In Hawaii, they’ve got that Polynesian Cultural Center, which on the one hand is a way to educate people about some of the culture and history of the various polynesian people, but at the same time, it reeks of colonialism. There’s just something about putting a people’s way of life into a living museum that’s just too much like a zoo. I mean, can you imagine coming to Los Angeles and visiting a Los Angeles Cultural Center where you can eat the actual food that Angelinos eat, see what real Angelinos wear on display, and watch re-enactments of the cultural myths and legends us Angelinos tell? Imagine a luau-like meal with In N’ Out burgers served while “native” people dressed as hipsters re-enact the latest Avengers movie on stage. Ridiculous right? I’d feel really insulted by a stereotype-generating machine like that.
Nevertheless, in the post-colonial economy and environment, it provides jobs for the the local community, and it can even support new artistic works that modernize old customs into new forms to be passed on to a new generation. For example, the last time I went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, I watched the production “Ha: Breath of Life” which is supposedly based on a common story shared across many of the Polynesian cultures. The show was really stunning and well put together and provided not only jobs but a forum for new and meaningful cultural expression.
Cultural centers are quite the mixed bag, so when we arrived at the Alishan Zhou Cultural Center, I tried hard not to roll my eyes at the amusement park feel of the place, but at the same time, I did learn about Zhou culture and history at their museum and, by visiting and purchasing goods at the place, I was supporting the actual Zhou people descendants who were employed at this Cultural Center. So the whole thing wasn’t half bad.
It also helped that the Cultural Center itself was beautiful and had a gorgeous view.
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This is the video I can’t stop playing! Canadian Andrew Huang did a cover of “99 Luftballons” or “99 Red Balloons” by Nena that’s sweeping social media by storm, especially by those of us old enough to remember the 80s. The video has been viewed about 1.5 million times after only 3 days. (I swear, I only account for like 100 of those views.)
From his FAQs about this video:
1. How many balloons did you use? Four.
2. How long did it take? Around one hour of recording, ten hours of computering.
3. Did you use Auto-Tune? No.
I had the great opportunity and fortune to meet a truly historic Asian American recently – former Ambassador to China, Secretary of Commerce and Governor of Washington state Gary Locke. I had attended a fundraiser in Silicon Valley for Congressman Mike Honda, who is running for re-election (for California’s 17th Congressional District). Locke was the guest of honor in support of Honda, along with former Secretary of Defense William Perry.
Former IBA and WBO Superbantamweight Boxing Champion Ana Julaton has started fighting MMA professionally this year. Not only is she a boxer, but she has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and kenpo Karate. She follows well known boxer Holly Holm to do MMA.
After signing with Asian MMA promotion OneFC, she won her debut match in Manila on May 2,2014, defeating Egyption kickboxer Aya-Saeid Saber. She lost by split decision on August 29, 2014 to Malaysian Ann Osman. From what I could see of that match, Julaton’s striking was neutralized by Osman’s clinch and ground game, so those are areas where Julaton needs to improve.
(photo credit: Mark J. Sebastian)
So Jeremy pretended to be a statue and hilarity ensued.
Back in 2011, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu did the same prank.
via Bleacher Report
This one is a movie remake of an old Anime series. The story is pretty interesting, set in a time when humanity has colonized most of the galaxy, but with resources drained, the species is in decline. Many look back to Earth, wanting to re-inhabit it, but the small planet could not possible sustain the whole species at its vast size. A new species wide order has been formed, but a pirate named Harlock rebels against it. They story follows a young man named Logan who tries to join Harlock’s pirates, and there are many twists and turns in the plot along the way.
Although the premise is interesting, the overall story, didn’t quite come together that well, and the characters, though tragic and conflicted, fall just short of being believable and worthy of sympathy. Despite this, the graphics in this movie are pretty amazing. Apparently it cost $30 million USD to make, and you can see it in the quality of the CG animation. If nothing else, this film is worth watching just for that, and the plot, though not spectacularly executed, does hold together enough for you to tag along and enjoy the $30mil eye-candy.
“Karate Clerk” Mayura Dissanayake recently showed his skills in the MMA ring by knocking out Jaime Garcia in 18 seconds. A video of the match is below. When I watched it, I felt sorry for Garcia. This was an amateur match, but Dissanayake has 3 pro fights of experience. Dissanayake has been given an offer to join well known MMA gym Black House.
Season 3, Episode 10 (originally aired August 19): “Monkey Plate”
Microsynopsis: Steve and Susan secretly invite Jenny (Margaret Cho), the daughter of Ok Cha’s estranged sister, to a surprise birthday party for Ok Cha in the hopes of reuniting the family. Jenny arrives bearing gifts and good wishes, but Ok Cha is sure she’s only there to retrieve a family heirloom Ok Cha stole from her dead grandmother. Roy comes into possession of two field passes to a Steelers game, but since he can take only one friend, Owen and Ahmed compete to be the plus-one.
Good: It’s always good to see Margaret Cho, and it’s especially true here, since Jodi Long (Ok Cha) played Cho’s mother in All-American Girl. The moment where Jenny mimics her mother’s Korean accent (the best part of Cho’s stand-up act) while Susan mimics her own mother’s Korean accent is pretty cute. There’s a lot of Steve-Susan interaction, the kind I wish this show gave us more of. Some of the plot gags involving the Monkey Plate are pretty funny.
Bad: The Roy-Ahmed-Owen business feels like a variation on an uninteresting recurring theme.
Hapa moments: There are two good moment this episode. In the first, Jenny points out that Susan and Steve are only half Korean, saying their lighter skin and half-Caucasian eyes make them look “like white people lining up a putt.” Later, when Jenny goes kind of psycho, Steve tries to calm her down, saying, “Jenny, I thought we wanted the same thing here!” Jenny’s response is, “Shut up, white boy! I came here for the plate!”
Overall: It seems to have taken the better part of three seasons, but some of the other actors (besides Steve Byrne and Dan Lauira) are finding their characters’ grooves, if these last two episodes are any indication. It used to be that only Steve’s interactions with his father and with Melanie felt natural and unforced, but some of that easiness is creeping into other characters’ scenes as well. This episode itself is slightly off the wall, but not especially so for a half-hour sitcom. Mostly, it’s pleasant and enjoyable.
Final grade, this episode: B.
I know some travelers don’t really care what their accommodations are since they feel like they’re going to be exploring the area, not staying in their hotel room, and I’m happy to do that when I’m on a budget, but when I can, it’s great to stay at a place which is a destination in and of itself. Since I was traveling with a group, we were able to split the cost of a beautiful Executive Suite in the already enchanting Alishan House hotel. The regular rooms look nice already with gorgeous views and really nice decor and furnishings, but our Japanese style suite was AMAZING.
The hotel is split into two parts, the Modern House and the Historical House. Apparently it is one of the oldest hotels in Alishan, if not the oldest, hence the Historical House, and our suite was in the Modern House side.
Before I get into the details of the totally sweet Japanese style suite, let’s start with the hotel itself. The above image is of the walkway to the rooms past the main restaurant in the hotel with the manmade waterfall view outside. Below is the lobby area.
Actor and writer Joy Regullano takes the “Asian fetish” dialogue that usually is directed at Asian/Asian American females and turns directs it at a white man for “White Fetish.”
It’s nice to see someone do a funny take on “yellow fever” in the dating scene and it kind of reminds me of the super popular “If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say” video that came out a little while back.
But don’t forget: everyone wants to date Asian women. Even the creepy, racist ones.
So my favorite ring-girl-turned-cage-fighter Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson is up to battle Yasuko Tamada from Japan in all women’s pro-MMA promotion Invicta FC 8 tonight, Saturday Sept 6 at Kansas City.
Waterson is 5′ 3″ with a pro MMA record of 11 wins and 3 losses. Tamada is 5′ with a pro MMA record of 15 wins and 8 losses. Waterson was originally a striker, coming from a karate and muay thai background, but she wins many of her bouts submitting her opponent on the ground. Tamada comes off as a well-rounded fighter as well, having a grappling background but demonstrating a lot of stand up in this fight on Youtube:
Waterson has the advantage in height and weight, but Tamada does look like she has a decent reach and is the more experienced fighter of the two, so everyone who tunes in the UFC Fight Pass tonight will likely be treated to a great fight as Tamada tries to snag the Atomweight Championship from Waterson.
Another fight on the card featuring a female Asian American MMA fighter is Jodie Esquibel against Jinh Yu Frey. Esquibel has got a pro record of 3 wins and 1 loss, while Frey’s record is 2 wins and 0 losses, though Frey is well known for her viral knock-out video in which she breaks her hand putting her opponent to sleep in the cage.
With all these female fighters of Asian descent making noise in the MMA world, I hope we’re making a significant dent in the “helpless Asian girl” stereotype. Nothing helpless about a girl willing to test her metal in the cage.
We already know that Hello Kitty is not a cat, that Hello Kitty is also for men, that you can get pretty much anything you want emblazoned with Hello Kitty on it, and that if you need to get away that the only way to travel is on a Hello Kitty jet… but did you know that superheroes love Hello Kitty, too?
Well, maybe that’s not totally true, but these photoshopped pictures make a really great case for it. I guess it’s not limited to superheroes, because one of my favorites is Hello Kitty Gandalf (he’s a wizard, not superhero!):