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Archive for February, 2008

Kevin Hansen, who dined at the steakhouse with friends and family Saturday, said he ordered a 16-ounce ribeye cooked medium rare, with a warm, red center, according to the criminal complaint filed against cook Ryan Kropp.

Hansen declined an offer of a new steak, but Liberatore persisted and offered a new steak he could take home, the complaint said.

Hansen went to police Sunday to complain of hair in the second steak. A police officer observed “several strands of what appeared to be hair coming out of the middle of the steak,” the complaint said.

Gross, gross, gross, right? It gets worst.

Censored by myself due to “what was I thinking.” If you want to see it, click the link.

I’ll admit, I got bad service at a restaurant last week and left a sub-standard tip and a note explaining why. My friends asked me why I wrote the note and I said I didn’t want the server to think I was a bad tipper. My friend’s response: “So now they think you’re an asshole.” I guess I screwed up. In any case, I may never complain again.

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Many whites hate the phrase “politically correct” because they see a double standard. Why is it that Don Imus gets in trouble for calling women hos when Snoopy Doggy Dog can get away with it?

In this post, I’m not prepared to either defend or castigate Snoop or Don Imus for the above, because what I’m most interested in is why some people feel okay crossing a boundary sometimes but not others. What races can we make fun of, what ones do hesitate before doing so? Is it okay to make fun of your own race? Can you earn the right to make fun of another?

In Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, Michael Rappaport used the n word in front of Damon Wayans saying he’s earned the right to use it since he’s married to a black woman. I think this scene shows Rappaport’s character for what a fool he is. There is no magical wand that will make what he says not have bite.

Here’s an article about major college campus newspapers deriding Asian Americans:

For instance, in October of 2006, Jed Levine published a “modest proposal for an immodest proposition” for the UCLA Daily Bruin. Speaking as a white male, he identified as an “underrepresented minority” and pointed to Asian Americans as the real problem who took away admissions slots from Black and Latino students and proposed a solution to the “Asian invasion” as funneling “young Maos and Kim Jongs” into a new UC campus “UC Merced Pandas.” In January 2007, the Daily Princetonian published its annual “joke issue” that included a satire of “Lian Ji”, a twist on Jian Li, the Chinese American student at Yale, who filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department for Civil Rights claiming his rejection from Princeton was due to his ethnicity. The joke article, from “Lian’s” point of view was written in broken English, complaining that Princeton did not accept “I the super smart Asian,” and touting the stereotypical nerdy Asian American credentials of winning record science fair awards, memorizing endless digits of pi, and playing multiple orchestral instruments simultaneously for the New Jersey youth orchestra. Ultimately, “Lian” accepts his fate at Yale saying, “I mean, I love Yale. Lots of bulldogs here for me to eat.”

Most recently, Inside Higher Ed reported on yet another satire in the University of Colorado at Boulder paper, The Campus Press, which resulted in controversy and a statement by the chancellor. In the satire, Max Karson, noticed the tensions that Asian American students exhibited towards whites. While pointing out the racial tensions on both sides, Karson deduces that Asians just hate whites, and it was “time for war.” Such efforts included steps to find all Asian Americans on campus (easily identifiable by areas of campus they frequent and by their ability to do a calculus problem in their heads), forcing them to eat bad sushi with forks; and a test for them to display emotions beyond a normal deadpan (read: inscrutable) face. At the end, Asian homes will be redecorated “American” style, replacing rice cookers with George Forman Grills and the like.

What made these writers feel comfortable saying what they did? Is the perceived successfulness of Asian Americans the thing that makes it seem okay to make fun of them?

Thank you Marcella for sending me this.

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Since starting my own blog, I’ve had less time to comment on other blogs I read. The Stranger has for a long time been one of my guilty pleasures, but I can never seem to get any satisfaction from any of the threads. No matter how hard I try, my comments are always taken in a bad way and I get this bitchy vitriol directed back at me. That is if my comment is even noticed.

Take for instance, this very compelling topic posted by Dan Savage. He posts a quote from the Washington Post on a half white, half Asian actor playing Barack Obama.

Debate over that question has been pinging around the Internet since [Fred] Armisen, a veteran cast member, donned darker makeup to portray the Democratic candidate for the first time Saturday. Armisen played Obama opposite Amy Poehler’s Hillary Clinton in a sketch satirizing the supposedly cushy treatment his candidacy has received from the media.

Then he completes his post with:

Have we reached a point where someone that isn’t black can play a black character, or impersonate a black politician, without stooping to crude racist caricature? I think we have.

I’ve been aware of this topic since the controversy over Jonathan Price playing a Vietnamese Pimp in Miss Saigon. If memory serves, Actors Equity was quite upset that an English transport was going to play this part instead of an American, and a white one at that.

I put this comment on The Stranger in answer to Dan’s question. I wasn’t referring to Saturday Night Live and I haven’t even seen the skit.

I frown on it, just because they are plenty of ethnic and mixed-race actors out there that aren’t being used because their parts are being stolen by white actors. Charleton Heston in A Touch of Evil, Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart, Ashley Judd in Frida. You can’t tell me there are no other actors that could have taken these parts.

The onslaught begins:

@1 there’s no actors that could have done it as well? couldn’t have drawn an audience for the price the studio paid to finance the movie? who gives a fuck?

Fred Armistan is a mixed-race actor, D. But not the right mix, it seems, for some.

For every non-“ethnic” actor who plays an “ethnic” part, there are fifty “ethnic” actors playing Hamlet or Macbeth or Henry V, somewhere in the country. “Stolen” my hairy Hungarian ass.

For every one black movie star of today, I can probably name 6-8 white stars.” Given that blacks are 12% of the total population, this seems reasonable. Is there some reason that you feel that blacks should be overrepresented in the entertainment industry?

I stand by my comment. There are very few times when a non-white actor plays a character that isn’t specifically non-white and I suppose as a person of mixed-race who has gotten rejected for Southern women roles, English roles, etc. it seems unfair that someone can don makeup to play an ethnic role.

I would like to say it’s getting better though. Famously, no lines were changed when Morgan Freedman took on the Irish role of Red in The Shawshank Redemption. Even as Asian characters become modern and very American in movies, like Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, their race is very much a part of their character. Like many Asian Americans, I just want to be me. I don’t live every second thinking about my race, so I don’t see why I would have to portray that in film.

The film Double Happiness with Sandra Oh really captures this. If only they had better clips on YouTube. Like where Sandra Oh is playing Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire in her bedroom. Another scene, she goes to an audition and the first thing the auditors ask is can she do an accent. She launches in to a French accent and the auditors are visibly confused. The next scene we see is her playing a waitress with a thick Chinese accent. Here’s a good scene nonetheless. Rent the movie.

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Any frequent pedestrian knows what it’s like to dodge cars. It’s a humbling experience imagining your body and a steel beast colliding. Time and time again, bad drivers are given a slap on the wrist if they kill people. Unless of course, they are drunk and then they are punished severely. It doesn’t make much sense to those who have lost love ones.

A West Seattle rabbi was sentenced to 500 hours of community service, ordered not to drive for two years and fined $500 Thursday for hitting former Seattle City Council aide Mathew “Tatsuo” Nakata with his car and killing him.

Schwartz has had multiple traffic violations in the past four years. In May 2005, about 18 months before he hit Nakata, Schwartz hit a woman riding a bike, injuring her. He hit Nakata in November 2006.

About two months later, Schwartz was cited for running a red light. He argued that the road was icy, and the ticket was reduced to $69.

How many more lives have to be taken before this man is stopped? You can kill 10 people in this country and receive no punishment.

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Animal rights activists have gotten a lot of flack over the years for spray painting fur coats, throwing bricks through McDonald’s etc. But it appears they are the only ones effectively lobbying on our behalf to prevent mad cow disease:

The Humane Society of the United States has filed a suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture to close a dangerous loophole in the agency’s regulations that permitted potentially sick cows into the nation’s food supply

It was the humane society’s investigation that documented extreme cruelty to non-ambulatory or “downer” cattle at a slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif. This led to the largest beef recall in history of 144 million pounds of beef–much of which was fed to school children in at least 40 states.

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I have been under the impression since my high school U.S. History class, that if you are born on a military base to American parents who are serving their country then you are in fact eligible to be president of the United States. Apparently, it’s not so cut and dry.

The subject of John McCain’s place of birth—he was born on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone, where his parents were stationed in 1936—is back on the table now that he’s got the GOP nomination locked down.

This could be a problem for me since I was born abroad when my father was in the military. My future presidency depends on it.

Or, this recent interest could be an excuse to make it so the governator to run for president.

Ever since he was elected governor of California, supporters have pushed for a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for president. Petitions have circulated. Even former President George H.W. Bush said with respect to the governor’s presidential hopes, “don’t bet against Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Republicans could use the relatively simple issue of McCain’s eligibility to nudge discussion toward a larger overhaul, which could one day clear the way for Schwarzenegger.

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Eggs to be Pasteurized

America, the land where we add fluoride to everyone’s water supply to prevent tooth decay in children, where we circumcise 60% of boys most of whom have no religious need to do so, and where we encourage people to take drugs to combat the normal hassles in what we call life.

It seems now we are going to destroy allergens in eggs in what seems to be a similar process to pasteurization.

The U.S. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry will be publishing a study next month that describes a new process to greatly reduce allergens in eggs, reports Linda Rano at Food Navagator.com. The process could greatly benefit food manufacturers, allowing for the production of safer and more specialized food products for egg allergy sufferers.

The food newsletter says that in the study, chemists from Germany and Switzerland describe how during “a nine-step process” they exposed raw eggs to a combination of high heat and enzymes to break down their main allergens. The researchers then tested the reduced-allergen egg against blood serum collected from people with an egg allergy.

I just hate how processed our food has become. There’s no doubt that when our food is provided via an intensive agricultural system things like pasteurization can have a positive effect, but I would rather that the initial problem be addressed. Why are the eggs we produce unsafe? It’s like the argument to irradiate meat to prevent ecoli. Perhaps we should ask why our meat literally has shit in it instead?

I occasionally drink raw milk and make cheese from raw milk and I’ve never had a problem. The producers of these products are very careful to keep standards high enough that the product is safe. If the company were to not be so careful, then yes I believe pasteurization would be required to make the milk safe.

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