8Asians is a collaborative online publication that features original, diverse commentary by Asians from around the world on issues that affect our community.
I am a Japanese-American girl who was born, raised and is most probably stuck in traffic right this second in Los Angeles. I'm currently one of the co-editors of 8Asians and like to distract myself with good food, reading long books, playing video games, catching up on celebrity news, choosing my new new haircut and then writing all about it on Hello Moye and sometimes here on Twitter if I can get it in under 140 words or less. You can reach me at moye[at]8asians.com.
George Takei appeared on G4’s Attack of the Show earlier this week to promote his character in Archie Comics’ Kevin Keller series, as well as his new book, Oh Myy! (There Goes The Internet), about how he basically took over the Internet … or at least Facebook.
I’ve never been a Star Trek fan but I’m absolutely enjoying how Takei has managed to secure his popularity in the 21st century through the viral culture of the Internet. And now he’s got his own comic book character! Kudos to Takei for accomplishing what a lot of other celebrities still haven’t figured out how to do: share and interact with old and new fans in a way that feels more genuine (and interesting) than a PR campaign.
Andy Marra, a Korean adoptee, shares the touching story about tracking down her Korean birth mother, whose love and acceptance allowed her to continue her male-to-female transition: “To this day I am astounded by my mother’s supernatural intuition despite the language and cultural barriers that still exist between us. I felt a great sense of relief when she helped me come out. My mother started to show her acceptance through simple acts. She would brush my long hair after I took a shower. She gave me a facial to soften my skin. She asked me if I had any boys chasing after me.” Read the full article here.
It’s not uncommon for single men and women to venture online to find love, but in Shanghai, some aging parents have been taking the initiative for their adult children with the “Marriage Market” in the People’s Square. Every weekend, these mothers and fathers (armed with a piece of paper outlining their single child’s assets) meet in a corner of the park to find a suitable match–kind of like what a listing of online dating profiles would look like in person.
The family behind the travel blog, A Year To Think, recently documented their trip to the park with an eligible bachelor. While the swelling orchestral soundtrack makes the whole Marriage Market seem like an epic voyage of Chinese people searching for true love, the video is still a fun inside look at the matchmaking world. How far will parents go to see their children settle down and marry? Enough to meet strangers in a park.
One interesting (and not very surprising) statistic to come out of Election Day is the racial and gender disparities between political parties. Francis Wilkinson from Bloomberg View writes about how Asian American voters are sending a message to the Republican party if they want our support: “Romney won among all voters making more than $100,000 a year by a margin of 54-44. Asian-Americans happen to be the highest-earning group in the U.S., out-earning whites, and they generally place enormous emphasis on family. A perfect fit for Republicans, no? No. Asians voted for Obama by 73-26; they were more Democratic than Hispanics.” Wilkinson points out that the lack of diversity and Christian direction of Republicans may be less appealing to Asians. Do you agree?
With “Gangnam Style” still taking over the Internet one parody video at a time, it’s only natural that South Korea’s PSY would make an appearance on reddit with an “Ask Me Anything” session. While he didn’t shut down the site like President Obama did a month ago, it was still fun to hear from the musical artist directly, especially when it came to answering questions about asses. And if there’s anything we learned from this Q&A session, it’s that the man behind Gangnam Style is as direct as his insanely popular song.
Here are some of my favorite questions that he answered!
Randi Rhodes isn’t your average twelve-year-old. She’s a Brooklyn vigilante with a Tae Kwon Do black belt. But circumstances take a turn for the worse when Randi’s mother passes away and her father decides to move to the small and sleepy town of Deer Creek, Tennessee. Randi couldn’t be more unhappy—until a mystery arises: the town’s two-hundred-year-old time capsule, which is rumored to contain hidden treasure, inexplicably disappears. Randi must solve the case, as the town’s fate hangs in the balance.
The Japanese gardener–once a fixture in American culture–is slowly dying away with the passing generations. The LA Times recently profiled the cultural phenomenon spurred by Japanese American families taking over the horticultural industry after World War II: “At one time historians estimated that one in every four Japanese American men was a gardener. It was menial work that required weekends, but it allowed them to buy homes, send their kids to college. Some women joined their husbands or took over routes when widowed.” But with the incoming generations focusing on other careers, the once iconic Japanese gardener is soon becoming a thing of the past. My grandfather and his siblings grew up as migrant farmhands before being sent off to the internment camps and my local nursery is owned by a Japanese American family, so I could relate to how this article describes one of the many changes the JA community is experiencing. Let’s hope the history that these gardeners leave behind will be remembered in some way.
Asian American artist and YouTube sensation Clara C. recently performed live in Los Angeles as part of the At: Guitar Center with Nic Harcourt podcast, an ongoing series where emerging artists can share their music in an intimate setting for consumers and fans. You can download or stream the full interview with Nic here but we’re excited to premiere the exclusive performance here on 8Asians!
I recently saw Clara C. at last month’s V3 conference where she joined musician David Choi, National Film Society’s Stephen Dypiangco and moderator Frank Buckley on a panel about Asian Americans making it big on YouTube. I always love seeing how Internet celebrities interact and converse offline, and Clara didn’t disappoint! She was quirky, funny and charming–just like her music–so it’s our pleasure to present her performance of “The Camel Song” for her fans on 8Asians. Enjoy!
Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake is moving forward, now with official distribution from FilmDistrict, a confirmed cast of non-Asians and an official synopsis: “OLDBOY follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.” Lee promises the film will be more intense than the original, with perhaps a darker twist in the ending. Hmmm… [via SlashFilm]
So what does our very own Koji Steven Sakai do when he’s not “researching” the latest on Asian body parts for 8Asians? He’s busy writing movies! The trailer for his latest movie, CHINK, has finally been released. Produced by Koji and Quentin Lee, directed by Stanley Yung and starring Jason Tobin, the film follows a young serial killer named Eddy copes with his own racial identity issues, a horrible boss and a killing spree.
A man in Ahmedabad, India recently named his new clothing store “Hitler” (complete with swastika), not realizing that rule #3 in Things To Never Ever Do In The 21st Century is to associate one’s business with Nazis and/or the Holocaust. The kicker is that after locals raised their ire over the offensive name, owner Rajesh Shah said “‘I will change it (the name) if people want to compensate me for the money we have spent — the logo, the hoarding, the business cards, the brand.'” But why? “Hitler” was his strict grandfather’s nickname and Shah said, “‘It was only when the store opened I learnt Hitler had killed six million people.'” The more you know, people. The more you know.
Have you met Megan Lochte yet? She’s the sister of Ryan Lochte, who’s been making headlines for winning all those medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics. She’s also totally comfortable with using racial slurs like “chink.”