There seems to be nothing hotter than Asian American graphic novelists and comic book artists. (Be sure to check out Issue 12 of Hyphen for a great story on South Asian-centric Shakti Comics at Virgin and what desi comic artists have to say about it.) Now, add to the list an exciting new project from our friend Jeff Yang and his buddies in the comic industry: Secret Identities: The Asian American Superman Anthology.
When I arrived in San Francisco as a country-bumpkin from the Midwest, I often found myself standing by the hole in the ground at the corner of Jackson and Kearny in Chinatown. I had seen the amazing documentary The Fall of the I-Hotel back in college and I was amazed that the space was still being protected. It was the last year of the dotcom boom and all the history of displacement seemed incredibly relevant.
I recently drove from L.A. to San Francisco in a poorly air conditioned car and the only thing that kept me going was listening to M.I.A.'s Arular over and over. "I got the bombs to make you blow/ I got the beats to make you bang!"
It’s been almost two years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. While the major focus has been on the failure of the government to provide support to the majority African American community in the 9th Ward, the resilience of the Vietnamese American population in New Orleans East – a suburban community 15 miles northeast of downtown New Orleans – has been getting a great deal of attention. Both academic research and mainstream media seem to point to the idea of a hard-working community whose been through much worse than Katrina's destruction.
We asked Ted Chiang, two-time Nebula Award winner and author of the collection Stories of Your Life and Others (Orb Books): What are your favorite books of all time?
AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD
By Annie Dillard (Harper)
Nowadays it's unusual to read a memoir of a happy childhood, and there are passages in here that I find quietly hilarious, but those aren't what makes this such a great book. Dillard can write nonfiction that's more vivid and compelling than most novelists' fiction, and this book captures youthful wonderment at being alive and connected to the world better than any novel I can think of.
By Gene Wolfe (Orb)
The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor
Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh
Off the Books:The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor (Harvard University Press)
Samina Faheem Sundas is doing the damn thing.
The idea of marriage makes my hands sweat, not in a good way. I’m trying to figure it out though, really I am. Therapy has helped me realize that it’s one part rebellion to the South Asian obsession with weddings, one part my parent’s divorce ... and the rest is still murky. I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a cynic: the whole concept of “forever” that marriage is predicated on just doesn’t compute for me. The idea of celebrating that idea by spending thousands of dollars for a huge party just seems like asking for it … but at the same time, I love champagne.
I've never been one of those New Yorker magazine junkies, like many people I know. I guess I'm more of a secret New Yorker junkie because I have enough things piled up in my life to feel guilty about not getting to. But the annual "Summer Fiction Issue" is kindof a must for me. I picked it up a few weeks ago on the way back from a trip to Mexico and have been carrying the increasingly more tattered thing around with me ever since.
Super-popular blog Feministing has been running a series of brief commentaries by Asian American women -- mostly from the grassroots membership-based org National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) -- entitled "Voices of API Women."
I was poking around make-up megastore Sephora the other day while waiting for a meeting and came across this display for Shalini Vadhera’s Global Goddess line. Come to think of it, I was actually looking for some concealer that would match my skin tone and there it was – a whole line of beauty products made by a South Asian woman, catering to different skin tones.
I work at a media organization where we look at the news through a mostly ethnic lens, which -- along with my work at Hyphen -- makes the Virginia Tech shooting a very complicated news day. I haven't had a whole lot of time to orchestrate my thoughts on this yet, but here are a few things that have me thinking.
I’ve always loved the shorts programs at the SFIAAFF. I think it is where they showcase the most exciting work being done by Asian American filmmakers. These are the films that make me think and inspire my own art.
MC Hammer shows his love for Asian America and Hyphen magazine at the opening gala for the 2007 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Hammer played talent agent Roy Thunders in Justin Lin's Finishing the Game which opened the festival. Photo by Bernice Yee
I’ll have to say, there’s nothing like a giant theater full of Asian Americans and a party with free Lychee Martinis to make you feel good about your community.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging and the politics around this form of journalism a lot lately, for several reasons.
So, there was a forum on “Ethnic Media’s Role in Covering Race Relations” Friday at the Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown.
The good, the bad and the ugly in some of our favorites.
Writers Neela Banerjee & Rebecca Klassen
BHAGWAN SHREE RAJNEESH
A K A: "Sex guru", self-described "guru of the rich", Chandra Mohan Jain, Acharya Rajneesh Zorba the Buddha, Osho
MULTITASKING: Taught philosophy and was a religious leader.
Third Class Superhero (Harcourt, Inc.)
Back in June, 1st Lt. Ehren Watada -- a Japanese American Honolulu native -- refused deployment to Iraq because he believes the war is illegal and immoral. Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to "the unlawful Iraq War and occupation."
Last week, an Iranian UCLA student named Mostafa Tabatabainejad was tasered several times by campus police when he did not show his student ID in the library.
So, Thursday night is the premiere of the new season of Survivor, this time set in the Cook Islands. But as you all probably now by now, the twist this season is that the 20 contestants will be split into teams based on their race.
We covered the Operation Meth Merchant, an FBI operation that targeted South Asian drug store owners, back in Issue 8. Since then the ACLU brought racial targeting charges against this operation that ended up being dropped. Catch up on all the news on that case here.
Do you guys ever notice that when you're specifically caught up thinking about something, you start to notice it everywhere?
Four Asian American jokesters steal the show.
Single Asian Male looking for that special someone who enjoys a good physics joke. Has magic fingers.
Chinaman is the alter ego of comedian Mark Britten, who is part white, Filipino and Chinese. Though he’s developed a mighty repertoire of zingy one-liners and edgy wisecracks, he still likes to tell the joke that he came up with in high school when someone asked him if it’s true that Asian men have small genitalia. Turning to his provocateur, he retorted, “I’m half-Chinese … from the waist up.”
So the verdict came out this week on the Lodi terrorist case: A jury convicted 23-year-old Pakistani American Hamid Hyatt guilty of giving material support to terrorists.
We’ve been hard at work here at Hyphen to put together our upcoming Music issue, which has got me thinking a lot about Asian American music and my own musical tastes.
There has been so much going on this week with the immigration protests: On Monday, I stood in the flux of students, families and activists on Mission Street and felt the power of what was happening.
I know the festival is already in full-swing, but I just wanted to point out some awesome South Asian picks for you to attend in the next few days. And the best thing about the South Asian films is that if you miss them this weekend or this week, you can make a field trip out of it next weekend and head down to San Jose and maybe stop for some yummy South Indian food on the way.
When I was a little Indian kid growing up in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio, I would often face confusion about my ethnicity and race from my fellow classmates. I remember riding the school bus home from school and being crushed into a green rubbery seat with my friend Michelle and her little sister. We were bouncing along the street and Michelle was pointing out the window at people in passing cars and informing her little sister on the ways of the world.
Michelle: See, that lady in that car is Mexican and she is bad because she takes all our jobs.
Little Sister: Oh, okay. (Looking over at me with a confused look.) What about her?
Michelle: Oh, she’s okay. She doesn’t count.
Little Sister: (Still looking confused.) Oh?
Stories of a post-9/11 America, as captured by a Sikh American.
Photographer Ejen Chuang
When Valarie Kaur first heard about the hate crime shooting of Sikh American Balbir Singh Sodhi, just three days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, her first instinct was to escape. She retreated into her room at her parent’s house in Clovis, CA, and read the first three Harry Potter books.