Tag Archives: hot azn

hot azns: the cheapmunks

posted by notmyname

Suhana, Mehak and their band: two Pakistani girls singing Destiny’s child to guitars and the tabla, with a Bollywood song thrown in. It’s basically all-around wicked.

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ed lee to become the first azn-american mayor of san francisco

posted by kltw

As of 4:30 PST this afternoon, the Board of Supervisor for the city and county of San Francisco tabbed Azn-American Edwin Lee to be the interim mayor in the wake of the departure of the current mayor, Gavin Newsom, for the seat of Lieutenant Governor.  Ed Lee will be the first Azn-American mayor of San Francisco, who, along with the newly minted mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, signify the remarkable gains for Azn-Americans in Bay Area politics.  Both these mayors come from activist backgrounds, with Lee working with the Asian Law Caucus to fight for tenant rights in the 80’s and Quan fighting as a part of the Third World Liberation movement for the creation of Ethnic Studies.

Though Lee has a history of fighting for grassroots communities, his work as the city administrator has often put him in line with business interests and pitted him against organized labour, all factors which made him a key ally for the moderate, pro-business Newsom.  Only time will tell if his mayoral legacy will match his long term track record of protecting marginalized communities, or his more recent work as the city administrator.  In any case, it is exciting to see people of colour in major positions of power.

That is, enjoy it until we dismantle this hedgemonic hierarchical system.

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invaded: november

posted by missmsian

I’ve been putting off a recap of Azns in North American media for November because I know I’ll have to bring up the ‘too Azn’ controversy and, frankly, I’m tired of it.

Azn invazn

In case you missed the whole shebang, Maclean’s published a story on Nov. 10 that Azns (they meant Chinese) were taking over campuses, creating ethnic ghettos (their words, not mine) and destroying fun for boozy white kids.

The article said elite U.S. schools like Harvard use unofficial race quotas to keep ambitious students of Azn descent out, in order to maintain their white heritage, and essentially suggested Canada do the same. The magazine published a second piece on Nov. 25 claiming they actually meant they wanted Canadian campuses to maintain merit-based admissions. Durrr.

The only good in this is that many groups committed to anti-racism have mobilized against not only Maclean’s (and the Toronto Star) but a lot of the discourse on Azn presence in Canada. Victoria city council passed a resolution condemning the Maclean’s article. Vancouver city council is set to vote on a motion demanding media accountability and ethical reporting in relation to the Maclean’s and Star pieces this week. Toronto city council is voting on a resolution that Orientals work like dogs next week. Just kidding. Or am I … ?

New eats

West Vancouver, how ya enjoying Osaka Supermarket? Recently opened by T&T Supermarket Inc., this store boasts 80 kinds of Japanese noodles … yum! The only slightly confusing part of the Vancouver Sun‘s story: “Osaka Supermarket will provide the ethnic Chinese food that has made its parent T&T Supermarket chain so successful, but it’s character will be Japanese-themed, as befits its name.” Huh? Do all Azn foods look the same too?

Soft white people

Edmonton now has an anti-racism program aimed at white people, teaching them how to recognize (and presumably choose to give up) their white privilege, much to the distress of, well, white people. Don’t call them racist, okay?! Their feelings are hurt. Boo hoo.

Celebrating David Lam

You may remember him as the first Azn-Canadian lieutenant governor, a highly successful real estate businessman, a philanthropist or founder of Vancouver’s dragon boat festival. But to Tung Chan, he was a friend and hero, and so we use Chan’s words to describe this powerhouse, who lost his battle to prostate cancer on Nov. 22:

“When he became LG, he showed the way to all of us, that you can maintain your cultural identity, you can continue to promote the good values of your heritage while maintaining and not compromising your Canadian-ness.”

An Azn Cosby Show?!

In a similar vein to ‘Azn Jersey Shore,’ U.S. producers are working on a show tentatively titled “The Chin Chens,” about a Chinese-Vietnamese-American family a la Cosby. Errr … thoughts on this?

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invaded: october

posted by missmsian

How we appeared in North American media in October.

Calgary 1, Toronto 0

On Oct. 18, Calgary elected its first South Azn Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi. Nenshi, panned at first as a fringe or idealistic candidate, ignored the haters and ran a solid campaign on, SURPRISE, a painstakingly researched platform.

Sure, he threw around buzz words like “sustainability” and “diverse communities,” but he also proposed, SURPRISE AGAIN, real ideas: low-income transit passes, a non-residential commercial property tax to replace the separate and confusing business and business property taxes and funding for a new library branch, to name a few.

His election doesn’t throw the city into post-racial bliss, but it’s definitely a few steps up from Toronto, which elected this on Oct. 25. Here’s how a Montreal Gazette piece summed up Toronto’s new mayor: “Rob Ford, who appears better suited to run a roadside diner than a city, swept to victory this week.” Ouch.

We could take a few hints from Campbell, CA.

This is what solidarity looks like

Quebec’s Jewish Orthodox Council for Community Relations has joined the fight against the province’s proposed bill that would ban niqab wearers from receiving government services.

“While the bill focuses on the controversy over the wearing of the niqab by Islamic women, Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish leaders expressed fear their community may also be targeted eventually,” the article says. Exactly.

Canadian Conservatives love immigrants

Who knew? The best part about this story is that the Globe and Mail ran a front-page photo of Cowin and Helen Poon, probably one of the first times the paper has run a photo of Azns (i) not named Kim Jong-il and (ii) not running naked from a Vietnamese village. Just saying.

U.S. conservatives hate soup

Especially Campbell’s. They like tea, though.

Racist and badly Photoshopped. Double ew.

Justice at work …

Ontario has no fully accredited Mandarin interpreters for our courts. [Insert sarcastic “hun hao!” here.]

Forget it. There is no justice …

Child soldier Omar Khadr was sentenced to 40 years in prison by U.S. military jurors after pleading guilty to several “war crimes,” including the killing of U.S. soldier Christopher Speer.

Let’s get real: almost 300,000 U.S. soldiers died in combat during WWII and you don’t see their widow(er)s crying in court (Tabitha Speer sounds like a total b*tch to me) and uniformed officers giving their murderers harsher sentences than even prosecutors demanded. Sorry, I thought the U.S. was at war. I thought it was kind of understood that soldiers sometimes die in wars.

Sex, and lots of it

Shigeo Tokuda is a 76-year-old porn star apparently making enough of a splash in Tokyo to be noticed in Canada.

A gushing white woman describes various sexual encounters with “uber-sexy” Chinese men.

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concert review: margaret cho @ salle wilfrid-pelletier, oct. 23

posted by jroselkim

On Saturday night, Margaret Cho stopped by Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal, as part of her new tour, Cho Dependent, delighting the crowd with her dynamic delivery and dirty jokes.

Brooklyn-based comic John Roberts opened the show – frankly, this was the only part of the show I did not love. His “routine” didn’t exactly contain a “routine” at all – but rather, a series of wigs and caricatures, including a vapid blond girl, his mother, a “granola” lesbian at a women’s fest, and a straight male actor on cop shows. While some characters were hilarious – the granola lesbian writing a poem about her vagina got many laughs – his dependence on the wigs to transform from one character to another felt a bit hollow and lacking substance.

Since the tour was named after her new album, I expected to see a bit more of musical content. However, the show featured classic stand-up material, with only three songs performed live. Though her comedy has gotten more political over the years, last night’s show felt more like classic Cho, save for the part when she discussed gay teen suicides and Prop 8. For those of you unfamiliar with Cho’s comedy, “classic Cho” is a blend of three things: sex, shit, and her mother.

Shit dominated the beginning of Cho’s routine, as she confessed the undesirable side effects of guzzling olive oil before her performances to enhance her vocal chops: spraying olive oil everywhere through the rear. Cho took this disgustingly funny bit to the next level by musing that she could now work at Olive Garden (“would you like some dressing with that salad? At Olive Garden, we’re family.”). Later on, Cho recalled the opposite problem of being unable to pass anything through her rectum as she reminisced about her recent adventures at Bonnaroo music festival, where the port-a-potty ubiquity prevented her from normal shits, and the inevitable reality of giving up and “merging” one’s shit with others.

Nothing was off-limits or too dirty for Cho, as I heard about balls slapping hard on your neck (after all the discussion of shit), to putting a penis and balls in your mouth at the same time, and describing her pussy as the “Hurt Locker” because it’s been around so much.

There were also oddly sobering moments full of pathos, like when Cho shared the chilling fact about her ex-lover bludgeoning his wife to death. Cho also revealed that this was the inspiration for her song “Sorry,” which she performed live for the audience afterwards. This was the only song she performed from Cho Dependent on Saturday night.

I admit, I was curious about the quality of her live singing voice; her voice sounds pretty much perfect on the record that I wondered if she could replicate the same quality onstage. I’m happy to report that her singing was pretty great live. She even picked up the guitar that was sitting onstage all night for her encore – an untitled song (not a part of her album) about being in a long-term relationship and having no sexual desire (“I hate fucking you, baby”).

And of course, Cho’s mom made ample appearances this time around, from being amazed at her daughter’s ability to “move so fast” on rehearsing for Dancing with the Stars, and a performance of “My Puss” (along with John Roberts’s “mom”) in a flashy bomber jacket.

Part of Cho’s comedic genius is her commitment to the disgusting nature of her material, including the kind of incredible (and incredibly ugly) faces she makes, such as a quadruple chin she donned as her “mother.” These are some moments that are more magical when you see them live. If there’s one person that transforms disgusting into magical, it’s Cho.

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invaded: september

posted by missmsian

September was a relatively quiet month for Azns in North American media coverage and decidedly less Islamophobic than August.

Mongolia, repeat after me: “Mine! Mine! Mine! Not yours.”

Prime Minister Harper met with Mongolia’s PM Sükhbaatar Batbold last Tuesday to discuss free trade and expressed at one point that Canada is interested in the Azn country’s gold, copper and uranium deposits. I have two pieces of advice for Mongolians:

(1) RUN AWAY. RUN VERY FAR AWAY. Remember the situation in Ecuador where armed security forces (for Canadian mining companies) allegedly attacked unarmed anti-mining protestors? Or the UN report calling out seven Canadian companies on exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Or the 15 Canadian-hired mine workers who were gunned down in the Philippines? You get the idea. I haven’t even included the damage done to Indigenous lands and peoples in this country.

(2) Learn from India: the government recently rejected a British firm’s proposal to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying the project would have caused extensive environmental damage and endangered the livelihoods of the Indigenous people in that region.

Experience an Azn oasis …

… right in your back–errrr–side. Cintas’ online poll ranks The Spice Route Asian Bistro and Bar as the second best bathroom in Canada because you can pee while admiring exotic Azn plants in a private garden.

Oh hai, ethnic shoppers

A new report shows that retailers who don’t target “ethnic shoppers” are missing out on a large revenue pool. This shouldn’t really be news because, duh, you lose big when you don’t cater to half the population’s needs/wants. My major issue with the coverage–aside from the sweeping generalizations about how “ethnic shoppers” purchase goods–is the use of the word “ethnic” as the opposite of “mainstream.” Really? C’mon now. You may as well have used “Oriental.”

Honouring Korematsu

During World War II, U.S. citizen Fred Korematsu bravely refused to be “relocated” to an internment camp and challenged the detention of Japanese-Americans as unconstitutional. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to five years’ probation. Although he appealed, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction. It was only in the 1980s that the conviction was overturned and his name was cleared.

In post-9/11 years, Korematsu spoke against the indefinite detention of those deemed to be “enemy combatants” without charge.

This month, California’s Guvenator signed a bill designating every January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.

A great “situ-asian”

Team Jumba on The Amazing Race, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii Five-O, Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) and Harry “Situ-Asian” Shum Jr. (Mike Chang) on Glee … to end off on a positive note, Azns are getting a lot of love in American pop culture these days. Let’s hope this keeps up.

Yes, they are Azn. Yes, they are dating.

And speaking of situ-azns … what’s going on with Azn Jersey Shore? Has it been picked up by a major network yet?

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dispatches from san fran: why does mike chang get no love?

posted by kltw
Update: just realized that the topic of Mike Chang was covered 3 days ago?  I guess he is getting some love, just not on the show.
I hope you haven’t been holding your breath since the last “dispatch from san fran” (all the way back inJune, about why Azns should care about what’s happening in Arizona.  As we all should).  This time around, I want to take a look at one of the new developments in the latest season of Glee.  If you haven’t caught up, you should; if you have, then surely you’ve witnessed the drama between Arty and Azn #1 (aka Tina).

Spoiler Alert

So the story goes that during the summer, Tina and Azn #2 (aka Mike Chang, or “The Situa-azn” for you Jersey Shore fans) got together as tutors at “Asian Camp”; which apparently means a bunch of Azn kids sitting around in a bamboo hut, decked out in stereotypical Azn decor, playing with tech gadgets (because obviously we are all nerds); but I digress.  Anyway, with the emergence of Mike Chang as someone who actually gets some lines in the show, I was hopeful that an Azn man will, for once, be portrayed as a desirable partner in a romantic context in pop culture.  Despite the fact that this relationship has already been written off by some as Azn-fusion (because the only reason why the two are together is because they’re both Azn, right?), I remained optimistic to see the development of a new side Mike Chang

However, through the first two episodes, all we’ve seen are efforts on Arty’s end to try and win back Tina’s affection, despite the fact that Tina told him the reasons why he’s a bad boyfriend.  Drama ensues as Arty tries to join the football team to get Mike Chang-esque abs…etc etc…  What the show has failed to illustrate so far, has been the agency of both Tina and Mike as the masters of their own relationship.  All we’ve been shown so far is how Tina’s feelings for Arty can be swayed if only he could do something that is impressive enough, rather than the fact that the two Azn characters could actually be in a meaningful relationship.  Although I’m relatively hopeful that we’ll get Tina’s perspective in the near future, I’m a bit more hesitant to believe that Mike Chang will have anything to say about the future of Azn².  Maybe it’s just me, but I’d hate to see Mike Chang’s foray into romance be as brief as other Azn men in popular culture.

I’m not saying I’d rather see Tina with Mike, or Tina with Arty or Tina with whoever else, I’m simply wondering that, given the way the story has unfolded, why don’t they give Mike Chang some love?

What do you think?

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