Friday Fuckery: Epic Athiradi

I can’t appropriately describe the level of epic awesomer of this video “Athiradi” from the Tamil movie Sivaji. Alls you needs to know is some key words: recumbent Harley riding, Smooth Criminal-like theatrics, machine-gun Gretsch guitars, hip-hop Western line-dancing, Matrix Carnival bazaar. The best is the villainous newspaper eyeholes part (which coincidentally is my method of choice for spying on hotties on the train). UH-Mazing. Happy Friday!

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via Buzzfeed

Wordstrike: API Writers Boycott Arizona

Today, SB 1070 — Arizona’s racist law that allows law enforcement officers to detain anyone they “suspect” of being an illegal immigrant — goes into effect. Although there is the good news  that U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton has issued a preliminary injunction preventing several sections of Arizona’s new immigration law from becoming law, this hold is only temporary, and does not include key provisions of SB 1070 ( like the part that creates misdemeanor crimes for harboring and transporting illegal immigrants).

To join forces with the many advocates that are boycotting Arizona, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop has launched Wordstrike: a writers’ boycott of Arizona to remain in effect until these laws are repealed. Thus far over 100 writers, including Jhumpa Lahiri, David Henry Hwang,  Junot Diaz, Ha Jin, Jessica Hagedorn, Luis Rodriguez, Noam Chomsky, Maxine Hong Kingston, Adrienne Rich, Salman Rushdie, and Sandra Cisneros, have signed on.

Read the Wordstrike manifesto here. And be sure check out wordstrike.net to read more about this boycott, see who has signed already, and sign on yourself. You don’t have to be a writer — readers and language lovers can join this fight. You can also follow Wordstrike on Facebook.

Damn, in addition to providing awesome programming and support to the API arts community, AAWW has launched a badass initiative applying literature to fight injustice. Write on.

BCB Profilin’: Danny Katz

This edition of Profilin! features talented multi-instrumentalist and tawdry slut Danny Katz. Me and Danny once had a short-lived music project called “Schlong Songs”, but he up and left me for the bright lights of Tokyo and being a big fancy superstar in Japan. I still pray every night for a SS revival (O the Glory!), and the day when Danny will return to regale me with his enchanted yarns of fake va-jay-jays and forays on Manhunt.com. I get all weepy just thinking about his mint rendition of Missy Elliott’s “Work It”, which he has promised to play at my wedding. Or wake. Whichever comes first.

Greetings, I am…
Nanook Of the North.  Err… Danny Katz, NYC’s “best …and only? gay/Japanese/Jewish singer-songwriter.”  As I say at shows, if you know any other gay/Japanese/Jewish singer-songwriters, send them my way and we’ll make Kosher Geisha babies.  It’ll be a-mazing AND culturally sensitive.  Bagels and sushi best recognize?  Chyeah . I OWN that.

I’ve been known to bitch about…
Everything?  It’s in my genes to complain.  That’s how I show affection.  Purrrrrrr.  Oh, and people on the NYC subway who treat it like their bathroom (interpret as you wish).

My influences are…
All the musicians I’ve met through Five Points/Tea Bag and Sulu Series as well as Erasure, Billy Joel, R.E.M., U2, Spitz, Simon & Garfunkel and Missy Elliott.  Re Spitz?  The lead singer, Masamune?  He and I are married and I’m preggers with his child.  He just hasn’t realized it yet.  Oh, and whatever 15 minutes of fame pop culture icon it’s cool to name drop at this point.  Shall we go with… Gaga?  I do like her though and she puts on quite the show.  I think she’ll last longer than 15 minutes.

On a Saturday night you can find me….
Face down, a** up, that’s the way I like to… well, actually scratch that.  Chances are dinner with friends.  Maybe drinks.  Have been a bit of a domestic princess the past few Saturdays.  Not very rock star to stay in and read a book but I’m channeling my inner story-telling, folksinger so…

On a Tuesday night you can find me…
Wondering what day of the week it is and where I put my socks.  Maybe hitting up an open mic or at rehearsals.

My usual drink/poison is….
Scotch, whiskey…  I’m a total lightweight but I like the taste and bite of the harder stuff.  Or beer.  Either way, for a gay man I sure don’t show much love to fruity cocktails.  My other poison is coffee. Tried to kick the caffeine habit but. Can’t.  Function.  Need. Coff… ::thump:: Zzzzzzz.

The last song/album I listened to is….
“Everything’s Easy” by Girlyman.  They should have named it “Danny Katz is Easy” but that goes without saying.

If I was a superhero my name would be…
Kosher Geisha – The Treif Defender of the Samurai Way!  I have no idea what that would entail on a day to day basis (making pretty performance art sculptures consisting of bagels and lox and sashimi?), but I’m sure the uniform would be uber-kitsch.  And would require glitter.  Copious amounts of glitter.  Cuz I’m butch like that. ::sparklezzz::

I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with…
Boys, boys all types of boys.  Black, White, Puerto Rican, Chinese boys… oh, and train maps.  I can sit for hours just staring at them. Really.  No really.

Favorite thing to do in Tokyo….
Favorite thing in Tokyo (where I’m currently living) is just walking around and discovering things.  This sprawling clusterf*ck that is the grand TYO has never-ending surprises.  I do have a thing for those tiny standing room only ramen stalls.  And I enjoy making fun of what’s considered the “in” look for guys here (super skinny, crazy hair, etc.)  Oh and last but not least, at the gym, I enjoy watching grandmothers in skin tight leopard print pants mounting strange stretching machines while Oye Mi Canto is blasting.  Priceless.  Don’t judge.

Free Association time! First word I think of after “Asian America”:
Hyphen.  Hotness.  Hapa.  Growth.  Visibility.  College tour ^^  GiantRobot.  ❤

My weapon of choice is….
My guitar.  Makes me sound like an Ani Difranco wannabe but hey what do you expect from a Queer Theory major?

Be sure to check out my…
New album – Japanese Satellites at www.dannykatz.com and… my fabulous Erasure covers, soon to be up on YouTube.  You can check out me too, for just 100 Yen at the local Shinjuku ni-chome dodgy bar mumbling to myself in the corner.  Bargain in the TYO!

I’ll also be having an NYC Japanese Satellites release show – with full band! Tuesday August 3rd, 7 pm at the DUPLEX — RSVP here.

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Friday Fuckery = BDay Fuckery

This week’s Friday Fuckery will be mah Birthday Party, aka binge’in, boozin’, and booty poppin’ in the LES. I’ll also be doing some old people stuff like bitching about punk kids nowadays, reminiscing how cheap cigarettes used to be, and pounding Irish Car Bombs. If you run into me wish me a Happy Friday Fuckery!

Asian American International Film Fest: She, A Chinese

Mei Li (Lu Huang), the 20-year-old protaganist of She, A Chinese, has never been more than five miles from her village in rural China. Mei spends her days working at a local billiards joint, listening to rock music, and indulging her fascination with all things urban and Western. Pretty and rebellious, she garners plenty of attention from local men. Her mother’s solution is to either make Mei a farmer or marry her off to a nice-but-unattractive government official, which leads Mei to hightail it for the big city of Shenzen.

Once there, she struggles to get by working jobs both above and under the table, and falls in love with a rough but endearing hit man (Wei Yi Bo). But a bad turn of events leads Mei to London, where she takes more unpleasant gigs to survive — like holding signs for a Chinese buffet (wearing a panda costume) —  to standing topless and humiliated in front of an anatomy class while the professor draws organs on her bare skin.

Mei eventually propels herself into the arms (or clutches) of a number of London men. She first marries a widowed Englishman over thrice her age (Geoffrey Huntings), whom she comes to resent. Then she shacks up with a Muslim curry shop owner (Chris Ryman) with a penchant for “Oriental girl love DVDs.” Despite her incredible capacity for endurance and the bold methods she employs for survival, Mei remains in a position of limited power and compromise, as her well-being is primarily dependent upon these men.

She, A Chinese was adapted from Xiaolu Guo’s novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, and based partly on Guo’s experience as a visiting scholar in London. Through following Mei’s personal transformation as she traverses continents, the film captures her desperation and desires, as well as the predicament and struggles of immigrants in urban environments.

While I feared the film would go down the road of “white knight saves Asian woman from Asian men and life of oppressive poverty,” it becomes clear that after her one love in China, these men never achieve a level of emotional significance for Mei. Her inability to improve her circumstances despite her skill at entangling men in her life — men who initially appear caring but ultimately fail to provide the safety, security, or happiness she seeks is FUCKING DEPRESSING. But at least it’s not romanticized, and I appreciate this stark depiction which is likely more true-to-life than your typical fairy tale romance, rags-to-riches archetype.

A cross-post with Hyphen

BCB Profilin’: Monica Barroga

This week’s Profilin’! features fierce Filipina Monica Barroga aka Monie Love aka Lady Fola. Along with being a front-funkstress for Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme (Seattle Weekly sez: “these guys put on one of the best live shows in Seattle”), Monica and CBruhs go way back as Tribes Project alumni and co-founders of the Ding Ho School of Driving. Rules for DHSoD include: when parallel parking, one must adjust at least 7 times, and never miss an opportunity to cut someone off from the left while flashing the thumbs up (ding ho muthafucka) sign. Monie also knows a thing or two about doin’ it up Hunter S. Thompson-style and has a ballsier wardrobe than anyone I know.

Greetings, I am…

Monica.  Child wrangler and expert on two year olds…by day.  By night I am The Lady Gravy, captured and possessed in a pearl by Eldridge Gravy. Bound here on earth, i must sing and give rise to the funk so that someday I may return home to the cosmos.

I’ve been known to bitch about…

Hipsters, zombies, weakness, cold weather, parenting of children (i may not know  what’s “right”, but i sure know what’s “wrong”), food, music and “art”.

My influences are…

Bjork (fashion, vocals, not giving a fuck), Tori Amos (weirdo spirituality, survival, not giving a fuck), Cleopatra (vision, strength, not giving a fuck),  GWAR (blood, thrashing, NGF), and friends…who all inspire me to not give a fuck.  Also, Ice T doesn’t give a fuck but he’s not necessarily an influence.

On a Saturday night you can (usually) find me….Singing in a funk band called Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme.  I sing back ups and lead a few songs.  We are harbingers of funk and soul for the Seattle area.

On a Tuesday night you can find me…

Belly dancing and/or goldfish racing.

My usual drink/poison is….

Pot…i guess.  Or scotch.  Good scotch.

If I was a superhero my name would be…

My superhero name IS: Doesn’t-Even-Have-To-Try Woman.

I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with…

Animal Crossing

Favorite thing to do in Seattle….

Fremont Solstice Parade.  Naked.  That is all.

Free Association time! First word I think of after “Asian America”:

Well here’s a few things that come to mind: B.D. Wong.  It’s hip to be ASIAN in AMERICA.  Made in China.  Chopsticks in Thai food.  All you can eat super buffet (No. 1). AZN.  But to give the one word answer: EXCLUSIVE.

My weapon of choice is….

Knowledge.  Or an uzi…but I’ve never fired a gun…so there’s a lack of knowledge there…you get what I’m saying.

Be sure to check out my…

Sweet tits! Oh you mean www.eldridgegravy.com. There you can find info on the band and our up coming West Coast tour.  Indeed we will be heading down the coast to Eugene (8/13) and Portland, OR (8/14) and then onto Sacramento (8/16), Casper, CA (8/19), and San Francisco (8/16).  We’ll also be playing Bumbershoot in Seattle Labor Day Weekend (9/5). You can listen to our music, buy the tunes and discover how amazing we are all within a few clicks.

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Kim Ja Moon Don’t Mess

This story about Kim Ja Moon — a no fear, show-downin’, robber-chasin’, life guidance-dishin’ Korean American shop owner — will make you want to punch your fist in the air like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. As originally published in the Chicago Sun-Times:

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July 17, 2010

BY BILL DWYER/ PIONEER PRESS

Kim Ja Moon wasn’t about to let two men rob her Oak Park dry cleaners in broad daylight, even if one had a gun.

When the men, twice her size, demanded money from Kim, 66, she refused.

When they ordered Kim — all 4-foot-10 and 100 pounds of her — and her husband to the rear of the business, she said she stood her ground.

Finally, when they ran off, she chased them — and the cops nabbed one of them.

The crime happened Monday night at the woman’s Austin Cleaners, when the men entered her store and told her they didn’t have a ticket for their clothes.

She looked at them skeptically.

“I said, ‘No,'” she recalled.

One of the men announced he had a gun, demanded money and pushed Kim backward, demanding she and her husband go to the back of the cleaners.

“No,” she said again. “No! I stay here.”

Somehow, Kim managed to push the man, grab on to the edge of the counter and brace herself, blocking his path.

Kim recalled what she had learned from watching the television show “Cops.”

“If I go back of store, maybe I die,” she said. “I stay here and fight.”

The gunman’s accomplice got nervous, and they ran off, she said.

Kim gave chase. Soon, the men split up, and Kim chose to go after the gunman.

He couldn’t shake her.

“I jog every day,” Kim said.

Plus, the gunman was “very heavy,” she said.

During the chase, Kim encountered two regular customers and asked them to call the police.

The chase continued, and minutes later, police arrested 215-pound Courtney Hadley, 26, of Chicago.

He was charged with armed robbery and is being held on $250,000 bond. Hadley had been on parole less than two months for a drug charge.

Asked if she was worried about any consequences from resisting two armed robbers, Kim shook her head.

“No, I’m not worried. He go to jail.”

Kim, who emigrated from Korea in 1973, is proud of the life she has created here.

She offered Hadley some advice, from the road map she followed for her own American dream.

“He [should] study,” she said. “Get out [of jail], he find a job.”

“Don’t go to school, no job,” she added.

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Madame Moon took crime fightin into her own hands and made a CITIZEN’S AY-RREST! She should get a Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the peace via kicking ass on behalf of Asian small business owners and ajummas everywhere.

Just one look at her DON’T PLAY expression above should’ve tipped off those punks they were waaaay out of their league. Kim deserves a spot on COPS or Walker, Texas Ranger — she could school them amateurs on how justice is really served.

Thanks Dennis!

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