Alvin Lin


Alvin Lin was born in Taipei, Taiwan and hails from New England. He blogs about Asian American pop culture, film, music, literature and politics, as well as relevant news around the world. He also writes for Imprint Talk. Alvin has degrees from Cornell and MIT.

Seattle Mariners Hire First Asian American Manager

This is excellent news for Asian Americans in sports. Looking
around, there aren't any other Asian American coaches or general managers,
though Kim Ng has come close a few times in baseball. In football we haven't had
an Asian American head coach or GM in the pros or in college sports,
though Norm Chow has been offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. To my
knowledge there are no strong candidates in basketball either.

Article excerpt:

SEATTLE -- Don Wakamatsu became the first Asian American manager in
major league baseball history when he was hired Wednesday by the
Seattle Mariners. The 14th manager in Mariners history, Wakamatsu
was bench coach for the Oakland Athletics last season. Before that he
spent five years with the Texas Rangers. The 45-year-old was
among a field of seven candidates interviewed by Mariners general
manager Jack Zdurencik. None of the seven had previous major league
managerial experience.

Peter Hitchens' Ridiculous British Article Over Africa

Here is a ridiculous, hypocritical, and pompous article by a British writer accusing China of evil and exploitation over natural resources (pot, meet kettle).  A few words before posting the link. Yes, I agree China has significant issues to fix right now, many of which are not too dissimilar from the social problems America faced when it was undergoing industrialization itself.  The article sounds reminiscent of anti-American derision by certain arrogant Brits, 100 years ago, when Britain was declining as a superpower.

Excellent Commentary on Anti-China Criticism

I was forwarded this blog link from a reader. It's written by a hapa male commenting on Tibet, but for me it also touches upon the wave of self righteous, anti-Chinese headlines that have appeared in the Western press for the past two years. I think he is spot on in terms of pointing out various hypocrisies, White privilege, and also the possibility of borderline xenophobia or racism.

Blog Link

An excerpt:

Vancouver Casting Call for 'His White Eyes' Film

I normally don't think posting casting calls are appropriate, but this short film by Betty Jiang sounds so interesting that I want to help broadcast this project.

EIGHT LINE SYNOPSIS/PLOT SUMMARY - Meet Esther Jiang, a 21-year-old, self-absorbed, promiscuous Chinese college student who suffers from suicidal ideation. After her Chinese mother's denouncement of her daughter's love of white men, Esther chooses to run away from both her aspiring filmmaking career and her loving Asian family. She then seeks refuge in the cheapest hotel rooms of the Downtown Eastside and begins prostituting herself for free in the search of some form of self-love with a white man. It is through her relationships with four very different white men that allows Esther to eventually alleviate her hatred of her own Asian blood. Film Rating: R (for brief nudity (female protagonist only) and brief sexual content).

John McCain: "I Hate The Gooks"

No commentary necessary, it speaks for itself. I find his rationale and defense insane.

Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.

"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."

Fukudome doesn't find racist T-shirts in Wrigleyville funny

What is so key is that he took a stand and said it wasn't funny, which
is different from so many Uncle Tom Asians who will do the opposite.  I
am tired of hearing Asian Americans defending '21', Abercrombie
t-shirts, 'ching chong', and loads of other stuff just because they
want to fit in or be a model minority.

'21' Discriminatory Casting Unjustified

What an excellent article about why the '21' casting was unjustified; I agree 100%!

Several years ago, when I first heard that the best-selling book Bringing Down the House would be made into a Hollywood movie, I was beyond excited. However, now that '21' is out, no matter how much I try to rationalize the casting decisions behind this film, I remain outraged as an American. I will attempt to explain why Hollywood's discriminatory casting process behind this film is offensive, why over 600 members on a Facebook group have called for its boycott, and why several prominent newspapers and blogs have criticized this movie, with one writer even calling it "moving Asian Americans to the back of the bus."

Another Offensive College Writer

This guy and that U-Colorado writer would be best friends.  He'll probably also use the 'it was satire' excuse.  Here is the article:

 "I believe that this building will dramatically reduce the amount of
Asian suicides at Cornell," Skorton announced. "We also plan to fill in
the gorges with those chewy bubble tea orbs so that distraught students
will have to rely on other methods."

Among the centers many
features are the Pokemon Card Trading Arena, the Mi-So Slipi Lounge
equipped with 100 beds for study break naps, and one-seater dining
areas with calculators built into the tables. Many students are most
excited, however, about the center's Lucky Sun Moon Restaurant, which
features MSG, beef with broccoli, and cat-fish casserole, which
incorporates not catfish but a mixture of cat and flounder.

Ichiro On Cover of ESPN The Magazine's 10th Anniversary Issue

ichiro.jpg This month's issue of ESPN The Magazine is its Special 10th Anniversary Issue, and it features Ichiro on the cover with the text: “For Making Singles Sexy and Taking Baseball Global, Ichiro is a Perfect 10”. Here is a link to a previous 8-page ESPN special feature on Ichiro. He is one of only a few people in all of sports who uses his first name on the back of his uniform, and why not?

New Album from Shanghai Restoration Project: 'Story of a City'

Congratulations to David Liang for recently signing a record deal with Warner! He has released his second album to coincide with Lunar New Year, titled 'Story of a City'. I have heard it and it is excellent, highly recommended, if you loved the first album ('Shanghai Restoration Project') you will definitely enjoy this one as well. Here is a note from David:

Controversy Over '21' Movie Casting

21_blackjack.thumbnail.png Here is some eyebrow-raising news about the casting for the upcoming '21′ blackjack movie, due out March 28th. This is the movie based off the best-selling book 'Bringing Down the House', about the real-life team of mostly Asian Americans who won big in Las Vegas. The two main characters in the book, 'Kevin Lewis' and 'Steve Fisher', were Jeff Ma and Mike Aponte, two Asian American males.

Offensive New Asian Restaurant

chineselaundry.jpg A new Asian fusion restaurant called 'Chinese Laundry' recently opened in Rhode Island, and one of its posters is catching the wrath of the Asian American community. There are multiple things offensive about it. The poster objectifies the naked body of an Asian woman, with the text, "see what you are missing", over her nipples. Additionally, the Chinese characters on her side are awkward translations that a native speaker wouldn't use.