NETWORK OF ENTERTAINING ASIAN AMERICAN TALENT
time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
on the banana event:
the banana event was about 2 months ago at usc. i’m posting this now because i finished most of my work and have some free time. here’s my other excuse: i wanted to draw everyone on the panel and post it on this blog. but i drew like 2 and haven’t got chance to do the rest. also, i don’t really blog anymore. i share on facebook. why? cause it’s faster. there are so many asian american blogs out there that i just share what they wrote. tiger woods? click. share. little asian kid playing jason mraz on guitar and sings jibberish?. click. share. you don’t need 10 asian american blogs saying the same crap do ya? anyhoo, less work for me.. woot woot! however, i did want to make a blog about this event when i could get around to it. and before 2010. the world needs to read this before the end of the world in 2010, unless john cusack can save us all.
so i arrive on the usc campus super early because i’m asian and that’s how i’m programmed. jk. i like to come early and just chill out or help out when i can. i couldn’t wait to bust out my spray paint cans and graffiti ‘usc sucks’. i was also looking for the huge wooden trojan horse so i spray on that too but i didn’t see it. maybe next time. jk. it was a nice little campus and there was some hippy event going on at the same time on a different floor. people would walk in the wrong room, see that we were all asians, and realize asians aren’t hippies and leave. i wish i made a sign that said ‘hippies: your event is downstairs”. so (just in case you have no idea what i am babbling about) banana was an event that invited asian american bloggers to come and be panelists. it was an interesting concept and i thank lac and steve for the invite. at first, like most bloggers, i’m more about pushing content and hiding behind a monitor making fun of people than actually being vocal, but i then i thought what if i came and just sat in the audience and just listened. well, chances are i would probably disagree or agree w/ some things and then thought, you know what? i might as well be part of the panel. i also didn’t want to stand in that awkward line waiting to ask a question or comment. waiting stinks. if you don’t raise your own voice, you’re not going to be heard and all those who think like me (maybe 1%? lol) will never be represented. so free your mind, and the rest will follow, be colorblind, don’t be so shallow. thank you en vogue.
banana meet and greet:
right away i met lac. super cool. then i met nelson from AA risings!!! super duper cool! i followed his blog from waaaay back. i cleaned up recently and saw that i saved all these asian american magazines from the past. it’s funny how your past shapes your future. i did the same crap back then that i do now. and i remember reading aa risings. nelson was extremely cool and i admired his consistency over the years. i met angry asian man at the very very end end. he had good answers. for some reason i wanted to not like him because i didn’t like a lot of his posts when i was reading it ways back, but it’s informative stuff whether you agree or not. main thing was i liked his answers and he was obviously deserving of the banana awards. if you look at his blogs, he puts in extra creativity like aa xmas gifts, etc, that i am way too lazy to do lol. but he puts in the time, and i give him props for that.
on the panel:
i sat on the end of the panel because i’m too clostrophobic to be in the middle of like 17 panelists. that’s right, like 17 panelists. biggest panel ever. i wish it was a huge circle and we would just eat dim sum after. that would be cool. anyhoo, right away you can see that this panel was going to be uber huge. but whatever, it’s going to be filmed, edited, etc, so i knew what was going on. anyhoo, i’m at the end and i guess i’m next to the 8asian bloggers crew who were also super cool. i sat next to ernie who cracked jokes the whole time which was great. also met pop88 xtine and others from 8asians. good people. they went to eat steak or something after. i was jealous. or maybe just really hungry.
on complaint the panel should have been broken up into workshops:
i saw this coming. people would complain saying it should have been this or that, but when i saw 17 seats, i knew what it was going to be. just like a regular panel w/ q and a. and we can’t be there for 8 hours so it was going to be quick and so it wasn’t going to be indepth. i understood it but i think a lot people didn’t, which makes sense. people traveled to see what this event was about and wasn’t sure what was going to happen. nobody did. it was just a panel. thing is, usually a panel is combined w/ an event or something, but this was it, just a panel. no stuffing, no gravy, no mashed potatoes, carrots, just the meat. but it made sense people wanted more, which i think is a good thing. you always want more than saying it was too much.
on people traveling from everywhere to even meet up for banana:
props again to steve and lac on this one. i couldn’t believe how far people traveled for one day. most leaving the next day or a couple hours AFTER the event. xtine from pop88 left to go back to CANADA! others drove from san jose. i think some flew from ny and even denver. that’s the biggest thing that impressed me was people just being there. it was like an asian american super hero convention where everyone got the bat signal and had to get their booties over here. there was no pay to come to the event, it was just people who wanted to see what would happen. blogs take alot of work and to be thanked is kinda cool that somebody actually reads your crap lol.
on 4 interesting things that happened during the event:
1. right away during the panel questioning, lac made sure to ask the entertainment bloggers a question and then the political bloggers a different question. some audience members wondered why they were specific to only a couple bloggers to answer. i understand what they were trying to say, meaning, open the questions up for more people, but i think people forget that THERE IS A TIME LIMIT lol. now, ideally, we can open up a question and everyone can go down the panel and answer, but then we would have to bring sleeping bags because we are going to be there all night. if it’s a sports related question, OF COURSE you’re going to ask the sports bloggers and move on to the next question. there’s just not enough time.
anyhoo, while lac was asking the minority militant a personal question along the lines of “was there something in the past that makes you blog the way you do” to which everyone was probably thinking ‘wtf’. however i got it. lac has pyschology background and he wrote to militant before so whatever, it’s a question, let’s see where it goes. i too was a little ‘hmm wtf’ but more ‘wtf….ooh i wanna hear what he has to say’. recently i just saw youtube of this great inteviewer, and he gave tips on his best interviews. one tip was…’ask the question nobody asks’ and ‘ask the question that your interviewee has been waiting their whole lives to answer’. so this question was either gonna have an awesome story to go w/ it, or it was gonna be flat. it was up to the inteviewee. so it COULD have been great, so i give props to asking those crazy questions. normal questions give you cliche answers, and then you’d just end up sounding like kobe bryant or any other professional athelete.
so an audience member complains to everyone and asks, ‘what the heck kinda question is that?!’ to which i think many people were kinda thinking the same thing so props to them for speaking out. but like i said, they also probably didn’t know that lac had a pysch background AND that lac probably KNEW the guy, so he obviously knew what he was doing. anyhoo, this audience member continued their rant on how the panel should be run, and that it shouldn’t be so segregated so that everyone can be more open to answer. she had a good point and on the next question, lac opened it up more. thing was, the audience member than REPEATED what they just said again, to which now lac just had to do what anyone on a boring date would do, just smile and agree. i wanted to get the mic and tell the audience member “WE GOT IT THE FIRST TIME LADY” in my adam sandler half screaming/silly voice but that would be mean, and i don’t have my monitor to hide behind any bananas that would be thrown at me.
2. someone from the audience asked the panel: “if you were going to have a baby, would you have it with a white woman, a mexican woman, or a black woman”. to which my response was “wtf? lol” lol. he asked it again. the audience members got mad and put him in his place. it was awesome. later, some of the female bloggers put him in his place again when the event was over. that was awesome too. i didn’t say anything because i make it a note not to talk to crazy people, but i love it when others just reemed his ass. he got a good lickin. i think his point was maybe “you would choose white woman because you want your kid to have the upper hand”? to which again i say, “wtf?”. or maybe he had another point. i don’t know. it boggles the mind.
3. finally, the most interesting thing that happened: minority militant drank a little too much and was asked to leave and left. i missed this whole thing because i was at the end of the panel so i have no idea what was going on. i did see him leave. to be honest, the whole thing was kinda amusing to me because i had no idea what was going on. if i was next to him maybe it would have been different. anyhoo, he apologized, came to the afterparty and apologized some more on his blog. i don’t go on his blog often, but when i did, i noticed he reads the same asian american blogs like i do, and wrote on the south philly incident. so if he’s promoting the same stuff as all of us, i guess we’re all on the same boat. if he wrote like a douche and read douchey things, than maybe he was a douche, but it seems he just had a bad day. it’s not like i never seen my friends drink a little to much. oh wells. but like i said, i didn’t sit next to him either, so if people next to him got mad, that makes sense too. meh. shit happens.
this is also a good way to see how different people approach different things. i thought it was amusing and laughed. which leads to this:
and i think this is how it should be remembered. apparently, this episode blew up on the blogosphere. to me, it was kinda amusing, and that’s it. i think i see life more like a comedy or even a dramedy, but i think some people see life as a soap opera. to which, would kinda suck lol.
4. steve pulling out a banana out of his pocket. lol.
i just put this number 4 as an excuse to put another kanye photoshop image. i put in the work for it so might as well post it lol. so steve told us he to look at this banana and he peeled it saying a banana isn’t really white, it’s kinda yellowish white or offwhite, which is kinda true. i think banana does have a bad background. i myself am more americanized then asian i think. in fact, i’m surprised we’re not using american asian, then asian american. so i think trying to make a banana an okay term and not negativity wasn’t a bad idea. i’m not sure if many people ‘got it’. i think half were shocked he pulled a banana out of his pocket. the word ‘banana’ stopped looking like a representation of asians and more looking like ‘penis penis penis’. in fact one of the female bloggers pointed out that it felt like a sausage fest w/ all the guy bloggers and lac and steve being guys and the banana looking like a penis penis penis. which is interesting because it was meant as a joke, but if i was a female blogger, i probably would think the same thing. then i wondered, if i was at a panel event, and it was mostly woman, and the convention was called ‘taco’, yellow on the outside, lots of stuff on the inside, would i think to myself ‘vagina vagina vagina’? maybe. who knows.
but the female bloggers did have a point. add all that together and it DID seem kinda like a boys club. may
be if there was a female host it would have balanced things out? i don’t know. i’m part of that boys club, so when someone says, ‘this is like a boys club’, my first reaction is ‘yea, what’s wrong w/ that? lol’. and like i said, if i was at an event that felt like a girls club, i would probably say the same thing to which they would say ‘um yea..and what’s wrong w/ that’? truth is, it seemed like amost 50/50 boys and girls, or maybe 70/30. not sure. it was 2 guy hosts i know for sure. the most interesting part is seeing that people think totally different and that’s why it’s good to have a diverse group to make you think about things you never really thought about before.
another female blogger brought up the fact that they were the ‘token’ south asian blogger. to which i thought, ‘what’s wrong w/ that? lol. that’s better than not being represnted at all i guess’. then i thought to myself…is being the ‘token’ anything that bad? if was the token asian on a an all white panel, i wonder if i would get mad, or i would be like…’thanks for at least inviting me guys’. or would i be more ‘great, i’m the token asian guy! you guys don’t really care about my issues!’ but then again, if they invite you then they do care. or is token anything, when they don’t care, but they invite you just to make them look good that they are diverse? when they really aren’t? but then again, by inviting them, it’s better than not inviting them right? it’s gets all tricky and my brain hurts. is being a token anything on a panel good or bad? you tell me. i don’t know. i guess it goes down to intentions. are their INTENTIIONS good? if they are, then okay.
in the end:
banana was interesting. i really went just to meet lac and steve because they seemed like cool cats. i hope to work with them in the future on something because they are big thinkers. i also met gil and his wife who are really funny and classy. and if you read their blogs, they are exactly the same way. just really really nice people. also enjoyed 8asians and even bought a pop88 shirt from xtine and i HATE kpop and jpop. lol. i loved her designs and the film fest design shirt too. the first thing i did when i got home was listen to several podcasts and it was good! and like i said, i hate hate hate kpop and jpop. i think that’s basically what banana did, at least for me, open up to different perspectives and views i didn’t really think of before. and the truth is, i probably won’t cross paths w/ many of these bloggers again, but it was interesting to see what’s out there. it’s like the wild wild west out there in internetland, so it’s always good to put a face to the hard work.
what i wanted out of banana:
to tell you the truth, i love trying to solve problems. and i think banana was a good way to meet and try to solve some of these problems by first meeting face to face. so the problem that i see is bloggers promote their own AA blogs but rarely do they share, which is why i use facebook. and not to say ‘bloggers be like me’, but i would be nice to have more sharing of content.
i was even thinking, that would be a cool widget if somehow everytime you posted a blog, underneath would be all these links to all these other aa blogs. or do like what militant and other blogs do is put all the blogs on the side so people can see. i’m html clueless so i don’t even know how to do that. so basically, i’m wondering how can we promote each other, so everyone is part of this community rather then a few here and a few there. like gather the herd together online.
the problem it seems is bloggers want everyone to go to their blog, maybe to get hits and what not. why go on someone elses blog if they can go here instead. this is the reason why i go on facebook, i can click share and BAM it’s shared to everyone. if only there was an easy way to share everyone elses blog ON BLOGS. maybe using tumblr? i don’t know. but not everyone uses tumblr. anyhoo, i think that would help. if bloggers shared each others blogs more often. it’s the same AA events, why not just share them.
which leads me on a different rant. sharing on facebook. for all the aa people that say they promote aa media, etc. it seems like its’ totaly bullshit lol. i share so much aa crap on facebook (and also regular crap) and rarely do i see it shared. i shared the s. philly incident and i think i only saw lac and a handful of people share it. it blows my mind. if aa people complain but not promote important issues, they aa DESERVE to not get representation in the media!! WHY?? BECAUSE WE DON’T EVEN PROMOTE AA NEWS IN OUR OWN NETWORKS, how do we expect others to do the same? to be honest, its downright pathetic. how do we change this? i don’t know. but that’s what banana was good for, now that i have met some of the other bloggers (which i didn’t write them all because i am lazy, but i will be sure to copy and paste from somewhere) maybe i can discuss this issue w/ them.
aa have the same issues it seems from years before. i think nelson said it best when he said how frank chin was still a topic today when it was years ago. in fact, i think things were more active and political years ago and it’s kinda died. i think it would help if there was an organization or something where if together we wanted to promote a cause or issue, we would all be helpiing each other out, whether it would be putting a flyer as your facebook image or whatnot. some kind of standardization. although this sounds kinda commish, w/out any real leadership or real unity, we’re all going in the same direction w/out helping each other out.
leads me back to facebook and future of blogging. to be honest, not since THIS YEAR, i have had SO MUCH ASIAN AMERICAN news delievered TO ME!!! it’s awesome! the kate agathons, cate parks, etc etc. it’s very exciting that w/ new technlogy, we are recieving news that we had to LOOK for before. i think if we used it more wisely along w/ our blogs, maybe things will change for the better. overall, a think banana was a step in the right direction, i just hope we keep continuing on the right direction and not slip on our own peel. (yes that was bad. yes it was bad on purpose. lol)
oh yea! and to dawen and george shaw who came out! extra props to them. check out their links below!!
As a singer-songwriter, Dawen hopes his music will further the dialogue on racism and social injustice in American society.
Film Composer George Shaw:
oh yea and absolutely fobulous, a new blog, was there too:
when i met them i went on some rant asking if ‘fob’ was still a derogatory term, because, well, it still kinda sounds like it. then i went on another rant about how i hated the whole kpop jpop look of asian girls smiling w/out showing teeth how the creeped me out and how i hate it when vietnam copies other cultures and tries to do that whole smiling thing too. i think my ranting scared them off lol. i do enjoy their blogs though and post them on facebook once and awhile.
lac: author or ‘i love you’s are for white people’. GREAT READ. BUY IT.
Angry Asian Man
“I’m not as angry as you think. Yes, racism angers me. But I’m not here sitting in front of the computer, hating “whitey” and plotting revolution. This is just a subject that has always interested me — pointing out racism and noting any and all appearances of Asians in mass media and popular culture (the good and the bad). It’s something I care about. So I’ve created a little space on the web for it all… I suppose the angry part sometimes scares people, but rest assured, I’m a pretty civil, reasonable guy. Just don’t cross me.”
“I blog because I feel no one speaks on behalf of me. Therefore, I’m a militant in that regard. I’m a minority because the minority I’m lumped in with also doesn’t speak up for me. I am by no means a “model minority” and take offense to that term. Hence, I am The Minority Militant. I care deeply about humanity. I am brutally candid. I am relentless about racism. I cuss like a foul-mouthed sailor. I only use words 95% of the English speaking world understands. I love sarcasm as an alternate medium of communication. And really, I could give a flying monkey-fuck what you think about my opinions. Surveys, standardized tests, and questionnaires make me gag. I firmly believe intellectualism cannot give you all the answers, just a few pieces of the puzzle. The rest is up for discussion. “
“8 Asians is a collaborative blog of Asian-Americans and Asian-Canadians. But once you look past the fact that we fill out the same bubble in a census survey, you’ll see that we don’t have much in common, and as you’ll soon see, that’s not such a bad thing. We’ll be posting about whatever Asian issues are currently relevant in our lives, whether it be pop culture or current events or politics.”
“The Asian American landscape has changed since we published our first issue, and we are proud that Hyphen has been a part of the dialogue. When we started Hyphen, we didn’t know that we would create such a far-reaching community. When we first gathered around that kitchen table, it was simply because we were driven by a hunger for a more complex representation of Asian America. And when none presented itself, we decided to do it ourselves.”
Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP)
“Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP) is a national network of progressive Asian Americans and allies. We are a 501 (c) 4 that organizes educational programs with an affiliated political action committee (PAC) that endorses candidates and engages in more partisan activities.
At APAP, the term “progressive” refers not only to a general set of beliefs that are classified as progressive or liberal, but also in terms of your approach to politics. The term “progressive” can also be used to identify people who use new technology or who are interested in bringing new people into the political process. Basically, it’s anyone who is forward-thinking.”
“Mochi Magazine is a new online magazine specifically for Asian American teen girls! You are probably wondering, “Who (whatwhenwherewhyhow) is Mochi?” Until a few months ago, we were, like you, looking for relevant hair and makeup tips, advice regarding cultural confusion and racial identity. Many of us were looking without even realizing it at the time. But we figured out eventually that we were seeking something that simply did not exist.”
“Our goal is simple: To connect you with Asian American Pacific Islander pioneers and leaders from fields as diverse as politics, business, sports and entertainment, and inspire and empower AAPIs to find their voice and stand with vigor in everything they do! We want to make the accomplishments of Asian Americans visible, because so often, we’re invisible.”
Neaato (Network of Entertaining Asian American Talent)
“I once searched Asian American Casting on google and didn’t find anything. NOTHING! With all the Asian Film Fests out there you think there would be a place for Asian Americans in the Entertainment field to find each other easy. But no! So I made this. You can thank me later when you have a makeout scene with Kiera Knightly or Johnny Depp. (Or if you’re REALLY lucky, Geoffrey Rush).”
“I whine like a minority about race, gender, and privilege in popular culture. And I’m damn good, too…”
“We’ll amuse, empower, and anger you with our take on politics, pop culture, and those racist WTF moments that occur far too often. From NYC to Oaktown to the Sucka Free, we’ll keep you informed and mildly entertained.”
DVAN (Diasporic Vietnamese American Network)
“DVAN’s aim is to promote artists from the Vietnamese Diaspora whose work in literature, visual art, film and performance art enriches our communities and strengthens ties between Vietnamese across the globe. We undertake to support this body of work through cultural events, exhibits and publications that explore connections between art and society.”
“The concept is simple: every day we will try to post a video of interest to Asian Americans such as music, movies, and comedy.”
“AZNRaps.com is the leading Asian American Lifestyle Magazinne on the internet! Add us as a friend and get updated with all the latest news catered for all the Asian American’s out there.”
” My philosophy on being Asian American is that you can’t just pigeonhole a group of people. As a result, I will link to a variety of sites, even those that may not be politically correct or fit my own views, but I try to be as open minded about the sites that are added as possible as long as they aren’t promoting anything illegal. My belief is that a stereotype is created because of a lack of images. So, my own solution is to show all possible images and let the viewers choose for themselves. The more diversity in images both positive and negative, the less stereotyping is possible.”
“Although I was born in Japan, I’m a third generation Japanese American, or Sansei — my father was born in Hawaii and my mother is from Japan. I was born in Tokyo as a military brat, and our family moved to the U.S. when I was 8 years old. I have vivid memories of Japan from my childhood, but my consciousness is American. I love the fact that I’m a product of both cultures, and with these columns, I hope to serve as a bridge to make sense of Japanese for Americans, and vice versa for Japanese.”
“What better name for a blog written by a group of Korean and married-to-Korean mothers than Kimchi Mama? After all, we’re a little spicy, plenty fiery, and sometimes? We like to get pickled….
Are you strong with a sharp a sharp bite? You might be a Kkaktugi Mama.
Are you mellow and sublime? Perhaps you’re a Dong Chimi Mama.
Maybe your cool exterior presents one face to the world, but inside you’re full of surprises, you Possam Mama, you.”
“What does Sepia Mutiny mean?
It’s a pun that combines the name of the first widespread rebellion against the British Raj with sepia, an ink associated with photography that is described as a “shade of brown with a tinge of red.” But you knew all that, clever reader.
What does desi mean?
It’s slang for the cultures of South Asia and the diaspora. It’s similar to homeboy, paesano or boricua. Etymology: deshi, Hindi/Urdu for ‘from the country,’ ‘from the motherland.’ Pronounced ‘they-see,’ it’s the opposite of pardesi, foreigner.
What is South Asia?
It’s the countries in the area of the Indian subcontinent which share common ethnic and cultural roots (food, family, Bollywood). SAJA opines that South Asia includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. The U.S. State Department also includes Afghanistan.
What is the South Asian diaspora?
Communities of desis who emigrated from South Asia. Large diasporic communities are in the U.S., UK, Canada, Africa, the West Indies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. You’ll even see the occasional sardar in Norway.”
“A podcast featuring interviews, news, games and the best in J-pop, K-pop and other Asian pop music today. Just like radio, only not! Hosted by Toronto’s Christine Miguel”
“My name is Byron Wong, and I am an Asian American writer and activist in the Portland, OR area. I am a former blogger/admin on the Fighting 44s, a current blogger on Rice Daddies, the father of a 3 year old baby boy and 8 month old baby girl, and a future novelist. This site was started on September 23, 2008, and I’m using it to bring (hopefully) good content to people who take an intellectual approach to solving the problems of our day, especially with respect to Asian American cultural issues. I hope that activists of all stripes and persuasions will join me here–my only caveat is that I’m aiming to engage with live activists rather than armchair activists who hide behind the web. In other words, this blog is aimed mostly at people of action.”
Asian American Movement
“We are building an Asian/API Movement that stands for full equality, social justice, and social change.”
The bloggers below will be there in spirit and will help support and promote the event at their blogs:
“As Asian Americans,we can’t ask for respect and representation from traditional forms of mass media, like TV and movies. Asking for representation from Hollywood means someone else has the power to decide our image.”
The Internet, however, is open to everybody, and Asians are using it to create more honest representations of their communities.The Alpha Asian Blog showcases anything on the Net that Asians and Asian Americans are creating and making headlines about.”
“Two Asian American chicks’ “slant” on pop culture, sports, indie rock, fashion, news of the weird, race, politics”