Zodiac: A Blasian Shortie

It's been a while since I've written a Blasian Shortie.  Years, in fact, and I'll apologize for that.  But the drought is over because the Muse has graced me with a wonderfully fun and diabolical idea, and so I'm going to experiment with it.  It will be a series of shorties, or chapters, under the title "Zodiac."

Summary:  Macallan and Madalyne Zhou are owners of the Zodiac, a popular nightclub in fictional Suva Oriana.  Macallan is a former criminal defense attorney and ex-Marine, and Madalyne is a former surgeon. They are a beautiful, attractive couple; elegant, confident, and completely amoral. The Zodiac Club is a front for the Zhous' secret and extremely profitable venture: a pleasure house.

Rick Yune as Macallan Zhou

Sanaa Lathan as Madalyne Zhou
Head on over to Shorties to meet the rest of the cast.


"Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya" (2010)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am sick to death of Asian movies being altered for the worse by the time they reach American shores.  Couple shitty titles with shitty covers, and it's the perfect opportunity for great movies on Netflix to fly under the radar.

For months I'd been ignoring Muay Thai Warrior because that was its title and this is its cover:

Um, no thank you.

But then I was really bored last night and I decided it couldn't hurt to fall asleep watching it.  As it turned out, Japanese actor/model Ozeki Seigi had all the right moves (and looks) to keep me up.


History Lessons: The Legacy of Lapu-Lapu

(h/t Jules)



Aljur Abrenica as Lapu-Lapu

While working on Daos, I came across a picture of Aljur Abrenica portraying Lapu-Lapu, as identified by Jules.  She then hooked me up with this kick-ass video.

The first thirty seconds consistently give me life.  I cannot tell you how many times I've rewound that shit.
Here in the West, the Filipino martial arts aren’t considered as “sexy” as some of the Chinese and Japanese fighting styles, and many people don’t realize that the Philippines has a rich history of bashing motherfuckers in the goddamned face with a matching set of hand-carved wooden bludgeons. Even the almighty Bruce Lee himself trained under some of Eskrima’s Grand Masters, and incorporated aspects of their fighting style into Jeet Kune Do. You know that scene in Enter the Dragon when Bruce is in that cave and he’s using those two sticks to beat the holy living fuckballs out like eight hundred dudes? That’s fucking Eskrima, bitches - a time-honored tradition of bashing in skulls and dishing out ass-kickings that traces its roots all the way back to the 16th century and a native Visayan chieftain named Lapu-Lapu, a tribal leader who became the first Filipino to defend his homeland against foreign invasion.

There isn’t a written record of what Lapu-Lapu was up to prior to the year 1521, but by all accounts his life revolved around two things – kicking asses and taking names.


Year One Complete

I just finished my first year abroad.  I would say that I can’t believe that a year has passed, but that wouldn’t be true.  I can believe it.  I’ve just experienced it.  I’d like to share a little bit with you.

What’s it like in this part of the world?  Well, I can tell you this: I get stared at A LOT, and the natives sneak pictures of me on the sly.  Sometimes, the stares come with smiles, other times, it’s just outright shock.  This is typical for a lot of the older Chinese, as many of them may never have laid eyes on a black person before.  I always smile and say hello, because if I am their first, I need it to be a positive experience. 


The Lie of White Innocence

Got an email from Ankh about Chauncey Devega's latest essay.


What do I think? Well, I definitely agree with his points. Also, for whatever reason, I'm still surprised whenever I see someone else speak that honestly about racism. One thing was kind of weird though. "Schadenfreude" is when you take pleasure in someone else's misfortune. I'm not exactly sure if that term matches his point. I agree with his assertion that the vast majority of whites, liberal and conservative, are attempting to define the issue of racism as a problem with "a few bad apples." However, I don't think "anti-racist schadenfreude" is the best term to describe that situation.

Semantics aside, I've definitely come across my fair share of that sort of obfuscation. The problem, of course, is that not only are those distorters completely ignoring systemic (a.k.a. institutional or structural) racism, they are also creating a kind of "racism whipping boy" to which they divert culpability. For those who don't know, back in medieval times, whenever the prince did something bad, instead of whipping the prince, they would whip a poor peasant boy. They did this because, in their minds, the prince was too good and innocent to be whipped. Quite a fitting analogy if you think about it. The only part that doesn't quite fit is the culpability of the whipping boys: the prince's whipping boy most likely did not deserve his fate, whereas racism's whipping boys (i.e. the klansmen and skinheads) definitely deserve some of the culpability.

Where does all this lead me? It leads me to a previously discovered insight: One of the obstacles preventing the end of racism is the ability of whites to indulge in privilege at the expense of People of Color, engage in subtle racism, and sometimes even commit blatant racism all while maintaining the lie of white innocence. The whipping boys of racism play a significant part in this illusion. Most white people see themselves as being too good and innocent to be guilty of racism; it's always someone else who is the "real racist." This is what makes mighty whitey films (and, to a certain extent, Tim Wise's focus on white allies) a huge problem. They watch films like The Help and then see themselves as the heroic white person without having actually done anything heroic themselves. There's nothing wrong with identifying with fictional or real white allies if the white person in question actually does something to oppose white hegemony. But too often stories of white anti-racism, fake or real, simply allow whites to feel good about themselves, serving only to maintain the lie of white innocence.

James Hong, George Chen, and Weihan Wang Matter Too

And let's not forget it.

L to R: Weihan Wang, George Chen, and James Hong
The parents of the three college students who were stabbed said it took them weeks to muster the courage to speak publicly about the killings. They said they finally did so in a joint interview to air their frustration with authorities’ handling of the case and the scant information that has been provided.

The three families — all Chinese immigrants who said they came to the United States for a better life — said that they are disturbed by a culture that seems more interested in the killer than in their sons. They also are angered by public-health and legal systems that they say value the rights of the mentally ill, including Rodger’s, over those who may become their victims.

...The three families are lobbying the news media to shift their attention to the victims. After ABC News announced June 9 that Barbara Walters would be coming out of retirement to interview the killer’s father, the families banded together and e-mailed a producer June 13
. (Source)
I dare you to Google Elliot Rodger right now.

Click "News" at the top. Notice how the first few articles are basically this same story copied and pasted a few times over. Then scroll down to see all the articles about Elliot Rodger and namely his father (notice: not his mother), who has become some sort of macabre celebrity (which I knew he would. He may complain about his son being a mass murderer and all, but if I understand the history of this man's career correctly, Elliot's killing spree couldn't have happened at a better time).


Count the (Race) Fail

You'd think I'd know by now not to click on random videos on YouTube, but I just can't seem to help myself.  Curiosity got the better of me in this instance, and I got exactly what I deserved.  Because I really should have known better.  I was flabbergasted, offended and morbidly curious all at the same time.

While I can appreciate the attempt to discuss race and interracial dating in an honest, straightforward manner, I don't see what's helpful or thought-provoking about this particular discussion.  It seems to want to present itself as an open-minded conversation about what can admittedly be a touchy subject, but it really comes off as uninformative and a bit ridiculous. They don't really say anything substantive unless you include the stereotypes about black men being well-endowed, Asian women being submissive wives, using the word "exotic" to describe non-white people, the hotness of Latin lovers, and a somewhat creepy fixation on AW/WM pairings.  If I could insert a "mind blown" gif here, I would.

And I couldn't help but notice that no black folks were included in this discussion.  But then again, maybe it's best that they weren't.  Because this conversation is filled with all kinds of nope. 

We definitely need to have discussions about race in this country.  Many, many discussions.  But not like this.

*Cross-posted on The Black Girls Club


New "Colorless World" issue out now

It's back!!!  Issue #3 is hot off the press and and filled with all sorts goodies.  Take a peek at what's in store for readers:

As usual, Rabz continues to provide recipes for folks interested in Blasian Cuisine.  I actually want to try this one.  I hope mine will look just as pretty.


The Narrative Nods to Gowe (@GoweHipHop)

I was introduced to Gowe's music when I was searching YouTube for music videos of Travis Graham.  My search led me to the first video which I'm about to post. His entrance alone onto this track sold me on his style immediately.


Feeling Defeminized

Long time, no post.

Actually, I have had the idea for this post in my head for quite awhile but I haven't had the chance to write it until now. However, I think it's pretty timely considering the recent comment by Joan Rivers about First Lady Michelle Obama being manly and the fact that people actually believe clearly photoshopped pictures of her which claim to show that she is in fact a man (born with the name Michael) are real.

When is society going to stop perpetuating the absurd belief that black women have no right to be womanly? That we somehow cannot claim female as our gender even when our DNA says we are? Why, as a black women, do I feel that we are grouped into this category of not-quite-female but not-quite-male, as if we're some kind of alien being with some traces of female features but are "unpredictable", "scary", "ugly", "hypersexual", and "manly".

I feel the answers to my questions are summed up beautifully in the TransGriot article:
"If you have a group of women [white women] that you put on a societal pedestal as the paragons of beauty, fertility and the femininity gold standard that all women should aspire to, then it stands to reason that you would set up a group of women [black women] as the ones to not emulate." 
Hence, we are currently still at a point where black women represent this negative otherness. Unfortunately, I find that this is an idea which has been exported from the Western world. When I am out and about in Taiwan, I often hear comments which imply that I'm unfeminine and that the effort I spend on my looks is basically comical. Sometimes, I find that people attempt to discount my femininity by simply calling me a man. I'm no model but I certainly don't look male, haha.