BcB favorite Wajahat Ali was recently on NPR to speak about the Pakistani American perspective on Osama Bin Laden’s capture. For the audio and the transcript: Some Pakistani Americans Torn By Bin Laden News.
We at BcB have always been critical of Hollywood for portrayals of Asian Americans and to some degree, the actors that play the roles. And a lot of times, other Asian American blogs have also (see The Minority Militant’s Project X Fund).
But not everyone thinks Karate Kid II was a few steps back for Asian Americans and some even think Ken Jeong is harmless most of the time. Which warms the empty black hole where a heart should be when Ishmael Reed decided to republish a post we wrote for Goatmilk, this time on his online zine, Konch Magazine. Cause we need to get the word out to the rest of the world, even that guy at Best Buy in line for Crash on Blu-Ray.
Check out BcB favorite Wajahat Ali and his thoughts on the Ft. Hood tragedy:
“Whatever was in the mind of alleged shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan is no reason to question the loyalty of Muslim Americans”
And if you haven’t heard, Waj is in Dave Egger’s latest issue of McSweeney’s, a special Bay Area newspaper edition:
Click on the image to order (Bay Area folks should wait for the special “local” price, hopefully $1.25???) and click here for a PDF preview of the issue.
I haven’t been too kind on Ken Jeong and his proclivity to choose characters that don’t cast the kindest light on Asian American folks (I’ve always wanted to use the word proclivity in a sentence btw, did I even use it right?). You can see BcB attack his ass here and here and even as a guest blogger on Goatmilk. But GD, I am completely into the show, Community, which has THE best ensemble cast since HIMYM. I even HATE the lead actor, Joel McHale from Talk Soup. But I am loving the new Elizabeth Shue and the OCD having Abed (with Asperger’s Syndrome) all going to community college and meeting up as a Spanish study group (Head of the Class meets Breakfast Club divided by any scene in Arrested Development where Michael Cera and Maybe are coming home or going to school).
A quick note about Abed, the fast-talking half Palestinian film student, played by Danny Pudi. He could have easily been the most offensive character, I personally don’t think he is (Salon agrees). Instead, he gets the last laugh, steals pretty much every scene, and we end up being treated to some pretty funny, weird shit about growing up half Arabic with an iron-fisted father: Abed’s student film. Although I welcome comments from folks who probably notice all the brown jokes.
But maybe the biggest reason I’m diggin this show is cause there hasn’t been much Ken Jeong yet, except for this, which I actually liked (a first for me and KJ here):
For those that HAVE watched this show (Hulu.com), hands down, the best part are the end credit scenes, which will reach SNL Digital Short status as soon as the fan base grows:
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This is Krumping:
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After hearing nothing but good about the play Domestic Crusaders by Wajahat Ali (also AZN’s high school buddy and the guy behind Goatmilk), me and SJ went to check out the nyc installment. Held in the legendary Nuyorican Cafe, the spot was packed to the gills on a Friday night.
We blessedly found ourselves sitting mere inches behind an oochie boochie couple who somehow found a Muslim Pakistani American family dealing with media scapegoating and household friction post 9-11 extremely romantic. However, the noisy lip-smacking, vigorous rubbing of bare feet, and intense cootie factor — although tremendously distracting and vom-inducing — did not detract from the quality and brilliance of Domestic Crusaders.
Wajahat also joined the cast at the close of the show to describe its equally-compelling history: from its beginnings weeks after 9/11 as a Berkeley English paper, to Waj’s years-long international search for a theater with enough balls and integrity to house the play.
I scuttled up to the stage afterwards to say wassup and thank Wajahat for his ongoing support of BCB — and he was awfully nice (and nice-looking…heads up single Muslim ladies! If you missed it the 1st time round, feast your peepers on the below):
Domestic Crusaders is funny, engaging, thought-provoking, humanizing…. and uh, I’m not really a good theatre critic, so I will just say get thee to the Nuyorican before the show closes on October 11th and you feel like a total hosebag. The New York Times even featured it! Tickets here. You can also help support this incredible show by donating here.
Check out Goatmilk: An intellectual playground edited by Wajahat Ali (writer, blogger, playwright extraordinaire) for a piece Cbruhs and AznHeartThrob did on Asian Americans in cinema as part of Waj’s new series, “Minority Report”, a series of blog entries on minority issues. Enjoy it here at GOATMILK.
And don’t forget to support his play, Domestic Crusaders, playing at the Nuyorican starting on September 11.
Not sure what it is about an all-boys Jesuit catholic high school in Silicon Valley that can turn out a non-practicing lost-the-faith Catholic like myself and a devote Muslim American who writes an extrodinary play like the Domestic Crusaders. Fr. Murphy and co didn’t sell us on the priesthood that well I guess…
Either way, their loss is your gain as Wajahat Ali from Goatmilk fame, frequent blogger on the always correct HuffPo dot com, has a play opening up in NYC on September 11th (which we’ve promoted and fundraised for in the past). Info on tickets and showtimes can be found here. Peep Waj on NBC Weekend Today if you’d like to see him blink 188 times in 4 minutes (he pointed this out, and I’m just sayin’).
Times like this, I wish I could be in NYC, the most ideal place for a play with this message. I’ve seen it 2 times already, you won’t be disappointed.
And props to Rusty for doing a kickass poster design.