Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Birthday spunk

First off, thanks to everyone that called, IM'd, left facebook messages, emailed, or made it out to the Buckshot for my birthday. Special thanks to those that traveled from Stockton and the East Bay, and I had a great time!

Anyhoo, I'm in a pretty feisty mood right now. I'm totally all fired up and want to punch a corporate jerk right now. Well, more like "I'm in the mood to volunteer to clean up a beach, or help organize a protest," but yeah, the idea of punching is much more visceral, immediate, and funny (although it's not funny if someone actually gets punched).

But that is beyond the point. So two incidents that make me both happy and sad.

1. At my birthday get-together at the bar, some creepy white guy (important due to sociological power dynamics) comes up and gets all up in one of my female friend's face and tries to kiss her. She says "eww, get off me" and he lingers. I shout "Hey, she has a boyfriend, back off." He says something like "I'm married, it's not a big deal." (Yes, like being married is an excuse to be a jerk...if this is true I feel sorry for his wife). I then respond with "Why don't you stop sexually assaulting people you fucking dickhead," then I turn around back to my shuffleboard. He later walks by and whispers to me "It's fine if you want to talk big in front of your girlfriend, but if you want to brawl, let's take this outside." I respond with "Whatever. I don't fight idiots."

So this story make me happy, as I totally called this guy on his shit, but it fucking pisses me off as I still felt so helpless as he tried to harass my friend. I wanted to give in and go fight that guy outside (although he was probably a lot stronger than me and I've never been in a fight) as sometimes I wonder if people like that just need to get basic human decency smashed into their face with a pool cue. But I realize that if I play their game, they win, and if I keep it all verbal, I win. The jerk eventually left (although I was worried he'd just stick around and harass my friends) and I then proceeded to get really drunk and enjoy myself. But for the first hour or so after that happened, I felt the urge to just bash a stool over that guy's face.

2. I got called in for jury duty today. When it came for me to introduce myself to the court, I told them I worked for UCPD before, my friend got his hand shattered by a rubber bullet, and when the judge asked me if my experiences would allow me to be an impartial juror, I replied "No offense to anyone in this room, but I don't believe the criminal justice system works."
I was quickly excused and they went on their lunch break.

Now, it may seem like I just said this to get out of jury duty, but honestly, with all the police brutality, the overflowing of prisons filled with non-violent crimes, the fact that the war profiteerers aren't criminals but people who grow pot are, I don't have a lot of faith that the criminal justice system is working. Believe me, I am a firm believer of a trial by one's peers. But I also believe in justice, not necessarily the law. Why is cocaine less of an offense than crack? Why does our government use weapons that cause birth defects? Our laws are fucked up. As a compromise to my crazy utopian ideals, I'm down with the idea of police, but police that stand up for what is right, not for what is easier or what the law says.
Laws are rules written by rich white men, not rules agreed upon by all. Even the constitution is suspect to me, as they sure as hell didn't have the opinions of any women or people of color. I'm down with constitutional guarantees, as I agree with the spirit of it, but a rewrite with the input of the minorities would be much better.

3. I realized that I was part of the 2% that voted for Ralph Nader when Gore lost the presidential election by 2%. Now, most democrats (well, I should say most people in general) say that we're to blame. I used to be a bit ashamed of that, I used to think that maybe if I just compromised a little and voted for Gore, things would be a lot better.

But then I had an epiphany. I realized that it wasn't the fault of 2% of voters that caused Bush to become president. It's the fault of the 51% that voted for a completely incompetent and dangerous moron. You blame the Greens and Nader for the lost? I blame the Democrats for not being more progressive. However, even more so I blame the Republicans for..well, being the conservative anti-humanitarians they are. In my mind, 2% of us got it right.

I think it's a sad state of affairs when idealists are blamed for trying to make things better. We didn't compromise. We voted for who we believed would be the best candidate for making the world a better place.

Friday, July 18, 2008



Just got home from the 3:30AM showing...sleep....awesomeness....

Monday, July 14, 2008


Come check out the SF Zine Fest! It's frickin' free people! This weekend!

There's tons of workshops, off-site events, and other hella cool stuff. I'm even co-instructing a bookbinding workshop! Eve and I have a table under Monkey + Seal, and we'll be selling zines, comics, buttons, and hopefully more! Check out the site for more details!

In other news, I submitted this design for the newest Minted.com design competition. Which, if you are artistically inclined, should enter! The next topic hasn't been released yet, but keep checking back at www.minted.com/contest for the next one!

And in much less-cool news, my cousin Amy was recently diagnosed with cancer. Fuggin' sucks, but she seems in high spirits and her uber-cool husband Floyd has a blog keeping it updated with Amy's conditions. Feel free to send any well-wishes her way.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


So I figured some or most of you reading this may have never seen some modeling work I did with Howard Cao, a SF photographer. He selected me from the Blackwell files (for whom I do freelance modeling sometimes) and I worked with him over a few weekends to do this crazy promotional shoot. I had never had so much fun on a photo shoot.

Anyway, so I just got an email from the Blackwell files regarding a new opportunity, and I went to their site, and the promo shots are all up on the portfolio site. Frickin' ridiculous.

So if you want to go see me in really funky costumes and such, check out the site. You may have to refresh it a few times, as there are a bunch of photos up there, including the one where I'm an evangelical preacher "healing" an old lady.

Frickin' silly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

So on Angry Asian Man, there's this post on CNN's coverage of the Butler's Cafe, a cafe in Japan where Western (read:white) men dressed in butler costumes serve the princesses (read: Japanese women customers).

So AAM says this about it:

I just shake my head at this. But the more I thought about it, I realized the concept could be interpreted in a couple of different ways. There's the idea that Japanese women fantasize about having a western prince sweep them off their feet (which literally happens in the segment). Yuck.

Then again, I realized there is a bit of a role reversal happening here—instead of the subservient Asian woman, we're seeing the white man in the servant role. And that's hella fantasy. Perhaps it's actually a little bit of both. Either way, it's a really stupid idea, a stupid story... and nobody comes off looking very good.
which I think sums it up fairly well, except that I feel there's a whole lot more going on with this.

On top of what AAM brings up, there's also the issue of the heteronormality that I got from watching the clip. Not that this is anything new for mainstream media, but I wonder how it would fare if a man went in to be a princess. Would they come to his beck and call as well? Probably not, although who knows?

Additionally, all the butlers look white in the clip, but they are only referred to as "Westerners." If I, an American of Japanese Ancestry, went to apply for the butler position, would I get turned down because I look Japanese? Believe me, I'd only speak English, and I could be as gentlemanly as the next gallant knight (more on this later), but I have the sneaky suspicion that I wouldn't get the job no matter how "Westernized" I might be.

Also, I think this whole fantasy of the (white) knight coming in and sweeping the princess off her feet is pretty telling of the effects of the patriarchal Japanese society. I think the Japanese women interviewed and shown in the cafe (which doesn't look super full...I suppose the extravagance is pretty classist in itself) express their frustration with a society that doesn't value them. I've seen a lot of Japanese guys (well, lots of males in general) treat their friends/partners like crap, so it doesn't surprise me that a lady wants to get a little pampered. Hell, I'm sure she'd like to just be listened to and respected like a human being should be.

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw my few cents in on this one. I dunno, when I read the post and watched the video, I couldn't help but notice how there's so much wrong with this beyond the general "Japanese women just looooooove American (read:white) men" stereotype. Sigh.