What Did Jeremy Lin Do?

Linsanity
Ever since JLin and the Lin family rolled to the Leavey Center for a Broncos v. Crimson game in 2010, AzN has been in full blown Linsanity mode. So for all you JLin fans out there who aren’t necessarily Laker fans (#DubNation represent) I will be conveniently posting JLin stat lines after every Laker game (0-5 and off to a great start y’all!) on the Asian American sports blog: datwinning.com. Peep BCB for some summaries of the best JLin games, but stick with Dat Winning for up-to-date stat lines cause we can’t be a 24/7 Jeremy Lin Show.

Also, thanks to High Expectations Father who kindly volunteered to give us a quote after each performance (to be honest, I didn’t ask, but my mom called me the other day and was like “High Expectations Father wants to talk to you!” so I drove out to the suburbs and, well, you know what happened next).

Thanks all! And remember, as Jeremy says, Jesus loves you! Unless you’re JR Smith, in which case, no one loves you.

BCB Movie Review: Revenge of the Green Dragons

Over the weekend I finally convinced myself to fork out $9.99 (highway robbery!) to watch Revenge of the Green Dragons on DirectTV, to follow-up on our Trailer Parkin’ post, and also because: AZNs. With mullets.

While the trailer looked promising, especially since it’s directed by Andrew Lau of the glorious Infernal Affairs… I found Revenge of the Green Dragons kinda meh…mixed with a little huh? and a healthy dose of blue balls (on my part).

Ergo, to this last point, the ROTGD trailer promised some steamy AZN-on-AZN rooftop sex scenes. Behold:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 4.25.04 PMHowever, these scenes were absent in the actual film; instead we got some tepid, PG-rated fully-clothed kiddie smooches:

kissBOO I say, BOO! For WHY were the smex scenes taken out, leaving us with CRUMBS? Do they think AMERICA CAN’T HANDLE IT?!? Again, since every single ad for 21 & Over schticked up Justin Chon in a brassiere and teddy bear merkin, than I better damn well see him get it in in ROTGfrigginD. False advertising! Injustice!

ROTGD was also kind of a mess, messaging-wise. It seemed to attempt several bold statements on “illegal immigration”, racism, and the promise and hypocrisy of the American Dream, but I couldn’t quite figure out what those statements were. It was incoherent at best, and came off borderline anti-immigrant at worst: fear the invading, violent, money-crazed yellow hordes!

Madame snake head, who makes her riches off trafficking and exploiting Chinese immigrants, dramatically pronounces “It’s what this country’s built on…the American Dream!” A Chinese cop (played by MC Jin. Hell YAS) admonishes a white colleague for the fuzz’s disregard for brown lives (gee, so much has changed). “Also — fun fact! — did you know there are lots of Chinese languages, officer? Cantonese, Shanghainese, Fukienese…Hello? Are you listening to meeee…….” Jin should have just launched into “Learn Chinese” and then peeled off on the back of DMX’s bike screaming the Ruff Ryders Anthem (seriously, somebody hire me as a screenwriter). Similarly, the Green Dragons make a point to only kill each other — never Gwai-los — in order to fly under the enforcement radar (except the one time they smoke a white guy bitching out a restaurant owner about MSG in his food. Very satisfying).

At times, ROTGD came off as an exploitation flick, what with the slow-mo rape scene and beating the shit out of little kids in cringe-inducingly creative ways. It doesn’t leave much sympathy for any of the characters and makes every single Asian dude except the protagonist look like scum of the earth. But, I’m willing to overlook alla that cuz, matching  jackets!

There’s also some magnificently cornball lines like, “There’s a storm coming detective, I don’t know of any umbrella that’s gonna keep this city dry. Umbrella-ella-ella.” (Sike. But I wish).

However, there were some bright spots — Kevin Wu aka KevJumba of YouTube fame — surprisingly gave the strongest performance — with a close runner up to his perm-mullet, which deserves its own Oscar nom:

kevhairThe classic ‘do, seen on such folks as Tuan Anh, my uncle, and probably your uncle too. This hairstyle is a national treasure and should be counted amongst the greatest contributions immigrants have made to this country.

Other hair wins go to Leonard Wu as Chen I Chung, who is obviously a dead ringer for Down-Lo Mein from Notorious MSG. Yo D-Lo, bitch stole your look! Also, why aren’t you returning my DMs?!

Don't ask how long it took me to make this.

                                      Don’t even ask how much time I spent making this.

Finally, and most importantly, Harry Shum Jr. didn’t take his shirt off. Even once. I am VERY disappoint. I had to console myself by googling Tony Leung pics.

So, I don’t think ROTGD is a serious contender to dethrone Better Luck Tomorrow by any stretch, but it’s still pretty remarkable in terms of a plot that centers around an Asian American narrative and it’s all-Asian lead cast. Worth checking out for the tats n gats alone.

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.**

Honoring Yuri Kochiyama

yurifist

This past weekend the Asian American community, nay — HUMANITY lost a legend. But the legacy of Yuri Kochiyama continues to burn bright — not just because she was friends with Malcolm X or supported the work of the Black Panther Party. It was her integrity, her inclusive vision of justice, and her generous spirit (to name a few) that truly made Yuri a stone cold bad ass freedom fighter (not to mention a muse for Blue Scholars).

In tribute, 18MillionRising.org has set up a Tumblr called Because of Yuri, to collect stories and memories from the many people she moved, whether they met her in person or not. Including CBruhs, who is honored to have her submission included (and below). Head on over to #BecauseofYuri to share your praises, and check out the other contributions in honor of this marvelous, miraculous, beautiful woman warrior.

***

I’ve never had the honor of meeting Yuri Kochiyama, but her power, her passion, her presence has continually lingered in the atmosphere, like a spark in the ether. The iconic image of Yuri speaking with ferocity at a 1968 anti-war demonstration is branded into my brain, and no doubt countless others — young and old, Asian American and non — who, like me, hope to manifest even a small part of her fearless life and vision. This image of Yuri is audacious, it is righteous, and it still quickens my blood every time I see it.  It shows someone who does not look like what we’ve been conditioned to believe a hero can look like in America, but who was nevertheless propelled by the courage of conviction, who boldly lived her values, and who modeled what justice can look like when we build together. I see a woman warrior, and it is in Yuri’s legacy that I can imagine the promise and potential of our beloved society. Thank you for all you’ve given us.

Why Asian Americans Should Care About Native Mascotry

Art by Carrie Grubb

Art by Carrie Grubb

Over the past couple weeks, many Asian Americans who are active online were swept up in the major drama that was #CancelColbert. I’m not saying I’m completely on board with Colbert’s usage of “Ching-Chong” and “Oriental” to illustrate the ridiculous racism of Dan Snyder’s sham foundation (nice try Dan). Nor am I going to debate the contours and pitfalls of satire, or even re-hash the whole Twitter sh*tstorm here, as there’s already been much media a-blitzin and I just CAN’T WITH THAT. Google it.

Rather, I’d like to touch on recent efforts and why I think AAPI peeps should get on board — efforts intended to re-focus online energy and demonstrate solidarity with Native activists by supporting the original issue: changing the Washington R*dsk*ns name (and ending Native mascotry in general). These campaigns have been led by Native activists both online (EONM) and on-the-ground (see: AIM, Oneida Nation) decades before it became part of Colbert Report‘s slate or a blip on the radar of AAPI online activists.

Yes, there are deep shared social, economic, and even cultural histories between Native Americans, First Nations, and Asian folks, especially in the Northwest and Canada, that is not widely known (perhaps we can get into this via a future guest post)…but I believe there are also some immediate and intuitive parallels that should feel familiar to us Asians. Particularly how Native communities continue to be plagued by stereotypical and racist imagery  — and the narratives invoked to justify them.

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

How often have Asian Americans heard variations on the “Relax, I’m Honoring You” theme? From Katy Perry’s shuffling, mish-MESS geisha at the AMAs — to the HIMYM yellowface “homage” to kung fu flicks — to Tao’s dodgy apology about its “happy ending” advertising…to basically every case of yellow fever ever. And that’s just in the last six months!

Every Halloween, there’s geishas and ninjas and Pocahontases, oh my! — a swarm of costumed commodification set loose upon the land to try our last nerve. There’s always that one person at the party playing racial dress-up in a kimono, a feather headbandy thingy, a sombrero, or some other dreadful item (see: Dreadlock. Hats.). It’s a perennially pervasive problem, as reflected in the popular “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” campaign (and let’s not even get started on music festivals and haute and hipster fashion).

SETH2FINAL2-1

photos for poster

These “costumes” don’t exist in some harmless, aesthetically pleasing vacuum, but are the gateway drag to activating a network of stereotypes and/or acting like a bigoted asshat. The ornamented geisha is just shy of being a submissive, exotic whore. Like the mascot “chief” with colorful feathers is a step away from a drunk savage — as Jacqueline Keeler notes in her powerful Salon piece, “My Life as a Cleveland Indian“:

“Because it’s not just the static image of the mascot that is the problem, be it stoic and noble or a horrific caricature with a feather on top. It is the license it confers others to act out dated stereotypes about us and ignore our real issues — even our humanity. This is particularly noticeable when members of EONM challenge fans, who immediately go from saying, “But we are honoring you,” to, “You’re drunks and on welfare, you should be grateful we are doing this.”

These are just a couple, perhaps more obvious examples of how our bodies, our traditions, our imagery have been similarly filtered through the fun house mirror of White gaze and used to sell products, experiences, and racial fantasies. Our culture reduced to a schtick: something ancient and quaint you can buy in a curio shop or cobble together with a hot glue gun, chopsticks, and a hodge-podge of crap from Party City.

Of course, there are limits around how far we can/should take these parallels between Native and Asian issues and experiences. But in this common understanding of what it feels like to be be reduced to kitsch and caricature, there is the opportunity and necessity to go all in together. Asian Americans, as another relatively small (but fast growing) racial group, have also felt like we were shouting into the wind, laboring to be seen and heard on our own terms — beyond buckteeth and slanted eyes, chopsocky and dragon ladies. We’ve come to appreciate the support and significance of allies, and building community beyond the usual suspects (shameless shoutout to #BuildDontBurn).

The Washington R*dsk*ns, Chief Wahoo, the Atlanta Braves — shouldn’t be viewed as solely a “Native” cause. Because the underlying issue — cultural (mis)appropriation and the lurking racism that props it up — is a shared one. Changing even one Native mascot is a win for AAPIs, because it chips away at the system that supports these stereotyped symbols, and shifts the public’s understanding around what is and what is not acceptable. What is paying respect and what is plain ol’ racism. We can do better and go farther together…and that’s how we’ll win.

***

Many Thanks to Jackie Keeler and Ethan Keller for reaching out and sharing their stories, as well as those of other Native writers and activists. Please check out their Native-led online activist group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM) and follow them on Twitter.

Reappropriate is aggregating a list of posts and shares that are a part of the #Native and #AAPI solidarity effort around #notyourmascot, #not4sale, and #changethename. Check it out here.

What you can do:

– Sign the 18MR petition calling on Dan Snyder to change the R*dSk*ns name and mascot here.

– Show your support by blogging & tweeting with hashtags #Not4Sale #NotYourMascot and #ChangetheName

– Send an email to Wylliet(at)redskins(dot)com asking them to change the R*dSk*ns team name.

– Add your voice to the mix!: write your own blog post, Op-ed, or sound off in the comments.

Dis/orient/ed Comedy is coming to SAN FRANCISCO!

SF-disoriented-LINE-BRIDGE1

BCB buddy Jenny Yang & Co from Dis/orient/ed Comedy are coming to the YAY! WOOTS!

BCB cheapskates readers can get a discount — and stay tuned to our Tweetsies and bookFace for a chance to win FREE tickets!

AZN may also be there representing Bicoastal Bitchin as a community sponsor/comedian stalker — see if you can spot him and engage in a squeefest over the featured comedians and K-Dramas. More Deets below:

What’s all female, all Asian and all funny? Dis/orient/ed Comedy is bringing their first-ever all female, Asian American stand up comedy tour to San Francisco with TWO DIFFERENT SHOWS in a single night, Saturday, September 7th, 2013 at the Southside Theater at the Fort Mason Center in the Marina District! 

Use “BITCH” as your discount code to purchase pre-sale tickets at http://disorientedcomedy.com for $12 tickets.  The San Francisco shows are expected to sell out so be sure to purchase your tickets online.

—–THE COMICS—–
7PM SHOW
+ HEADLINER: D’LO – INTERNATIONAL TOURING PERFORMER
+ FEATURING:
KYLE MIZONO – SUPER SERIOUS SHOW, EDINBURGH FRINGE
SHANTI CHARAN – SF WEEKLY BEST OF 2012,
IRENE TU – CHICACO WOMEN’S FUNNY FESTIVAL, LAUGH FACTORY
+ HOSTS:
ATSUKO OKATSUKA – PRETTY FUNNY WOMEN, DIS/ORIENT/ED COMEDY
JENNY YANG – SHOWTIME’S “WHY WE LAUGH: FUNNY WOMEN”, DIS/ORIENT/ED COMEDY

9:30PM SHOW
+ HEADLINER: D’LO – INTERNATIONAL TOURING PERFORMER
+ FEATURING:
DHAYA LAKSHMINARAYANAN – SUPER SERIOUS SHOW, EDINBURGH FRINGE
KRISTEE ONO – PUNCHLINE, COBB’S, PURPLE ONION
ZAHRA NOORBAHKSH – HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FEST, NEW YORKER MAGAZINE “BEST OF THE FEST”
+ HOSTS:
ATSUKO OKATSUKA – PRETTY FUNNY WOMEN, DIS/ORIENT/ED COMEDY
JENNY YANG – SHOWTIME’S “WHY WE LAUGH: FUNNY WOMEN”, DIS/ORIENT/ED COMEDY

A portion of the proceeds from the show will benefit BEATS FOR BANGLADESH! A benefit album in solidarity with the garment workers of Rana Plaza.

DEETS!:
Dis/orient/ed Comedy SAN FRANCISCO
Saturday, September 7th, 2013 (2 Different Shows) 7PM Show & 9:30PM (Doors Open 30 minutes before showtime for pre-show refreshments)
Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center (Marina District) 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94123
Tickets Purchase: http://disorientedcomedy.com
Dis/Orient/ed’s mission is to highlight the powerful and funny voices of Asian American female comedians – emphasizing the diversity of comedic talent as wide-ranging as a Japanese former import car model, a high-energy South Asian transgender boi, and an Egyptian-American female grouch.
Shoutout to our fellow co-sponsors:
+Angry Asian Man +Hyphen Magazine +National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Bay Area +Audrey Magazine +Thick Dumpling Skin +Chinese Historical Society of America Museum +TaiwaneseAmerican.org

Steven Ho + Conan = One Huge TMNT

So our buddy Steven Ho has been crazy busy raising twins (Congrats!) and apparently ignoring his OG Asian Baby — but he’s BACK on Conan this Thursday and ready to bring the pain….and maybe transform Conan into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle**.

CONAN-VS-HO

Man vs. Man-sized Turtle….whas gonna happen?!?

This is gonna sound fucked up, but when I was a kid I totally liked TMNT.  Not only “liked” in the sense of being a rabid fan of the cartoon, but like, LIKE liked. I wanted to skip through the sewer together shouting COWABUNGA and fight Krang side-by-shell (my signature weapon would be PoGo Ball) and have dishy, heart-to-heart convos about Shredder’s emotional problems or whatever an 8-year-old thinks love is. I had the hots for Leonardo specifically. He was the leader but not in an overly alpha, douchey way. As for April…I wasn’t sure if I hated her or wanted to be her (that dayglo yellow jumpsuit, pow!).

Soooooo that right there is the special place that TMNT has in my heart — and I am releasing that creepy anecdote out into the universe so it doesn’t hold power over me anymore. YOU DON’T HAVE TURTLE POWER OVER ME ANYMORE, LEO!

Don’t you dare miss Steven Ho and a very special 6’4” red pompadour-ed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this Thursday night!

Hawt.

**For which Steven is especially qualified: he played Donatello in both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, son!!