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Hey, self promotion time! I'll be speaking at a panel this Thursday at Third Thursdays—the monthly dinner series about Asian American community issues.
The title of the program is "The Asians are Coming" (which comes from a Beau Sia poem) and is about Asian American media in the internet age. Here's a brief description:
Bloggers and artists can now create content online on their own terms—in a cheap, easy, and unprecedented fashion. But are the same online trends also responsible for the steady decline of traditional media?
As San Francisco's Japantown turns 100, will it survive much longer? This story says there used to be 40 of them before World War II. Now there are only 3 left: in SF, San Jose and LA. SF's J-town is a mere 4 blocks these days. Sad.
Remember Hyphen's feature on Asian Americans and growing obesity rates in issue 7? The New York Times just put out its own story on the topic, concentrating on skyrocketing diabetes rates among recent Chinese immigrants in Queens, as well as the fast-food indulgence of kids in the community.
Regardless of the cheesy "East Meets West" headline, this article is pretty damn depressing, also because it points out the huge disparities in the public versus private school system (eight-minute recess? no gym class?) as well as the Pavlovian responses of kids to TV consumerism--says 10-year-old Tim Wong, "I see the new items on television and I want them." I guess I grew up in a similar situation: my family almost always ate Chinese or Filipino dishes at home, so eating crappy Burger King or McDonald's was an incredible treat for me. I would beg my mom to buy me Happy Meals. My adult stomach wants to retch every time I smell fast food fries, though.
Howard Stern made his move from the free airwaves to Sirius Satellite Radio and brought George Takei, aka Mr. Sulu, along with him as his announcer.
I suppose Takei's got the voice for the part, but it seems like an odd pairing.
Here's a story at my alma mater about the propensity of Asian Americans changing their names, usually to something more "Americanized."
The story says, "It is most common to place an American name in front of the native Asian name and to go by the American name." It also quotes a professor, who says of the Asian American student body at Northwestern University: "In all my time here I’ve only known about three Asian American students who grew up here but use their Asian name and don’t have an American name.”
Hello. Happy New Year. Some of us at Hyphen are still on vacation, but most of us are back. I just got back from Texas where I was caught in a little holiday tradition called Family Drama. Which unfortunately was exacerbated by a family emergency. Then I came back here, got in my car, and the accelerator got stuck, which is kind of scary when you’d like your car to stop. Did I mention that I also got food poisoning in Arkansas and spent 4 hours in the ER? Anyways, good riddance 2005. I’m hoping for a calmer 2006.
Here at Hyphen, we have lots of things in store for the year. For one, Issue 8 is here! Soon we’ll have the new cover and table of contents up so that you can see what’s in the issue. Subscribers will get their issues this month.
Our editors are already working on stories for Issue 9, due out in the spring. We also have grand plans to redesign the website (If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comment section below), and will be holding some of our usual events as well as some new ones.
The group Asian Media Watch is circulating an open letter to Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone protesting what it says is racially derogatory programming on MTV and Comedy Central. The shows in question are Drawn Together, The Colbert Report and The Surreal Life on VH1.