Sorry for the quick post, but lots of big news has been flooding the internet. Rather than shooting out three half-done posts, I figured I’d just mention them all in one half-done post.
1. It seems North Korea was behind the Sony hack, and it was successful–Sony has had to table its release of The Interview. Don’t mess with Kim.
Interesting story from South Korea: a Korean Air Lines executive, who happens to be the eldest daughter of the CEO, threw a tantrum because she was served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than on a plate. I’ve never flown first class with Korean Air–actually, I’ve never flown Korean Air period–but apparently when you fly first class, nuts are supposed to come on a plate, not in a bag. The executive held up the entire flight to punish the head steward for this terrible and unforgivable mistake. People in Korea didn’t feel it was so terrible–actually they sided with the steward–and people are now angry at the airlines and the family that controls the airlines.
James Lamb/Snoopy Jenkins and I did a podcast last night. You can download it here, or you can play it here:
Bob recently posted an article by Jeff Yang, in which Yang defends affirmative action. I respect and like Jeff, but we’ve already gone over the many logical contradictions in the pro-affirmative racism arguments he makes: If legacies work for his Asian American sister, they also work for black and Hispanic legacies. “Holistic” review has nothing necessarily to do with race–saying you want to be a writer shouldn’t count more if you’re not Asian. Karthick lied. In terms of the pro-affirmative action arguments, his article just doesn’t work. It’s completely wrong. HOWEVER, Jeff brings up an interesting issue with respect to parental ambitions:
My son had been bugging me to take him to a movie, so this past weekend we saw Disney’s Big Hero 6. My wife chose it. It’s a really good movie, especially if your kid loves science. The protagonist is Asian American, which is an added bonus for an Asian American blog.
Allan Kornblum, Photo credit: Becky Prentis
Allan Kornblum was one of those guys that you always heard about but who always worked behind the scenes. He was the founder of Coffee House Press, which published Frank Chin. He passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 65. From the NY Times:
For three decades, Coffee House Press, a nonprofit publisher based in Minneapolis, has been an advocate for poets, novelists and other writers who might have struggled to find another publisher. Many of its authors are women and members of minority groups, often Asian-American. Once obscure, Coffee House has published more than 400 books, and its books are reaching increasingly larger audiences.
Some of y’all may wonder why bigWOWO tolerates debate and discussion in the comment section, especially when so many people get their feelings hurt from time to time. The reason is and has always been the comments. By having relative freedom of speech, people bounce around new ideas and educate one another. And when something interesting comes up, sometimes I’ll front page it. A good example is this question: Are the humanities easier than STEM subjects? I double majored in Comparative Literature and Chemistry, so I have a background in both. Plus, it’s relevant since we’ve had two podcasts on the issue, here and here. So here’s my opinion, and as usual, feel free to add your own in the comment section.
So let me first start by being blunt: I’d be surprised if we win this lawsuit. If your university has a racist de-facto quota designed to keep out high-scoring Asians, if you regularly exclude Asian men from your movies, if you talk about an Asian American athlete with the word “chink,” if you push an Asian man in front of a moving subway car, our culture just tends to shrug and urge people to move on. In fact, if you have a de-facto racist quota against Asians, the supposedly sensitive far-left will call you a racist for demanding equal rights and fighting against your status as a second-class citizen. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the right thing to do.
Photo credit: Theo Stroomer for the NY Times
Story from the NY Times: In Colorado, there’s a chain of Mexican restaurants called “Illegal Pete’s.” The chain has been around for twenty years. It was no big deal when it first opened, but now, with all the discussion about illegal immigration and undocumented workers, it’s a political firestorm. People are asking him to change the name. It’s similar to the debate over Chink’s Steakhouse and the Redskins. The owner of Illegal Pete’s says that the name of his restaurant has nothing to do with immigration, and that he supports immigrants.