Miranda Nillo and I did our everyday hero project on Benjamin Pu.
Benjamin, he also goes by Ben, is a current fourth year student at UCSB majoring in Global Studies and Political Science. He is a first generation Chinese American and aspires to bring more Asian Americans onto screened productions as well work on behind the scenes processes within the media.
Here is the link towards the tumblr website we created for him. The site includes some of his past work, a biography, and other people’s testimony towards the effect he has had on them. Ben Pu is truly an everyday, unsung hero within our community.
Hello Kitty you’re so pretty. K-K-K-kawai.
This week has been full of funny, irritating, and eye opening videos all relating to Asian Americans in the media. A big subject this week was about cultural appropriation and how other cultures mainly the West has been using Asian themes as a way to profit from them.
Personally I believe that there should be a freedom of speech and expression but if your sole purpose to use chopsticks in the hair or some other blown up stereotype of asians is to make money or to exploit them then fuck you. I dont seen anything wrong with non asian people trying to show their appreciation for Asian things by trying to incorporate Asian themes into their. However, things like Avril Lavignes “Hello Kitty” is just ridiculous. I dont see an appreciation of Japanese culture or art but just her trying to make her pathetic and failed attempt at a comeback. The song is catchy however I cannot get over how ridiculous the video and message of the song is.
The Fung brothers are an Asian-American duos, specifically of Chinese descent, composed of rappers and comedians, Andrew Fung and David Fung. They are located in Alhambra, California but originate from Seattle, Washington. They are extremely popular on Youtube for their comedic and entertaining videos regarding Asian-American subjects. What I found most compelling about their work is the amount of collaborating they do with other Asian-American individuals. It adds this greater level of exposure and diversity in their videos. It also rapidly expands their audience base. They have done some notable collaborations with people such as professional Asian-American basketball player, Jeremy Lin. They are also in a rap group titled “Model Minority,” with Jason Chu, which has even been reviewed in a positive light by the Los Angeles Time. Therefore, they do great work at addressing and deconstructing the issues that the Asian-American population has to deal with in a really fun, engaging, and clearly successful manner.
While they have an extensive amount of youtube videos addressing a variety of issues, some of my favorite ones are “18 types of asian girls” and “east coast asian vs. west coast asian.” I find these videos most exciting because, not only did they incorporate the collaboration aspect with some other fantastic asian-american individuals, but they also highlighted this idea of diversity among a population of people that is so very often grouped as one.
We see that in the 18 types of asian girls, there are so many types that the fung bros describe, along with their subgroups. What’s notable is that even though all these are described, they bring about the main idea that there are so many different presented types that you cannot just pigeonhole a race or ethnicity into one way of being. The East Coast vs. West Coast Asian does that as well, with both genders. I also really appreciate that they will touch upon little historical backgrounds or fun educational facts.
While not entirely unrecognized, the Fung Bros definitely deserves acknowledgment, as well as further recognition and publicity. Keep up the good work!
Below are the links to the discussed videos:
This week I want to talk about Kelvin YJ Kim. I discovered him while I was aimlessly browsing through youtube and found his videos to align with a lot of the work we have done in this class, as well as just overall entertaining! Kelvin is an Asian-American that I feel needs a lot more recognition and praise. He is a very outspoken individual and aims at deconstructing a lot of the negative stereotypes bestowed upon Asian-American males. Through his videos, he directly addresses the stereotypes and then challenges them through his own words or actions out on the street with other people in order to further spread his message in public, as well as those who are watching his videos. In extension, he takes all he has learned and creates video on how to increase confidence and embrace physical and sexual confidence amongst the asian male population. He serves as an example for the Asian-American community to embrace their individuality and break out of a need or fear of a need to fit into a pre-established mold.
Here are some of his videos that I found most fantastic!:
You can also find his instagram here:
Masters of None. Aziz Ansari is killing it with this show. I feel this show is so modern and so relevant, hip, and relatable that Aziz most definitely deserves to be under the Asian Americans We Think Are Awesome tab because he is SO AWESOME. I first saw Aziz in Parks and Recreation, which is one of my favorite shows, but Aziz is no longer Tom. Now Aziz is the writer, producer, director, and actor of this successful show! I always liked that he didn’t explicitly play some silly ethnically boxed in character in parks and recreation with the role of Tom Haverford. But, let’s be honest, he wasn’t Leslie Knope, either. He didn’t exactly get to be the star of the television show. And while he wasn’t playing a formulated Indian role, it wasn’t altogether forgotten either. There were times when ethnicity was brought into the picture and he was questioned on his name.
“So where do you come from?”
“South Carolina”- Tom Haverford
This response would often be met with laughs as no one could believe that this was true. When in fact, even Aziz himself is from South Carolina, originally. Against a predominately white cast, he was often the butt of the joke or thought of as an immigrant. Even the star of the show, Leslie Knope, would conflate his ethnicity for Libyan. Tom also experience a lot of difficulty in the love department, where he was only in a marriage because he was being used to help his wife get her residency card. From there on out, Tom would always get rejected and was never really approached by the “good looking,” women. Not anymore, though. In Masters of None, things are totally different! Dev is his own person, thanks to the autonomy Aziz rightfully exercises in his role as writer, producer, and director alongside another outstanding Asian-American, Alan Yang. Not even halfway into the season and Dev has had romantic encounters with plenty of beautiful women, without much effort, and from a range of ethnicities. Not only that, but due to his liberty, Aziz and Alan have been able to shine the light on SO many of the racial issues and problems that are experienced by many asian-americans in the entertainment industry, today. He is allowed the space to openly discuss them on a comedic platform, and then rightfully debunk them. SO GO AZIZ!