Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


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  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Now I don't expect White people to notice that a disproportionate percentage of people on television are White (especially when you focus on speaking roles). There's no reason for you to. And I don't expect you to notice that there are almost no Asians on TV either. But, for obvious reasons, I notice. And when I see that an ad agency has finally decided to include an Asian character only so that they can publicly mock them (or even a subset of them), I get upset.And when they do it using stereotypes like non-English accents and kung-fu bulls**t like "25 Cent Chang: Master of the Connection Fee", I get even more upset.If they had mixed around the casting, they could have put across the same message, used the same satire, and kept it funny.Although, some of the stereotype humor may be lost. But, hey, do I find it funny when Asians and Latinos look foolish? Not usually. And do I find it funny when people make fun of the accents my parents speak with? Of course not. And do I have the right to tell T-Mobile: "hey, you guys are potentially marginalizing a large customer base"? Of course. Hey, sometimes I feel charitable.Just because some people find a joke funny doesn't mean everyone else does. We all have legitimate, personal reasons for why we like or dislike content. And don't forget that the right to voice an opinion and protest something you find unjust also falls within the foundation of our America. And that enlightening people towards others' views and feelings is a way to strengthen, not destroy race relations.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    But it seems like what you're really trying to say is that racial stereotypes shouldn't be taken seriously, especially when they're used to get a laugh.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Now White people don't have to worry about stereotypes. That's one of the privileges attached to being White in this country. People don't use "White" stereotypes to pre-judge you or make assumptions about you based on your race. No one cares that you're not offended by the "gangsta wannabe" White character. I'd be more surprised if you were.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Jeb,These ads are about using stereotypes and stoking racial divisions in order to sell telephones. This is not about making fun of "posers" in general. The message here is that "poser" companies are analogous to Latinos, Whites and Asians who try to act "Black" (note the quotation marks). That's pretty clear considering the choice of characters in the banner ads and the fact that there are no African-American members of the "Poser Mobile Posse."

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Having some trouble posting. This is just a test.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Jeb,You're funny! Speaking of checking, why don't you check out the rest of this website and see what I'm actually channelling my energy into? I think co-founding and co-editing a magazine that advocates for the rights and responsibilities of my community is pretty productive. What have you done this lifetime?Speaking of which, if all of this is such a waste of time, why are you wasting your time on it? Maybe you ought to start thinking about exactly whom you are defending when you defend a T-Mobile advertising campaign. Here's a hint. I'm defending all the Asian Americans out there, those wearing tracksuits and those not wearing them, who don't speak with cheesy accents, and whose identity is not a "pose".So, can you please explain again exactly how "25 Cent" Chang is not a stereotype created to make consumers like you feel good about themselves because they are "cooler" and understand more than the "posers"?

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Ahh, it is your own ignorance that prevents you from clearly understanding my message. In the commerical you have a Latino, an Asian and one FAT, "gansta wannabe" white boy. I'm white and I'm not a "Gangsta - wannabe", yet I'm not offended by an amusing commercial. Why would you protest a commercial that depicts people as they sometimes appear? Not all latinos, asians and whites are "thugged out" but THEY DO EXIST in that exact form. That commercial was perfectly acceptable and depicted a portion of American society. Admittedly the portion of society that was depicted is not exactly what I consider to represent the best of each race, but what do you think the "gangsta's" feel when they see a stuffy asian politician or attorney? They're probably saying "Awww, dawg, thats not how we keep it real, thats B.S". You can't please everyone all the time and you can never please the ignorant masses that demand conformity to a "standard" that not everyone agrees with. Your protest is unwarranted and does nothing to help inter-racial relations. Until you stop looking at things in a racial light you will always be crusading against "the man". Why can't you just see a group of thugs that represent "poser mobile" instead of a stupid white thug, a stupid latino thug and a poor, misrepresented (and stereotyped) asian?You seem to be somewhat intelligent and I think you could truly benefit society if you channeled your energy into something productive instead of this pseudo-crusade for morals.It is you that needs to check yourself.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    I'm white and I think its funny stuff. You don't say.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Jeb,You should be ashamed that you never noticed, at the very least, that the image of the Asian guy was stereotyped and racist. Better check yourself, your ignorance is showing.There were plenty of white people during the civil rights movement who were protesting at the ridiculousness of objections to "funny" images of blacks: Stepinfetchit, figurines of Mammies with breasts caught in laundry wringers, African "savages" with bones in their noses and enormous lips cannibalizing whites, etc, etc, etc. Do you agree with them?The fact that Asians are now protesting the persistence of racism in images of Asians is not a sign of our ridiculousness. It's a sign of our growing awareness and willingness to speak up. The reason that racism in images of Asians persists is that people like you don't see it, or object to it -- just like those whites in 1950's and 60's America who could see the problem with lynching, but couldn't see the problem with minstrel shows.By the way, "censorship" is not the same as protest, another point on which you display your ignorance. I am exercising my freedom of speech by protesting against an advertising campaign I feel to be racist. You'll notice that I did not call for the government to crack down on T-Mobile, nor did I call for a new law preventing racist stereotypes from being presented on television. That would be censorship.Instead, I called for Americans to exercise their freedom of speech and protest by contacting the corporation that is committing this egregious act of racism. We all have the right to do so, and if enough of us do so, T-Mobile will realize that it is not in their best interests (read: it's bad publicity) for them to continue to offer racist stereotypes in their advertisements and will choose to stop. This is not censorship. This is consumer activism. God bless America, and pass the soy sauce.

  • South Asian Persuasion   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Are South Asians unheard of in the USA compared to the UK. In the UK there is some racial prejudice against them, how are they viewed in the USA?Are there some Americans who've never heard of South Asians.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Why can't satire and parody exist in commercials that are meant to be funny? The message is clear to most people, don't buy into a company's image - buy into a service that isn't going to hit you with fees, connect charges and other hidden costs. Are you all actually offended by the commercials? I'm white and I think its funny stuff. It's people like you that are the cause of censorship in America. You should be ashamed of yourself for complaining about a G rated television ad and you should feel embarrassed that you are compelled to email T-Mobile's Press Relations and Marketing. You can keep your boring existence to yourself - turn off your television sets and your radios so as not to hear all of the "racism" in advertising. Stop trying to destroy our America where free speech and free press are the foundation of our freedom as well as our media. I hope your crusade doesn't turn out to be a witch-hunt.

  • Eat More Fish   9 years 25 weeks ago

    But eating isn't a waste of time, is it?

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Actually, I think your initial post still applies. It's a pretty offensive campaign. It's clear all of the characters' races were chosen deliberately (though, irresponsibly).I've fired off an email to T-Mobile Press Relations and Marketing. I'll keep you posted on what happens.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Wow, thanks Phil. This is what I get for not watching tv. Apparently, these animated characters are live action on tv. The white and Latino dudes are fakin' da funk, but the Asian has a cheesy-chinesey accent.Wow. So over this already, and I've only been aware of it for 24 hours.

  • The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?   9 years 25 weeks ago

    Ugh. Apparantly, there's a whole series of TV commercials being built around these characters.You can view the two out so far using the links in the right column under "Puttin' Spinners on my Kla":http://whoyoutalkinat.blog-city.com/ewww_girl_ewww.htm

  • House of Flying Daggers   9 years 25 weeks ago

    "This movie is a farce and an insult to the great tradition of Chinese cinema. Zhang Yimou fetishizes Oriental beauty and neglects to realize that good cinematography alone does not equal a good movie. His script is ludicrous and the acting subpar to say the least. When I watched it 6 months ago in Hong Kong, the entire cinema erupted in laughter when Zhang Ziyi got up with a dagger stuck in her chest. Oh yeah, that was AFTER fall turned into winter in a space of thirty seconds. "It's fantasy, take it for what it is.

  • Eat More Fish   9 years 25 weeks ago

    That's funny. I was just having conversation with a friend about how we both felt cooking was such a waste of time.

  • Iris Chang 1968-2005   9 years 26 weeks ago

    China to honor writer Iris Chang

    Article from SJ Mercury News

    Posted on Thu, Jun. 23, 2005China to honor writer Iris ChangSTATUE TO BE PLACED IN W.W. II MEMORIALBy Katherine Corcoran

  • Eat More Fish   9 years 26 weeks ago

    I concur! I understand being too busy to have a proper meal, but I've got to say, eating is one of THE top pleasures in life for me. I think this Hyphen staffer is crazy.

  • China vs. Japan: What's An Apology, Anyway?   9 years 26 weeks ago

    Are Japanese textbooks distorting history?http://www.geocities.jp/baud_2005/tx310.html

  • Margaret Cho Slays Me   9 years 26 weeks ago

    Correction: "You don't have to be A WOMAN to be a feminist. You should just BE a feminist. And if you're not a feminist . . . kill yourself."

  • Margaret Cho Slays Me   9 years 26 weeks ago

    I had sixth row seats. And she was awesome. And you should definitely post the line: "You don't have to be a feminist. You should just BE a feminist. And if you're not a feminist . . . kill yourself."

  • Geisha girls! Same-same but Different!   9 years 26 weeks ago

    When I was a little girl, just out from being a toddler, I would watch Asian “Kung Fu” movie films. I would be transfixed by what little of the culture they actually showed even though the English was bad. In truth there was nothing wrong with their English it was just poor performances by American actors who tried to make the words fit to the lips. It was “dubbing”. The same thing was done to such Japanese cartoons as Gatchaman (G force), Space Cruiser Yamato (StarBlazers), Robotech etc. When I took Tai Kwon Do at the YMCA, the first thing I thought of my Asian descent cool teacher was, “Wow, Mom, his English is really Good! Better Than the Movies!” This is why when I grew up and I got into Hayao Miyazaki fims and Rumiko Takahashi stories (Inu Yasha, Ranma) I always tried to get them subtitled. English below and the real actors speaking the real words. Every country has a culture that should be presented in truth not in cliche.It’s like how people spout Hai! when attacking not knowing it’s a Japanese term for Yes.Thanks for listening. ;)

  • Iris Chang 1968-2005   9 years 27 weeks ago

    MelissaYou need help.Good luck.S.

  • Cool Web Cams and Asian Spottings   9 years 27 weeks ago

    Well-trained men learn to worship the lovenessness, all around-nessness; shallowness is quite becoming them-nessness. All the parts of life that are not mind-numbing experiences, let's throw our hats off to those who can run off cheap batteries and wine...

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