INSTANT YANG v.25: RICE, RICE DADDIES; STRONG ASIAN WOMEN; KING KANG; HEY MTV KSo another Father's Day has come and gone, and I just wanted to send out belated props to all of my fellow dads, especially the members of the group daddyblog I contribute to, Rice Daddies. If you haven't checked it out, please do; in addition to being one of the sharpest and funkiest parenting communities on the net (if I do say so on behalf of the RD boyz), it's also a second home/support group to some of the Asian American community's most interesting and talented authors and cultural critics, writing under blogonyms of the paternal persuasion. Plus me.
But none of us Rice Daddies would be daddies at all without the moms and grandmas and wives of our lives. This week's SFGate column is a contemplation of strong Asian women, and how they've exploded tired old stereotypes of geisha-like meekness and passivity:
ASIAN POP: Warrior Women
By Jeff Yang, Special to SF Gate
Friday, June 23, 2006
Passive? Submissive? Ha! Jeff Yang talks to two hard-hitting Asian American femmes: pro boxer Dee Hamaguchi and actor (and black belt) Brenda Song, star of the new Disney Channel original movie, "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior."
I count myself fortunate to have grown up surrounded by women whose force of will can bend spoons and send ripples through the fabric of reality--women who are smart, independent, confident, competent, capable. Women who can do just about anything I can do but pee standing up.
The only liability, if there is one, is the occasional feeling I get when I'm around my wife, my sister, my mom, and my mother-in-law that I'm more of a luxury than a necessity. It's not a conscious thing on their part (at least I don't think it is), but, you know, I've had to travel a lot recently, and every time I return home, things seem to have run like Swiss-crafted clockwork in my absence. I'm always tempted to find specious ways to appear useful: "The TiVo is almost at max capacity--it's a good thing I'm here to erase redundant reruns, or we might miss a vital episode of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Stand back, people--*I'll* take care of this!"
The one member of our family who provides constant validation of my continued existence is our son Hudson, who remains curiously (and, I'll admit, gratifyingly) fixated on daddy as the center of the universe. At day care, he "wrote" a poem as a special gift for Mommy. The title? "My Daddy Beautiful." Heather's response--after hugging and kissing him thanks: "How, exactly, is this a Mother's Day present?"
Couldn't hide a smirk at that. Make room for Daddy!
Anyway, I'll keep it short this week. Just a couple of quick reminders: The first is that tomorrow, June 24, at the L.A. Film Fest, Sung Kang stars alongside Kelly Hu and Russell Wong in Chris Chan lee's UNDOING. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm a big fan of Lee's debut feature YELLOW, and y'all know about my giant man-crush on Sung Kang. (Just kidding. Well, sorta.)
For those of you in the New York area, June 28 is, of course, the debut of THE MOTEL--directed by Michael Kang and starring Sung Kang, it offers double the Kangtastic action. Check it out at the Film Forum--and if you're not in NYC, keep an eye on the film's official site for when and where you can get your dose of Kangeriffic goodness.
One last reminder: MTVK, the third channel in MTV World's trifecta of channels targeting young Asian Americans, debuts June 27 on DirecTV as part of the Korean Direct package. They're holding an online contest to pick the very first video to be broadcast on the new network. It'd be great if we could give a Korean American indie artist props here...and while there are a number of good choices (Far East Movement, Heather Park, Mike Park), I'm throwing down for the beautiful and talented Maggie Kim and her video for "Obvious (Want You)." Vote early and vote often, but cast your vote, peeps.