Memorial Day and Chinese American Veterans

Today, hundreds of Chinese American veterans from the American Legion Lt. B.L. Kimlau Post will march in their decorated uniforms down Mott Street in NYC’s Chinatown. Inspired by her own grandfather — who was a WWII vet — Chinatown native Victoria Moy began a project to interview hundreds of Chinese American vets spanning WWII to Afghanistan. Read more on her candid and powerful family story, and the impact of military service and US immigration and foreign policy on the lives of Chinese Americans here at the HuffPo.

Lt. Lee -- from Uncommon Courage

The documentary Uncommon Courage:Breakout at Chosin is also showing tonight at 8pm EST on the Smithsonian Channel. The film is about Chew-Een Lee, an 84 year old US Marine (also interviewed by Victoria) who is finally getting the recognition he deserves as the first Chinese American Marine commissioned officer (after desegregation of the armed forces), and was awarded the Navy Cross for his service in the Korean War.

Wounded at the battle of Chosin Reservoir after making a one-man raid on a Chinese gun position and leading 500 Marines and UN troops through a death trap in the middle of a blizzard, Lee refused to be evacuated and stole a jeep to get back to the front. While other officers took off all insignia to avoid being targeted by snipers, Lee donned an orange vest so that his men could see him in the snow.

Maj. Kurt Chew-Een Lee, 84

photo by Tracy Woodward/The Washington Post

Lee “totally identified” with the Marines’ reputation for being the first into combat. He enlisted to counter the stereotype of the “meek, obsequious, bland Asian.” In Lee’s words:  “I would have kicked ass and done whatever was necessary.” Talk about Gangsta. Check out a preview of the documentary here. More on Lee at the LA Times and Washington Post.

The stories and leadership of Asian American veterans are rarely included as part of the mainstream narrative of US history. This Memorial Weekend, let’s honor their contributions and keep in mind the barriers and prejudice they overcame in order to serve our country.

Thanks Deeksha!

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Friday Fuckery: ’90s Bill Nye

Bill Nye the Science Guy is Awesome, for so many reasons. One being that his long and fruitful career kicked off with pop gems such as below. I haven’t seen these Seattle-based remakes since back in the day when I was rockin the one-strap denim overalls myself.

If I ever have chilluns of my own I’ll just home school them with these music vids. Thanks to Bill Nye for teaching me so much about the world (the water cycle makes it: RAIN! RAIN!) and to Flavorwire for making my (and hopefully your) long weekend.

Via Flavorwire — view more Bill Nye Music Videos here!

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Gene Luen Yang on Last Airbender

Well the enormous whitewashed fuckery of a film Last Airbender is due out in theaters July 2nd. Here’s Gene Luen Yang’s take on the whole situation. I’m a huge fan of his graphic novel American Born Chinese, so I wanted to post and link here.

While I don’t agree that the overall impact of racist movies isn’t that important, I too fully support a boycott of Last Airbender, and admire the work of groups like Racebending to educate and advocate for just and equal opportunity in film and TV.

Check out more from Gene over at his site.

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Tony Chu, I Gots A Crush On You

…even though you are a cartoon.

Gun. Blood. Swoon.

Before you pass judgment on me (too late huh?), let me elaborate that the handsome feller above is from the engagingly written, strikingly rendered and highly addictive comic series Chew (which AZN has blogged about before here).

Chew is written and drawn by two white guys a white dude and a black/caramel guy (thx for setting me straight Rob!): John Layman and Rob Guillory. And fortunately, they were intentional about portraying Chu as a fully dimensional character instead of a big fat, bucktoothed stereotype. And in an art medium where Asian American characters are rare — especially engaging lead characters rather than sexual accessories or slanty-eyed villains, this just heightens my appreciation for the comic. And my crush on the protagonist.

Yes, back to my boyfriend Tony Chu. He’s a cibopathic, meaning when he takes a bite of something — be it an apple, meat, or…use your imagination — he knows what pesticides were used, how it died, and plenty o’ other visceral details.  Dreamy! And he’s a cop, so this sets up the story nicely for a some gloriously gory, gastronomic crime investigations. Plus he has a gun and wears those shoulder holster thingies which is hot too. And he can be a grumpy-ass, curmudgeony dude now and then — aggravated yet accepting of his gift/curse and what it requires of him.

Don’t ask me why I’m into that. Don’t ask me why I’m jockin’ a comic book. I’ve come to terms with it. And you can too — just get the second trade paperback International Flavor, due out soon. Which is what the people at the local comics store keep telling me every other day. Why must they toy with my emotions?!

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Donut Prince Will Save Your Relationship

We’ve all heard the oft-mentioned stat that half of US marriages end in divorce. But the million dollar question is — what’s the cure? And the $1.25 maple-glazed answer is: DONUTS!

If you have a recurring fantasy about pulling your significant other’s eyelashes out one by one while they’re asleep, take some advice from Tek and Betty, who run the Donut Prince in Burbank, CA. This couple knows a thing or two about keepin the loin tinglies alive – they’ve been glowingly married for 41 years! Here’s the Donut Prince commercial, which was featured on Lopez Tonight.

These two are awesome, right?! The behind-the-scenes clip is even better. Minus the over-the-top hipster hamminess (dude’s name is Link fer Chrissakes) from the filmmakers at the end:

Also — Betty and Tek look damn good, considering they tied the knot in 1969. Must be some kinda youth elixir in them donuts. Duly noted. Up donut intake immediately. And if your boo asks why you’ve stopped wearing pants in favor of billowy skirts and tenty dresses, and why your face is always smeared with chocolate and jelly, remind him or her that you’re doing it for the sake of the relationship, and then send their rude ass on a bearclaw run. That ingrate.

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Friday Fuckery: Hello Thunderkitties

I want one of these shirts for each day of the week. Might be a bit too Ka-yoote for some of you, but I appreciate a good HK/80s pop culture mash-up.

The artist Seven Hundred has Tshirts for sale here. Now if someone would just take a “Hello Thundertitties” concept and run with it…

via The Bite Daily

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