She’ll probably kill me for posting this, but what the hell: Sam Chanse is a not-so-frequent poster to 8Asians. That being said, she single-handedly has the best reason for not having time to write or do pretty much anything: She’s been writing and performing in her one-woman show, Lydia’s Funeral Video.
A one-woman show. I congratulate myself if I have the energy to go downstairs and take my clothes out of the dryer.
Here’s the synopsis:
In the not-so-distant future, when abortions are legal only within twenty-eight days of conception and Paris Hilton has embarked on yet another reality show, apocalypse-obsessed Lydia Clark-Lin is doggedly pursuing a career in monetary units when a mysterious being claiming to be an hours-old embryo invades her dreams, announces that Lydia is both pregnant and dying, and commands her to create a video to be screened at her funeral before terminating the pregnancy. As the embryonic orders continue (“talk to the celebrity abortion doctor!” “interview your mother!” “do some standup comedy!”) and Lydia seems to be losing her job and her mind, a deadline fast approaches, the end of the world beckons, and hecklers loom on the San Francisco horizon.
Holy shit. Her show runs from Thursdays to Saturdays, January 31 to February 16, 2008 at The Dark Room Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District. There are pages for the event at upcoming.org as well as on Facebook. I’ll tell you know what I think of the show once I go see it, hopefully sometime this week.
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One of the things I’ve always admired about SoCal schools were their hip-hop dance crews. The closest thing I ever came to one was dancing in the hip-hop suite during the UC Davis Filipino Cultural Night. There were fifty of us, and let’s be honest – if I was dancing in it, it really couldn’t have been that good. (As a side note, I heard that videos exist of me somewhere. If someone ever finds it, can you throw it away? Like, forever? kthxbi.)
So why do I bring this up? Because Kaba Modern, a dance crew out of UC Irvine, are one of the crews competing on MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew. These guys are incredibly good, having also won the silver medal at the Hip Hop Internationals 2007:
It’s cool to see something that was once “just an AZN collegiate California” thing broadcast on national television. One thing I did notice, though: their group is a spin-off of Kababayan, the Filipino group at UCI, but their roster on the MTV show looks to have Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese people, but no Filipinos. I mean, what kind of Chinese person would try to join a Filipino club? (That’s sarcasm. The answer would be: me, twelve years ago.)
Update #2: A YouTube video of their performance during their series premiere. Dude, what’s up with the quick edits and bad camera angles? The producers and cameraman seem to notice Yuri a LOT. Lesson learned: human interest story + a pretty girl = HELLA MTV FACE TIME.
Update #3: Kaba’s performance of episode 2 is now online, doing a performance based on a Chris Brown video; it’s the first performance where they recieve a little bit of criticism, but it’s most likely a solid pass to the next round. The producers focus on Jia as choreographer, although that doesn’t stop the cameras from focusing on Yuri every five seconds. (I have no problems with this, mind you, nor does every other male who watches this show – but isn’t the focus supposed to be on the dance crew?)
Update #4: Unfortunately, Viacom is actively blocking any America’s Next Dance Crew videos on YouTube. You can try finding video clips of performances at MTV’s website, although MTV breaks up clips by the time between commercials rather than just the performances themselves. Here is their performance from this week:
Judging from the comments, it looks like it wasn’t a very strong performance. Could this be the end of Kaba on the show?
(via Angry Asian Man)
Here’s an internet comedy series from LA based comedian Randall Park (member of MTV’s Wild’n Out) called “Dr. Miracles” about a doctor with certain life saving abilities in his.. um… “DNA”, let us say. This series literally had me spitting up my food, water and blood (the ‘blood’ part not so much literal). From the lines to the intentionally low budget set design and costume/makeup, this show doesn’t seem to try to hide its warts but rather shows them off proudly and makes it an element of its comedy. Here’s an excerpt describing Episode 4 (my favorite so far):
The 14 minute epic fourth episode of the hugely popular internet series which debuts on www.Channel 102.net. Brought to you by comedian/actor Randall Park (myspace.com/randallparkplace), featuring Eddie Shin, Liza Lapira, Ray Lai & Matt Hill. This very special episode features Dwayne Perkins (Conan O’ Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Joshua Funk & Nyima Funk (Wild N’ Out), Johnny Scourtis, Beth Dover & Sekou Kane as Ghostface Killah.
Just be warned, this is NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK.
The other day, I made a post on my personal blog that garnered a lot of (private) comments. I got a bunch of comments via IM and email, but just a few public comments.
Here’s an excerpt… I was having a conversation with a good friend of my mother’s in Chinglish when she asked me the following:
Mom’s friend: “DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF SEX?” (in English)
“WHAT?!” I asked in Chinese, really shocked by the mention of the subject. (I do NOT talk to my Mom about such things, so I am not going to go talking to her close friend about stuff like this. As far as my Mom likes to believe, I don’t even know what sex is and I’m not planning on changing that perception for a while!)
Mom’s friend: “I said, ‘Do you have a lot of sex?’” (she repeated in English)
I sat there dumbfounded in silence, which is pretty damn unusual for me. What the hell is she bringing this up for?! What the hell am I going to say?! How do I change the topic!?!?! Arrrrgh! So embarrassing!
Since I didn’t answer for a bit (maybe like 10 seconds, which is an eternity, especially for a blabbermouth like me), she asked the question again:
Mom’s friend: “Did you hear what I asked?” (in Chinese)
Mom’s friend: “Do you have a lot of PRESSURE on you?” (in English.)
Joz: “Pressure?” (in English)
Mom’s friend: “Yes, pressure. STRESS. Do you have a lot of STRESS?” (in English)
OMG! She was asking me about STRESS, not SEX! Thank god!
Joz: “Pressure? Oh yeah, I have lots of that. You know that.”
Mom’s friend: “You shouldn’t worry so much, try to relax and not to take on so much pressure. It’s not good for your body.” (in Chinese)
Joz: “Yeah, I know.” (Joz changes the subject quickly)
Ok, embarrassing story aside, I gotta ask you what you think of the scenario. Did I totally overreact by thinking that my Mom’s friend was asking me about sex? Do you talk to your parents about sex? What about other family members? Who do/don’t you talk about sex with? Why is that?!
For me, the thought about talking about sex with my Mom or my uncles/aunties is absolutely mortifying. Once my Mom made some comment about conceiving my brother and my head just about exploded.
Is this an Asian/Asian American thing? Because in my experience, a lot of my non-Asian friends don’t have trouble talking about sex to their parents.
Oh and for me, the taboo subject matter is not just about ME having sex… it’s about sex in general. Like other people having sex is not a topic I want to discuss with my Mom. I actually want to pretend like the word/subject doesn’t exist when it comes to my Mom. And my Mom and I talk about pretty much everything. Well, except sex.
Now your turn… dish!
New to sushi? Want to make sure you eat it properly? Watch this.
In case you didn’t get it, this is comedy. Japanese comedy at its best. It was created by the Japanese comedy troupe The Rahmens. (Get it? The Rahmens? HA! Oh man that cracks me up.)
If you’re familiar with Japanese customs, you’ll find this even funnier. I didn’t know this at first, but a friend told me that traditional Japanese restaurants will place a bowl of salt outside the door to ward off evil spirits. Knowing that little bit of culture will make the closing scene that much more funnier. Hehe.
“Maa maa maa maa”
“Oh toh toh toh”
“Maa maa maa maa”
“Oh toh toh toh”
The relatively anonymous illadub sent me an e-mail telling me about Asia Cruise, a multi-ethnic [Asian, Native American, White] Jacksonville Pop/R&B artist signed onto Jive Records. The way she was marketed was interesting – her music was leaked first onto MySpace with music, but without any photographs – only a female silhouette with a title, “who is Asia Cruise?” and a countdown to her video. Bloggers questioned her identity – at least until the video that came out for her song, “Selfish”:
She talks about her initial identity being a mystery on her MySpace page:
I know some of you are wondering why the big mystery. Well, to be honest with you, it really didn’t start that way. The whole “Who Is Asia Cruise” was more of a question to myself. When I started working on the album, the main question that kept poppin up was “Who is Asia?” I really wanted to pick songs that reflected me and who I am…so when you listen to the album, you’ll definitely get a sense of who I am. Then I wanted everyone to like me for my music instead of my image. That was really important to me. So, we decided to take a risk and not put my face out there and GUESS what? Ya’ll love my music!!
Okay, so I’m 31 and her links to teenmusic.com make me feel incredibly old, but the A&R guy in me believes Asia Cruise actually has a fighting chance of being a successful artist. The Asian activist in me wonders if the marketing of her music before her video is to prevent her from being typecast as an Asian artist, which haven’t had much success in mainstream radio. Nonetheless, I’ll be channeling the sixteen year old girl inside me and listen to this song repeatedly the next time I go through a break-up.
Last nights IM conversation with Will-W.
willw: omg cashmere mafia went there!!
willw: good for them
xxxtine: went where?
xxxtine: what’s going on?
willw: lucy liu!
willw: dating an asian guy!!
willw: u’re missing out
xxxtine: I’ll find a torrent tomorrow!
willw: so fresh! love it
xxxtine: who is he?
willw: no idea
willw: omg the men on this show is hot
willw: are hot
willw: they’re so hot they make me have bad grammar
The tall drink of water is Jack Yang and according to IMDB … he lasts for 3 episodes. Still … ROWR!
Sunday night was the finale for the 12th season of The Amazing Race. I had blogged about the Chinese-American father-daughter team of Ronald and Christina at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, Ronald and Christina came in second place, although throughout the many legs of the competition, they did come in first. At the end of the day, The Amazing Race is a combination of luck and skill, and unfortunately Ronald and Christina came up short. You can read the recap of the finale here.
However, out of all the teams, one could really see that Ronald and Christina over the period of the season really grow closer. Ronald, the father, was a stereotypical overbearing Chinese father who would always be telling Christina what she was doing wrong and being impatient, as well as Christina being a little deferential to her father, even though at times, she needed to be more assertive because she was right. Ronald, to his credit, became quite self aware and began to change, becoming more patient and encouraging while Christina also took a little more initiative.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think 8Asians.com was a blog about Yul Kwon. Winner of Survivor this, possibly running for Government that. Between all that and his refined jaw line, is there anything Yul Kwon CAN’T do?
Open up on a frozen yogurt shop, apparently.
Accordingly to the San Francisco Chronicle, Yul and a couple of his buddies are trying to open up a Red Mango franchise (a copycat of Pinkberry, as previously discussed by John) in the trendy, picturesque North Beach district of San Francisco. Except for one thing: North Beach’s “formula retail” ordinance, which prohibits chain stores from coming into the neighborhood to preserve a “neighborhood’s unique character.”
[Marsha Garland, founder and executive director of the North Beach Chamber of Commerce] found that Red Mango had continued to add franchises in the time since Kwon’s group was granted a building permit. So by now – and even Young admits this – there are more than 11 locations across the country. Case closed, said the North Beach watchdogs.
“They got a permit and started building and then somebody came and pulled the permit,” said Ken Brownell of Blatteis & Schnur real estate, who handled the rental for Kwon’s group. “They’re shocked and I’m shocked.”
Without a permit, Kwon is stuck on Exile Island. His group can’t do any more building and the storefront sits empty, although rent is still due.
“Is this going to be tougher than ‘Survivor’?” asked Young. “Yul’s just going to bleed out all that ‘Survivor’ money.”
Ha ha, an Exile Island reference. He won Survivor. We get it.
Now most of the time, residents try to preserve a “neighborhood’s unique character” by trying to block out Starbucks, McDonalds and Wal-Marts – basically anything that would remind someone of the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. But Red Mango is a chain that started out in South Korea in 2002, and would give the neighborhood some character, even if it is technically a chain restaurant with 11 stores. Or would it? With a lack of “Korean style” frozen yogurt chains in the Bay Area, why are they opening the chain in North Beach? Why not a similar hip-yet-gentrification-friendly neighborhood like the Mission or the Castro, or a neighborhood with high Asian Americans like the Richmond?
No one can argue that India is the outsourcing capital of the world. Unfortunately, the newest “service” to be outsourced raises some pretty prickly moral and ethical issues. The first time I heard about Indian women renting out their wombs as surrogate mothers to wealthy Western couples I thought it was some sort of sick joke…but a quick google search brought me more hits then I could count. India has figured out a way to turn surrogate mothering into an assembly line commodity.
Proponents of India’s womb for hire business argue that no harm is being done because all the surrogate mothers are willing and voluntary human incubators, they receive the finest care whilst carrying the surrogate baby, and they are paid anywhere from $6000 – $10,000 for their role. Many of the women also receive education and financial advise. In a country as ravished with poverty as India, $6000 is more than many rural people can make in a lifetime.
So, if it’s voluntary and the women are treated well, what’s the problem you might ask? Judith Warner suscintly lays out the moral dilemma of the newly popular “Rent-A-Womb” service in this New York Times article.
Because what’s going on in India – where surrogacy is estimated now to be a $445-million-a-year business — feels like a step toward the kind of insane dehumanization that filled the dystopic fantasies of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale.” (One “medical tourism” website, PlanetHospital.com, refers to the Indian surrogate mother as a mere “host.”) Images of pregnant women lying in rows, or sitting lined up, belly after belly, for medical exams look like industrial outsourcing pushed to a nightmarish extreme.
There is a reason commercial surrogacy is banned in countries like France and Italy and in many US states (although not all). How different is this service compared to prostitution? Ultimately, in both surrogacy and prostitution the female body is reduced down to nothing more than a gendered shell to provide an entirely physical service. The arguments made by advocates can only be made because of the abject poverty in which most of the surrogate mothers come from. It’s funny how poverty can skew people’s perspective on what is and is not ethical.
So, what do you think? Is this just another example of globalization and industrialization or is this an example of dehumanization at its best?
But after a bicyclist going the same direction as a vehicle collided, the driver demanded not only an apology but also payment including insulting the bicyclist. After having a few choice words and students gathering, there was an interesting commotion that strangely enough ended up with the car being overturned and the windows smashed out by the students.
While the story seems to eeriely ended on good terms for the students, I must say that it seems that the fault does lie within both parties. I also wonder if the lady was someone from the government? No one would flaunt their identification so rashly and tell people that they should be “scared to death.” And with the chancellor of the University promising that the students would not pursued for the acts of protest and that the instigator would be pursued to the extent of the law, you sort of wonder where the fault actually lies.
Good for them to stand up for their own and demand why the driver didn’t have a permit to drive upon campus. While it could have been handled in a more peaceful manner, it’s also very enlightening that the chancellor stood by the students instead of the outsider.
Photo Credit: (Matthew J. Stinson)
In today’s New York Times, the newspaper goes on to report that “Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular“:
“…Then last month, the year-end best-seller tally showed that cellphone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it. Of last year’s 10 best-selling novels, five were originally cellphone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time cellphone novelists, touching off debates in the news media and blogosphere. “Will cellphone novels kill ‘the author’?” a famous literary journal, Bungaku-kai, asked on the cover of its January issue. Fans praised the novels as a new literary genre created and consumed by a generation whose reading habits had consisted mostly of manga, or comic books. Critics said the dominance of cellphone novels, with their poor literary quality, would hasten the decline of Japanese literature. Whatever their literary talents, cellphone novelists are racking up the kind of sales that most more experienced, traditional novelists can only dream of.”
If you’ve ever been to Japan, you understand the important role of the cell phone that plays in the day-to-day lives of the Japanese. The ecosystem of services and content is *amazing* and makes the United States look like a 3rd world country. Since I can’t read / write / speak Japanese, I can’t really evaluate the quality of cell phone literature is, but one has to wonder if this is a sign of things to come in the U.S. – maybe we’ll be seeing novels based on Facebook status messages???