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Are Racial Jokes Funny? The Gooks of Hazzard

Asian American pro skateboarders, gooks of hazzardAre Racial Jokes Funny?

Thanks to Nathalie who sent me this article from AdWeek of pro skaters Don “The Nuge” Nguyen and Daniel “Shimeez” Shimizu depicted in a cartoon that references racial slurs. What do you think of it? Can you get away with racial slurs if you are making fun of your own kind? Is this offensive?

If you like retro TV and racist slurs, have we got the T-shirt for you. Baker Skateboards is taking some heat this week for its shirt called “The Gooks of Hazzard,” which refers to two Asian men as “good orr boys” driving a car called the General Li. The shirt probably doesn’t bother the two guys it depicts, whom we assume are pro skaters Don “The Nuge” Nguyen and Daniel “Shimeez” Shimizu. But it’s not sitting well with the Asian American Justice Center, which tells TMZ it’s “unacceptable for Baker Skateboards to create a depiction of Asian Americans which uses racial slurs and perpetuates racist stereotypes.” Our prediction: Non-skaters try to turn this into a cultural debate over self-referential racism, while skaters just laugh at the rest of us for being old and lame. Adweek

Are we taking this too seriously? If the skateboarders depicted don’t care, then we shouldn’t? What do you think?

 


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Funniest Stand Up Comedians: Danny Cho

Danny Cho, Asian American Comedian, Asian American actor,Asian American Comedians

I was so impressed with Danny Cho, the writer behind K-Town Web Comedy Series K-Town Cowboys that I sought out his stand up. I’m glad I did because he’s FUNNY! This is his “clean” set. You gotta love a Korean American who grew up in East LA! He mines this experience of living in the hood with hilarious results. What’s next for Danny Cho? I hope big things!

 

If you are on the West Coast and want to see him live, here’s his touring schedule.

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K-Town Cowboys: Because You Make Your Own Gigs Asian American Actors!

K-Town Cowboys, KTown Cowboys, KTown movieDoes anyone remember that movie Diner with Kevin Bacon? I’d pitch this as a K-Town web series version of Diner. I found it trolling through YouTube searching for K-Town episode 3 and thought this was a reality show. It’s actually much better than a reality show. Written by talented stand up comedian Danny Cho, directed by Daniel “DPD” Park, and bringing together their posse of Korean American acting types, it’s a glimpse into the modern dating world of K-Town through the eyes of LA newbie John Kim, cast perfectly and played by Lanny Joon.

If you are hooked on K-Town, the reality show, this web series has similar themes like booking, Pok Tan Ju, and the multiple rounds of drinking known as il-cha, ee-cha, sam-cha, and sa-cha. Watch with caution. Very addicting. Make sure you have a free 90 minutes to view it all!

The Show

Ktown Cowboys came about in May 2009. Daniel “DPD” Park and Danny Cho were sitting and having a beer. They were reminiscing about their fun times in Koreatown (“Ktown”) Los Angeles when they were younger. Although both DPD and Danny had zero experience in making a movie, they set out to write a script about their glory days in Ktown. The idea was simple. Give the most realistic portrayal of Ktown ever done.

Once the writing process began, DPD and Danny quickly realized that instead of trying to go the traditional route (movie, theater distribution, etc.), they wanted as many people as possible to see their project. Hence, they decided to write a webisode series. By the end of October 2009, the writing for the webisode series was complete. However, writing the script was one thing but to actually go into production was another ordeal that DPD and Danny did not have any experience in. Fortunately, the Korean liquor company, Hite/Jinro agreed to give then $5000 to start production. With the money from Hite and one small fundraiser, DPD and Danny assembled the cast and crew and set off to finish Ktown Cowboys, which will eventually be re-cut into a feature length movie format.

Ktown Cowboys is a story about John Kim (Lanny Joon), a young Korean American from Richmond, Virginia, finds himself transplanted to Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Having been recently dumped by his girlfriend and with no immediate job prospects, Johnny is taken under the wing of his cousin Jason (Shane Yoon) and a motley crew of partyhoppers who are dedicated to having a good time. The cast includes Bobby Lee (MADtv), Justin Chon (Twilight), Danny Cho, Bobby Choy, Lanny Joon, Peter Jae, Sunn Wee and many more Asian Americans in the entertainment industry.

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Reviews & Buzz:
– Koream feature
– Rice Bomb
– Groove/Asia
– omgkpop.com
– examiner.com
– Angry Asian Man
– ‘Ktown Cowboys’ Episode 1 Hits the Web After a Sold-out World Premiere at LAAPFF
– Channel APA
– Angry Asian Man
– LAAPFF
– Peachies

When John Kim (Lanny Joon) relocates from the comforts of his picket-fence, WASP neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia to the alluring city of Ktown Los Angeles, the land of sultry women, Booking Clubs, and late night taco trucks, his arrival immediately sparks the most epic night of his life. His cousin, Jason (Shane Yoon) introduces John to his audacious crew (Peter Jae, Danny Cho, Sunn Wee, and Bobby Big Phony Choy) who teach John the basic yet inventive ways on how to survive the perfect Friday night in Ktown. Special appearances by Justin Chon (Twilight) and Bobby Lee (Mad TV).

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Away It Happened: AT&T Web Series Commercial Gives Asian American Actors A Chance!

Away We Happened, AT&T web seriesWeb TV Series is Clever Commercial Starring Asian American Actors

This is rest of the clever AT&T web series, Away It Happened. On the one hand, it’s a really innovative idea to use a web series to showcase the features of the new AT&T smart phone which bears uncanny resemblance to the iPhone. It’s clearly targeting the twenty-something Asian American market; I suppose our disposable incomes and attitudes towards technology make us the perfect market segment.

Frankly, this web series give Asian American directors and actors a chance to show their stuff. Since there are such limited opportunities in Hollywood, I applaud AT&T for giving them this chance. And you know what? That phone really does have cool features!

What do you think of this web-series-as-commercial?

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K-Town: Jersey Shore Reality Show Features Korean Americans UPDATED

K-Town, Asian Jersey Shore, Korean Jersey Shore, KTownAsian American Reality Show Doesn’t Make TV

I have to admit that these reality TV shows are my guilty pleasure though I have weaned myself off The Real Housewives of New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, after battling an addition to The Hills but only for the seasons with Lauren Conrad. Now, reality TV show free, I am afraid that K-Town has the same mesmerizing attraction. It could be that I worked in K-Town for 3 years and then lived in Los Angeles, venturing back for the Korean food and clubbing a couple of time. But I never really knew K-Town.

There’s an highbrow analysis of this show as well. On the one hand, a show that portrays Asian Americans as individuals instead of stereotypes is a good thing even if this version shows the good, the bad and the ugly. Actually, there is very little ugly involved. The cast is well toned and attractive. Finally, Asian American males, in particular, are shown as sexy.

Others in the Asian Community might object to the fact that the cast is not of a Tiger Mom ilk, but there is no doubt that this is pure entertainment. And I hope everyone tunes in, if only to criticize. If this show can get a following, it will bode well for future shows with Asian American characters outside of the narrow bandwidth we see now: bad guys, kung fu masters, nerds and FOB waiters.

The first two episodes are below. Believe me, I searched for the episode three but it’s not out yet. I’m hooked. If you want notification of new episodes, go here. The Facebook page is here. Let me know what you think! Please leave a comment!

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 1

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 2

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 3

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 4

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 5

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 6

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 7

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 8

K-Town Reality Show, Episode 9

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Taking the Summer Off!

It’s been just over a year blogging at JadeLuckClub and I’ve enjoyed this experience tremendously. I’ve met such interesting Asian Americans including the folks at the White House who work on the Asian American Initiative. But since this is my THIRD blog, the pace of blogging is killing me. If I don’t blog at least 5 days a week, I can’t seem to get any traction for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Google.

So … I’m taking the summer off. I want to use the time to work on a middle grade novel with an Asian American theme. Wish me luck on that. Please email me with any ideas for posts. When I return in September, I might change this blog direction slightly to focus more on Asian American children’s and young adult literature but still mulling that one over.

Have a wonderful summer!

p.s. If you want to read my blog posts, please come to Pragmatic Mom where I blog excessively on children’s books and I Love Newton, my micro blog on Newton, MA.

2 Comments

Aziatix: Catchy R&B, Pop and Rap Combination!

Aziatix

Congrats to Aziatix for signing huge record deal with Cash Money Records worth $11.3 million!

Aziatix is still riding the wave from the huge splash they made with their new EP AWAKENING which debuted at #1 on iTunes R&B/Soul charts in America, Japan, and Korea. They have used this momentum to become featured in Converse’s latest “Three Artists. One Song” campaign that has featured recent song collaborations from Foster the People, A-Trak, Gorillaz, Andre 3000, Kid Cudi, and many more.

Converse’s latest “Three Artists One Song” campaign will feature a triple-threat team of AziatixIdiotape, and Jaurim. Much like Aziatx, Idiotape and Jaurim are two of South Korea’s most influential superstar music groups with Idiotape bringing their slamming dance beats powered by electrofied punk riffs and Jaurim bringing their legendary indie rock sound. Converse will bring these powerful sounds all together to produce a track that is sure to resonate all throughout the world. The track is available for both download and streaming herehttp://www.conversekorea.com/3a1s_korea/kr/

Who is Aziatix? Here are a few of their recent milestones:

  • On May 2nd, 2012 released a new EP album, Awakening which debuted at #1 on iTunes U.S. R&B/Soul charts
  • Debuted Awakening on top of iTunes charts in the U.S., Japan, and Korea
  • Featured on the cover of Newsweek Korea on February 2012
  • Featured in Newsweek Japan on January 2012
  • Won “Best New Asian Artist Group” at the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2011
  • Featured on BlastroAOL (first Asian-American group), MyspaceMSN, and Windows Media Music main home pages
  • Reached #1 in orders in Japan for two weeks in a row following the album’s release on May 15, 2012

 

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Somebody That I Used to Know: Choreography by Anthony Lee

Anthony Lee choreographer

Thank you to author Wendy Shang for sending this my way. She is on her way to accept her APALA award for her wonderful middle grade chapter book The Great Wall of Lucy Wu. What do you think of the choreography? I asked my kids and they liked it a lot! Hey, if your middle schooler approves, then you know they are cool! These boys can dance! Nice choreography Mr. Lee!

My kids are really into this video and they had fun for an hour trying to copy the choreography! We all chose favorites. Music Lovers favors the middle guy. PickyKidPix and I like the 2nd from left denim guy. My little son likes the far left guy … perhaps because he’s the smallest. Ah, I hear the video being played right now!

This song was stuck in my head so I had to get it out of my system, and on the plus side, it was an excuse for me to try something new. I hope you enjoy the more…alternative…side of me? thanks for watching! [yea it’s a bit messy but whatever.]

Song: Somebody that I used to Know
Artist: Gotye

FOLLOW ME IF YOU DARE:
twitter: http://twitter.com/antoniousness
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/antoniousness
tumblr: http://antoniousness.tumblr.com/
instagram: antoniousness
email: booking.a.lee@gmail.com

DANCERS:
Charles Nguyen @charlesvnguyen
Josh EspinoSa @joshmelo
Lawrence Devera @LawPOREOTICS
Lawrence Kao @iamlawrencekao
Directed/Filmed/Edited by: Jonathan Shih @JYShih21

Special shout out to The Shift Dance Crew from Syracuse University!

Special thanks to Victor Kim for the spot/cameo!

2 Comments

Why It’s Harder for Asian Americans to Find Jobs

Unemployment rate by race

from NPR, Asians out of work longer than any other minority.

If Asian Americans had the same unemployment rates by education level as whites,

however, the Asian American unemployment rate would have been 6.3%, almost a percentage point lower.

This is from Economic Policy Institute. If we are stereotypically well educated, hard working, and downright geeky, why is it that Asian Americans have to be more educated in order to get hired? What do you think? The numbers don’t lie.

Here’s Theory 1 for this from NPR: Asian-Americans lack the networks or language skills to find jobs outside their community or industry. And whereas Latinos of different nationalities are bound by a common language, there are about a dozen languages spoken in the Asian-American community.

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Hidden disadvantage: Asian American unemployment and the Great Recession

By Algernon Austin | June 2, 2010

Asian Americans experience a complex mix of advantages and disadvantages in finding employment. Asian Americans in the labor force are advantaged in that a large share of them have bachelor’s and advanced degrees. In contrast, they also have a larger share of workers than whites without high school diplomas.

Asian Americans with bachelor’s degrees only have a higher unemployment rate than whites with bachelor’s degrees. Asian American high school dropouts, however, are more successful than white dropouts at finding work.

These advantages and disadvantages sum to a net disadvantage for Asian American workers. The overall unemployment rate for Asian Americans, 25-years-old and over in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 7.1%. The comparable rate for whites was 7.0%. If Asian Americans had the same unemployment rates by education level as whites, however, the Asian American unemployment rate would have been 6.3%, almost a percentage point lower. Thus, overall, Asian American workers are disadvantaged relative to white workers.

Further research is necessary to deepen our understanding of Asian Americans in the labor force. This analysis raises numerous questions about whether there are significant differences in the occupations and industries of Asian American workers in comparison with white workers that might explain the differences in unemployment rates. Also, it would be informative to examine the labor force participation rates and the relative wages of Asian American and white workers.

While there is still much to understand about Asian Americans in the labor force, the overall disadvantage in employment for Asian Americans is a disturbing finding. It points, once again, to the conclusion that as a society we still have a way to go in guaranteeing equal opportunity for all workers.

16 Comments

You Help Tell This Asian American Love Story!

Away We Happened

Wong Fu Productions and AT&T present
“Away We Happened,” an original web series that involves YOU the viewer
helping to decide how and where the story goes.
Watch, submit your ideas, vote for your favorites
and find out what happens!!

Here’s how.

Go here.

Ok, the trailer and the first episode have me hooked. Those two actors are adorable. I KNOW this is a commercial for AT&T’s new iPhone knockoff, but I don’t care. I want to know if he really got the assignment or just made it up. I think he made it up. She IS cute. Men do that. Cute!

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