Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"And you wonder why Asian women don't go for Asian men"

"And you wonder why Asian women don't go for Asian men". That was the subject header of the email that I received from one of my closest friends and yes, he happens to be Asian as well. "Great." I thought to myself, "Another article making a mockery of Asian men." Well not exactly, since the authors do a good job of reporting on strictly the facts. The story does however, give Americans ammunition for teasing Asian men.

CNET published an article on how Japanese men are treating virtual girlfriends to beach vacations and more. Apparently, Konami's Love Plus Plus dating sim has enthralled a number of Japanese men to the point where they spend the money on these virtual girlfriends. The players even take these virtual gals to the Atami hot spring and resort to spend some quality time with them. Some even take pictures with them.

At first glance I laughed and felt pretty embarrassed, but after giving it some additional considerations I didn't find it to be that embarrassing after all. Some of you might be vehemently against it cringing at the sight of another stereotype in the making. However, there could be some good that comes out of this. There's a stereotype out there that Asian, especially Japanese men, aren't all that affectionate towards their girlfriends, or that Asian men are workaholics and study bugs which impedes the way of spending quality time with women. Whatever it is, a 21-year-old man was quoted with saying how this could serve as a good practice for when he gets a real girlfriend. He has a valid point.

Simulation is an excellent way to learn. For example, let's take a look at pilots and soldiers. They spend countless hours behind sophisticated simulators before being unleashed into the real world performing the same acts. It offers them a fantastic means of practicing and sharpening their skills. If the artificial intelligence behind these programs is advanced enough, it could certainly serve as an aid for men who are clueless with women.

The guy who pokes fun at these men is like husband who comes home and makes fun of his wife after he see's her watching cooking. "Why do you keep watching those cooking shows and pretending? You still don't know how to cook." She responds, "Why do you keep watching porn and pretending? You still don't know how to fuck!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Update on Federal investigation of violence against Asians at Philly High

"School administrators insist that they took all allegations seriously and disciplined students when appropriate."

I'm sure Philly School District administrators took the allegations seriously. They just didn't do a goddamn thing about it. Installing security cameras and adding a few more security guards isn't enough to mitigate this kind of racially-motivated violence that Asian immigrant students have endured for the past several years.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is keeping us abreast of the recent developments in the perennial Philly High School beatings against Asian students. It states the Justice Department finds merit in the claims made by the Asian students and has advised school officials to take some action. Personally, I'm a bit disappointed with the response from the Feds because "advisory" is too open ended and quite vague of a response. However, I still have faith they will follow through with eventual mandates that are much more specific and resolute to eradicate violence, race or non-race related once and for all. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman did a fantastic job in handling these hate crimes didn't she?

Can somebody please present to her the "I don't give a fuck" of the year award and pay her another fat bonus?

This would have been the perfect opportunity for Ackerman to shine as a community leader by harshly reprimanding the students who brought such a ruckus onto school grounds and ultimately take some corrective action by establishing policies to substantially reduce juvenile violence. School is where young aspiring minds want to learn and socialize with their peers peacefully. Maybe I'm just old school (no pun intended) but I thought school, by convention, is safe haven for students. Of course, when you don't have the proper leadership in place you can throw all of that out the window. Leaders these days who actually take some responsibility and blame for their mistakes are few and far between. Regardless of the person's ethnicity, I guess people are people and sinners at that; myself included.

Nevertheless, its good press and the Philly High incidents have gained national attention. If the Justice Department decides to take some coercive measures against the inaction of the Philly School District, they could even go so far as to sue them to force change. Whatever the settlement is, it will require the school district to improve the treatment of Asian students. The light is at the end of the tunnel.

As Q-Tip once said, "Keep it movin. I ain't got no time for shuckin and jivin."

Friday, August 27, 2010

On To Something Positive: K-Pop Hitting USA

Out of all of the periodicals out there, I think Time magazine has always been a little more international and cutting edge when it comes to politics and pop culture. This week the magazine boasts an article about Korean Pop music going global with the help of the internet.

Taeyang's Solar album debut hits No. 2 on iTunes R&B charts
It amazes me how times have changed since I was a teenager listening groups like Seotaiji and Deux. After entering high school and college subsequently thereafter, I took a break from listening to K-Pop altogether since there were new artists coming out every week. Keeping up with the trends was just too much for me. The only viable medium to stay in tune with the latest and greatest K-Pop heads was to ask family relatives in Korea, friends who were avid K-Pop listeners or KBS broadcasting on Channel 18. Still too much work.

I should also mention this was a point in my life where I disassociated myself from many things Asian, more specifically Korean: Korean Pride (KP), Korean music, Korean girls, etc. Yes, I'll admit that I wanted to be more "American", which in my mind meant abandoning a lot of my contemporary Korean pop culture interests. In fact, I was so far removed from Korean pop culture that when I got to college my Chinese roommates were the ones asking me about Korean music! Huh?? Who's H-O-T? FinkL? Boa? Sorry, I don't know any of them.

Then something changed about four years into my career. I took a trip back to my parent's motherland and fell in love with my roots once again, and K-Pop came along with it. Only this time, with the help of the internet, there were many people around the world who were following K-Pop artists as well. I first noticed this on YouTube watching K-Pop music videos and seeing comments from users who are from all over the world. Now that I'm back in the states, I still keep up with the K-Pop scene. If you haven't listen to a K-Pop song in your entire life you should give it a shot. The songs are catchy, dance-able and just plain fun. Here is an example:

All of these artists are extremely hard working and talented. Renown American producers are even taking notice of the talent pool and marketability of these idol groups. For instance, Will.I.Am. from the Black Eyed Peas saw one of 2NE1's music videos and immediately wanted to work with them. Back in April of this year, New Jack Swing founder and R&B powerhouse producer Teddy Riley began collaborating with Jay Park (Jaebeom) on an album. Now whether or not it actually gets released is a different story, but the act of Jay working with a musical genius such as Riley himself sends a powerful statement to the music industry - Asians have talent also, not just in math and science. And if that isn't enough to convince you of K-Pop's growing popularity and influence worldwide, then consider Taeyang's Solar album which hit No. 2 on iTunes R&B sales charts in the U.S. and No. 1 in Canada which is a first but hopefully not the only for an Asian artist!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Asian-American men get shafted even in literature

I've been participating in a heated debate over the performative contradictions in Asian-American female activism on BigWoWo. One of the commenters went on a search to find literature where the protagonist and love interest of the story is an Asian-American male. His findings are appalling, yet not all that surprising to say the least. Here, take a look!

From the Meet Asian American Authors book list from Amazon
The Piano Teacher: A Novel by Janice Y. K. Lee
Based in: WWII Hong Kong
Male protagonist: British White Male
Love interest: White female/Euroasian female
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See
Based in: Olden days China
Male protagonist: None (Though there are abusive Chinese Husbands)
Female protagonist: Chinese females
Soon to be made to a film directed by Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club 2)
Pearl of China: A Novel by Anchee Min
Based in: Cultural Revolution China
Two female protagonists
Antagonists are Chinese males
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
No male protagonist/love interests?
Mainly about a rough childhood.
,b>Dragon Bones: A Red Princess Mystery (Red Princess Mysteries) by Lisa See
Based in: Modern China
Male Protagonist/love interest: White American Male
Female Protagonist: Chinese Female
Petals From The Sky by Mingmei Ye
Based in: China/US
Male Protagonist/love interest: White American Male
Female Protagonist: Chinese Female
Good Things by Mia King
Male Protagonist/love interest: White American Male
Female Protagonist: White American Female
Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) by Camy Tang
Based in: US
Male Protagonist/love interest: White American Male?
Antagonist: Creepy Asian American Male (but attractive?)
Female Protagonist: Asian American Female
My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki
Based in: Japan/US
Male Protagonist/love interest: Older White American Male
Antagonist: Japanese Male
Female Protagonist: Asian American Female, Asian Female
The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
Amy Tan: No need for explanation here.
Sweet Life by Mia King
Male Protagonist/love interest: White American Male
Female Protagonist: White American Female
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Amy Tan Classic - The quintessential example of how to throw all Asian-American men under the bus.
Kira-Kira (Newbery Medal Book) by Cynthia Kadohata
Based in: US
Children’s book, sounds quite beautiful though. No Asian guy bashing!!!! (I think)
Wild Ginger: A Novel by Anchee Min
Based in: Cultural Revolution China
Male Protagonist/love interest: Chinese Male who turns Antagonist
Female Protagonist: Euroasian Female
The Last Empress: A Novel by Anchee Min
Based in: Ancient China
Male Protagonist/love interest:: None, but a lot of pathetic Chinese Males
Female Protagonist: Chinese Female (To be fair, Tzu Hsi is probably judged a lot harder by Ancient Chinese historians because she was a woman ruler, the men during those times have probably done a lot worse).
Unaccustomed Earth: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) by Jhumpa Lahiri
Short stories that deals with a range of issues.
NO white saviors from what I have read.
The Space Between Us: A Novel ( Deckle Edge ) (P.S.) by Thrity Umrigar
Based in India. Indian female/Indian male?
The Namesake (movie tie-in edition) by Jhumpa Lahiri
Male protagonist: Indian American male
One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Various characters, but no Asian Male?
Itsuka by Joy Kogawa
Fight for compensation for Japanese-Canadian internments.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Telltale signs of China's rising global influence

Some of you may disagree with me and that's okay, but I think this movie that I found on Angry Asian Man is a harbinger of China's (along with the rest of Asia's) global ascendancy. It looks riveting. And yes, there is an attractive white American female who plays the love interest of the Chinese dude. It's impact could be groundbreaking for the advancement of Asian-Americans in Hollywood.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dating a Korean/Asian Guy

Before I share this with you, do not take this video too seriously. Yes, not all Asian guys are like this but I thought it was hilarious. Enjoy. And yes, I totally act that "gangsta". LOL

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Flight Attendant Having the JetBlues: A Look Into American vs Asian Airlines

There's been a lull with my blogging recently ever since I started this new gig. I'm surprised I was even able to keep up with it for so long, though it helps when you have people visiting your blog to comment and question about your pieces.

So what compelled me to write today was all this hoopla in the news over the JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, who went into a turbulent rage and made a grand exit off the plane after a rowdy passenger became verbally and physically belligerent with him. The whole fiasco begged the question, "Would this have happened on an Asian Airline?"

The reason why I am inquiring about this is simple. Whatever happened on JetBlue, and probably almost every other major airline in America, isn't a unique case. This may in fact be a reflection of what is wrong with American society today as a whole. Let me explain.

Once upon a time, flying was considered a luxury. The flight attendants were mostly young women looking very sexy or at least very feminine. Remember this was prior to 9/11 so security wasn't really an issue. And though you were allowed to smoke, the flights weren't as technologically safe and you couldn't watch movies on your own personal TV, flying in 1950s and 60s seemed much more enjoyable. Then again, I also can't imagine the people on the flight being nearly as rude back then as they are today. 

Contrastingly, when I look to Asian based airlines such as Korean, Asiana, Singapore or Japan Airlines, I feel like the customer service and quality of the flight attendants haven't strayed much from the traditional way Americans used to fly. Here are a couple of examples of the Korean and Singapore Airline flight attendants.

Now compare this what you see typically on US based airlines. Originally, I was going to post pictures up but those of you who've flown any major US airline surely know where I'm going with this. The point I'm trying to make is that American based airlines have lost their way and the tradition of flying with class. Just as a significant number of Americans has lost their way in treating others with respect while becoming more self-entitled to everything under the Sun and moon. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine an Asian passenger dropping an F-Bomb-equivalent to a flight attendant. Its just unheard of and unfathomable. 

I believe what many of us have witnessed here with this JetBlue incident is the unintended consequences of how Americans are given too much freedom and self-entitlement where even the slightest form of discomfort turns us hyper-politically correct and super bitchy (e.g. mandating school uniforms, cellphones in prisons, outlandish ridiculous lawsuits, etc). This is a manifestation of a much broader and significant societal problem at hand in America. The truth hurts.