Infantalizing the URM

Thank you, Aardvark, for posting the story above. An 33-year-old Underrepresented Minority (URM) named Montress Gomez was harassing a female waitress in Chinatown, and the owner of the restaurant, a 50-year-old Chinese man named Qang Wang, asked him to stop. The harasser punched a hole in the wall of the restaurant and left. When the owner followed him outside, the harasser beat the crap out of him. You can see the video above.

Love Boat

I just saw this IndieGogo campaign. For some reason, I thought that Love Boat was a high school thing, but I guess it does make more sense that it’s a college thing (since probably fewer Taiwanese parents want their kids dating in high school). On the other hand, don’t college relationships work better when kids go to the same college? If you’re go to college in Boston, it would seem pointless to do a program in order to meet a romantic partner from UCLA.

Wesley So’s Revenge

Those chess fans on this blog will remember the disastrous ruling by Tony Rich last year that gave Varuzhan Akobian a forfeit win over Wesley So in the 2015 U.S. Chess Championship. Well today, Wesley got his revenge in the 2016 U.S. Chess Championship. He demolished Akobian by sac’ing a rook and a minor. See the finish and interview either above or here.

Wesley had a great quote on chess.com.

“I did some critical preparation today,” So said. “I decided to play more safely but then I couldn’t control myself.”

Somebody has to say it


There’s this big video that appears whenever I open the NY Times website. It’s called, “A Conversation With Asian Americans on Race.” See above.

I started watching it, and I gave up after two and a half minutes. For an “Asian American” video that’s 7 minutes long, I shouldn’t have to wait more than a minute to see a guy that looks like me. Plus, I was a bit annoyed by the whole identity issues. Lots of the themes in the video are very 1980’s–they’re far back in the past, and now they’re boring. When I visited friends this morning for a work session (thanks, friends!), they informed me that there were in fact some East Asian dudes later on in the video, but that I might not like what I would see. So I clicked again and watched the whole thing. The video has two Asian guys, but they only come in at the end, kinda like an afterthought.

Class from the past

One of my college roommates was a concert pianist. When I saw Mr. Holland’s Opus, I used to joke with him how Bach’s Minuet in G had nothing on Lovers Concerto by the Toys. Being a purist, he’d get all angry and decry how pop music was abusing classical music. But this was all before YouTube. Check out the video of the Toys above. The women are beautiful. They’re absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea! There’s something about their style and softness that’s captivating. They have class that was apparently common back then.

Here are the Shirelles:

Is Trump planting Black people at his rallies?

I first asked myself this question after the latest assault of a protester at a Trump rally. It seemed to make no sense. Why would a Black guy beat up a White guy who is protesting against Trump? Trump is a White guy who refused to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, a group that violently murdered black people. He’s the first presidential candidate in recent memory to refuse to immediately denounce the KKK. When I compared it to the other big-news Trump rally assault–the one where the 78-year-old White guy sucker-punched a Black protestor–I thought it highly suspicious that the races were exactly reversed. It seemed as if the counternarrative was staged.

Did minorities get screwed by the Baby Boomers?

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. It’s been ridiculously busy. Of course I’ve been busy with the kid stuff, but I’ve also been busy with other obligations. It’s been so busy that I’ve temporarily quit chess. Nor more chess for me…not for a long time. At the last scholastic tournament, another chess dad asked me, “Have you been following the Candidates?” I had forgotten that it had even started! Although it’s probably for the best since Naka is having the worst tournament of his entire life…

Computer beats human Go master

I remember when I was in kindergarten that we were taught that computers would never beat the top humans in chess and could never calculate the shortest distance between two points. Computers could only calculate, the teacher said, they can’t think. “That’s why you’ll always be smarter than a computer.”

The scariest frontrunner in history

I’m floored by how lowbrow the Republican side of the presidential election has become. I read that Trump opened the debate today by talking about the size of his penis, while referring to Marco Rubio as “Little Marco.” Whenever I think the level of puerile insults can’t get any lower, Trump manages to drag it down further. It’s mindboggling how this slimy con-artist has managed to hijack this election. He once said that he could shoot someone and not lose votes. After watching him refuse to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, I’m beginning to believe it.

United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas (Review)

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I was really happy to receive a copy of Peter Tieryas’s new book United States of Japan. I’ve reviewed Peter’s books before, and I respect him as one of the most creative contemporary thinkers in Asian American fiction today. I respect his unique ideas and his embrace of thinking that goes far beyond the typical issues that many Asian American writers try to address. With USJ, he once again pushes the boundaries of imagination and inquiry. Peter also bravely enters the political arena of history and intra-Asian debates. It’s by far Peter’s most ambitious novel to date. This has also been the most thought-provoking book I’ve read all year.  I loved it, and I hope you do too!