ALSO INSIDE: IN S. KOREA, ALSO INSIDE: THESTARCRAFT COMMONWEALTH GAMES, THE COMMONWEALTH GAYMORE. ASIANS, AND MORE. JEREMYGAME, LIN, AND
ASIAN OUTLOOK 『북한』에는 volume XXIV, issue 2
어떤 일들이 벌어지고 있는겄인가?
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN NORTH KOREA? LIFE OF A NORTH KOREAN
VIEWPOINT FROM A STUDENT ABROAD IN SOUTH KOREA
Volume XXIV, Issue 2
contents ASIAN OUTLOOK
from the cover 12 | The 2010 Commonwealth Games | By Calvin Prashad 14 | Behind North Korean Lines | By Charlotte Steiner 34 | Breaking Stereotypes: Jeremy Lin | By Jeff Huang
features 4 | Pro-Gaming: Recreating the Frenzy | By Ritesh Kadam 8 | A Stop to Cyber-Bullying | By Jing Gao 10 | Painful Pixels | By Eve Zhang
columns & editorials 16 | The Vault | By Michael Ji 17 | Nutrition and Health | By Matthew Bigelow, Yinzi Liang and Cathy Hao 20 | The International | By Fiz Ramdhani 22 | Misconstrued Humor: In Defense of Stein | By Aimee Mun 24 | Gay and Asian | By Ricky Sosulski 26 | People in America: Please Read | By Clara Kittrell
entertainment & sports 27 | 18 & Botox | By Lillian Lai 28 | Outsourced Review | By Calvin Prashad 30 | Peepli [Live] Review | By Kayla Natrella 32 | North Korean Soccer | By Brendan Lu
conscience Featuring: 37 | Rickey Lu 38 | Eve Zhang 39 | Aimee Mun 41 | Yinzi Liang 45 | Jeff Hwang 46 | MDI
letter from the editor...
ASIAN OUTLOOK EXECUTIVE BOARD FALL 2010
t’s apparent that—after the November 23 shelling of the South Korean military installation at Yeonpyeong island—the current status quo on the Korean peninsula is unsustainable. As a western democracy, we too often fall into the way of thinking that prescribes endemically irrational behavior to dictatorships and autocratic government. To analyze the attack properly, we first have to realize that North Korea did not shell the South because it felt like it. It was provoked by U.S.-South Korean military exercises that included firing artillery into disputed water. While it was a surely an exaggeration to shell a South Korean base, it did not attack simply because it felt like it. The sinking of the Cheonan in March and last month’s incident represent an escalation of North Korea’s frustration and desperation. We know that they are starving and want food aid. The North Koreans also understand the massive losses involved for all actors should hostilities resume; and this is why it can essentially hold South Korea hostage: lashing out violently and leaving the South with little recourse. They understand better than anyone else does that, with the U.S. and China in the equation, the superpowers will try their hardest to stave off an all-out conflict. This is especially why North Korea fired on Yeonpyeong and didn’t fear a massive retaliation. I don’t buy the argument that an armed confrontation was meant to boost the credentials of the future leader, Kim Jong Un. The stakes are much higher than mere posturing. Nuclear weapons and missiles, in spite of their obvious threat, are more valuable as bargaining tools than offensive weapons to maintain the independence of North Korea. From their perspective, it’s one of the few ways it can safeguard itself from China, South Korea, Russia and the U.S. Personally, I’ve dismissed the prospect of reunification in the near future. Even if the North Korean government collapses, the burden it would place would probably give South Korea more headaches that it’s worth as millions of poor would stream into the South for better opportunities. This will surely inflame regional tensions among Koreans where most will mistrust their northern neighbors. China, too, would face a refugee problem and would militarize its border. The Chinese government already tends to sterilize, imprison and deport refugees from North Korea. Maybe it’s crazy talk to talk about dropping sanctions and leaving North Korea to its own devices, but the current situation is also not working. North Korea can and will lash out violently in the future against the South. It will continue to pursue dangerous weapons technology to safeguard its independence. The people unfortunately will suffer then as they do now. Still, there isn’t even a chance of improvement under the current situation. The Cold War is over and South Korea is not going to “go Communist” as we feared in 1953. Now, more than ever, it’s time to remove our country from the Korean situation. The presence of troops there breeds mistrust with the Koreans and complicates relations with China. For four decades, Americans propped up South Korean dictators and inflicted misery on the population. Maintaining our presence there is both expensive and unnecessary. Only when things can take their natural course can North Korea attempt to recover, improve their economic situation and consider peaceful reunification. There is no other reasonable option. Calvin Prashad
editors-in-chief copy editors
conscience editor secretary business manager publicity managers
Jeff Hwang Calvin Prashad Alyssa Alimurung Fiz Ramdhani Diane Wong Jonathan Yee Lillian Lai Yinzi Liang Simon Wong Kelvin Chan Kayla Natrella Ivan Yeung Paul Yi Eve Zhang
EDITORIAL POLICY Asian Outlook is the art, literary and news magazine of the Asian Student Union of SUNY’s Binghamton University. Originally conceived and created to challenge, redefine, re-imagine and revolutionize images and perceptions associated with Asians and Asian-Americans, Asian Outlook also serves to protect the voice of those in the minority, whether by ethnicity, gender or political orientation. All matter contained within these beautiful pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Asian Outlook reserves the right to edit submissions and publish work as deemed appropriate. Prospective contributors are encouraged to discuss their work with the editors prior to submissions. Articles may be submitted as an e-mail attachment to email@example.com. All artistic and literary pieces may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pro-gaming: Future in
Recreating the Frenzy
hances are that you, a reader of Asian Outlook, have heard of the Starcraft pro-gaming scene in South Korea. You’ve read how the top players earn salaries well up to six digits. You’ve learned that there is a copy of Starcraft: Brood War sold in South Korea for every one in 15 Koreans. You’ve seen pictures of teenagers madly tapping away at the keyboard as they perfect strategies. You’ve watched videos of players pulling off flanking maneuvers with surgical precision. And perhaps you’ve wondered, “why Korea of all places?” So, why Korea? Why not the America that created Starcraft? Why not Japan with its rich history of arcades and video game development? The extent of Starcraft and pro-gaming’s success in the Republic of Korea has not been replicated in any other country. Even Sweden, which has sponsored pro-gaming teams, doesn’t come close to Korea’s dedicated pro-gaming channels and team mascots. Much of Starcraft’s success has to do with the game itself. Starcraft is a sci-fi real-time strategy game in which players wage war against a computer or another human player. Starcraft was notable for featuring three distinct playable factions. Most strategy games had two differing factions or had a dozen factions with minor differences. Starcraft, however, had three very different factions with unorthodox units and abilities. This asymmetrical design led to a great deal of variety and depth to the gameplay without sacrificing the game’s balance. The game’s memorable, Starship Troopers-inspired setting and approachable gameplay made it easy for strategy game novices to get into. The depth, however, made the game difficult, yet rewarding, to master. What truly defined Starcraft was its online multiplayer service, Battle.net. Many computer games had online multiplayer with limited capabilities or unintuitive documentation. Many of these multiplayer modes were not packaged or fully integrated into the core game. A
By Ritesh Kadam
few online services, such as KALI, were too convoluted for computer illiterate users or required a paid subscription. Originally, Battle.net was launched with Blizzard’s Diablo, allowing players to easily meet up and play through a streamlined interface. Many other real-time strategy games were available near Starcraft’s release date. However, for one reason or another, they failed to imitate Starcraft’s success. At the top of the list was Westwood Studios’ Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2. While a fantastic entry in the Command and Conquer series, Red Alert 2 was not as good of a competitive game as Starcraft. The game was very imbalanced and post-release support did little to fix the gameplay issues. Westwood, now defunct, was more concerned with creating an enthralling, cinematic singleplayer than they were with crafting the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game. Australian developer Auran brought forth a legitimate contender with Dark Reign: The Future of War. While Red Alert 2 centered on providing players with approachable gameplay and simple mechanics, Dark Reign took to the other side of the spectrum. The gameplay was incredibly complex with a sophisticated line of sight system, multiple terrain types, and a customizable unit AI feature. This made Dark Reign a very difficult game to get into since players were overwhelmed with so many different options. Unlike Starcraft’s Starship Trooperinspired setting. Dark Reign had a bizarre story and art design, which made the game look odd to players who learned their science fiction from pop culture. The game’s singleplayer backstory and progression made the non-linear story difficult to follow. Lacking the accessibility of Starcraft, Dark Reign became only a beloved cult hit. Another notable challenger was the technical marvel, Total Annihilation, by Cave Dog Productions. Unlike these other games, Total Annihilation was the first realtime strategy game to feature 3-D units and terrain. This allowed for new gameplay scenarios and strategies. The game also featured a rudimentary physics system. However, all of this cutting-edge technology came at a high cost. Total Annihilation could only run on high-end computers at the time. This limited the game’s success with mainstream computer users. Starcraft, on the other hand, had lower technical specifications and allowed even the most modest computers to run it smoothly. The other half of the equation is South Korea itself. As a nation with a high population density, businesses, such as karaoke bars, rose to accommodate the large population’s social outings. Rather than congregating at a friend’s house, hanging out at a café or restaurant was more common. This led the way for the PC “Bang” or PC Room phenomenon. These were cyber
cafes where Koreans could play the latest games in comfy chairs with fast Internet connection speeds. There was no need to buy a computer and the latest games when PC Bangs allowed you to. The most famous Starcraft player, Lim Yo-Hwan, did not even have a computer capable of playing Starcraft during his youth. Through the generosity of his gaming friends and the rise of PC Bangs, he began his path as a Starcraft pro-gamer. The rise of the PC Bang has much to do with the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. After Thailand’s baht cratered, Korea felt the shockwave of Thailand’s collapse. The crisis, known as the IMF crisis in Korea, heavily damaged the nation’s credit ratings. Once experiencing clockwork growth, the Korean economy experienced great turmoil since Korean companies couldn’t get money for expansion. Many Korean men lost their securities or were laid off outright. This also led to the empowerment of Korean females and the demasculinization of Korean males, but that is a story for another time. Many of these Korean men were left in a strange position. They didn’t have enough money to retire, but they also were not young enough to could keep up in a changing job market. The stock market and other securities were too unstable for a reliable return on investment. They took the third option and decided to enter the cyber café business. PC Bangs were a new, yet easy industry to enter and maintain. Unlike the restaurant or dry-cleaning business, there were no strict sanitation mandates or government laws to deal with. While an arcade shares some similarities with a PC Bang, the upfront cost of an arcade cabinet was much higher and a cabinet could only play one game. The only things a PC Bang needed were computers with the games people wanted to play. For consumers, PC Bangs provided them with cheap access to games and computers. Korea had the perfect environment for nurturing PC gaming. Until more recently, Korea held cultural embargos against Japanese products, such as products depicting samurais. This made it very difficult for Japanese console manufacturers and game developers to enter the Korean market. This restriction allowed PC developers, especially developers from the West, to thrive in Korea. Furthermore, Korea’s excellent infrastructure allowed a blazing fast connection speed. If you have ever visited a Korean website, then you probably noticed they are filled to the brim with images or hyperlinks and take a long time to load on American connections. This high connection speed removed many latency issues that affect many online competitive games. All that remained was for a game to become a PC Bang standard. The Korean media, especially television networks,
Due to strong sponsorship by Korean conglomerates, Korean progamers have a salary or at least a living wage. They can devote the entirety of their time to practice without worrying about paying bills.
While it is unlikely lightning will strike, there is still a strong foundation of pro-gaming in the Western world. Progaming and Starcraft 2 continues to receive more and more coverage by mainstream media.
took notice of Starcraft’s strong following in Korea and the rest was history. While it is possible that other games achieved some success, it is difficult to dismiss Starcraft’s accomplishments. To this day, people continue to uncover more depth to Starcraft’s rich gameplay. Blizzard’s excellent postlaunch support added further game balance and features, such as replay video support. Very few games receive such support years after their release. One must wonder if such a pro-gaming scene could exist in the United States. In a few ways, America is similar to South Korea leading up to the PC Bang explosion. There is great economic turmoil going on at this time. During times of recession, people look for new, affordable forms of entertainment. Unemployed workers and entrepreneurs look to find success in new, untapped industries. Furthermore, the film medium gained great acceptance during the Great Depression. The advent of videoon-demand and Youtube allow users to view pro-gaming replays or even live matches. These videos are often made approachable to newcomers through play-by-play analysis and color commentary by English-speaking gamers. Most importantly, Blizzard has released Starcraft 2. Blizzard has built the sequel ground up as a spectator sport. Much of the Starcraft 1 community in America has transferred over to Starcraft 2. Blizzard has also leveraged World of Warcraft’s diverse userbase into Starcraft 2. Gaming as a whole has gained more acceptance of people of all ages and genders. There is strong potential for a pro-gaming scene to occur in the United States. However, many obstacles remain before a strong pro-gaming scene can occur in the
United States. GomTV, a premiere video-ondemand service for Starcraft 2, has difficulties providing high quality streaming and videos for live Starcraft 2 tournaments. A good quality video image is essential to follow the on-screen action. Many Youtube videos of Starcraft 2 tournament games are simply replay videos released days after the game has already ended. Starcraft 2 currently does not feature local area network support which causes latency issues in areas without fast connection speeds. All multiplayer games are played through Battle.net 2.0, which is subject to maintenance and server errors. There is currently no big corporate sponsorship of American pro-gamers or pro-gaming teams. Because of strong sponsorships by Korean conglomerates, Korean pro-gamers have a salary of or at least a living wage. They can devote the entirety of their time to practice without worrying about paying bills. In fact, Korean pro-gamers continue to dominate international Starcraft 2 tournaments. While it is unlikely lightning will strike, there is still a strong foundation of progaming in the Western world. Pro-gaming and Starcraft 2 continues to receive more and more coverage by mainstream media. The new Battle.net 2.0 interface allows those familiar with Facebook and Xbox Live to find themselves at home with Starcraft 2. Day by day, the stigma of gaming gives way to that of an image of competitive, rewarding activity. There’s a growing hunger for professional gaming as a spectator sport that must be satiated. The only question remains is how Starcraft 2’s expansions will influence the game balance and pro-gaming scene. We’ll find out in 2012… if it releases on time.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
Putting A Stop To By Jing Gao
The recent suicide of Tyler Clementi has ushered the ugly head of bullying back into the national spotlight. Clementi, a gay Rutgers University freshman, jumped off the George Washington Bridge on September 22 upon learning that his roommate Dharun Ravi and friend Molly Wei secretly broadcasted Clementi’s sexual encounter with another male student.
hile rescuers never recovered Clementi’s body, witnesses say they saw the suicide. Near the bridge were Clementi’s belongings, including his wallet and ID card. Both Ravi and Wei are charged with invasion of privacy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. Earlier this year in January, 15-year-old high school student Phoebe Prince also committed suicide after buckling under the abuse and bullying from nine schoolmates over the course of several months. A recent immigrant from Ireland, Prince received not only harsh texts from her tormentors, but also physical harm, even on school ground. Reports indicated that some school faculties were aware of the situation, but nothing was done to stop the abuse. The tragic deaths of these two individuals,
and of countless other people, underscore the more serious harms that bullying can cause. Bullying instills fear in the victims. Many victims feel worthless and have low self-esteem; this is especially true when the nature of bullying is more verbal than physical. Moreover, some victims become aggressive and divert that aggression toward other people, turning those being picked on into the new victims and thus perpetuating this caustic cycle. When bullying becomes so unbearable that the victims feel helpless, some become capable of doing nothing other than ending their lives prematurely. Bullying, whether it is the traditional physical type or the modern verbal-centric cyber-bullying, is prevalent. In a 2006 study, 43 percent of U.S. teens reported that they have been the subject of cyberbullying in the past year. This staggering number indicates that bullying is hardly a
Tyler Clementi, victim of cyber-bullying
rare occurrence, contrary to claims that the media blows out of proportion. If you look at people around you, that statistic means that you, your parents, or your friends have probably been bullied at least once. Take myself as an example. I was considered a stereotypical “nerdy Asian” in middle school. The bullies taunted me and hurled racial epithets at me, with “chino” being the one most prominently used. Whenever their harassment did little to elicit a response from me, they sometimes resorted to physical measures, getting in my face or giving me a slight push against the wall. While my abuse was nowhere near as repulsive as the abuse Clementi and Prince had to endure, its effect on me at that time cannot be scoffed about. I felt sad and lonely. With people around me, including my parents, constantly telling me to stay out of trouble, I did practically nothing to extricate myself from my horrible situation. The prevalence and caustic nature of bullying are not news to many people. In spite of that, laws against bullying are still quite lax, if not downright inefficient. For instance, the state of Texas considers most forms of bullying simply as misdemeanors, and it even fails to have any state policy on cyber-bullying. The state’s lax take on the issue of bullying is in direct opposition to its reputation for being a state with strict laws. By not classifying this as a felony, bullying carries only mild punishments, ones that certainly are misfits when compared to the physical and psychological scars that victims of bullying have to endure. Since the American legal system rests on equal justice and equal protection, the law should apply stricter penalties to bullying and punish bullies to deter any would-be perpetrators. In Clementi’s case, Ravi and Wei’s charges are only for invasion of privacy when they allegedly broadcasted Clementi’s sexual
Cyber-Bullying encounter without acknowledgment. With Clementi dead now, the charges against Ravi and Wei should be upgraded, but reports of such action have not surfaced yet. The U.S. law code makes a distinction between murder and attempted murder. Murder charges are often reduced to attempted murder charges if the victim survives, even if the survival is due to the victim’s resilience instead of the perpetrator’s ineptitude or softening of the heart. Likewise, a criminal’s attempted
murder charge can be upgraded to murder charge if the victim dies after the filing of the initial charge. If the American justice system is truly just, elevated charges against Ravi and Wei ought to be imminent. I am in no way, shape or form using Ravi and Wei as scapegoats for the need to enact stiffer penalties for bullying. Those penalties are long overdue. Whenever a tame and mild parental reproach against bullies, whether they are immature adolescents or childish adults, does not work, tougher punishments
Bullying, whether it is the traditional physical type or the modern verbal-centric cyberbullying, is prevalent.
hmust be dispensed. Only then can we move forward in putting a stop on bullying. Article Sources: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_16220018088-504083.html http://abcnews.go.com/US/victim-secret-dormsex-tape-commits-suicide/story?id=11758716 http://www.olweus.org/public/laws_texas.page http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/03/29/ massachusetts.bullying.suicide/?hpt=T1 http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/ software-services-applications-internetsocial/11579506-1.html Picture sources: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_16220018088-504083.html
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
painful pixels By Eve Zhang
“The world would be a better place without you.” – Josh Evans
Megan Meier was just a few weeks short of her 14th birthday when she hung herself in her own bedroom closet. Suffering from attention deficit disorder and depression, she had to see a psychiatrist. Her suicide was a result of cyber-bullying on Myspace.com. 10
pproximately a month before her death, she befriended a young male named “Josh Evans” over the Internet. They never met in person and it was later discovered that he never existed. Josh Evans was the Myspace alias of Lori Drew, the mother of a student that Megan was apparently gossiping about. Drew wasn’t the sole perpetrator behind the account. It was also accessed by her daughter and Ashley Grills, Drew’s part-time employee. Victims and bullies are typically within the same age group, but Drew was well into her forties. You would think she would have taken a more mature approach to it all. Drew was later acquitted of all charges because she did not break any laws at the time. There are no federal laws against cyberbullying; however, state laws have since been proposed. Computer crime laws are complicated since they would conflict with the first amendment. Cyber-bullying differs from traditional bullying in that there is no physical contact between the aggressor and the victim. The anonymity that the Internet provides makes the bully act more aggressively. There are actually different types of cyber-bullying. “Flaming” is the act of sending hateful messages or comments aimed directly at an individual in order to start an argument. “Denigration” is the act of defaming or causing damage to one’s reputation. “Cyberstalking or harassment” is the use of electronic devices to stalk or harass an individual—this type is typically perpetrated by adults. “Masquerading” refers to the bully pretending to be the victim and posting material that endangers him or her. “Outing” is the broadcasting of a victim’s private information. Finally, “exclusion” is the act of purposely excluding someone from a group. In a sense, cyber-bullying is more harmful than traditional bullying. The Internet is a very public place; many do not realize that whatever gets posted on the Internet could be there forever. Even if comments or posts are deleted, websites do keep archives. At any given time, someone could also have a screen-capture. It also differs in regards to territory. A traditional bully is restricted to the playground or the school. When the victim goes home, he or she is safe from the threats of a bully. The territory of a cyber-bullying is the entire cyber world; the victim isn’t safe even within his or her own home. Almost every teen owns a computer, a cell phone and actively uses a social networking site. No matter where the victim is, a simple click can bring all the negativity back to them. Cyber Bullying Statistics: • 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online. One in four has had it happen more than once. • 35 percent of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five has had it happen more than once. • 21 percent of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages. • 58 percent of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of 10 say it has happened more than once. • 53 percent of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than one in three have done it more than once. • 58 percent have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online. The Internet is capable of making things viral within hours. The networking effects of the Internet only strengthen cyber-bullies. The cyber-bully brings in plenty of more bystanders than a traditional bully, which only adds to the humiliation of the victim. Bystanders may not actively contribute, but they are passive participants by not doing anything about it or ignoring its consequences. Why do these kids do it? Many aggressors relish in the power that they have. Sometimes, it is simply to exhibit power over others. Some may feel as if they have a lack of control within their lives, and so they
The effects of cyber-bullying are compelling and extremely detrimental. While the bully is to blame, cyber-bullying is effective only if the victim lets it. direct their frustration and aggression on people “weaker” than they are. Those that are socially different and have a hard time fitting in become easy targets. Cyber-bullying typically starts around middle school, peaks around high school and then tapers off as people mature. Though miniscule in statistics, college bullying does exist. Does the name Tyler Clementi sound familiar? In the past month, there has been a string of gay teen suicides that shocked the nation. Clementi and Raymond Chase were the only college students amongst the seven, but Clementi was the only one whose suicide was driven by cyber-bullying alone. Could all of this have been prevented? Yes. We all know that suicide is never the answer, but what do you tell the victims who just cannot bear to face another day? Tyler Clementi, 18, a Rutgers University student, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his own roommate broadcasted his same-sex encounter. Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have been charged with two counts, each of invasion of privacy. Forget the fact that Ravi and Wei are both minorities, a cyber-bully can be anyone. Social identities such as race, gender and ethnicity are irrelevant. On September 19, Ravi posted this Twitter message: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” Ravi and Wei should not be labeled as homophobic, but you must acknowledge that if they were comfortable with the notion of homosexuality, this would have never happened. If Ravi had never broadcasted the encounter, Clementi would still be with us today. Had Clementi been stronger, he would not have taken his own life. The effects of cyber-bullying are compelling and extremely detrimental. While the bully is to blame, cyber-bullying is effective only if the victim lets it. If the victim shows no damage, then the bully would think his or her victim is “boring” and move on to something else. Pray that the next victim is just as strong. Of course, this is all much easier than it sounds. Victims of traditional bullies only had to physically relocate. The cyber-bullies are ubiquitous; the victims cannot run nor hide. The victims’ self-esteem wears down daily and when it hits rock-bottom, ending their lives seems to be the only path they have. There is no safe place from the Internet. There is no home. The victims can only direct the negativity elsewhere and hold their heads up high with the support of family, friends and their community. The first step victims can take is to talk about it. By actively seeking help, support will be there and they may overpower the bullies in due time. There are plenty of organizations out there and in the wake of cyber-bullying suicides, only more of them will come. For LGBTQ youths, there is the Trevor Project and the It Gets Better project. Facebook also recently announced a partnership between several organizations to curtail hate speech on its site. Cyber-bullying is a developing issue with developing solutions. Just remember, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Sources: http://www.isafe.org/channels/sub.php?ch=op&sub_id=media_cyber_ bullying http://www.isafe.org/imgs/stats/Results_All_072604_30422_image009_2.gif http://www.isafe.org/imgs/stats/Results_All_072604_30422_image008_2.gif http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/nyregion/30suicide.html http://jolt.unc.edu/sites/default/files/323-346_Ruedy_v9i2.pdf
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
The 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games: Pride and Shame By Calvin Prashad
The 2010 Commonwealth Games were envisioned as a watershed moment for India, an event that would propel the country into the 21st century. For once, this glittering show of modernity would finally replace notions of India as a dirty land of desperate poverty and “ignorance,” just as the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo did for China. However, weeks of public relations disasters and millions of dollars instead managed to reinforce one and only one notion: India, in spite of its progress, still has glaring problems with corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency. The international spotlight that came with this event only tragically exposed these problems for the entire world to see in the weeks leading up to the event.
he Commonwealth Games is an Olympic-like event where the countries of the Commonwealth honor the monarchs that oppressed them through athletic events which they would otherwise lose if the U.S. , Russia and China participated. Historically, Australia has dominated the medal count. The games originally were called the British Empire Games in 1930, but became the Commonwealth Games in 1970. Rather than lighting a torch in Olympia, Greece, as is tradition for the Olympic Torch Relay, the British use the “Queen’s Baton” and the relay begins at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Most nations of the commonwealth participate in the event, as well as self-governing dependencies, such as the Isle of Man and Jersey. The United Kingdom participates with England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as independent teams. The Commonwealth consists of 54-member states and stretches from Canada to the recently expelled Fiji. The entire hopes of rebranding the nation of India rested on the whopping $364.5 million budget. This budget estimate increased, however, to $2.6 billion and the total costs—including improvements to the infrastructure of Delhi—meant it actually reached close to $6.8 billion. This easily makes this year’s Commonwealth Games the most expensive one ever held. By comparison, the most expensive Olympic Games ever, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, cost around $40 billion. Perhaps the biggest waste of money was India promising to pay each participating
country $100,000 in exchange for the right to host the games. Such was the drive for India to host the games and prove itself to the world. This drive made a developing country pay mostly developed countries for the right to host a sporting event they themselves would participate in. Organizers even dreamed that this event would be a precursor to one day hosting the Olympics. However, reality quickly set in. The problems of a large, corrupt bureaucracy led to massive mismanagement and a lack of oversight over the bloated budget. Although key infrastructure projects that modernized roads, mass transit and airports were successful, they inevitably enriched the officials in charge. Unfortunately, organizers are now undertaking the lengthy task of tracking down the graft and punishing the mismanagement. The embarrassment over the games’ organization reached a point when the crowd roundly booed the bureaucrat in charge, Suresh Kalmadi, at the opening ceremony. Kalmadi spent the majority of his press conferences and speeches defending his management of the games. Nonetheless, his face became the face of Indian bureaucratic failure for not only the rest of the world, but also for Indians themselves. Mismanagement indeed became a resounding undercurrent to these games. None was more glaring than the collapse of a pedestrian footbridge outside Jawaharlal Nehru stadium that injured 27 people just days before the games. Similarly, tiles fell off the roof in the wrestling venue and a scoreboard fell over at the rugby stadium.
Near daily press conferences from Indian officials attempted to reassure the world that the venues were indeed safe, but the public image of the games was already tarnished. Other nations participated at the venues with wary eyes, but the images of poorly built, crumbling structures were transmitted across the globe, further embarrassing the host country. These facilities crumbled not because of age, but rather poor construction—with contracts awarded to government cronies in a non-transparent bidding process. Many saw these games as a reflection of India’s political system with its entrenched elites, self-interested bureaucrats and lifetime politicians. In a reflection of how the media came to expect substandard facilities, many blamed a stomach illness that hit the Australian team on Indian swimming pools. Thankfully, doctors indentified a training facility in Malaysia as the source, at the very least ensuring that the facilities were
Above: footbridge collapses prior to the games not putting athletes’ at risk. Although the team doctor certified the facilities as clean, the media hysteria continued to tarnish the image of the games. By no means was it fair to expect India to have top rate facilities on par with the Western world and its wealthy East-Asian neighbors. Unfortunately, since the world is used to glittering and expensive international venues, it expected India would adhere to this standard in a way it could not have. Efforts to move the poor from the games’ area and hide them from view were still extensively covered by the media and still very apparent to visitors. Worse were the reports of unhygienic conditions at the athletes’ village. The pictures of dirty beds, stained walls and unfinished bathrooms struck deeply at the national pride of Indians, directly countering efforts to show India as modern, clean and civilized. It turned out that the laborers used the rooms, but did not clean up after themselves. Indians around the world felt profound shame looking at pictures as it only served to reinforce Western notions of India and its squalor. Despite claims that only a few of the rooms were dirty, the lack of oversight that allowed athletes and media to witness these conditions were shameful. A tremendous security presence also overshadowed the games. Al Queda and Lashkar-e-Taiba threatened to attack the games and hotels during the events. Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai Attacks when gunmen stormed a hotel, train station and other crowded areas. As a result of the threats,
Delhi authorities locked down several areas of the city, spending even more money on safety. Not helping the situation was the still unsolved shooting of two Taiwanese tourists by a terrorist a few weeks before the start of the games. Officials were understandably overwhelmed with the challenges of providing for a safe, hygienic and organized Commonwealth Games. The fact that the games went smoothly after the start of the opening ceremony was a small miracle and perhaps a stroke of luck. This is not to say the Commonwealth Games were an unabashed failure. India won the second-most gold medals, second only to Australia, which dominated the games again. The event proved to be a showcase for upcoming Indian athletes, the beneficiaries of very recent investment into athletics by the Indian government. The hope is to challenge other countries in gymnastics and other sports by the 2016 games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. India also dominated the shooting and wrestling events at these games. The opening and closing ceremonies were spectacular, both playing heavily into India’s prized notions of hospitality, culture and especially diversity. Racial, ethnic and economic diversity were the themes of nearly every performance and it worked well in displaying the potential and strengths of modern India. By contrast, India’s performances were looser, freeform and less rigid than the Beijing opening ceremonies. In a way, both opening ceremonies reflected the values of that country’s government. Beijing stressed order, technology, collective effort and
perfection; Delhi stressed inclusiveness, diversity and the contributions of the individual to the larger country. Both also harkened back to their cultural heritage but also stressed a commitment to modernization. Even though the Commonwealth Games turned out to be a success, major international sporting events should not be held in India in the near future. As there are millions of people in desperate poverty, money spent on international sporting events could be better invested elsewhere. The investment into Delhi’s infrastructure was an important step in modernization, yet more has to be done to help the historically downtrodden classes in India. A democratic government should not spend millions of dollars on these events while people starve. Emphasizing unity in diversity was an important face to show to the rest of the world and was by far one of the higher points of these games. This should not be India’s final international event, but it certainly should be the last one for a few decades. Picture Sources: https://sportsprojects.uktradeinvest.gov.uk/ docs/graphics/keynote/51531077.jpg h t t p : / /c o m m o n s . w i k i m e d i a . o r g /w i k i / File:Commonwealth_of_Nations.png http://nimg.sulekha.com/others/original700/ i n d i a - b r i d g e - c ol l a p s e - c o m m o nwe a l t h games-2010-9-21-8-32-2.jpg http://www.thewalkerground.co.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2010/09/60_commonwealth_ games_logo.jpg
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
Lines By Charlotte Steiner
Anyone who reads the newspaper recently has probably heard about what’s going on in North Korea: nuclear threats, the Cheonan sinking, American journalists who were detained last year and later freed, and the infamous “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. But these political headlines fail to mention what is happening to ordinary North Koreans.
he frightening reality for people living under Kim Jong-il’s dictatorship is a harsh life of hunger and oppression. North Koreans lead lives restricted of basic freedoms. North Korea is isolated from the rest of the world, earning it the nickname, “hermit kingdom.” Freedom of the press is unheard of in North Korea since the media is controlled by the state. Access to foreign media and information is prohibited, using the Internet is illegal and the government produces propaganda that claims the United States and South Korea are starving, evil capitalist countries while North Korea is a paradise on Earth. Also at risk of being arrested are those who criticize the regime, eliminating freedom of speech from the rights of North Koreans. North Koreans are brainwashed to believe Kim Jong-il and his deceased father Kim Il-sung are god-like figures. There is no freedom of religion, and followers of any belief system besides Juche, the political ideology of North Korea, are punished. There is no freedom of movement for regular North Koreans, so most have to stay in their impoverished rural hometowns where electricity and modern comforts are sparse. Ordinary North Koreans outside of
the capital, unlike government officials or members of the military, live hard lives of farming or suffer poor working conditions in state-run factories. Hundreds of thousands of people died during a famine in the ‘90s, and the food crisis still continues, leaving a third of North Koreans malnourished today. Poor soil makes farming difficult and people resort to eating tree bark and grass. Food rations are meager because international food aid is distributed to the military and elite rather than to citizens who need it the most. Because of malnourishment, tuberculosis is common, but a lack of medicine and resources makes the disease deadlier. Unsurprisingly, the North Korean government spends less money on health care than any other nation in the world. Because of poor economic conditions, oppression and hunger, North Koreans risk their lives by fleeing across the river that divides their home country and China. Guards are ready to shoot any “traitors” who try to cross the border, unless the refugee has enough money to bribe them. Even after escaping their country, however, many difficulties lie ahead. 80 percent of North Korean refugees are victims of human trafficking. The majority
of female refugees are exploited, sexually trafficked and often sold as illegal brides to Chinese men. These women are sometimes beaten by their husbands, and because of their nationality, their children don’t have the paperwork to allow them to go to school or receive any social or health services. Orphans of North Korean refugees who are captured or abandoned are often homeless, and resort to begging on the streets or working in dangerous conditions. North Koreans are considered illegal economic migrants by the Chinese government. Without legal documentation or the ability to speak the language, North Koreans are forced to live in hiding from Chinese police and must find work secretively to survive. A number of these refugees in China are unknown since most are in hiding, but estimates range from 30,000 up to 300,000. Chinese authorities repatriate every captured North Korean, and those sent back are executed or sent to a political concentration camp. Despite the risk, many refugees cross back and forth between China and North Korea to bring their families food, medicine, and other necessities that are unobtainable in North Korea. Concentration camps bring to mind the Holocaust—a
The Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea tragedy that everyone can agree should never happen again. But today there are an estimated 200,000 political prisoners in Kim Jong-il’s five main camps. The official statement of the North Korean government is that the camps don’t exist, but accounts of defectors and a look at Google Earth expose that lie. A North Korean can be sent to a concentration camp for being a suspected dissident and for minor offenses such as criticizing the government, listening to South Korean music or forgetting to wear a pin of Kim Jong-il’s portrait on their shirt. Even children are sent to the camps for crimes their relatives committed, since the government believes in punishing three generations of a criminal’s family. In the camps, prisoners are forced to work 12 hours a day in horrible living conditions. Between the measly amount of food, prisoners are rationed and given pathetic pieces of clothing to wear while working outside in the cold winters. Many die of starvation, disease and exhaustion. Crews of prisoners have different tasks, including carrying logs, mining and burying the dead. Those who break the rules of the camp, such as stealing food or not working enough, are cruelly punished by torture, beatings and more forced labor. Prisoners are forced to watch the public executions of those who try to escape their brutal lives in camp. This isn’t a gruesome piece of history found in a textbook. These human rights abuses are happening right now. Hundreds of thousands have already died in the concentration camps and of famine in
the countryside, and this will continue under Kim Jong-il’s regime. How can we let a dictator deny people of their basic human rights while we live in comfort and freedom? We can be a voice for those who are silenced by the regime. Our media should focus on the humanitarian crisis in North Korea rather than the political headlines of the government’s latest actions. Those in power should put pressure on the Chinese government to recognize North Korean border-crossers as refugees and provide them legal status and protection, as well as allowing the United Nations High Commission of Refugees to have access to the border region of China and North Korea, which China currently does not allow. Several non-profits and nongovernmental organizations have underground shelters in Chinese border towns to help rescue refugees from sex trade and persecution. Refugees can gain asylum after taking a dangerous escape route through China to Southeast Asia or Mongolia. South Korea recognizes North Korean defectors as South Korean citizens and helps them resettle after arrival. The number of North Korean defectors to South Korea is increasing each year and by November the number of resettled North Koreans there will reach 20,000. Under the North Korean Human Rights Act, passed in 2004, there have also been 100 North Koreans resettled in the United States. Congress should also pass HR 4986—the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act— which would enable U.S. families to adopt North Korean orphans in China, rescuing
them from a life of homelessness and exploitation. We read so many descriptions of suffering in the world that we become unfazed by yet another tale of hunger, torture and despair. But we need to remember that these facts and details are dealing with individual humans who deserve to live a life of freedom and justice. If more awareness is raised about the human rights crisis in North Korea, maybe an idea for change or the motivation to act will be planted in people who have the ability to make a difference. If more people knew about the plight of North Koreans, then more donations will pour in to NGOs and non-profits, and more calls and petitions will be sent to Washington to ask politicians to make the North Korean human rights crisis a priority. As future generations look back, will they be proud of what we did to stop a huge injustice? Or will they ask why we didn’t act and let people suffer instead? If anyone reading this article is interested in helping North Korean refugees or wants to find out more about the crisis, there is a chapter of Tomorrow’s Hope in North Korea (ThiNK) on the Binghamton campus. The group organizes a North Korean Awareness Week each semester and raises money for liberty in North Korea, a national non-profit organization that rescues refugees.
Picture Source: http://www.knowledgenews.net/picturethis/dmz. jpg
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
By Dr. Michael Ji
Hello, fellow readers. In this issue, we look at difficulties nice guys face and tips on establishing a successful long-term relationship. A BUNCH OF COCONUTS:
The problem for many single guys is that they are so used to rejection that they essentially lose all hope… and girls pick up on this. You are one of those nice guys. There is a common saying that nice guys always finish last? How would you try to convince or motivate other nice guys to finish first instead?
I completely agree. Being true to yourself is essential if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Another issue that I have noticed is that it’s hard for some people to find their source of confidence. For those people, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, when others perpetually disappoint you, you lose faith in them. It takes two for a relationship to work. When you take faith and trust out of the equation, you only serve to isolate yourself. You are putting your relationship at risk.
DR. JI: I’m a fairly optimistic person. As a result, I have tremendous faith in myself. I feel that the most important thing is to have the right mindset. If you feel that you can’t succeed, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
A BUNCH OF COCONUTS: The same goes for girls, too. When a girl doesn’t have the right mindset, she’s just going to disappoint herself—and others. Regardless of gender, one who is able to convey confidence is always more attractive. Social constructs can play an important role as well. Society tells us that men are not supposed to be emotional, or else they come off as “unmanly.” This idea only appeals to the general population. Believe it or not, some women actually want a man who is in touch with his emotions. Men shouldn’t obey these social constructs, because then they become someone they are not. By trying to appeal to the general population, you may lose your chances of finding your ideal. To put it simply, just be yourself. Women don’t want to discover months down the line that you aren’t the person who they thought you were. People should always be honest with themselves first.
A BUNCH OF COCONUTS: Some people tend to forget that there are two parties in a relationship. One may lose hope, and losing hope causes the detriment of another. Confidence stems from within and it is tied with your self-esteem. If you have good self-esteem, you are secure with yourself, and thus, you radiate confidence. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that “trying is better than doing nothing.” By trying, you end up doing. Even though that other person may be perpetually disappointed, you will end up disappointing yourself by not starting off with a clean slate. Everyone is different. Give the person a chance. You never know where he or she may take you.
DR. JI: True. Life is all about perspective. By looking at yourself in a different light, you can get the motivation you need. When you have nothing, there is nothing to lose!
Michael Ji is not an actual doctor.
utrition Columns By Matthew Bigelow, Yinzi Liang and Cathy Hao
Regardless of how successful you are as a person, how many friends you have, how loved you are by your family, how many awards you have accomplished, nothing matters if you donâ€™t lead a healthy life. Asian Outlook will be including a health, nutrition and wellness section in future issues.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
By Matthew Bigelow
y name is Matthew Bigelow and the importance of nutrition first dawned upon me when I was just four years old. I don’t recall the event myself, but according to my mother, I returned home from school one day and announced that it was no longer acceptable for us, as a family, to drink whole milk—we had to switch to skim. Over the next several years I continued along, content with the knowledge that I was doing good things for my body. I was drinking skim milk, eating plenty of grains like white bread and rice, and more or less following the indisputable guidance of the USDA food pyramid. However, beneath the surface, things were not quite as they had seemed. When I was around eight years old I began waking up in the middle of the night, occasionally, with a strong burning sensation in my neck and a sour taste in my mouth. After several years of this, I finally went to see a gastroenterologist. And at 11 years of age, I underwent my first endoscopy. The results were actually not very surprising once we learned that my birth father had endured a series of serious ulcers throughout his life. Like him, I had a weak muscle separating my esophagus from my stomach and, as a result, acidrich gastric juices were free to regurgitate from my stomach back up into my esophagus. The doctor prescribed me a medication, and I took it believing that the problem was truly my genes and there was nothing I could do about it. Life went on and I remained symptomfree as long as I took that little purple pill each and every day. Fast forward a decade. For months a friend has been telling me how much fun he had traveling in Thailand. It’s cheap, beautiful and during a time of year when it’s 20 degrees and perpetually gray in Binghamton, Thailand is sunny, warm, with the ocean feeling like bath water. Convinced, I bought my ticket in October and began planning for my month-long sojourn; 30 days—the maximum time allowed for a tourist visa. Passports, vaccines, power adapters, batteries, cameras, swim suits… Anyone who has ever traveled internationally knows what a whirlwind it can be and how easy it is for something small to slip your mind. Well, for me, what I ultimately forgot about was my purple little pill. The night before my departure, I realized I had only 10 pills left for a 30-day trip, and my prescription had run out. There was no chance of getting the prescription called in and filled before I had to leave for the airport. Even the thought of all of that spicy Thai food without my meds made my stomach curl. Convinced I had no other options, I decided to bring the pills I had and just take them every two to three days. I arrived in Bangkok sometime in the middle of the night. As a result of the 24-hour flight, the time change and the jet lag, I’m not quite sure what the date was but it was sometime around December 26. Because of my jet lag, I had the sleeping schedule of
a schizophrenic—waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 2 or 3 a.m. and being completely exhausted and ready to sleep by midafternoon. Over the next few days I laid low in the guest house I was staying at and tried to get myself adjusted to the 12-hour time difference. I began collecting information from an internet café, ate lots of food from the street stalls and started planning the logistics for the rest of my trip. Those first few days were the easiest to maintain some semblance of a daily regimen. I took my pills religiously and things seemed to go all right despite the dose of medication being effectively cut in half. When I finally left Bangkok and started my trip to Chang Mai, however, things became decidedly more chaotic. Sleeping on trains, traveling on Tuk-Tuks and hiking through rain forests tend to eclipse one’s daily regimen and I soon began forgetting to take doses of my old friend, the purple pill. At first, whenever I’d quickly take it again, I’d even double up to make up for missed doses. Soon, however, I became suspicious that, perhaps, I didn’t really need the pill. Now in the past decade there had been times where, for one reason or another, I missed pills or had to go a couple days without them, and the acid reflux always returned. However, despite all the spicy Thai curries and greasy noodles—foods that I had thought would be the bane of my existence—my reflux never seemed to recur. Feeling pretty good, I stopped taking my medication altogether and a few weeks later I returned to America, confident that I had somehow been cured and would never have to rely on the purple pill again! The jubilance was short-lived, however. After a few days back in the states, my reflux began to return. I started off slowly, taking only a half a dose at a time or taking the pill every other day. Soon enough, though, I was back on it completely, a full dose each and every day. This was about two years ago, and I’ve been taking the medication regularly ever since. Then, a few weeks ago, Yinzi pitched the idea of a nutrition column to me. Previously, while I was in high school, I developed an interest in nutrition as a byproduct of my weight-lifting hobby. Throughout the years I’ve read countless online articles and books, and had many conversations with friends about nutrition and their own issues with nutrition, health and body image. As a result, I’ve become known amongst my friends as having a level of credible knowledge with regards to nutrition, health and fitness. I was immediately enthusiastic about the prospect, but marginally concerned about how the column would connect with the Asian and Asian-American issues for which Asian Outlook is known for. Yinzi, Cathy and I had a meeting and we talked about the different issues that we might consider writing about. Yinzi and Cathy both told me about their experiences traveling between the U.S. and China and how they seemed to miraculously lose a great deal of weight whenever they returned to China. We speculated the various possible causes: factory farming, agricultural practices, the use of more traditional ancestor crops as opposed to the modern genetically modified foods, or perhaps it was simply the portions. As we talked, I suddenly recalled my own experience in Thailand. Never before had it occurred to me that there was something fundamentally flawed about the philosophies and practices of American nutrition. I quickly conveyed my strange story to Yinzi and Cathy, and they both agreed that it might be more than a coincidence. This article is the first of many that you will be getting from us, and we hope to make the column a regular occurrence in AO. We’ll be setting up a mailbox where you can send your questions to and we’ll try to craft a sound and helpful response. For my part, I’ll be writing a lot about the science of nutrition with helpful tips for improving your health. Additionally, in my free time in the foreseeable future, I’ll be trying to figure out just what it was that seemed to magically cure me while I was in Thailand. My goal is to find out just what it is about American and Western nutrition that makes me, along with hundreds of millions of others, sick.
By Yinzi Liang
ealth and weight issues were never intentionally at the top of my mind since I never thought it would become something I would need to pay attention to, at least not when I am still in my 20s. My mother is a doctor and my dad’s personal diet theory make my family’s diet balanced with a fair amount of different proteins and vegetables for every meal. However, I gained 30 pounds the first year I was in the United States, overwhelmed by cookies, dessert and huge plates. I am not going to deny that I loved it—because of my appetite toward all kinds of food—but it made me wonder: what could make a person gain so much weight within one year? The interesting thing was that I stayed in China the year after; I didn’t go to gym, I went to school every day and had almost every meal at home—of course in addition to street food as snacks. Magically, I lost the double chin and muffin top I had gained the year before. By living in China and America, I realized how different the diet or eating habits are between these two countries. After watching a documentary called Food, Inc. I have realized how industrialized foods have changed the
Americans’ consumption. In China there are very few cases where industrialized foods have dominated the market. Farmers from nearby areas usually provide daily food supplies to the city, which makes the vegetables fresher and cheaper. In contrast to China, vegetables and fruits are so much more expensive in America because the deep-pocket food companies have forged the market into that way. A couple of weeks ago, I read in the news that carrot companies are marketing their baby carrots by advertising with the slogan, “Eat 'em like junk food.” Do Americans only eat healthy food when they are labeled as junk food? Is that the tenet for food consumption now? If that is the case, it is sad. These are the main reasons why I came up with this idea of writing a nutrition column. In this column, I will be introducing some Chinese ideologies of diet. By writing this column with Matt and Cathy—two other intelligent students, who are also my dear friends—I want to exchange ideas with those who are just as interested in the topic and want to keep their health in mind.
By Cathy Hao
ost of us have tried dieting. We counted those calories, endured the hunger pains and dreamed of cakes and cookies. For some, the diets worked and our bodies began breaking down the fat accumulated throughout the years of luxurious feasting. However, after losing the extra weight, most of us became more lenient, perhaps as a reward for those months of hard endurance. This would be our most regretted mistake because upon returning to our previous lifestyle; we quickly regain the weight we had meticulously lost. This past summer, I began making healthier food choices and adopted a more active lifestyle by jogging in the morning. However, right after school started again, I lost my interest in making these healthy choices. I mean, who has time when there are three exams in one week? Because of this attitude, the weight I had lost quickly caught up with me again. This familiar story serves as evidence that a healthy weight should be reached through small lifestyle and dietary changes, not the radical and restrictive diets people pursue for a short period of time. This is where I present the solution: Asian foods.
After coming to college, I gave up my Chinese diet at home and gorged on the pizzas, mashed potatoes, pancakes and other carbohydrate rich foods offered by Sodexo. It was only after my “Freshmen 10” did I realized how much healthier the Asian diet is. Asian cultures and its people have been known for having lower rates of obesity and related diseases. This doesn’t stem from our love of running and aerobics, but our diet heavily concentrated on vegetables. We don’t eat pounder steaks, chunks of cheese and buttery spreads. Our diet is mostly rice and vegetables, cooked with savory sauces and aromatic spices. While most people are not proficient in Asian cooking nor have the resources to prepare fine Asian dishes, there are still countless ways to incorporate Asian foods into the diet. In this column, Matt, Yinzi and I will point out how transforming what we eat is the best way to maintain a healthy weight. I will share some Asian dishes that are both healthy and easy to prepare. At the same time, I will introduce some Asian foods and snacks that are healthy and point out the foods that should be avoided. If learning from the Asians could help us with that, why not give it a try?
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
International By Fiz Ramdhani
For some, studying abroad is a journey of self-discovery and an escape from a familiar place. But living in a different country can pose some difficulties. How hard is it to make the transition? Academic and social hardships are only the beginning of this long, enduring adventure.
xclusive, boring, nerdy, overachieving, unassimilated. These are some of the characteristics associated with international students. Of course, there are some good qualities, too, but apparently even those do not make internationals “normal” enough to be in American company. You may or may not agree with the statements above and you may think you know better. But, unfortunately, you have no idea. Naturally, my account cannot represent each and every international student’s experience in the world. But at least my experience of being an international student ever since I finished 11th grade back home in Indonesia can give you a glimpse of the ups and downs of being an “international.” I always wanted to study abroad, and for many reasons. First of all, I knew that first and second world countries offered generally better education and certainly had better school systems. Second, coming from a diverse background, I always showed interest in multiculturalism and learning about different customs, norms and values. I always wanted to expand my horizon and meet people that looked differently than I did and held different worldviews. Thus, they could provide me with information and ideas that I didn’t know before. Last, but not least, I wanted to find a place where I belonged. Being of mixed heritage in Indonesia is no easy task. You may wonder why since some of you may already know that Indonesia is a very diverse country consisting of hundreds of ethnicities and languages. Regardless, just as racism is a rampant issue in a diverse society such as the United States, it is just as bad in Indonesia, especially for people of Chinese descent. Most Chinese-Indonesians, specifically those who are not mixed with native Indonesian heritage, are treated as second-class citizens. In theory, they have the same rights as native Indonesians or what we call “pribumi,” but in practice, one can only dream about it. Studying abroad was a vessel for me, not to run away, but to understand the world a little better, to find out whether there is a more accepting society out there—a society that can understand my personal views, ideas and
norms. Studying abroad was meant to become my sanctuary—at least for a couple of years until I finally find myself—until I had a clearer grasp of who I wanted to become or what I wanted to do with myself and with the world. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know that it is going to be as tough as this. Getting through all the paperwork, which included, but not limited to, trips to the embassies and immigration offices and being asked a whole bunch of what I thought were rhetorical questions— as if my intention was to invade a nation—was only a drop of an entire ocean of tiring things that I had to go through. In other words, paperwork was nothing compared to the actual experiences awaiting at my destination—experiences that are still happening as of now. Many international students struggle with their classes on a dayto-day basis because of the differences in language, curriculum and workload. Luckily for me, I don’t necessarily find myself “struggling”with my classes. However, I dare not say that classes and grades are not problems for me. Though I have never been kicked off the dean’s list since I stepped foot in the U.S. , there were times when I strongly believed I would fail a class. It is one of the most terrible feelings in the world. Why? Because there is a realistic, material consequence for failing a class. It usually means retaking the class for another semester which could potentially result in delayed graduation. While it may not be a problem for the internationals who have all the money and time in the world, it would be a big problem for me and other international students. Delayed graduation would result in an extended stay, and in a country with a relatively high cost of living such as the United States, some of us simply could not afford to pay more than we had originally planned. Another reason has to do with one’s self-consciousness. Getting a relatively bad grade or failing a class raises the “what if” question. Often in my head I think to myself, if had I taken the class in my own language and in my own country, I would’ve aced it. I feel like it is not a fair game and no matter how I play, I will lose. Self-consciousness does not only occur in a classroom
A picture of Fiz, second from the left
Many international students struggle with their classes on a day-to-day basis because of the differences in language, curriculum and workload. environment. More often, it occurs in a social environment. You may or may not realize, but the term “fresh-off-the-boat” is simply not acceptable. Personally, I would say I do not care. However, this does not mean that we can ignore the issue entirely. The problem is that the term does not only make the differences between the locals and internationals more obvious, it also makes the internationals feel inferior. As international students, we already realize that we are different. We do not need the majority, in which case, the locals, to keep reminding us that we are different. Being called certain terms awakens our double-consciousness, a term coined by W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk. As Du Bois implied, doubleconsciousness refers to the sense of seeing oneself through the eyes of others. When labeled “fresh-of-the-boat,” we internationals start to question our greatness, self-pride and confidence. Nobody wants to feel inferior and for some of us that are simply too proud or too afraid to possibly be looked down upon, exclusivity is the answer. There is, of course, no need to generalize. As if academic difficulties and self-consciousness are not enough, an international student’s emotional well-being can also be impacted. Just like all college students, internationals also face friendship and relationship issues. Often for us, however, the issues we face are governed by our circumstances. In general, college is a
venue to explore life, including its people. It is a great way to get to know different people at a given period of time. I, personally, found some interesting people at this university that I ended up being friends with, people that I can talk to and share my views on just about anything, people that I dare say I would have the least chances of finding in my home country. There also could have been someone that I would like to have a relationship with, to casually see where it would go. But it is simply not feasible. My condition as an international student always reminds me to put my guard up, not to be too attached to anyone because of the fact that I will leave them sooner or later. Yes, we can always Facebook each other. But, for how long? It is only realistic to say that friendship and relationship requires physical contacts. One can only try as hard, but even trying takes two. My experiences as an international student are only small representations of what other international students might go through. Their experiences might be worse or better than mine. Regardless, we all share at least one of these purposes: to explore other cultures, values or norms in order to understand ourselves and the world, make our family proud or our lives better, and possibly change the lives of others we touch when we come back to our motherlands. And for all these reasons, we endure.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
In Defense of Stein By Aimee Mun
Joel Stein’s recent article “My Own Private India” has received some criticism by readers as racist and offensive. However, at a second glance, Joel Stein may actually be a supporter for immigration and immigrant rights. The original intentions of his article may be overlooked because his humor was misunderstood.
am quite familiar with the works of Joel Stein. As a subscriber to Time magazine, I have become well-acquainted with, and very much a fan of “The Awesome Column” that is published bi-weekly. I am therefore well-versed in the satirical, selfdeprecating, and raunchy humor that Stein deploys in his work. So it did not come as a surprise when I read of the backlash against one of his articles, “My Own Private India,” as an offensive and racist rebuttal against Indians and Indian-Americans. Having read it earlier this year, this article surprisingly stood out of my mind, very much, sadly, for its negative features. In an attempt to portray his support for immigration, but at the same time allay his surprising discomfort, Stein’s article was misinterpreted as an attack against the Indian-American community. Though evident and detected without much effort, Stein’s humor was not intended for any offensive purposes. The jokes in the article were not exclusive to the Indian immigrants; many, in fact, were aimed at Stein himself. Rather, they were used as a tool to not only point out the benefits of immigration, but to criticize those who are against.
Much the ire of the Indian community against Stein’s article was aimed towards his use of stereotypes and vulgar language. “Offensive” and “shocking” were among the words used to describe the reaction of the Indian community to the article. Figures, including actor Kal Penn, retorted the article with public rebuttals in various publications. They mocked Stein’s humor as unoriginal and boring, attacking him for lack of creativity for his use of Indian stereotypes as jokes. Stein’s first few attacks against the Indian community are quite silent. He reaffirms the stereotype of Indians being well-versed in technology, describing the familiarity of Edison to Indians as well as their knowledge in rebooting Internet routers. He takes yet another jab at the community, poking fun at their architecture as “inappropriate” due to its phallic shape. Stein starts to become more vocal with his humor as he progresses. At first in favor of immigration because of the high-level of intellect the first immigrants brought to Edison, Stein now bemoans the drop in intelligence as time passes on. He mocks subsequent immigrants that come to occupy residency in his hometown, crediting this
migration and level of simplicity to the poverty that India struggles with. By acknowledging his statement as to why “India is so damn poor,” Stein reaffirms the prejudice of India as an impoverished and destitute nation to the United States. What received the most attention and criticism in “My Own Private India,” however, comes after. Stein describes the shift of culture in Edison once enough immigrants have settled in. As a result, the townsfolk backlash and throw racist remarks such as “dot heads” and “go home to India.” Stein writes about this period in Edison in a very calm and distant tone. He is unattached to the racist remarks that he so casually describes. Though he ridicules the intellect of his townsfolk by mocking the naivety of insulting someone with the unimaginative “dot head,” Stein failed to actually criticize the blatant racism against the Indian community. This failure is what caused such outrage against Stein and his article. It allowed the reader to perceive both Time magazine and Joel Stein as figures against Indians who carry a casual approach to racism. Stein’s intent for the article is for the reader to understand another perspective on immigration; it is one that he believes will help better equip individuals when debating on issues of immigration. Stein was, in fact, surprised at the slightest feelings of discomfort when he returned to Edison to find his hometown almost unrecognizable. To begin his argument, Stein explains the personal
similar approaches to further establish his views to the reader. Stein brings in Jun Choi’s perspective on the issue of immigration in order to verify that his views are unbiased and for the reader to gain a holistic perspective on the issue. Jun Choi helps Stein to establish that no area is immune to change. It was inevitable in Edison and would be anywhere else. Stein references the changes in the Chelsea district of Manhattan as another example of an area that faced drastic changes over the years. And just as Edison was not immune to change, neither would its new inhabitants. Stein utilizes Edison’s children of Indian immigrants who have assimilated themselves into the American culture as his example. These “Americanized” Indians have adopted the New Jersey Italian Guido stereotype and have formed their own niche in the American culture: Guindians. Stein humorously concludes his article by accepting the inevitability of change as a natural process and the results that come with it: “Their assimilation is so wonderfully American that if the Statue of Liberty could shed a tear, she would. Because of the amount of cologne they wear.” In an attempt to address the feelings of discomfort that go along with immigration, Stein’s article was misinterpreted as an attack against the Indian community. Stein’s attempt to portray his points in a humorous tone prevented the reader from understanding the true significance of his piece. In a statement that was appended a
Stein produces these pro-immigration observations in the hopes of alleviating any possibility of antiimmigration sentiment. benefits he acquired from his experiences with immigration. Stein uses his usual self-deprecating humor to explain how the new shops and businesses that opened up as a result of the influx of Indian immigrants benefited not only him but the future posterity as well. The places where Stein used to steal pizza pies, shoplift and sneak into R-rated movies from are now replaced with Indian sweet shops, grocery stores, restaurants and cinemas. He attributes these positive benefits of the town to the Indians: “There is an entire generation of white children in Edison who have nowhere to learn crime.” These pro-immigration statements are difficult to discern in Stein’s writing, evident in the dense, satirical humor that accompany each line. However, some pro-immigration statements are quite obvious: “I liked a lot of things about the way my town changed: far better restaurants, friends dorky enough to play Dungeons and Dragons with me, restaurant owners who didn’t card us because all white people look old.” Stein produces these pro-immigration observations in the hopes of alleviating any possibility of anti-immigration sentiment. He hopes to point out that perhaps, it is not necessarily immigration that individuals are against, but rather the losses that accompany such periods of transition. The second point of Stein’s article is clear from the beginning: “My town is totally unfamiliar to me.” He laments over his town turning into “a maze of charmless Indian strip malls and housing developments.” The town he grew up in as a child has now become a place unknown to him. To help the reader connect with his sense of loss identity, Stein refers to the immigration issue in Arizona. Stein writes about “a sense of loss and anomie” in Arizona in order to create an emotional connection with the reader. He uses many
few weeks later, Stein hoped to discern any misconceptions about his article and further explain his view: “. . .I was shocked that I could feel a tiny bit uncomfortable with my changing town when I went to visit it. If we could understand that reaction, we’d be better equipped to debate people on the other side of the immigration issue.” In the hopes that humorous measures would help support his views on immigration, Stein’s true intentions for “My Own Private India” were instead overlooked and misunderstood.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
What does it mean to be
Gay Asian in the world today? By Ricky Sosulski
While I was sitting at the AO discussion on gender roles about two weeks ago, a thought popped into my head. Although the discussion was mainly about the roles of Asian women in the world today, my initial thought process about the Dan Choi was discharged from the army due to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy topic wandered to those who are both gay and Asian. A question about these gay Asians began to rattle my brain: what does it mean to be gay and Asian in the world today? 24
sian societies in general happen to be very conservative in their values. Sex and sexual encounters are not subjects regularly discussed on a day to day basis in Asia. With sex being such a taboo topic in Asia, it is no wonder that the topic of sexuality is also a “no-no.” The gender roles and standards begin to blur when you cross the sexuality line from straight to gay. In Asia, a man is traditionally supposed to be strong and the head of his family. He is meant to carry on the family name, anything otherwise is just wrong and deviant. This ideal masculinity of the patriarchal, Confucian societies of Asia looks down upon any femininity displayed by a man. A gay man can be characterized and portrays both masculine and feminine characteristics. Thus, one of the problems that a gay Asian man in the world faces today is the contradiction between the strict gender roles that Asian society imposes on him and his own free will. Though as time progresses, opinions are changing. With the spread of sexual transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS being a problem within the gay community worldwide, people in Asia are beginning to speak up and stress the importance of educating themselves. They are realizing that silence equals death. Organizations such as “gayradiohk” offer education on HIV/ AIDS prevention along with news and tips useful for everyday life for those living in Hong Kong. Similarly, in Korea, the human rights group, Chingusai, is also dedicated to promote AIDS prevention. In addition, they protect gay people’s human rights and repair Korean society’s prejudice against the gay community. Online networks have opened up exclusively for the gay community in various countries all over Asia especially Japan and Korea. Sites like Buddy, a Korean news and networking site focused on the LGBT community, connect the gay community on the Internet when verbal forms of communication are unavailable to them. These organizations are following in the footsteps of the organizations in America
and leading the way for Asia to follow. Now, in the United States there are looser social standards that people have to abide by. Men and women can be openly gay without much of a social stigma. Gay Asian-Americans face a prejudice similar to their counter parts around the world when dealing with their parents—many who are immigrants that still hold onto the values from their homeland—and the gender roles that their parents have in place for them. Outside of the home and family life, gay Asian-Americans are offered more freedom in their lifestyle and can live more openly than they would in Asia. When it comes to being gay and Asian in the United States, you have to know the lingo. Three common terms that exists are rice queen, potato queen and sticky rice queen. According to Jimmy Chen, a gay Asian-American, in a interview on the Tyra Banks Show, a rice queen is generally stereotyped as an “older, gay white man who is ugly and fat who like Asians” while a potato queen is a “gold digger who hates themselves, who are Asian” and a sticky rice queen which is two Asian guys together. Access to the gay community is nearly
general need to communicate more. She passionately explains that if people in the gay community do not speak their mind and do not give too much information that their existence will disappear. Dan Choi was a first lieutenant in the United States Army, but got discharged on June 29, 2010 after coming out on an episode of The Rachel Maddow Show as a result of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. This same legislation just recently, on October 12, 2010, became a huge Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court for the Central District of California issued an injunction to cease the enforcement of the law and stop any investigations, which is a giant achievement for gay rights activists. Dan Choi has been extremely vocal since his discharge and has become a leading gay rights activist regarding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He helped in the formation of Knights Out which is an organization for West Point alumni that supports the rights of LGBT soldiers in serving openly. Without Dan Choi’s work recently, it might not have been possible for Judge Phillips to issue her injunction on the unjust legislation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Thus, one of the problems that a gay Asian man in the world faces today is the contradiction between the strict gender roles that Asian society imposes on him and his own free will. limitless in the United States. On YouTube there are many gay Asian youtubers actively posting videos, such as bcpmx, minhman13 and wuwujohn. There are also organizations for gay Asian-Americans such as China Rainbow Association, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA), and Gay Asian Pacific Support Network (GAPSN). The extent of the gay Asian community does not stop there, but continues on into the mainstream society with extremely vocal advocates such as comedian Margaret Cho and Dan Choi. Though not gay herself, Margaret Cho has become an icon in the gay community through her stand-up comedy and her activism. Cho, being Korean-American, is a minority herself and states that it allows her to relate to the issues in the gay community. One of her most memorable quotes is her adaptation of the activist group ACT UP slogan “Silence Equals Death” from her Revolution Tour“Silence Equals Nonexistence.” She insists that the gay community and minorities in
What does it mean to be gay and Asian in the world today? Is it the clash between the gender roles of Asian society and their orientation? Is it the silencing of their voices and their personal expression? Out of these questions one thing is sure, there is a definite need for communication. Gay Asians all around the world need to speak out and let their voices be heard. They need to connect with each other and realize that they are not alone. They need to remember the words of Margaret Cho and realize that “Silence Equals Nonexistence.”
Sources: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/ assets_c/2010/07/dan-choi-dont-ask-donttell-duct-tape-small-thumb-260x183-1608. jpg
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
People in America:
PLEASE READ, Thanks. By Clara Kittrell
I’ve had from people over the past two or so days, I feel like I should make a statement on the whole Yeonpyeong Island incident that occurred recently on November 23, especially given the fact that I am currently in South Korea as all this is going down. Please keep in mind these are my personal thoughts and experiences based on the matter. I cannot speak for everyone else, nor would I ever want to. I guess a good place for me to start would be the day of the incident. I found out about the whole thing about three hours after I got home from school. Knowing that my parents were still asleep, I made sure to send them an e-mail stating that I was fine, that Seoul was not under any threat and that no one was panicking. I then proceeded to go out for an all-you-can-eat barbeque dinner with friends. The TV at the restaurant was, of course, playing the news of the incident. My friends and I discussed what had happened a little during dinner. Our main line of thought? “I hope we don't have to leave early.” The next day: I woke up early, as usual. I went to class, as usual. We discussed the previous day’s events for about three minutes before class. I went to work out, as usual. Talked about it again a teeny bit in the shower room with a girl friend. Our main thought? “I hope we don't have to leave early.” I went to my last class, as usual. I went to dinner with friends, as usual. I went home to do homework, as usual. Do you see where I am going here yet? Basically, the international community is making so much more of a big deal of this than Korea is. I mean, really, every U.S. news site I've looked at is all “South Korea panicked and worried, Koreas on the brink of war.” Okay, well, A: the Koreas are still at war, not on the brink of it, so there goes that; B: could you show me where this panic and worry is? Besides my guy friends who are worried about having to go back to the army—again—I haven't seen any. What I am trying to say is that here in Seoul, and Korea in general, it’s business as usual. Yesterday, when the combined U.S.-R.O.K. naval drills happened in the Yellow Sea, while some of my friends were posting links about North Korea readying missiles and recalling workers from Russia, the sky here in Seoul was crystal blue, the sun was shining and I went to the National Geographic photo exhibit in the Seoul Arts Center. As I have now said multiple times in this post: Life. As. Usual. Because, really, if South Korea went into panic every time North Korea did something, no work would ever get done around here. When I ask my friends who grew up here about the whole situation, they said, “I guess I feel like the war is more real now, but this stuff happens a lot, we’re used to it.” So all of you in America who are all tense and worried and think that fighting is about to break out on the D.M.Z… don't. Please, please relax. I am sitting here writing this on November 29, not even a week after the event, and it is over. I mean, over. No one here is talking about it anymore. So please. Because I am telling you everyone here is fine and dandy. And that is the end of that. o given some comments and various reactions
Peace, Love, and Kimchee, Clara
I woke up early, as usual. I went to class, as usual. We discussed the previous day’s events for about three minutes before class. I went to work out, as usual... everyone here is fine and dandy. 26
18&Botox By Lillian Lai
Botox has become a phenomenon among many celebrities, including that of Charice Pempengco. As a result, many young teenagers and children who are influenced by these television personalities are getting botox injections. These procedures reflect a growing obsession with beauty among young people. Are the pressures of Hollywood and society so overwhelming that teenagers need to resort to botox and other surgical procedures?
The before-and-after of Charice Pempengco
ost people know Charice Pempengco from the South Korean variety show, Star King, which invites people to show off their talents so they can win the title of “Star King.” Charice Pempengco wowed the judges with the hit song “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dream Girls. She became a sensation in Korea for her powerful vocals at a young age. She even came back on Star King for the second time because people wanted to hear her sing again. The sensation spread to America when Charice was featured on the Ellen Degeneres show to showcase her skills. Charice was even featured in the Oprah Show
and shocked Oprah and the audience with her vocals. Her fame grew with her television appearances. Now, Charice is recently in hot heat over her Botox procedure and well, she’s only 18. Recently, Charice Pempengco starred in the first episode for the second season of Glee and did Botox to look “fresher” for the show. Many people are outraged by this, as it is too extreme for teenagers to use Botox when they don’t have wrinkles. However, Botox is technically legal for children as young as 12 since it is used for kids who have twitching and crossed eyes, contraction of muscles and profuse sweating. But this is an entirely
new level as Charice used it for beauty purposes. Sources have said that she used Botox to stand out because she was Rachel Berry’s rival in the show. Other sources said it was to help slim down her round face, which is rumored to be from her infamous chewing gum habit. It is not entirely clear why she resorted to Botox but the problem is that she is one of the many teenagers today who has used Botox for their “imperfections.” According to Mail Online, teenagers are receiving 12,000 botox injections per year. In Times Online, Dr. Leroy Young has attempted to explain the tremendous growth of Botox injections for teenagers: “Many of them look confident and outgoing, but inside they are just plain terrified and they are seeking ways to disguise that,” said Young, from St. Louis, Missouri. “That is why so many are paying for Botox.” Teenagers are becoming more and more mentally unhealthy as they are succumbing to superficial ways to compensate for their insecurities. By not accepting yourself, you will constantly pick on your flaws. This can be harmful as it leads to many things such as depression, identity crisis or self-destruction. Teenagers are taking the wrong path to battle their fears by using Botox injections. But how many holes can you possibly fill? Most likely, it does not stop at one Botox injection because it only lasts several months. Because of its temporary effect, it can lead to Botox addictions Botox derives from Botulinum toxin which is extremely dangerous to the nerve cells. It is literally injecting “poison” into the skin. If Botox is not used correctly, it can lead to drooping eyelids or even inflammation. This is just some of the risks of Botox that manyteenagers don’t know about. The media is to blame as it portrays Botox as an acceptable practice. Not only that, but also, many celebrities are incorporating Botox injections into their daily lifestyles. Charice is one of the many celebrities who uses Botox but it has caused backlash in the media as it could encourage more teenagers to resort to Botox injections because they look up to her. It can be portrayed that she is supporting the phenomenon and by resorting to Botox injections, she is telling all teenagers that it is okay to do it when really, it is not. Work Cited: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1302519/Botox-boom-U-S-teenagersreceive-12-000-jabs-year.html http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/ article-1296242/New-Glee-star-aged-just18-Botox-look-fresh-faced-preparation-TVdebut.html
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
[Outsourced]: The show is so funny, you’ll forget to laugh. By Calvin Prashad The premise as it is sounds awful. A charming, handsome middle-American man walks into work one day to find out that he suddenly has to relocate to manage an Indian call center in order to keep his job. From there, Mr. Perfect will lead his loveable band of misfit Indians to break sales records and learn the nuances of American culture by selling ridiculous novelties. All along the way, he will deal with his scheming Indian assistant manager and navigate series of awkward cultural faux pas every week while trying to woo the exotic beauty that walks a fine line between tradition and modernity. Hilarity ensues.
omehow, on this premise, this show is supposed to do well and appeal to a primetime American audience. Outsourced fails at comedy, intelligent satire and even basic entertainment. After the fourth joke about Indian food and potty humor, the viewer will realize that this show is idiotic. While not explicitly offensive and in fact trying very hard not to be, this show succeeds at nothing and fails at everything. This show could be just like NBC’s The Office with real and diverse office workers and comedy that originates organically through everyday situations, but instead most of the comedy originates from culture shock and how strange Indian customs must be to the wide-eyed white people. It’s going to be a miracle or a radical change in writing that keeps this show going for more than one season. The lead character, Todd (Ben Rappaport) is sickeningly nice and seemingly can’t do wrong. Then there is the typical pretty, Indian woman, Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood), despite her Western looks, mannerisms and speech, when it comes down to “constricting” Indian customs, she can’t help but be bound by them. While this is meant to add an “exotic” and “forbidden” attraction to her, it’s a tired old cliché of the traditional Asian girl being “suppressed” by society and its unfair expectations on her. Then there is the typical scheming, sneaky day manager, Ranjit than sucks up to corporate management while trying to undermine Todd. Again, this is another old pan-Asian stereotype of the sneaky, mendacious backstabber that will lie and deceive for his own gain. Although this is for comedic effect, more often than not, it just confirms Western stereotyping. There is also the smooth talking “Indian playboy,” the aptly named Manmeet— pronounced as “man meat” by Todd—who
has an underlying obsession with meeting American women, yet is too shy to talk to women in person and believes that “second base” is getting married. Rounding out the cast is the socially inept buffoon and the woman so passive that she can rarely speak above a whisper. The most prevalent subplot in Outsourced is the romance between Asha and Todd, with Asha using “10,000 years of culture” as an excuse not to be with Todd. At the time of this article, three out of seven episodes have been devoted to this plot with Asha’s impending arranged marriage adding a degree of urgency to the situation. In reality, both traditions of child marriage and forced arrange marriages have left the big cities in favor of tribal and rural areas,
a sure sign of modernity. The characters on Outsourced, particularly Asha and Manmeet regard their arranged marriages as a prison sentence and dread them as the end of their freedom. Although Indian parents—note: not Indian-American—have a greater than usual influence in the love lives of their sons and daughters, the children still have a high degree of choice in whom they marry. The best way to explain it is having you parents set up blind dates for you. I assure you, the reader, that upper crust, educated Indians are not trading and marrying off their children for factories and livestock as Western media would have you believe. Although I was hoping to see more Asian-American actors on primetime television, this is the wrong way to do
Ben Rapport as Todd Dempsy the loveable Middle-American day manager
it. The characters on Outsourced are onedimensional caricatures of real people. Any attempts to flesh out their characters seem forced and disingenuous. I laughed, but not due to the humor. Most of the fake Indian accents break down whenever an actor has to recite more than three or four lines at time. In one particular scene, Asha launches into a lengthy explanation about her soon-to-be arranged marriage. By the third sentence, she runs out of breath, her fake accent breaks down until she suddenly starts speaking in perfect, albeit very fast, English. This inconsistency is miniscule but contributes to the notion that this show is disingenuously showing the audience a fake slice of Mumbai. It’s also stressing the nonnative actors to play a role that they aren’t equipped to play by forcing them to say every line in their “accent.” It baffles me that the audience is supposed to believe that educated Indians who have learned conversational English can still be so incredibly stupid and socially inept as portrayed by the actors on Outsourced. It gives the Anglo characters a paternalist relationship with their childish and confused Indian subordinates, a theme common even in the earliest imperialist media. The only difference is now its
wrapped in a fuzzy primetime romantic comedy and the racism—including racism against Todd—is quietly in the background. This show is especially insulting to the viewers in that it’s attempting to portray an actual Indian call centers. For one, actually call centers are hellholes where individuals work long hours in tiny cubicles. Workers do not leave at the end of the day, as they do on the show. Instead, the work into the night and in fact may work all night. India after all, is on the other side of the world, so any calls they answer from America would have to be placed in the middle of the night, a logical inconsistency that wrecks the entire premise of the show. In short, working at a call center isn’t a job that the employee can work from nine to five and then leave at the end of the day like an American worker. Call center jobs are an all night affair that reeks of sweat and despair. Lastly, this show fails to delve deeply into Indian traditions and instead barely scratches the surface, condenses it into a form that a primetime audience can understand. This sort of “Indian-lite” culture tricks viewer into believing that they have an understanding of Indian culture, when in reality, they’ve seen an Orientalist
Rebecca Hazlewood as Asha the exotic beauty
interpretation, a primetime-friendly stage in California rather than Mumbai with Indian-American actors spouting accents that will all but guarantee that they will be typecast as those actors for the rest of their careers. After viewing the behind-thescenes extras, its apparent these actors have very normal American and British accents, which is a further annoyance that they adopt a ridiculous accent for the purpose of comedy. Contrary to claims that this show will bring East and West together, this show will mystify the East and reinforce stereotypical notions in the West. Of course, there is also the old argument that this show is all Indian-Americans have. That Indians should be glad to see a show on primetime with brown faces. The logic behind this that this show is a steppingstone to a greater presence of IndianAmerican actors on American shows. I can’t help but disagree. This show will set these actors back and will reinforce the attitudes of Americans toward Indians. The media uproar over President Obama’s trip to India, which focused on jobs, continues to perpetuate the media hype that foreign powers are responsible to the loss of American jobs. Factually speaking, despite the overwhelming notion that all tech support calls go to India, two-thirds of call centers that service Americans are actually in the United States. Rather than jobs that are highly desired by Americans, more mundane and tedious jobs such as checking MRI scans and tax preparation. Americans will want above minimum wage and benefits. Indians are willing to work without this, which means that logically speaking American companies will outsource the jobs to cheaper labor. To blame India for accepting jobs would be akin to blaming India for being poor or blaming the sun for being hot. One cannot praise the free market one day and complain about the loss of jobs the next as many politicians and pundits do in this country. Maybe next season, NBC can have a show that makes light of Chinese factories where the workers aren’t horribly depressed, working in poor conditions and can somehow go home to their families every night. The Chinese workers can stare in awe at the strange American novelties they make while chattering in contrived and inauthentic accents. Of course, there can be the wide-eyed white guy that moves to China, struggles to eat the strange food while pining for the affection of the Chinese beauty that somehow speaks perfect English although she comes from the Chinese countryside and works a menial assembly line job. We can call the show [Logistics] and have the opening sequence as a mash up of Beijing Opera and dance music. It writes itself. NBC, I await your call.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
PeepliLIVE By Kayla Natrella
Aamir Khan’s Peepli [Live] is a satirical film that dives into the world of farmer suicides, where the stories go largely unexplored in modern India.
rom the moment I heard Aamir Khan had produced a new film, I had to see it. I always expected Peepli [Live] to be a hit following the precedent Aamir Khan had set with other successful films such as Lagaan (2001) and Taare Zameen Par (2007). Nonetheless, Peepli [Live] is different from many of his other films as well as many popular films in the Bollywood industry; it can be classified as art cinema and lacks the romance and big dance numbers that are so characteristic of Bollywood movies. Instead of the usual “filmi music” and romantic ideals of typical Bollywood movies, this indie film features more folkie music and focuses on the harsher aspects of subaltern Indian society. Although I do enjoy the dramatic love stories, elaborate dances and catchy tunes of Bollywood, this satirical and artsy film also kept my attention and won my approval. Peepli [Live], as the title suggests, is set in the small insignificant hamlet of Peepli in rural India during the country’s national elections. It starts out with two farmer brothers, Budhia and Natha, seeking help to save their land from local politicians who, apathetically, suggest committing suicide so that their family receives aid from the government program—one lakh rupees (about $2,000) to indebted families of farmers who have committed suicide.
The film is successful in combining dark humor with somber issues to draw attention to the corrupt nature of Indian politics and elections as well as sensationalism in Indian media. Although it is more of a quip than a serious suggestion, Budhia cons Natha into agreeing to sacrifice himself, arguing that Natha would be more useful to the family dead than alive. Unfortunately, Natha’s decision to commit suicide was not at all special or even uncommon. In a darkly humorous news report, the headline story is about the prime minister’s knee surgery, while a sideline “news in brief story” quickly mentions the suicides of 25 farmers in only one week. Natha would have just been another statistic; however, since it is the eve of the elections, the issue takes on national importance. Quickly, Natha’s home and the entire village of Peepli become a circus of journalists reporting for news stations from all over India. Fortifying the circus image, villagers erect snack stands selling cotton candy and other treats to the reporters and spectators. The film criticizes both India’s media and corrupt politicians as neither view Natha as a person, but instead as a story or campaign opportunity. Throughout the film, they only focus on predicting whether or not Natha will kill himself, repeatedly asking “Will he or won’t he?”
Further proving the greedy motives of the journalists, in a more somber scene, a weak farmer is found dead in a hole that he had dug himself. Although an idealistic journalist named Rakesh points out that this farmer’s story is just as worthy of media attention as Natha’s, he is quickly shut down by a more cutthroat news reporter who tells him that their job is to report what the people want to hear. In another satirical scene depicting the media’s ability to sway public opinion, a pie chart breaking down the different possible causes of Natha’s disappearance reveals that a certain percentage of people connect it to Muslim terrorism—a completely unrelated and ridiculous proposition. While the news reporters scramble to follow Natha’s every move as to be sure to capture his suicide live, the politicians talk in circles about how they plan to solve the problem. One says he must wait to hear from the high courts, another points fingers, and a third proposes a solution that, in the end, he never executes. When out of the spotlight, however, these politicians try to work out corrupt deals and are portrayed as thugs, rather than upright, respectable leaders. Instead of catering to Natha’s needs as a poor farmer, political candidates come to his home smiling for the cameras and bearing frivolous gifts like a big screen TV and a water pump which serve as decorations as they are useless to Natha’s family. Another candidate threatens that he will kill Budhia if Natha does not kill himself within two days. The film is successful in combining dark humor with somber issues to draw attention to the corrupt nature of Indian politics and elections as well as sensationalism in Indian media. In the end, Natha dies vainly in an explosive accident and the family receives no government compensation. The news reporters and spectators drive away, as there is no longer a story, leaving the villagers packing away their snack stands. Immediately before the end credits, the film reveals that, in the decade between 1997 and 2007, about 182,000 farmers took their own lives in final attempts to support their families. In the tradition of indie art cinema, the end of the film is sad and leaves a sobering impact. Despite controversy, Peepli [Live] has been chosen to be India’s entry for the foreign film category of this year’s Oscars. Although most agree that the film is worthy of the honor, some believe that another should have been entered in its place. There is no dispute that the film presents valuable and important criticisms of Indian government and media, but some believe that these problems should both stay and be properly dealt with in India. They believe that India should spread a more flattering image to the world rather than divulging this embarrassing view of the problems that still exist in Indian society. Although I sympathize with those who would want to portray a more idealized view of India to the rest of the world, I also believe that India’s government needs to shape up and root out the plague of corruption. As India is becoming a major world player, politically as well as economically, it can no longer hide its problems. If India is to present itself as on par with the rest of the world’s great powers, it needs to thoroughly clean out its closet by revamping the government and uprooting all corruption. Peepli [Live] is not going to hurt India by being in the Oscars, but the real problems presented in the film will continue to bring India down if they are not solved.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
North Korean By Brendan Lu
After 44 years of not playing in the World Cup, the North Korean soccer team showed sportsmanship and conviction. But was their appearance accepted by other countries? China cheered for North Korea like it was their own nation’s team, but South Korea could not bring themselves to support them.
f you see players on a national soccer team wearing jerseys other Korea’s appearance in the World Cup because of political issues. than popular sports brands, such as Nike and Adidas, or working The United States proposed to FIFA to strip North Korea’s rights in out in a local public participating in the World gym preparing for the Cup. Before the match, World Cup, then most likely most of the western soccer they play for North Korea. fans stated that they were After 44 years, North hoping Brazil would beat Korea once again qualified North Korea with a blowout. for the World Cup in However, after the match Johannesburg, South Africa. they were truly moved by North Korea matched up North Korea’s patriotism with Ivory Coast, Brazil and and sportsmanship and Portugal and lost all three expressed sympathies. It matches resulting in their would’ve been interesting elimination. to see how the western The most memorable countries’ star players acted game has to be the North towards North Korean Korea and Brazil match up. players. After the match, Brazil, the 2002 World Cup Jong walked up to the champions, scored two goals Brazilian soccer star, Kaka, and North Korea managed and intended to exchange to score one goal. Right jerseys as a sign of respect before the match during and honor , but Jong didn’t the teams’ flag raising and succeed. Some news source national anthems, Jong Taereported that the failure of Se, one of the best soccer exchanging jerseys was due players in North Korea, was to language barriers. Some covered in tears, so much so offended North Korean and that he was not able to sing. Chinese fans claimed that He later scored the only goal one day Kaka will be the for North Korea. The faith one asking for Jong’s shirt. and conviction that Jong One interesting fact is that and his teammates showed after the China and Brazil during the matches seemed match in the 2002 World like they were genuine. Cup, every Chinese player Since it was North wanted to swap jerseys Korea’s first appearance with the Brazilian soccer in the World Cup after 44 star, but no one succeeded. years, countries from all For whatever reason, it was Jong covered in tears over the world, including not a good sign. Certainly western countries, South ever since Kaka’s refusal got Korea and China, were waiting for North Korea’s performance. It reported through North Korea and China, he has been a hateful was inevitable that western countries were not supportive of North figure in China and North Korea.
National Pig (Guozhu) greedy and fat How did North Korea’s brethren in South Korea think about 1.3 billion people, China has dominated sports from ping-pong to their first World Cup appearance in 44 years? Well, North Korea badminton to diving. Yet, there is still no way to find 11 people out got involved in sinking a South Korean naval ship right before of 1.3 billion to make up a good soccer team that can qualify in the the World Cup started, so they probably weren’t happy for North World Cup. How is it that China has only appeared in the World Korea. Politics influenced how South Korea saw the North Korean Cup once and failed to qualify in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup? soccer team. The tension between North and South Korea was so Born and raised in Shanghai, China, my first-hand soccer bad that during a matchup in Seoul, North Korea’s flag was not experience might be helpful in finding the reasons. When I was allowed to be raised and its national anthem was not allowed to be in a China, students that went back home right away after school played in the stadium. Although South Korean soccer fans were not were considered the good kids, and the ones that stuck around to there to hope for North Korea’s failure, their attitudes towards the play sports were considered bad kids and most of them did bad in soccer team were definitely not supportive. Many South Korean school. So those talented soccer kids were not encouraged to play in soccer fans said they would have liked to know the results of the the first place. As a die-hard soccer player with good grades, I was North Korea’s matches, but refused to tune in to watch the game a frequent visitor to teachers’ offices because they thought I was the live. Even for the fans that tried to separate politics from sports, leader in corrupting the other kids. However, watching the soccer they could not help bring themselves to match on TV was not restricted to most of support them. kids and there were a fair amount of Since it was North Korea’s first the What was the North Korean soccer fans in school. Not only did they government’s role in the World Cup? appearance in the World Cup watch the matches, but they also bought How did North Korean governments’ sports newspaper to class the next after 44 years, countries from all the take on this World Cup? Cruel. Well, it day and passed it around. Sometimes it was reported that these North Korean over the world, including western was considered a distraction and taken soccer players would return to their by the teacher. South Korea and away home and be sent to work in mines. countries, The soccer culture is definitely in Several fans jokingly suggested that these China, were waiting for North China; so, what happened? When China national soccer players could choose to qualified for the first time in the World apply for an asylum at Johannesburg to Korea’s performance. Cup, millions of people celebrated stay in South Africa. After North Korea in the streets, and I was one of them. beat Portugal with seven goals, fans worried that North Korea Shanghai’s even more populated than Manhattan, so the moment would launch nuclear weapons on Portugal; they asked the United China qualified for the 2002 World Cup, the whole city was excited. Nations for help. During the match between North Korea and However, once China made its debut in the World Cup, soccer Portugal, a North Korean TV network decided to shut down the live fans were always expecting more, maybe advancing to the second broadcast of the match after Portugal scored the fifth goal. Several round. But China failed to qualify for neither the 2006 nor 2010 news reports also indicated that the North Korean government World Cup and with 1.3 billion disappointed people, criticisms reprimanded their players and the coach for their losses to Brazil, buried the soccer team like a tsunami. The Chinese soccer team Portugal and Ivory Coast. ESPN reported that Chinese actors and went from national pride in 2002 to a national disgrace in 2010. singers were paid to go to South Africa and cheer for North Korea Chinese soccer fans accused the soccer players of having bad habits during the game. like excessive drinking, hooking up with prostitutes, doing drugs, Many Chinese fans saw North Korea as their second team because and most importantly, gambling. Chinese soccer fans, therefore of the political similarities between China and North Korea. But dubbed the team the national pig—guozhu—which sounds like the why didn’t China qualify for the World Cup? With a population of name for the national soccer team—guoqiu.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
Breaking Stereotypes By Jeff Huang
Golden State Warriors sign Harvard’s undrafted free agent Jeremy Lin.
ven for those who follow basketball, you probably won’t recognize that name. However, this headline has opened up a lot of opportunities for Asian-American youths seeking a career in the NBA. Jeremy Lin has become one of four AsianAmerican NBA players in league history. On top of this, Lin has also become the first NBA player from Harvard University since 1953. He joins a very short list of active NBA players of Asian descent such as Yi Jianlian and Sun Yue, and of course, one of the most famous Asian athletes, Yao Ming. Many would think that Lin’s path to the NBA is very similar to the other Asian NBA players. Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian needed translators by their sides just to keep up with life in the U.S. They have also spoken about the difficulty in moving out of their home country of China and transitioning to American culture. Being born and raised in Palo Alto, California, Jeremy has had a different path. He grew up as an American and didn’t have to deal with the language barrier or with any culture shocks. However, he doesn’t see it as racially divided as most people would. “I consider myself a basketball player more than an AsianAmerican,” said Lin. The Palo Alto high school graduate had always risen above criticisms and expectations. Even though he was heckled for being an Asian basketball player and had stereotypical slurs barked at him game after game, he would always show determination: leading his hometown high school to a Division II state championship in 2006. “I understand there are not many Asians in the NBA and there are not many Ivy Leaguers in the NBA,” Lin said. “Maybe I can help break the stereotype.” He sent footage of his games to several Ivy League schools, only two of which were interested in recruiting him, Harvard University and Brown University. When he was accepted into Harvard University, it seemed as though his basketball career would end there for him. After all, Ivy League schools were never truly associated with astounding basketball success. Even getting into Harvard, however, Lin never stopped playing basketball and he never stopped hearing those same old stereotypical slurs. The same racism would storm him at every game, even with all his success.
“I remember thinking that J was playing like a player does when he gets hot in a video game. It was unbelievable. He put us on his back and tried to sprint through the finish line.” But during his freshmen year, Lin was a spark off the bench, showing tremendous court awareness and off-ball defense knowledge. In his sophomore year, he became a full-time starter and ranked among the Ivy League leaders in terms of scoring, shooting percentage, assists and steals. In his junior year, Lin continued to grow and show off his impressive versatility and skills. He joined the All-Ivy League First Team, becoming just the seventh player in school history to score 1,000 points as a junior, among many other statistical feats. Even then, his senior year became his most astonishing year, giving him the stepping stone he needed to make it into the NBA. In the 2009 to 2010 season, Jeremy Lin would be named, in an ESPN article, as one of the nation’s top 12 most versatile players. He would also be one of the 11 finalists to receive the Bob Cousy Award— given to the country’s top point guards. 2009 was highlighted by Lin’s most distinguished and possibly most important game in his college career. On December 6, 2009, Harvard vs. the University of Connecticut, Jeremy Lin led his team to victory, himself finishing with a stat line of 30 points scored, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. These were just a few examples of a long list of achievements that Lin had accomplished in his senior year. He did, though, get some help from his teammates. One of them was rookie teammate Kyle Casey, who won multiple Rookie of the Week awards that year. Casey was able to provide us on some of his insights and thoughts about his old teammate: AO: What aspects of Jeremy Lin’s game, stands out the most to you? Casey: “Jeremy’s versatility is unbelievable. He can play point, off the ball and and defend very well. He has a very complete game.
would show that he’s determined to get himself to the next level and into the NBA. After joining mini-camps of NBA teams, he knew he had to showcase his skills and prove himself again in the face of more stereotypes and more criticisms. Rising above expectations, Lin would prove to the world again that he wasn’t like all the other Asian kids who played basketball. In the NBA Summer League, Lin was one of the new hot, bright spots, when he turned heads in his matchup against number one overall pick John Wall. Many of the fans who attended that Summer League game had come to see John Wall. However, after the two point guards battled it out, at the end of the game, it appeared as though Lin came out as the “fan favorite” when the crowd turned to cheer for him instead of Wall. Four NBA teams turned their interests toward Lin, as the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, an unnamed Eastern Conference team and the Golden State Warriors vied for his talents. On July 21, 2010, Jeremy Lin decided to join the team that he grew up watching, the team of his hometown, the Golden State Warriors. He finally got his chance to perform on the highest level of competition in basketball. Through all the trials and tribulations from high school in Palo Alto, to college in Harvard University and now, to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, Jeremy is living a dream. He’s persevered through critics and through stereotypes to get here. At last, standing at 6’3 and 200 lbs. , Jeremy played his first official NBA game on October 29 and readied to make history. Naturally, he has to start at the bottom again and climb the ladder to the top, as he’s done so many times in the past. Perhaps this time, he’ll be able to help break stereotypes for good.
AO: How do you think he’ll do in the NBA? Casey: “With Jeremy’s work ethic I think that he we definitely see success in the NBA. He just has to keep pushing himself every day.” AO: What kind of teammate was he? Casey: “J was a great teammate. He led by example first. He was always the hardest worker in practice and that translated to the game.” AO: Last year’s game vs. UConn, Lin scored 30 on them. What memories did you have of that game? What was going on in the huddle? Casey: “I remember thinking that J was playing like a player does when he gets hot in a video game. It was unbelievable. He put us on his back and tried to sprint through the finish line.” AO:What is Jeremy like off the court? Casey: “Jeremy is extremely humble and hard-working off the court. He’s very easy going.” After graduating from Harvard University with an economics degree, Lin entered the 2010 NBA Draft to hopefully “help break the stereotype.” Unfortunately, his journey would hit yet another speed bump, as he went undrafted. This didn’t stop him; however, as he
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
JC, Je t’aime
A Serenade to the Big Blue By Rickey Lu, esq.
To: The bus drivers who carry the burden of our lives everyday with such youthful nonchalance. The timid Asian girl that musters up all her courage in order to yell out the only two words she will say all day, “Next stop!” The people that manage to convey the unique smell of urinal cakes. (I know what you’re thinking, and no I am not talking about fresh urinal cakes, I am talking about ones that have sat there for weeks on end due to lazy custodial staff; being slowly whittled down by the unrelenting onslaught of men after water polo training.) The folks down at “Pimp my Ride” that did such a good job masking the fact that the bus we take to school every day is the same form of transport we took to the Bronx Zoo in grade two, thus keeping our dignity intact. The urbanite that manages to make getting off the bus a scene from “Menace II Society”, yo, next stop, son. The guy that stands right in front of the most attractive girl on the bus, with his fertile loins prominently thrusting about near the poor girls face. (You know who he is. If you don’t, you probably are that guy; in which case, Godspeed, brother.) That one old fella that got onto the bus with his student I.D. from the 1970’s, complete with bitchin’ sideburns. The person that plays terrible music at decibel levels that would make the average human being deaf AND blind on his slick new iPod Nano with built in clip for workouts, pedometer, voiceover, radio, shake to shuffle, touch screen, 24 hour battery life, and 8GB storage space, ALL FOR ONLY $149!! A new way to nano® That guy that holds onto two overhead railings at the same time, obviously flexing, thus making it look like you are the badass at the gym. (You’re not.) No ones looking, jerk. Well, except me, but I don’t think I’m the demographic you’re trying to impress. Or maybe you are. I don’t judge; this is the 21st century, we have a black president. The couple still in their honeymoon phase, lying in each others arms in a vehicle which The National Enquirer lists as the top five most romantic forms of transportation in the Northeastern United States. Thank you. This public ivy simply would not be the same without your efforts.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
By Eve Zhang
Line of Disconnection BY AIMEE MUN
From the distance the faces all look the same â€“ blurred and conjoined like dollops of color strategically placed yet scattered just enough to diffuse into each other â€“ as if from the impressionist himself. And I look with disdain after catching a glimpse of the unconscious thread that seems to pull them together, the line that binds each of their hands, one into the other, overpassing mine. I am at the shoreline, yet miles apart from the sea.
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
IT PULLS ME OUT OF SHAPE BY AIMEE MUN
It pulls me out of shape – and I drip, drip. . . sinking and twisting and turning as sanity breaks away to bask in the sun – I’ll be dreaming in yellow tonight. Is this the light? The transient silhouette disfigures my sight. I conceive a concoction of phantasms while scouring the lands for platonic delight, pillaging for earthly stars named paradise – Has this moment been longer than I remember? I am fixated by the colors. They have translated themselves into metaphors – The canary gold of breaching freedom bleeds the pink that soaks the heart, burning blue when choked and scissored – I can see my impending future. Sink. The vicissitudes amidst my heart and mind soothe into a breathing pulse humming a tune in sync with the wax-wane motions of the moon. I am the goddess of rapture tonight. Rampant and ecstasy. Will we meet again? I accept your coming demise, evident as the daylight come night. But ‘til we deviate once more from the path of narrow Let’s not settle for anything less.
By Yinzi Liang
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
FOR ME LIFE IS continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but ,
TO MOVE AHEAD
TO GO UP
TO ACHIEVE, TO CONQUER . - Arnold Schwarzenegger 42
Man Ho Temple - Yinzi Liang Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
From the Indonesian Pavilion, Expo 2010 - Yinzi Liang
30,000 ft. in the air - Jeff Hwang
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
→ (1) I usually start out with a basic concept. It’s always a good idea to start with basic geometric shapes and then work forward to put in the extra details so you know how much room you need for the lineart later on. The perspective is pretty important in this one, but it’s selfexplanatory and shouldn’t take too much time for outlines to be sketched out. Time to complete: 5 minutes
(2) Putting the previous layer on a low opacity and improving the sketch can really help in the later stages of drawing, so I would highly recommend drawing out a rough sketch first before moving onto the lineart. After accentuating the lines a bit more and adding some details, you can start to get a better idea of what this picture is. I went with two soldiers against some aliens because that’s how I am. Those alien-giraffe-things seem to be carrying some types of rifles. I really have no idea how I got their designs to be like that, I just started drawing random shapes and got what I got. I skimped out on the background and you’ll see why later. Also, there is a dead body on the floor in the background, but who cares about that so far? Time to complete: 15 - 20 minutes
(5) Put a lineart over the rough sketch and erased the rough afterward. The lineart is a lot more cleaner and there are no more “dirty” lines. Some of the perspective mistakes from the rough sketch were fixed in the lineart, like the position of the wall and the girl’s left leg. That leg took forever. It might not look like a big deal. BUT IT IS A BIG DEAL. I really changed the designs of the aliens, most prominently their legs to match up with the image of the dead body. The tentacles on the aliens and dead body were a pain in the ass to draw. Oh, and also the pipes. The pipes alone must’ve taken an hour or so to draw. Time to complete: 2 - 2.5 hours
(6) Added basic shading. Nothing really special here. Time to complete: 30 minutes
→ (3) This step is for smoothing out the rough sketch and erasing some unnecessary lines to prevent confusion while drawing the lineart. Added some more detail to the background, and instead of being a bunch of boxes and pipes, it is now a BOILER. And a bunch of pipes. Also, I fixed the girl’s face because I was not satisfied with her previous look at all. I didn’t fix the guy a lot because he’s only in the backdrop so I said, “**** it.” There are tentacles in the dead body now, too. I got rid of the third alien near the doorway because who needs three when you already have two?
(4) I don’t really like it when there are unnecessary accessories on my characters’ faces, so I got rid of the girl’s mask. She looks a lot better in my opinion, but, eh. Kind of minor, but this step is to add to some of the lineart a tad further and to sharpen the edges. Sharpening the edges is pretty important when it comes to coloring later, as blurry and feathered lines can leave white pixels where you don’t want them. Time to complete: 30 - 45 minutes
Time to complete: 1 - 1.5 hours
→ (7) Shadows EVERYWHERE. Since the light source is at the doorway, I made sure that the shadows around it aren’t as intense as the ones on the soldiers or pipes. Making sure the drop shadows are visible. It’s pretty important since it gives your characters some extra emphasis on their shading.
(8) Added highlights and fiddled around with the shadows. Finished. Time to complete: 1 - 1.5 hours
Time to complete: 2 - 2.5 hours
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2
ASIAN OUTLOOK needs
artists, writers, journalists, photographers, graphic designers, articles, opinions, interviews, stories, photographs, recipes, poems, drawings, lyrics,
a computer, projector, disco ball, glow sticks, cultural revolution (maybe), Chinese New Year holiday, more rice, moâ€™ money (moâ€™ problems), power, respect, etc.
maybe you can help?
Thursday, 7:30pm, UUW329