Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NY Times Celebrates A Vietnamese American Marriage

Random thought. Vietnamese women are hot. Then again, I'm biased. I've had a lot of crushes on Vietnamese girls while growing up.

Source: NY Times. Caroline and Daniel's Wedding Celebration

Okay, so that's not what this article in the NY Times is about, but it is about a Vietnamese American couple who recently got married. Meet Caroline Trang Nguyen and Daniel Gien, two successful Vietnamese American Ivy Leaguers holding some prestigious occupations working for Washington. If they have children, their kids are going to be ridiculously smart.

Besides having a story that celebrates the melding of two similar Asian cultures, I also like the fact that the article highlights how Caroline was wondering why Daniel hadn't asked her out. I'm pretty sure she gave him all kinds of visual and verbal cues indicating her interest in him. She even went a step further and made it strikingly obvious by asking her brother to invite Daniel to hang out with them. How cool is that? Either he didn't pick up on them or he really was just too busy with his work. The good news is, he made a move!

Sometimes I wonder how many times a girl me sent some kind of implicit cue that she was interested which I was unable to detect. If it was blatantly obvious, I'd try to avoid it by playing dumb. "What...I had no idea she was interested in me!" But then again, there are other times where I'd say the exact same thing and actually meant it. "Seriously, I had no idea. I would've totally asked her out! SHIT!" 

Females will often times demo their interest indirectly by using subtle gestures:
  • Pushing their hair back to expose just one ear
  • Twirling their hair with their fingers
  • Laughing at every damn thing you say as if you were comedian
  • Slapping you in the shoulder pretending to be upset with you
  • Feel free to add to the list...
I've talked about this with plenty of different women and it always boils down to the same response. Women don't want to make it too obvious that they like you because they don't want to appear like they're desperate. It lowers their desirability index and it can give the false impression that they're too easy. Thus, they resort to these kinds of cues which once upon a time clueless guys like me have to figure out. Yes, guys too like challenges no matter how hot she is. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aziatix Signs With Cash Money Records

I caught the flu bug several days ago and have been immobile for several days now. So with that, I wanted to share this fantastic news which I will keep terse. The Asian American trio Aziatix has signed on with Cash Money Records. And Cash Money did they get. The group landed a $11.3 million deal with the label who has a slew of household rap artists such as Lil Wayne, Nicky Minaj and Drake.

For those of you who haven't heard any of their music, its pretty good. Check out this music video for their song "Go". Its a hot track.

This is a huge milestone for AA as it is one of the key indicators that America is beginning to except the fact that musicians aren't just black and white. After the proven popularity of Far East Movement, Cash Money has made a very lucrative investment in the AA group as they not only can they cater to an English speaking audience, but can also woo the hearts and minds of the Asian people. 

Funny how I was just paying homage to their founder Jae Chong who started his own Hip Hop/R&B group Solid. Chong, also their producer, probably went into this project looking specifically to find overlooked AA talent by regular A&R talent hunters. This can be inferred by this work with producing other Asian acts such as Coco Lee, Kim Gum Mo, Shin Seung Hoon, Stanley Huang, Nicky Lee and even JYJ for all you K-Pop lovers out there. And this is why it is so important for AA to have community so we can bond with one another and network to advance ourselves in society, to be a better AA and demonstrate to the world that we are multidimensional and multitalented individuals.

You can read up more on Aziatix here

Friday, February 8, 2013

An Excerpt From Christopher J. Dorner's Manifesto

Its all over the news now. Christopher J. Dorner, a former police officer, is on a deadly rampage taking his revenge out on the LAPD for allegedly being vilified and wrongfully terminated. Initially, I thought the guy was total a whack job until I read his manifesto. I really feel for the guy and even more so after reading this passage.
Journalist, I want you to investigate every location I resided in growing up. Find any incidents where I was ever accused of being a bully. You won’t, because it doesn’t exist. It’s not in my DNA. Never was. I was the only black kid in each of my elementary school classes from first grade to seventh grade in junior high and any instances where I was disciplined for fighting was in response to fellow students provoking common childhood schoolyard fights, or calling me a nigger or other derogatory racial names. I grew up in neighborhoods where blacks make up less than 1%. My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school in Norwalk, CA. A fellow student, Jim Armstrong if I can recall, called me a nigger on the playground. My response was swift and non-lethal. I struck him fast and hard with a punch an kick. He cried and reported it to a teacher. The teacher reported it to the principal. The principal swatted Jim for using a derogatory word toward me. He then for some unknown reason swatted me for striking Jim in response to him calling me a nigger. He stated as good Christians we are to turn the other cheek as Jesus did. Problem is, I’m not a fucking Christian and that old book, made of fiction and limited non-fiction, called the bible, never once stated Jesus was called a nigger. How dare you swat me for standing up for my rights for demanding that I be treated as a equal human being. That day I made a life decision that i will not tolerate racial derogatory terms spoken to me. Unfortunately I was swatted multiple times for the same exact reason up until junior high. Terminating me for telling the truth of a caucasian officer kicking a mentally ill man is disgusting. Don’t ever call me a fucking bully.
First off, I do not condone violence. I've never been a violent person nor someone who bullies those who I see as weaker or different. Like Michael Jackson said, "Paul, I think I told you, I'm a lover not a fighter." I embrace the differences that God has blessed us with. It is a gift from the heavens to give us variety like 31 flavors. This excerpt from Dorner's manifesto however, is something I believe all Asian-Americans or recent immigrants, regardless of ethnicity, should abide by when facing racial insults or mockery. Its just uncalled for. If we're friends, that's one thing, but if I don't even know you and you're spewing out racial epithets, then you deserve a critical beat down. As human beings we cannot change that aspect of our physical appearance. In case you might have forgotten, we are born this way and it is completely immutable so why even take it there?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The 1990s Spawned Modern Asian-American Culture

One of my readers sent me a letter with respect to a blog I posted on dealing with my identity crisis as an Asian-American. I guess it really resonated with him which gives me mixed feelings, but before I go into that, here's his message,
I was reading this post, Identity Crisis For An Asian-American
Your K-12 experience was very much like mine. The main difference is that I visited China at age 11 and after that I was always very aware of my identity and part of me never wanted to integrate, to this day. 
Do you think there is really such a thing as an Asian-American identity? 
When I try to talk about this with my Asian-American friends, they say they just think of themselves as individuals with no racial identity, or they have an identity but they don't care much about it, the portrayal of Asian men in the media doesn't frustrate them. I don't understand how they can be nonchalant as obviously being Asian has shaped their entire life from start until adulthood. 
On the one hand, I'm glad to see that I wasn't alone in feeling this way, isolated and confused at times as to how I fit in this predominately white society, but on the other, I'm sad that America still has a long way to go before it becomes much more integrated to reflect the often mischaracterization of a true "melting pot". I still think it's a salad bowl at best outside of California.

Hell, even our next door neighbor, "Oh Canada!" is more of a melting pot than the U.S. I haven't been to every Canadian city, but I believe my personal experience and sample size (a biased one I reckon) is large enough that it exhausts the majority of the country that allows me to come to that conclusion.

Getting back to the question of whether or not I think there is such a thing as an Asian-American identity...I would have to say I think there is. Asian-American culture is still fairly nascent, but I would contend that our history is punctuated with a distinct AA identity that spawned from the 1990s. You might ask me, "Oh yeah, like what?