On a Wednesday evening before I was to leave for another country, I got entangled in a debate about the title of Chink, a movie that I developed and produced from a tiny grain of an idea years ago.
- » Chinky or Not Chinky?
Are these a couple of masked terrorists who are about to jack up a South China Sea shoreline full of vacationing folks on the beach? Nope, it’s just crazy Chinese people who want to get the best of both worlds — enjoy some beach weather and frolic in the ocean but without getting tanned and retaining their ideal, alabaster skin tone! How do they do this? By wearing what is called a face-kini, a sort of light cloth version of a ski mask.
And you thought the US Presidential election season was heating up? France is going through a similar and crazier election season with the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, at risk of being a one-termer. And if today’s primary election is any indication, it looks like Sarkozy has got an uphill battle, as socialist Francoise Hollande, handily beat him. They will face off on May 6th. They will be also facing off with extreme right-winger Marine Le Pen, who can be equated to as a French Sarah Palin. Seriously, this presidential election is cray!
How cray? Check out this latest Presidential campaign ad for Francoise Hollande:Yep, that’s Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris” from their album Watch the Throne. Hollande has been painted as the minorities’ president, attracting major support from many working class and ethnic communities. Does this also give him gangsta/street cred?
So on last night’s episode of the popular CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls, Asian American actor Tim Chiou guest-starred as a handsome web designer who hooks up with Caroline, the blond broke girl. I know Tim and it’s great to see him play that rarity in Hollywood—a sexy Asian American dude with no accent who gets to kiss the girl (and a blond white girl to boot) and a whole lot more.
That should normally be the end of the story, but things get complicated by the fact that this positive Asian American male character is on a show where one of the other regular characters is…Han:
It’s bad enough that the Asian American Journalists Group came out with a list of “danger zones” when it comes to what is racist and what is not in regards to the phenomenon and man that is Jeremy Lin. It shows that the country is very unfamiliar when it comes to discussing Asian Americans. There’s been a litany of offensive remarks in the media, ranging from tiny dick jibes,
unintentional headlines from ESPN, to Lin coming out of a fortune cookie on the Madison Square Garden big screen.
OK, given the recent JLin/ESPN firestorm and the clinically insane tweets of Jenny Hyun, perhaps a bit of levity and humor is in order.
Normally I’d find something like this beyond offensive. And it is. Perhaps why I’m not up in arms is because FINALLY we have a bad-ass, kick-ass, Asian American male throwing down in the NBA in which to place opposite what was once the dominant stereotype of Asian American dudes. End result? Clash of past ideals with a F’in cool image of the asian american male of our future (which has always been present but benched by the media).
Thank you Chinese guy and Indian guy of Studio64Comedy for making this and Offending with such panache. Hope neither of you gets ESPN’d.
The Jeremy Lin Effect Affects…
(link via Leonard Wu. Thanks)
In honor of Chinese New Years, I recalled back to memories of my last trip to China in early 2011. It was one of my most daring backpacking trips in my life to say the least. I decided to start in the top left corner of China near the “stan” countries and just train my way back to Hong Kong. Did I mention I don’t speak Mandarin. I went from bagless to homeless to underwearless in the first week. But with those struggles, I met some cool locals. Also on my trip, I met up with one of my childhood buddies and toured Tibet and a few cities like Chengdu and Chongqing. We did so much karaoking that we decided we had to make our own karaoke video about why we love China so much. So I am embarrassed to say, here’s my singing debut. Gung Hay Fat Choy everyone!!!
Karin Chien, Independent Spirit Award winning producer, who’s had numerous films premiere at Sundance and other world class festivals, is a formidable multi-hyphenate. Aside from producting films, she started a company that releases underground Chinese films in the US called dGenerate Films, does weekend producer workshops, and is working on a major forum geared towards Asian American content makers. She does it all.
One of her most recent films, CIRCUMSTANCE, premiered at Sundance earlier this year, where it won the Audience Award, and was released nationally this fall. It just came out on DVD last week. The film’s story explores homosexuality in Tehran and is a critics darling with rave reviews in The New York Times and has been a lightning rod in bringing a particular topic in Persian life into the forefront.
Since this is “awards season” and even though it’s a grind, it’s also a necessity to get your films noticed via awards nominations. Therefore, CIRCUMSTANCE was submitted for consideration to the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards. Karin and the producers knew it was a longshot… Until they got an e-mail on December 1st from PGA’s Director of Arbitrations & Legal Affairs saying “unfortunately under the current rule structure, we are unable to accept foreign language films at this time.”
In the rich tradition of Asian accents gone mistakenly wrong, the NY Post reports about an idiot Minnesota news reporter, in his pursuit of journalistic integrity, set off a chain of events that caused a New York Chinatown meat market to get raided by food inspectors because he had thought they were selling dog meat. OK, let’s backtrack a bit….
Intrepid reporter James Schugel was investigating one of Minessota’s largest dog breeding organizations that was accused of illegally breeding puppies and selling them on the black market. One place where puppies were bringing shipped over was the Canine Culture Center, with a NY address. Schugel went to the Big Apple and to his surprise, the Dak Cheong Meat Market was at the same address! He interviewed an employee there and asked him if he knew of the Canine Culture Center. The worker replied, “they only sell dogs to eat.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the rest of the world sometimes doesn’t have the best impression of America (the fact that we even refer to ourselves as Americans when there are plenty of other nations in the Americas should be reason enough to hate us). And to hear that some in the international community think that America the United States is dumb shouldn’t come as a shock either. After all, we have unleashed these things on the world:
To many Chinese, Americans don’t have xin-yan…they trust what you say, and they believe you are doing what you say you are doing. For that, they are dumb.
By now you may have heard that Muslim American activists are outraged by a new children’s coloring book entitled We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom, which they say promotes an anti-Muslim agenda and is inappropriate for children by pointing to examples like this image depicting the assassination of Osama Bin Laden: