.  I was ready.  Boy was I in for a surprise, for my mom, in her most thoughtful way, packed me my favorite food for my first lunch.  Who knew that in about 4 hours, my favorite food of all time would become one of my biggest embarrassments.

Around the Horn: Single Parenting

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I want to take the opportunity to say a big congrats to fellow Offender Beverly who’s going to be a single parent. I’m also planning to be a single dad through surrogacy next year… I meant I have already started the process and am planning to have the child next year. I’ve always wanted to have a child since I was a teenager, and it seems like these couple years feel the right time to do it. It’s now or never. What are your thoughts on single parenting? Were you raised by a single mom or dad? What advice, thoughts or blessings would you give us?

Around the Horn: Who’s Watching ‘Fresh Off the Boat’?

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So you might have heard that ABC will be premiering a new series in a couple of weeks entitled FRESH OFF THE BOAT–the first network prime-time series featuring an Asian American family since Margaret Cho’s ALL-AMERICAN GIRL two decades ago. Already the show’s garnered its share of “controversy”–everything from folks offended by the show’s name (should remind everyone that our own DHH wrote a play called FOB over three decades ago) to criticisms about the actors’ accents to journalists asking the cast and producers if chopsticks would be prominently featured. I’ve already blogged about the show and have seen the pilot which I thought was good and does try to do justice to the Asian American characters.

So what does everyone think about the show? Are you going to watch it and why or why not (or if you’ve already seen it, what’d you think)? What sort of impact do you think it’ll have on the community–good or bad? And since it’s being compared to ALL-AMERICAN GIRL, for those of you old enough to remember that sitcom, what do you make of the comparisons?

AROUND THE HORN: Juicy Fruit at the End of the World

I wanted to keep it light this week, so my question is: when the world ends, what’s the one tangible thing you hope will still be around?

Of course, it would be great if stuff like compassion for your fellow man and a working sense of humor still existed, but we all know those aren’t the important things. What we all want to know is where will we find the stockpiles of Shin Black microwaveable ramen; blue Monster; or – my personal favorite – Juicy Fruit?

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Since I’ve already plugged Juicy Fruit three times now, I’ll share my only other obsession: Pringles. Yes, Sour Cream & Onions is a great flavor, but I’m thinking those containers could probably be fashioned as some sort of improvised weapon.

Around the Horn: Show Me Your Weapons!

Both the recent terror attacks on Sony and Charlie Hebdo have made me contemplate and treasure all the more the idea of freedom of speech.  Most of us here are creative people and I remember how Justin told me that the original idea of YOMYOMF was that anything could be said about any topic, no matter how irreverent.  We would, after all, be called “Offenders”.   I, for one, would not want to live in a world where we could not have the freedom of expression we have today.

In my opinion, there is no real religion, Islamic or otherwise that would condone its followers to target unarmed, defenseless people.  These and other terrorists are simply thugs hiding not only under their black masks, but under the masks of religion to commit violent acts.  By shouting “Allahu Akbar” as their excuse, their desecration of Islam is far worse than any cartoonist’s.

So in lieu of our normal Around the Horn question, I would like to express solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and Parisians, and say “screw you” to terrorists around the world.  Offenders, please take a photo of your weapon of choice.

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Around the Horn: Go-to Recipe

What is your go-to cooking recipe? It doesn’t have to be perfect since if it’s go-to, it’s all probably unmeasured.

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DHH: My go-to (which I just made last night) is a personal variation on a Shanghainese dish, “Lion’s Head,” which are basically large braised meatballs (the “head”) with vegetables (the “mane”). I try to make it lighter than the traditional version:

Ingredients: 1 pound ground pork, ½ pound ground turkey, 1 box firm or extra firm tofu, 1 large onion, 1 egg, 1 head napa cabbage (can substitute spinach or bok choy), green onions, soy sauce, mirin or cooking wine, cooking or olive oil, garlic, ginger, chicken or vegetable broth, sesame oil, salt, pepper.

Around the Horn: Regret Minimization Framework

When deciding whether to leave his secure Wall Street job in order to take a risk on starting Amazon, Jeff Bezos used what he calls “regret minimization framework.”  He imagined himself as an 80-year-old reflecting on his life and the choices he’d made.  He knew that the old man would regret not taking a leap and seizing the opportunity “to participate in this thing called the internet,” so the choice became suddenly clear.

What would you like to do now in order to avoid feeling regret in later years, or what choices have you already made that you imagine you may regret?  For those of you with few regrets, what choices did you make that were the right ones?

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Around the Horn: As Seen on TV

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The Magic Bullet, the Slap Chopper, the Forman Grill – we’ve been likely either the recipients of one of these ‘AS SEEN ON TV’ devices or seduced into buying one after binging on Doritos on the sofa while getting sucked into the zone of late night tv or flipping channels while landing a minute too long on the Home Shopping Network. Probably the only item I’ve not regifted at a ‘White Elephant’ party gift exchange and actually continue to use is the ‘George Forman’ grill. It does everything from take the place of a fry pan to an expensive panini maker when you just don’t feel like cooking but can’t bring yourself to eat something microwaved.

What ‘AS SEEN ON TV’ item have you bought or been gifted that actually has held up to it’s infotainment promise? And what has merely served as entertainment value or dust magnet in the closet?

Around the Horn: Best of 2014 Edition

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2014 is drawing to a close, and critics are coming out with their year-end “best of” (and “worst of”) lists. What’s your favorite thing (film or theatre) that you saw in 2014? For me, it would probably be a new play, FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2, and 3), by Suzan Lori-Parks, recently Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre, which tells the story of a slave who goes off to serve his white master fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. How about you guys?

AROUND THE HORN: Home is Where the Heart Is?

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I left my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii exactly 20 years ago to seek fame and fortune in Los Angeles (might take another 20 years.) Weirdly I’m reflecting this moment right now in Hawaii where I’m attending my good friend’s wedding.

Now that I’m back here in Honolulu, I almost don’t feel the need to go back to the hustle and bustle. What is this spell over me? The food? The friends and family? The food? The clean air? The food? I know one thing… I’ll wanna come back to LA in one week. It’s such a high with all my intentions of wanting to stay and believe that it’ll be a better life here, but it’s shortly diffused after just 7 days. Isn’t home is where the heart is?

I guess I’m just longing for the feeling of home even when I’m away. It really is like a warm hug here and I wish I can take with me on my plane trip back.

Do you ever wanted to just go back to where you grew up and stay or have you moved on and never looked back?