Cynthia Brothers

Managing Blog Editor & Social Media Editor

Cynthia Brothers is from Seattle and has recently worked as a grantmaker in the immigrant rights and civic engagement fields, with the AAPI online organizing group 18 Million Rising, and with pro-migrant arts and culture group CultureStrike. She's also paid the rent as a mental health researcher, public benefits outreach worker, and espresso flunky. She's performed with the Tribes Project in the U.S., Mexico, and South Africa, and in addition to Hyphen, has been published in the International Examiner and Mavin Magazine. Cynthia first got mixed up with Hyphen by covering the 2008 New York Asian American Film Festival. She's also blogged at

Organization of Chinese Americans Fundraiser

Hyphen is co-sponsoring the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) San Mateo Chapter Annual Fundraiser and Awards Gala on September 26th. This year's theme is "Making A Difference Today For A Brighter Tomorrow."

The Gala dinner is OCA San Mateo's major yearly fundraiser, which raises funds for its high school senior scholarships and Speak Lead With Pride public speaking and leadership programs.

Achievement awards will be given to honor the work of local leaders Karen Clancy, Nancy Yim-Lee, and State Controller John Chiang. The event will be hosted by Frances Dingalasan and David Louie of KGO Channel 7 News. Gala includes a silent auction and raffle drawings, with entertainment by singer Juliet Fernandez and the California Youth Chinese Symphony. More info here.

Saturday September 26
6 pm
South San Francisco Convention Center
255 South Airport Blvd, San Francisco
$ 75 OCA Members / $ 95 non-members

Asian American Women Artists Events

Hyphen is proud to sponsor an upcoming event from the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA). AAWAA, one of the longest-running US arts organizations of its kind, marks its 20th Anniversary with a celebration on September 26th and ongoing art exhibition of contemporary art by Asian American Women from the Bay Area.

aawaa20-logo-homepage.jpgCurated by Cynthia Tom, Vision, Vitality and Visibility showcases the work of more than 35 artists in a wide array of mediums: painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media. Exhibit runs Tuesday September 22nd through Sunday, October 4th.

20th Anniversary Celebration
9/26 6:30 to 9:30 pm
with Emcee Sue Kwon of CBS-5
Includes three additional exhibitions: Made in AAWAA: 20 Years, Cheers to Muses, and A Place of Her Own.
Activities include sessions with make-up artists and portrait photography, a silent auction and A Place of Her Own-inspired diorama making.
Live Music by Mutual Admiration Org

SOMArts Cultural Center, Bay Gallery
934 Brennan St, San Francisco
$ 15 - $ 50 sliding scale / $ 10 students tickets here

Vision Vitality and Visibility
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 2 to 7 pm
Saturday noon to 5 pm
Saturday 10/3 noon to 9 pm
10/4 3 to 6 pm

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Sikh Film Festival, Imelda

Thursday September 17th and Friday September 18th -- NYC

Stuck Elevator Artist Conversations

Byron_02.jpgA/P/A Institute artists-in-residence -- composer Byron Au Yong and hip-hop poet Aaron Jafferis -- will discuss their operatic performance "Stuck Elevator". The project recalls the April 2005 incident in which undocumented Chinese deliveryman Ming Kuang Chen became trapped in an elevator for three days. More info here.

9/17 -- 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Casa Italiana
Zerilli-Marimo Auditorium
24 West 12th St, New York
RSVP here

9/18 -- 6:30  to 8 pm
Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre St, New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Yellow Terror, Brown Peril

Tuesday September 8th -- Sunday September 27th

Sing For China Tour

singforchinasmall.JPGThis national tour features three of China's biggest and best indie rock bands -- Queen Sea Big Shark, Hedgehog, and Casino Demon -- with proceeds benefiting the China AIDS Orphan Fund, with the mission to improve the lives of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in central China through education, advocacy, research, and organizational support. Upcoming California dates are listed below, but be sure to check the website for full tour schedule.

9/8 -- 9 pm @ Silverlake Lounge, $ 10, Los Angeles
9/9 -- 8 pm @ Bottom of the Hill, $ 10, San Francisco
9/10 (with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) --  8 pm @ Fox Theater, $ 35.50, Oakland

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Thunder Above, Beyond the Mekong

Thursday September 3rd -- NYC

Chinatown Film Project Screening

Jem_Alley-web-2.jpgThis inaugural film exhibition of the newly constructed Museum of Chinese in America (designed by Maya Lin) asked ten New York filmmakers "how do you see Chinatown?" The resulting original short films, including one by Wayne Wang, will be screened continuously at the MoCA. More info on the project and films here.

5 to 7:30 pm
Special Exhibitions Gallery
Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre St, New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Marination Mobile, Yellow Face

Wednesday August 26th -- San Francisco

Lydia's Funeral Video

Samantha Chanse is reprising her acclaimed one-woman show Lydia's Funeral Video for one night only. A dark comedy about an "apocalypse-obsessed bank clerk whose dreams are suddenly invaded by a mysterious being claiming to be her newly-conceived embryo." Check out Hyphen's past review here.

7:30 pm
The Marsh
1062 Valencia St, San Francisco
$ 10 - $ 15 tickets here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Kollaboration 3, Arkipelago Readings

Wednesday August 19th -- San Francisco

Joss Paper Art-Making

shelf joss.jpg

From Wong's Joss Paper Series: Rice For My Ancestors

Join artist Flo Oy Wong to make joss paper for contemporary expression about social and political issues. Traditionally used in Chinese funerals, Wong has created a tryptch of joss paper installations addressing issues in her personal life and the South African apartheid experience.

6:30 to 9 pm
Somarts Cultural Center
934 Brannan St, 2nd floor, San Francisco
$ 25 - $ 50 sliding scale
RSVP to info(at)apiculturalcenter(dot)org

ApSci's Best Crisis Ever

I had a chance to sit down with Philippines-born and Australia-raised Dana Diaz-Tutaan and New York native Raphael LaMotta, the married duo known as dynamic hip-hop electro group ApSci. After chatting about Australian slang and the joys and perils of home cooking, we got into the nitty gritty behind their unique sound and infectious and intricately-crafted sophomore release, Best Crisis Ever (album review is in the latest issue, the Action Issue).


The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: BrownStar, Asian Masters

Friday August 14th -- San Francisco

Kamikaze Girls Screening

kami_contestsmall.JPGThe Center for Asian American Media and the Japantown Merchants Association present a free outdoor screening of Tetsuya Nakashima's film Kamikaze Girls as a pre-party for the J-Pop Summit Festival. There will also be a fashion show/contest, so come correct in your best Lolita and Yanki threads.

8 pm (fashion show)
8:30 to 11 pm (film)
Japantown Peace Plaza
Post and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

DramaFever Launch Party

Hyphen was invited by the creators of DramaFever to
a launch party for this impressive new site, which features legally
licensed, English-subtitled Asian drama and comedies streaming in high definition.

dramafeverparty.JPGThe site is entirely free, with a few overlay ads (don't worry, the ads are in between episodes, not during). Currently it mainly features Korean series (like Boys Over Flowers, Sad Love Story, and about 50 more), but shows and music videos from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and China will likely be up soon. With the addition of a new title each week, you'll have no trouble finding at least a few shows to aid you in procrastination, sleep deprivation, and the eventual disintegration of your social life.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Nihonmachi Street Fair, DramaFever

Tuesday August 4th -- Brooklyn

Hate Crimes Prevention Art Exhibit

hatecrimesartsmall.JPGThe Organization for Chinese Americans, New York Chapter, in partnership with several API nonprofits, is hosting its Third Annual Hate Crimes Prevention Art Exhibit. Community speakers will outline the mission of the prgram, local musicians and poets -- like Taiyo Na and Mahina Movement -- will perform, and the winners of the Art Contest will be announced.

6 to 9 pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemnon Street, Brooklyn New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Poetry Summit, Chinatown Festival

Wednesday July 29th -- San Francisco

Harana Filipino American Art Event

haranasmall.JPGTogonon Gallery and the producers of Benito Bautista's documentary Harana present a celebration of Filipino American contemporary art and film. A private screening of the film trailer and wine reception will be included. A portion of proceeds will go towards completion of the documentary, which focuses on the fading custom of Filipino love songs.

6 to 8 pm
Togonon Gallery
77 Geary Street, 2nd floor, San Francisco
$ 10

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: K-Date, NY AsAm Film Fest

Thursday July 23rd -- San Francisco

Ron Takaki Community Memorial

AsianWeek Foundation and Asian Law Caucus invite you to celebrate the
life and works of the groundbreaking author, academic, and activist
Ronald Takaki. During his more than 40 years at UC Berkeley, Takaki
established the nation's first ethnic studies Ph.D. program, and
advised President Clinton on his major speech on race. His many
influential and accessible books tracked the history of racist
attitudes towards Asian Americans and other people of color in America.

5:30 to 7:30 pm
1 South Van Ness Ave, 2nd floor Atrium Room
San Francisco
RSVP: apang(at)asianweek(dot)com

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Summer Lovin' & Dumpling Makin'

Wednesday July 15th

The Invisible Cities Live Webcast

band-collage-450px-wide1.jpgIndie pop band The Invisible Cities (including singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura) will be performing live via webcast at The band -- who played at our Six in the City birthday party -- will be broadcasting from a friend's living room. The show will also be looped directly after the show for a couple days to watch at your convenience. Their new album Houses Shine Like Teeth is available for free download here.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Asian American Comicon, JTown Boogie

Tuesday July 7th -- NYC

MountainSpeak Performance

mountainspeak.JPGSusana Lei'ataua and Lakota Master Musician Tiokasin Ghosthorse present a cabaret offspring of Lei'ataua's popular theater work Breaking the Surface. A "call to alms that destroys the exotic to save the everyday".

9:30 pm and July 13th at 7 pm
The Duplex Cabaret
61 Christopher St, New York
$ 10, RSVP here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Poetry in the Park, Chinatown Film

Tuesday June 30th -- San Francisco

Goh Nakamura and Jane Lui Show

gohnakamura_janeluismall.JPGBay Area singer/songwriters Goh Nakamura and Jane Lui will be teaming up for a special performance with plenty of banter, crooning and...duets!

7 to 11 pm
Cafe du Nord
2174 Market Street, San Francisco
$ 10 at the door or tickets here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Kollaboration + Hay Qua!

Wednesday June 24th -- NYC

Writing and Tactics From Bangladesh to Burma

mathida.jpgTaslima Nasrin and Ma Thida, two medical doctors and activists involved in social movements in Asia, will speak about their writing and the tactics that have enabled them to do so despite death threats, imprisonment, and exile.

7 pm
The Workshop
16 West 32nd St, 10th floor, New York
$ 5 suggested donation

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Arty Happy Hours, Walk for Rice

Tuesday June 15th -- NYC

Novels of Heartbreak and Folly


Romesh Gunesekera

Booker prize finalist Romesh Gunesekera will read from his most recent novel The Match, about a Hamlet-esque Sri Lankan cricket player on a mission to find love. Debut novelist Tania James will read from Atlas of Unknowns, following two sisters' disparate romantic journeys in Kerala and New York.

7 pm
Asian American Writers' Workshop
16 West 32nd St, 10th floor, New York
$ 5 suggested donation

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: LOLcats, Parallel Lines

Tuesday June 9th -- NYC

LOLcats with Ben Huh


Image courtesy of Asian American Writers' Workshop

Kum lizzens tooz Ben Huh, the mastermind behind LOLcats. The Pet Holdings CEO's book A LOLcat Colleckshun, based on his website I Can Has Cheezburger? (don't pretend like you haven't read it at work) spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times paperback best-seller list. Huh will give a talk on memes and books with David Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law. Pet Holdings also includes the popular Failblog, Pundit Kitchen, and Engrish Funny

7 pm
Asian American Writers' Workshop
16 West 32nd St, 10th floor, New York
$ 15 admission

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Convo with Yul Kwon, Stop Making Sense!

Wednesday June 3rd -- Nationwide

Vigils for Laura Ling and Euna Lee

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, American journalists who work for San Francisco-based Current TV, were arrested March 17 near the North Korean border while reporting on refugees living in China. Both are accused by North Korea of crossing into the country illegally and committing "hostile acts," and will be tried on criminal charges on Thursday. Organizers of vigils planned for Thursday hope to influence a positive outcome for Ling and Lee. Join one of the many nationwide vigils, and don't forget your candles.

More info on the Laura Ling and Euna Lee Facebook group.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Boxer Rebellion, Asian Rock Fest

Friday May 29th -- Oakland

Literary Night with Asian American Women Writers

Bay Area women writers showcase the diversity of cultural heritages and
the range of literary genres used for their expression. Produced by the
Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) and guest curated by editors of the South Asian American poetry anthology Writing the Lines of Our Hands.
Featured writers include Diana Ip, Summi Kaipa, Neela Banerjee
(Managing Editor of Hyphen), Maya Khosla, Aimee Suzara, Mimi Lok,
Pireeni Sundaralingam and more.

7:30 to 9:30 pm
388 9th St Suite 290, Oakland
$ 3-5 suggested donation

The Heart's Traffic Book Release Party -- San Francisco

heartstraffic.gifJoin author Ching-In Chen (frequent contributor to Hyphen) and special guests Kenji Liu, Alicia Kester, Elmaz Abinader, and Zuleikha Mahmood to celebrate the release of The Heart's Traffic.
This novel-in-poems chronicles the life of an immigrant girl haunted by
the death of her best friend and dealing with her complicated history
and sexuality.

7:30 pm
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia St, San Francisco

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Powerful Comix, Morgantown Mosque

Thursday May 21st to May 23rd -- NYC

New Staged Readings from Second Generation

tapefacessmall.JPGSecond Generation, a nonprofit Asian American theater company, presents two new staged readings by emerging writers. Tapefaces, directed by Qui Nguyen (of Soul Samurai), is an epic kung-fu comedy. Thunder Above, Deeps Below, by A. Rey Pamatmat, is about three homeless young friends hustling to make it to San Francisco. All readings are free, more info and reservations here.

Thursday May 21, 7 pm
Saturday May 23, 3 pm

Thunder Above, Deeps Below
Friday May 22, 7 pm
Saturday May 23, 7 pm

46 Walker St, NYC

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Angel Island Poetry, Laugh Against the Machine

Thursday May 14th -- NYC

Love Letters to Mumbai


Author Amitava Kumar

Six months after the Mumbai attacks, the Asian American Writers' Workshop presents this event for artists and authors to reflect on their personal associations with the most populous city in the world. Featuring writers Amitava Kumar and Vijay Prashad, as well as filmmaker/writer Sadia Shepard and visual artist Jaishri Abichandani.

7 pm
The Workshop
16 West 32nd St, 10th floor, New York
$ 5 suggested donation

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Street Fair Launch Party, 'American Hwangap'

Thursday May 7th -- NYC

Fred Ho Reading and Jazz Show

fred ho.jpg

The Asian American Writers' Workshop presents activist, writer, and musician Fred Ho, who will read from his latest Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader. Followed by a (hopefully naked and green) live jazz performance.

7 pm
The Workshop
16 West 32nd St, 10th Floor, New York
$ 5 suggested donation


The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: API Heritage Month, Budget Advocacy

Thursday April 30th -- NYC

Paper Angels Performance with Peter Kwong

paperangels.gifSet in 1915, Jenny Lim's Paper Angels explores America's historic ambivalence over immigration through a group of Chinese detainees on Angel Island.  The show critiques racism, Confucianism, and class discrimination, and incorporates archival footage of Angel Island, a two-piece traditional Chinese music ensemble, and Chinese Opera. The April 30th show includes a special post-show discussion with Peter Kwong, author of Chinese America: The Untold Story of America's Oldest New Community. More info here

Four Performances:
April 19th, 20th and 21st
8 pm
Saturday May 2
3 pm
Speyer Hall at University Settlement
184 Eldridge St (b/w Rivington and Delancey)
$18 / $15 students and seniors

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Asian American Idol, Celebrating Our Pacific

Thursday April 23rd to Saturday April 25th -- NYC

A Celebration of the Chapbook

chapbook2.jpgJoin The Asian American Writers' Workshop for a chapbook festival that highlights its essential place in poetry publishing, and will include printing workshops and discussions. Saturday's program will feature the "secret history of Asian Americans in chapbooks." Complete program with locations here.

The Hyphenite's Social Caledar: Kuttin Kandi Reunion, Queer Asian Pride

Thursday April 18th -- NYC

Breaking the Surface Performance

breaking surface.gifThe Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU presents a one night only performance of Breaking the Surface by Artist-in-Residence and Fulbright New Zealand Senior Scholar Susana Lei'ataua. The show "weaves ancient rhythms and modern mythology...a ceremonial call to alms destroying the exotic to celebrate the every day."

7:30 pm
Jack. H Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place, New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Japan Film Fest, Papershapers Exhibit

Wednesday April 8th -- NYC

Timothy Liu Book Party

timothy liu.jpgJoin the Asian American Writers' Workshop to celebrate Timothy Liu's newest poetry collection, Bending the Mind Around the Dream's Blown Fuse. Poetry + champagne + cake = good times!

6 pm
The Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, 10th floor (b/w Broadway & 5th Ave), New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Lao & Khmer New Year, Film Fests Galore

Thursday April 2nd -- NYC

Desi Teens and Muslim Migration

Join the Asian American Writers' Workshop for an evening of debut non-fiction. Kavitha Rajagopalan will read from Muslims of Metropolis: The Stories of Three Immigrant Families in the West, a personal account of Muslim families in Berlin, London, and New York.  Shalini Shankar will read her Desi Land: Teen Culture, Class and Success in Silicon Valley. The Northwestern professor spent nearly three years hanging out with Desi teens, who are first- to fourth-generation immigrants and children of assembly-line workers  to CEOs.

7 pm
The Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, 10th floor (b/w Broadway & 5th Ave)
$ 5 suggested donation.

The Romantic Missteps of "SMART ASS"

I recently checked out Texas-born writer/performer Lan Tran's one-woman comedy SMART ASS, which concluded its five-day run as part of Pan Asian Repertory's NEWWorks 09 program.

Here's my synopsis: Girl discovers yoga. Girl learns to listen to her body. Girl applies yoga to dating. Girl is on quest for a man but is hopelessly dysfunctional because of pesky "daddy issues". Girl dates a couple of duds. Girl finds a decent one and decides to hang onto him. The End.

While I was initially impressed with Tran's ability to deliver her lines effortlessly during a variety of yoga poses (downward dog, go 'head), it was quickly downhill from there.

The most notable aspect of this otherwise flat show was the first scene, in which Tran re-enacts a happy hour conversation with a sassy Latina friend. After discussing which qualities women of color possess that make them irresistible to the opposite sex (Latinas are curvy! Black men like big butts!), Tran poses the question: If Asian women have small boobs and asses, then what makes us attractive?

Hmmmm.....waaaaait for it.....Tight Pussies!

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Song For Ourselves New York, Hulk Hogan Revisited

Wednesday March 25th -- NYC

Miriam Yeung and Bao Phi at Columbia University

APAAM logo.jpgJoin National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) Executive Director Miriam Yeung and performance poet Bao Phi for Columbia University's APA Awareness Month Opening Ceremony, "Beyond Face Value". Dinner is included. More info here.

7 to 9 pm
Lerner Hall, C555
Columbia University, New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Passionate Fashion and Activism Snake Dances

Friday March 20th -- San Francisco

Excuse my Gangsta Ways and Perceptions: A Question of Justice Screenings and Community Discussion


I won't say too much on the documentary Excuse My Gangsta Ways, as it's been already been reviewed by Hyphen for SFIAAFF. LOCUS @ Kearny Street Workshop presents a community screening of two films, followed by a discussion on gang violence in the API community. Participants will include filmmaker Corinne Manabat, Chol Soo Lee (who was wrongly convicted in 1973 for the murder of a Chinatown gang advisor and later sentenced to the death penalty for killing a white supremacist in self-defense), Asian Law Caucus Attorney Angela Chan, and leaders from the youth development nonprofit United Playaz.

7 pm
The I-Hotel
868 Kearney Street (at Jackson St), San Francisco
$ 5

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Samurais with Soul and Stand-up Showdowns

Wednesday March 11th -- NYC

Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co in Hyphen and Mixed Repertoire

A/P/A Institute and Asian American Arts Alliance present the New York premiere of this work exploring "hyphenated America". Members of the DC-based dance company held discussions about what a hyphenated identity means in their lives, which will be included as part of the sound design. The show will also feature rarely shown films by the founder of video art and avant-garde Fluxus movement of the '50s and '60s, Korean American Nam June Paik. Q&A after the performance with Dana Tai Soon and A/P/A Institute Founding Director John Kuo Wei Tchen.

8 to 10 pm
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place, New York
RSVP to apa(dot)rsvp(at)nyu(dot)edu

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Stranger Love, Bicoastalbitchin, and Other Arty Parties

For this week's Hyphenite we have several events to scratch that artistic itch -- whether your cup of tea is literature, the visual arts, or creative boozing.

Friday to Saturday March 6-7th -- NYC

South Asian Women's Creative Collective Sixth Annual Literary Festival

strangerlove.jpgThis year's theme is "Stranger Love", exploring love between strangers and love that is strange. Join this two-day series of readings, panel discussions, and writing workshops featuring South Asian literature. Themes will span race, sexuality, journey, and memory, reaching from the suburbs of Jersey to guerilla movements in Sri Lanka. Featured authors include Jhumpa Lahiri, S. Mitra Kalita, and Purvia Shah, and works include the genres of poetry, memoir and fiction. More info and complete schedule here.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Laugh for Lives

Get up, get out and do somethin'. This week's Hyphenite includes several fun events for worthy causes. An alternative to dropping your benjamins on cheap whiskey at the local dive this weekend. Like usual.

Friday February 27th -- San Francisco

Laugh for Lives -- A Comedy Benefit

laugh for livessmall.JPGThe Asian American Donor Program is holding their 2nd annual comedy show fundraiser Laugh for Lives. It's aim is to increase awareness and registration of stem cell and marrow donors, in order to find matches for those with Leukemia and other blood diseases. APIs and multiracial individuals, at seven percent and two percent respectively, are extremely underrepresented in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry, meaning it's especially difficult for our community members to find a life-saving match. Come laugh your ass off for a great cause with comedians Rex Navarrete (headlining), Ali Wong, Dan Gabriel, Joey Guila, Kevin Shea, and host Air Tabigue. Donor registration will also be available at the event.

8 to 11 pm (doors at 6:30 pm, open seating)
Palace of Fine Arts
3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco
$20 door/ $15 pre-sale here. $20 pre-sale tickets that include free entry to a variety of clubs through March 29 are also available.

'Mr. Patel' Cartoon: Racism is Hilarious!

I recently came across the cartoon series Mr. Patel at The webisodes, created by UK company Zac Toons, features the adventures of a wacky middle-aged South Asian man, who predictably owns a QuickE Mart-ish corner shop. At only two minutes an episode, I watched the entire first season.

It's pretty lame, with the comic relief pandering to Mr. Patel's accent and ethnic idiosyncrasies. His favorite activities include lusting after busty white ladies and hawking reincarnated sausages. Oh -- and um, there's a gay elephant with a bowel movement problem. Some segments are actually really gross -- and not in that ha-ha John Watersian way -- just plain disgusting.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Valentine's Day Edition

In lieu of buying a bunch of cliched commodified crap for yourself or your sweetheart, here're several events where you can show your love for some great causes, other than Hallmark and FTD.

Thursday February 12th -- NYC

Feb' Fling Happy Hour and Fundraiser

cupid.jpgFlirt shamelessly with that cute piece across the bar, with the help of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) staff and friends as your "Wingpeople" for the night (I will be one such wingperson, so come benefit from my impeccable game). This promises to be a fun night of drinks, games, and love connections, with all proceeds donated to CACF, the nation's only pan-Asian children's rights organization. Everyone welcome -- you don't have to be single to come!

                                       6:30 to 8:30 pm
                                       Sunita Bar
                                       106 Norfolk Street New York b/w Delancey and Rivington
                                       $10 minimum suggested donation

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Asian American Super Heroes

Saturday February 7th -- NYC

Asian American Super Heroes at New York Comic Con


If you geek out over comix like I do, then you'll heart New York Comic Con, especially the upcoming panel "Asian Americans and Super Heros: Secret Identities." Speakers will include Editor in Chief Jeff Yang and other artists behind Secret Identities, the first comic anthology of Asian American super heroes. Storylines in Secret Identities include a son of an unjustly accused Chinese American scientist who uses his father's inventions to clear his name, and a Nisei superhero facing internment during WWII. The creators of the anthology aim to not only produce cool comics, but "give kids a way to talk about history, community issues, and current events," and are also developing a teacher's guide and curriculum. Contributors include Greg Pak (Hulk, Robot Stories) and J. Torres (Batman Strikes), and will be released in spring 2009. Sneak preview here.

Saturday February 7, 1:30 pm
Jacob Javits Center, Room 1A18
655 West 35th St New York

East Coast Social Justice Events

huong_exhibit_0017-196x303.jpgFor Hyphen readers undergoing post-inaugural comedowns and political hangovers, here're two right coast events to keep your activist momentum going strong:

In DC, there's a panel discussion tomorrow on the power of art and performance to heal collective suffering: "War, Memory and Representation in Art: Burma, Korea, Laos and Vietnam." The panel is organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and will feature several well-known artists and activists, including filmmaker Annabel Park and Peace Mural creator Huong. As many of us share experiences as refugees and immigrants, this can help create linkages between our varied histories and homelands, and explore innovative ways to move forward together.

Inaugural Afterglow

I was one of the lucky millions to attend the inauguration of Obama, which was one part chaos, two servings exhaustion, and a heaping dose of emotional, screaming revelry. Here are some personal highlights from the past four days:


  • Chucking a shoe at the "Give Bush the Boot" blow-up doll in Dupont Circle. The crowd grabbed heels and sneaks from a huge pile, cheering when pairs successfully hooked over the sizeable schnozz.

Inaugurama! Mavin and Media Coalition for Artists of Color

mavinmap.jpgAn exciting Inauguration fete for readers in Seattle. On Inauguration morning, over 200 community members are expected to gather at the Wing Luke Asian Museum to celebrate and watch a live broadcast of the swearing-in ceremony.

The Inauguration Mixer (pun intended) is organized by Mavin, the nation's leading nonprofit that seeks to raise awareness about mixed-heritage people and families. In 2005, as part of the Generation Mix National Awareness cross-country tour, Mavin youth interviewed the then-Illinois Senator (the interview is captured in the documentary Chasing Daybreak). Obama urged them to stay connected to their communities of color, which Mavin has consistently supported. Four years later, Mavin is commemorating the election of a president that has already begun to challenge and transform America's traditional constructs about race.

Sure it's early in the morning, but this is a history-making milestone. Call in sick and go mix it up with Mavin and friends.

Tuesday January 20
8:10 to 11:00am
Wing Luke Asian Museum
719 South King Street (Chinatown-International District)
Seattle, WA

Media+Coalition+Logosmall.JPGFor you New Yorkers who've decided not to join the four million strong party in the streets in D.C., there'll be plenty of carousing right here in town. One such event is being thrown by the Media Coalition for Artists of Color at the beautiful Tribeca Cinemas. If you're an actor, director, writer, producer or technician in the fields of film, TV or the internets, this bash will be right up your alley. And bonus! The $20 admission includes two drinks. Buy tix here, they're likely to sell out fast.

The Media Coalition promotes collaborative efforts between media organizations of color to create opportunities in film, TV, and other media, and includes organizations like Asian Cinevision, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, and African American Women in Cinema.

Media Coalition Dance Party and Networking Salon
Tuesday January 20
Tribeca Cinemas Main Lounge
54 Varick Street NY, NY

Haunting the Korean Diaspora

hauntingkorean.jpgGrace Cho, author of Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy and the Forgotten War, will be presenting her book, followed by a community discussion, this Saturday at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle. Her book is an analysis of US neocolonialism, militarized prostitution, and transgenerational trauma, examining the history between Korean women and American servicemen through sex work and marriage.

Since the Korean War, over a million women have acted as sex workers for US soldiers, and over 100,000 married GIs and emigrated to America. Haunting the Korean Diaspora also explores the repressed history of violence and consequences of such sexual relationships for Koreans and Korean Americans in both the private realm and public discourse. The discussion will also include topics of adoption, memory, and occupation.

Grace Cho is also a contributing performance artist to the Wing Luke Museum's current exhibit "Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the Forgotten War." I recently saw the exhibit and it's definitely worth checking out, as a powerful collection of oral and visual accounts from survivors and their families. Both the book discussion and exhibition are included as part of Wing Luke's free third Saturdays programming.

Saturday January 17th
5:30 to 7:30pm
Wing Luke Asian Museum
719 South King Street (Chinatown-International District)
Seattle, WA

Sulu Series: 'I Got My' Video Shoot

I_GOT_MY_VIDEO_SHOOT.jpgHere's your chance to join New York-based artists Magnetic North and Taiyo Na for the making of their "I Got My" music video! The emcees want to involve the community for the shooting of this new song as part of Sunday's Sulu Series, a monthly showcase of emerging and established Asian American artists. A counter-statement to these current gloom and doom times of economic crisis, "I Got My" focuses on the value of non-monetary things we do "got," like fam and friends.

You can participate and be recorded in several ways: lip-syncing your favorite lyric from "I Got My," spitting your own line, or just hanging out at the show.

Ishle Yi Park, the former poet laureate of Queens, New York will also be making a live performance.

Come feel the love and celebrate the priceless things in life.

Sunday January 18
8:00 to 11:00pm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (between Houston and Bleecker) New York, NY

Asian America TV: Health Disparities in the Asian Pacific American Community

Here's another head's up for engaging programming to kick off the new year. This coming Sunday, Asian America TV will host a roundtable of APA health, policy, and nonprofit experts to discuss health disparities (and efforts to reduce them) in Asian Pacific American communities.

Despite popular (mis)conceptions, APAs do suffer from multiple barriers
to health care, with one in five uninsured in New York City, and 2.3
million uninsured nationally (Koreans, at 31 percent, have the highest rate).
Limited English proficiency and linguistic isolation pose additional
hardships to accessing adequate health care. Watch and I guarantee you'll
learn some useful information to combat those pesky model minority

12% and Growing Coalition Fights for Fair Budgets

This coming Monday in New York City, the 12% and Growing Coalition: Asian Pacific American Community Fighting for a Fair Budget will be holding a press conference on the steps of City Hall. The 12% Coalition will call for a stop to New York State and City budget cuts, which would particularly harm low-income and other vulnerable and underserved APA immigrants. The 12% Coalition is made up of over 20 New York organizations
representing over 40 APA ethnic groups.

Service providers, advocates, youth, parents, and seniors will be speaking during the press conference.

Although APAs -- at 12 percent of the City's population -- are the fastest growing racial group, APA-led organizations receive less than half of one percent of City funds.

If you're in the New York area, stop by to show your support for this incredible advocacy effort. For more info, contact Wayne Ho at who [at]

Monday, December 29, 2008, 11:00am
Steps of City Hall: Broadway (at Murray Street) or Park Row (across from Pace University)
New York, NY 10007

Asian Men Redefined: 365 Days of Hot Dayum!

It's that magical time of year. When your toes go all twinkly, your heart warms with feeling toward fellow man, and tear ducts brim during sentimental holiday rituals -- like renewing your shirtless beefcake yearly calendar. That's right folks: the 2009 Asian Men Redefined calendar has arrived.

Aaaoooogah! Somebody ring the hunk alarm!

If you still need to do last minute holiday shopping, this calendar is the perfect choice for your loved ones, family, and friends (especially the one who only dates white dudes). If you're a diehard fan, you can also order 2007 and 2008 calendars online. Yowza!

Sulu Series Holiday Show

sulu2.jpgAnother New York event for those of you spending the holidaze in the city.

Sulu Series, the monthly showcase of Asian American performance artists, is holding another event this coming Sunday. December's featured artists are: global roots band Brown Rice Family, NuYorican Poets Cafe slam finalist Kilusan1898, and emcee Heesun Lee, who incorporates personal experiences as an adoptee into her music.

The show will also include films by Corinne Manabat, Adele Pham's multiracial narrative Parallel Adele, and Hip Hop Mestizaje by Mark Villegas. It's going down at the infamous Bowery Poetry Club, and they always have drink specials. A Sunday well spent.

Sunday, December 21
9:00pm to midnight
$8 general public / $5 students
Bowery Poetry Club -- 308 Bowery (between Houston and Bleecker)
New York, NY 10012

Cindybro's Bicoastal Holiday Gift Guide

Yeah yeah, Wall Street is in the toilet, your job blows, and the holiday stress drives you to cry alone in dive bars. But that's no excuse to be a damned stingy scrooge! Plus, nothing alleviates a case of the yuletide Crabapple McNasties like old fashioned retail therapy. Here's a few suggestions from the left and right coasts that will earn your friends' adulation without eating into your spiked eggnog fund.


headphonetiesmall.JPGI'm loving San Francisco's Indie Industries, which features hand-inked independently designed clothing and accessories from around the globe. Check out their Bangooz wallets line, by owner and lead designer Mike Stone Kim. Their silk skinny ties, illustrated with earbuds and birds, are reportedly selling like hotcakes. Bonus alert: Indie Industries has free worldwide shipping, and Mike will knock 25% off your order if you enter discount code: HYPHEN25. They will also be throwing a sample sale party at the W on Sunday featuring a butt load of independent designers. See how many fashionistas you can trample over to grab these one-of-a-kind goodies for your pals.