You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2009

DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Philippine Government

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I did my 2007 taxes wrong. I was surprised, y’know, cuz Asians just don’t do things incorrectly, like EVER. Okay, yeah, I worked on my forms myself instead of handing them off to an accountant (Dumb!), procrastinated until the very last minute (Stupid!), and hurriedly completed the form online while sitting in a Boston hotel with Jen, a night before speaking at the Harvard Berkman Center about our fun Internet lives.

Alright, I wasn’t that surprised that I did them wrong. I suck.

So, okay. The IRS wanted their money. Fair enough! Let them have my damn money and spend it on some Wall Street fat cat bonuses, if that’s what they want to do! I could deal with that. All it took was the signing of a check, the placing of a stamp, and on the day went. I’m not bleeding money, but when I owe a buck or two, I pay it. I show a little dignity for my errors.

And so I’ve gotta say, having, er, been there, that I am heavily disappointed in the Philippines (pardon the synechdoche here, friends in the Philippines) for dicking around on a millions-large amount of owed NYC property taxes for well over five years. The NYT reported this week that, after much toil, the country just reached a settlement with Manhattan regarding the dues, and has finally agreed to pay $9 million in back property taxes and interest . This amount is “about 85 percent of what the city had sought… for a building at 556 Fifth Avenue.”

Meanwhile, India and Mongolia, next up on my tsk list, are still in court dealing with equally enormous unsettled tax debts.

Sigh. Just write the check and place the stamp, guys. It’s the only way.

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Thanks, Jasmine and Patrick!

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Hardass American President

It never occurred to us before that our new President–so casual and young, warm-grinned and sharp-dressed–would be the type to deliver a lecture on “shameful” behavior, “irresponsibility,” and “discipline” with the firm speech, stern gaze, and disappointed energy of our stoic, no-nonsense Asian fathers.


…or that we would kinda like it.

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Now He’s Just Everyone’s Blagoje-bitch


ADVICE THAT SHOULD NEVER BE TAKEN:

“When you’ve done something(s) really, really, really, really, really, wrong, just convince yourself that you haven’t–and, in fact, that you’ve done great things, instead.

Most importantly: Never, ever say fucking never.”

[Image via NYU Local]

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Marriage Liberasian

The ink is barely dry on la divorce, but it looks like somebody has already moved on…


**Disclaimer**: This Craiglist ad is, er, probably not real. But, um, God bless you if you needed us to tell you that.

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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A Snuggie’s Warm Embrasian

MUST. BUY. SNUGGIE. PRETTY. ROBOT. CHEN. LOOKS. SO. CUDDLY. IN. HER. SNUGGIE. AREN’T. SIAMESE. TWINS. IN. LIFE-THREATENING. RATHER. SAD. SITUATIONS? NEVER. MIND. NEED. SNUGGIE. I. AM. SO. COLD. SO. COLD.

[via Videogum]

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Thanks, jRu!

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Slumdog Exploitasian Scandal: Fake, Real or Something In-Between?

There’s a new Slumdog Millionaire scandal a-brewing, with the families of two of its child stars claiming exploitasian. The parents of 8 year-olds Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, who play young Latika and Salim in the film, respectively, and are both still living in Mumbai slums, have accused the film’s producers of underpaying their children. (The families also appear to be in the direst of straits: Rubina’s father broke his leg during filming and has been out of work since, and Azharuddin’s father has TB.)


The movie’s distributor, Fox Searchlight, responded by saying that the children were paid three times the average wage of adults in their neighborhoods. Considering their neighborhoods are slums and the average annual income in India is $941, this sounds like a raw deal for the kids. Apparently, a trust fund has also been set up for the child actors that they will be able to access when they are 18, provided they stay in school. Which sounds slightly better, until you start to wonder: Isn’t it pretty fucking impossible to stay in school until you’re 18 when you’re living in a slum in India? The drop-out rate is 30% in America and higher in lower-income areas, so what must it be like in India, where ONE-THIRD of ALL the world’s poor live? This may be a noble plan in theory, but is it even tenable?

Maybe Fox Searchlight and Danny Boyle and Slumdog‘s producers have done right by those kids, relatively speaking, but would it be any skin off their noses to do, for lack of a better phrase, more right? What would it cost, a few thousand dollars? That’s nothing to a movie that’s already grossed $62 million.

Entertainment Weekly asked its readers to weigh in on this controversy, and there’s an array of thoughtful ideas on the situation, like how the movie’s overrated, or how the media’s making all of this up, or how these child actors–hell, all of India–is to blame for…um…outsourcing:


And some of you wonder why we don’t allow comments.

[UPDATE: Some backpedaling.]

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Winter Weight Donasian

Every winter, I put on weight. Even though I live in Los Angeles, where it’s 80 degrees today, stingingly hot in the sun, and where I have no legitimate excuse for sitting on my ass all day indoors, except to communicate with you (and fritter my life away on Facebook). Also, I firmly believe that in my previous life, I was an inanimate object of some kind.

If only there was some great use for my winter fat stores…like making outrageously adorable, fuzzy tummy-inspiring puppies!

Magic and Stem, two beagle pups cloned from fat tissue

A South Korean bioengineering company announced today that they’re the first to successfully clone two puppies from fat tissue stem cells. When they want to graduate to humans, I’ll be the first in line to donate my body–the lazy, smushy, gross parts, anyway–to science.

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Do Nothing

STUFF DIANA ACCOMPLISHED TODAY:

  • waking up
  • brushing teeth
  • delegating the morning dog walk to her cohabitant
  • drinking Perrier
  • showering
  • driving
  • sitting
  • checking photo comments on Facebook
  • writing a Birthday Celebrasian post about an age-defying hottie
  • looking in the mirror at her eye bags and wrinkles
  • surfing Sephora.com for various eye creams
  • finding credit card
  • emailing Jen to see what she’s up to
  • drinking coffee
  • drinking espresso
  • dusting off laptop keyboard
  • writing lists
  • hanging

Does that, according to Michelle Malkin’s reasoning, make me a “Get Things Done” Republican, a “Get Things Done” Democrat, a “Get Things Undone” Malkinite, or a happy do-nothing nobody?

I… don’t really know.

But I’m sure if I could figure her logic out, I would hate myself.

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN!

Happy 38th birthday to actress Fann Wong, who still basically looks like this:

Damnnnn! Wong

We are going to celebrate this joyous event by, uh… skulking off to the corner, quietly putting out our cigarettes, and slathering our respective faces and necks with generous dollops of La Mer Miracle Cream.

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ROCK OF ASIAN: King Ly Chee

I’ll be honest you. I pretty much didn’t understand hardcore until I started playing Guitar Hero. It’s not that I don’t own Black Flag and Minor Threat records, that I didn’t vibe with straightedge kids in high school, that I don’t think Ian MacKaye is a damn genius. I just–yeah, I just didn’t understand it. Not much more to it than that. Eventually, of course, when I started fiddling around with my little plastic guitar, and realizing how insanely hard it is just to wrap my head around 8 measures of chugga-chugga-chugga…well, I learned my lesson.

I’ve come around. I love those lickety licks, I love the raging vocal energy, I’m down with music so intense and raw that it hurts you in the sternum. Hardcore is the shit. And I’ve gotta give it credit–hardcore has raged on while it’s sensitive little brethren, emo and indie, have clipped on ties and gone corporate-soft.

So bravo to King Ly Chee, a fuggin’ batshit hardcore band out of Hong Kong that rocks a stage so hard it makes my chest ache.

Enjoy more here. Protect your earnest organs while listening.

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X-Men Origins: My Honney Daniel Henney

I just saw the X-Men Origins: Wolverine trailer in a theater this week, and, as that skenny betch Rachel Zoe would say, I die. Is there a better superantihero than Wolverine? I doubt it. I love his scissorhands, those mutton chops, those totally absurd muscles.

An added bonus: Daniel Henney in his American film debut as David North/Agent Zero.

I die. Again.

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Jason Wu’s Here, He’s Queer, And All of His Hardass Asian Relatives Better Get Used to It

Jason Wu was accidentally outed last week in a NY Times profile that ran of the 26 year-old designer following the inauguration, and he’s not stoked about it. An anonymous fashion industry source told Jezebel this week that Wu’s parents knew he was gay, but not his extended family, and the Times‘ mention of Wu’s boyfriend, Gustavo Rangel, has led to “some awkward conversations.” The source also alleged that Wu’s parents are “disappointed” because their son wasn’t more “discreet.”

No one wants to be publicly outed this way. And being Asian and gay and out to your parents is hard enough as it is, what with our people’s obsession with tradition, fitting in and having grandchildren, without your bitchy aunties gossiping about your sex life. The upshot to this unfortunate incident is that Asian parents care a whole lot more about success than they do sex, and Jason Wu is a success story that his Hardass Asian Parents can brag about at their weekly Chinese choir practice, if they’re anything like my own. And instead of saying, “My son, he make most beautiful dress for First Lady,” they can say, “My gay son, etc.” and people, including the Hardass Asian Extended Family, are just going to have to fuckin’ deal with it, because their straight sons–Harvard medical school and gorgeous grandchildren notwithstanding–still can’t hold a candle to Wu.

Asian parents are always disappointed one way or another, anyway, because that’s, like, their job. But many of them eventually get over it–like mine did when I told them that I wanted to be a writer, which led to 10 years of “awkward conversations”–until you disappoint them again (which is inevitable), and then they have to get over that, and so on and so forth, which seems like a total drag until you realize, after a while, that this is what you have to go through to live your life the way you want to live it, in fact, this is living your life the way you want to live it, with a little more honesty and transparency and a little less shame even.

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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