Month: April 2009

April 28, 2009 / / diversity

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

FunnyMo

One episode left in Heroes’ season, and the major players are coming together again in order to … uh, save the country from themselves. Or something. We’ve got villains riffing on the Obama campaign, a family pledging to work together for about two minutes, and one brave Roundtable willing to make sense of it all for you. So here we go!

Forget saving the country; with Tim Kring writing the closer, can the Heroes even salvage their season?
Mahsino: No. It’s like we aren’t jumpin’ sharks anymore, we’re jumping humpback whales. This show half-past ridiculous, how many times can we say “this changes everything” in one episode?
Jen*: I don’t see Kring saving anything. An hour’s not long enough, anyway. Something Arturo said was on my mind as well though – every series doesn’t have 10 sucky ep’s to have 2 good ones – why is Heroes like this?
Andrea: Ever since Kring went on his blame-the-fans campaign, I felt he lost interest in saving this show, and this season was another example of his neglect. I’m surprised NBC let him get away with this, considering how rough network TV’s having it these days.
Diana: There’s nothing to save. They didn’t even keep with the theme of this chapter. It’s just been a hodge-podge of crap all season.
Erica: The only possible salvation is that overused classic — it turns out it was all a dream and we can ignore it all!

dankoknifeLet’s talk terminal! Who do you see getting offed and why?
Mahsino: Nate’s getting offed. This show isn’t big enough for both Nathan and Sylar’s eyebrows.
Jen*: If wishes came true. I’ll take the obvious choice: Danko.
Mahsino: Somehow I manage to forget about his presence as soon as he’s not in the shot. I second that recommendation.
Diana: I’m with Jen on this one. Once Sylar pulled that knife out of his head, my thought was, “Danko the troll is gonna get it now.”
Erica: Yeah, Danko goes bye-bye. Sadly, much as I wish Nathan would finally give up the ghost, he’ll be sticking around to give Peter somebody to whine at.
Andrea: What? As much as we carry on about her, no one wants Claire offed? Or better yet, the show’s wigmaker? (The former ’cause she has to be about the most useless main character, and the latter…well, look at what zie’s been putting on the former’s head.)
Mahsino: Much as I might wish it to be so, I just don’t see her biting the bullet- that would just make too much sense. Read the Post The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.11

April 27, 2009 / / random
April 27, 2009 / / immigration

by Guest Contributor Cara, originally published at The Curvature

comic 3

I just came across a post at Sociological Images about an outrageously racist flash video game called Border Patrol. They note that in the game, “you try to keep three types of Mexicans from crossing the border: drug dealers, Mexican nationalists, and ‘breeders.’” Video game site Kotaku — which thankfully also calls the video game racist — gives a highly similar description. As you’ll notice in the image above, which is of a heavily pregnant and barefoot caricatured woman crossing the border, she is also on her way to the welfare office.

But you may also notice something else. Looking at the image, there are bullet holes in the sign that says “Welcome to the United States” (with a picture of a flag that seems to indicate an anti-Semitic message that the country is run by Jews — am I missing something?). The woman in the game also looks like her head is in the cross hairs of a gun.

That’s right, in this game we’re not “stopping” Mexican immigrants from crossing the border without documentation by, oh, calling the police. Or by using another horrific and degrading option like catching them in a net to send them back over the border.

No, players are shooting them dead. Read the Post City Councilman Promoted Violent Anti-Immigrant Video Game

April 27, 2009 / / asian-american

by Guest Contributor Jenn, originally published at Reappropriate

parryThe Backstory: This interview is the first in a series of interviews with the editors of Secret Identities, an anthology of comic short stories about Asian American superheroes from Asian American writers and artists. Secret Identities hit bookshelves last week, and in case you haven’t heard, it’s awesome.

In This Issue: I spoke with each of the editors one-on-one for about an hour, chatting about a variety of topics from the making of Secret Identities to their favourite comic books when they were a kid. These interviews are based on those conversations.

I thank each of the editors for taking time out of their busy schedules (and their jam-packed book tour) to chat with me.

I first met Parry Shen back in the spring of 2004, when he visited my undergraduate alma mater for a workshop on his experiences as lead actor in Justin Lin’s debut film, Better Luck Tomorrow. At his workshop, I learned a lot about Shen’s experiences as an Asian American actor in a predominantly non-Asian Hollywood. I learned about the difficulties for minority actors in the casting process and the sense of futility, cynicism, and defeat that many Asian American actors ultimately succumb to before leaving the industry altogether. And, I learned about the breath of fresh air that an independent film like Better Luck Tomorrow represented for a large community of struggling Asian American actors, directors and producers. Better Luck Tomorrow was a shot of pure adrenaline; it established to a disillusioned community of Asian American entertainers that a socially-conscious, Asian American-focused project could be made in a profit-driven mainstream Hollywood, and that our community would come out in full force to support it.

Six years later, Shen is hoping to do it again.

Although Shen is the first editor I interviewed for this series, he was the last editor to join the board of Secret Identities. A daily reader of Phil Yu’s Angry Asian Man blog, Shen was thrilled when Yu posted a call for submissions for a collected anthology of Asian American superhero comic stories written by Asian American comic book legends and fanboys alike. A long-time comic book fan, Shen immediately responded to the call for submissions (two of his pieces appear in the book: Hibakusha, a story about a group of young Hiroshima survivors who develop awesome powers, and 16 Miles, a story based on the death of real-life Asian American hero, James Kim). The anthology’s editors were so impressed with Shen’s creativity and enthusiasm, that they invited him to join the board as Managing Editor.

Read the Post Secret Identities: Parry Shen Unmasked

April 24, 2009 / / links

Shashwati’s Blog – Manufacturing Outrage – Slumdog and Its Discontents (via DeafMuslim)

Piecing the story together, it seems that the tabloid entrapped the family by posing as an Arab couple (being Arab increases the pathology, get it?), and offered to adopt Rubina and pay $300,000 to the family. This exchange took place via a translator since Rubina’s father doesn’t actually speak English. Rubina’s parents are divorced and the relationship between her parents is far from cordial. The mother wants custody of her daughter, the papers say after the film came out, but it could be an ongoing conflict, we don’t know.

There are a couple of interesting things in this story, firstly everyone is outraged at the father for considering adoption. This is hardly unusual, poor people have often given up their kids up to foster care for a time (the example of filmmaker Stan Brakhage comes to mind, he was in an orphanage for a while), and in India, its not unusual for kids to grow up in places other than their parents house – I lived with my aunt for a while, and my brother grew up at my grandparents place. The ideal of the soccer mom based nuclear family is quite recent. Yes, I get it, the proposed exchange of money is what really bothers people and everyone is sickened by the avariciousness of the family. Now if most people look into their family histories, they’re sure to find that uncle who took everything the other siblings should have inherited a fair share of. Yes, its terrible that people are greedy and criminal, but its hardly the province of the poor. So I wish people would take their outrage to where it belongs – a grossly unjust world where some countries are far richer than they deserve to be, and some people have the luxury of taking the moral high ground without every having to interact with the poor.


Guanabee – Dallas Morning News

The problem is not that Woolley fails to use statistical date or examples beyond the existence of Spanish-language Wal-Marts in her rebuttal… it’s the fact that her column is a rebuttal, referring directly to Linda Chavez’s column:

    If, as Linda Chavez seems to think, the intent of those who come to America illegally is simply to raise a family, send the kids to college and assimilate into American society, then where’s the problem? The problem is – that’s just simply not the case.

This doesn’t create a conversation or dialogue about the topic, nor does it seem fair that the Dallas Morning News’ editors chose which columnist would have the privilege of getting the “last word.” So was the purpose of running both articles to present opposing views on the lives of illegal immigrants… or simply to refute Linda Chavez’s points?

Read the Post Links – 2009-04-24

April 24, 2009 / / class

by Guest Contributor M. Dot, originally published at Model Minority

Last year, it took me roughly six weeks to earn $5,800. This is significant because during the late eighties and early nineties my mother received public assistance, subsequently she and I lived off of $5,800 for an entire year.

Yes, $5,800 per year.

Given these facts, last year, I thought a lot about the ways in which I could personally serve as a gentrifying factor in my hometown of Oakland, California. Often times, in popular media, there is very little talk of gentrification, or if there is, it is discussed in vague terms, such as”those hipsters are moving in” or “those white people are moving in” or “this area is becoming nicer.”

Gentrification has very little to do with white hipsters moving into the ‘hood and everything to do with process of people who earn higher incomes moving into neighborhoods where folks reside who are earning comparatively lower incomes.

If I am a Black women, in Bed-stuy, East Oakland or the South Side of Chicago, and I earn $60K per year and I am willing to
pay $1000 for an apartment that everyone else, who earns between $10-15K/year, pays $500 per month, then I am
serving as a force of gentrification in this neighborhood. It bears being stated that I in may ways I am a gentrifying force in the same way that a white person earning $60K who moves into the same community.

What becomes pivotal is my willingness to be engaged with the community that I have moved into.

A more sustainable, honest and comprehensive conversation about gentrification would involve a discussion of the income of the gentrifiers and not just the race of the gentrifiers. Read the Post Gentrification has Nothing to Do with White Hipsters

April 23, 2009 / / Quoted

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson


I was not enthused about the project. There seemed to be little humanity in Christopher Wallace. He sold drugs, used the “N” word as a noun, verb, and adjective, then became a famous rapper. My initial thought, “So what?” Instinctively, though, I knew if I could find a way to connect to him, the film would be entertaining. I liked some of his music. I also knew a film about this icon could be a platform to challenge some of the “cancers” plaguing the inner city. There’s an expression: “You have to enter somebody’s world before you lead them out.” That’s what I would try to do. […]

I interviewed the important players in Biggie’s life – Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, Wayne Barrow. Even P. Diddy came to the crib. The peripheral characters began to take shape. However, I still had not uncovered Biggie. I had to go “method acting” on this bad boy. Instead of looking outside of myself for the main character, I looked inside. I never sold drugs, but as a teenager growing up in the hood, money was important to me. I got a gig acting on a soap opera when I was 16. I wasn’t making Donald Trump loot but I was making as much paper as the drug dealers. I defined my manhood in in a materialistic, superficial way. As I reflected on all this, it struck me. This movie is not about a rapper. It is not about a drug dealer. It is about someone navigating his way to manhood. Read the Post Quoted: Reggie Rock Bythewood on Writing Notorious