Tag Archives: relaznships

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.
k
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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hot azn alert: harry shum jr. and racism in glee

posted by mshehe

Harry Shum Jr. plays Mike Chang (the “Other Azn”/background dancer/football player turned chorus member) on Glee. As usual, most of the show’s main characters are white and the Azns (Mike Chang included) are left as background dancers/singers who utter a few words here and there.

The show premiered its second season last week and I was excited to find out that it will be developing some supporting characters, one of which will be Mike Chang! Harry Shum Jr. is a talented dancer and rising star, and has starred in Step Up 3D, Stomp the Yard, You Got Served, and as a silhouette in iPod commercials. His dancing career also includes being one of the lead dancers for Beyonce and Mariah Carey.

In last week’s episode of Glee, we saw a relationship developing between the two Azn characters. While it sucks that they are stereotyped as the token Azns (who got together working at an Azn camp teaching tech-savvy Azn kids), at least they are getting more screen time. Hopefully we’ll get to see another side of Mike Chang, and see the screenwriters break him out of his silent, quiet Azn-boy shell. Yes, I know some find the show very offensive, but for now, let’s just appreciate Harry Shum Jr. for showing us Azn men can dance, and can look hot!

and more

and even more …

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you are racist against yourself

posted by ellephanta/Celine

This very interesting stereotype about asian parents unwilling to let their offsprings date or associate with white people (or any other race besides their own), I think suggests in subtle ways that “well, asians are racists too”.

But of course. Asians are capable of doing and saying racist things and holding racist beliefs. Or did you think that they were objects that are incapable of thinking, screwing up, changing, learning?

My race certainly doesn’t immune me from being racist towards my own race or any other race. It’s our actions, not our identities themselves that are either racist or not. I certainly run into a lot of racism (against white people, black people, etc.) in, for example, the Korean first generation immigrants community in Toronto (the one I’m most familiar with), especially in our parents’ generation (people of our generation are often just as bad, but in a subtler and different ways than our parents’, something I hope to write about at one point in the future) that remain thoroughly uninformed on race theory and the marginalized status of racialized people in our community.

But consider this: Most of those in Toronto’s Korean community with language barriers separating them from anybody who is not a Korean-speaking Korean are effectively segregated from the rest of Toronto, like a bubble in the middle of a bustling metropolis. I think this has real negative consequences. This certainly does not aid them in dispelling their messed up preconceptions about whole races of people — which, by the way, was first conceived by them through messed up representations in media, their one of very few source of contact with non-Koreans — and instead, as a small town might, intensifies xenophobia and other in-group out-group attitudes.

My parents have lived here for ten years and they do not have a single friend who is an English-speaking white person. This is not closed-mindedness on their part, but simply a refusal to take shit from people. They rightfully don’t want to be patronized because they’re grown-ass adults of remarkable intelligence and insight, but every encounter they have had with white people, they were patronized. They don’t want to be treated like “an identity” and they don’t want their failure to speak fluent English to mean that people can treat them like children – but every encounter they have had with white people in Toronto, they felt like they were in kindergarten – so they got fed up and quit. I’m not sure if I condone them quitting, but at the very least I understand it.

My parents have always been committed to feminism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, anti-ablism, anti-nationalism, pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights, anti-classism, anti-war, free speech, and freedom of religion (yes, even before they moved here and were “enlightened” by the flourishing “multiculturalism” in Toronto) as all of their friends back in Korea have been. They’re brilliant and kind and wise and in love with humanity and I love them very much, even though they’re super flawed as we all are and we fight often (my dad sometimes gets weirdly nationalistic when his masculinity is threatened but then my mom calls him on it), they are way more open and caring than a lot of young people I met at Queen’s University.

They’ve always been critical of bigotry in South Korea, and now of what they find in Canada and the U.S., as they obviously should and would be, given that they’re sane — just as a sane white person would be of their community if it is racist, anti-feminist, etc. My parents and their friends don’t give a crap about the race of the people their offsprings date as long as they’re cool and awesome, as they should. As white people should too. As any sane people should. They’re not exceptions to the rule (“asians have racist beliefs, and Celine’s parents are exceptions”) because there is no rule. One just think there is because they just love putting a whole race of people in an imaginary group and generalizing about them.

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boyfriend vs. blackberry #2

posted by missmsian

More observations …

Dependability
BlackBerry: BBM is spazzing, camera can’t zoom and Google Maps turns itself on sporadically, sucking data usage.

Boyfriend: Slightly better.

Sense of humour
BlackBerry: Joke Of The Day emails.

1,000,000,000+ humour sites.

Twitter.

Boyfriend: Live.

Boyfriend 2, BlackBerry 0.

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boyfriend vs. blackberry

posted by missmsian

I met Smalls a few months ago at a Fido store. It was love at first sight. He showed up at my house a few days later (May 14, to be precise). We’ve been together ever since.

Smalls is my phone. I named him after Biggie.

I’m starting to think he should be my boyfriend …

Saturday night plans
Boyfriend: “Call me.”

Call.

He’s sleeping.

BlackBerry:

Boyfriend 0, BlackBerry 1.

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do azns like to date their own kind?

posted by missmsian

The other day, a boy told me, “wa suka le.” “Suka” is Malay for “like.” “Wa” and “le” mean “I” and “you” in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect. I’m Malaysian-Chinese.

I think I fell in love.

I grew up convinced I could only find true love with a non-Azn. How’s that for internalized racism?

In the past two years, I’ve started seeing Azn guys in a new light.  A really hot one. My mum says it’s because I’m getting to an age where I’m thinking of long-term commitment (okaaaay, I’m not that old) and, at the end of the day, people like to settle down with their “own kind”.

Hmmm … really? (Opens can of worms) Thoughts on this?

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how to date an azn woman

posted by missmsian

“‘Dating Asians’ analyzes common misconceptions and offers various ways to impress Asian people so that they will be accepting of you right away. These valuable insights can prevent you from making a buffoon of yourself; Asians call it ‘saving face’. ‘Dating Asians’ provides you with shortcuts to aid your understanding of the major Asian cultures. It will help you to easily become Asian-savvy.” — from the back cover of “Dating Asians” by Tania Wang

“Have you ever dreamed of making love to an Asian woman? Stop dreaming and make that fantasy come true! … It doesn’t matter if the Asian woman you are longing for is a twenty year old “fly girl” from Tokyo or a 45-year-old twice divorced businesswoman from mainland China. Our step-by-step guide for a first date works every time on every Asian woman for every culture (and it is not the type of advice you will find in any other book!)” — from loveofasianwomen.com

My expert advice, as an Azn woman: stop reading books that generalize our existence. Start treating us like we’re real.

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