8 Asians


When I saw this IBM TV commercial about Watson (“… a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data.”), Annabelle reminded me of my niece – who is a few years younger, but fortunately never has had cancer:

8Asians_AACW_Annabelle_IBM Watson“IBM Watson is helping doctors identify cancer treatments to outthink cancer, one patient at a time. Learn more at http://ibm.co/1LnZHX7

In the commercial, Annabelle is about to turn seven, and says she can eat cake now – because last year, she couldn’t because she was sick with cancer. IBM Watson explains to Annabelle that it can help doctors identify cancer treatments.

If you know the history of IBM, “Think” is an early motto of the company coined by Thomas John Watson Sr. who served as the chairman and CEO of IBM from 1914 to 1956. So it’s quite interesting to see that IBM is playing with that motto with “Outthink.”


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Daniel Wu as “Sunny” in Into the Badlands.

Born and raised a north Californian, Daniel Wu is an American actor of Shanghainese descent. It was Jet Li’s The Shaolin Temple that inspired him to study wushu. After college in Oregon, he traveled to Hong Kong and unexpectedly starting working in show business and has since been in many films in Asia. Currently, Wu is the star of AMC’s martial arts television series, Into the Badlands. Here are 8Questions with Daniel Wu:

1. What is your favorite martial art?

Kung Fu

2. Who is your favorite martial artist?

Bruce Lee

3. What sort of impact do you think you will have as an American man of Shanghainese heritage playing the lead part of a major TV series?

We’ll have to see!

4. Who is your greatest inspiration?

I have so many. Everyone from Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan to Andy Warhol. A lot of people inspire me!

5. What advice would you give to up and coming Asian Pacific Islander American actors?

It’s going to a tough road ahead but if you have the passion for it, stick with it. Work hard on your craft because you will have to be that much better than everyone else to stand out.

6. What do you think is the greatest challenge faced by American actors of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage?

Getting the right roles and fighting against preconceived stereotypes.

7. What made you decide to become an actor?

I didn’t. I was scouted to do a TV commercial. After doing it, a movie director saw it and cast me as the lead role in his film.

8. What is your favorite Asian comfort food?

Beef Hor Fun

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 2, Episode 9: “We Done Son”
Original airdate December 1, 2015.

HUDSON YANG, DMXMicrosynopsis: Jessica and Honey, disagreeing about their investment house, have a falling out. Eddie takes a job helping hip-hop artist DMX with domestic chores. Louis opens his home to an old friend whom Jessica does not trust. J.B. Smoove and John Ross Bowie (Barry Kripke on The Big Bang Theory) also have guest roles.

Good: I am not a fan of cameo guest appearances in sitcoms; they’re gimmicky and cartoonish, and they tend to destroy the illusion actors work so hard to create. However, this DMX storyline is genuinely funny, and I admit I laughed aloud multiple times, even on repeated viewings. Jessica’s spat with Honey is well done, too, and it looks like the costumers had a lot of fun with Honey in this episode.

Fresh off the Boat has frequently been creative with camera angles and framing, and there are two shots this week I loved: Eddie’s first appearance at DMX’s door, in which he looks incredibly tiny in front of a Taj-Mahal-scale palace, and a cute inside-the-locker shot when Eddie takes his stress out on his girlfriend Alison.

Alison is such a normal person (hip-hop arrangements on piccolo aside), she lends believability to scenes at Eddie’s school and, in this episode, scenes away from school with Eddie’s friends. It’s not a huge role if you count the number of lines she delivers, but it’s playing a big part in the realness of Eddie’s world. Hers is an unexpectedly steadying influence.

HUDSON YANGBad: The Louis story isn’t very interesting. J.B. Smoove is funny as always, but as Louis’s friend in the C plot, he basically serves only as contrast for Honey’s relationship with Jessica, and it feels like a distraction.

FOB moment: Jessica pays five hundred bucks a month for the advice of her fortune teller, Madame Xing.

Soundtrack flashback: “Born Loser” by DMX (1993).

Final grade, this episode: “We Done Son” has good laughs, fun visuals, and surprising dialogue. A strong episode for Jessica and Eddie. B.

In early November, these two articles – ‘Why Are Asian-Americans Such Loyal Democrats?’ and ‘Why Asian Americans don’t vote Republican’ were published within days of each other (by coincidence) by the New York Times and the Washington post respectively, which I found interesting.

According to the Why Are Asian-Americans Such Loyal Democrats?, I found this analysis the most interesting:

vote_by_democratic_candidates_by_race“Jewish support for Democrats is similar to that of Asian-Americans. According to Pew, 70 percent of Jews identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, and 22 percent are Republican or lean Republican. Asian-Americans share with blacks, Hispanics and Jews an experience of previously marginalized status and social exclusion. These four constituencies also share a belief that a commitment to hard work and self-reliance does not conflict with a belief in a strong government and a reliable safety net.”

In the Washington Post, the conclusion as to why Asian American’s don’t vote Republican was based on an academic study and experimental analysis:

“We posit that rhetoric from Republicans insinuating that nonwhite “takers” are taking away from white “makers,” as well as their strong anti-immigrant positions, has cultivated a perception that the Republican Party is less welcoming of minorities. Since the Democratic Party is seen as less exclusionary, we find that triggering feelings of social exclusion makes Asian Americans favor Democrats.”

Given the rhetoric, especially by Trump on Mexicans and his desire to build a wall along the U.S. – Mexico border, and recent anti-Syrian refugee/anti-Muslim hysteria propagated by the Republican Party presidential candidates, it’s no surprise that Asian Americans lean more Democratic and avoid even considering voting for Republicans.