Someone has to say something about this. I didn’t want to be the one, but someone’s gotta say something.
Thanks, RY from MANAA, for posting this: Nicolas Cage Criticizes Hollywood’s Lack of Opportunities for Male Asian Actors (Video). It’s ironic on two levels:
1. (pic from here)
I remember when Nicholas Cage first got Alice Kim pregnant. People on the Fighting 44s were mad because people from LA said they saw Cage trolling LA’s Koreatown for Korean women. According to these (admittedly anonymous) first person accounts, Cage was quite successful. The young Korean American women in those K-Town bars were all over him. Now of course, one might expect this, given that he’s a big star. But still. Unless your name is Will Smith, that highest level of stardom only seems to exist in Hollywood if you’re a White guy. There’s some irony in seeing a guy whose career has been bolstered by White privilege now supposedly speaking against White privilege because he son is Asian, all while doing nothing to actually change the situation.
This was our longest podcast to date…a whopping 84.1 Megs that will provide an hour and 27 minutes of entertainment! This is the podcast proposed by The Blah–a 31-year-old white guy from the Midwest. The verbal participants in this podcast were me and King, and the Blah weighed in by e-mail. I want to thank both King and the Blah for an AWESOME conversation. We decided to put “Rice Chaser” in quotes, since it’s our term, not the Blah’s, although we felt that his views were similar to the ones we often discuss. Download the podcast here, or hear it here:
Continuing our discussion on chess and learning, I’ve been reading The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. I’m almost done, although I’m not sure I’m going to commit to finishing it. Josh Waitzkin, as some of you probably know, was the subject of the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. I was interested in how he handled the stress of dealing with chess, and I thought his book would be a good introduction in how kids might succeed.
Mojo sent the following article: Familiar ad trope: Pairing white men and Asian American women. Some of the ads are the ones that we’ve discussed here before, like this one for example. If you look at the comments, there are tons and tons and tons of white guys who are defending the pairing in the media. You all know my view on this–I’m supportive of the Celebrity Club, but I also think we need some variety.
(By the way, check out the look on the Asian acTOR’s face in the Ruffles commercial. I can’t help but think that there’s some kind of “Oh, they put another Asian woman in a commercial opposite me–and she ain’t with me!”)
I love the beginning of this trailer. They start talking about human trafficking and how bad it is, like they’re performing some kind of public service or something. Then all of a sudden, they cut to some half-nekkid Asian women and good ol’ Asian thugs! They’ve got an oily White dude getting all horny with handcuffs in front of Eugenia Yuan, and some mean and violent yakuza (oh wait…is that Japanese?). They’ve also got some Black guys in it, although I’m not sure how they’re related to the rest of the movie. (You can guess this movie is written and produced by a Black guy (Jerry Allen Davis) because most White Orientalist writers seem to forget Black people exist when it comes to half-dressed Asian prostitutes and violent Asian thugs.)
The Flowers of War is the most expensive Chinese film ever. The NY Times reports:
“Made at a cost of more than $90 million, part of which came from Chinese government sources, “The Flowers of War” is the most expensive Chinese film ever made.”
After experiencing the nationalistic ridiculousness that is Ip Man, and now seeing this ridiculous history-justified-by-the-presence-of-a-White-man film, I think I can safely say that Beijing needs to get out of the movie-approval and movie-promotion business. Sorry, Chinese propaganda doesn’t have the same appeal here that it might over there. It’s not the Chinese government’s forte.
I saw this yesterday. It’s about David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and it was one of the most e-mailed articles. Thank goodness it was Thanksgiving, and I knew better than to let the orientalists ruin my day. Even after all these years, I’m always surprised at the propaganda that certain Asian American playwrights and film producers throw at us.
I saw these two seemingly contradictory articles in the NY Times recently.
The first article was about a rich, private school in Silicon Valley which discourages the use of technology as a learning tool: At Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, Technology Can Wait. Parents, many of whom work at Apple, Google, EBay, and Yahoo, pay thousands of dollars to send their kids to this school, and yet there isn’t a single computer on campus. Instead they learn with pens, paper, and bright colored chalk. One father who is a Google employee says:
A friend reminded me of the ad above, created by Heineken, shot in an exotic location with lots of fluffy Asian-esque theatrics going on, and starring our favorite combo: a super cool White guy and an attractive Asian woman. He wanted to know what I thought of it. Eurasian Sensation posted on this a while ago (see here), and I pretty much agreed with everything he wrote. I think this kind of racial coupling is way overdone, and I think the media have typed themselves into a corner. People have stopped wanting to learn more about how cool Asian chicks think White guys are, don’t want to know how much they’re meant for each other, and don’t want to hear about how loving and caring East and West can be when there’s a White man and an Asian woman involved. People just accept it without being interested in hearing more.