Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Column Catch-Up Time: Belle Yang's FORGET SORROW, Daniel Dae Kim and the end of LOST, and the poisoning of political discourse

I'd hoped to stay current on a, um, more current basis with the archiving of Asian Pop, my San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate column, on this personal blog, but as usual that's proven to be something of a quixotic quest. So, here I am catching up with six weeks worth all at once — three columns, each of which deserves its own space.

Back on May 19, I interviewed the wonderful Belle Yang on the occasion of the publication of her latest book and first graphic novel, Forget Sorrow — a truly luminous book, and well worth reading by any fan of great comics, or simply great stories. She's found her metier with graphic fiction, and I hope she never looks back. I brought the book with me to the Shanghai World Expo, which proved to be an ideal (and ironic) place to peruse it.

Remembering to forget

At the World Expo in Shanghai, Jeff Yang reads author Belle Yang's new graphic novel, "Forget Sorrow," and considers China's desire to edit its past as it writes its future

Then on June 3, I spoke with Daniel Dae Kim, one of the best reasons to watch the show Lost (though Jin-centric episodes were too far and few between), and almost certainly one of the best reasons to watch the forthcoming Hawaii Five-O remake. (Another, naturally, is Grace Park.)

ASIAN POP: The book of Daniel

Daniel Dae Kim can't get the island thing out of his system. After six groundbreaking years as a castaway on "Lost," he's now poised to join CBS's fresh take on the classic cop-show Hawaii Five-O."

Finally, two weeks ago, on June 17, I wrote a column that explored the ugly ways that extremist rhetoricians — like Fox News host Glenn Beck — have pushed the edges of what passes for "mainstream" dialogue further out into the fringe, with potentially devastating results for those on the margins ... like immigrants

Bust your windows

Jeff Yang watches and reads Glenn Beck, and becomes afraid. Very afraid.

That catches me up, but you know how these things work — new ones come down the chute every two weeks! My next column looks at the upcoming slate of Asian-pop-related summer blockbusters (led by the in-theaters-now "Karate Kid" remake) — with a little help from my bloggish friends — and it lands tomorrow. So keep your eyes peeled...

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Holy crap, the rumors of early delivery are true: A glorious man in purple just brought me my #iPhone4!!

This is incredible. For all of the screwiness of Pre-Order Day, a day that will live in infamy, particularly for AT&T, I don't think I've ever had a tech/consumer-electronics company overdeliver (literally) on a promise of on-time arrival before. I'm usually happy if I just get what I ordered, it wasn't broken in shipping, and the manuals are in a language I can actually read. (Not that I ever read manuals.) The device is gorgeous — far more gorgeous than the pics I snapped with my now primordial-seeming 3GS can render.

The only problem I'm facing is whether to activate it now, or wait for a week or so...I'm traveling shortly and I need a reliable phone on the road, so I'm inclined to avoid any issues I encounter with the phone or its spanking new iOS 4 software. But that's torture. Me carrying this thing around and not using it is like Lindsay Lohan going to an MTV Movie Awards Afterparty while wearing her court-ordered Breathalyzer ankle bracelet. Oh wait, she did that. Damn. 

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Best movie promo item ever, or worst? My son just brought home Karate Kid 2.0 CHOPSTICKS—complete with Jaden Smith silhouette

So, today was martial arts flick propaganda day at my son Hudson's Tae Kwon Do class, and he came home loaded with movie gimmes: Posters for The Last Airbender (which, despite my explanations as to why he shouldn't, he's still desperate to watch), Aang lick-n-stick tattoos, and his most prized favor of all: a set of Karate Kid 2.0 promo chopsticks, in the kid-friendly pincer grip style, adorned with the high-kicking Jaden Smith silhouette that serves as the new movie's logo. 

At first, I was nonplussed. Chopsticks? REALLY? Next to fortune cookies and take-out boxes, aren't these just about the most cliche things you can give away for a movie that has anything to do with Chinese culture

Then I remembered that chopsticks have an integral role in TKK, even in this remade version — the whole "catch a fly" thing, you dig? So I'd say it's fair to give the film and its promo squad a pass...just this time. 

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

The Naked Cowboy sues The Naked Cowgirl for trademark violation. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THIS, ELENA KAGAN?

So, Times Square fixture The Naked Cowboy (née Robert Burck) is suing his cross-gendered imitator "The Naked Cowgirl" (probably not née Sandy Kane) for trademark violation. (It's not his first tort of the sort: For someone who eschews suits, he's remarkably litigious, having filed for $6 million against M&M for biting on his tip in an ad campaign.) The awesome thing is that he now offers "franchises" to anyone willing to pay him $5000 a year or $500 a month for the license to be naked and a cowboy. Which is awesome.

Lawyerly types--what are the limitations of IP rights here? Is the Naked part what's protectable? (Probably not—I'm looking at you, Jamie Oliver) Would I be safe if I hit the Forty Deuce as The Nude Cowdude? What if I went Eastern rather than WesternThe Nekkid Ninja? Or is the protection related to TNC's trade dress (er, trade undress)? Help me out here, esquires

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Monday, June 21, 2010

WOO HOO! Just got this alert that my iPhone4 has shipped and will arrive by June 23!

Straight out of Shenzhen and into my sweaty hands.

I'm not going to defend myself against the charge of "fanboy" here :) Hell, the hair is standing up on the back of my neck....

Will post an unboxing when I get it — sadly, that may not be until June 24, as I'm headed to D.C. early on the 23rd. Sigh.

Posted via web from OriginalSpin