On occasion, I check out what my kids look at on youtube. Looking at The Daughter’s subscriptions, it struck me that the majority of them were to Asian American themed channels. I looked at one, NDTitanLady, and I noticed from the channel page that her style was “Asian”. Asian style? What’s that? We had a post a while ago about the next generation of Asian Americans and how they are forging their own identities and media. This generation’s situation is so much different from when I was growing up, even though I grew up in the Bay Area. There really wasn’t anything produced by my generation for my generation, and youtube has really enabled this. The Daughter subscribes to some typically well known channels such as happyslip, kevjumba, and nigahiga, and some less popular but still known like ninjadrops. The Daughter and her friends even gossip about some of them. “A sister of my friend goes to UC Davis with Kevjumba and says he’s really cocky and stuff and blah blah blah…” You get the idea.
NigaHiga has even managed to get a movie made based on his work. Here’s a trailer:
Ryan and Sean’s Not So Excellent Adventure – Exclusive Trailer from Ryan and Sean’s Movie on Vimeo.
It’s played in Hawaii and the Bay Area. Not exactly something that the Wife and I would go out and see, but it’s interesting to see how Asian American media had evolved, and it’s fascinating how a movie would be made and inspired by something on youtube (it’s usually the reverse).
Anyway, here are some of my favorite examples of how this next generation of Asian American looks at things. Here is NDTitanlady talking about Asian stereotypes.
I wasn’t even aware of a few of these – maybe some of them are very southern California. The Daughter does do the annoying peace sign thing, though.
Here is a kevjumba with a take on interracial dating. I am usually pretty tired of this subject, but I found his take on it to be pretty funny (plus some extras at the end).
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The Asian American Studies Department at the University of Maryland has published a report called A Portrait of Chinese Americans. This pdf contains information about residential patterns, employment, and demographic and social profiles. To make the data friendlier to the public, it’s full of dorky photos and graphics and little personal blurbs from individual Chinese Americans. Personally, I think this report could have been a LOT more fun — I think I need the kids’ version — But it’s better than reading anything at a .gov website.
For any who don’t want to go through 64 pages (though it’s mostly pictures and white space), there’s a short version called the Snapshot of the Portrait of Chinese Americans.
And if you just want to look at graphics, there are some maps of the areas most highly populated with Chinese Americans.
And for those who don’t want to read beyond this post, here are a few interesting facts from the report:
On Industry and Sector of Employment:
The top eight metropolitan communities of Chinese Americans:
New York is the most popular metropolitan area, but California is the most highly populated state for Chinese Americans.
Just for the sole reason she does covers so well, here is the latest clip from Toronto-based singer/ songwriter Moulann doing Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold. Even though she has quite the strong internet following, she puts up clips of herself performing, but at least it’s cute and not creepy like Magibon. *shudder*
If it weren’t for Facebook, I would not know what’s going on with her; I still don’t, but pick up her album Spirals & Mazes, available on iTunes – you won’t be disappointed.
Behold, the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. Based in Los Angeles, these guys are an Asian American comedy troupe that has been around since I was in high school; we’ve blogged about them before since they’re kind of big on the Asian-American activism circuit.
So these guys come out with an aptly appropriate video for Thanksgiving, and it’s pretty clever. And then I realize: this isn’t a live performance, or part of a packaged DVD set. They’re doing this on YouTube. Actually, no, they’re doing this for YouTube.
To which I say: Jeezus, it’s about time.
In the age of viral videos and Dane Cook and SNL sketches on hulu instantly consumed by millions of people around the world, sketch comedy is dominated by the Internet. In turn, those skits seem to be written by recent Yale grads trying to turn a buck out of their clever one-liners and liberal arts degrees. Compared to the CollegeHumor Original Videos team, they make 18MMW look like a bunch of frumpy Asian senior citizens. But that said, they’re still a bunch of frumpy Asian senior citizens, and let’s be honest: the amount of additional Asian sketch comedy groups since 1994 can be counted on one hand. Actually, zero hands.
18MMW may be late to the viral video party, but at least they’re AT the party, and as they get more comfortable with this viral video thing, they can only get more popular from here. (Provided that they can be constantly funny, of course.)
What’s the deal is with this Magibon girl? Apparently she’s some Internet phenomenon and the Japanese adore her, and outside of her cute appearance, the Youtube videos are thirty to forty seconds of… uhm… well, let’s just say that I wish I had those seconds back.
Doing some research, it seems that there are a lot of fans, but even more people that just don’t get it like myself. She does have that anime look, and I can understand the attraction to Japanese culture being how much it’s slowly infiltrated into western culture, via print and television. But wow, this is a fascination that is almost unhealthy. She’s even gone all out and even picked up the way Japanese girls talk, with the whole cutesy thing going on.
While she’s gone and had her fifteen minutes of fame, I’m still not biting on the explanations of why she creates silent Youtube videos. She claims that it’s because she first started by wanting to see the video of herself doing the wave, but let’s be honest here — anyone that has ever used a webcam knows that you can view it locally without having to upload it to Youtube. Somehow, I feel that she uploaded them but didn’t think she’d get the following that she did.
Strangely enough, I don’t know why she knows why she uploaded those videos either. If anyone understands why she does this and why she has the fame that she does, please clue me in since I’m dying to know what the heck I’m actually missing out on. (Okay, maybe I’m not that interested; I might waste another thirty seconds groaning.)
Brr, is it cold enough for you? (If you’re on the northeastern seaboard, that is.) Hopefully to warm you — or at least your ears — up, here is some new music from Anna Tsuchiya, Chemistry and Park Jung Ah. I also have an exclusive interview with Deanna Wong, Executive Director for the Toronto International Reel Asian Film Festival.
For comments, questions, suggestions, feedback and requests, leave a message on our newly revamped website or shoot me an email at christine at popcast88.com. We’ve also got some merchandise, so check out some of the stuff over at Zazzle! Tis the season of giving!
Again, if you like what you hear and would like to support the podcast, please show it by supporting the artists by buying their music via the links provided.
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Don’t get me wrong; Maggie Q is absolutely gorgeous and is a great actress, although I see her more often in American films than Asian ones in the more recent years, and has done more spokesperson and modeling lately. But trying to gain market share with Need For Speed: Undercover in Asia? Come on.
Here’s the thing: there are several franchises of racing games that dominate the racing markets in Asia — none of them owned by EA, as far as I can tell. If you’re going to break a market, the best way is to either take something that a hot racing series in Asia (Initial D) and play off that, or you become the publisher of an already hot racing title (Gran Turismo) and you kick it up a notch.
I think the biggest mistake made here by EA Asia head Jon Niermann is assuming that using American tactics of playing up a hot Asian star will actually sell the item in whatever Asian market they’re targeting. That’s not the case in China, since they’re numero uno in pirated goods and Maggie Q is more of a Chinese action star than Japanese so it’s not there either, although I’d assume that the big console gaming market would be in Japan. Why an American guy is heading an Asian operation isn’t making sense to me; it wouldn’t worry me if it weren’t for the fact that this guy just isn’t understanding the Asian gaming market.
Just my own thoughts, but every single racing game on the console side that has been super popular in Asia has always had their beginnings on a Japanese publisher: Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo come to mind since those are the ones that still hit it big in the Akihabara District.
Maggie Q might be enough to break into the video game market, but somehow I would put my money on other franchises before Need For Speed: Undercover. It’s not that it’s a bad franchise, but I think that it’d be better suited here in the United States and will actually perform better in sales here than in Asia regions.
Our internal e-mail lists have us discussing all kinds of stuff: Asian American identity, representation in the media, the experiences of activism in an academia setting and its progression as we transition to the working, adult world. And sometimes, we talk about, uhm, this guy on Craigslist.
Ernie: uhm… wow. Hey Christine, aren’t YOU from Toronto? HE’S ALL YOURS.
Christine: This is why I’m NEVER on Claigslist. I’m going to sic the local ninjas on him.
Joz: Where to start… with… snarky comments? *brain explodes*
Connie: what does “traditional Ladies’ education” mean?
Brian: “I must stress again that this is for a SERIOUS, long term relationship. Not some ‘fling’ as though I were a boy toy to be tossed aside.” Ladies, ladies… don’t be so quick to reply. He does NOT want to be your fling.
Moye: I’m referring myself as “Nihonese” from now on.
Bo: Moye, does that mean you’re responding? Kidding… I feel so sorry for the poor, deluded kid. Is it crazy that my maternal instincts are kicking in and all I want to do is sit this child down and show him how very far he’s strayed.
akrypti: How mean would it be to teach this fellow a public lesson on 8Asians.com? On that note, I think this is a joke. There’s no way this is genuine. Humanity is better than that.
Are we being mean blogging about this guy on the Internet? I mean, we mean well, right folks? Hello? Anyone home?
When I was growing up as a kid in Western Massachusetts, going to Chinese school on the weekends was no fun — I was missing Saturday morning cartoons or my Sunday mornings. Besides, why should I study Chinese when I will never live or work in China? As one of a literal handful of Asian Americans in my high school, the cost-benefit ratio of studying Chinese never really occurred to me. And back in college, Japanese was the hot language since Japan was going to take over the world.
The number of Americans studying in China increased by 25 percent [from last year] … People used to go to China to study the history and language, and many still do, but with China looming so large in all our futures, there’s been a real shift, and more students go for an understanding of what’s happening economically and politically.
Ethnically, culturally and linguistically, a majority of Americans relate to Western Europe, but Americans are also becoming more diverse and are looking beyond the traditional study abroad countries. Embracing your language to interact with others makes sense after all; if only for the simple fact to order from the Chinese-only menu in restaurants.
It was only ten in the morning when I first saw Robert Kiyosaki infomercials on how to become wealthy on one of the financial news stations; apparently, he’s coming to town to give some sort of motivational finance advice. It was the first time I’ve heard of him — usually these types of infomercials don’t really make an appearance until around two to three in the morning. The irony here was that if you bought into this, he’d be the one actually becoming wealthy and you… well…
What’s interesting about this is that the infomercial is not really any different from the ones late at night. It’s one of those “buy my this, that or another thing” — in this case, his Rich Dad, Poor Dad book series — “and I’ll show you the successful path to riches.” Meanwhile, you’ve purchased his stuff, and he’s the one making bank. There’s also criticism behind his books being more motivational than actual advice at how to go about doing things. Sounds a lot of positive-thinking without a lot of the financial advice.
Maybe this guy is for some people, but definitely not for me; call me crazy, but I’d sooner turn to Jim Cramer from Mad Money for financial advice. It might be a gamble, but I’m not buying Cramer’s book or any of his products when he dishes out what he does on CNBC. Instead, I’m taking financial advice from someone who both studies and has had experience in the markets, telling you what he thinks about the situation. It beats buying some book on telling me how to succeed by learning from failure — I already learned that one.
A few months ago, my cousin suggested we grab lunch at this joint in San Rafael called Sol Food. I had never had Puerto Rican food prior and was more than willing to give it a shot. As we were peering through the menu, I had noticed there was a dish that looked all too familiar to my own roots as a Filipina American called Bistek.
I grew up in a household where my mother was the primary cook. She would cook the traditional stews such as Kare Kare (Oxtail with peanut butter and vegetables), Adobo (Chicken or pork with soy sauce and vinegar), fry up some tasty Lumpias (eggrolls) and bake a mean Bibingka (rice cake.) On the days that she wasn’t up to preparing such a heavy feast, my family was relegated to numnuming on Bistek, which consisted of thin slices of sirloin steak, onion rings, garlic, kalamansi (citrus) juice and soy sauce. I was always excited to have Bistek with rice for lunch or dinner. It’s one of those meals that is so simple to prepare yet so tasty, it leaves you wanting more than you can chew.
When I saw it on Sol Food’s menu, I couldn’t help but want to try it out. Could it be that it was similar to the Filipino style of Bistek? When it was time to place my order, I had to ask what it came with. The woman at the register said that it came with red beans, rice, mafungo (plantain mash), salad and a plantain chip. I did not hesitate to add fresh limonada to my meal. After we were seated, my cousin and I got to chat about how the weather was so sunny and the other plans we had in store for the rest of the day. Ten minutes passed and the Bistek finally arrives. My cousin and I were gnawing at the beef and were pleasantly surprised that it was like how our mothers made it. I felt a sense of connection almost immediately between both cultures and of course, with our mothers. It’s funny how eating Bistek had a way of bringing me to a different place and taking me right back home all in one sitting.
The East West Players have extended their stage version of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club for two weeks. Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang, says that though the play is about a Chinese family, “the mother-daughter relationship is universal, striking a chord in all communities.”
The show will continue until December 21st, 2008 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Downtown Los Angeles with special ticket prices for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Better yet, the EWP have also organized a series of forums to discuss the themes of The Joy Luck Club. Entitled “Beyond Presence: Her Stories Our Stores,” the Saturday forum series offers participants a chance to discuss the roles of Asian American women in relation to Tan’s best-selling book. Check their site for the forum dates, locations and special guests.