Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kevin Tsujihara, The 1st Asian American To Run A Major Hollywood Studio

Okay, I'm late to the party on this one, but I had to blog about it regardless since it is a Jeremy Lin like watershed moment for Asian Americans. Kevin Tsujihara will become the first Asian American ever to be CEO of Warner Bros, let alone any major Hollywood studio and will be replacing Barry Meyer who has held the position for almost 14 years. According to the LA Times, Meyer had some kind words to say about Tsujihara,
"Everyone needs a leader, and Kevin was the person best equipped to unify the company at this time," Meyer said in an interview. "We just thought he was the best choice for the whole company...It was about the person and the character of the person," Meyer said. "The digital transition is one that is happening and it is affecting every part of our company. Kevin has really been at the forefront of that, and leading that charge, but Warner Bros. is really about the products that it makes."
I hope this means that more Asian Americans will finally have a fair shot at the big screen devoid of tokenized stereotypical Asian characters.

Monday, January 28, 2013

WongFu Reminds Us Why It's So Important To Approach A Girl In Under 3 Seconds

Have you ever heard of the 3 second rule when it comes to approaching a woman you're interested in? For those of you who haven't, the rule is basically this. If you notice a girl you find attractive and want to talk to, you should do it in under 3 seconds the moment you see her. As WongFu Productions little short "This is how we never met" illustrates, the longer you wait to think of something to say before you just go up and talk to her, the more likely it is that you won't do it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Check Out Jeannie Lin, The Award Winning Author Of Historical Romance

If you've been a D2R reader for the last few years you might recall a blog I wrote up on how Asian men even get shafted in literature due to the dearth of authors who portray them as the romantic lead or better yet, don't even get included in the storyline at all. It even stirred up quite a ruckus on YOMYOMF. Look, I know what you're thinking,
"But MaSir, what about The Joy Luck Club? Obviously, there's irrefutably no better book out there at describing what a wonderful experience it is to date an Asian male besides that one." 
You are absolutely right! Amy Tan did her best to make Asian men look incredibly awesome, romantic and financially generous. After its release, Asian Americans from all over the world hail and swear by that novel as the most accurate depiction of AA men.

However, I still wasn't satisfied and thought to myself, "There has to be a female author who knows how to write a different kind of Asian love story." You know...where the Asian guy actually gets the girl...like how it is in the real-world. Searching high and low I was fortunate enough to find Jeannie Lin, a writer of historical romance novels set in ancient China. (And no, her stories do not parallel The Last Samurai if you know what I mean.) American entertainment, literature included, retells the same propagandizing love story. Jeannie, however, is different in that her stories center around the Asian male as an actual love interest, unlike what I call the BLS*. 

*Bruce Lee Syndrome (BLS) - Asian male protagonist kicks the shit out of a thousand men, but never gets the girl or is deemed as an asexual creature. 

Thus, I decided to sit down with Lin for a one-on-one interview and learn more about her and her work. You can check out Jeannie Lin's website here.

MaSir: Tell us about yourself. Let's start off with a "Jeannie Lin" boilerplate introduction.

Jeannie:  I'm Jeannie. I write historical romances set in Tang Dynasty China. Surprisingly, my background is actually in cognitive science and education. I'm a techie by day and writer by night.

MaSir By any chance, are you related to Jeremy Lin?

Jeannie:  Heheh...no relation. I do occasionally refer to him as cousin Jeremy as a joke online. No relation to Justin Lin either....

MaSir Damn it. Okay. Interview's over...

Just kidding. So when did you start writing? And when did you officially become "Jeannie Lin" the author?

Jeannie:  I started writing around 2005. I was still teaching and looking for something to do as a hobby to balance things out. I took a class on romance writing and at first it was just something non-teaching to do on weekends, but the more I invested in the story, the more I realized I had always wanted to publish a story, so I committed to going for it. It took about four years of writing before I got noticed and received my first writing contract.

MaSir Do your parents know that you're a romance novel writer?

Jeannie:  Ha, they do! 

MaSir:  What are their opinions of it? I know Asian parents are so particular about their children pursuing STEM related careers but it looks like you already have that so maybe they don't mind so much?

Jeannie:  My mother is quite proud and actually sent my first book to a major Vietnamese paper because she knew the editor. (She publishes poetry under a pseudonym). My father requested a copy of my books -- just to have as a souvenir I'm sure -- so I may be the only romance author who has shipped their books to a Buddhist monastery. He's not a monk, he was just rooming at a monastery. 

Writing is my side job. My parents are very practical people and I'm no different. I'd starve if I tried to feed myself on writing money alone. I have a day job that pays the bills. [Just a side note] A lot of the shame that comes with writing romance or genre-fiction comes from how you feel yourself. I've never been ashamed and everyone I know, family and friends, have always been positive.

MaSir:  I actually stumbled upon your website after a blog that I had written up about the lack of AA female authors writing stories with Asian males as love interests and romantic leads. I was pleasantly surprised that there was someone representing for the Asian male race. What prompted you to stay within your ethnicity and not go off following the typical WM/AF love story that is so mainstream and overdone?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is Your Girlfriend Phasing You Out? Eliot Chang Explains

Eliot Chang is part of my original list of Asian men changing the face of American entertainment. Obviously that list has at least doubled in size since and will need to be updated in the future, but Eliot still remains to be one of the major Asian American trailblazers using comedy to entertain, educate and get straight to the point. Take for instance this recent video I found of his on YouTube called, Dating 101: You Are Being Phased Out. For those of you who might not have a clue that you are about to get dumped, Eliot breaks it down for you.

I thought he did an excellent job explaining why certain signs are indicative of relationship abandonment. However, there is one more sign I'd like to add to Eliot's monologue in being able to detect if you're about to get dumped. It might have been an accidental omission on his part, but I also believe that if a girl is "phasing you out" she will begin to pick fights with you over stupid shit. And yes, men are just as guilty of this kind of asshole-like behavior also.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

LeendaD Shows Girls How To Pick Up Guys

I love it when I discover funny YouTube videos. If matchmaking ain't your thing, not to worry ladies. You can always try hunting for the perfect mate yourself. This skit comes to us from LeendaD Productions, a group of girls from British Columbia, Canada, who demonstrate for us how to pickup guys at the gym. What makes this skit so comical is that no girl will ever try to hit on a guy at the gym and secondly, its usually the other way around where guys are the ones gawking. Plus, people there are just focused on working out (and checking out the meat market).

Check out part 2. How to pick up a guy at the library.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Even US Employees Are Outsourcing Their Work To China

This story is too hilarious for me to pass up and share. I'll have to categorize this one under comedy. It just goes to show you how China is becoming a bigger part of the US economy whether you see it with your own eyes or not. Based on a story published by The Next Web, Verizon discovered that a US developer was outsourcing his work to China. A guy by the name of "Bob" sent his work over to a Chinese consulting firm paying them only one-fifth of his six figure annual income to do all of his work for him so we could watch cat videos and read Reddit.

I'm going to make an assumption that Bob is Chinese. How else would he have been able to find those connections given the language barrier, but who knows? Maybe he hired a Chinese translator too. Nonetheless, genius.

Apparently, Bob was running this scheme at several companies simultaneously, and they only caught him after the US company contacted Verizon about a possible security breach coming from China. However, it wasn't a hack from the outside in but vice versa. As stated in Verizon's Security Blog,
As it turns out, Bob had simply outsourced his own job to a Chinese consulting firm. Bob spent less that one fifth of his six-figure salary for a Chinese firm to do his job for him. Authentication was no problem, he physically FedExed his RSA token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average 9 to 5 work day. Investigators checked his web browsing history, and that told the whole story. 
A typical ‘work day’ for Bob looked like this: 
9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos
11:30 a.m. – Take lunch
1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.
2:00 – ish p.m Facebook updates – LinkedIn
4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.
5:00 p.m. – Go home
Bob managed to use a mix of social engineering and outsourcing fundamentals, which he learned from the best, to write all of his code for him paying only a fraction of what he was making. Sound familiar? Hint: Every major American corporation.

At first glance, the story is all chuckles and yes, what he did was definitely in the wrong. Its a violation of company policy to be sharing trade secrets not to mention a blatant security breach to send over your credentials to an outsider. However, I can see how some people may lionize this man, for he was simply "working smarter, not harder".

I don't know of a single American corporation that doesn't outsource these days to China or India. If you want to compete in this global economy these days, you absolutely must outsource some of your labor, production or customer service to either East Asia or Europe due to the tremendous cost advantages over employing your own domestic workers.  

What makes Bob look like a bad guy in this instance is simply his title. That's it. Had he been a CxO or Vice President of the company, he might've been handsomely awarded a raise or fat bonus for saving the company money and making it more operationally efficient. Looks like China isn't just making all of our hardware now but our software too, at least behind the scenes.

Ka-Ching Dynasty! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Comedian KT Tatara AKA "The Poon Sensei" Is Brutally Honest But Always Funny

For those of you who've never heard of KT Tatara, you can all thank me now. I'm not sure what his ethnicity is, but from his last name I'd assume he's half Japanese and half white. Don't quote me on it though. What appeals me about KT is that he has a brutally honest style of delivery. I wouldn't go so far to say it's as extreme as Daniel Tosh but its definitely real. Check out this awesome bit he did at The Laugh Factory in LA.

As you can see, the guy's got skills. KT started getting recognition as a legitimate comedian around 2006 and since then has continued to tour and do stand up. Here's another really good set he had at The Ice House. He kills it!

I didn't know he had an alter ego called "The Poon Sensei" either. You can learn more about KT from his website here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Police Lockup Asian American Teens For 15 Hours Without Food Or Water

Stories like these serve as an unwelcome reminder as to why Asian Americans need to band together and speak out against the injustices deliberated upon them or any other minority. Adam Kim, an Asian American teen of Newark, NJ, is filing a civil suit against the Fort Lee Newark Police Department for unlawfully arresting him and violating his civil rights. Kim and a few others were held like hostages, locked inside a van for 15 hours straight in below freezing temperatures without any food, water or even a place to take care of nature's calling. Had a passerby not taken noticed of the boys locked inside the vehicle the next day, who knows what might've happened to them.

Source: Daily Mail Online

Reported by the Daily Mail, the incident occurred back in March, 2011. According to Kim, the officers "displayed a pattern of racial bias and/or indifference" by using racial slurs to reference Asian-Americans. There was an internal investigation but the department said that they did not find any evidence of malicious intent or discrimination. I'll take those findings with a grain of salt. Seriously, what police department is going to confess that they have a racist unit? Although the officers remain innocent until proven guilty, if what Kim alleges is indeed true, I would be deeply saddened, because entrust these individuals and depend on them to enforce the law, not violate it.