Fighting ISIS

I think it’s safe to say we’re all pretty mad at ISIS these days. But what to do about it?

We can vote for politicians whose terrorism policies are to our liking.


We can secretly funnel money from our Cayman Islands bank accounts to help arm Syrian locals who are also disenchanted with Isis.


We can curl up on the floor and watch Sponge Bob Square Pants reruns until we get back to our “happy place”….


or…or….we can look for stores with the word “Isis” in their names and vandalize them.


INTO THE BADLANDS: Episode 2 “Fist Like A Bullet”


Dude, this is the most Chinese American show ever. I mean, of all the American shows currently on TV, to my knowledge, this one is the most Chinese.

First, let’s talk about that fight choreography. One part of the ITB world we must accept is that it’s not really fighting, or rather, it’s not JUST fighting: it’s in the tradition of Chinese wuxia films, where the action is theatrical, exaggerated, and acrobatic. It’s not the efficient knockdown strategy with which Holly Holm surprisingly dismantled Ronda Rousey. A lot of the moves are for beauty, or as Jackie Chan might say, “prettiness,” and I’d say Daniel Wu/Sunny looks pretty doing it.

Around The Horn: Seriously, Where Are You From?


Refugees in the news a lot this week. Also, I had my once-yearly encounter with a guy in a bar who was surprised that I speak English (these are about as regular as a doctor’s check-up, some years there’s a flare-up).

The ritual of being quizzed by idiots on “where are you really from” is well-known to people of color, particularly Asian-Americans. It’s not the question itself that is “offensive”: “Where are you from” is one of my favorite conversation starters, as long as it is not a) on a dark street in Los Angeles or b) said with the usual implication of “I know you’re foreign, I bet you’re some kind of Asian, you clearly aren’t from here, and I have no interest at all in what the answer is because I’ve already made up in my mind that you’re an alien.”

The Perfect Sleeping Bag for Hibernating This Winter


If you’re looking for that perfect Christmas gift this year that will keep your loved ones nice and warm as they hibernate away the cold winter nights, Japanese artist Eiko Ishizawa has created this bear-inspired sleeping bag:


Actually, it was inspired by one particular bear: Bruno the Italian bear who was “put to sleep” when he wandered down from the Alps into Bavaria and was labeled a “problem” bear.

A Very Asian American Thanksgiving

As writer Jeff Yang pointed out on social media, this week sees not one, not two, but three prime-time network TV series with Asian American-themed Thanksgiving episodes.

A DR. KEN Thanksgiving.

A DR. KEN Thanksgiving.

On Monday, we saw a Filipino American Thanksgiving on CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. On Tuesday, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat celebrated a very Taiwanese American Huangsgiving. And finally, on tonight’s Dr. Ken, we get a Korean American vs. Japanese American Thanksgiving.



Three Asian American Thanksgiving episodes in one week is not only the most Asian American Thanksgiving episodes we’ve seen in one week, but it may very well be the most we’ve seen ever…in all of TV history. Maybe we are living in that bizarro world after all.

I Stand with Phuc Dat Bich!

Yes, as you can see from the passport photo below, “Phuc Dat Bich” is this Vietnamese Australian brotha’s real name:


And as you can probably surmise, that name has been the source of some headaches for the 23-year-old including Facebook shutting down his account multiple times and asking him to use his “real” name which prompted him to post this message which quickly went viral:

Throwback Thursday: Pre-1906 Earthquake San Francisco Chinatown

We’re throwing it way back this Thursday to the turn of the 20th Century and San Francisco’s Chinatown. The following pics were taken by photographer Arnold Genthe who opened a photography studio in the City by the Bay after immigrating from Germany. Luckily the photos were stored in a bank vault and survived the great 1906 earthqauke and fire.

The street of the gamblers (by day), Chinatown, San Francisco 18

You can see all of the images here, but check out some of the pics below for a blast from the distant past.

In front of the Joss House, Chinatown, San Francisco 1896-1906

Throwback Thursday: Do You Know Andrew Martinez, the Naked Guy?


Or perhaps I should say, “Did you know Andrew Martinez, the naked guy, who went to Berkeley in the 90s?” I missed him just before he started appearing naked in the Fall of 1992, the year I went to grad school at Yale. However, I was at Berkeley when he was a freshman and bumped into him several times since I returned to the Bay Area after he officially became the naked guy.

He was eventually kicked out of school due to Berkeley’s policy banning public nudity. Later, in the mid 2000s, he suffered mental issues and was eventually placed in custody where he committed suicide.

How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you know how tough it can be. Well, one long distance couple—Danbi Shin of New York and Seok Li of Seoul—have found a creative way to help make their relationship work.


Known as the artistic duo of ShinLiArt, the couple have embarked on a project called “Half and Half”—they take photos simultaneously while on video calls and create the “half and half” collages from those images. Check them out below:

long-distance-relationship-korean-couple-photo-collage-half-shiniart-i long-distance-relationship-korean-couple-photo-collage-half-shiniart-c

And Now For Something A Little Lighter, A Little Higher…

File under “Did anyone not see this coming?”


Snoop Dogg has finally done the obvious: launched his own line of marijuana, “Leafs By Snoop.” As far as the quality of the product goes, I have complete confidence in the rapper who penned such classics as “Vapors” and “Too High.” I mean, he’s like Pig Pen, only it’s a cloud of weed smoke, not dust, which follows him everywhere.



2015: The Year of the Asian Leading Man on TV?

Randall Park in Fresh Off the Boat.

Randall Park in Fresh Off the Boat.

I was talking to a female Caucasian acquaintance over the weekend and the conversation turned to the “biz,” which led to this observation on her part: “There’s a lot of Asian guys starring in their own TV shows this year.”

It took a second for this statement to register as it’s usually not something you hear unless 1) it’s a joke or 2) you are stuck in some alternate bizarro universe where Asian guys are considered hot, three-dimensional and bankable leading men. But upon closer reflection, I realized she had a point.

Currently on the air are not one, not two, but a slew of TV series where the main lead is an Asian dude. Among them: Daniel Wu in AMC’s latest Into the Badlands, Randall Park in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Ken Jeong in ABC’s Dr. Ken, Aziz Ansari in Netflix’s Master of None, Elyes Gabel in CBS’ Scorpion, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in HBO’s Ballers and John Foo in CBS’ upcoming Rush Hour.

INTO THE BADLANDS: Episode 1 “The Fort”


Oh hey, it’s that absolute rarest of things, an American TV show with an Asian-American male lead. (Maybe TV shows with leads who are ethnically Inuit are rarer, but you know what I mean.) INTO THE BADLANDS is a post-apocalyptic martial arts action-fest starring Daniel Wu as an enigmatic-acrobatic man named SUNNY.