ASIAN OUTLOOK volume XXV, issue 3
ING Y L L U B NST I A G A T H
Volume XXV, Issue 3
contents OUTLOOK 2
Cover 4 | My Take on the Chicago Bullying Incident | By Johnny Thach 6 | The Investigation of Danny Chen’s Death Continues | By Ritesh Kadam 8 | Dream Act Deferred | By Michael Chung 10 | My Life as an Outsider| By Mohammed Saad Malik
Features 12 | Commemorating Hirabayashi | By Johnny Thach 16 | Pete SPENDITNOT’S $144K Superbowl Flop | By Jonah Lang 18 | My Paki Summer to My Binghamton Winter| By Yellow Twinkie 20| Love is in the Air | By Roxy Dinh 22 | Diagnosis: Clinical Linsanity | By Jeff Hwang 30 | Brandon Lee Interview | By Kayla Natrella 32 | Year of the Dragon | By Mei Nga Wang
conscience 36 | Ivan Yeung 37 | Victoria Chow 38 | Michael Chung 39 | Lance Kong
letter from the editor... Dear Readers,
ASIAN OUTLOOK EXECUTIVE BOARD FALL 2011 editors-in-chief
This issue of Asian Outlook examines the relationship between bullying and youth mental health. The topic of bullying often surfaces in popular media outlets, it is an experience which most of us have encountered at one point or another. As victims, culprits, or witnesses, most of us are guilty of remaining complicit within a system that perpetuates bullying among our youth generations. In the past decade, bullying in the education system has disproportionately affected students of color. According to a recent study, Asian American adolescents are more frequently bullied than any other racial group, and may experience higher levels of emotional distress than their youth counterparts. Although bullying remains as a pervasive issue within our community, the topics of race related bullying still remains ignored by school our systems, parents, and media outlets. This lack of attention coupled with the lack of proper tools and resources for students who undergo bullying results in the heightened number of Asian American students who suffer from mental distress. The recent data collected by the U.S. Justice Department and Education Department reveal that close to 54% of Asian American teenagers have been bullied in the classroom setting. These statistics for Asian American teenagers stand above the statistics collected for youth in other racial groups, including 31% percent of whites, 38% of African Americans, and 34% of Hispanics. These statistics are worse when it comes to cyber-bullying, where over 60% of Asian American youth have reported being bullied online every month. While students are bullied for varieties of reasons, we cannot forget the students who are being bullied because of their race. The increase in violence and abuse towards Asian American students is largely attributed to the “model minority” stereotype, which suggests that Asian American students are more well-behaved than other racial minority students as a result of hard work, cultural values, and strong discipline. This stereotype has adverse effects on the lives of many Asian American students, especially since the“model minority” image dismisses the actual experiences of racism led violence faced by many Asian American students in our education system today. Although there has been an increased effort to raise awareness and coverage of school bullying in the media, the recent incident in Bridgeport, Chicago, involving a Chinese American teenager beaten by several other Asian American teenagers is indicative of how complex the issue of teen violence is. As policymakers seek to address bullying and mental health issues among the youth generations, the first and foremost task is to not to use stereotypes to mask the diverse needs of various communities. In highlighting our theme “The Fight Against Bullying,” many of our contributors have decided to bravely speak up about the issue of youth bullying within the Asian American community. We would like to thank all of our contributors, staff members, and readers for the continuous support.
Diane Wong and Jonathan Yee
Editors-in-Chief, Fall 2011
conscience editors copy editors
secretary business manager publicity manager social chairs activism chair
Diane Wong Jonathan Yee Lillian Lai Simon Wong Ritesh Kadam Kayla Natrella Ricky Sosulski Johnny Thach Shenen Lee Aimee Mun Karen Tong Meng Zhu Roxy Dinh Kitrena Young Christopher Ng Ivan Yeung Michael Wong
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, and/or political orientation. All matter contained within these b`eautiful 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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Vol. XXV, Issue 3
My Take on the Chicago Bullying Incident By Johnny Thach
“Please no more,” he said with a bloodied face and a grim look of helplessness. “Don’t hit me anymore, please.” The youths did not stop. With seven in number, they hit his face repeatedly, punching him until his face appeared swollen and bruised up. They threw him into the snow, and resumed to kick him while he was down. With the opportunity, they taunted him using derogatory terms and racial slurs, and intimidated him shouting, “I’m going to kill you.”
ullying is not uncommon, especially in the Asian American community. It is not a phenomenon; it is a common behavior exercised by youths to physically, verbally, and psychologically attack others, usually other youths, in the form of abusive treatment, violence, and harassment. According to a study conducted last year, research found that Asian Americans have the highest victimization rates from bullying in the United States. Moreover, about 60 percent of Asian American youths reported instances of bullying each month in their classrooms and in school. Bullying is a serious problem. No one wants to be bullied, but bullies exist. One definition of bullying is “the intimidation of weaker person; the process of intimidating or mistreating somebody weaker or in a more vulnerable situation.” In contrast, I argue that the bully is actually the weaker person, masking his weaknesses and insecurities through violence, intimidation, and mistreatment of another person. In many cases, bullies are youths that do not know how to deal with situations, especially at home, and take out their frustrations at school. Bullies adopt the impression that they can harass and degrade others. As bullying starts from an early age, adolescent development is integral. Many bullies
come from difficult backgrounds; they are imperfect. They come from families ridden with problems: divorce, socioeconomic issues, and a lack of parental support and guidance. Subsequently, many do not have role model(s), someone that could tell them otherwise. Poor parent relationships translate into dysfunctional parent-child relationships and fights at home, which then results in a learned behavior, structural instability, or neglect. Specifically, neglect is a significant factor. Many youths are bullies because they crave attention and want to make themselves feel relevant. At any rate, we must understand that bullying is an expression of frustration and misguidance. The problem with bullying is that it is a behavior that usually goes under the radar and unnoticed by teachers and school officials alike. In most instances, bullying is not treated as a serious problem (although that has changed within the past few years with media coverage) and referred to as children “teasing” each other. However, one may recall that in 2009, a large group of students attacked more than 26 Asian students of South Philadelphia High School through the school day as a racially motivated incident. Even before the incident, teachers and school officials knew about the increasingly hostile environment for the Asian students, but did not take actions to address the issues
and put a stop to the bullying; instead, they let the issue continue unattended. Consequently, among the 26, half the students attacked ended up in the hospital for treatment for their wounds. Only after the incident had taken place, more than 60 students surfaced with stories about the bullying, holding up signs in protest saying, “Grown-ups let us down” and “Stop school violence.” Backtrack to the late 1970s and 1980s, with the influx of Indochinese refugees to the United States. Many of the youths encountered a lot of difficulties adjusting to American culture; they were bullied in school. The feeling of isolation and helplessness resulted in many Indochinese youths seeking protection and support, in many instances, from gangs. Yet, no one really paid much attention to them; filled with hate and anger at the world, many resorted to criminality and delinquency. Miscommunication is common. Many Asian immigrant youths come to the United States with a different culture and language, which quickly differentiates them from the other students, creating divides and consequently displacement. Those [students] that cannot conform to American, mainstream culture often times are bullied, because of their differences. Whether or not you can speak English fluently or dress and act a certain way are all determinants of bullying. To be different is difficult in society. When communication does not exist, misunderstandings occur and lead to bullying incidents. Stereotypes have also pinned Asians as passive, weak, not athletic, nerdy, and studious. The stigmatism against students that study, the “model students,” causes rifts between them and students that do poorly at school. Historically, there also exists a stigmatism against immigrants. Passiveness can mean that they are unwilling to fight back, which makes them prone to bullying since bullies believe that passiveness is a weakness and an opportunity for easy bullying. There is also not enough encouragement to speak out and snitch, which is a significant problem in society. Many victims of bullying do not speak up or retaliate against bullies, because of the fear of retribution. In other words, they think that the school cannot help them and speaking out would only make things worst. Bullying causes immediate harm and distress to victims and long-term mental health consequences. For bullied youths, self-harm is the most pervasive. Suicide, intense depression, severe anxiety and stress, helplessness, confusion, and decrease in self-esteem and confidence are all elements included in self-harm. Seung-Hui Cho, the shooter of the Virginia Tech massacre, had also been a bullied youth. Cho was severely picked on for his differences: being a KoreanAmerican, his height, and his speech difficulties
stereotypes have also pinned Asians: •passive •weak •not
athletic •nerdy •studious throughout middle and high school. Students took advantage of him because of his shyness and awkward personality, telling him, “Go back to China.” Isolated and alienated from society, his mental health deteriorated and he never received proper medical help to rehabilitate him from the trauma he faced when bullied. Overwhelmed with a history of repression, he planned to enact hateful revenge on society for how youths mistreated him in the past, which led him to the shootings. Bullying is a challenging problem to solve, but I believe that the problem lies in society. American culture promotes independency, and that means that youths should mature and grow by themselves from the difficulties that they face. In contrast, there needs to be more love and care in the world. More attention needs to be paid in respect to bullying and towards intervention so that bullying does not escalate. Most importantly, there has to be more understanding in the world, respect for the differences of others, especially if the differences derive from a cultural background or language. No matter if a person is different, you should not isolate him/her; acceptance and treating others how you would want to be treated are key, and this comes with tolerance. Many bullies are premature in their development and many times are not fully able to understand the consequences of their actions. Speak up against bullying; understand to promote tolerance and acceptance. Love others despite their differences. Sources: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-01-22-asianbullying-philadelphia_N.htm http://disgrasian.com/2010/12/disgrasian-of-the-weak-southphiladelphia-high-school-and-the-school-district-of-philadelphia/
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
The Investigation of
Danny Chenâ€™s DEATH Continues
By Ritesh Kadam
Rather than dying in combat against enemy forces, Chen’s own unit drove him to commit suicide.
ast year, on
October 3, 19-year-old Pvt. Danny Chen was found dead in Afghanistan. Rather than dying in combat against enemy forces, Chen’s own unit drove him to commit suicide. He was found dead in a guard tower with a gunshot wound and his rifle beside him. Witnesses reported that the Manhattan-born Chinese-American suffered tremendous physical and mental abuse in the hours leading up to his death. The investigation which followed was just as bizarre and unsettling as the incident itself. In his two months in Afghanistan, Chen underwent punishments that were severe enough to pass as hazing and harassment. Worse, much of the abuse was racially motivated. A great deal of the controversy surrounding Chen’s death centered on the United States’ military’s lack of cooperation with Chen’s family. Initially, only snippets of Chen’s journal were made available to his family. These excerpts did little to hint at Chen’s frustration over his various punishments and reprimands. Likewise, the military were noncommittal in linking his suicide with foul play when evidence of his abuse was well-known. The military hearings themselves take place in an air field in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan instead of the United States. This has limited the Chen family’s physical presence during these hearings. Chen’s family and their attorneys have also accused the military of prolonging the case and not giving it the attention it deserves. Nonetheless, the ongoing investigation reveals the circumstances of Chen’s death. Chen suffered weeks of racially charged slurs and abuse. He was the only Chinese-American soldier in his entire platoon. During the day of his death, Chen was punished for lacking the necessary supplies for guard duty by being forced to crawl 100 yards across gravel. He underwent this punishment while wearing a full set of equipment and being stoned by other soldiers. Chen‘s other punishments involving debilitating exercises while others hurled racial slurs at him. Many members of the battalion had low tolerance for new arrivals that did not quickly acclimate to military procedures. While the military is within its rights to use punishment to instill discipline, several of Chen’s fellow soldiers agree that Chen’s punishment was not only excessive, but also racially motivated. The investigation has linked eight soldiers with Chen’s death. These soldiers face charges ranging from dereliction of duty and false statement charges to severe indictments of negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter. Five of these soldiers were charged with assault, battery, reckless endangerment, and negligent homicide. Most notably, the severity of the charges, especially involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide, are unprecedented for a military hazing case. These soldiers could face jail time and dishonorable discharges by the military if they are found guilty.
Danny’s heartbroken mom crying over her son.
In particular, attention has fallen on Specialist Ryan Offutt. Offutt was the first of the eight to be tried upon for an Article 32 hearing, or the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing. The investigation highlighted Offutt’s key role in Chen’s weeks of mistreatment. No stranger to abuse, Offutt has a record of violence which includes several assault charges. In 2001, he was convicted of aggravated assault and attempted rape against his ex-girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to the assault charges and served a reduced sentence in prison. Criticism has fallen on the military for allowing him to enter a position of power. A blow to the prosecution’s case came when the court dropped the involuntary manslaughter charge against Offutt. The military panel presiding over the case recommended against charging him with the serious charge of involuntary manslaughter. Offutt now faces up to three years with a negligent homicide charge rather than involuntary manslaughter’s ten year limit. The Chen family was dismayed that the military panel did not support the involuntary manslaughter charge against the alleged ringleader behind Chen’s death. In a recent development, military investigators recommended that two more of the eight charged soldiers, Lt. Daniel Schwartz and Sgt. Travis F. Carden, undergo court martial. These two soldiers were singled out for their continued bullying of Chen and their seniority in the platoon. As the investigation continues, the convicted soldiers may face additional charges as the circumstances surrounding Chen’s death come to light. Rather than bring a speedy conclusion to the incident, the prolonged investigation of Danny Chen’s death has become more than finding the truth behind a soldier’s death. It is now a microcosm of the issues surrounding Asian-Americans and bullying in the military, such as the similar case of Lance Cpl. Harry Lew. The remaining soldiers are currently in pre-trial and may face court martial in the months to come. Whatever is decided in this military trial, the consequences of Danny Chen’s death will be felt for years to come.
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
A Dream Deferred By Michael Chung
The Great Doctor’s voice resonated in the room, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I sat in front of the television, I realized how far we have come since the Great Doctor preached of his dream. The standards of our time have improved significantly, especially in New York and other major cities. It is quite common if not every day practice for children of different skin to attend the same school and hang out with one another. For this reason, it was difficult to grasp just how much tension exists within the same race, let alone the same ethnicity. As the seemingly mundane Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was coming to an end, an appalling video was brought to my attention. The highly disturbing nature of the video and the story’s background gave testament that perhaps a more disturbing trend than racism is plaguing our generation. When I first clicked on the link to the video, I thought to myself that this might be another example of classic immature high school horseplay. However, the three minutes and thirty-nine second video has shed light to a far more grave issue. Throughout the length of the video, a Chinese victim in red sweatpants is continuously beat while seven assailants taunted him with racial slurs in an alleyway. The assailants take great measure to strike the victim in the head to maximize the inflicted pain. It becomes clear that the victim is unable to speak English very well as he shouts in Chinese, “Please don’t hit me anymore please!” As the assailants continued to strike him, the victim was somehow able to make an escape. After the ordeal, the assailants proudly posted their accomplishments on YouTube. The video soon went viral, but the storm of negative comments forced the original uploader to remove the video. As if fate wanted viewers to notice this transgression, the video was reposted by other users multiple times as the removal of one video led another user to re-upload the video. By a simple first glance, we would assume that the assailants were attacking with a racist motive. On close observation however, it becomes clear that the assailants themselves, except for two, are Asian. s
More specifically, the assailants are American-born Chinese. So what would cause people of the same ethnicity to turn so viciously against one another? The answer is simply retaliation. The victim in the video took part in an assault on two teens the past October. In order to take revenge, the seven teens returned the favor. Six of the assailants were minors and sent to a juvenile detention center. The seventh, Raymond Palomino, was charged as an adult. Is this a story of defending honor and demonstrating bravery? Or is it a case of ignorant teens committing a stupid act and even more foolishly announcing their crime to the world? The latter is obviously the case. Today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is facing a new threat. The threat is rooted in hate not of another race, but one’s own race. Be honest with yourselves and ask, how many conflicts do you see that arise between an Asian group and another race group and how many times you see conflicts between two Asian groups? And among those conflicts, how much more likely is it for Asian to retaliate against another group? Just as the brutal video showed, Asians feel more compelled to fight one another instead of uniting together. Perhaps the cultural gap may be at blame. But I blame us for not empowering ourselves to be better, not empowering ourselves to unite and fight the true problems of our day. If we cannot settle our very subtle differences and demonstrate unity between ourselves, we too will be lost forever in the endless stereotypes and misrepresentation conjured by the mainstream media. It seems that the Great Doctor’s dreams are indeed not progressing in the modern era. In fact, they are slowly withering and dying. Sources http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/crime/raymond-palomino-teenscharged-brutal-bridgeportbeating-youtube-video-20120118 http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/16/video-of-beating-posted-onyoutube-prompts-police-investigation/
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
MY LIFE AS AN
Harsh insults, being pushed around, unfair treatment, and the feeling of constantly being scared - these are just some of the painful experiences that I had gone through and even still do sometimes today. People often ask me why these bad things happened to me specifically and I just say “Well, the reason is just my skin color and my nationality.” These events can be either humorous or tragic. It is up to oneself to find the underlying purpose of their situation. Morality and religion are two aspects I always refer back to when I have to deal with any difficulty in life. Since I was a little boy, my religious and moral beliefs sometimes led to disadvantages for me in my social community. For instance, it can be being treated unjustly in certain situations or receiving harsh comments from people you’ve never met in your life. Having grown up as Pakistani-Muslim boy in New York, I have struggled in ways that shaped who I am today. It has given me the strength to live my life with confidence and selfassurance. One of the most tragic and heart breaking moments in America can easily be identified as the September 11 attacks. Approximately three thousand people died that day alone. The attack was from Al-Qaeda, an extremist Islamic group. After this event, the way people looked upon those with an Islamic background changed forever in America history. My peers in school were well aware of my Pakistani background. Sadly, several of them ridiculed me for being a Pakistani-Muslim. Going into junior high and even high school, there have been moments where people said “Go away terrorist, no one wants you here. Why don’t you just go back to your own country and harm people there?” This often led me to think to myself, “Why don’t I go back? Am I really a bad person?” It would only take me a matter of seconds to realize that I am not a bad person and that I shouldn’t go back anywhere. Regardless of the pain and agony that I endured, there was one thing I had to realize at all times; Submitting to what everyone wants me to do would never fix any of my problems. Even as a young boy myself, I did not necessarily take racist comments into deep analytical thought. However, people with Islamophobia gave me pain that was natural for any human to feel. Being at the top of my class, I started to question why my academic successes did not keep the children from insulting me. I never brought pain to others, and worked diligently in school. I was just like any other elementary-school boy. I played basketball, watched cartoons, and climbed trees just like everyone else. I was too young to realize that apparently the color of my skin or my religious beliefs could segregate me
By: Mohammed Saad Malik
from a group of children who used these moral factors as an excuse to make me an outcast. For many days when I took the bus home after school, the children on the bus would bother me. They would single me out and maybe even single out an Ahmed or an Iqbal. It was the last week of school and everyone was excited for summer. Being in the 5th grade, I was ecstatic to go back home and showed my mother what I accomplished at school that day. On the bus ride home, I remember sitting all the way in the back since I tried to ‘fit-in’ with the cool kids. As soon as I saw my blue house from the window, I got up with my school work in one hand and my uneaten sandwich in the other. The bus driver stepped outside to talk with a parent. This made me feel a bit uncomfortable and I went to leave. Walking about halfway through the bus, I started to think in my head “I made it home safe… again.” All of a sudden, one of the kids pulled my backpack backwards, pushed me to fall and dropped everything in my possession. Before even having the chance to get back up, another kid stomped on my sandwich, which immediately led to tears coming out of my eyes. They then started yelling insults to which I did not even know the meaning of. One kid realized that the bus driver was coming back, so they helped me up to my feet and whispered in my ear “You better not tell anyone or else tomorrow will be worse.” I simply nodded my head, wiped my tears, and went home pretending as if nothing ever happened. If I was just like everyone else, why was I treated so differently? I was only 10 years old. No child deserves to face bullying or racism when these issues take a huge toll on the child’s life. If I was not raised with such a strong character, then I may have never been able to cope with the ridicule I faced in my youth. I’ll admit, it was not easy to be verbally bullied and discriminated against as a young boy. It hurt me greatly to see that even the children in our world could be cruel to another. It’s funny to see how different one’s life can be in different circumstances. For example, if I were with a bunch of Muslim kids during my childhood, other peers would see how good of a person I truly am. When I say ’other peers’ I mean those that make hurtful comments or treat me differently solely based on my religion or skin color. One day, my family and I were on a road trip to visit my cousins in Oklahoma. About three-fourths of the way, we decided to stop at a store to pick up some snacks. “Here you go that’s twenty” my dad said, “That should be enough for any drink and snack you want.” Taking the money, I slowly walked into the store and took my time picking what I wanted. There were so
many options and being just a kid, it took forever for my mind to settle on something. Finally, when I was on the line, I could see the workers behind the cashier whispering to each other. I knew that they were talking about me since they kept eyeing at me. They thought they were careful to not expose themselves; this wasn’t the case. When it was my turn, the cashier was giving me a hard time as compared to the people before me. “So what’s your name boy? Is it Aqmed or Siddiq?” I heard laughter and just stood silently waiting for my change of exactly $16. “Here ya go boy!” he said as he handed me my change. As I was about to leave, I heard him say to his coworkers “They should all go back to where they belong. They will be only doing harm in this country.” I cried a little inside but didn’t tell my father what had happened since I didn’t want to hurt his feelings either. I got back into the car and forced a smile while giving everyone some drinks. My dad let me keep the change which, when I counted, turned out to be only $8. Times were definitely tough for me as a younger child I did not deserve the bullying. The tough times have strengthened me into the man that I am today. I will always make it a priority of mine to help any kind of youth struggling with the same problems that I once faced myself, because no one deserves to deal with such discrimination. I may have moved past the racist remarks on the bus, but how could I possibly ever forget the pain I felt? The scar from the pain is permanent. Therefore, I believe it is our generation’s responsibility to save future generations from the same racism and violence. Each society is subject to change. Thankfully, issues of racism and bullying have substantially decreased over the years. Enduring those painful moments in my life has helped me to become who I am today. Currently, I am a sophomore at Binghamton University pursuing my dreams of going into the medical field. The past events I once suffered from up until now helped me to perform more successfully in school. I know I have one goal to achieve regardless of my understanding that my religion or my race may anger some. One must brush these people off and push forward on. My name is Mohammed Malik and I am proud to be a PakistaniAmerican.
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Hirabayashi By Johnny Thach
ast month marked the 70th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066. This watershed moment led to the forced internment of about 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry which stripped and denied them of their fundamental constitutional rights and liberties. At the forefront of the resistance, Gordon Hirabayashi was the first to challenge the constitutionality of the internment. He took his case all the way to the Supreme Court. However, the Court unanimously ruled against him. Hirabayashi v. United States became a landmark case that set a precedent for Fred Korematsu and Minoru Yasui to also argue their cases in front of the Supreme Court. Last month, January 2nd, Hirabayashi passed away at 92-years-old. To remember the injustices that transpired during the Japanese American internment, we must also commemorate Hirabayashi’s life and his role as an influential civil rights icon. On December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes roared down and bombarded Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Hours later, the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies and declared war on Japan. After the Japanese attack, Japanese Americans, specifically those on the mainland, faced increased antagonism from whites and other Americans that held them under suspicion. Subsequently, on January 6, 1942, Los Angeles Congressman Leland Ford sent a telegram to Secretary of State Cordell Hull. This telegram elaborated that it would not be “too strict” to consider the removal of all Japanese from the
West Coast because the Japanese are ’treacherous’ and should not be trusted. A little more than a week later, the California Joint Immigration Committee and the West Coast congressional delegation reaffirmed the imminent need to remove all Japanese from specific zones of California. Throughout January, American propaganda continuously attacked Japanese Americans for engaging in espionage and sedition against the United States; in one statement by Navy Secretary Frank Knox, he accused them of sabotage by cutting swaths in the fields to guide bombers, parked cars in the middle of roads to create traffic, and gave signals to enemy planes. As a result, warnings advised that the Pacific coast may be turned into a combat zone in danger of another Japanese attack. These events created the hysteria that convinced President Roosevelt to sign Executive Order 9066.This enabled the United States Secretary of War to detain and exclude based on military necessity without a trial or due process. Amidst the forced relocation, Hirabayashi, 24-years-old at the time and a Japanese American college student from Seattle, Washington, violated a curfew order for people of Japanese ancestry and did not report for relocation. He was sentenced to 90 days in prison. “I consider it my duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives,” Hirabayashi wrote. “Therefore, I must refuse this order of evacuation.” With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), he appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court and argued that the curfew order was unconstitutional The order
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
“I consider it my duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives,” Hirabayashi wrote. “Therefore, I must refuse this order of evacuation.” violated the Fifth Amendment, which allots rights for due process and protection against double jeopardy. The Court found the order to be constitutional as a result of military necessity, a ’protective measure‘, and continued to allow the government to discriminate and detain for an indefinite amount of time. After the Court’s decision, Hirabayashi was sent to his designated internment camp. These internment camps were anything but a vacation; they were a prison. Students and families had to leave behind their friends, universities, businesses, and homes. They lived behind barred fences in small encampments with low quality of life. Some families were separated and forced to live apart for years. The guards and administrators running the camps mistreated and harassed these Japanese Americans. Deprived of their freedom and liberty, restricted and separated from the rest of the world, treated as aliens, these people faced unbearable emotional and mental stress. Poor health and living conditions also affected many Japanese Americans; some never received proper medical treatment and died from their illnesses. After their internment, many Japanese Americans returned home to find their businesses ruined and homes ransacked. Following the Japanese American internment, the community felt confused and dismayed. Through community activism, the Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) and other younger generations led social and political activism and empowerment in the community. Japanese Americans started to re-examine the events that occurred with the internment through books and in a redress movement. By 1988, the redress movement reached its peak. The community, inspired by the stories of Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu, pressured the United States to re-examine the Japanese American internment and recognize that there a grave injustice had transpired. 40 years after the Japanese American internment, convinced by a now united Japanese American community, Hirabayashi, as well as Korematsu, petitioned for a writ of coram nobis. This legal recognition would state that the decision in Hirabayashi v. United States was wrong. “I also want the cloud removed from over the heads of 120,000 others,” Hirabayashi said in an interview with the New York Times. “My citizenship didn’t protect me one bit; our Constitution was reduced to a scrap of paper.” At the same time, Peter Irons, a political science professor in the University of California, San Diego, surfaced with
evidence that the government acknowledged that there had not been concrete evidence to hold Japanese Americans accountable for espionage or treachery. Furthermore, it would have been unnecessary to relocate them from their homes. The Japanese Americans were not threats to national security and did not commit any acts of disloyalty against the United States. With this information, Hirabayashi v. United States reopened and argued in front of a court. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned his conviction. Many Japanese Americans felt that they had achieved the impossible dream. The redress movement ended when President Ronald Reagan signed and passed into law H.R. 442 and then the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which acknowledged the wrongdoings that occurred during the Japanese American internment. Moreover, the Act provided restitution fees to the Japanese American survivors followed by a formal apology. What had started as one person’s plight for civil rights turned into a national campaign to correct the past wrongs in society. Hirabayashi stood for extraordinary courage to stand up for what he believed was wrong. Yet, in today’s society, in the wake of September 11,2001 and the hysteria that followed, people’s rights are still being infringed on. These individuals are South Asian, Arabs, Muslims, and Middle Eastern who have encountered indefinite detention and numerous human rights violations within the past decade. This is not without mention of immigrants and ’reform’ policies that targeted them. As we reflect on the events that happened during World War II and the Japanese American internment, we should also remember to tread carefully and assure that the same injustices are not committed again. But the reality is that many people, including American citizens, are still silenced and face indefinite detention without due process when under suspicion. In these times, there is an ever-important need to reflect on the life of Hirabayashi and others that fought with principles and values about fundamental human rights. Source http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1942/1942_870/ http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/01/04/144684260/gordonhirabayashi-has-died-he-refused-to-go-to-wwii-internment-camp http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/02/remembering_japanese_ americans_internment_70_years_after_executive_order_9066.html http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/us/gordon-hirabayashi-wwiiinternment-opponent-dies-at-93.html
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Pete SPENDITNOT’S $144K Superbowl Flop
By Jonah Lang
During the Super Bowl, Former Michigan Representative and current Republican Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra aired a highly controversial commercial condemning the spending policies of his Senate opponent, Democrat Debbie Stabenow, while promising to cut government spending if he is elected. The ad plays on Michigan’s long established fear that Asians are stealing their jobs. In the 1980s, fear of competition from the Japanese automotive competitors caused some Michiganites to smash foreign cars with sledgehammers and beat Chinese-American Vincent Chin to death.
ASIAN OUTLOOK Pete Hoekstra’s website for his ‘debbie spend-it-now
he controversial ad opens on a stereotypically Asian
landscape with stereotypically Asian music (with gong) playing in the background. It features an Asian female on a bicycle thanking Stabenow, whom he nicknames Debbie “SpendItNow”. The actress says, in broken English: “Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie SpendItNow. Debbie spends so much American money. You borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak, ours get very good. We take your jobs! Thank you, Debbie SpendItNow.” The ad pointed viewers towards the website DebbieSpendItNow.com, which was designed with a major Chinese theme. In addition to the racist ad, the site was filled with images of Chinese dragons, lion dancers, paper lanterns, “China gains jobs & prospers,” in a Chinese font, as well as, Chinese characters. At the center of the site is an image of the Asian actress with the caption, “Your economy get very weak, ours get very good.” Below that, Hoesktra cites statistics comparing Chinese and American economic growth. The site has since been taken down and the URL now forwards to Hoekstra’s regular campaign site. The $144,000 commercial was met with almost unanimous criticism, alleging racism and ignorance. Diversity groups, politicians and ministers condemned the ad, while GOP consultant Mike Murphy tweeted that the ad was “really, really dumb”. Political analysts said that the ad would ultimately cost Hoekstra more votes than it would gain him, though many conservative columnists rushed to his defense. Of the 54 percent of Michigan voters now aware of the ad, 45 percents say that they are now less likely to vote for him, while 16 percent say they are more likely, and 37 percent say there is no change. Politico reports that the drop in support for Hoekstra from the commercial is the primary cause of a now 14-point gap in approval ratings between Stabenow and Hoekstra. Despite the overwhelming call for a public apology, Hoekstra did not give one, and instead stated that the ad was a necessary wake-up call in bringing attention to pressing issues. He says that the ad employs humor and denies that it
is offensive to anyone but Debbie Stabenow. The girl in the ad has since been identified as 21-year-old San Francisco Bay resident Lisa Chan. Chan came out to apologize for her role in Hoekstra’s campaign, posting the following on her Facebook page: “It was absolutely a mistake on my part and one that, over time, I hope can be forgiven.” Chan is the founder of a nonprofit that seeks to improve education for underprivileged youth, and vows to “resolve [her] actions”. The problem with the campaign is not just that it’s offensive and racist, though it is both of those things, but rather that it is so amazingly ignorant. The over-the-top compilation of Chinese cultural stereotypes presupposes an audience that is completely ignorant to modern Chinese culture and actually seeks to reinforce caricatures of Asia and provide a completely unrealistic portrayal of modern Chinese culture. Although the ad touts Hoekstra’s “Spend it Not” policies, Hoekstra’s republican opponent Clark Durant calls Hoekstra hypocritical, citing Hoekstra’s past of voting to increase spending and raising the debt ceiling by trillions of dollars. Durant also draws attention to the fact that Hoekstra voted in favor of the Wall Street Bailout. Hoekstra’s past features similar fear-mongering. In 2006, Hoekstra, along with Sen. Rick Santorum, published a report claiming there were hundreds of WMDs in Iraq, a claim that was disputed by many in the intelligence community, including the Pentagon. It should be noted that while Hoekstra’s opponent did not produce a similar ad, Stabenow also has taken a stance against spending in China and has made the issue one of the focuses of her campaign. Stabenow comments, “Is the ad less than tasteful? Yes. Is it ‘xenophobic’ to point out that China is benefiting ginormously from our fiscal recklessness, indebtedness, and outsourcing of jobs? Certainly not.” The ad has since been taken out of circulation and replaced with a sanitized version which accuses Stabenow of the same reckless spending policies, while touting Hoekstra’s conservative stance, but without the racial overtones.
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My Paki Summer to My Binghamton Winter By Yellow Twinkie
have a Political Science discussion this semester in the Fine Arts building. Somehow when I was looking for room 246 something just kept pulling me back toward another direction until I just stopped and stared for 30 seconds. Room 209. Yes, it’s been one year, five months and twenty days ever since. August 31st 2010. It was a hot, beautiful sunny day at Binghamton, where every freshman like me was excited to come to classes for the first time ever and meet new people. I was even more nervous than the way I felt on my 18th birthday- with all the thoughts about what to wear, what to say to people and what to do to make it my best first day of school ever. But, sometimes we don’t have to do much to make our day become special. You know it’s the best day ever when you meet that one person - that one person who will change the rest of your life. I come all the way from Vietnam to face the harsh coldness of Binghamton. Yes, call me crazy, because I actually am. Ever since I grew up and expressed my personality, my family already knew I would become a crazy, stubborn and ambitious child. I fear nothing. I turn weak for nothing… . until I saw that smile. He was just like any other ordinary college guy: blue jeans, white shirt, and a pair of vans. But there was something about him that made me want to get to know him so badly. He was like a hot Paki summer in this Binghamton freezing weather, but it wasn’t because that he was good-looking. In fact, he was never a good-looking guy in my eyes at that point. It was just one of those moments when you know that “somebody” is going to mean something in your life. All my friends called me “weird” for running away from Vietnamese boys and falling in love with this only Pakistani guy, but they never understand that there are more behind my adoration for his beautiful smile. Love is always hard. Interracial love is even harder. I am a crazy, moody and ambitious woman, while he is a calm, gentle and funny man. I grew up in a wealthy family where society respects and envies me, while he grew up in discrimination and unfair social treatment because of 9/11. We came from two completely different worlds, but we just understand each other so well. We told each other our deepest secrets and laughed and cried together. He taught me about Pakistan, while I let him try Pho. We promised each other that one day, I will travel to Pakistan, and he will visit Vietnam. I wish I could tell you a perfect love story, but it was never perfect. If you know me personally, you’re probably laughing right now because this story doesn’t look like what I’ve been through. I admit that we hurt each other at times. I admit that we have the most complicated and unhealthy love life ever. I admit that we were never officially together. But, you never saw the way he looked at me like I did. We don’t need to speak the same language to know that we were in love. Every single time we ran away from each other, we ended up getting back to the same old place where we have always been friends, brothers and lovers. Maybe it’s unfair that I do love him more than he loves me. Maybe it’s unfair that he doesn’t show as much care to me as I’ve done for him. But, love is never fair. The only thing I know about love is that you don’t give up on the person you love. And as long as he still looks at me the same way he has always done, I will fight for him every single second of my life. “Love until it hurts and when it hurts, love some more. Love until you don’t care about the pain, until you stop expecting anything in return, until all that matters is loving that person the best way you can.”
And for you, just because we can’t be together, doesn’t mean I’ll stop loving you.
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Love is in the Air
t’s finally that time of the year – when the world is covered in hearts, chocolate and roses. I went to WalMart to purchase some groceries over the weekend, and felt so happy seeing people’s excitement over Valentine’s Day. There was a college girl who searched meticulously for the right present for her boyfriend. She smiled brightly when she found a chocolate lollipop shaped like a basketball. An older lady walked back and forth in the Valentine’s Day card section, probably trying to find something meaningful for her loved one. Different people have different ways to express their love to others. For the people who work at and with the Center for Civic Engagement (myself included), we spread love, not only to our significant others, family and friends, but also to those in our community who need a helping hand. The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) was founded in March 2010 and is led by Dr. Allison Alden. The goal of the center is to serve as a medium for promoting, expanding and coordinating community engagement opportunities at Binghamton University. The CCE works with communities within and beyond Binghamton University’s campus to provide students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members with exciting and meaningful opportunities. Any student or organization, regardless of background, expertise or interest, is more than welcome to become involved in the CCE’s initiatives. I learned about the CCE during University Fest, the first week of school. I still remember how shy and naive I was as an international student who came straight from Vietnam. There were so many things to do on campus, and as a freshman, I had no idea where to start. The CCE’s mission of helping the community and the friendliness of its staff immediately grabbed my attention. I volunteered and had a lot of fun at the center’s first event, “Day of Caring,” during which I had the opportunity to help people at The Family & Children’s Society. This valuable experience helped me to learn that college is not just about studying hard on the weekdays and going out on the weekends. It’s also about contributing to Binghamton University and the community as a whole by joining student groups, volunteering and getting involved in the community. Each semester, the CCE offers a variety of engaging opportunities for students, faculty and staff to step out of their comfort zones and become more involved in community life. Six months ago, when the flood hit, we all witnessed the devastation it caused locally. Thousands of people were displaced from their homes to the BU Events Center, where the campus community came together to help people in need. Immediately after the flood hit, the CCE began coordinating relief efforts in order to aid the community after the disaster. In addition, the CCE created a new course called “Community in Recovery”, in which students, faculty, staff, community leaders, and local residents discussed issues
By Roxy Dinh related to the flood, including its psychological, economic and environmental effects. Students in the class also completed 30 hours of flood-related community service as part of the course. It was amazing to witness the energy and compassion of BU students, who were willing to work hard to help those in need, but, there is still much more work to be done. This semester, the CCE is continuing its work by providing people with information about how to get involved in the community. During spring break, they hope to coordinate a local effort to help rebuild Binghamton after the flood. In addition to its important flood recovery work, the CCE coordinates service in many other areas, including the “digital divide.” The digital divide is one of the major problems of today’s world. Due to technology’s rapid rate of change, the computer literacy gap between those with and without access to information about modern technology is widening. Amanda Addington, AmeriCorps VISTA and Bridging the Digital Divide Program (BDDP) Coordinator, has been working on alleviating this problem locally. Her project, BDDP, recruits BU students to teach basic computer literacy to immigrants, refugees, and children living in poverty— populations with limited access to modern technology. BU students can also participate in the refurbishment of used computers, which are fixed up and made available to participants of the computer literacy classes. Besides coordinating community service projects, the CCE also tries to raise awareness about pressing social issues through its Community Issues Forums. It partners with REACT to Film, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, to screen award-winning documentaries on college and university campuses. On March 12th, 2012, at 7pm in Old Union Hall, the CCE will be screening The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, directed by Academy Award Nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker. This movie is a stunningly beautiful portrayal of the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower - the cherry blossom. The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom depicts the strength and courage of Japanese tsunami survivors, working to revive their villages and rebuild their homes as the cherry blossom season begins. This event is definitely something to look forward to, especially for those of you who need motivation to push through life’s obstacles. If you’re a Binghamton University student reading this article, you are already luckier than millions of other people who dream of having the chance to attend college, or even study for exams, like we do every day. It’s time to look beyond your close circle of family and friends and spread some love to the local and global communities. As Percy Bysse Shelly once said, “All love is sweet. Given or returned. Common as light is love. And its familiar voice wearies not ever.”
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
C LIN ICAL
LINSANITY By Jeff Hwang
He’s all over the news. His Twitter account exploded overnight with followers. His official page on Facebook has garnered more fans than the New York Mets’ team page. If Jeremy Lin decided to retire at this moment, he would have already left a lasting legacy in his wake. An example to follow. An inspiration to millions.
he New York Knicks are Linning. They are borderline Linvincible. The story is Linspirational. A Linderella story for those who grew up playing the Super Lintendo, or watching the Starship Linterprise soar into the outreaches of space on their television sets, to Linfinity and beyond. This Lincredible journey has Linfected not just the Knicks, but the Linited States of America, with a Lintense case of Linsanity. Orchestrating it all is the Linferno—Jeremy Lin, that is—but what is his Lintent? Pushing all the endless puns out of the way, we must understand one basic trait about Jeremy Lin, whose meteoric rise to stardom has captivated those in the world of sports and beyond. He is a symbol of modesty; not a fist-pumping fanatic or a chest-thumping lunatic. A young man with a wholesome background. Lin is 23 years old. He spent four years at Harvard University not just playing ball, but studying and having lunch with friends much like any other college student did throughout the country. He lived in a dorm. He dated. He played video games. A lot of video games. He went to church. He called home to check with his family. And like many AsianAmericans, he put up with racial insults. Underneath the norm was—and still is—the undying flame to push forward. Lin was 5’3” when he joined his high school basketball team in Palo Alto, California. Judging by photos and rare video clips, he couldn’t have weighed more than 100 back then. No athletic scholarships going into Harvard—which he decided to attend after he failed to get into his first institution of choice, Stanford. Even after racking up awards and honors, he went undrafted at the end of his college days. With a few twists and turns, the now 6’3” and 200-pound Lin traveled through the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league team in 2010 before the Golden State Warriors signed him. However, he was dropped by the Warriors before the end of 2011, having spent the majority of his time either warming the bench or wallowing in the developmental league. By no fault of Lin, though, since the Warriors relegated mere 10 minutes per game to him to serve as a backup point guard. Upon his release, Lin was picked up by the Houston Rockets during the NBA lockdown to serve as a potential backup. He lasted less than two weeks on the team’s roster, again abandoned, this time on Christmas Eve. Three fateful days later, the New York Knicks decided to give Lin a shot, but as a backup again. The plan was
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to leave him on the bench while the supposedly starting guard Baron Davis recovers from an injury. Averaging only a couple of minutes per game, Lin saw little to no play time at the upper level and was even sent to the developmental league yet again. With Feb. 10 set as a deadline, the Knicks planned on dropping him just as the previous two teams did.
rom Jan. 12 to 28, the Knicks had lost nine out of their 10 games, even with their star forwards, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Lin did not play on Jan. 12 in a 83-94 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He played less than five minutes on Jan. 14 in a 92104 loss to the powerful Oklahoma City Thunder team. He did not play in the 93102 loss to the Orlando Magic team on Jan. 16. Did not play in the loss against the Phoenix Suns. Did not play in the loss against the Milwaukee Bucks. Did not play in the loss against the Denver Nuggets. After dropping six games in a row, the Knicks gave Lin a sliver less than six minutes of playing time against the worst team in the NBA: the Charlotte Bobcats, on Jan. 24, a game the Knicks won 111-78. But the losses continued where they were left off. The Knicks fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers the next day,
81-91, a game Lin spent benchwarming. He did not play in the 89-99 loss to the star-stacked Miami Heat team. But on Jan. 28, call it a twist of fate or divine (L)intervention. Davis never returned on time and instead, suffered a setback that day in his recovery process. Lin saw more playing time during that night’s game than he ever did in all his Knicks games combined. He played a bit over 20 minutes— broken up throughout the game—against his temporary team of 13 days, the Houston Rockets, and delivered neither a stunning nor dismal performance. Regardless, the Knicks lost, yet again, this time by the score of 84-97. The playing time was short-lived. Lin spent most of his time warming the seats for his teammates on Jan. 31 against the Detroit Pistons, a game that the Knicks won 113-86. Lin saw about six minutes of playing time, again demonstrating nothing that could have foreshadowed the things to come. On Feb. 2, the Knicks returned to their losing ways, falling to the Chicago Bulls 102-105. What did Lin do? He sat on the bench all four quarters, getting up to stretch and hydrate himself to go with his zero playing time. As for the next day, Lin played for six minutes against the Boston Celtics. The Knicks lost once again, a close on at 89-91; loss number 11
Golden State Warriors (29 games) Minutes per game 9.8 Points per game 2.9 Assists per game 1.4 Shooting percentage .389 New York Knicks (first 9 games) Minutes per game 6.1 Points per game 3.6 Assists per game 1.9 Shooting percentage .421 New York Knicks (Feb. 4 - 20, 10 games) Minutes per game 38.4 Points per game 24.6 Assists per game 9.2 Shooting percentage .497
in their last 13 games. Now that Davis wasn’t returning anytime soon, Lin was about to be released within a week, and Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni was under pressure—suspected of being threatened by the pink slip—this time divine intervention was truly about to make its mark. All the necessary factors were in place to grant Lin the chance to prove himself. The Knicks had already played backto-back games from Feb. 2 to 3. They were due for another one on the fourth against the New Jersey Nets. Perhaps it was fated, but Lin was thrown into the mix off the bench. Perhaps just to give the other players a break. Perhaps because D’Antoni figured, along with all sorts of Knicks staff members, was there really anything left to lose? As a result, Lin tallied over 35 minutes of playing time, a career high. Even when he played longer than his teammates Anthony and Stoudemire, that was only half the story. While the Knicks won for only the third time in 14 attempts, Lin lead the team and outscored every player in the game, racking up 25 points— another career high—by shooting 10 for 19 (53 percent). He also lead the Knicks team with seven assists—also a career high. Promptly, Lin was rewarded with his
first opportunity to start a game after becoming best friends with the bench in his first 39 professional games. The match was set against the surprising Utah Jazz team. Embracing the rare chance, Lin made the most of his playing time: setting another career high by playing nearly 45 minutes. He was virtually on the court for the entire duration of the game, catching a mere three minutes of time on the bench, Jeremy Lin, milliseconds from dunking against the Washington Wizards
completely reversing the trends of his games in months past. Maybe it was because of the unforeseen tragedy, that Stoudemire had to temporarily leave the team to mourn his older brother who was killed in a car accident in Florida earlier that day. Maybe because Anthony was injured during the game, straining his groin, that would put him out of commission for many games to come. Again, the minutes were only half the story. Lin again lead the Knicks team—in fact, lead all the players in the game—in scoring, adding 28 points to the box score, a career high. He also
lead the team—or rather, all players, including those on the Jazz—in assists, with eight, another career high. The Knicks won 99-89. But wait. Against the Washington Wizards in his second career start, Lin did not mark another career high in scoring, contributing 23 in the Knicks 107-93 romp over the Wizards. He did, however, set a career high in assists, with 10. Stars Anthony and Stoudemire were still missing in action, the former for the next six games, the latter for the next two. But wait. The Knicks had already won three games in a row, their longest winning streak in a month. However, Lin was not done yet. In what was perhaps the deal sealer in his rise to prominence, Lin had to face off with the iconic Los Angeles Lakers and their superstar Kobe Bryant. It was fair to say the Knicks’ Madison Square Garden was Bryant’s second home. He feasted there. He devoured the Knicks there. He made his mark after scoring 61 points against the Knicks at MSG on Feb. 2, 2009. He and the Lakers gorged on the Knicks in their last nine meetings. Without Anthony and Stoudemire, it was generally agreed that Lin would do decently well on the stat sheet, but the Knicks would inevitably face defeat. All eyes were on the young point guard. When an opportunity presents itself to one who’s had very few, it’s bound to be taken, reaped, and made the most of. Lin, facing his senior of exactly 10 years, exceeded all expectations and buried the Lakers, scoring a career high 38 points—at a 13 for 23 clip (56.5 percent)—while Bryant managed 34— at 11 for 29 (39 percent). None of the Lakers were able to stop the Knicks’ victory celebration at the final score of 92-87. Again, Lin lead the team in minutes played, a bit under 40, and assists, with seven. On the day he was supposed to be released by the Knicks, he outshined everyone else. Linsanity, the term coined during Lin’s first couple of Hollywood-scripted starts, was about to gain something resembling a cult following. Lin would remain signed with the Knicks until the end of the season, when he’d become a restricted free agent, allowing the Knicks priority to deal with him. After the Knicks came off the improbable win against the Lakers,
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“I’m not giving him no damn suggestions. He almost got 40 points on us, he’s fine!” - Kobe Bryant, in a post-game interview after the Lakers’ loss to the Knicks, was asked if he would like to offer Jeremy Lin any advice for the future scouts across the NBA, coaches, managers, sports talk shows and radio show hosts, and critics alike all realized the potential that Lin displayed. Not only did he do well on his own, averaging 28.5 points and eight assists since coming off the bench against the Nets, but he was molding the Knicks team together in the absence of their two star players. Many may have noticed, but Knicks center Tyson Chandler began smiling much more frequently in games that Lin had started. It may be cliché, but he elevated his game, his performance, in light of the new point guard. The 23-year-old shooting guard Landry Fields improved as well, even becoming one of Lin’s personal friends outside the court. Rookie Iman Shumpert began raising his defensive skills to another level, not seen in the Knicks previous games. Three-pointshooting extraordinaire Steve Novak became a legitimate threat off the bench during Anthony and Stoudemire’s absences. Backup forward and center Jared Jeffries made his presence known, as well. But in each of the games, Lin
turned redirected all the attention away from himself. Instead, he vehemently thanked God and his teammates. “A team win,” he would say in nearly all Knicks victories. As a result, each game on the Knicks’ schedule became a test for Jeremy Lin. Beginning with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 11, it was evident that teams had started defending against Lin as an increased priority. No longer was Lin able to freely penetrate gaps to lay the ball in to score. It was becoming increasingly difficult for him to pass, to squeeze between gaps and charge for his layups, to execute his pick-and-roll style of play that had seen so much success in his first few starts. Perhaps he was tired, since the Timberwolves game was the first game he had played on back-to-back days. Fatigue certainly showed, as he scored 20 points via an inefficient ratio, 8 for 24 attempts (33 percent), sinking a mere four of seven free throws, while also committing six turnovers. However, as difficult as the game turned out to be, the Knicks were able to pull out a victory
when Lin scored the winning free throw with less than five seconds left in the fourth quarter. The basket put the Knicks in the lead 99-98. They would go on to win 100-98. Followers and fans continued to grow in numbers with each game. By then, Lin had already set an all-time record for most points scored in a player’s first four career starts. From the Utah Jazz game until the Timberwolves one, Lin amassed 109 points, easily leading Allen Iverson, who was closest with 101 points. Against the Toronto Raptors on Valentine’s Day, the main topic was about Stoudemire’s return to the Knicks’ lineup. Would the Knicks offense improve with the return of one of their stars or would they collapse under the wrong team chemistry? It turned out to be a moot point as the Knicks found themselves struggling for another win, despite adequate performances by both Lin and Stoudemire. It was Certainly no shortage of amusing signs from the crowd
accredited to the Raptors’ defense. Teams around the league knew what Lin was able to do. But then again, the Hollywood story required that Linsanity continued. The Knicks were trailing the Raptors for virtually the entire game until deep in the fourth quarter. With 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Knicks behind 84-87, Lin managed to sink a timely jump shot and draw a critical foul from Toronto’s Amir Johnson. Given the chance, Lin successfully shot his free throw, tying the game at 87 apiece. With the game clock ticking away, the Knicks defense stepped up, granting Lin possibly his most brilliant moment in his young professional career. With less than 20 seconds remaining in the final quarter, the shot clock was shut off, giving the Knicks full possession of the basketball. Lin had the ball, of course, but he did not shoot. Yet. Five seconds remained. Four seconds. Three. Two. One. Pandemonium exploded throughout the Raptors’ stands. The Knicks lead 90-87 with half a second remaining in the game amidst the roaring cheers from the crowd. It was over. Linsanity erupted again. Miles and miles away, even the Lakers’ starting forward, Metta World Peace—formerly Ron Artest— flailed with his arms above his head after the game and chanted, “Linsanity! Linsanity!” upon watching the game’s highlights. It was understandable. Against the Knicks just days ago, the man managed 11 minutes of playing time, scoring zero, committing three personal fouls and three turnovers. The Knicks went on to overpower the Sacramento Kings in their next game at MSG, bringing the Knicks’ season record to 15-15, the first time the team was at the .500 mark since Jan. 14. However, Lin and the team finally suffered their first loss in eight games on Feb. 17, bringing their season-high seven-game winning streak to an end against the New Orleans Hornets. Despite sharing the team lead in scoring with 26, leading the team with five assists and four steals, Lin attributed the loss to himself because of his career high nine turnovers. While his teammates did back him up, claiming that it was the failure of the team as a whole, Lin knew he had work to do. With his performances, Lin became
a late addition to the Rising Stars challenge of the NBA All-star event, set for the last week of February. After the loss to the Hornets, in the game against the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 19, Lin returned to work. With the new additions to the team in the likes of J.R. Smith, the Knicks were able to pull out a victory because of who else? Jeremy Lin. He lead the team with 28 points, 14 assists—yet a new career high—a career high five steals, and even a shot block, a stat normally seen with the team’s best center. He did commit seven turnovers, but the statistic was overlooked in light of what Lin called again, “a team win.” The victory cemented his status. Sports radio WFAN 660 AM’s host Mike Francesa repeated, in one form or another, on his show after the game, “[Lin] is legit.” In a rematch against the neighboring Nets on Feb. 20 turned out to be a disappointing loss. The game marked the return of Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis’s season debut, but the former only managed 11 points with his six assists, but committed six turnovers while the latter scored only three points with one assist in about 10 minutes of play. Lin again led the team with 21 points, nine assists and four steals— while cutting his turnover problems to just three—but he ended up fouling out in the fourth quarter, the first of his career. It could be said that the Nets’ point guard Deron Williams simply had his best game, racking up 38 points mainly by sinking an astonishing eight three-point shots. No matter the reason, the Knicks wound up losing 92-100. Winning eight of ten games is certainly flashy, and Lin is still at the fledgling stage of his career. With Lin, the Knicks no longer had the excuse of falling to strong teams like the Lakers or the Mavericks—other than against the Miami Heat on Feb. 23, when the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh crushed the Knicks 88102. But as in the general scheme of professional sports, any team can win any game. The consensus is that Lin’s ceiling remains high. If, one day, his scoring and assisting numbers remain consistent and his turnover numbers are reduced. . . the point guard will become a seriously feared force to be reckoned with.
s mentioned earlier, outside of playing ball Jeremy Lin is simply just another young man. On flights between cities, he is seen with his phone, sending Tweets or updating his status on Facebook. He plays Monopoly, though he lost to the Stanford-graduate Landry Fields once. He actively participates in charities, once saying, “Giving food to people who can’t afford it is much more important than practicing basketball.” He calls the retired Yao Ming after each game. He tries his best to spend time with his friends and family outside of scheduled games and practice hours. Jeremy Lin, or his given Chinese name Lin Shu Hao (林書豪)—or amusingly, Ling Shu Hao (零輸好), literally translated as “Zero Losses Good,” a title coined by a Taiwanese news outlet when Lin went undefeated in his first seven starts—was interested in basketball as far back as his childhood years could go. He had only decided to pursue basketball as a career upon graduating from Harvard with an economics degree. But like a good son, he vouched to discuss the plans with his family first. “If you don’t make it [to the NBA], we can take care of you for a couple more years,” his mother Shirley said on a Taiwanese talk show. She cracked a joke, “But don’t just play in the D-League, we can’t afford to keep providing for you!” Fortunately for Lin, he hopped aboard to the NBA level with the Warriors in his first year. “Now he can he support me,” his mother continued to joke. Had it not been for his personal strength, his faith to lean on, and his family to cheer him on, who knows where Lin could be now? The first obstacle for him was his inability to get into Stanford, the prestigious university that was stationed “across the street” from his high school. Upon realization that Stanford had no plans to offer him any athletic scholarships, let alone grant him a spot on the school team, Lin chose to attend his last choice for a school. Harvard. “God closed all the other doors and made it very, very clear that He wanted me to go there,” said Lin. “Looking back. . . I’m very thankful that I had never gone to Stanford.” To get to the NBA in the first place, Lin admitted that besides conditioning and practicing on his own, he left
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
OVERHEARD (READ) ON FACEBOOK: Fan #3107: Do you have a nickname? Lin: Team XBox. Halo 3 all day everyday. Little known fact, me and my college roommates were level 50 generals in Halo. I spent way too much time on that game system. Fan #1457: Do you consider yourself Chinese or Taiwanese? Lin: My grandparents are from China, parents from Taiwan and I’m an American citizen, so I would say all of the above! Fan #128: Do you hate Koreans? Lin: No, I love Koreans! My best friend’s Korean! Korean barbecue all day errday! Fan #6422: If I draft you in fantasy, can you try to get more than a couple 3’s in per game? Lin: Okay, sounds good. If I make your player in NBA 2K12, I’m going to need 10 3’s from you every game.
Numbers attributed to fans do not actually correspond. They are arbitrary and are meant to represent completely random people.
everything to “God’s control.” And what a way his prayers were answered, as anyone paying attention to the basketball world can see today. In the process, however, after Lin jumped over his first roadblock and made it onto a college basketball team, he had to deal with what is unfortunately the inevitable for many Asians in the United States. Racial slurs. Bigotry in general. Taunts. Hate. The words came from opposing players as often as members of the crowd, but Lin dealt with it. Angry at first, but dealt with it nonetheless. Using the negative remarks as motivation, Lin found some breathing room in the NBA, as the racial issues died down around him. At least in terms of the playing environment. With his newfound fame came a storm of headlines throughout the nation. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, TIME Magazine,
nba.com, ESPN, a multitude of radio networks and all the local New York news channels. And, of course, Sports Illustrated—whose cover, by the way, was dedicated to Lin for two consecutive issues, making him the first New York athlete to be honored this way. Positive news or negative—especially ESPN’s headline fiasco and MSG Network’s fortune cookie graphics—Lin had been trained to tune everything out and focus on himself, the improvement of his team, and the well-being of his family. Media outlets stepped out of bounds many times when dealing with Lin’s unprecedented rise. These include the infamous Floyd Mayweather, Jr. incident, when the boxer argued that Lin only received so much attention because he’s Asian, and that “black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” Then again, Lin did set an NBA record and Mayweather did have a history of ranting, as he did
against boxer Manny Pacquiao. While parties that do cross the line eventually apologize, i.e. ESPN and Fox Sports’s columnist James Whitlock—the latter made a poor decision in joking about Lin’s sexual competence—Lin has made virtually no comment regarding the racial issues he had faced throughout his college years and after. But naturally, Lin was unable to tune out the play on words with his last name, a phenomenon that took the world, especially the (L)Internet world, by storm. The term Linsanity has become a staple, but Lin himself wished the fans could come up with something more “team oriented.” However, he did enjoy the Super Lintendo pun, as he “grew up playing [the Super Nintendo].” Sitting beside his mother in his interview in Taiwan, Lin looked as much as any well-behaved son, sitting quietly as the grownups chatted away. At a glance, if one lived under a rock,
Fan #44: What music do you listen to before a game to pump yourself up? Lin: People are surprised, but I listen to mellow Christian music before games. It reminds me why I’m playing the game. Fan #321: Can you speak any other languages? Lin: Besides English and Mandarin, I’m fluent in Pig Latin as well. O-nay ig-bay eal-day. Fan #9812: Who do you wish you can dunk on this season? Lin: I’m not exactly sure who, but I want to dunk on a 7-footer. That would be pretty awesome. If you want, I can dunk on you and we can make a YouTube video out of it? Fan #1064: Any chance you’ll be doing the “Tebow” after your first point? Lin: If I Tebow after my first bucket, the guy I’m supposed to guard will probably score and I will find myself sitting next to the coaches.
no one would have guessed Lin played basketball, let alone in the NBA. On his day off, he will check out how his younger brother Joseph is doing. Outside of these games, he is dressed in a sweatshirt with headphones plugged in his ears. Christian music. One day, once he retires from basketball, he will try and become a pastor. In the meantime, he will window shop for some new shoes. Or upload some of his own creative videos onto YouTube. It may be because of all the norms of his background and personality that Jeremy Lin turned out to be such a modest, humble, team-oriented point guard in the NBA. He is an idol now for not just Asian-Americans that aspire to enter the world of professional sports. He is an idol for all people of all ethnicities, genders and ages. For someone to go unnoticed by the majority of his coaches and scouts, to be denied the opportunity to show his
abilities, Lin is the epitome of a feelgood underdog story that proves anyone can accomplish anything under all sorts of circumstances. No one predicted Lin’s success. Those who did did not think he would succeed this much, not even his Palo Alto coach who had so much faith in the young man. It takes grit, confidence, patience, a whole lot of determination, and most importantly, the capability to apply these traits to action; something that Lin has already done. It would be safe to assume that the hype would die down as time goes by. But even when the Knicks won 10 of 13 games since Lin started playing major minutes, the “Linsanity” stayed strong. As of March 2, nearly a month since his historic night against the Nets, Lin is still the most talked about player in the NBA. His constantly sold-out jersey rocketed from $55 to $90 in two weeks’ time. As long as the merchandise
continue to sell and continuously go on back order, there is no signs of the hype going down. But it’s not limited to merchandise either. Yes, Lin’s collectible NBA rookie card hit $21,000 on eBay. Yes, a generic dollar with a paper cutout of his face glued over Washington’s was sold for $6. Yes, Nike has released a line of Jeremy Linthemed sneakers that sell for $130 a pair. But the entire phenomenon has lead to MSG Network’s stocks rising over 10 percent in less than two weeks since Lin began playing full time. The term “Linsanity” is about to be trademarked by Lin himself. And even president Barack Obama is on the bandwagon. Since he has built himself such a solid foundation, what is Lin’s intent now? Easily answered. To continue on his path, one he set for himself coming out of college, and do what he needs to do to help the New York Knicks win and maintain a push for the playoffs.
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Exclusive Interview with Brandon Lee By Kayla Natrella
Despite fan comments, such as, “I'm totally in love with this remix ♥” “Really.. you are so good. Please become a producer. I will literally buy everything you make,” and “Dude, you should make an epic album!” Brandon is always surprised and flattered when people appreciate his music.
hen I hear and read all of the hype surrounding Jeremy Lin, I wonder if his friends in college saw it coming. Did the guys on his basketball team imagine that he would shoot into stardom? Have you ever looked around and wondered which one of our classmates is going to become a wealthy businessman, a famous celebrity, a politician, a author, or even a notorious criminal? Maybe he will be one of our classmates, friends, or, maybe, he will be KASA’s very own, Brandon Lee. This Valentine’s Day, Decipher released a new track called “Freestyle for Me” featuring Jennifer Chung and an official music video by Brandon Lee. When I asked Brandon how this came to be, he explained, “Decipher approached me back in January after he saw a typography video I did for one of Dumbfoundead’s tracks (“Are We There Yet”). He was actually looking for someone who was able to do kinetic typography for a new track he was working on, and so he approached me via Facebook. Seeing this as a pretty big opportunity, I told him I was up for it.” Speaking to his diligence and dedication, Brandon Lee admitted to spending 50-60 hours on the video and modestly added, “It probably shouldn't have taken so long, but it was only my second typography video, so I was still learning as I went along.” A modern Renaissance man, Brandon Lee produces music, creates films, edits videos, does graphic design, dabbles in photography, practices kendo, as well as, plays guitar, piano and League of Legends. Brandon’s YouTube channel has 37 videos, 935 subscribers, and 332,340 (and counting) video views. His videos include a mix of original tracks and remixes of tracks by artists including, 2NE1, Cathy Burton, Tablo, deadmau5 and, most recently, Gym Class Heroes. On his Facebook page, he describes his genre as “Electro/Progressive House with a little Dubstep on the side.” Despite fan comments, such as, “I'm totally in love with this remix ♥,” “Really. . you are so good. Please become a producer. I will literally buy everything you make,” and
“Dude, you should make an epic album!” Brandon is always surprised and flattered when people appreciate his music. Regarding an article on allkpop.com about Decipher’s song, Brandon expressed his excitement on his tumblr: “Used to always browse allkpop.com but I never thought I’d never actually see my own name on there. Pretty awesome!” After the debut of “Freestyle for Me”, I approached Brandon and asked him to do an interview. One day, when he’s a high profile celebrity, remember, you read it first in Asian Outlook.
Kayla: What kind of work do you do? I produce music, film and edit videos, and do graphic design. Kayla: How did you become interested in producing music? It started in high school when I was a huge fan of rock music. I’ve always wanted to write songs with a band, but I never found a group of people dedicated enough. This started me on the track of recording guitar tracks and doing covers of popular songs on my own. Since I was really the only one interested in the area, I had to learn how to add in all the parts of the songs without actually being able to play them since I was only a guitar player. From learning how to do full covers of rock songs, I actually garnered enough experience in the area to venture off into electronic music, which I found to be much more enjoyable. Kayla: What got you into filming and editing videos? I always enjoyed recording funny videos of my friends, ever since high school. This started turning into more high quality videos when I got a DSLR (Digital Single-lens Reflex Camera) over the summer of 2010. Eventually, this
led to a short parody video of Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag” that I had filmed and edited for a KCF event. It was my first small production and it was pretty well received, so I kept going at it. I would say my favorite video so far is a music video I did for KASA back in the fall semester (2011) which was a parody of SNSD & 2PM’s “Cabi Cabi.” Kayla: What are your immediate and long term career goals? I had actually transferred into School of Management to pursue an immediate career in the business field. As much as I enjoy producing music and video, I don’t find myself in a position where I can maintain a stable living off of it after graduation. While business itself is also risky, I figured I could secure a stable job with a management/MIS degree just enough to comfortably continue my hobbies on the side. In the long run however, I would like to be successful pursuing a career in music and/or film. My dream is to play my (and other artists’) music at a large live venue (ideally involving more than just pressing the “play” button) on stage. Kayla: What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist? The biggest challenge I face is probably discouragement and laziness. Despite being able to tell I have improved dramatically in my technical skills and ideas since say, a year or two ago, I still often find myself wondering how I’m still not nearly as skilled or “innovative” as the top artists. This has more or less caused me to scrap hundreds of potential tracks and result in maybe 90% or so of my producing sessions to be unsuccessful. The challenge is simply to have enough motivation to fight through the discouragement and think of ways to improve, rather than to have an “I’ll never get there” mindset. Kayla: How have you grown as an artist? Growing as an artist has changed the way I see and enjoy the media. I have developed a habit of analyzing every song or film I enjoy from a technical point of view (e.g how did they do this? How would I do it? etc). That’s not to say I can’t enjoy music or film anymore, of course – if anything, it has allowed me to appreciate the art more. While you become more easily discouraged as you go on, you also become much more easily inspirable – well, that’s the case for me at least. Kayla: Are there any artists who especially inspire your work? In terms of music I am inspired by many house artists, such as, Justice, Deadmau5, Wolfgang Gartner, Avicii, Kaskade, and Dada Life. As for video, I find Wong Fu Productions to be my biggest inspiration, as I have followed them for about 5 years. Looking at their progress from past videos up till now, it has always amazed me to see how far they have come. I suppose it’s similar to what I wish I can say in the future, regarding my work. Kayla: What distinguishes you from other artists? I guess the most notable thing is that I don’t just produce
music, but film and design as well. I’m too easily inspired. Kayla: With the release of Decipher’s video and your name in an article on allkpop.com, how do you feel about your recent success? While my success is pretty negligible compared to that of Jeremy Lin or so, it’s still a great feeling. I always found one of my works to be “successful” if it received a couple of “likes” and shares on Facebook, so seeing all of the compliments on the video on YouTube and my name on allkpop.com is pretty awesome for me. It was a really great pleasure to work with Decipher and I’m hoping this will be just one of many successful collaborations to come. Kayla: Do you think being Korean American affects your work? I don’t think being Korean American affects my work in any way… maybe besides some slight discouragement since the EDM (electronic dance music) industry has been dominated by mostly American and European artists. Thus, I always thought it’d be pretty cool if I could break the barrier like Steve Aoki already has. Kayla: Especially after Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, there has been a lot of debate about whether or not parents should force their children to play instruments. Did your parents force you to play any instruments and do you think that is a good method of parenting? From what I recall, violin was the only instrument my mom had introduced me to. I continued that for 3 years until I wanted to play piano (which I ended up quitting again, a couple years later). However, my mom never forced me to continue playing, although she did encourage it. Though I wish I had continued playing both instruments, I do not think “forcing” your children to play an instrument is the way to go, especially if practicing is going to be eating away at the majority of the kid’s day. I feel as though the coming generations share this sentiment and the stereotype will be long forgotten. You never know though, especially with the surge of KPOP idol shows in Korea… I can imagine many future parents urging their children to go with a singing/ dancing route, and perhaps that will be the new stereotype. Kayla: How can fans support you? All I ask from those who enjoy my work to like my Facebook page and share my work if they would like to!
If you haven’t heard any of his work yet, you can check him out at http://www.bleemusic. me, http://www.youtube.com/ isojii, http://www.facebook. com/bleemusic, http://www. soundcloud.com/b-leemusic. Listen, like, subscribe, share, and support!
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Year of the Dragon! By Mei Nga Wang
ONG HAY FA CHOY! It’s the year of the dragon! This year’s 2012 Chinese Lunar New Year fell upon the 23rd of January and for most Chinese people all around the globe it was the most important holiday of the year. As the day approached, streets in Chinatown were crowded with busy people buying red envelopes, cleaning supplies, incense, joss papers, and lots of food in preparation for the exciting festivities. Others prepared for lion dances and firecrackers, entertainment that was going to be performed on the big day and the following weekly celebration. Whether anyone did anything or not, there was no doubt that there were festivities of a long celebrated holiday in the air. Preparations for Chinese New Year are intensive because there is so much to be done before any celebrating can commence. For one, the household needs to be immaculate
“The Chinese may be superstitious, but the food is often quite delicious.” because it is believed by the Chinese that cleaning will wipe away last year’s bad luck and prepare the home for a new beginning. So, people all over take out their brooms and mops and clean until dust can no longer be seen around the house. In this way each family ensures good luck for the New Year and that no misfortune from the previous year remains. New clothes and shoes are also often purchased to enhance one’s good luck because they represent a fresh start- and let’s not forget the food. Only the best of the best will be allowed on the table because several food dishes will be offered to the gods/ ancestors as sacrificial offerings. Therefore, there is much competition in the supermarkets for the best clementine, roasted duck, vegetables, candies, and other meats. But, even though the preparations are difficult the hard work pays off. When the big day finally arrives, there are yet more
traditions that are to be performed. Each family has their own way of celebrating, but there are always some deep traditions that resonates. Most families, like my own, burn joss papers, some with red and gold patterns and others resemble hundred dollar bills, for the ancestors. The smoke from the ashes goes to heaven and fortune, represented by the florid joss papers, is also sent there. Only after these offerings have been made can the family finally dig in and eat the prepared feast. These foods usually include long noodles for long life, trays of assorted Chinese candies for visitors, dumplings that resemble ingots, whole fish for togetherness and more. The Chinese may be superstitious, but the food is often quite delicious. Then, like with any big holiday event, there is time to meet with the relatives. Uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents all visit to wish the whole family good luck and to give out hong bao (red envelopes) to the younger, unmarried generation. Hong bao usually contain money or chocolate coins, which is another sign of good luck. It is also customary for relatives to exchange presents, usually fruit or sweets, with each other out of respect and generosity for each other. Then, the big celebration begins when the sound of gongs clapping in a rhythmic beat reaches the sounds of people’s ears through the windows. That signals the approach of a lion dance parade in the streets and people all rush to watch the graceful lion performance. And sometimes, if permitted, there are loud fireworks that fill the streets with smoke and cover the gray cement floors with red pieces of paper. Fireworks were believed, in older times, to be the type of loud noise that wakes up the dragon and brings rain to the land that drives away misfortune. The streets of Chinatown, and surely the streets of China as well, were filled with merriment for the Lunar Chinese New Year. It is filled with the joy of a new beginning. Sources http://www.hellotw.com/yjpt/201201/t20120122_715538.htm
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
The Perfect Moment Ivan M. Yeung Sitting by the window Steam simmering into the air The dark coffee reflecting my Ever anxious face. Light, white powder slowly Descending onto the empty streets Forming into an army of white pillows Undisturbed in the brisk, winter night. I try to find a comfortable spot In the booth we've sat in 3 years ago On our very first date. The atmosphere calms me slightly Lights dim, candles flickering To the rhythm of the soft, melodic instruments Constant glances at the circular band topped by a glistening rock. She finally arrives and I welcome Her with a tender kiss to the lips Holding out her chair Her sweet smile makes me sure of tonight. Food was delectable but Her company made the night perfect As dessert came Champagne popped to signify this joyous night. On one knee With a singular rose encased by the ring I put together 4 million seconds of memories And an eternity of happiness into this perfect moment â€œPlease allow this rose signify my singular passion for you And this ring to be my eternal promise to cherish you And make you smile everyday Please say the one word that will make me the happiest man in the world." Other people in the restaurant now attentive of my actions Her eyes filled with tears And with a simple 3 letter word She made the last 3 years and the next eternity dream like.
The Nervous System Victoria Chow Bitten fingernails tremble as they fasten button after button on a shirt the color of the summer sky. Short legs shake as fading jeans are picked out of a forgettable wardrobe. I walk into class on presentation day. My hand quivers on the doorknob. Everyone stares as the door creaks open. I am late. Inside, nerves are jumbled, send the wrong signals to different parts of my brain. The blood in my veins travels too fast. Red cells whisper, Slow down, breathe, but it hurts. I stand in the front of the crowded room, cheeks bright and rouged. My neurons urge me to speak up, louder, they tell me. No one can hear you. My mouth opens but my voice fails. Rumpled shirt tucked into jeans, fingers still tremble. I leave class, mouth dry. Lips ache as they open, parched, a sky without rain. I shower and rub my skin raw, clear droplets on pink flesh, covering the curve of my thighs, the bend of my calves, and then I breathe in, the blood from my red cheeks traveling over my naked body. Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Dice Michael Chung They told him he would never make it so he should leave it Abandon all dreams because he can never achieve it Yet here he was excelling and prevailing On the road to success instead of derailing Truth of his success is hard to accept if stuck in a shell Because denial is the most powerful spell So this goes out to all the unhappy people forgetting Ladies with men who mistreat them, thinking of running Failure is not defined by what you couldn’t do with education It is the utter disaster of not achieving your own ambition It is the denial of expressing your own potential Chasing false beauty instead of seeing that you’re special It is us who ultimately has the power of choice Us who has our own guiding voice So I know that I control my own happiness alone Because destiny is not written in stone If you burn with desire then chase your dream Or else suffering will become a common theme Like the game dice you can roll your fate Or anchor your life, before it’s too late
By Lance Kong
Vol. XXV, Issue 3
Asian Outlook is the art, literary and news magazine of the Asian Student Union of SUNY’s Binghamton University. Originally conceived and cr...
Published on Mar 12, 2012
Asian Outlook is the art, literary and news magazine of the Asian Student Union of SUNY’s Binghamton University. Originally conceived and cr...