Getting By With a Little Help From The Colonel

I know I’m totes mcgotes tardy to the party on this one, but I couldn’t let it go without BCB paying the proper homage this woman deserves.

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Tan Shen of Chengdu, China steered her ass into the closest KFC for some chicken wings and “time to think,” and parked it there. For a week. And not any ol’ roadside KFC; but the KFC at the TRAIN STATION.

Many of us tend to eat our feelings come rain (or let’s be honest, shine); few of us have the balls to reach deep, deep down and nom the pain away on such a profound level.

Dealin' with feelins. Like a BAWSE.

Dealin’ with Feelins. Like a BAWSE.

After 7 days, when the pesky media started butting in on her party of alone, Tan Shen, “decided the best thing to do would be to leave the city and go back to my parents. I had already told work I was off sick, so phoned them and said I was leaving. And I was getting sick of the taste of chicken so there was no point in staying there anymore.”

Her heart may be broken, but spoken like a true pragmatist!

If we all focused less on coddling our butthurt egos, and more on intensive, raw, unabashed self-care like Tan does, we’d probably be a lot better off and get the healing and closure we needed instead of a never-ending, torturous vortex of analyzing old emails, obsessing over Twitter feeds, stalking Facebook updates, googling image searches, poring over 10-year-old Snapfish albums every other day, driving by their new apartment under cover of night, and…what?

After this impressive undertaking, Tan better have a line of beaus waiting to sweep her off her feet and into the next Sizzler. Can a sister get an upgrade?!

BCB salutes you, Tan Shen! Doing breakups right — and proving there’s nothing a little time and a lot of fried chicken can’t fix.

via Huffpo & Dlisted

Ralph Lauren’s USA Outfits are Made in China!

OH NO! Team USA outfits for the 2012 Olympics are Made in China! Did you know that? Isn’t that crazy? I mean, look how AMERICAN this looks. Hey can we include a photo of 3 dudes dressed like they’re going to America’s Cup as if it was still in Newport, Rhode Island and not the way the socialists in San Francisco will mess up the all-American tradition of a multi-million dollar yacht race? And oh yea, can you make one of the dudes Black? Oh shit, I forgot to ask for a female, I mean a girl on there. Shit, I mean a woman. Oh well, we’ll just photoshop one on there. Make sure she’s blonde though, and make sure there’s at least one white guy in between her and the Black guy. 

So yea, this is AMERICA folks. We should be wearing outfits MADE BY AMERICANS and DESIGNED BY AMERICANS. From when the first discus was thrown by a naked American at the first Olympics to the very last ping pong smashed by AMERICANS. umm, what did you say? All the American ping pong players are chineses what?. Wait, I didn’t mean Ping Pong, I meant SWIMMING. Yes, the very last stroke. So now to end… 

DUDE. Why did you just post this picture of a speed skator from Japan. What? He’s American? But look at his… Whatever, AT LEAST he’s wearing ALL-AMERICAN clothing. Look at the giant USA on his hat! Hey, can you look up that clothing brand on his vest? I don’t think I’ve seen a Roots retail store before. No, I have never been to LA, Denver, Utah, Detroit, do you think I’m crazy enough to leave the Bible Belt? What do you mean Roots is a Canadian brand that dropped the Canada in the Roots Canada brand to design Team USA outfits before Ralph Lauren got the contract? But at the very least the outfits are MADE in the US, yea? What? Roots Canada manufactures in India, Peru, China, Vietnam AND the United States? Hmm. Well, I’m sure the clothes were made in the US because the USOC Director of Licensing and Merchandising cares deeply about these issues. 

“It’s a very hip and progressive brand, with a great connection to youth and athletics,” said Chester Wheeler, the USOC’s director of licensing and merchandising. “I don’t think it really makes a difference where the clothes are manufactured. The important thing is that they supply our athletes with clothing that makes them proud to walk through the stadium.” -2001. 

Hmmm. Well, I kinda like Canadians more than the Chinese. Canadians at least look more like us than the Chinese do, which is probably why I didn’t get upset in 2002… 

America’s Second Greatest Enemy is China

America is dumb. Full of idiots. How else can you explain this gallup poll? Iran? We’re at war with two of the countries on this list and we have Iran as number one? Is the war hype machine in full effect for the NEXT NEXT war? Are we always about the NEW NEW? Does America think Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are OVER (GOD I HATE THE NAMES OF THESE WARS, can’t we just name them what they are? Operation Attack the Gas Station II and Operation Death Wish: The Impending Revenge)? 118 soldiers were killed in 2012 and the majority of the soldiers killed in both wars are from my great state! (side-note, props to Texas A&M for their human wall to protect the burial of a solider/alumni killed at Ft. Bragg from anti-gay protestors).

So now let’s get to the meat of this graph cause I came to the rodeo to talk about numero dos and numero tres. CHINA? SERIOUSLY? China, as in Hong Kong, China, as in where you go for $200 cups of f’n tea on a roof garden CHINA? China as in TOM CRUISE just shot Mission Impossible in China, China? China, as in where they make my iPhone and iPad, and uh, everything else, China? China, as in our second greatest trading partner China? That’s not even the most f’d up thing about this list. You wanna know how I know this is about RACE and not about international politics? See number 3 on the threat list? And then take a look at the actual list.

NORTH KOREA/KOREA (nonspecific). NORTH KOREA SLASH KOREA NONSPECIFIC? As in people just said KOREA? Or Koreans? Or goddamn Koreans? If they specified gooks would it be listed as Vietnam and then on the “other” list? A few of them must have answered with “GODDAMN JAPS” cause Japan is right there on this list as numero 9. Right under “United States Itself”. Smart move hippies. Very clever. And if you’re keeping score at home, Japan is our 4th biggest trading partner and (unspecified) Korea, but I’m going to say South Korea, is our 7th biggest trading partner.

I hope to GOD this survey was done in the middle of a weekday to homes in states with cardinal directions in their names (that would be North, South, and West for geography majors). How else can you ‘splain this nonsense?

Foxconn Tour

There’s nothing I love more than communist propaganda films that don’t seem like government or pseudo-government funded films. My favorite of course is the first No Reservations with Bourdain in Vietnam. The second? This new Foxconn video of how nice and safe it is in iPhone-land. Will this make me buy or not buy an iPhone? You tell me. I tend to have this debate often with my white coworkers who always get a little awkward with me when I tell them this company would be welcomed with open arms in Vietnam and if you’re worried about Foxconn, you should be worried about the hundreds of other countries out there that DON’T have a Foxconn.

The New New Chinatowns

For years I’ve been hearing folks talk about gentrifying Chinatowns. This is a real concern in Chinatowns like Oakland’s, where an underutilized BART station (Lake Merritt) is going through a community planning process that can potentially lead to some pretty high buildings, higher population and higher rents and Chinese folks hightailing out.

Oak-rand

Oak-rand

Now, I could spend this whole blog post writing about how to protect Chinatowns, but to be honest, what does that mean? Part of it means keeping rents low (rental protections), keeping Chinatowns for Chinese folks (street signs in Chinese) and making sure the local amenities appeal to Asian folks and not Audi-driving yuppie parents. But what happens when a business closes (Chinatown knickknacks, boba tea cafes, Chinese breakfast restaurants). What do you replace it with? Another Chinatown staple? A Starbucks with Chinese signage? Should we maintain the look, feel and economic pulse of Chinatowns? What if a family business that’s been running for 40 years suddenly closes and sells to 3rd generation Asian Americans? What if a business gets passed on, within the family, to a 2nd generation Chinese kid? What if a Korean American kid takes over a family Chinese restaurant and turns it in a fusion Chinese spot that’s voted one of the top ten new restaurants in the country like Mission Chinese in San Francisco? What if MC opened up in the heart of Chinatown SF? What would the local CBOs and Chinese Chamber say? So that’s the dilemma I’m proposing to you. What does it mean to be Chinatown: Geography? Tenure? The things you sell? And how Chinese do you have to be to be Chinatown: Full Chinese? Chinese American? ABC? Asian? Asian American? Vietnamese/Filipino/Korean American? 2nd/3rd/4th generation? Angel/Ellis Island Asian?

I don’t know the answer to all of this, but I do know that folks like me who hang out in Chinatowns like second homes need to be thinking about this shit cause our generation and younger need a PLAN. To start, I’d like to provide you a few examples of what Chinatowns might look like a few years from now, businesses I’m calling Chinatown 2.0 cause these aren’t your typical paper money shops. These are hybrid old school/new school uses, Asian American type businesses, or just hip (probably gentrifying) uses that we need to pay attention to before Chinatowns become ethnic Disneylands crossed with Portlandia: food trucks, secret dive bars, and two girls/two shirt stores everywhere. I’ll be including a gentrification meter rating between 1-10 that’ll predict how this business will affect the pushing out of Chinese folks from the premises (1 being 中文地狱 and 10 being American Apparel next door to a Anthropologie).

Li Po Lounge, San Francisco California. Made famous by the latest Anthony Bourdain Layover SF episode and Sweater Funk (a sweaty/grimy soul party every Sunday night). How legit is this place? Old school chinese bar up top with Tsing Tao bottles and the soul party downstairs. Gentrification Meter: 4 before Bourdain, 5 post-Bourdain. Its grimey and the hipsters are hidden downstairs.

San Francisco's Li Po Lounge

San Francisco's Li Po Lounge

Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver, British Columbia. I don’t know much about Van City other than I like everything about it. I especially know nothing about the City’s Chinatown if only cause I learned early on you gotta go south to Richmond to get a taste of real Chinese food. So I don’t know why there’s still a Chinatown in the City and who actually lives there. But that didn’t stop me from including the only real CLUB I’ve ever been to in a Chinatown (sorry Grand Star, which comes up next). Gentrification Meter: 6? On one hand, you got Saul Williams coming up in March at Fortune, but on the other hand, are there Chinese folks that actually live here? Any Vancouverites wanna fill me in?

Can you spot an Chinese folks in this crowd? Oh there's one! Two, three.... Three...

Grand Star Jazz Club, Los Angeles, California. So hip, Blacklava sells a shirt for this spot. New York tribute night be damned, this spot is so cool and confusing. On one hand, you have Britney making cameo appearances and on the other hand, step one foot outside and you’re a drunk walk away from a big bowl of steaming jook. Gentrify Meter: 7. Did I mention Britney Spears in the same sentence as jook in the previous sentence???

Still see a lot of Asian American folks here no matter what party is going on.

So what can you do? If you’re Chinese, open up a new business in Ctown, USA. Just be culturally sensitive and if you’re gonna sell food, it damn well better be good. And please, no more vinyl toy shops. The ones in San Jose JTown and Chinatown LA haven’t been customer magnets unless you want 12-yr old kids loitering and playing street fighter on your in-house Super Nintendo. I really wish I could have showed you some viable Chinatown retail businesses that fit this Chinatown 2.0 category, but I really don’t know any. Please send them our way if you do know!

The Mao of Steph

My favorite NBA player in China dropping a little knowledge from The Mao Of Steph:

Marbury says his buddies just don’t understand the difference between Chinese food from China and the Chinese food Americans eat back home. You think that’s Chinese from the corner store, but that’s not Chinese food,” he said. “I’m telling you because I live there.”

And a Moment of Zen with Starbury: