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There's a story in today's SF Chronicle about Asian American entertainers becoming stars overseas. The first couple paragraphs sums it up nicely: audition for bit parts in Hollywood playing stereotypes, or take a gamble in Asia where you have a better chance of interesting work, even if you can't speak an Asian language.
R.I.P. Pat Morita, forever immortalized as Mr. Miyagi on The Karate Kid and formerly of Happy Days fame. A pioneering Asian American actor, comedian, and internment camp survivor, Morita was the first Asian American actor I ever saw in a lead role on the big screen.
There's been a lot in the news lately about overachieving Asian American students. You've probably already heard about the book above. The Korean American sisters who wrote it were recently profiled in the New York Times, extolling the virtues of strict Asian parenting. (Neither of them are educators or parents for that matter.) Their message seemed to be, "Hey, we're not really all that smart and neither are other Asians. We just work really hard and our parents made us do it!" Now, lucky you, they’ve written this book so that you non-Asians can learn these mysterious Asian secrets and succeed too!
An Asian American guy with a really bad haircut looks out from my TV screen. "All my life, I wanted to be an American," he says. "I'm sansei, that means I'm the third generation to be born in this country." I missed big chunks of the rest of the commercial because of the yelling. My yelling. Have you seen this spot? It's on PBS. The guy goes on to say that his family was interned during the war, and that he always wanted to be an American but never felt like one until he saw Ken Burn's Civil War documentary on PBS.
OK, so this is not exactly serious hard news here, but we could all use a little hard body news once in a while... Daniel Dae Kim has made People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" list. On their website, you can see some of the photos of those who made the list, which includes the usual suspects (Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey, blah blah). Vince Vaughn made the list (eh?) and there's a really super cheesy photo of Mr. Jessica Simpson (or maybe not anymore, is the ring on or off?) -- Nick Lachey. But who cares, back to Daniel.
Hello Hyphen readers. I'm back in town after traveling for two weeks. First, had to travel to a conference for my day job. I came back to the Bay Area just in time to vote, then packed my bags again for my hometown, Houston. I glossed over election news on my way to the airport.
Last week I turned in my last story to Civiane (copy editor) and Cielo (art director) to take forward into the newly glossy realm of print existence in Hyphen. The story -- an investigation/"think-piece" by Wendy Cheng on the new role Vietnamese Americans can play in post-Katrina New Orleans -- is just the kind of story I imagined, even dreamed about, Hyphen producing when we first started the magazine. My dream Hyphen story combined political passion, investigative journalism, theoretical savvy, writing chops, and an ability/willingness to speculate, dream, prescribe, and stick one's neck out. Did this piece hit all of these notes perfectly? No, of course not. But for me, after struggling through eight issues to learn how to be an editor, finally getting to edit such a piece is ... satisfaction indeed.
Our company throws lavish holiday parties every year. Last year there was a full-on carnival, with popcorn, booths, stuffed animals and spray-on tattoos. The buskers didn't care if you cheated and everything was free. It was a good time. But they've just announced the theme for this year's party: Exploring the Forbidden City. I got real nervous. My anxiety was only confirmed today, when a conversation started on our internal messages board about what to wear to the party. One person said they'd dress as Willie from the Temple of Doom, or perhaps Gogo Yubari from Kill Bill.