Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Asian Week Is Dead

Some folks are comparing this ridiculous Kenneth Eng editorial to the “Tsunami Song” incident at Hot 97 two years back. I am not going to disagree.

Talk of a boycott against Asian Week is already afoot. If these interweb activists are serious–and we can ask Abercrombie & Fitch about how serious they can be–they may be enough to actually shut down this tiny little weekly paper that claims almost 50,000 readers–which is, not coincidentally, equal to the number of all the people in the Fang family plus all of their friends and everyone they owe money to rounded up to the nearest half hundred thousand.

It is truly jaw-dropping that the same pressure to be not just stupid, not just anti-”PC”, but completely frickin’ moronic, has not affected only media monopolies (think radio, TV, the New Times) but even Asian American-targeted free weeklies, that is, the alternative alt-weeklies!

Trust me, I get that community papers don’t always have access to the “best and brightest”, who are all, um, going to work for Google. But in Eng, we have a 20-something dude who barely leaves his house, doesn’t seem to hold anything in esteem–Blacks, religion, whites, Asian Americans–except for his writing abilities, which are not yet developed enough to allow him to be able to write coherently about anything for more than 400 words, except for sci-fi stories, as Poplicks points out none-too-subtly, about dragons who pack swords and guns. Isn’t fire-breath enough any more?

(For kicks, you can read Kenny’s rabid description of his recent college-going experience, click here and scroll down to the article gently entitled, “DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ASIANS AT NYU”, all caps his. Yet another jaw-dropper in the way it manages to cheapen the real experiences of discrimination all too many Asian Americans experience every day.)

Eng has now been sent packing–and we can rest assured he will not be recruited to go work at some competitor ala Star & Buckwild because even Viacom now thinks this niche is just too damn small.

The financial damage to Mr. Eng will also be miniscule. He could make more money washing dishes, if he would ever bother to leave his bedroom. Perhaps he’ll get called for that new “comedy” show on Fox News Channel. Even Jon Stewart has one black guy working for him.

But someone named Fang ought to be seriously questioning Asian Week’s Email-Forwarder-In-Chief Samson Wong’s judgment. If this was s’posed to be an expose of real tensions between Blacks and Asians, who let it past logic check? (Russo-Japanese war–huh?) If this was s’posed to be edgy humor, who the hell thought it was funny?

Here’s Asian Week’s tepid, at best, apology which reveals, by not saying so, that essentially the Fangs’ last serious journalistic venture–whoa, who knew those words after ‘last’ would ever appear together in a sentence?–is getting out in the world with no one at the wheel. It doesn’t take that famous Asiaphile Paul Haggis to tell you that such cars will eventually crash, and afterward, often burn.

So anyway, it’s not as titillating as the fake Antonella Barba pictures (I’m not linking those you perves), but Hyphenblog is hosting a funky feedback fiesta. For me, the best of all is Claire Light’s angry screed–I consider Emil “Amok” Guillermo a friend, but whew! just read this–entitled all too aptly, “Embarassed 2 B Azn”.

Yup, I think I’ll stay home tonight, too.

posted by @ 5:31 pm | 4 Comments



4 Responses to “Asian Week Is Dead”

  1. tommyt says:

    jeff,
    the broad-daylight murder of a 14 year old african american girl by a latino gang banger (followed by the murder of an eyewitness who agreed to testify) has been in the center of the news for the past few months – with the cops stepping forward as voice of wisdom arbiters of the dispute (also happening in, i think, highland park, not to mention california’s prisons). on one hand i imagine that the shit in the joint between latin and black gangs is at the root of that ever-expanding conflict.

    at the same time, as the fabulously huge (if politically not so sharp) protest marches led by latino activists (joined by a lot of other folks) protesting immigration have allowed the media to spread cynicism and division by going into the black community and ask questions that aren’t questions but answers of their own — about how forty years of a united front between blacks and latinos and their supporters are disappearing as latinos try to get get a bigger piece of america’s shit sandwich.

    that there are conscious attempts to disturb political (and social) unity between various folks is no surprise. but that doesn ‘t mean that treacherous ideas that spread distrust and sometimes anger don’t work their ugly magic.

    which is why it’s particularly disturbing for asianweek to run eng’s ignorant bullshit; in the movement – since back in the day – asian american activists have been instrumental in pushing for multi-national/racial unity, a postive, challenging legacy that’s particularly felt (and perhaps sometimes resented – all strong ideas manage to find some detractors) in the world of hip-hop.

    I was very glad to read your post; i’ve talked with a some folks down here about trying to circulate some kind of petition or finding a petition other folks are circulating to expose the fact that eng is such an idiot that he’s bragging about the role he plays (not to mention that he’s an outspoken racist.

    i heard an old song recently by that folksinger greg brown in which he sings in a song called “poet game,” lines that declare he’s seen his country turned into a coast to coast strip mall during the last thirty years. if that can happen so quickly, how come it is that good change takes so long?

    it’s true, and there’s an urgency to exposing shit like eng’s, but at the same time the total destruction of all good aspects of the past and the smothering of all residual hope for the future is not fate. rather it’s the sacred hope of evangelical politicians, brain-dead religious bigots, money and power addicts, and racist jerks like eng who are so stupid that they proudly trumpet the shit they contribute to the media (thanks for the link).

    sorry for running on, this shit is seriously fucked.

  2. Jeff says:

    tommy,

    brother, as always, you’re so on point it hurts. i’ve been meditating really hard about the state that we’re all in.

    in some ways, it really feels a lot like the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, when the media played a major role in increasing tensions and fostering ignorance. it doesn’t take much to get folks to hold on to their fears rather than their hopes, and certainly that’s ever more the case in these times, heading past a half decade of economic contraction and war.

    the news ticker has been unbelievably brutal this past week. i think of how the news networks have reacted to the stock market drop the other day–the economy will be fine, folks, all you need to do is go shopping again. plus it’s mainly because all chinese investors are basically dumb, anyway. even the way we get reassured magnifies our fears.

    luckily folks like us are pretty fuckin stubborn. it’s gonna take a lot to get us to stop being a little naive and idealistic. i’m going to try to clear a path for a lot more of us, and could use any help.

    thanks for checking in, tt.

    peace,

    jeff

  3. Anonymous says:

    White man takes over the Americas. Decides who is able to enter and who is not. White man takes over Mexico and steals the land.White man lets Asians in and calls Mexicans aliens. Asians now think themselves Americans and discriminate against the natives. The slaughter of millions of whites and Asians on this continent is coming when Native latinos and Blacks have had enough. We saw in Peru what an Asian can do when given power. Fujimori needs execution and Michele Malkin needs to be repatriated even if she was born here. When people have little to loose they act in violent ways.

  4. Zentronix says:

    Wow, you’re one pleasant dude.

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