Health care is the hot topic in Washington right now, so here are some great APA perspectives on various aspects of the issue. Thanks to Curtis Chin at APAP for sharing the following links:
Five Years to Life – How Congress is failing to meet the needs of APIs in Health Reform by Sara Sadhwani
Each day we hear about the need to reform our health care system, and often the conversation focuses on those trying to derail the process. We often hear about the skyrocketing costs leading to bankruptcy for many families, the insurance company profit margins and the economic costs and benefits reform could potentially bring. What we don’t hear about are the large swaths of the American population that will be left out entirely. Among them: Immigrants.
The Price of Beauty: Nail Products Contain Harmful Chemicals by nchung
The demand for “mani/pedis” and other beauty salon services has grown steadily over the past few decades. Nail salon and other cosmetology workers handle solvents, chemical solutions, glues, and cosmetic products that contain chemicals known to be carcinogenic and suspected to cause reproductive harm on a daily basis. Of the more than 380,000 nail technicians nationwide, a staggering 42% are of Asian descent. With occupational exposures, history of immigration, barriers to health awareness, and limited access to health care, this immigrant population has a complex health risk profile.
My Experience With Health Care in America by pat ma
On Saturday, I wrote a neutral summary of Obama’s Health Care Plan. Tonight, I’m going to write two more-personal stories. First, about my experience with health care in America and second, about my parents’ experience. I have a big fear of visiting doctors. Even with health insurance, insurance companies always find ways to weasel out of paying for your visit and sticking you with the bill. Last time I went for a “routine physical,” it cost me $600.
Samoans are fat? by Val L Jacobo
Yes, Samoans are fat. Does that surprise anyone? According to the State of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Health in California Report, (Report), commissioned by the Caifornia Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus, there is an alarming epidemic of overweight children in California. Samoan children have the largest percentage (54%) of all children in the state of California whose body mass index (BMI) is not within the healthy Fitness Zone.
End of Life Decisions and Health Care: Who Gets to Be Right? by Ming Bee
My dad died from “complications associated” with Stage IV lung cancer, which, to me, means that the crap treatment he got from the local county hospital made him sicker than he already was. I flirted with the notion of filing a lawsuit, but concluded it would not be worth the effort — especially since the impetus for our claims would be that the attending pulmonologist lacked manners and tuned out second opinions.
(Flickr photo credit: Curious Expeditions)
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A couple of weekends ago, I was hanging out with a couple of the DJs from the SRADIOCLUB at Toronto’s Night it Up. Because the weather was a tad chilly, we went inside where we were approached by Ashley Nguyen, who was looking for everyone to get tested to see if they were a bone marrow match for her cousin Steve, who is suffering from leukemia, as well as to register more Asian Canadians for OneMatch.ca, a stem cell and marrow network.
She was kind enough to allow us to interview her for SRADIOCLUB.
From NPR’s All Things Considered comes this story on the balancing acts that the American children of Chinese immigrants go through and the cultural tensions that naturally arise, which is pretty much what 90% of everyone who writes on and reads this weblog goes through has experienced, and one of the reasons why 8Asians.com was created. Seriously, is this such a shock to non-Asian people that someone has to do a story about it? Next week on NPR’s News of the Obvious: You will die too, someday.
Move over, Twilight. The world needs less sparkly vampires and more bloodthirsty humans from South Korea, like Park Chan-Wook’s Thirst, which opens tomorrow in limited theaters around the United States.
Park Chan-Wook, best known for directing Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, ventures into the world of horror with a story about a priest, played by The Host’s Song Kang-ho, who turns into a vampire after a medical experiment goes wrong. There’s also supposed to be lots of lust, gore and even full-frontal nudity–though the fact that Park’s work in Oldboy should be enough motivation for you to see this movie.
I’m not a big fan of vampires, which probably stems from my dislike of seeing blood of any kind, but I can’t wait to see Park’s take on a genre that has been dominated by Western or European story-telling. The trailer looks scary enough, and the film picked up the Jury prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. A co-worker (who’s seen the movie twice) professed to me that Thirst exceeded all vampire movie standards, including Twilight–though that’s not saying much. Hopefully Song’s character has less dramatic head turning stares than Edward Cullen. Yes, I hate Twilight. (Bring it on, you crazy fans!)
So support Asian cinema if you’re near any of these theaters!
Check out G4’s interview with Park Chan-wook from last weekend’s Comic-Con ’09 after the jump.
Forget sex dolls… how about sex pillows? The New York Times Sunday Magazine ran this article about a “…thriving subculture of men and women in Japan who indulge in real relationships with imaginary characters. These 2-D lovers, as they are called, are a subset of otaku culture— the obsessive fandom that has surrounded anime, manga and video games in Japan in the last decade.”
Apparently Otaku can take many forms. One guy in particular, named Nisan, 37, has fallen in love with an anime character… on his pillow.
What if they got into a lovers’ quarrel? That’d be one helluva pillow fight. I would NOT want to see this guy consummate his relationship. (“Hey, is that drool on your pillow?” “…That’s not drool…” “Aaaaaghhh!!”)
C’mon, buddy. Get a sock like everybody else.
Last season, we saw the Asian American brother-and-sister team Victor and Tammy Jih win The Amazing Race. Now, CBS is currently taping the next season and there are rumors that professional poker player Maria Ho is a contestant, based on a reported sightings at LAX:
“A forum poster at RealityFanForum.com may have done that already having recently snapped photos of contestants as the race began and one of those photos clearly showed Maria Ho. Her partner on the race is rumored to be Tiffany Michelle whose recent decision to preclude herself from the World Series of Poker Main Event however put her at the top of the list of the suspects.”
Interesting factoid: it looks like The Amazing Race was trying to recruit more photogenic and famous professional poker player Evelyn Ng, but was disqualified after producers learned that she was Canadian, which is against the rules for qualification.
It looks like this season will be a “celebrity” edition of the reality show – other rumored contestants include Miss America 2004 Erica Dunlap and her husband Brian Kleinschmidt, and Harlem Globetrotters Nate “Big Easy” Lofton and Herbert “Flight Time” Lang.
UPDATE: Our winner has been selected! Congrats to Peter Lo who will be seeing 24 City this weekend. Thanks to everyone for playing and to Landmark Theatres for providing free tickets!
Moye and I recently watched “Paper Heart,” which was a charming blend of documentary and fiction in film making. China’s most noted contemporary filmmaker, Jia Zhang-ke uses a similar technique in “24 City” (二十四城記 / Er shi si cheng ji), by fusing documentary and fiction to tell a tale of the transformation of the China of the past 50 years into the new, hypercapitalist China.
Shot in disorientingly vivid high-def video, “24 City” chronicles the dramatic closing of a State‐owned munitions factory and its conversion into luxury high‐rise apartments. Given the name Factory 420 as an internal military security code, the Chengdu Engine Group was founded in 1958 to produce aviation engines, and saw years of prosperous activity. Now abandoned, the factory was sold for millions to real‐estate developers, it is being transformed into an emblem of market economy: an apartment complex called 24 City.
As the buildings are demolished around them and their past is wiped away, former workers (some played by themselves, others by actors, including Joan Chen as Gu Minhua “Xiao Hua” / 小花) reminisce about the vanished world where they lived and worked. Meanwhile, a materialistic younger generation jettisons their parents’ traditions to pursue wealth and consumer happiness.
From the director, Jia Zhang-Ke (賈樟柯)
This film is made up of interviews with five workers, who share their real-life experiences with us, and of fictional monologues by three women. I decided to integrate documentary and fiction in this parallel flow because this seemed to me the best way of representing the last half-century of Chinese history. As far as I’m concerned, History is always a blend of facts and imagination.
The stories of these characters, both real and fictional, center on a state-owned factory which supplies the Air Force and other sectors of the military. The factory was founded 60 years ago, and was moved to Chengdu City 50 years ago. It has weathered all of the successive political movements under communist government. I’m not interested in chronicling this history as such, but rather in seeing how a century of experiments with Socialism has impacted on the fate of Chinese people. To understand the complexity of the social changes, we need to listen to the direct and in-depth testimonies of the people who have lived through them.
Presented by Cinema Guild, “24 City” opens on Friday, July 31, at Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre in San Francisco, and Landmark’s Shattuck Cinema in Berkeley. Also opens August 21at Camera Cinemas in San Jose. (Updated Screening Schedule)
Bay Area folks, lucky you… 8Asians is doing another ticket giveaway!
TICKET GIVEAWAY FOR SAN FRANCISCO OPENING!
Courtesy of Landmark Theatres, 8Asians is giving away a free pair of tickets for Opening Night 7/31 in SF (Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre) or Berkeley (Landmark’s Shattuck Theatre)!
All you have to do is to leave a comment with your preferred location and one lucky winner will be selected to go!
(Contest will be closed at 11:59pm Pacific Time on Thursday night, 7/30)
[Editors note: Connie’s post about her experiences as an attendee and a filmmaker have already been blogged about, but after finding the documentary on YouTube, I felt it appropriate to repost her experiences as a filmmaker, but this time with the documentary embedded. Thanks to Connie for her permission.]
To have my film Beautiful Sisters be part of The 32nd Annual Asian American Film Festival was an honor.
It was also extremely nerve wracking. I can’t help but have my heart beat uncontrollably fast each time I watch the short in front of people, nevertheless, think of all the things I would have done differently. But to see it amongst numerous talented, beautifully composed and moving films, is more than gratifying.
During my senior year in college, I took a film-making class because it sounded like fun and because I had just received the director position for my university’s production of The Vagina Monologues (I thought it’d enhance my “director” skills). Participating in the V-Day movement was phenomenal, and although I was part of such an empowering women’s community about overcoming violence and loving oneself, I still struggled with insecurities about my small eyes. I knew that eyelid surgery to create the look of bigger eyes was a possibility, yet something that I would never undergo myself. But how could I get over such annoying thoughts? At the same time, I learned that my youngest sister, Brittney, was starting to wear make-up to school every day. What was she thinking? And how could I serve to be a good role model for her?
Wanting to empower young women like myself, I created Beautiful Sisters. In the film, I follow Brittney during her morning routine, interview multiple women — a plastic surgeon, a college student who underwent eyelid surgery, a couple women who oppose the procedure and who feel OK about it. It was a journey for me to learn more about blepharoplasty, as it’s formally known, the varying viewpoints and an avenue to formulate my own opinions and conclusion.
By narrowing on eyelid surgery and personal narratives, I hoped to continue the conversation on how people perceive and construct ideas about beauty, race and gender identity, and ideally, feel beautiful in their own skin.
This was one story I felt compelled to share. There are much, much more.
Just because you live in a diverse, liberal cosmopolitan area like San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York doesn’t mean that Hate Groups don’t exist – this map of active US Hate Groups from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows that there are at least five – five! – groups in the San Francisco Bay Area alone. To combat hate, we must be aware that it exists; and a source may be closer to you than you think. (via insuminme on twitter)
Kalpen Modi — better known as Kal Penn or Kumar from Harold & Kumar — started his first day of work at The White House on July 6th as the associate director of the Office of Public Engagement running public outreach, with a focus on young people, the arts world and Asian-Americans. The New York Times describes Kalpen’s involvement in the Obama campaign and Asian American issues in an article covering Obama and Hollywood:
“In 2007, he signed on with the Obama campaign as a volunteer, going door to door and making phone calls; eventually he joined candidate Obama’s arts policy committee. Friends say that Mr. Modi, 32, who is Indian-American, has a deep interest in policy and in promoting Asian-Americans in the arts. Last year, he taught a course at the University Of Pennsylvania on how Asian-Americans are portrayed in the media. Although he played a terrorist in 2007 on “24,” he told an entertainment reporter at the time: “I have a huge political problem with the role. It was essentially accepting a form of racial profiling.””
So Kal Penn recognized he was reinforcing a racial stereotype, yet accepted the role on 24 anyway?
Also in the article, a new tidbit of information regarding A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, slated for release in November 2010: it sounds like Kal Penn is trying to get out his commitment to this film. Hopefully, Hollywood doesn’t make a third Harold & Kumar movie if it is just as flat as the mediocre sequel.
Image Source: Associated Press
You know how you have restaurants where, to entice college students or “hip, fun” young adults, they have challenges where you have to eat ridiculous quantities of food in a certain amount of time to get a Polaroid of yourself on a wall? (Cluck-U’s 911 Challenge and Fuddrucker’s “Eat a Ginormous Hamburger in 10 minutes” promotion come to mind.) Well, add pho to the mix, because SF-based Pho Garden has a challenge where if you eat a serving of noodle and tripe soup the size of an industrial kitchen sink in an hour, you get it for free, and maybe – just maybe – a photo on their wall to immortalize your gluttony. Losers who don’t finish their soup will have to pay $22, punishment for not thinking about all the starving kids in… uhm, nevermind.