Friday, June 24, 2011

Heineken's "The Date" ad

Ok, so check this new ad from Heineken. It's called "The Date" and it's pretty cool. But there was something in it that sorta piqued my interest.

Yes, it's the white guy/ Asian girl pairing.

Now, before some of you start to get your back up, let me say something first up. There are some Asian guys out there who have a degree of hostility to that kind of relationship, and who would dismiss the guy as a rice chaser and the girl as having some kind of self-loathing. I'm not really one of those people. I'm a product of such a relationship, for a start, and I'm in a inter-ethnic relationship of my own (she's Indian).

I like to see Asians get some representation on the screen. But the problem is that it's primarily Asian women, and when those Asian women get some lovin', it is almost always with a white guy. Of course, white guy/ Asian girl couples are commonplace in real life, so it's expected that you'd see them a bit on screen. Yet the clear majority of Asian women in Western countries choose to date or marry Asian guys, and portrayals of Asian-Asian couples are surprisingly rare. Perhaps there is a limited amount of Asian-ness producers think their audiences can handle, and two Asians in a relationship is one too many.

And a white woman with an Asian guy? According to TV and film, such a thing may as well not exist. (Note to pedants: there are exceptions to this, I know, but I'm talking overall.)

So while the frequent portrayal of white guy/ Asian girl couples does to some extent reflect reality, bear in mind that popular culture doesn't just reflect reality, it shapes it. And the portrayal of Asian men in popular culture tends to vary between poor and non-existent. When the highest profile Asian male actor in the West is Ken Jeong, best known for exposing his very underwhelming penis in The Hangover, you know that things aren't that healthy.

So as you watch the dashing white dude in the above video, sweeping the hot Asian girl off her feet in an Asian restaurant (aka "her natural environment"), ask yourself this. Why did it have to be that particular racial combination?

In isolation, it's just a couple, and their racial combination is no more significant than any other racial combination. If you look at it as part of an overall trend, then it might start to bother you a little.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why women are the cause of all the world’s problems – Malay edition

(Cross - posted at Brown Pundits)

There is Islamic misogyny, and non-Islamic misogyny, but the Islamic variety seems far better at convincing otherwise intelligent women to buy into this nonsense.

A Happy Man, A Happy Home

“You just need to open the newspaper or watch the news on TV: there are so many sex-related social problems rape, incest, prostitution and sex trafficking.”
Men will not be committing these crimes if they are sexually satisfied at home, she [Fauziah Ariffin] stresses. “The key to make a man gentle and loving is a first-class loving wife an obedient wife. When the wife is obedient, the husband will be happy and gentle. They will not look elsewhere for the loving they need.”
And like simple economics, cutting off the “demand” for the illegal “sex” will cut the supply. “The authorities have come up with a lot of solutions and conducted various raids or operations to nip these social problems, but they still exist. The solution we are proposing is one that is guaranteed to work, as it is backed by the Quran,” she explains.
Committee member Siti Maznah Mohamed Taufik tries another argument to demonstrate how a sexually frustrated man can cause violence in society.
“Just yesterday, there was a story about a man who hit his wife with a lesung (pounding stone) because she refused to have lunch with him. Do you believe that? It does not make sense. Just because of lunch, a man would hit his wife until she is hospitalised? I’m sure it is because she did not give him any the night before. That’s why he was furious with her.”
I wonder if it occurs to them that perhaps the reason this wife didn’t want to have lunch or sex with her husband is because he is the type of asshole who likes to hit women with pounding stones.
There are plenty more facepalm moments in the full article. A common thread in these kinds of worldviews is their extremely low expectations of men, who apparently can’t stop themselves from raping en masse unless they get a regular diet of sex at home. So it’s heartening that a Facebook group  that has sprung up to denounce the "Obedient Wives Club" was started by a Malaysian male, 22 year-old Matthew Tard Ong.
I personally don’t think this is a mainstream view among Malay women – this group appears to have some extremist associations. But how widespread is this? And is it a Muslim thing, a Malay thing, a Malaysian thing, or a human thing?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Learn to cook Malaysian food... from Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay? Um...

I caught a bit of Australian Masterchef this week, in which two contestants won a trip to Malaysia to receive a cooking lesson and introduction to Malaysian food from British celebrity chef Rick Stein.

So what's wrong with that picture?

Rick Stein, of course. No disrespect to the guy, I don't mind his shows, and he has actually championed Malaysian cuisine in Britain in the last couple of years. But it's rather odd that Masterchef would send contestants to Malaysia - where there are presumably a large number of Malaysian chefs - and then present as the Malaysian culinary expert a fellow from England, who only really discovered the cuisine around 2009 as part of his Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey series.

So how did Rick do? Well, he made a serviceable curry laksa, but did several things that were not authentic. Which is not a crime, but if you are going to be shown "the flavours of Malaysia" by an "expert", surely you'd want to experience proper Malaysian food and recipes, right?

No, because Masterchef repeats a well-worn idea in mainstream television that Western audiences can only understand Asian food through a Western interpreter.

Malaysian cuisine seems all the rage in UK celebrity chef circles now, as evidenced by Gordon Ramsay also doing a show in Malaysia. He spends a week observing various aunties making food, and by the end of it is presented as having mastered the cuisine, as he comes second in a nasi lemak-making competition despite apparently not knowing how to use a rice cooker. All that in only one week, Gordon? My, aren't you smart.

Perhaps Gordon is taking his inspiration from Sam Worthington's character in Avatar. White dude parachutes into a foreign land, is bamboozled by their exotic ways, yet in no time manages to beat the natives at their own game. Flirting with their women all the way. You win again, Mighty White Man.
You can watch Ramsay in Malaysia below.

Gordon Ramsay in Malaysia from Joseph Teo on Vimeo.

Random eccentric old Greek guy for the win

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Awesome photo of the week

Question: WTF?!?!?

Answer: It's a training drill at Chengdu zoo, for the eventuality that tigers escape and need to be tranquilized.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Penny Wong, taking no sh*t

I did hear about this on local news when it happened, but I've been surprised at how this story has travelled, with various American and British news sites and blogs picking up on it as well. And I understand why; I could watch this all day. I'm not particularly enamoured of anyone in Australia's governing party right now, but I got to give Penny Wong props for how she handles the Coalition's David Bushby's demeaningly sexist "meow" during a session of the Senate. The segment between 0:10 and 0:15 is priceless; Wong reacts without missing a beat, and her icy stare speaks volumes. And I like that as the only Asian woman in Australian parliament (Wong was born in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia), she shows that she is nothing like the fragile demure stereotype that Asian women are often saddled with.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun with Wingnuts

People who read blogs sometimes argue in those blogs' comment sections, but not everyone knows how to argue in a manner befitting civilized mammals.

Here is an exchange I had today with someone named "Anonymous", reproduced in its glorious entirety. It took place over at Field Negro, which is a pretty good blog but for some reason attracts an alarming number of douchebag commenters.

Eurasian Sensation said...
If Palin somehow becomes President, the USA will be regarded as a worldwide joke. Everyone - seriously, EVERYONE - outside the USA regards her as an ignorant moron. Sort of like a hotter version of George W Bush. She represents everything people dislike about America.

Anonymous said...
Let's be honest, American could care less about you, who you are, and I guarantee the country you live in never comes up during our dinner time conversations.
We simply don't care.
But thanks for playing faggot.

Eurasian Sensation said...
Classy. Anyway, I'll pretend you are some kind of intelligent life, and point out that it is interest of the US to be respected by other countries. If we respect you, we are more likely to conduct trade with you and less likely to plot terrorist attacks against you.

Anonymous said...
Listen Pencil Dicked Faggot,
For centuries we have not cared and our interests have been preserved quite well. You used word "intelligent" are you not aware of terrorist attacks/plots to other countries, some peace loving? Stupid pencil dicked Asian Faggot.
Are you sad you cannot get a green card?

You know what? That guy votes.
That would be bad enough, but he helps vote for the most powerful person in the world.

Question: If I'm the "faggot", why is HE the one who keeps talking about MY genitals?

On a serious note though... I don't actually think Sarah Palin has a chance of becoming President of the USA. But the world still better hope that she doesn't. For all it's faults (and it has many), the US is still one of the good guys. Most of the time. And so it's important for the US to have a leader who doesn't go around pissing off the entire rest of the world. And it's important for the US to have a leader that other nations respect, and don't regard as an ignorant hick.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summation of Wesley Yang's "Paper Tigers"

After the whole "Tiger Mom" phenomenon, the other article that has the Asian-American blogosphere talking is called Paper Tigers, by Wesley Yang in New York Magazine. Yang touches on Asian culture and its flow-on affects to Asian-American self-esteem and success. He alludes that Asian values are a key to success yet paradoxically a barrier to the highest levels of success in the corporate world; and thus the "bamboo ceiling" comes less from the white establishment and more from Asians being too deferential. Understandably, there have been some angry reactions to Yang's article, but I think it's certainly a true of some Asians.

Yang's article is here. But if you are like me and are too busy (read: lazy) to stay focused through the whole 11 pages (!), here's a summary of it by The Young Turks. Aside from Ana Kasparian referring to Wesley Yang as "Wesley Tang" within the first 5 seconds, it makes for good viewing.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm": Larry and Leon mix up phones

Curb Your Enthusiasm, if you haven't got hip to it yet, is a sitcom revolving around Larry David, co-writer of Seinfeld and the insipration for the Seinfeld character, George Costanza. The show comes across as the somewhat less brilliant cousin of Seinfeld. But given that Seinfeld was clearly the best sitcom ever in the history of the universe, that's no disgrace. CYE still has its moments of utter brilliance.

In one of my favourite moments from season 7, Larry accidentally swaps phones with his extremely ghetto houseguest, Leon. Hilarity ensues.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The junk that's on everyone's lips

I've experienced a marked upsurge in blog traffic recently. While I'd like to think that the world is finally taking notice of my considerable genius, it has much more to do with the vagaries of Google searches.

I once wrote a post entitled The Asian penis in popular culture, which is about how mocking the alleged size of Asian men's genitalia has a tacit acceptance in movies and television. Part of that post contains a reference to actor Ken Jeong, who appears stark naked in both Hangover movies, revealing what could probably be described as a micropenis.

That one page has received 2,357 hits this week alone. Why?

Well, The Hangover 2 has just come out, and it turns out that if you type in "Ken Jeong penis", my blog is the second entry listed. Hooray for me! I've finally achieved my ultimate blogging ambition: to be a haven for people who possibly have a unhealthy obsession with Ken Jeong and his miniscule junk.

So I present to you, in all it's glory... the Ken Jeong-related search terms that have led people to my blog this week.

ken jeong tiny penis
ken jeong's small penis
Ken Jeong Mini penis
is ken jeong dick really that small?
ken jeong tiny dick
ken jeong was naked
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ken jeong cock
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does ken jeong have a penis?
is ken jeong's penis small?
how big is Ken Jeong dick
ken jeong genitalien
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does ken jeong have the world's smallest dick?
is ken jeongs penis really that small?
ken jeong penis podcast
Ken Jeong penis naked
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ken jeong + penis
is ken jeong's penis that small?
why does ken jeong have a small penis?
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does ken jeong really have a small dick?
is ken jeongs penis that small?
Ken Jeong small penis

The other blog post of mine that generates the most traffic is Race, IQ and penis size. So if you're smart and you're a blogger, you'll clearly realise that the way to generate maximum blog hits is to write about penises as much as you can. You could just call your blog "Penis Blog" and in no time you'd become the Bill Gates of blogging.

And for the record: yes, it's real. Apparently that is his tiny little dong.

So on behalf of men of Asian ancestry everywhere, I say: thanks a f*cking bunch, Ken. It's one thing to have the kind of pecker that even small rodents would find inadequate. But did you have to exhibit it quite so much? You are now the poster boy for Asian penises. What about those of us who have regular sized junk? How do you think that makes us look? If, God forbid, The Hangover 3 ever gets released, we may reach the point where no woman will be able to contemplate getting their swerve on with an Asian man without worrying about the possibility that he suffers from a case of Jeong-dong. So keep the damn thing in your pants.

In other whang-related news, the other penis that everyone is talking about is that of New York congressman Anthony Weiner (yeah, I know), who is accused of sending a picture of his robustly bulging underpants to some young woman on Twitter. Weiner claims someone hacked into his account.

The Daily Show is having a lot of fun with this story as you'd expect.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Circumcision 2011 - Between a C*#k and a Hard Place - Weiner Investigation
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Big Wang Theory
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Indonesian abbatoir scandal, and pain for the sake of "purity"

I would love Indonesia to make headlines in Australia for the right reasons, for a change.

CANBERRA - Australia suspended live cattle exports to 11 Indonesian abattoirs on Tuesday and announced a review into the A$320 million (S$421.76 million) trade after graphic footage was broadcast of Australian cattle being inhumanely slaughtered.

"I have decided to halt the trade of live animals to the facilities identified by the footage. I reserve the right to add further facilities to the banned list," Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said in a statement.
"I will appoint an independent reviewer to investigate the complete supply chain for live exports up to and including the point of slaughter," he said.
Australian national television on Monday aired footage of cattle being beaten, whipped and kicked prior to slaughter in Indonesia, prompting a political outcry in Canberra and Indonesian officials to call for calm to avert a trade row.
"It exposed nothing short of shocking cruelty for Australian livestock," said independent MP Andrew Wilkie, whose backing is vital for Prime Minister Julia Gillard's one-seat government.
Wilkie and independent Senator Nick Xenophon on Tuesday unveiled legislation calling for the immediate ban on live animal exports to Indonesia and a full ban of live animal exports to all nations within three years.
"The pictures we saw last night were horrific, and if it was happening here in Australia, those people would be arrested and prosecuted," Xenophon told a news conference.
The footage, which was covered on ABC's Four Corners program Monday night,can be viewed here. It doesn't make for easy viewing, that's for sure.

A few thoughts:

  • Indonesians are, generally speaking, a warm and good-natured people, but the concept of animal rights remains a fairly foreign one. This is not to say that Indonesians are any more callous toward animals than most other people in developing countries; but there is certainly a widespread cultural attitude that views animals in purely utilitarian terms. It's quite telling that the Indonesian slaughtermen, knowing full well that they are being caught on video, treat the cattle in incredibly cruel ways and think nothing of it. 
  • It wasn't dwelt upon too long in the story, but one of the key issues here is halal butchery. Modern science has shown that stunning an animal unconscious before administering the lethal cut is by far the most humane way of slaughter. But Muslim countries everywhere have been hesitant to adopt this method, partly for economic reasons, and partly because stunning is not mentioned in the Qur'an. Even in Australia, where stunning has become mandatory in abbatoirs, some have been granted exemptions from this, in order to meet the demand for halal meat. (I'm not sure if this applies to kosher meat as well?) From what I understand, some halal meat production in Australia involves stunning, and some doesn't. Likewise for Indonesia. There needs to be some serious education about this in the industry, and among Muslims, who should really be the ones agitating about this. There is nothing in the Qur'an to my knowledge that forbids stunning, so I'm sure that if made aware, most Muslims would consider that stunning is not only more humane, but also compatible with halal regulations. Does Allah really consider it more religiously pure for animals to suffer much more than they need to? I doubt it. 
  • Unless stunning is made mandatory in Indonesia (which I doubt it will be any time soon, if ever), inhumane practices will continue unabated. The bottom line is money - it is a poor country. As everywhere, those with money are notoriously tight-fisted with it and unlikely to implement costly new technologies unless they are forced to. And even then, widespread corruption will be an impediment, as it always is in Indonesia. Even if Australia can flex its muscles and achieve some kind of victory here, which looks possible, it will probably only affect the livestock that comes from Australia.  
  • Those of you who favour a small-government approach in which industries are left to regulate themselves should consider this documentary as a powerful argument as to why industries shouldn't be left to regulate themselves.
  • As barbaric as some might consider the treatment of the animals in the documentary to be, bear in mind that this shouldn't be completely foreign or unimaginable to Westerners. Like many things in the developing world, Indonesia is doing what the West was doing about 100 years ago. And many animals in Australia still exist in awful factory farming conditions. So Australians shouldn't be too quick to get on their high horse. 
  • The footage of Australian-raised brahmin cattle awaiting their fate is disturbing, and Australian audiences were repulsed by the idea of these beautiful animals being put to death in a painful, efficient and careless way. But I do find it interesting that the same audiences have no problem with the basic idea of these beautiful animals being killed to make burgers and steaks. The only difference between the Indonesian and Australian methods is a few more minutes of stress and horrific pain - the end product is still the same. A nice creatures's life extinguished just so you can have something to go with your potatoes. Yes, I'm a vegetarian.