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Let’s Not Forget That The Wisconsin Shooting Didn’t Just Happen To Sikhs, It Happened To Americans, Too

August 7th, 2012 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

I’ve been avoiding writing this post because the shooting in Wisconsin at a Sikh temple that left six innocent people dead has made me feel simultaneously furious and powerless, the worst kind of impotency, not only because it’s the second incident of mass gun violence in less than three weeks and lawmakers have simply thrown up their hands on that issue, but because the Wisconsin shooting seems to me to be the convergence of all of the insidious, paranoid, dehumanizing, and Otherizing rhetoric directed at people of color–whether they be undocumented immigrants or Muslims or the President of the United States–that’s been ramping up in our culture for years now.

The Wisconsin shooter has been identified as 40 year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, who was killed by police at the scene. Page has been described as a “skinhead,” “the leader of a racist white-power band,” and a “neo-Nazi” with ties to white supremacy. Meanwhile, Page’s victims are Sikh, brown-skinned and members of a peaceful religion that’s often confused with Islam, which has increasingly made them targets of racist hate crimes all over the country since 9/11.

A vandalized Sikh temple in Fresno, CA, 2004

The fact that Sikh Americans have to clarify that they’re members of a peaceful religion and justify their own innocence even when victims of a heinous violent crime speaks volumes about how many Americans view people of color in this country. This is the effect of the “show me your papers” mentality writ large. “Do you belong here” begets “Do you deserve to be here” begets “Do you deserve to be.”

And don’t get me started on how Muslim Americans factor into all of this. If the majority of Continue reading Let’s Not Forget That The Wisconsin Shooting Didn’t Just Happen To Sikhs, It Happened To Americans, Too

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Popchips And Ashton Kutcher Make The Amazing Discovery That Brownface Doesn’t Sell

May 3rd, 2012 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Only after spending $1.5 million on an online ad campaign that featured Ashton Kutcher speaking in a stereotypical Indian accent while in brownface, and having it go viral in one day but not in a good way did snack company Popchips finally realize that brownface just isn’t cool any more.

Welcome to the year 2012, you dumb fucks.

[NYT: Popchips Pulls Ashton Kutcher Ad Over Charges of Racism]

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BABEWATCH: Divya Narendra, The Real-Life Indian Dude Who Wasn’t Played By An Indian Dude In ‘The Social Network’

October 12th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Divya Narendra

Age: 28

Occupation: CEO and co-founder of SumZero, a professional networking site for investment banker-ish people, co-founder of Harvard Connection (later named ConnectU), and suer of Mark Zuckerberg

By now you know the name Divya Narendra, one of the founders of Harvard Connection/ConnectU who sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea for a social networking site. You know this because you’ve seen The Social Network, where Narendra is played by Max Minghella. Minghella isn’t Indian like Narendra, although he is of some Asian Persuasion (Minghella’s mother, a native of Hong Kong, is Scottish and Chinese). Still, this is kinda creepy, no?

Narendra IRL with the impossibly impossible Winklevoss Twins, top, and Narendra in the movie, below

What Narendra IRL and Narendra in The Social Network do have in common is that they’re both hot, in that Ivy League, elitist fuck-sorta way. (Although apparently, Narendra IRL comes from humbler origins.) And ladies, good news: Divya Narendra’s interested in women. We know that from stalking–what else?–his Facebook profile.

[WSJ: Creative License of 'Social Network']
[WSJ: Who's the Indian in The Social Network?]

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Thanks, Erica!

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’40 Year-Old Virgin’ Actor Stabbed Ex 20 Times, Blames “Mistaken Identity”

September 14th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

Actor Shelley Malil, who played one of Steve Carell’s co-workers in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, is currently on trial in Vista, CA for unpremeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and residential burglary, after stabbing his ex-girlfriend Kendra Beebe 20 times in 2008.

Malil claims the stabbing was a case of “mistaken identity,” that he thought he was being attacked by Beebe’s male friend and was simply trying to protect himself.

“I’m sorry,” Malil, 45, said in the courtroom. “I had no idea. I saw the pictures (of her wounds) for the first time, I was stunned. When I look at those pictures, I still can’t believe the knife I was holding was responsible for all those injuries.”

Taking the stand in his own defense, the actor insisted he never intended to kill or hurt Kendra Beebe, 38, at her San Diego County house one night in August 2008. But then “chaos” broke out, some of which he says he still can’t remember clearly.

The LA Times reports that the jury is set to go into deliberations Tuesday and deliver a verdict…about 5 minutes later.*

Malil faces up to 21 years in prison.

*Call it a hunch.

[People: 40-Year-Old Virgin Actor: I Stabbed Girlfriend by Mistake]
[People: 40-Year-Old Virgin Actor Re-Enacts Stabbing in Court]
[LA Times: Jury may begin deliberations in assault trial of actor from 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin']

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‘The Last Airbender’ May Be The Worst Movie Of All Time Which Means There May Be Such A Thing As Karma

July 2nd, 2010 | 17 comments | Posted by Jen

Did I invoke “karma” in the title of this post because M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Last Airbender, is Indian? Sure. But given how, in the 24 hours since the movie’s opened, it’s already being heralded as quite possibly The Worst Movie Ever, he may not be for long, as soon people will be forming long lines not to see his latest cinematic debacle but, instead, to take away his Indian card, his Asian card, his DGA card, his WGA card, his AmEx card, and– why stop there?–even his SUBWAY® card, if he’s into that sort of thing, and something tells me that if white bread’s involved, he is.

Having already pissed off his brethren by casting white actors in the movie’s lead Asian roles, not getting why that was such a big deal, and hiding behind terms like “culturally diverse” and “multicultural” without understanding how his casting decisions actually ran contrary to those principles, Shyamalan’s now managed to get himself disowned by pretty much the rest of universe. Here are a few excerpts from the public drubbing The Last Airbender‘s received so far:

“The dearth of racially appropriate casting in the U.S. simply means that fewer Asians were humiliated by appearing in what is surely the worst botch of a fantasy epic since Ralph Bakshi’s animated desecration of The Lord of the Rings back in 1978. The actors who didn’t get to be in The Last Airbender are like the passengers who arrived too late to catch the final flight of the Hindenburg.”–Richard Corliss, TIME, ‘The Last Airbender: Worst Movie Epic Ever?’

“…the best way to watch ‘The Last Airbender’ is probably with Continue reading ‘The Last Airbender’ May Be The Worst Movie Of All Time Which Means There May Be Such A Thing As Karma

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AMAZIANS OF THE WEEK! Indian Americans In It To Win It

June 21st, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

We called 2009 The Year of Living Desi-rously because, everywhere we turned, South Asians seemed to be dominating the headlines, but 2010 is looking just as bright for the desiaspora, particularly in American politics.

Kamala Harris and Nikki Haley

Our pal Jesse Washington, who covers race and ethnicity for the AP, recently reported that 8 Indian Americans–a record number–are currently running for Congress or statewide office. To put this number in perspective, Washington points out that only 2 Indian Americans have been elected to Congress thus far, the first being Dalip Singh Saund in 1956, and the second being Bobby Jindal, who entered Congress in 2004. 2010′s candidasians, 7 of which are Democratic hopefuls–South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley is the exception–are as follows:

Continue reading AMAZIANS OF THE WEEK! Indian Americans In It To Win It

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Somebody’s Already Sounding Like A Hardass Asian Padmama

March 15th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

The first photo of Padma Lakshmi’s 3 week-old daughter, Krishna Thea–taken while mother and child were hangin’ on a park bench in NYC–has been revealed on Celebrity Baby Blog.

Celebrity Baby Blog also reports that Padma has said she’d be “delighted” if her daughter became a chef, “as long as she was a good one.”

Hear that, little baby Krishna? NO PRESSURE.

[Celebrity Baby Blog: Meet Krishna Thea Lakshmi!]

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BABEWATCH: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Sonia Dara

February 16th, 2010 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Sonia Dara

Hails from: Hotlanta, Georgia

Occupation: Model and college student

Why She’s a Babe: Not only is Sonia the first model of Indian descent to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue, she’s also a sophomore at Harvard, where she’s studying economics. Can you imagine what it’d be like to be her roommate? You could never borrow her clothes or have a pint of ice cream or a beer around her without feeling like a pathetic, fat slob, and despite secretly hating her and her perfection, you’d have to befriend her, because she’d be your in to meeting hot guys, and not just goofy undergrads, but, like, hot graduate students doing their dissertations in something sexy like philosophy who spoke eight languages and lived part-time in a real city like Paris or En-Why-See, dudes who would, unfortunately, only befriend you because you’d be their in to the swimsuit model.

Sigh.

Fortunately for that poor lass, Sonia is taking a year off from school to pursue her modeling career. In other words, there is a god.

Click here to see more pics of Sonia in SI‘s 2010 Swimsuit Issue.

[Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit 2010]
[Elite Model Management: Sonia Dara]

Thanks, Robert!

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Padma Lakshmi On 30 Rock: Exotic And Robotic

November 11th, 2009 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

Attention Padma pervs fans! Hollyscoop reports the Top Chef host will guest on 30 Rock Thursday as herself.

30rock5

30rock7

Stills released from Padma’s guest stint suggest she’ll be sharing some screen time with Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy, with her bringing the cleavage and Baldwin bringing the funny. But what exactly will their relationship be, Hollyscoop wonders?

Could she be the next love interest? Guess Donaghy has a thing for beautiful exotic women!

“Exotic” women?

Continue reading Padma Lakshmi On 30 Rock: Exotic And Robotic

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Padma’s Pregnancy Puppies

October 19th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


“Hello, World. Meet my pregnancy puppies. Pregnancy puppies, meet world. Consider these girls my gift to you. Drink them in. Eat them up. Move in a little closer. Uh, okay, that’s close enough, now you’re starting to perv me out and remind me of my creepy ex. Ahem, where was I? Oh right, I was introducing you to my glorious breasts. Can you imagine what these babies will look like when they’re brimming with milk? I mean, hello. Now there’s a Quickfire Challenge for you–what can you do in an hour with Padma’s breast milk? Ha! Like that’ll ever happen. You can look but you can’t touch. Actually, touch these boobs and I cut you. They’re as tender as a Kobe-strip right now and my hormones are all over the place. Jesus, what I wouldn’t give for a cold compress for these sore nipples. That and a vodka cocktail.”

[photo via HuffPo]

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Padma Lakshmi Has a Secret Talent

July 22nd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Padma Lakshmi has a secret talent. In addition to her obvious ones, like rocking a huge scar, making food from Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. actually seem desirable, and looking good naked, the 38 year-old Top Chef robo-host is secretly FUNNY.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Although I’ve never seen evidence of this in the five seasons she’s hosted Top Chef, I cleverly deduced this when I learned that she’d signed a development deal to star in her own sitcom. And, you see, “sitcom” stands for “situational comedy.” And Comedy = Funny. So that must mean Padma = Funny, right?

What kind of funny do you think Padma is exactly? Sardonic funny, like Jon Stewart? Prop-comedy funny, like Carrot Top? (Okay, Carrot Top’s not funny.) Rape-joke funny, à la La Silverman?

Ooh, I just had a terrible thought. What if Padma’s not funny at all? Hmm…

Let’s go over this again together. She’s going to star in her own sitcom. Check. And sitcom stand for “situational comedy.” Check. And Comedy = Funny. Check. So that means Padma = Funny.

Phew! Glad I worked that one out. Padma = Funny, end of story.

[Variety: Padma Lakshmi stirs up sitcom plans]

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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The Last Airbender Trailer Is Here!!!

June 23rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG.

The Last Airbender Trailer is here!!!

Oh wait. It’s a movie by M. Night Shyamalan, director of the most successive crapfests since, uh, M. Night Shyamalan.

Okay. Never mind.

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