Archive for the '8Asians' Category

Stuff That Should Stay in Asia: Singing & Spinning Happy Birthday Flower Candles

Have you seen these fire hazards known as “The Amazing Happy Birthday Candle?”

Easily found on the Internet and evidently legal and available in the United States (via Amazon and other websites), these candles have been popular in mainland China and other parts of Asia before making their way here.

Over the weekend, Taiwanese pop star Amber Ann (安心亞) posted a video of herself lighting the candle (and I presume screaming for her life):

8A-2014-09-22-AmazingHappyBirthdayCandleI know I am a total fuddy-duddy by being all “safety first” about these things, but seriously, do these things LOOK like they’re safe to light in your home?

First, you light it and it shoots a FIREWORK in the air.

Then, presuming it works correctly and doesn’t immediately fall over and set your table on fire, it opens up and spins while playing the “Happy Birthday” song (although the song can supposedly be disabled for non-birthday uses).

Do you feel safe blowing out the candles on this thing?

I wouldn’t because I already have visions of my hair igniting if I leaned in and the flames spun into my hair.

And, according to Chinese language news reports, a 7 year-old kid in China lost an eye when the candle exploded in his face in June. (Yes, this really happened.) The news report says that basically, the battery overheated (when the flame hit it) and exploded. Lovely.

So if you don’t extinguish the candles fast enough, not only could the flower melt (and start a fire), but it could also BLOW UP IN YOUR FACE AND MAKE YOU BLIND.

Please parents, don’t get any ideas about buying this for your kids for birthdays or the holidays. It would give new meaning to “you’ll shoot your eye out.”

(This has been a public service announcement from jozjozjoz.)

National Film Society Debuts Cookie Monster’s ‘Karate Kid’ Parody: ‘The Biscotti Kid’

I have been a huge fan of National Film Society since they began, but it wasn’t until this moment when I became seriously jealous of these guys.

They got to hang out with Cookie Monster as he debuted Hollywood movie parody films under his “Crumby Pictures” banner!

They are on a first name basis with Cookie Monster!!

They were the first to see Cookie Monster’s parody of Karate Kid, The Biscotti Kid!!!

They landed themselves on the front page of Mashable!!!!

Ok, that’s enough exclamation points for now. You can watch the whole The Biscotti Kid, featuring a Muppet Mr. Miyagi! (last exclamation point, I swear.):

Snacks on. Snacks off. Indeed.

Product Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

This post was originally published at

EDITORS NOTE: This review was written in June 2013 but got (temporarily) eaten by the blog monsters.

Let’s just put it this way: I’m fully entrenched in the world of Apple. I use an iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook Air. So when Verizon Wireless sent me the new Samsung Galaxy S4 to try out, I was not necessarily going to be unbiased in my opinion from the start. That being said, here are my thoughts after using it for a few weeks.

Out of the box, the phone is very pretty. It’s much sleeker than the boxy feel of the iPhone 5. The screen is huge (5 in.) and the colors and text are sharp and clear. The touchscreen is responsive and once you enable the swype feature for typing, it’s relatively easy to text and email. It runs on Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean) and thumbing through the app store (Google Play Store) I found all the apps I use with regularity on my iPhone.

Things I liked about the phone:
Continue reading ‘Product Review: Samsung Galaxy S4’

Why Roger Ebert is an Asian American Hero

This post is based off a post which first appeared on

To be an Asian American hero, one does not need to be biologically of Asian-descent (or even American in nationality, for that matter). Caucasian film critic Roger Ebert is an Asian American hero, because he helped change the face of Asian American film after he famously responded to a (white) heckler during the filmmakers question and answer session after a screening of Better Luck Tomorrow at Sundance Film Festival in 2002. A young director named Justin Lin was making waves with his solo directorial debut about Asian Americans who enter a world of crime after being bored with their overachieving lives.

It has been over a decade since Better Luck Tomorrow shook up the Asian American film scene, but I remember hearing stories from Park City about how Roger Ebert stood up and “had a few words to yell during the Q&A,” as my friend understated. It started when white audience members criticized Justin Lin for portraying Asian Americans in a bad light, and it ended when Ebert stood up and had the final emphatic word– even after they tried to clear the theater– as he vehemently defended Asian American filmmakers in telling their own stories.

From a transcript at Film Threat:
Why Roger Ebert is One of My Asian American Heroes

Roger Ebert: I was on a panel today with Chris Eyre, the Native American director. And he said, that for a long time, his people, American Indians, had always had to play some kind of a function, like they were the source of spirituality, or the source of great wisdom and they spoke to the trees and the wind and so forth. And he wanted to make a movie that allowed Native Americans to be people. People in some cases who are alcoholics or who are vigilantes, or in prison (music interrupts) And what I find very offensive and condescending about your statement, is nobody would say to a bunch of white filmmakers, “How could you do this to your people?” ^ This film has the right to be about these people and Asian American characters have the right to be whoever the hell they want to be. They do not have to “represent” their people.

By championing Better Luck Tomorrow, Ebert helped put it on the map and soon major Hollywood studios were squabbling over distribution rights. MTV Films ended up buying and distributing the film and it became one of the few feature films with an Asian American cast, crew, and storyline to be seen nationwide. Better Luck Tomorrow broke through the Hollywood glass ceiling and its success continues to impact Asian American filmmaking today.

Until a few years ago, when I saw Arthur Dong’s documentary Hollywood Chinese, I had never seen video of Ebert’s “outburst” since it was neither widely available nor shareable. Watching the footage moved me to tears, because by the time I saw the clip, more than half a decade had passed since the incident had actually happened. And I knew what an impact that moment had on the Asian American artistic community.

One of my passions when it comes to Asian Americans is that we should all feel comfortable and confident to speak for ourselves as individuals. This is the reason I was drawn to write for 8Asians, a collaborative online publication that features original, diverse commentary by Asians from around the world. This is why now as Editor-in-chief and CEO of 8Asians, I continue to support fresh, distinct voices and opinions on the site, even when I sometimes personally disagree with what is being said, or even when different people at 8Asians disagree with each other. One complaint I often hear is that Asian Americans don’t have ANY “one person” that can speak for our entire diverse community (like how African Americans have a Jesse Jackson, who doesn’t actually speak for all blacks, but many people both inside and outside of the African American community perceive him in this way).

I think that none of us individually should have the burden to speak for “everyone.” We can only speak for ourselves in whatever we do, but if there aren’t enough voices– or in the case of the media, enough different portrayals of Asian Americans– the resulting vacuum gives rise to the fallacy that the voices of the few represent that of the many.

Roger Ebert’s defense of Asian American filmmakers didn’t just give support to Justin Lin and the Better Luck Tomorrow team for that specific work, but his noted reputation also gave more weight to the idea that any portrayal of Asian Americans does not have to stand for all Asian Americans, helping to inspire rising Asian American filmmakers and artists to tell stories which do not have to “represent” us all.

Rest in peace, Roger Ebert.

PIC: @8Asians Los Angeles Get Together!

Home Restaurant
Los Angeles, CA

8Asians Video Submission for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders “What’s Your Story?” video challenge

A few months ago, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders asked: What’s Your Story?

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders announces the launch of its “What’s Your Story?” video challenge. The challenge aims to explore the personal stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across the country who have impacted their community through their dreams, experiences, and dedication to a cause.

Our stories define who we are.

Tell us how your unique experiences have shaped who you are today. Are you a passionate advocate of green and health initiatives for nail salons? Have you made a difference in your community through work with immigrant integration programs? Are you part of a movement that paves the way for AAPIs in the arts? Respond to our launch video below with a video under 3-minutes about your own experience and community leadership. You may also submit an essay under 1,000 words to address these questions.

So here’s 8Asians‘ response… behold our first joint video effort made by our contributors who sent our video snippets in from all over the place.

(Note, this was the video I did this at 3am)

Thanks to Koji for spearheading this effort and for Evan Kodani for editing our crazy videos together.

Joz’s Chinese Mom Zodiac

On the 8Asians internal mailing list, Moye shared an article with the subject line: Dragon moms are the new tiger moms. It’s no big secret there that I’m totally over anything labeled “Tiger,” especially Tiger Moms, which started the whole recent phenomenon.

So I responded to the email with this:

Must the word “Mom” be with prefixed with every animal in the frakkin Chinese zodiac?

Fine then.

Here is my Chinese Mom Zodiac*:

Rat Moms – : They infest old buildings and crowded, unsanitary areas that exist in an urban environment. Rat Moms are pests because they eat food and contaminate it with urine and excrement. Sometimes they, or the parasites they carry, (such as fleas, mites and worms) spread many diseases. Rat Moms pass on their fuckin’ diseases to their kids and the world at large. They suck.

Ox Moms – : Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle, so by that train of thought, Ox Moms are already pretty effed up. Ox Moms are pretty much only good for lugging stuff around and for their dung, to be used as manure or fuel. They stink. And they suck.

Tiger Moms – : A lot has been made of Tiger Moms because the tiger supposedly represents fearlessness and wrath in many Asian cultures. Although this may have been true in the wild, Tiger Moms in captivity are known for their penchant to maul gay magicians on stage. They suck, too.

Rabbit Moms – 兔: Rabbit Moms have a very rapid reproductive rate. Famous examples of Rabbit Moms include Octomom and Kate Gosselin. ‘Nuff said. They suck (+8!).

Dragon Moms – : Topping the list of Moms Who Need Dermatologists, Dragon Moms are vaguely reptilian, possessing typically scaly or feathered bodies. Yuck! Dragon Moms are actually mythical and wish they were real moms. Because they’re creatures of fantasy, some people think Dragon Moms are pretty fantastic. Actually, they’re pretty sucktastic.

Snake Moms – : Snake Moms lack limbs, but this does not impede their movement. They can be seen swallowing prey much larger than their heads in one giant bite with their fanged mouths. Because of their fangs, they are often mistaken for vampires. And everyone knows that vampires literally suck (blood).

Horse Moms – : In the past, Horse Moms were considered unintelligent, with no abstract thinking ability, unable to generalize, and driven primarily by a herd mentality. In the present, it turns out this is true. And they’re pretty slutty because they let men ride them, often in public. I bet they suck, too.

Sheep Moms – : Sheep Moms are perpetually stuck in the 80s and desperately need fashion upgrades. You can spot them in flocks, usually with crimped hair called wool and often with horns forming a lateral spiral. Ewe. (Is that a bad pun? Frankly My Dear, I don’t give a lamb.) You’re baaaaa-riliant if you already knew that Sheep Moms suck, too.

Monkey Moms – 猴: Monkey Moms like bananas. Actually, Monkey Moms ARE bananas; if you have a Monkey Mom, I hope you have money saved up for psychotherapy. Do they suck too? You bet your bonobos, they do!

Rooster Moms – 雞: Why did the Rooster Mom cross the road? To cockadoodle dooo something (sucky).

Dog Moms – : Dog Moms are total bitches. Dogs Moms may seem fetching at first glance, but a childhood with a Dog Mom is a ruff childhood filled with sheer terrier. I saw a Dog Mom treat her kids so re-pug-nantly that it really ticked me of and made me want to pinscher! I’ve heard so many paws-itively horrific tails of woe that it would make you hot under the collar. If you’re the child of a Dog Mom looking for new leash on life, schnauzer chance! Flea in a hurry and run away from home! It’s Siriusly the only way to get away from that suckage!**

Pig Moms – : Pig Moms are most commonly associated with eating not only their own feces, but those of other beings. In parts of the third world, where villager dwellers excrete in the open, Pig Moms are known to eat this excretia. Wow, I knew Pig Moms were disgusting, but that was even grosser than I thought. Oh yeah, they suck, too!

* with apologies to things I copied and pasted from the Internet. Mostly from Wikipedia.

** I didn’t come up with those. Blame these people.

Please Note: My Mom is not any of these… she is a Joz Mom and there is only one and she is awesome!!!

Beware: The Taiwanese Death Stare (aka Asian Baseball Fan Drops His Child for Foul Ball)

Since this video of a Taiwanese father dropping his daughter while trying to catch a foul ball at a baseball game has been posted at 8Asians, Angry Asian Man, and Disgrasian, I thought I’d post it on my personal blog along with my personal thoughts and recollections of the Taiwanese Death Stare.

Being the kid of a Taiwanese Mom, I can tell you from personal experience that this Stare of Destruction is one you should avoid at all costs. If this death stare is used on you for too long at one time, you could spontaneously combust (swear to gawd that’s true!). I usually received the Taiwanese Death Stare when I was misbehaving in public. Unfortunately for me, my Mom was a stickler for manners. So even when I wasn’t causing a ruckus, I was likely (unintentionally) “misbehaving” by being “rude.” I’d give some examples of this, but if my Mom reads this blog post, she’ll zap me with that death stare THROUGH HER COMPUTER MONITOR, so I’d better be discreet about my past indiscretions.

Anyway, in my experience, the version of the Taiwanese Death Stare to truly be fearful of is that of the Taiwanese Wife. Since I only got the “Mom” version of the stare– and my Dad isn’t around for me to ask about the “Wife” version– I can only do the next best thing which is to see if I’m channeling my Mom (I’m turning into her anyway, so I may as well stop fighting it), and if *I* am like a Taiwanese Wife enough that I’ve ever given Yoshi the Taiwanese Death Stare.

I managed to snag an exclusive interview with Yoshi on the subject…

Joz: Do I ever give you the Taiwanese Death Stare?

Yoshi: Uh yeah, duhhh.

*Joz gives Yoshi the Death Stare for being rude to Joz.*

Joz: I do?!

Yoshi: Uh, gotta go, bye!

Anyway, this whole interview doesn’t tell us anything about the Taiwanese Death Stare and only proves that Yoshi is no dummy.

On another note, I hope the Taiwanese guy in the video had his affairs in order because he’s TOTALLY toast when they get home.

Then again, he might be able to redeem himself if he can convince his wife that he is a better parent than this Korean Mom who catches a homerun ball after it bounces off her son and she celebrates in glee while her own flesh and blood is writhing in pain. Just sayin’.

Smelly Guys Is a Bad Thing (The Asian Internet Forum Song)

I had heard about this song– “Asian Internet Forum Song”– presented by Jukebox Stories (Prince Gomolvilas & Brandon Patton) at the 2011 National Asian American Theater Festival but I haven’t been able to stop clicking “replay” on this since Ernie blogged about this at 8Asians today.

Just remember this: smelly guys is a bad thing.

Smelly guys is a bad, bad thing.

(Now I wanna stab someone with a chopstick.)

Fat Indian Kid Dancing to ‘Dhinka Chika’

Originally written for 8Asians…

Our love for dancing Asian kids is well documented, but we haven’t seen such a great South Asian kid dancing video go viral until now. It’s a perfect combination of what makes a great viral video… amazing moves, catchy music, and of course an (almost) naked fat kid dancing in his underwear.

Meet Akshad (in his original unedited video) dancing to ‘Dhinka Chika’ from the recent Bollywood movie “Ready” (Hindi: रेडी, Reḍī) starring Salman Khan and Asin.

I love this video so much, that I’ll even do a little 8Asians math for you:

Chubby dancing Asian kid + wearing next to nothing + an extra dose of sassy acrobatics = Akshad


Olivia Munn Golf Pictures Have LPGA Golfers’ Panties in a Bunch

(Originally posted on 8Asians… I thought Moye was going to change that headline on 8Asians, so I thought I’d post it here to amuse myself. But then she let it go untouched… score one for Joz!)

Evidently, there’s a story from Yardbarker making the rounds that “LPGA golfers Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer are furious with the clothing choice made by Olivia Munn during her tour debut at the Canadian Women’s Open. ‘The tour has standards. For her to disrespect the sport like she did in Vancouver is unacceptable,’ Gulbis wrote on Twitter.”

I’m a little doubtful these two golfers publicly said this since I actually looked at Natalie and Paula‘s twitter feeds for the last month and I didn’t see anything of the sort.

That said, assuming they did say Olivia Munn was “disrespecting the sport”– and I’m no Olivia Munn fan and I hate to defend her– but what did they expect for her to wear?

She’s a celebrity in a golf tournament, obviously pretending to play golf– she is not (and doesn’t claim to be) a professional LPGA golfer. So who cares if she’s wearing 5 inch heels and a cleavage-baring shirt? Anyone with half a brain knows that she’s not REALLY there to play golf. I bet the sponsors of the tournament are thrilled at the mainstream attention Olivia and her outfit are getting and giving a raise to the genius who invited her.

The ironic thing about this (non)story is that both Natalie and Paula are considered two of the “sexiest” female golfers in the sport, according to (Side note: Michelle Wie is on that list, too.) Natalie even caused a bit of a furor when she released a sexy 2005 calendar which the United States Golf Association (USGA) deemed “inappropriate.” And Paula has been known to don a sexy outfit or two, herself. (I’ll spare you from the “Creamer” joke I was about to make.)

I feel your eyes may be glazing over from so many mentions of golf in one sitting. I shall put you out of your misery by sharing a couple more Olivia Munn’s golf/bikini shots. (Don’t ask me why she’s wearing too little on the golf course, but a tarp on the beach, though.)

h/t: Koji

Photos by Getty Images and WireImage

SMAP vs The Black Eyed Peas at Rock-Paper-Scissors on Japanese Show

I made a post on 8Asians about Japanese boy band SMAP’s parody of the Kpop girl group Girls’ Generation video of “Gee” and then got sucked into watching more videos of SMAP online.

So I found this hilarious video of SMAP with Black Eyed Peas. It’s not subtitled to English, but I’m pretty sure most people can still watch it and understand what’s happening. All you need to know is that the video features SMAP vs BEP at a batsu (punishment) version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The only thing better is if they would have played rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock.

(Skip ahead to 1:40 if you want to skip the random interview part and get to the good stuff).

@MYXtv Gets Lucky With @8Asians (Sounds dirty, but it’s not!) // Thx @KeesaOcampo

As seen at PRweb

The network announces their partnership with the most recognizable collective team of Asian American voices online.

Photo courtesy: Tommy Su of SnapIt Studio

Redwood City, CA (August 17, 2011) – MYX TV, the country’s premier Asian American network, announces its partnership with 8Asians, a national team of bloggers and journalists that tackles issues as they relate to Asian American pop culture and interests. Catch their exclusive content – blogs, videos and podcasts on MYX TV starting this month.

“There are entertaining and intriguing personalities behind 8Asians,” said Anthony Garcia, Head of Production for MYX TV. “Not only are they diversifying our content, but also adding layers to the Asian American voices in media.”

8Asians is the brainchild of editor-in-chief and founder, Ernie Hsiung. His co-editors, Joz Wang and Moye Ishimoto describe him as the ‘benevolent dictator’ of whom many embarrassing pictures are available online. Wang (aka “Cult Leader”) and Ishimoto (aka “Resident Pie Maker”) work with contributors from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, North Carolina and Denver.

The partnership with MYX TV merges their vast online following. Their sites,, GASP!, POP88, 8Asians Tumblr, 8Asians Events and The A-Word have built them online fame as popular Asian American voices.

“8Asians wants to challenge the notion that Asian Americans are all the same and have one opinion through our diverse voices and viewpoints,” says Ernie Hsiung, Editor-in-Chief of 8Asians. “Our goal is to make as many people as uncomfortable as possible by adding more Asian American characters online and now, on television.”

The voices on 8Asians is a testament to their mission, as it boasts of contributors from both coasts, all genders, all political parties and a variety of careers and ages.

“We are excited to partner with MYX TV. Their idea of bringing out new perspectives on Asian Americans and sharing them on multiple platforms are in sync with our goals,” said Joz Wang, Editor and Marketing Head of 8Asians. “And with Ernie on TV, watch out Barbara Walters! He’s Asian and has sexier hair.”

Catch 8Asians on MYX TV, available nationwide and online.


With its U.S. headquarters in Redwood City, California, MYX TV was developed by ABS-CBN International, a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corporation, the Philippines’ largest entertainment and broadcasting company, through ABS-CBN Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, ABS-CBN Global Hungary Kft. MYX TV is the premier music entertainment and lifestyle channel dedicated to the Asian American community, utilizing music, culture and entertainment. MYX TV can be seen on Channel 368 on Comcast’s Digital Preferred Tier in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California and Channel 673 in Chicago, Cox Digital Basic Cable Channel 479 in Orange County and Channel 474 in Northern Virginia, MCV Cable Channel 16 in Guam and RCN Channel 464 in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. It is available nationwide on DirecTV channel 2067. For more information, visit


8Asians is a collaborative blog of Asian-Americans and Asian-Canadians. After looking past Asian commonalities as found in census surveys, it is apparent that Asians do not have much in common… and that’s not such a bad thing. The blog posts about relevant Asian issues , from pop culture to current events and politics.

In addition to the main blog at, the family of sites also includes GASP! (a shopping blog), POP88 (podcast featuring interviews, news, games and the best in J-pop, K-pop and other Asian pop music today), 8Asians Tumblr, 8Asians Events (Asian American events listing site), and The A-Word (8Asians’ official podcast).

TV Commercial:

MYX TV | @myxtv |
DirecTV Ch. 2067
SF Bay Area, Central Valley, CA l Comcast Ch. 368
Chicago | Comcast Ch. 673
Orange County, CA l Cox Ch. 479
Northern Virginia l Cox Ch. 474
Guam l MCV Cable Ch.16
New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC l RCN Ch. 538

[Special thanks to Keesa Ocampo of MYX TV/ABS-CBN for her work on this press release.]

CLIPPING: Interview with the Editors of / @jozjozjoz @ErnieAtLYD @Moye

Editors of

Joz, Ernie & Moye: Editors of (Photo courtesy Tommy Su of

A few weeks ago we (the Co-Editors of 8Asians) got a request to be interviewed by a student for an Asian American Studies class at UCLA. Seeing as I was an undergrad in that program, I basically said yes and forced Ernie and Moye to do it. But since they’re awesome, they did and here’s the result, from the project’s tumblr:

1. What purpose did you have in starting the blog?
Continue reading ‘CLIPPING: Interview with the Editors of / @jozjozjoz @ErnieAtLYD @Moye’

Hayley Kiyoko of Disney Channel’s ‘Lemonade Mouth’ Gets Kicked out of the L.A. Apple Store for Flash Mob

Originally posted on 8Asians

Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft, known professionally as Hayley Kiyoko, is an American actress, singer and dancer who plays Stella Yamada from the Disney Channel film Lemonade Mouth. Not being the target demographic of anything on the Disney Channel, I hadn’t heard of Hayley or the film until I saw tweets about her getting kicked out of the Apple Store at the Grove in L.A. for her flash mob with co-star Chris Dupre (and a gaggle of dancers!). While there is speculation that this was some sort of corporate-concocted promotion for the movie, Hayley says to her YouTube followers:

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you all know that the apple store had NO idea we were going to flash mob them….disney had absolutely NO involvement in this video.
We rehearsed THAT day with the dancers and literally walked in, in hopes that everything would go as planned….

Just wanted to clear that up!!! :)

And I also wanted to THANK EVERYONE for watching our video and supporting lemonade mouth!! Turn YOUR world into a dance floor….Love you all!!xoxo

I think if this song had been like 30 seconds shorter, they would have made it out of the Apple Store without getting ushered out. That said, does someone have something that can erase this song from my mind? The hook is annoyingly catchy, which means I have to share the love…

h/t: @MackReed

Today! @jozjozjoz to be on @CSUF panel of Asian American bloggers w/ @AngryAsianMan @Disgrasian & @8Asians’ @moye & @ksakai1

Cal State Fullerton’s Asian American Studies Program presents Asian American Bloggers Speak on Blogging at the Cal State Fullerton Titan Student Union., and are some of the leading web logs (“blogs”) on Asian American cultural politics, media, pop culture and current events. The bloggers of, and will speak about the creation and impact of their blog websites, as well as the current topics addressed on their sites.


Free and open to the public.
April 18, 2011, 10:00 AM
Cal State Fullerton
Titan Student Union
Gabrielino Room

Sponsored by the CSUF Asian American Studies Program.

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami: Did Japan “Deserve” It?

One would hope that in the face of terrible tragedy, people can overcome their racism to, you know, become decent, compassionate human beings.

Instead, people are taking an unimaginable natural disaster and using it as a reason to justify why the Japanese “deserved” such devastation. To document and combat the ignornant Twitter and Facebook updates emerging online, Karma Japan began taking and posting screenshots of many Tweeters saying the disaster was “karma” or “payback” for the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, which happened over 70 years– and one World War– ago. There were enough so many tweets along these lines to make “Pearl Harbor” a popular trending topic on Twitter. One notable Tweeter, television writer Alec Sulkin who has over 160,000 followers said, “If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google “Pearl Harbor death toll.” It was retweeted by over 100 over his followers within 4 hours. (A day later, Sulkin apologized and deleted his original tweet: “Yesterday death toll = 200. Today = 10 thousand. I am sorry for my insensitive tweet. It’s gone.” Only 75 people retweeted the apology after more than 24 hours.) For the record, the death toll at Pearl Harbor was approximately 2,400. It is likely that that the death toll in Japan will exceed that number by several fold, but regardless of the numbers, is it okay to compare the reasoning behind an act of war to that of an act of nature?
Continue reading ‘Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami: Did Japan “Deserve” It?’

Was Groupon’s Super Bowl “Tibet” Ad Funny or Offensive?

Originally posted at 8Asians: Controversial Groupon Super Bowl Commercial Exploits Tibet for Laughs

I was only half-watching Super Bowl XLV today, but my attention was piqued when an ad featuring Asians (Tibetans) appeared on my TV. It turns out, it was an ad by Groupon, featuring Timothy Hutton which opened with what seemed to be an impassioned plea for the oppressed people of Tibet. Suddenly, Tibet became a punchline about delicious food that you could get for cheap through their site.

Quoting Timothy Hutton in the Groupon Ad:

The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy. But they still whip up an amazing fish curry.

This happens to be one of Groupon’s first forays into television advertising, so the backlash on various social media channels was immediate:

  • “Groupon exploits Tibetan plight for giggles? Why?” (via Salon on Twitter)
  • “I’m sorry, but did just exploit the fact that Tibet isn’t free for a COMMERCIAL?
    Yes, yes it did. As soon as I realized what was going on, I felt sick. Fuck you, Groupon. Fuck you.” (Mohandas Gandhi on Tumblr)
  • “Millions of jews were murdered through starvation at Auschwitz… but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this GREAt brisket at Katz’s Delicatessen, thanks to Groupon!” (via crock703 on YouTube)
  • “Dear @Groupon – over a million Tibetans have been killed during Chinese occupation. Your ad wasn’t funny.” (via Devbost on Twitter)
  • “Groupon seems to have achieved the unique feat of paying $3M to lose customers who previously loved them.” (via RohitBhargava on Twitter)

Huffington Post asks “Is Groupon exploiting tragedy in Tibet for its own business with this ad? Is this similar to Kenneth Cole’s misguided Cairo message, though played out in front of millions more during the Super Bowl?”

To me, this is just another ad in a long list of annoying (or offensive) Super Bowl commercials which featured Asians: See 2009 Doritos ad, and 2007 ads for previous ads.

Some people, like Boribella, have already written complaints to Groupon and their response is unapologetic:

Hi ___________,
Thanks for your feedback!

We certainly don’t mean to offend with our advertisements. We think renting celebrities to promote our “Save the Money” campaign is pretty funny, but we understand if it doesn’t tickle you the right way.

In fact, we’re already raising awareness and funds for organizations who are doing work around these causes. Please go to and you will have the opportunity to donate to any of these causes. Groupon will gladly match your donation.

Additionally, we do occasionally feature other real charities on our site, so if you have any suggestions for us, please let us know here:

Thanks again for your feedback! Let me know if you have any other suggestions or questions.

Dave M

A lot has been made press about the Groupon being the “fastest growing company in history,” but if the Twitterverse has anything to say about this, Groupon’s first Super Bowl commercial is more fumble than touchdown. What do you think about it and will it affect your decision about whether or not to buy/use Groupons in the future?

For more information on the real plight of Tibetans — and not their “amazing fish curry” — see 10 Facts about Tibet via

Yes, I’m one of the main organizers of the upcoming @Banana2_Event #BANANA2 Conference

See my logo included in the promo/trailer video!?

For more info:
Twitter: @Banana2_Event

[Photo] Happy 4th Anniversary, @8Asians! Awesome @AsianPoses shot!!!

Happy 4th Anniversary, @8Asians !

Thx for celebrating: @ErnieatLYD @jozjozjoz @Moye @mikeleeorg @johnklin @stkyrice @timmie88 @DinoRay & Jeff

Not shown, B, L & L + My Mom…. Props to Moye who did an Asian Pose in
EVERY shot we took.

Thanks also to my Mom, who took the photo, using her infamous
@RacistCamera. (Yes, it did ask if someone blinked)

Outside Udupi Palace South Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
San Francisco, CA

Due to popular request, this is my signature: (-_-) Did someone blink?

Spotlight on K-Town’s Steve “Mohawk” Kim

Originally posted at 8Asians

MTV IggyK-Town Exclusive: Spotlight on Steve (MTVK)

I’m loving these spotlights that MTV Iggy is doing on the individual members of the K-Town cast. A few weeks ago, Eddy dished about Scarlet Chan, one of the biggest personalities on the female side of the cast… now let’s talk about Steve “Mohawk” Kim, the only member of the cast who actually lives and parties in L.A.’s Koreatown in real life.

This guy is hilarious and this video perfectly captures his personality and attitude in a short 3 minute clip. “What you see is what you get” with Steve and I love how he doesn’t hold back as he rates the women in the K-Town house, talks about what he is attracted to in a girl (“face: #1 and boobs #2…”), and of course, waxes philosophical about his distinctive hair.

Now I know I’m no hot chick, but when we were talking at Audrey’s Night Out last month, Steve literally could not finish a sentence/conversation with me because a hot chick walked by and he just turned, stopped her, and started talking to her instead of me. I didn’t take this too personally because I had actually been talking to Peter Le (also from the K-Town cast)– and also because not 30 seconds later, I witnessed a group of 5 or 6 pretty girls heading toward the elevators catching his eye. He ditched the first hot chick mid-sentence, followed the group of girls down the hallway, somehow talking his way in between the group of girls, and ended up with a girl in each arm by the time they pushed the “down” button in less than 3 minutes.

Say what you will about the guy, but there’s no denying his ability to spot and get the girls. If you’re a guy, you probably wish you had this guy’s smooth moves. And remember ladies, if you want to catch the eye of this mohawked man– it’s face first, THEN boobs. (Plan your plastic surgeries accordingly.)

Far*East Movement’s ‘Like A G6’ Hits #1 on iTunes; Internet Asks “What Does Like a G6 Mean?”

Originally posted at 8Asians

Congrats to Far*East Movement whose single Like A G6 hit #1 on the US iTunes singles charts and #10 on the Billboard charts, making Far*East Movement the first Asian American group to break into the iTunes and Billboard top 10 list. Like a G6 has been getting a ton of airplay.

Since they’re based in LA, I’ve seen FM perform many times over the years so it’s really great to hear them on the radio and see them find such huge success! Whenever I hear this song being played in a public place– like a store or a restaurant– I say loudly to whoever is near me “Did you know this song is by Far*East Movement? They’re Asian American!” Sometimes I get dirty looks for doing this, but most of the time, it sparks a conversation with strangers who say things like, “Wow! I’ve heard this song and didn’t know the group was Asian American.”

But most often people say, “What is a G6*?” Evidently, people are using the Internet (to try) to find out, and here is a sampling of what they would find online:

  • Over at ChaCha, some said “The phrase “Like a G6″ is most likely referring to a car, the Pontiac G6” to which other people responded “Wrong.”
  • Someone else said, “Yeah, I dont think anyone would be saying a Pontiac G6 is “fly”. While its an ok car for the average older woman, someone with a lot of money to spend probably wouldn’t buy it. Especially when the Pontiac G8 is so much faster and harder to get. If you’ve ever hung around people with real money, they don’t talk about cars as much as people without money do. They tend to talk about jets, yachts, and planes. ”
  • Some people think G6 refers to a musical chord
  • “G x 6” (i.e. “Gangsta x 6” or “Gay x 6”) is another popular belief
  • Some idiot honestly gave a Yahoo Answer of: “The G6 (Group of Six) in the European Union is an unofficial group of the interior ministers of the six European Union member states”
  • But the consensus online seems to be that G6 stands for Gulfstream G650, a really expensive jet

In other words, if you want to know the answer to a question, don’t ask the Internet. Instead, I say you should consult the nearest 3 year-old, as per Ford H’s comment on a Facebook thread: “My 3 year old hears and sings the chorus based on his own interest: “Like a cheese stick, like a cheese stick.”


Mmmm! I could use some string cheese about now! (But wait! Am I sure it’s string cheese? Maybe I need to ask “What is a cheese stick?“)

*According to one of the song’s co-writers, “G6” is open to interpretation.

‘The People I’ve Slept With’ Opens in L.A. this Friday Night; Q&A with Filmmakers & Cast Hosted by @jozjozjoz & @8Asians

We’ve been unabashed fans of the sex-comedy The People I’ve Slept With even before Koji joined our ranks, so it’s with great pleasure that we share the news that the film will be opening in Los Angeles this weekend (starting Friday, August 27th) at the Laemmle Sunset 5. (And if you’re not in L.A., Bay Area folks, it’s coming to you next!)

Yours truly, on behalf of, will be hosting a special Q&A with the filmmakers and cast, following the 10pm show on Friday, August 27. The People I’ve Slept With is fun, funny, and features many, many crushworthy folks. If you missed the sold-out screening at the 2010 L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival, then this is your chance to see it in the theatre and to meet some of the cast & filmmakers.

People Pictures is proud to announce the Los Angeles theatrical release of The People I’ve Slept With, directed by Quentin Lee (Ethan Mao, Shopping with Fangs) and written by Koji Steven Sakai. The film is self-distributed by People Pictures and will open exclusively August 27, 2010 at Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatres in Los Angeles.

“I am thrilled to be opening The People I’ve Slept With in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Cinemas. It’s an indie filmmaker’s dream come true,” says director Quentin Lee. “With the film playing at both LA’s Fusion and the LA Asian Pacific Film Festivals this year, I feel Angelenos will enjoy and support the adventures of the film’s heroine.”

The People I’ve Slept With is a sexy, romantic story about Angela (Karin Anna Cheung of Better Luck Tomorrow), a young woman with a zealously active sex life, who after every sexual conquest, makes keepsake “baseball cards” of each of her male conquests. One day, Angela finds out she is pregnant and begins a quest to find the identity of her baby’s daddy. Together with her gay, best friend and co-worker Gabriel (Wilson Cruz of He’s Just Not That Into You, My So-Called Life), the two go on a comical and raunchy hunt through her past hook-ups and dates. But as Angela peels back the layers of her frisky past, she begins to realize that the answers she is looking for, reveal themselves in surprising ways.

Featuring a sparkling and daring performance by Karin Anna Cheung, The People I’ve Slept With co-stars Archie Kao (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Lynn Chen (Lakeview Terrace, Saving Face) and screen legend James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song, The Crimson Kimono). The film has found strong support with sold out festival screenings including San Francisco Int’l Asian American Film Festival and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, along with being selected as the official Closing Night Presentation of the 2010 New York Asian American Film Festival. The film is set to open theatrically in Los Angeles at Laemmle Sunset 5, August 27, San Francisco at the VIZ CINEMAS, September 3, and in New York at Clearview Cinemas on August 13, 2010

You can buy your tickets online: Laemmle Sunset 5 (8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, 90046. 323-848-3500). See you there and come say hi!

DUDE WTF ASIA: Japanese People Laugh at Scaredy Bear

A bunch of people sent this video to me saying that I’d find it funny, but I just watched this in horror. Basically this video is of a cute little bear cub being scared out of its wits by a baby lion, monkey and monkey’s shadow. Ok, so maybe that shadow thing was kind of funny. But overall, I thought it was pretty cruel what they were doing to the bear. Adding in the facial reactions of the Japanese variety show folks and the soundtrack of the audiences saying “Kawaii!!!” didn’t change that, but maybe I need to see the full version of this, which evidently shows the bear cub exacting its revenge on its (previous) terrorizers. What do you think?

[Originally posted at 8Asians]

8Questions with Ken Watanabe: Actor who plays Saito, “The Tourist” in ‘Inception’

My interview with Ken Watanabe, originally published at 8Asians

I was lucky enough to attend an early screening of Inception at the Arclight in Hollywood on Wednesday night. Like Dino-Ray, I enjoyed how thought-provoking the film was, and truth be told—two days later, I’m still reeling at how mind-blown I was by this film.

You really have to see the film for yourself to appreciate the brilliance of Christopher Nolan’s writing and direction, but without strong characters and actors to take the audience through the emotional journey, I think the story driving Inception might have easily lost in the amazing visuals as well as the overwhelming amount of chasing, shooting, fighting, and other action and suspense sequences. So for me, it was the strength of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance, balanced with those of all the supporting characters– in particular the characters played by Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, and of course, Ken Watanabe that made the film so compelling.

Last Friday, Ken Watanabe was good enough to spare a few minutes on the phone with me for a quick chat about Inception, his own reaction after seeing the film, his thoughts about different audiences worldwide, and what he’ll be doing next.

Joz: You’ve had a long and notable career in Japan prior to your exposure to American audiences in ‘The Last Samurai’ and other English-language films. What are the main differences and similarities you find when you’re doing a film for an American (and international) audience, versus that of a Japanese audience?
Ken Watanabe: I couldn’t find [any] different perspective. To make a film just, I need to connect one audience, not [different] people. All people have the same feeling and same mind — a little bit different custom and culture and background and language, but same feelings, I think. I’m [an] Asian and Japanese actor so I want to try always [to balance]. [Like a] Japanese brush painting is [just] black and white [watercolor] — not oil — but still really sensitive [and shades in between]. Not yes or no, but just between good or bad, happy or sad… sensitive… between-gray area.

Asian Americans often criticize the lack of roles in Hollywood productions for Asian or Asian American actors that aren’t straight forward martial arts roles. Tell us a bit about the role of Saito and what it was like to do such a prominent and rich dramatic role.
It is my first experience in Hollywood in a really contemporary role. Also, it’s the same director that I worked with before, and it was a little bit of a different kind of window opened for me in Hollywood, because I always think about I try contemporary role with contemporary English, thinking, maybe I could do it. It’s really interesting, and in the future I can do it [more].

You and director Christopher Nolan both said that you wanted to work together more after your earlier work together in ‘Batman Begins.’ What was it like to have work with him in the role of Saito?
He told me, “I wrote a role for you.” It’s so incredible. I was really proud and honored and really glad to join this project. He has great ideas and imagination. I always want to cut open his head and see the inside! (laughs)

’Inception’ is about dreams, but hinges on the idea that someone’s dreams can be shared or even “implanted” with new ideas. What do you think about this?
NEVER. I never want to do that. It’s so scary. Please no one get in my dream! Anybody!

’Inception’ features themes and concepts that are synonymous with Asian thought and culture (such as reality as an illusion and the significance of dreams). What can you say about the significance of dreams?
Maybe it’s a similar feeling that Western people have. [Many Asians believe dreams] forecast for the future and some signal for the future and yeah so [if you dream something, maybe you] need to think about your style of life or something and change of mind.

I’m not a big dreamer and I always forget what I dream. But then I had a nightmare after the screening of ‘Inception!’ I woke up at 3:30 am and — yeah — I felt I got some great “inception” from Chris Nolan! (laughs) Totally different story!

The cast is truly International and the filming took the team all over the globe. What was the best part of being involved with such an international cast, crew, and production?
I’m Japanese actor, so many international cast: Marion Cotillard (French), Cillian Murphy (Irish), Ellen Page (Canadian) … but Chris Nolan wanted personality as an actor, as much as the character.

And then my character is not typical Japanese, any other “country” could be his character. I tried to some difficult way to make the character because it’s a really unique point of the movie is that the character enters other people’s dream. I tried to emphasize different aspects of my character each layer of the dream. It’s really interesting process to make up the character. In some sequence, I tried to make him more radical and powerful, seem like a villain to give to audiences violent feelings. And then some sequences he’s more sharp and calm, more closer to his real personality. Yeah, it’s really interesting, I enjoyed it as an actor.

What do you hope audiences will get out of seeing ‘Inception?’

Our readers are highly engaged in social media– they read blogs like ours and follow celebrities on Twitter and Facebook. Have you embraced social media and how can our readers follow you online online? What do you think of engaging your fans directly through the internet versus traditional forms of media & publicity.
I don’t have a web page or Twitter or Facebook or blog. My expressive piece is the movie. I want to connect to the piece. Just watch the movie, yeah, please. I don’t want to show them my private life.

What do you think of Americans’ fascination with celebrity?
I’m not a celebrity, just an actor. I try to put everything into the movie.

What projects are you looking forward to beyond ‘Inception?’
Nothing yet, after the promotion I will have a great summer vacation! (laughs)

Thanks so much to Ken for sharing his time and thoughts with us at 8Asians!

Congratulations to all the winners of our 8Asians Inception Prize Package Giveaway as well everyone who got to attend the advanced screening in L.A.! Don’t forget to “Like” his character on Facebook at InceptionSaito! Inception opens tonight in theatres in IMAX.

h/t: @TheOtherYoshi for transcribing the recorded interview for me so I didn’t have to hear my own voice

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