Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tiger Woods Joke

I decided to write my own joke in light of the recent scandal.  I didn't find any good ones that made me chuckle.  Perhaps this one will for you readers out there.

Three guys walk into a hotel. They go up to the clerk behind the counter and ask for three separate rooms. The hotel clerk tells them, "Gentleman you're in luck. We have exactly three rooms left. One room has a bunch of garbage, another room has a bunch of elves and the last room has a bunch of women."  To make the selection as random as possible they end up drawing for rooms out of a hat. The 1st guy picks the trashed room, the 2nd picks the room with the elves and the last guy gets the room with the women.  The next day they return to the lobby and begin to discuss how their night was. Two of them ask the 1st guy, "How was your room last night?" He says, "Oh man, I felt like a bum." They ask why and he says, "There was so much trash in the place it was like a being in a dumpster." They ask the 2nd guy, "How was your room last night?" He says, "Man I felt like Santa Claus." They ask why and he responds, "There were so many elves it was like being in the North Pole!" Then they ask the 3rd guy, "So how was your room last night?"  The guy says, "Man...I felt like Tiger Woods!"  They ask, "Huh...Why Tiger Woods?" He says, "There were so many women it was like being on a golf course. I went in and out of 18 holes!"       

I've already gone through four revisions of it and willing to tweak it a bit more.  Feedback is welcome.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Investing in the Asian American Nation Part II: Far East Movement

During the earlier part of December, I posted a blog on the necessities of investing in an Asian American identity which has been discussed and debated about on several other AA blog sites.  I'm sure as many of you would expect this course of galvanizing of AAs is an inevitable and natural progression of the community prior to the next transitional phase of assimilation.

There are already multiple instances of this "lumping" of Asians and AAs showing up in Hollywood with movies such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Ninja Assassin and G.I. Joe.  You may be thinking this is the power of Hollywood at work, but AAs are coming together voluntarily to produce something much more grandiose.  Here's what I mean.

The LA Times recently ran an article about a unique up and coming multi-ethnic AA hip hop group called Far East Movement.  The group consists of a Filipino American DJ, a half Chinese and Japanese guy and two Koreans.  It's funny because I heard there music on TV and other random places but never knew they are in fact AA. Luckily, the web keeps me abreast of the latest trends in American  entertainment and it appears as Far East Movement is amassing a huge fan base among AA and other ethnic groups. The progressive nature of music and its multi-ethnic artists today must be reckoned with, and it appears that the head of A&R at Interscope Records actually realized this to sign them.  Is this a sign of things to come for AA striving to break into the US music industry?  It's quite possible.  I hope they produce a groundbreaking album next year with their debut on a major record label.

Congratulations to FM for your diligence, dedication and hustle.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy New Year to you all.

May your winter this holiday season be filled with joy, warmth, laughter, good food and memories to cherish.  I say thank you to the World and to the artists, bloggers, engineers, entertainers and anyone else who has inspired me to become a better person.

Many thanks to you all.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back in California

I've been MIA recently because of my return to California.  Being away from American food for too long started taking a toll on my tummy.  Who would've thought I'd seriously be craving this stuff?  Mexican food, soul food, IN-N-OUT, fusion cuisines, etc.

It still been a bit of a reverse culture shock since I've landed on US soil.  Several things that I didn't realize while I was living here for almost my entire life,

  • There are a lot of fat Americans.  As soon as I arrived at the airport I couldn't believe how many fat people I've seen since then.  I bet many many women out here would look so much more attractive if they actually maintained a healthy weight along with their complexion.
  • Public infrastructure and transportation is lacking.  I really don't understand why California doesn't have better public transportation services.  The bay area has the BART and Caltrain but that's about it.  What about the rest of California?
  • Diversity.  America really is a diverse country and I like to see people of all shades of color hanging out together having a jolly ol' time.
  • There really is a noticeable imbalance of White male/Asian female couples.  I didn't know it was this bad, but it really is everywhere I go in San Francisco.  However, I'm not as upset as I thought I'd be since every couple I saw appeared like they were meant for each other. In other words, she ain't hot.
  • No alcohol after 1:30am.   This is just pure bullshit.  No explanation needed.
  • America is unsafe relative to other countries.  America can be a dangerous place; not all of the US of course, but its up there when you compare metropolitan areas pound for pound.  My friend's neighbor got stabbed to death by a homeless woman just last month.  Christ!
  • People aren't in such a hurry.  Work, errands, meeting up people, etc.  Let's just chill and take our time.
If I come up with any others I'll add it to the list.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Angry Asian Girl Smashes BF's Game Console

There are lot of folks who get caught up in video games.  Just don't get caught up in it like this guy did.  Otherwise you might be bound for Loserville, a smashed video game console and one angry asian girlfriend!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Investing in the Asian American Nation

Should Asian Americans sacrifice a bit of their cultural identity to come together, unite and speak as one Voice?  Should AAs invest in the Asian American nation for sake of advancing and empowering the community?

A guest writer for 8Asians by the name of Koji Steven Sakai wrote a piece I couldn't resist commenting on because it addressed the aforementioned that has always been controversial and countered by many AAs who still hold onto their heritage dearly and rightfully so. Here is an excerpt from the post,
Some would argue that this is just another example of Hollywood confusing and combining all Asian groups together. Japanese. Chinese. Korean. There is no difference. They are all the same. And maybe that’s exactly what they did. But I’m hoping that this is a sign of things to come. A time when Asians (and Asian Americans) can stop defining themselves by their country of origin but by the bigger and broader term, Asian. I’m probably giving too much credit to the makers of Ninja Assassin. But I believe that only by coming together can Asian (and Asian Americans) truly be a cultural and intellectual force on the world stage.
Its an interesting discussion and one that has been neglected for various reasons. A significant number of AAs vehemently reject this idea of having a "bigger and broader term, Asian". They often cite history as empirical evidence as grounds for arguing a slippery slope. WWII and The Korean War, for instance, gave White Americans an excuse to call anyone who was Asian a jap, nip or gook. Obviously, lumping Asians all together may create more opportunities for stereotyping and blatant racism.

But, isn't this inevitable?  I sure think so. As much as there are AAs who ridicule their Asian side such as Amy Tan, there are other AAs who forget they are American. They may be ethnically Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Laotian, Hmong, Filipino, etc. but they are American by nationality. And being American means they should invest in the betterment of an American economical, social and political way of life. It's one thing to know your roots, but its another to have so much pride in your country of origin, or parents' country of origin for many of you, that you forget you are even an American to begin with. I pay income taxes in America, not in Korea.

Let's be honest.  When was the last time you saw a White girl and said to her, "What's your ethnic background?"  Or something like, "You know, you look mixed. Your face looks Swedish. Your tits look German. And your ass looks French."  Maybe not in so many words but you get the picture. Its like Chris Rock said, "We don't have time to be putting White people into categories."  And I doubt after a while non-AAs will continue to insure they are matching ethnic labels properly.

My last point refers to a comment I made to Koji's post,
It may be difficult to acknowledge, but there has been a lack of solidarity within the Asian community. As white is to Europe, yellow (or brown in some instances, LOL) is to Asia. Both regions are fragmented with an overwhelming number of different ethnicities, all culturally unique in their own right. Yet somehow, these factors did not stifle the progress of the White Americans as it did for the Asian Americans for one simple reason. European-Americans sacrificed much of their heritage in order to invest in this notion of "whiteness" and by doing so, they became the ideal standard of American society. This galvanization of European-Americans allowed them to be the sole beneficiary of this investment and drove faster assimilation. Throughout the course of US history they have leveraged and benefited from this notion of whiteness politically, economically and socially. For instance, running for congress or office, moving up the corporate ladder, qualifying for a sizable bank loan, obtaining lead roles in mainstream entertainment and placing White-American Male as alpha others as beta i.e. the imbalance of WM/AF pairings.

Of course, it also helps when you're the ethnic majority, but nonetheless its systemic impact has proven its significance repeatedly. Even African Americans have more of a cohesive voice than Asian Americans do, and they too came from many different countries in Africa.

Make no mistake. I'm not advocating that we follow similar practices of giving preferential treatment to someone based on them being Asian alone. This makes us no better than any other racist we complain about. The point I'm trying to get across is that everyone in the Asian community should let go some of this attachment to their ethnic-specific identity for the sake of advancing the Asian community as a whole - power in numbers.
I'm not proposing AAs completely reject their heritage.  I neither want to be washed up nor be clueless regarding my cultural roots.  Instead, AAs should have a community and strive to work together for a common cause of Progress and Asian American empowerment.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Action + Voice = Progress

Over the years I have come to believe in and follow one simple rule which is an equation that defines Progress.
Action + Voice = Progress
My reasons for this are straightforward. The Progress I made during my life not only reflects this equation, but history provides us with many proof points as well. When I look back to the socioeconomic and political advancement of any ethnic group within this century, I've noticed each made Progress, by taking Action AND raising Voice, but emphasized too much on one variable over the other.  The old adage of "actions speak louder than words" provides a much more power-pact punch with a Voice to follow it.

There are two primary examples which come to mind just by comparing and contrasting the Progress made by the African Americans versus Asian Americans.  We all know the Black community is vocal.  If being enslaved, lynched, mobbed, beaten, burned, segregated, typecast and socioeconomically confined isn't a justification to speak out, then nothing is.  Martin Luther King and Malcom X were revolutionaries whose efforts brought forth palpable change in America, because they followed the Progress rule.

What do I mean by this?  If you take a look at the Asian-American community, we are known for our academic excellence, hard work, respect for elders and penchant for math and sciences. Asian parents emphasize the importance of education such as studying hard, getting good grades and attending the best universities to hold prestigious high paying jobs. But what about our Voice?  Although these are all laudable and wonderful things society commends the Asian American community for, we also have had a penchant for remaining silent even if we're getting the shaft. 

My cultural background and parents emphasis on remaining silent plagues me to this day.  It is one of the several reasons why I started blogging. The utilization of the web enables many Asian Americans to able to express themselves freely through blogging where they may have been uncomfortable with doing so in public. I believe it is the first step and the right one in finding our Voice to solve the equation of Progress for the Asian American community. Let us continue marching on and Progressing forward.