Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Two Steps Forward Six Steps Back

How say I lacist? Hmmm, ret me latiocinate…

Hey fam, the summer continues and so does the blogging at PBS. Today’s entry is Part 1 of an interview with John Jay, the creative director of advertising giant Wieden + Kennedy.

If you didn’t know, W+K is the famous firm responsible for the Spike Lee + Michael Jordan ads that changed representations of race forever, and has been a pioneer in the globalization of hip-hop.

We’re continuing the thread about race images in the hip-hop era. Despite what you might think, John is a second-generation Chinese American of late baby boomer age, and he has a lot to say about hip-hop and images of Asian Americans. I think you’ll find this one fascinating.

On a related tip, our man Mosi Reeves sends us this link wherein Dave Kehr waxes on, but mostly off, about Charlie Chan:

In a medium founded on action, Charlie Chan remains one of the few heroic figures in American film to function proudly as an intellectual. Chan’s adventures in ratiocination were first recounted by Earl Derr Biggers in a series of six successful novels and eventually in 47 films made from 1926 to 1949 (as well as in a few parodies and semi-parodies that came after).

This courtly detective — an employee of the Honolulu Police Department on seemingly permanent leave — stands as one of the best-loved characters in American movies, a tribute above all to the warmth and gentle humor that the Swedish-born actor Warner Oland brought to the role during his 1931-to-1938 tenure as Chan…

Are the Chan films racist? Not, I think, by the standards of their time. Mr. Biggers is said to have created Chan (based on a real detective, Chang Apana, who worked for the Honolulu police) to counter the negative images of Asians being fueled by the Hearst papers’ “yellow peril” campaigns and embodied most repellently by Sax Rohmer’s sadistic “Oriental” villain, Dr. Fu Manchu.

Oh yes, we so happy to have “best-loved character” once again. We love him long time!

(Actually, we’d be dancing in the streets if it weren’t for these rickshaws. To think our clients only used to have Dr. Fu. How did they ever trust us?)

As Billy Bragg once said, still waiting for the Great Leap Forward.

By the way, if you haven’t seen Oliver’s take on F&F: Tokyo Drift, it’s worth the time.

posted by @ 2:51 pm | 1 Comment

One Response to “Two Steps Forward Six Steps Back”

  1. sacred says:

    man big ups jeff change for your persistance to keep up on whats
    going on in the world and having
    hip hop being your voice and vessel to bring unity and awareness
    that we as this culture can come
    together and become more strongly
    active, im an mc graff artist and
    activist out of the east bay of
    hayward ca the home of joe quix
    king tech and the mighty motion
    man wich a lot of people probibly
    didnt know that, well im soon to
    launch a worldiwde activist foundation called SOULUTIONHEIREZ
    wich will be a map of the world and
    when you click on where your from resource topics will appear and they will all be about building a
    stronger community with resources to bring change, i have given powerfull presentations on my life
    as a hip hop artist changing to
    become a pillar for gospel hip hop
    wich is soon to blow up we are out
    here and GOD is moving within us
    powerfully with some of the rawest
    mc’s like ohmega watts,braille and
    the lightheaded crew,deepspace5 with mars ill and so many others,well i just wanted to give you much support and unconditional love that GOD is using you to inspire people to raise up and become more active,i would love to build with you on some subjects in the bay i am launching my website on the 25th of this month for my
    birthday and i will have a press kit and some new music but the full launch will be on new years, im working on non profit to open up a hip hop youth center movement call the OUTLET if your not plugged in your lights out! well i hope you find this exhortive one love sean sac-red sr vent chapin

Previous Posts

Feed Me!






Come follow me now...


We work with the Creative Commons license and exercise a "Some Rights Reserved" policy. Feel free to link, distribute, and share written material from cantstopwontstop.com for non-commercial uses.

Requests for commercial uses of any content here are welcome: come correct.

Creative Commons License