Trailer Parkin’: Revenge of the Green Dragons

Sometimes AzN and CBruhs spend a whole day’s worth at work emailing each other back and forth about something random until we both realize we should probably just copy/paste and make it into a blog post. This, as you may have guessed, is one of those times. 

AZN: Did you see this? It looks awesome, but just like Revenge of the Nerds, I was wondering where the original film, The Green Dragons is? Never mind, that kinda sounds like a Chinese fast food chain.

CBRUHS: Wow, that movie could be huge; in terms of Asian repping. Like the next Better Luck Tomorrow. Or it could be really bad, but the fact the director is actually Asian gives me hope that the characters will be portrayed with humanity. Like Justin Chon won’t be wearing a bra and a teddy bear glued to his wiener. Or that kid from Glee will take off his shirt.

AZN: It’s gonna take a lot for me to hop back on the HK cinema train. To keep the analogy going, I’ve long since gotten on the plane and landed in Korea and am now firmly affixed at Seoul Station never to set foot back in HK. Was that clear enough?

CBRUHS: Maybe Scorcese exec producing this movie is his way of paying back the favor of ripping off Infernal Affairs? I hope he pays viewers the favor of making Harry Shum Jr. git nekkid.

1360749946_infernal-affairs-2002-33-gAZN: If I was Wai-Keung Lau and Martin Scorsese wins a GD oscar for MY movie idea and forgot to thank the Infernal Affairs team for sourcing him the original material, then the least he can do is EXECUTIVE produce my movie. Executive producing a movie is the equivalent of a “digital introduction” which is right up there with forwarding a PDF to someone in the work world. And did I say “source”? I meant stole cause every Bostonian I know thinks this was a homegrown Boston crime story and no one knows who Wai-Keung Lau is and what Infernal Affairs 1, 2, and definitely 3 are.

CBRUHS: The trailer kinda made me homesick for my old Chinatown neighborhood (altho this took place in Queens) and is serving up a touch of Notorious MSG realness. I’m a sucker for matching jackets, wifebeaters, and manperms. I once asked an ex-banger friend of mine if they were accepting interns. Wish I was playin’ but I’m not.

AZN: If this movie were made in the ’80s I might be a gangster right now. Instead, I had Dustin Nguyen playing a “Japanese” undercover cop. Worst case scenario this might make Asian American gangsters more known in the mainstream which means breaking down Asian American stereotypes right? Hello? Right? Don’t make me come in there looking for your Bank of A-Mattress.

CBRUHS: Affirmative. Here’s where I say something about throwing off the yoke of the Model Minority Myth and the imperative of broadening AAPI media representation. And Harry Shum Jr.’s chesticles.

revenge-of-the-green-dragons-slice-560x186AZN: I’m just super glad Justin Chon is surviving the Twilight series. If he gets an Oscar nom from this he would be getting rewarded, like Anna Kendrick, for recovering from their “Bella’s BFF crew” role for all three (or was it four?) Twilight films. A feat in itself.

CBRUHS: You know what’s also a feat? Mike Chang’s physique. Is his 12-pack — uh, I mean Revenge of the Green Dragons gonna be screening in 4D??

AZN: **ERROR* Undeliverable mail: Your message did not reach some or all of intended recipients and is being returned to sender.**

‘No Place for Your Kind’: Documenting Anti-Chinese Violence

Site of attempted forced removal via ocean steamer, Seattle. Photo by Tim Greyhavens

In his project No Place for Your Kind, Seattle-based photographer Tim Greyhaves documented historical sites from a little-known — yet one of the most violent — chapters of our history: ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Chinese immigrants. From the mid-1800s to early 1900s, the American West was settled by Chinese laborers, miners, and families. This was accompanied by over 150 known attempts to systematically and brutally drive the Chinese out via massacres, lynchings, riots, and burning homes and businesses to the ground (perpetrators went largely unpunished). Where once there were dozens of Chinese communities peppered across the West Coast and mountain regions, for the most part (except larger cities such as San Francisco, L.A., and Seattle), there is now no trace.

General area of the camp where five Chinese miners were murdered. Oro Grande, Idaho. Photo by Tim Greyhaves

Greyhaves also makes the connection between the ugly reaction to immigration then and currently. Both periods are marked by scapegoating and inhumane measures directed towards immigrants during an economic recession, and buttressed by fear of the “foreign Other”.

For more info on this period check out Jean Pfaelzer’s excellent book Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans. Pfaelzer also writes about how the Chinese fought back: organizing strikes and protests, ordering firearms from China, and even winning legal battles.

Greyhaves’ next project will focus on another unfortunate series of events in Washington state’s history – the building of the Grand Coulee Dam and its infringement on vital tribal fishing grounds and burial sites.

And keep an eye out for an upcoming exhibit on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which is scheduled to open at the New-York Historical Society in April 2014.

Thanks to R.J. Lozada for sharing

source: NYTimes

Friday Fuckery: James Leland Dolan

You Guys!! Did you know that James Dolan, the Exec Chairman of Madison Square Garden, Inc., owner of the NY Knicks, and gifted music man, has a long and storied history — especially when it comes to profiting off of working with talented Chinese Americans — that stretches all the way back to his great-great grandfather James Leland Dolan? And you guessed it — it involves the The Transcontinental Railroad!

Yessiree, read all about ye olden times, when “Knickerbockers” was part of common lexicon and harpsichord was the instrument of favor. Plus, being illiterate with pyro tendencies didn’t necessarily prevent one from becoming filthy rich. Confused? Yo, son — get your history lesson!

Thank Groban that esteemed scholar and historian Terry K. Park was able to delve into the dusty annals of US history and recover this little known, yet influential tycoon.

Thanks TKP!

Friday Fuckery: Chinatown “Gambling Raid”

photo by Michael Appleton for the NYT

The illustrious NYPD, in partnership with the equally humanitarian Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), recently raided a building in East Chinatown — which houses many hometown associations, shops, and even medicinal practitioners — in what they called a “crackdown on a hive of criminality”. Read the rather ridiculous details here.

Although they claim that the cash confiscated is proof that the laborers and retired workers mainly from Fujian province are linked to a Chinese criminal gang and part of “one of the largest illegal gambling operations uncovered in New York City’s recent history”, maybe these folks just like some down time between grueling jobs to play some social low-stakes games of mah jong, cards, and pool. Y’know, like Christmas at yo auntie’s house.

Some real shady, hardcore criminal activity right here. That Pau Pau is just LOADED with nickels.

In addition to confiscating mah jong tables, the authorities took a few thousand dollars from a safe and off of folks playing in one hometown association’s small office. They reason that cash found in this raid, along with similar raids, just goes to show that that illegal gambling is goin’ down. But among a population of immigrants who are often unbanked, get paid in cash, and may operate mutual assistance-type lending circles for those down on their luck, you’re not going to find a lot of checks and platinum cards. Which means that some of these folks may have just been carrying their day’s wages on them, which then got snatched up by the authorities as evidence of their criminality.

Authorities also raided the building because of “illegal medical care:”

In the recent raid, officials arrested two men in an office behind an unmarked door on the fourth floor. The men, Qiu Jiaxi, 67, and his son, Qiu Lu Hui, 38, were “examining and treating patients by injecting them with unknown substances and giving them a variety of unidentified pills,” the New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said in a statement. They “lured unsuspecting patients into their office and put their greed before the health and safety of their victims.

Why does this read like a pulpy fiction from the ’40s featuring a jaundiced Chinaman with long queue and fingernails on the cover? THEY’RE COMING AFTER YOUR WHITE WOMEN NEXT!!

“The Qius were charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, a felony, and face up to four years in prison...but he said that he had studied acupuncture and Chinese traditional medicine in China and in New Jersey, and that his father had been trained in China. Both, he said, had excellent reputations in the New York diaspora as well as in Fujian Province…“Coming to see us is the only option for them,” he said. The Qius stopped practicing after their arrests but returned to their office. During the interview, a stream of patients stopped by, but the Qius apologized and turned them away.”

It’s called fucking Chinese medicine, dipshits! Folk remedies, homeopathy, alternative medicine…whatever you want to call it. While it may not be offered at Beth Israel, hippy white people pay a lot of money to study it in naturopathic school, so just chill out let these poor people without health insurance get the type of care they’ve consented to and have probably been familiar with their whole lives.

Unfortunately, federal officials are continuing to investigate these “gangs”, and the US attorney in Manhattan has sued for forfeiture of the building. While the leaseholder doesn’t believe there was any wrongdoing in the building, he still plans to clear out the hometown associations because of all the attention they’ve received from the authorities.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all a front to kick residents out and take over the building to build condos in what is fast becoming highly sought-after real estate. I can’t believe in this day and age, and in a city that prides itself on being the most diverse in the nation, stretched taxpayer dollars are going towards harassing old immigrants playing mahjong, confiscating their meager wages, and denying limited English speakers their traditional medicinal practices. You don’t see NYPD and ICE swooping in on old Jewish ladies in Forest Hills playing American Mahjong, or busting in on Wall Street types playing cards and betting on fantasy football in cigar rooms.

The NYT article is tepidly, diplomatically titled: “Chinatown Gambling Raid May Reveal Cultural Divide”. No shit. How about: “Dick Moves All Around, With Racial Fuckery At Its Finest”.

via NYT

‘SAFE’ AKA ‘Jason Statham Snuffs More Asians’

Oh, look — another Jason Statham movie. This one is called SAFE, and the drama revolves around a girl who’s an orphaned math prodigy and can memorize anything. And she’s Asian, so that makes sense. And this Asian girl is going to be saved by Statham’s character cuz he’s a destitute, mediocre (but white!) cage fighter, and because her fellow AZNs are exploiting her by ruthlessly using her maths skills for gambling. This necessitates much ass-whupping of random Asian gangsters and a buttload of shoot ’em ups in dark, smoky Chinatown haunts…à la the White Knight/Orientalism formula and the typical Statham movie.

At least Bai Ling won’t be making a repeat appearance as Grimy Clingy Hooker in this one:

Super Bowl Ad Fuckery

I’m not a big one for sports, but I do like looking at spandex and tattoos, so this year I gladly plunked my butt on the couch for a four-hour long excuse to binge on BBQ chicken wings, Costco Andre champagne, and of course — taking in the multimillion dollar Superbowl Ad Extravaganza. And my stars, was this year a doozy.

Remember 2011’s Groupon ad that portrayed Tibetans as a tragic, dying culture, but — huzzah! — out of which savvy customers could still score a cheap fish curry?

Well, this year did not disappoint on the racism and sexism fronts. The worst offender being Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoesktra’s political ad, which showed an Asian woman biking through a rice paddy (cue gongs) and saying in broken English: “...Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs….”

(And if you think you’re angry now, check out Hoekstra’s even more ludicrous ching chongy website).

The ad was quickly condemned by a Michigan coalition of Black ministers, APIA Vote, other Republicans, and basically anyone who’s not a dipshit. Hoekstra lamely defended himself by saying the ad is “satirical” and not about race.

Moving on! Apparently advertisers are still clinging onto that time-honored marketing adage: “sex sells…especially if it’s like, absurdly, offensively, Mad Men-level sexist”. Jezebel and Mother Jones did great pieces on the plethora of creepy Super Bowl ads that trotted out the tired female = sex object formula to sell cars, web domains (GoDaddy.com, of course), and even uh, M&Ms.

The ad that made me shudder and want to kick an ad exec in the balls the most was from Teleflora:

This is just a big dripping ball of lechery — from the cheap porno soundtrack to Adriana Lima’s lascivious close ups to the blatant “give…and you shall receive…Happy Valentines night.” Do people really still think that throwing 50 bucks towards flowers or dinner or some crap is what it takes to get a woman to fuck you? Insulting to both sexes, and viewers probably don’t appreciate how uncomfortable and unfortunate it is to watch this with your kids or (in my case) parents and grandparents.

Fortunately the organization Miss Representation launched the brilliant Twitter hashtag #NotBuyingIt, which allows viewers to talk back and let companies know how they feel about the use of women in only highly sexualized contexts — or left out altogether (as in the case of this men-only Best Buy ad on tech innovators):

Ain’t no truth in advertising here.

Source

See Jezebel’s list of 10 female tech innovators that should have been included here.

Friday Fuckery: Ghosts with Shit Jobs

I recently saw this video “Ghosts with Shit Jobs” made by a group called No Media Kings  — and although this “peek into the future” is an interesting concept, the more I think about it, the more underhandedly racist it seems.

Yes, maybe the bankruptcy and economic submission of the US is a real possibility in the near future, and we will no longer occupy the role of world superpower that we take for granted. But this video appears to place the blame for this dystopia squarely on “The East”  — aka China.

In typical ethnocentric fashion, the video focuses on a scapegoat for America’s financial woes, instead of looking inward. What about the years of criminal conduct and deregulation of Wall Street that culminated in an economic shitstorm, and the subsequent government bail-out of Big Banks? The regressive fiscal policies that fail to tax the super-wealthy (they can’t be expected to pay tax on their corporate jets! That’s infringement on their RIGHT to be filthy rich!) while slashing education and social services and suffocating the working and middle class. Or the $$$ pumped into “wars on terror” in the Middle East ($1.2 trillion and counting) that seem to have no end in sight?

But it’s so much easier to point the finger at cold, ruthless CHINA — never mind that their economic growth is largely due to supplying the demands of US consumers (and Chinese factory workers have been too often exploited by US companies, such as Apple).

And when an economic recession hits, it’s largely people of color and immigrants who are the most vulnerable and most impacted — by foreclosure, unemployment, cuts to services, and all the problems that come along with the widening wealth gap between whites and everyone else. Where are all the brown folks in this video? None to be seen. Only hipster/yuppie types. The only non-whites portrayed are the distant, icy Chinese who are somehow responsible for the deplorable conditions of White Americans.

And guess what — people of color and immigrants have disproportionately  had to do (as they have done ever since the beginning of US history) “shit jobs”…but somehow it’s a tragedy when “ghosts” have to do them?

Nice try guys, but I’m not buying this white-centric, Team USA fuckery.

Thanks Cynthia Liu!