Arthur Chu: Social Justice Champion?

Did I really type that? I did indeed. Before I read a lil ole article in the Daily Beast that Arthur Chu penned, I just thought of him as the nerdy Chinese guy that everyone hated on Jeopardy cause he was winning a lot using Game Theory just chasing down Double Jeopardys. And cause he apparently isn’t good in the ‘outdoors’ and doesn’t watch ‘sports’, I assumed he knew nothing more than a little bit about everything a nerd would know: Game of Thrones, Presidents who fought in wars, mid-19th century poets, and Potpourri.

Teen-Jeopardy

But then the backlash got heated and the race card started coming up. Was it racism that made him an easy target? Even all-time Jeopardy great Ken Jennings thinks so. Did I expect Chu’s response would turn everything around and that he’d start dropping some politicized knowledge in response to all the negativity and the recent shootings in Ferguson and Florida? No I did not, and shit did I misjudge this guy. Forgive my initial ignorance, because he looked like every guy I went to Cal with (at Soda Hall) even though he writes like every grad student I saw with a clipboard on Sproul (that’s a compliment if you need to ask).

So do I want to know more about this guy? Hell yea. Did I jump at the chance when the producers of his new documentary wanted us to reach out to our folks to let them know about their kickstarter? Are you not reading this right now? You only have two weeks to contribute, so act fast. <Queue Jeopardy jingle here>.

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There’s No Racism in the Future, or in Space.

ZOEI, like the thousands of Americans this month, watched Guardians of the Galaxy. And it was lovely. Halfway through the movie while I was figuring out why Zoe Saldana in green skin gave me a funny inside… a thought popped up entered my mind. Is there a movie Zoe Saldana’s been in that’s NOT set in space or in the future? Obviously, the first thought was, DUH! DRUMLINE. Still one of the best movies ever and easily some PEAK Nick Cannon. After that, nothing. Seriously, look at her IMDB and tell me you’ve seen anything NOT called Avatar, Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy or Drumline. I’m gonna go out on a limb right now and assume its because she’s “too ethnic” for a lot of Hollywood roles. But the craziest thing is all these movies set in the future just assumes racism will be WIPED OUT. And of course, in space, all current races are all over the universe (plus all the alien species the special effects folks can come up with). So what I’m asking you now is, if we expect the FUTURE to be all accepting of races and SPACE to be filled with EVERY race ever PLUS every species in the universe, can we just start being a little less racist RIGHT NOW and give Zoe Saldana some more non-alien roles set in present day Earth? Please? Sadly, I have a feeling that’s gonna be rough, cause every fanboy from San Diego to Spartax wants her to do the next 10 Star Treks, 5 Avatars, and 20 Guardians of the Galaxies.

 

PHEW: Fresh Off the Boat Might Actually Be Good and Not Offend Us All

Just when I thought the ABC adaptation of Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat autobiography (BCB Book Review HERE) could end up as the next All American Girl… Surprise, surprise, we get a respectable Asian American version of Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris. Set in the 90s in Orlando just like the book (PLEASE GOD DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY) and starring a kid who might be a bit too skinny to be a young Eddie Huang, F.O.B. looks like one of those shows that’ll make you think you’re laughing at Asian folks, when in fact you’re laughing at Asian folks making fun of white people. The line between funny or racist is a dangerous and ambiguous one (see any NBC sitcome vs any CBS sitcom), and I don’t always condone Asian American actors doing really really really really bad fake Taiwanese accents, but this shit was based on the life and times of the great Eddie Huang, so calm down folks, and YES I know those are terrible Taiwanese accents. And if anything, they should have learned how to do some real Taiwanese accents, maybe not view a creepy Youtube tutorial on how to do a Taiwanese accent, but maybe learn from a vocal coach or something. (By the way, if you’re Asian American and your parents don’t have accents, you’re probably not reading BCB anyway. YEA I SAID IT.)

It really is going to be glorious watching Eddie rocking the 90s Orlando Magic Starter jackets and rolling around with a Walkman full of Wu-Tang. And the fact that its set in the 90s alone is going to make this show the beast that I know it can be. At a time where the one-camera, well-written, witty comedy is king, this show has the chance to go far. PLUS extra props for picking the hilarious Gov. Danny Chung from VEEP to be the dad and the super hot Constance Wu who’s role as an Asian American mom trying to fit in with the Real Housewives of Orlando could be a sitcom in itself. Here’s hoping for future-past flash forwards with Eddie Huang cameos cause a narration might not be enough. And I’m esp looking forward the very special episode: waiting in line at Foot Locker for Jordans episode.

EXTRA EXTRA: NEW FALL LINE UP MEANS JOHN CHO IS BACK FOR A NEW PILOT:

Yes this looks really bad. And what the F is up with Asian American actors on TV being forced to have Anglo names? Does John Cho look like a Henry Higgins? Does Lucy Lu have to be JOAN Watson in Elementary? Couldn’t she be Watson Chen? Wouldn’t that be more realistic?

Friends Doing Good Giving Circle Party Saturday Dec 14 in LA LA LA

ImageLike to Dance? Like to support Asian American and Pacific Islander community-based organizations? Then come out and join AzN as we throw a dance party for the ages in Little Tokyo LA benefiting the Friends Doing Good Giving Circle. Why? Cause although AAPI makes up over 5% of the US population, only 1% of all philanthropy goes to AAPI groups. And that needs to change y’all! And we can change it one party at a time. FDG Party details as follows:

On Saturday, December 14, 2013, join us as we premiere our giving circle:FRIENDS DOING GOOD
Chynna DTLA – Little Tokyo – 333 Alameda St Ste 115. Los Angeles, CA 90013

*validation provided in Little Tokyo Market Parking Structure
9pm-2am

$10 presales available at http://friendsdoinggoodpremiere.eventbrite.com/
$20 recommended donation at the door
100% of proceeds will go towards charity.

FEATURING FDG DJS
King Most
D-Reel (Massive Selector)
Dr Professor
Resident DJ
P R O P S ! –
CozyBoy
DangerClose

Photos by PisforPROPS.com

Wanna learn more about FDG?
Follow us: @FriendsDoinGood
Instagram: @FriendsDoingGood
*FDG is proud to be part of the National AAPIP Giving Circle Network & fiscally hosted by Tides Foundation

I AM A FAN OF LEVY TRAN! BCB EXCLUSIVE New Ad from Central Computers

There. I said it. I have been silent after the whole debacle with, well you know what. Cause I have HOPE in HUMANITY. And Levy. And you should too. Cause Margaret Cho is a legend in the AsAm community now and we all spent years tearing apart All American Girl (wait, I just spent a whole blog post last month doing just that). But let me be the first to jump back on the Levy Tran bandwagon as she rebuilds her online reputation. Just released, and exclusive to BcB is a new ad for my homiez’ chain of Bay Area computer stores: Central Computers. Starring, you guessed it: LEVY TRAN. Shout out to dee & ak productions and www.wuzgoodonline.com for directing. Enjoy. And yes, NEVER FORGET. But still, give a girl a second chance.

The Best Bars in America (according to the word of AzN)

Cause I’ve always wanted to make this list and folks always be asking me for recommendations when they’re “forced” to visit any of these cities. Why even bother going to some of these cities? Because when I travel through Asia, I’m one of many. I’m Thai in Thailand, Vietnamese in Vietnam and for damn sure I’m Korean in Korea. But when you’re in most of middle America, you stick out like a bright yellow jaundiced thumb. So in no particular order other than me just trying to remember these drunken nights:

Buckhorn Exchange

Buckhorn Exchange, Denver CO: The oldest restaurant in Denver is over 200 years old and has a bar upstairs with Macallan 16 for $12. There’s taxidermy everything on the walls, even a zebra, which would only be possible if Teddy Roosevelt himself shot and killed it in Africa and brought it back (which he did).

Wood Tavern

Wood Tavern, Miami FL: By the time I got to the Wynwood District, apparently a one block version of Silverlake in the heart of Miami, I was sick of beach deco and sugary tropical drinks. After a dinner at the Shepard Fairey designed restaurant across the street (not as bad as it sounds), we walk into this bar and all we see is cheap beer, a taco stand inside a car and a trivia night going on in the auditorium in the back. Loved it so much we went back the next night and the whole block is practically closed down for the weekly biker meet up. In any other hipster bar in the country I would mean bicycle. But these are Harleys and it was a sight to behold.

Murray Bar, Livingston MT: As seen on No Reservations, the chef next door makes a mean steak and even invited us to some hot springs up the road the next day. That’s how nice they are in Montana. I’ll also never forgot the woman who left the bar for a minute and used her wallet and her flip phone to save her seat and drink. Where the hell am I?

Nye’s Polonaise

Nye’s Polonaise and Polka Bar, Minneapolis MN: One side of the bar has a lady on a piano who plays along with your karaoke stylings. The other side is an award-winning polka band. You can go back and forth and did I mention you can order piroshkies here?

Taos Mesa Brewing

Taos Mesa Brewery, Taos NM: Steel corrugated tilt-up brewing company with live music and great beer in the MIDDLE OF NO WHERE New Mexico. Drive a few miles down and look straight down the Rio Grande. Get scared and go get drunk.

Kennedy School

McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland OR: Portland is the greatest drinking town in America. I said it. These McMenamin guys convert anything and everything to a bar: hospital, hotel, and in this case, an elementary school. The classrooms are now hotel rooms, the boiler room is a restaurant, the school auditorium is a music venue and everyone wants to go to detention (its a bar, duh).

Robert’s Western World

Robert’s Western World, Nashville TN: I don’t like country music, but give me beer, bourbon and BBQ and I will line dance all night at this honky tonk just down the street from the Grand Ole Opry.

Riverhorse Inn, Milwaukee WI: So this one time I went here cause a random electro DJ crew was playing and next thing I know I was buying a round for the bar (its Milwaukee prices folks) and convinced some couple to drive me back to my hotel. So yea, this place is awesome.

Whiskey River

Whiskey River

The Whisky River, Charlotte NC: Dale Earnhardt Jr’s bar in downtown Charlotte is huge and has a mechanical bull. Went with a group of folks from NYC and we saw two girls ride it the same time and all we could talk about was how ironic this bar would be if it was in Brooklyn.

Angel’s Share

Angel’s Share, New York NY: Like everyone else, I like this bar cause no one knows its there. Which is a lie, cause now everyone knows its there.

Big

Big, San Francisco CA: Just like Angel’s Share, its hard to find. No menus, the bartenders have a conversation with you and find out your favorite ingrediants and liquor and make something according to your táste notés. They don’t even have a WEBSITE folks!

Zig Zag Cafe, Seattle WA: Best Fernet cocktails ever. Will make you zig zag back and forth on the way home, especially up those stairs.

Bar None, Vancouver BC: Some white girl with a tattoo arm sleeve stepped up to ME at this bar and it was fantastic. The bar itself? OK.

Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto KY: I can drink Maker’s Mark for free and all I have to do is drive an hour outside of Louisville to do it? Done. Bonus points: only place in the world to buy the moonshine version of Maker’s.

Marvin

Marvin, Washington DC: If the Thievery Corporation opened up a restaurant/bar and named it after their favorite singer it would be this. Cause they did. Did I mentioned how great laid back and awesome the music is? I wonder why.

Jacoby’s German Biergarten, Detroit MI: Within stumbling distance of the Renaissance Hotel across the river from Canada. The bar tender played hyphy all night for us when he found out we were from SF and Oakland and then he convinced us to go to a secret bar in a warehouse 5 miles from downtown where they only served beers and balloons of nitrous. Did I mentioned how fucked up Detroit is these days? Or how awesome Detroit techno is? Cause all the above is interrelated.