Why Does The Internet Want Jackie Chan Dead?

Sure, there was a time when we wanted Jackie Chan to go away. Like, during that almost-ten year period we’ll call The Rush Hour Era, when Jackie’s enormous capacity to entertain was basically reduced to being the butt of some played-out ching-chong-ling-long-ting-tong jokes. And, yes, we even called him an Uncle Tam on occasion.

But we never wished him dead, unlike the Internetz, which proclaimed him dead twice this year, first in March and again this past Wednesday. The “R.I.P. Jackie Chan” Facebook page that started this latest death hoax has already gained 370,000+ fans in just one day.

The question is: why now? Allow me to rephrase: who the fuck cares? The last movie I Continue reading Why Does The Internet Want Jackie Chan Dead?

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK: R.I.P. John Delloro

It’s difficult to believe even as we write the words: Our friend John Delloro died suddenly on Saturday from a heart attack. He was 38.

Like our cohort Phil, we met John this year when he invited us to speak to his freshman Asian American Studies students at UCLA (God bless him, he was the first professor ever to cite us on a final exam). We instantly knew that John was a special person, pure soul and our brother from another mother–and we can only imagine the loss felt right now by those that have known and loved him longer. We only wish we’d had the pleasure.

John is certainly overdue for the honor of Amazian of the Week. In addition to his work in academia, he was a community leader, and a longstanding activist for labor unions and immigrant rights: he ran the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute, co-founded the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, sat on boards for the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance and PWC, and organized for the SEIU as well as a number of other union groups. Never without action, he defined the word “activist.” And hell, with all those jobs and achievements, he also defined “Amazian.” No Hardass Asian Parent would disagree with that.

Since he was a reader and supporter of this site, we think that John would have been happy to see himself honored as this week’s Amazian. He would have probably wanted us to write more jokes in the post, but right now we just can’t seem to muster any.

We hold his family and friends in our thoughts, and know that right now he’s smiling that warm smile somewhere up in the sky.

[claimID: John Delloro]

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! 2009

If you are one of the people that thought last year was UH-MAZING, and was sad to see it go as the clock ticked down to midnight on December 31, you are a very special human being. You should also go kick yourself in the shins–2009 was a stinker for most of us, and your joy just makes people mad.

Okay, look. At least this happened:

Goodbye to the Aughts, or "Era of Shame"

But so did this:

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! 2009

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Love Means Never Having To Tweet “R.I.P.!”

Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson was reported dead at age 30 yesterday, a news story that gained traction because the socialite had recently captured headlines, as the affianced to Tila Tequila and one-third of a love triangle with Courtenay Semel.

Casey Johnson and Tila Tequila

As soon as the news broke, readers realized quickly that Johnson’s death–which must have come as a painful shock to her family (father is NY Jets owner Woody Johnson) and lifelong friends–was overshadowed in the headlines by her fledgling ties to Tequila.

Continue reading Love Means Never Having To Tweet “R.I.P.!”

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R.I.P. Qian Xuesen, “Father Of Chinese Rocketry”

Qian Xuesen (Tsien Hsue-shen), a pioneer of both the U.S. and Chinese missile and space programs, died in Beijing on October 31, 2009. He was 97 years-old.

qian xuesen father of chinese rocketry

The engineer was born in China, received his Master’s at MIT and his doctorate at Caltech in the 30′s, and was one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He developed missiles for the Army, consulted for the Air Force–earning a temporary rank of Colonel–and designed a space plane that served as an inspiration for the Space Shuttle.

He was obviously brillz, but also a victim of his time. After applying for U.S. citizenship in 1949, when the country was caught up in the Red Scare, he was accused of having Communist sympathies, falsely imprisoned, and put under house arrest for 5 years. Caltech rallied around Qian and appointed attorney Grant Cooper to defend him. Despite their efforts, Qian, his wife, and their two American-born children were deported in 1955 by the U.S. government back to China, where Qian went on to start the Chinese space program and where he’s regarded as a hero.

Cooper who would later say of the gross mistreatment of his client:

“That the government permitted this genius, this scientific genius, to be sent to Communist China to pick his brains is one of the tragedies of this century.”

Irony of all ironies, Qian eventually joined the Communist Party in 1958.

[via Wired]

[Wikipedia: Qian Xuesen]

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R.I.P. Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze once owned a ranch one town over from where I grew up in northwest Houston. His mother, Patsy, was the dance instructor to my best friend’s little sister. I always thought I’d run into him one day at the Circle K or something, which is basically what happened to a high school friend of mine one summer.

It was after our first year of college, and I was hanging out with this friend, Jason, every day. It was wretchedly hot as usual, and we were bored out of our minds. We spent half the summer selling Cutco knives and didn’t make a dime. We played Trivial Pursuit so much that we noticed we began to repeat the same questions. I took Spanish classes at the local community college just to break up the monotony. Both of us fancied ourselves too sophisticated–after a whole year of college–to be back in our backwater hometown, and we spent a lot of our free time either watching Almodovar movies or driving 30 minutes into the city just to hang out at this gelato place. Gelato–and not plain ol’ ice cream–complemented our newly-acquired, worldly attitudes.

When it was clear we weren’t going to make any money selling knives to church ladies, I started temping at a paint company and Jason went to work at a local Eckerd’s in the photo lab. One day, Patrick Swayze, poured into a tight pair of jeans, walked into the drugstore to pick up some photos.

“The name’s Swaaaaaaaaaaaayze,” he said. Jason wouldn’t acknowledge that he recognized the movie star, the one tiny toehold of power a non-famous person has with a famous person. In his account of this chance meeting, my friend described Patrick Swayze as a real “cheeseball,” for no specific reason.

And the thing is, Patrick Swayze was cheeseball. Nearly all of his most memorable roles involved him taking his shirt off. His generous head of hair was always too coifed. He moved like a male stripper (and in some roles he was oiled-up like one, too). The way he and Demi got it on around that muddy potting table in Ghost–while she sculpted a laughably phallic hunk of clay–was just so icky. But it worked somehow. Maybe because Swayze came across as a rock of a man. He played mentors over and over again–whether it was the older brother (The Outsiders, Red Dawn), the teacher (Dirty Dancing), the protective lover (Road House, Ghost), or the leader of the pack (Point Break, To Wong Foo…). There was something aggressively Alpha about him, even though he could dance on his toes. He always played the guy who kept things together. He made movies that were mainstream and entertaining, and he wasn’t “cool,” except in a kitschy way. He was ice cream, not gelato. Nuthin’ fancy, but something you’d always enjoy returning to–even after a steady diet of snobbery and pretension–something uncomplicated, constant, and comforting that never failed to provide pleasure.

[Entertainment Weekly: Patrick Swayze: The Popwatch Youtube Appreciation]

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R.I.P. Ted Kennedy


Goodbye, Ted. Thank you so much for believing.

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Hit Me, Baby… One More Time?

Global Health Magazine composed and posted this rather startling graph documenting international attitudes towards domestic violence today, based on 2001-2007 data collected by the UNICEF site, Child Info (which monitors the situation of women and children).


Are you seeing what we’re seeing? Stats saying that 81.2% of women in Laos and 63.8% in my homeland (Vietnam) think it’s acceptable for their men to hurt ‘em?

My kneejerk reaction—I want to throttle all of these ladies myself. Does shaking count? What about shaking while shouting, “IT IS NOT OKAY FOR ONE SINGLE FUCKER TO LAY A HAND ON YOU, DO YOU HEAR ME??? DO YOU FUCKING HEAR ME?!?!!?”

But my gut just says, wow. I’m pretty sure my grandmas (R.I.P.) were once those women. And who’d a thunk their kids–my mom and dad–would raise a daughter to spend her days swilling whiskey, getting angry, and threatening to chop dicks off (for the right reason, of course)? ‘Cuz they did.

Like I said, wow.

[Global Health: Screenshots]
[Child Info: Monitoring the Situation of Women and Children]
[via Buzzfeed]

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R.I.P. Kim Dae-jung


Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung passed away earlier today, from a cardiac arrest resulting from massive organ failure.

A popular pro-democracy opposition leader, he was elected as President in 1997 and lead the way for a liberal, democratic, modern South Korea. One major highlight of his life’s work may have been his optimistic “Sunshine Policy” approach towards North Korea, which warmed relations with the brother country and ultimately garnered Kim the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000.

He remains a beloved figure in his home country and abroad, and his presence–always hopeful–will be missed.

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R.I.P. Walter Cronkite

As bloggers, we know we’re part of a huge paradigm shift that has forced the world to witness the rapid decline of our beloved newspapers, and in lockstep, a bittersweet goodbye to a beautiful old school of gritty, focused, research-and-field based journalism.

Walter Cronkite, 1916 – 2009

Few things signify the end of that truly incredible journalistic era than the loss of Walter Cronkite, who passed away on Friday evening, at the age of 92.

Is it his tone of honesty that will be missed most? His dedication to the country? Perhaps his immeasurable influence (defined, one could argue, by the devastating impact his February 27, 1968 statement had on the on the nation’s support of the Vietnam War, see video link below):


We don’t really have an answer to those questions. We can only bid Cronkite an eternal goodnight with due respect and much sadness. He will be missed.

[NYT: 28 Years After Retirement, Anchorman Goes Off Air]

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He’s Out of My Life: Goodbye, Michael Jackson?


We’ve lost a lot of stars this week to that great walk of fame in the sky (R.I.P. Ed and Farrah).

But I wasn’t ready for the emotional blow that accompanied today’s announcement of Michael Jackson’s cardiac arrest, resulting coma and death.

Jackson is the reason that a perfect stranger sang “Dirty Diana” to me over morning coffee, why I danced under a restaurant awning at lunch–and why I feel shocked and empty now.

Say what you will about the man–he was the greatest performer that ever was, and a bearer of some shames we may never understand–he will never be forgotten.

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R.I.P. Tim Russert

Tim Russert–honorasian, patriot, politico, brainiac, worker bee, journalist, perfectionist, NBC friend–we don’t know why we lost you today, but we hope you’re reading the Times somewhere nice in the sky.

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