From the monthly archives:

March 2011

 

 

Some random associations from a picture I took this Sunday.

Budding.

Can’t hardly wait.

Spring Awakening.

Frank Wedekind

Frank Wedekind who in 1906 gave us a play criticizing the sexually repressed society with depictions of group masturbation and other subjects that scandalized theatre goers.

This quote attributed to Wedekind which made me chuckle because now whenever some trivial disaster happens in my otherwise mundane life, I think, “Yeah, a blog post has written itself!”

Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it.

 

The Lulu Plays by Wedekind.

Lulu, the complicated, contradictory femme fatal and victim, in a play that scandalized the audiences in the late 19th / early 20th century with its nudity, implied and not so implicit sex act, rampant confessions of lust and obsession, and an openly lesbian character.

Louise Brooks. Playing the role of Lulu in the movie adaptation of Pandora’s Box.

Louise Brooks. Writing a memoir many decades afterwards, so uncannily described how we feel now when we sit in front of our computers and pour our hearts out…

For two extraordinary years I have been working on it – learning to write – but mostly learning how to tell the truth. At first it is quite impossible. You make yourself better than anybody, then worse than anybody, and when you finally come to see you are “like” everybody – that is the bitterest blow of all to the ego. But in the end it is only the truth, no matter how ugly or shameful, that is right, that fits together, that makes real people, and strangely enough – beauty…

 

 

 

 

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Warning: This post is a RANT with a heavily identity politics bend. So if you have no time nor patience to listen to People of Color whining “Oh no not that wah-wah we want to be represented crap again!”, please just ignore me when I come back down from my high horse.

I AM BACK! PEOPLE! Remember what I said? That a good case of justifiable (or not who gives a shit? Not me certainly!) indignation is the best way to get me all fired up and ready to go?!

Go like AKIRA!

 

Kicking and screaming like Sucker Punch!

 

I read an article on Racialicious today that made me pause everything I was doing to write a long comment. It surfaces up all the internal debates I have had about identity politics, about ownerships, about representations, about who gets to represent whom, about the gaze.

“An Uncomfortable Silence: Why Is Geek Media Keeping Quiet About The akira Remake?”

Long story short: the manga series and anime films AKIRA have long been revered by fans all over the world, including the self-professed Otakus in the U.S. (I should really write about “Otaku” and the adoption of this self-identity by the youth / geek culture in the U.S. … Focus. Focus!) There has been a rumor for many years that a major adaptation by Hollywood is in the works while fans all over hold their breath waiting for the announcement of WHO will be playing their beloved biker gang in a post-apocalyptic world. Lists of actors have been floating around and it becomes more and more alarming to the Asian American community as EVERYONE attached to play to lead characters so far has been… Lily white.

The GEEK community, usually considered to be progressive and presumably to be more aware of the reality of “racial diversity” in major urban cities in the U.S., has been quiet about this. NO protest. NO griping in the chat rooms.

Seriously? If even the self-professed self-identified Otakus have deserted our cause, why does Hollywood have to give a rat’s ass about under-representation by Asian American actors, especially MALE actors?

 

Anyway, here is my long comment. I am sharing it here in case the editors over at Racialicious deems my comment unworthy of being published over on their site

Thank you so much for this article! I was just lamenting this fact of Hollywood coopting the fringe Geek Culture (manga, anime) and “Whitewashing” it to try to mainstream it all in the pursuit of something NEW to revitalize the at-risk film industry (Hello YouTube!)

I saw the trailer for Sucker Punch and it looked like a balled-up conglomeration of every Otaku’s fantasy from anime and mange rolled into one. As far as I could tell, all of the lead girls (yes, they are MEANT to be objectified as girls, so no disrespect on my part) are blonde and so pale they glow in the dark. “So this is it? We can’t f*** get a break? They are taking away manga and anime from us too?”

(Let’s not go into the whole obvious issue of the problematic of perpetually objectifying women in the name of empowering them through hyper-sexualization…)

On a bright note, actually, now I think about it, I am not sure whether this counts as a plus or minus but the ONLY U.S. movie I know with an Asian American male lead who is NOT a kung fu master and who actually gets to kiss and gets the girl aka Debbie Gibson (sorry about the spoiler; and IF you don’t know who Debbi Gibson is then you are too young and I shouldn’t be talking to you…) is Vic Chao in… “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”

In this post-Obama juncture, I have many people telling me that we are a “color blind” society and I should NOT be so hung up on race/ethnicity/blah blah blah, implying that by not letting go I am being the “racist” myself because I seem to be the only one seeing race. Now I get it. “Color blind” means “Universal” which in turn applies to “WHITES ONLY” as in “White actors/actresses can represent any culture especially in the post-apocalyptic universe previously residing in manga/anime aka Japanese culture”. Sorry. I’d better stop since I am merely repeating myself: I have written about this in my graduate school more than a decade ago.

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Dear Internet,

I miss you.

Yes, in these past two weeks, you still see me coming around once in a while, reading articles online, sharing random pictures on Facebook and Twitter, and flirting with my lady friends with my witty one-liner tweets. It has been still only Drive-by Interneting, which in my book does not count as taking care of my second life, my Social Media life.

I have been a bad blogger friend. I am very sorry.

I had to get on the plane for a business trip the day after I got my root canal, which I later realized was only Part 1. The 3-day trip turned into a 4 day trip when I was assigned to a new project. I got home on Friday night, unpacked and then immediately packed for our trip to the Wisconsin Dells. In case you don’t know, Wisconsin Dells is where Kitsch is defined.

“Kitsch is the inability to admit that shit exists.”   Milan Kundera

 

A visit to one of the giant indoor waterpark complexes, actually Ginormous would be the right word used to describe these monsters, is a definite renouncement of hipsterdom, of coolness. Something that declares, “Resistance is futile. The middle America will get you.” A surrender to suburban, bourgeois, parenthood.

There ain’t no shame in that. I guess…

“No matter how much we scorn it, kitsch is an integral part of the human condition.”   Again, Milan Kundera

 

Onward, suburban soldiers!

I enjoyed an hour under Novocaine and laughing gas this Monday to finish my root canal, and as a consequence, for the next couple of days I was keenly aware of the existence of my tooth that’s supposed to be now nerveless (Is that NOT the point of root canal?) while I did the road warrior thing again. On Wednesday night, my flight home was delayed and I have not slept in my own bed for a full night for almost two weeks by now. But of course. I found mouse poo in our pantry. All over. Even on the top shelf. WTF? Flying mice? I spent two hours cleaning and throwing half of the stuff in the pantry away. I set up a trap and yes, I have blood on my hand. Figuratively. The Horror. The Horror. Still, I took a picture, but of course. Maybe soon I will write a post about how I felt like the Mafia this morning and a serial killer by night fall. For now though, before I go upstairs to be with my bed for (oh shit now only) 5 hours, could I just share a pet peeve of mine with you?

 

This has been bugging me forever... Is it just me?

 

As for the two horses’ asses in the title… I should not have fact checked. Because I did, I now cannot in good conscience post this interesting FACT about railroad gauges, wagons, wheel ruts, Roman Chariots, horses’ asses, and then back to train tracks and space shuttles. SNOPES.com ruins all the spamming fun… FACTS are sometimes quite inconvenient indeed.  Sheesh. I am going to bed.

 

Affectionately yours,
Signed The Third Horse’s Ass

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“Give Me Novacaine!”

March 15, 2011 random

I have had problems with my teeth since young. Actually one of the dentists I saw in the U.S. flat out told me that it is largely hereditary, that I would have developed problems with my teeth sooner or later, that even if I were born and grew up here, the land of BEST DENTAL CARE […]

35 comments

Thirteen

March 9, 2011 no manual for parenting

My firstborn is thirteen today. It’s official: I now have a bona fide teenager on my hand. I am still wavering about whether I should have made this birthday into a big deal or not. I hope he was not expecting a big to-do. I hope he was not expecting a PlayStation 3 this morning as he […]

24 comments

Why I have nothing to write about on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day?

March 8, 2011 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Because Hallmark does not make a card for this. When I opened the newspaper this Sunday, ads with BIG SALES for International Women’s Day did not tumble out of the newspaper bundle. Well, because there was none. It was not even an after thought here in the U.S. if it were not for the Interwebz, […]

20 comments

Leaving

March 7, 2011 through the looking glass

    I started getting it, bit by bit, that the thing between parents and children, the thing that ties you together is that all your life, you are forever watching them walking away. [The inadequate, rough translation mine] I read this in a book by Lung Ying-tai, a renowned cultural critic in Taiwan, on […]

50 comments

WTF Wednesday? Duh. Winning!

March 2, 2011 random

This is a cheap shot and oh so predictable. But I need to pay homage to the latest Interweb sensation and not only an awesome Internet meme in the making but a generous provider of meme material. Yes, my friend. I am talking about Charlie Sheen. My apology indeed. I know most of you are […]

77 comments