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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! New Study Suggests Asian Americans Are In Emotional Limbo

May 6th, 2011 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

A new psych study examining the role of happiness on the mental well-being of Asians, Asian Americans, and European Americans has been published in the aptly-named journal, Emotion. Led by University of Washington psychologist Janxin Leu and co-authored by UW grad students Jennifer Wang (my name doppelganger) and Kelly Koo, the study interviewed 633 college students–a mix of Asian immigrants, Asian Americans and European Americans–and asked them to rate how much stress and depression they felt as well as the intensity of their positive emotions, like serenity, joy, confidence and attentiveness.

Their research concluded that among European-American participants “there was a strong correlation showing that the more positive emotions they expressed, the less depression or stress they reported.”

For Asians born outside of the U.S. “there was no correlation between positive emotions and depression and stress” found, because Asians seemed to interpret and respond to positive emotions differently. Leu discovered that happiness led to a kind of paranoia among Asians. “Happiness signals that something bad will happen next; happiness is fleeting,” she said.

As for the third group, Asians born in the U.S., i.e. people like me–and many of you reading this–the study’s results weren’t so clear.

The University of Washington news release for the study states “the correlation [between positive emotions and depression and stress] was more subtle among Asian-Americans” than among European Americans. The TIME magazine report on the study says “results for U.S.-born Asian Americans were mixed.”

Happiness: Didn't we invent this shit?

Which sounds like a polite way of saying that Asian Americans are in emotional limbo, Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! New Study Suggests Asian Americans Are In Emotional Limbo

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Alvin Wong, Happiest Person In America

March 7th, 2011 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Alvin Wong with his wife, Trudy Schandler-Wong

Name: Alvin Wong

Age: 69

Ethnicity: Chinese American

Religion: Judaism

Occupation: Business owner and Happiest Person in America

According to data collected by Gallup over the last three years that was then plugged into a formula called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the statistical composite for the happiest person in the U.S. is:

…tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, gets lei-ed lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.

Alvin Wong, a 5’10″, 69 year-old health care management business owner, fits that bill. But is he the only one? I mean, how many tall, Asian American, observant Jews 65-and-over do you know?

(In light of the fact that the median income for Jews and Asian Americans is not only similar but exceeds the national average, the $120 thou a year part is a given. Jews are reputed to have slightly higher divorce rates than non-Jews, while Asian Americans have slightly lower divorce rates, so when combined the marriage thing is a non-factor. And remember, this is all junk science, so no emails about this being junk science and stereotype-dredging. I mean, duh.)

Since Diana and I both suck at math, I had a Physics professor friend of mine–not my Hardass Asian Dad, incidentally–crunch the numbers for me. Here are his findings based on the data I provided for him:

Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Alvin Wong, Happiest Person In America

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ROCK OF ASIAN: New Year, New Jane Lui Rekkid!

January 5th, 2011 | 7 comments | Posted by Diana

Y’all how much we love ourselves some Jane Lui. And since the moment she began fundraising for her third record, we’ve been slobbering, aching, begging to hear her sweet voice singing some sleek new tunes.

Well, that moment is finally here! Lui’s self-released third and full-length LP, Goodnight Company, arrived just before the holidays and is basically the only thing I’ve listened to for two weeks. [You too can join in the fun by downloading the album off of her site for (!!!) for free.]

It’s only fitting that Goodnight Company should arrive just as the world rounds the corner into a new year and possibility-filled decade, as it reflects a fresh start, new chapter and tonal shift for the seasoned singer/songwriter. Lui has frequently lent her silky voice to moody ballads and soft, acoustic confessions, but she’s clearly transitioned into a more womanly self–one with a spark to her step, one with gutsy grit, one with little fear of her offbeat and unexpected sexiness.



“Jailcard” is the album’s first single, if you will, or certainly the most likely candidate for the role (see the official music video, and her funky smooves, above). The track showcases Lui’s finest qualities, notably refined–sophisticated lyrics, sultry technique, an impressive vocal range–enhanced with an infectious dance beat and and undeniable lightness.

Continue reading ROCK OF ASIAN: New Year, New Jane Lui Rekkid!

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BABEWATCH: Karen Han

March 9th, 2010 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Name: Karen Han

Occupation: Erhu (Chinese two-stringed violin) Virtuoso

Hails from: Los Angeles

Why She’s A Babe: Flawless Skin. Elegant Lines. A killer musical talent. And then some.

It was hard to take our eyes off of Han during the broadcast of the Oscars, in which her husband Paul N.J. Ottosson won two consecutive awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing on The Hurt Locker. Now, winning is damn near everything to Asians, but when someone other than ourselves does the winning, it can be another story. In fact, one of the most of telling moments in any of our lives is watching someone else–particularly our partners–win.

See video of the acceptance speech:

Continue reading BABEWATCH: Karen Han

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Sungha Jung

May 28th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Sungha Jung makes us weep with joy. Is there anyone out there as talented as this boy? He seems to be spiritually one with his axe. How in the world could he slip through the cracks? Look at the way he interprets U2. Now take some time to hear all the songs that he do!

Source

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Die Another Daysian

January 14th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

My friend Anthony’s mom held a staged pre-death funeral last year, and all of her family and friends attended knowing full well that the event was merely a dress rehearsal. Still, the gathering didn’t feel quite like theater: Her husband delivered the eulogy, emphasizing that she had been taken from all of their lives too soon. Her friends dropped flowers on the casket and shared pleasant and ridiculous memories. Her children sobbed, feeling abandoned.

And then, about two hours later, she showed up at the post-funeral lunch, just as alive as she had been two hours before. It was joyous; in fact, she and her family and friends felt a renewed vigor just being alive. It was as if they had all gotten a second chance.

Dude, if you ask me, that shit was fucked up. Severely twisted. A cruel thing to do to one’s loved ones. And just plain awkward.

This week, CNN discussed just this thing as a growing trend in Korea: mock funerals, a branch of a concept called “well-dying.” During the funerals, perfectly healthy individuals go through the experience of their death remembrance (like, in-casket) as a quick-jolt reminder to celebrate their existing lives. The end result is for each person to realize hey, it’s pretty freakin’ good to be alive.

I am pleased that “happiness” is on the radar of our Korean brethren. And how ambitious–the ability to actually appreciate living has got to be one of the most difficult things imaginable to attain. So yeah man, I’m behind it all the way. Whatever it takes to keep “wellness” on the Asian priority list.

But isn’t there a less muthafuzzin’ creepy way to do so?

Source
Thanks, Chris!

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