Tag Archives: elections

An Extra In The ‘Chinese Professor’ Ad Speaks Out

By Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Soon after that “Chinese Professor” got everybody talking, question started to emerge over the Asian participants in the commercial. A lot of people pointed out that it didn’t look like they were actually from China, and more likely young Asian Americans who were recruited here, in the United States, to be part of the ad. So who were these Asian faces?

Turns out, most of the extras in this commercial had little or no idea that their appearance in the ad would turn out like this. I was recently able to track down Josh H., who happens to be one of the extras in the now-infamous future Chinese classroom. He says he was recruited when he signed up to be an extra on Transformers 3. Here’s what he wrote to me:

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American “Activism”: On the Neda Video, and Other Images of the Brutal Third World

by Guest Contributor Catherine A. Traywick, originally published at Femmalia

Two weeks after the much-publicized death of Iranian protester, Neda — whose final moments were famously captured by a cell phone camera and distributed the world over — a couple dozen performers put together a music video tribute slash “non-violent resistance” anthem filmed (appropriately?) with nothing but a cell phone camera. Described by CNN as “a call to action against human rights violations by the Iranian government against Iranians,” the video’s creators/stars rap and harmonize about non-violence, their fuzzy, pixelated faces crooning between clips of the now historic footage of Neda’s death.

The graphic clips excerpted by the creators of the video for the the purpose of spreading their message of solidarity and pacifism have generated a cacophony of international outrage, sympathy, outright disbelief, and controversy since their initial circulation a few weeks ago. While the footage has galvanized protesters in Iran, creating for them a martyr to rally around as they strive for real, lasting change, it has also prompted enthusiastic Americans to wear green and tweet about revolution in what has already been described by numerous commentators as a superficial and ineffectual display of “solidarity.” The “United for Neda” video, as well-intentioned and misguided as any green-clad American, seems to fall into the latter category. Like Americans who continually replay the Neda footage in order to sustain a dimming sense of shock, outrage, and civic duty while imagining a connection to a less complacent world, the music video appropriates the controversial images of Neda with the aim of fostering activism through the propagation of sensational violence. Continue reading