Page 1






An Interpretation of Gangnam Style


Lang Lang Musician or Performer?


Moon Festival


Ryu Itadani City, Things & Nature


Diaoyu Senkaku A Case Before the Vulcaturan Courts


Asian Pioneers in Sports Those who opened the door: Ichi ro Suzuki, Park Se-Ri, Park Ji-Sung & Yao Ming


Movie Review The Man From Nowhere: The Hottest Korean Actor Plays a Ruthless Agent who lives for today


Competition Makes us Stronger Athletes from the East and West come together to excel at the 2012 Summer Olympic games


Weird quirks of the internet

42 Timeline CMU Asian Organization Events 2

Letter from the Editors Dear Readers, 2012 has been a pretty exciting year. There was the internet blackout over the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, the re-election of president Barack Obama and the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, just to name a few. On the more cultural side, we’ve been introduced to breakout film The Artist, Walt Disney is slated to produce new Star Wars episodes, and pretty much everyone in America has heard “Call Me Maybe” and/or “Gangnam Style” at least twice. But why are these things worth noting in an Asian-interest magazine? In this issue, we decided to highlight Asian/Asian-Americans and events that have made a notable impact on today’s culture. In this issue, we decided to highlight Asian/Asian-Americans and events that have made a notable impact on today’s culture. You’re about to read articles that explore the deeper meaning behind the ever-popular ‘”Gangnam Style,”’ look into the life of famous pianist Lang Lang and laugh and relate to the silly things that Asians do/say. We are part of a community that is rising quickly in innovation and cultural expansion. And if you look at what our articles are about, you’ll see that it’s not just about current events or pop culture — we write about everything. We cover a wide range of topics that explore the different facets of our flourishing culture, and it’s only going to get better from here on out. This is how Big Straw has always been, and this is how it’s always going to be. We love you guys and we want to give you our takes on what’s going in the Asian/Asian-American community in a way that leaves you thinking but doesn’t shove an opinion down your throats. The articles in this issue are interesting, informative and important, like the very culture that we are writing about. That’s just our style — Big Straw Style.

Charles and Bonita 3



Written by Hannah Kumar Design by Rosanna Ma 7

Lang Lang: Musician or Performer? I

t’s pitch black. Suddenly, a hot ray of light explodes in front of your eyes. You see a giant black object looming in the distance. You can feel your heart pounding faster. Then silence, and tension. Along with the 500 pairs of silent eyes to your left and right, you are sitting in nervous anticipation. You hear quick, upbeat footsteps crescendoing in the distance. A door slowly creaks open, and you listen as the scattered clapping in front of you transform into an all-around applause echoing the entire concert theater. A smiling Asian man walks onto the stage, mutters a few words, bows, and sits down. You smile, because it’s Lang Lang and he is about to perform on the piano. The performances of the piano prodigy Lang Lang are always one-of-a-kind and unforgettable. There’s no doubt that these days, Mr. Lang is known as the piano superstar of his generation. But like all stars, Lang Lang also has his own quiet backstory. His begins in 1982 in Shenyang, China. As the son of a professional erhu (a traditional Chinese instrument similar to a two-stringed fiddle)player and a singer, Lang Lang’s family already had high musical expectations in him. When he was just two years old, his parents saved up half of their yearly income -- about $300 in today’s standards -- to buy their son a new piano, and on that day, Lang Lang learned how to play the piano. Lang Lang’s early childhood was filled with struggles and sacrifices. At the age of nine, he was admitted to the finest music academy in China. His parents decided to separate to accommodate Lang Lang’s growing talent, and his father moved to Beijing with Lang Lang. However, it is said that in order to gain, you must first lose. This decision was not all for naught: when he was 13, Lang Lang became the youngest pianist to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and it was all uphill from there. He made solo debuts, won countless more competitions, and received several music scholarships. from there. He made solo debuts, won countless more competitions, and received several music scholarships. An accomplished pianist today, Lang Lang currently resides in 8

by Tiffany Ho

New York. He holds three to four performances a week, which is about twelve performances a month, and 150 concerts a year. Okay, so he’s pretty good. He performs a lot, travels a lot, competes a lot, and wins a lot... But the question remains: is he really that good? It is true that hordes of pianists and music lovers from around the world come flocking to listen to his music. But Lang Lang has also had his share of critics as well. In fact, he is probably the most widely-debated pianist out there today. Some would say he is the culmination of his art, yet others would vehemently shake their heads in disagreement. His performances have been described as “strutting his stuff ” by fans and “annoying when you just want the notes not to be banged out” by critics. So what exactly makes him so famous and so disliked at the same time? It’s because Lang Lang’s style is not for everyone -- although no musician’s is, so to speak. Technically, he has it all mastered, from glittering glissandos and long-winding arpeggios to powerful fortissimos and glorious cadences. The keyboard is his playground. He can do anything and everything. And he makes it look easy, at that. But he overdramatizes. When the melody is soft and heart-wrenching, Lang Lang wrenches up his face in preparation to cry like a baby; when the theme suddenly transforms into a humorous and joke-like scherzo, Lang Lang grins while bobbing his head up and down like an excited dog. It is good -- excellent, even -- that Lang Lang is able to connect so closely with the music. It shows that he is able to truly understand the composer’s message. But it all goes astray when he tries to translate it. Lang Lang’s exaggerations and theatricality often results in the original intent of the piece getting lost. His contorted facial expressions original intent of the piece getting lost. His contorted facial expressions will not help the listener understand the message of the composer, because they are exaggerated, inapplicable, and distracting. When watching his performances on YouTube, I often ask myself: Lang Lang, is this really necessary?

Are people actually listening to the music, or do they find more entertainment in watching him? Extreme critics argue that Lang Lang’s tone is not even especially pleasing to listen to. Although he possesses amazing technique, he is no better than any other professional pianist out there. In fact, some argue that he is one of the worst pianists, musically, because he is known to “randomly accent notes and stress keys that aren’t supposed to be stress.” He has even earned the nickname “Bang Bang,” named after his tendency to bang out the notes meaninglessly instead of playing them with the music. This, paired with comedic facial expressions and exaggerated emotions, makes a mess. And the reason is simple: you can’t pretend to feel something you don’t feel. For this reason, I believe a good musician should play for the music, not the audience; the audience will eventually amend to the music themselves. In other words, the musician should not purposely perform a certain way with the sole purpose of eliciting a certain response from the listeners. The musician does not use the music, but the music uses the musician. Then what exactly makes Lang Lang so successful? What makes a successful performance successful, and what distinguishes a good performance from a passing one? I believe Lang Lang is successful because he is able to directly engage the audience. From the first note, Lang Lang is able to hypnotize the audience, captivating its attention with his brilliant technique.

Thus, if the musician can transform the environment, even if it’s just for the duration of the concert, then he is successful. If the audience can walk out of the concert hall having been changed and inspired, then he is successful. To this, I applaud Lang Lang for delivering successful performances. There is no doubt he engages his audience, captivates us with his amazing technique and finger agility. Yes, he is inspiring, and yes, he is talented. But it only goes up to there. So yes, he is a successful performer, but no, he is not a good musician at all. He possesses the talent and work ethic of a musician, b ut not the musicality and naturalness of a truly genuine musician. But love him or hate him, he never fails to provide inspirational performances, showing no signs of weakness along the journey. And there is no doubt that after every performance he gives, he receives a standing. thundering ovation from the audience, one that is screaming for more. Design by Niki Kawakami


Moon Festival (om...nom)







by Jessica Han



ith the autumn harvest comes a bounty of delicious fall foods that magically seem able to bring us all together. The beautiful full harvest moon overhead brings not only an amazing glow to our dinner tables but also serves to inspire both tradition and recipes. Luckily our asian ancestors had the same ideas in mind. They too understood that if they were going to celebrate the harvest moon in all of it’s ripe, round glory, the occasion should be accompanied by some amazing sweets. And since rice rules, no matter where in Asia you may be, most of these traditional sweets are comprised of some variation of sweetened rice cake. As the harvest moon rolls around each year, our nostalgic cravings and obsessions have brought forth interesting variations to meet the modern trends. Still, some may argue that traditional is best. So you can decide for yourself, here’s a brief profile of all those yummy treats across the motherland......(continue reading)


Moon Festival (om...nom)







September 30, 2012

China, Taiwan, & Hong Kong •

Häagen-Dazs mooncakes

Jelly mooncakes

Zhong Qiu Jie (also called the Moon Festival) traditional sweet: mooncake, a thick round ‘cake’ stamped with ornate molds. flavor profile: rich and dry flaky crust with a dense and sweet filling. traditional filling types: lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, pickled egg yolk. Chinese mooncakes appear to be the sweet that has evolved and varied the most over the years. Some untraditional fillings include: cream cheese, chicken floss, tiramisu, green tea, durian, chocolate, coffee, peanut, Mango pomelo sago. Furthermore, some newer variations include components only central to the original mooncake in appearance but completely novel in taste with some alcoholic varieties as well. Häagen-Dazs mooncakes are ice cream rounds robed in chocolate with various flavors of sorbet shaped in balls to mimic the egg yolk centers of mooncakes.



Moon Festival (om...nom)








Another variety, snow skin mooncakes are made by using mochi as the shell and then filling the cakes after the mochi has been molded and colored in a variety of designs. Jelly mooncakes have also gained more popularity as their agar or gelatin outsides make them suitable for holding fruit in their centers. Being quite dense and pliable, mooncakes can also be seen shaped into popular character shapes such as angry birds.

Snow skin mooncakes

Other foods eaten during the moon festival include pumpkins, river snails, taro, and salted and baked duck.

Vietnam Tết Trung Thu This moon festival is based off an old legend that explains how the moon lady accidentally desecrated a sacred tree on which she was sitting. The tree eventually grew tall enough to reach the moon, at which point she was banished to live up there forever. Vietnamese mooncakes are sometimes square, not always round like their chinese counterparts. While the traditional versions are similar in taste to the chinese ones, newer recipes include savory fillings such as toasted nuts and meats roasted with fragrant spices.

Square Vietnamese mooncakes

Traditional round mooncakes

As in China, Vietnamese companies have followed the trend of translating the mooncake tradition to other sweet mediums such as cupcakes, chocolates, and Baskin Robbins ice cream mooncakes. These are usually made with more modern flavors such as vanilla, dulce de leche, strawberry balsamic, and mango kaffir.


Moon Festival (om...nom)







Korea Chuseok Songpyeon, a small slightly cresent-shaped rice cake flavor profile: light honey flavored chewy rice cake outside and nutty filling (simple flavors because they’re also served for babies birthdays) traditional fillings: seasme, white bean, red bean, chestnut, jujubes, and brown sugar. Chuseok is a holiday traditionally spent with family and can be considered by most to be the ‘Korean Thanksgiving’. It is a time spent remembering those who have passed away and honoring them with traditional foods, a main reason behind the narrow variety of songpyeon rice cakes over history. While they are sometimes made to resemble other round shapes such as fruit, they are typically made at home and are kept simple. Making songpyeon usually becomes a tradition with one’s family to create a contest to see who can make the prettiest songpyeon; Those able to do so are destined to have the prettiest family (both in spouse and children!) Other foods eaten during the 3-day celebration include japchae, different kinds of jeon (vegetable pancakes), classic meat dishes such as bulgogi, galbijim and fruits.



Japan Tsukimi (moon viewing) Tsukimi-dango, simple oblong rice cakes which can be stacked in a pyramid or skewered flavor profile: plain or stuffed with savory or sweet flavors. They are often left white for simplicity or can be colored brown (using brown sugar), or pink. traditional fillings: anko, black sesame, roasted soybean flour, different bean pastes, walnut powder Tsukimi-dango are occassionally prepared to lotok like small rabbits in accordance with the holiday’s original tradition. Legend reports that the face implied by the craters on the moon is actually a valiant rabbit who was eternalized onto the moon and remains there to this day pounding away rice flour into mochi. This holiday is entirely a celebration of the moon and is said to be the best time for watching the moon with family, friends, and of course, good food.

14 Design by Eric Yi


Ryu Itadani city, things & nature by Lauren Xu

It takes a great mind to make you see an everyday object in a different way. Ryu Itadani is an artist who has that exact goal in mind because he believes that the ability to see something from a new perspective makes people happy. He strives to do this through his paintings and digital works. He is a dynamic representation of the modern and traditional, making art both by hand and on the computer. Itadani’s art is worth taking a look at, not only for its stunning visual quality, but also for the themes it reflects about international industrialization and consumerism.


Itadani was born in 1974 in Osaka, Japan and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He describes the main themes of his work as “City”, “Things” and “Nature”. His main media is acrylic and ink on canvas, but he also creates some of his works digitally. Itadani received his education at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and Keio University. He has collaborated with companies such as Starbucks Coffee, Uniqlo, GQ Japan, and Onitsuka Tiger, just to name a few. Itadani has been influ-


enced by his experience in cities all over the globe. In his work, the relationship between tradition and industrialization is one of his major themes. On one hand, his “Nature” works seem to reflect his traditional side and appreciation for flowers, foliage and landscapes. On the other hand, his “City” works seem to reflect his fascination with urban growth. Interestingly, some of his “City” pictures include natural elements which may represent the harmony he thinks exists between the two themes. “Omotesando Hills”

is such a piece that depicts a shopping center with trees in front. “Things” may also hold underlying commentary on industrialization. These works show that he appreciates everyday objects and acknowledges that they are an under recognized part of our lives. In the process of creating the set of thirty-five objects titled “Things That I Like, Hope You Like It Too”, Itadani realized that the collection of objects is a type of self-portrait that defines him. This made me think about the products I incorporate

images courtesy of ryuitadani.

into own my life. It raised questions for me like what types of products do I buy the most of or spend the most money on, and what that says about me. In American culture, it’s easy to consume without thinking, so I’m glad that Itadani’s art has made me examine and reflect on my purchases. Itadani is concerned not only about the aesthetic quality of his work, but also about the impact of it on people. His commercial project show that he is interested in incorporating his artwork

into products or displays that will affect the public. Whether it is a coffee mug or pair of sneakers, he seeks to create artwork that will be incorporated into people’s daily lives. Interestingly, he sometimes inserts his name into his art work. For example, he once changed the name of a building to “Ryu building” in a painting. He explains that this is because it shows that the artwork is his perspective, not because he wants to showcase his identity or believes that other people should see it in that particular way.

Although it was the bright colors and small details of Itadani’s work that first caught my eye, my attention has stayed because of the themes behind his work. I find inspiration in Itadani’s art because it suggests looking at things from a new perspective, and his particular interpretation of the world is both practical and playful. Not only do I enjoy the way Itadani finds a balance between cities and nature, but I also like the way he uses daily products as a form of self-analysis.

Design by Rachel Jue



a case before the vulcraturan court by Edward Ma


The setting is planet Earth, 15,000 A.D. --- long after humanity’s extinction. From the reaches of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, alien explorers representing a highly evolved and superlatively logical race (we’ll call them Vulcratures as they’re essentially caricatures of the Vulcans) arrive in the Milky Way pursuing to further their knowledge of the universe. Observing Earth to be vacant of life, these visitors perform a thorough survey of the planet surface, only to discover copious remnants of human culture and civilization: (1) maps of political boundaries, treaties, foreign policy and legal documents which encapsulate our history of international relations, (2) scientific volumes detailing human sociology and psychology, and (3) philosophical works from famous thinkers such as Hobbes which push forth the abstract notions of imperium and sovereignty. Also among the discovered treasures, of course, is a bit of recorded history in Sino-Japanese relations; within that, a brief (yet comprehensive) coverage of the dissension over 22

the present day Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands. Let’s break away from this fantasy narrative for a brief moment to remind ourselves of this conflict in present-day context. Following the discovery of rich oil reserves in the area in the early 1970s, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan have quarreled over sovereignty claims to a small group of five small uninhabited islands collectively referred to as Senkaku by the Japanese and Diaoyu by the Chinese. Tensions between the two nations reached a fever-pitch as a result of a couple of key incidents within the last decade: (1) In 2008, a Taiwanese fishing trawler collided with a Japanese patrol boat. Both the Japanese and Taiwanese hold claims that the incident occurred as a result of a deliberate act of aggression from the other party. After the Taiwanese vessel capsized, Japanese officials detained the captain for three days, citing illegal fishing and obstruction of the performance of public duty. The incident roused public

ion. Problematically, since sovereignty and right to govern remain as abstractions which do not lend themselves to be pried apart in such a manner, arbi(2) In mid-2012, Japanese governments announced tration of Diaoyu-Senkaku via science is an impossiplans to purchase the islands from their private own- ble Discouraged, the Vulcratures prepare to set aside ers. Seen as a direct challenge to Chinese sovereign- the case, and move on --- that is, until they discover ty, the move provoked a series of Anti-Japanese pro- something else: the complete judiciary archives from the proceedings of the ICJ (International Court of Justests in China. tice). Since September, tens of major demonstrations held in mainland China’s urban centers have broken out, The intently meticulous Andromedans pore through providing outlets for the growing popular Anti-Japa- historical records of Sino-Japanese relations in pernese sentiment among the Chinese population. In haps a misguided endeavor to understand the backseveral areas, these demonstrations have resulted ground to the conflict. However, intense emotions in significant vandalism and loss of property; many from both sides cloud the issue. The post-World War Japanese businesses were shut down and police in- II period marked an uneasy communion across the tervention was required. Although the official stanc- East China Sea, characterized by a mutual interest es of both governments have been more diplomatic in post-war convalescence complicated by bruised in nature, the disagreement has nevertheless been egos. Though strategic considerations (which include considered a significant strain in Sino-Japanese re- mutual economic pro t and security against common lations. As trade between the countries diminishes, military threat) have driven the majority of foreign the effects on the global economy can be felt across policy decisions in between the two countries, issues of national pride stemming from both sides continue the world. to strain rapport between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan. Back to our story… demonstrations in both Japan and China supporting each country’s respective claim to sovereignty.

As inquisitive life forms, the Vulcratures quickly attempt to reconstruct the nature of human existence. The Diaoyu-Senkaku conflict stands out especially because there are several mentions of puzzling concepts: sovereignty, the right to govern, and war (the Vulcratures are a homogeneous, egalitarian, and communal species with no concept of such human constructs). Although there exists plenty of literature on both the conflict and the nature of the human psyche, there remain many gray areas which confuse them. The main philosophical obstacle is that they are fuzzy concepts, which represent ideas arisen out of collective qualia --- that is, things which we can sense consciously but are never truly able to describe in fully concrete terms. As masters of the scientific method, the Vulcratures attempt to break apart the case in an empirical fash23

Condemned for atrocities committed against China in the war, Japan sparked additional controversy in the 1980s when its Education Ministry approved revisions of history books omitting details of crimes. These actions, combined with memories of the wartime invasion, fomented Anti-Japanese sentiment within the PRC, whose government aptly described as the perception of Japan routinely “hurting the Chinese people’s feelings.” When both the Japanese Central and Tokyo M etropolitan governments announced plans for purchase of the uninhabited Senkaku islands from their private owners in mid2012, bemoaning of the perceived affront to Chinese sovereignty was not limited to the fishermen and those whose personal livelihoods depended directly on control of the 21,000 square nautical miles of territory; the protests are in large part staged by urban youths waving the flag of Mao Zedong’s regime


(whose ideology is perceived to place a stronger emphasis on territorial sovereignty). As the Communist Party currently experiences its own inner turmoil from a popular radical movement, the territorial dispute unmistakably serves as a scapegoat for reigniting nationalistic pride and promotingulterior political motives. Quarrels invoke confusion among the Vulcraturan surveyors, whose pacifist cultures preclude their ability to understand violent conflict. But there is good news, for their expedition has yielded a fruitful finding: the complete proceedings of the ICJ since its inception in 1945. Fortunately, judiciary entities perform functions which are more adaptable to their thinking patterns; they serve the purpose of mediating such disputes based on a set of ground truths established either as given assumptions or precedent.

As the official Court of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been involved in the decision of a number of similar cases concerning territorial sovereignty. Like most courts of law, a key governing principle of the ICJ is embodied by the concept of stare decisis, or “rule by what exists” (our #2 approach on the list). Although the Senkaku-Diaoyu dispute has not yet invoked intervention of the ICJ, the declarations as set forth by its adjudications provide a handy reference rulebook. With the framework in place, the aliens attempt to view the events which lead to our present conflict in this new context. As a consequence of the relative absence of international interest in the region prior to 1800, scanty evidence in the form of travelogues, journals, and maps dating back to as early as the fourteenth century form the basis of sovereignty claims before the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War. Though records exist supporting contradictory viewpoints, this early evidence yields support more abundantly to the Chinese claim; convincingly, when in 1885 the Okinawan government attempted to annex the islands into its control, then Japanese Minister of Foreign A airs Inoue Kaoru advised against the move so as to avoid arousing suspicion from the Qing Empire. Discoveries of this nature notwithstanding, the manner in whichJapan initially absorbed the islands in 1895 remains a matter of current dispute; whereas the PRC asserts that the islands were formally ceded to Japan following the First Sino-Japanese War as per the Treaty of Shimonoseki, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign A airs contends that their acquisition rests on the pretext that earlier surveys (from the 1880s) found them to be terra nullius, or uninhabited (in truth, the majority of documentation from the relevant on-site surveys do not support such a claim 2).

of years of Chinese administration strengthen the China’s authority of Diaoyu. The issue is addressed in the declaration set by the ICJ in Kasikili/Sedudu Island regarding the Evidenciary Value of Maps: Maps merely constitute information which varies in accuracy from case to case; of themselves, and by virtue solely of their existence, they cannot constitute a territorial title, that is, a document endowed by international law with intrinsic legal force for the purpose of establishing territorial rights. Of course, in some cases maps may acquire such legal force, but where this is so the legal force does not arise solely from their intrinsic merits. (I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 582, para. 54.)

When viewed from a pre-1900 standpoint, we note that given the maps reflect the status of a time period prior to the 1895 Japanese acquisition (which, as an event itself, is recognized regardless of whether it resulted from conquest or unopposed, peaceful surveillance) their “evidentiary value” should therefore be limited to the period of time prior to the war; however, as the Vulcraturans soon realize when they move forward in history, the after effects of World War II cause them to regain their relevance. Indemnified as a result of defeat, the Potsdam Declaration called for Japan to release all territory which it acquired from the Republic of China, effectively limiting Japanese-controlto “the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, The Vulcratures furrow their eyebrow-analogues. KyushuShikoku and such minor islands as we deterWhat is the relevance of this information? Though mine.” In effect, terms of which were iterated in Cairo Chinese claims appear to be stronger pre-1895, Communiqué, returned control of ‘all the territories both alleged methods of Japanese acquisition fol- Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchulow internationally recognized, legal means (cession ria, Formosa, and The Pescadores” to the Republic vs. effective occupation) --- Japanese prescription of China (ROC). The significance of who owned what from 1895 to 1945 is undisputed. But what value before 1895 is thus revived: should Diaoyu-Senkaku could be gleaned from the maps? Surely hundreds be considered part of what Japan ‘stole’ in the war? 25

If yes, the Vulcratures determine, the claim could clearly be made for their return to China. This was China’s next opportunity to obtain possession of the islands without dispute --- on the international stage, official contracts establish ground truth which ranks above all other forms of de facto agreements. Although in the present-day both the PRC and the ROC argue for the inclusion of Diaoyu

Does Postdam mandate Japan to return Senkaku? as a component of “the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese,” no such forceful declaration was issued at the time. If it had, the transfer of prescription would likely have been as seamless as it was for the territory which was returned. Instead, with the exception of the lands enumerated directly in the treaty, exactly what was to be given back remained vague; not only do the terms of the agreement remain under present-day dispute, the interpretation managed to be sufficiently obscurefor Senkaku-Diaoyu to be bundled with the Ryukyu islands (which were not returned to the ROC). The 1951 Treaty of San Francisco established the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands (USCAR), which conferred upon the United States the right to administer the eponymous series of volcanic islands (which included Senkaku)3. Given the recent nature of the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations, it would seem unlikely that the original intent of those treaties was misinterpreted, and that somehow the United States mistook Senkaku to have been excluded from the territories reverted to ROC control. Although China officially challenged the legitimacy of the treaty, the protests were more aimed generally at the fact that both governments


were excluded from negotiations. In fact, the reason that such a move could be made under this kind of uncertainty was that up until this point in time, very little attention was given to Diaoyu-Senkaku. This was a condition which remained unchanged until the UN Economic Commission for Asian and the Far East (ECAFE) released a 1969 report disclosing the possibility of oil reserves in the area. The complexity of the issue becomes evident once we note the number of competing interpretations for this series of events. Should the treaty be invalidated because China was not a participant? Does Potsdam mandate Japan to return Senkaku? Or did the hegemonic status of the United States secure the validity of the transfer beyond dispute? With very little basis on which to answer these questions, the curious aliens investigate further. As they thumb through the ICJ archives, they discover a relevant definition:

Should the treaty be invalidated because China was not a participant? The concept of acquiescence “is equivalent to tacit recognition manifested by unilateral conduct which the other party may interpret as interpret as consent . . .” (Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area (Canada/United States of America), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1984, p. 305, para. 130).

At the time the San Francisco Treaty was signed, no protest was voiced over the United States’ assumption of administration over the territory in question; a quick perusal of the period in between World War II and 1969 reveals a conspicuous absence of interest in the region - it just didn’t seem to matter to anybody. In fact, Chinese disinterest in the Ryukyu Islands (of which Senkaku was recognized to be a part) was so compelling that prior to 1970 (as voiced in the PRC’s official newspaper, The People’s Daily) the official stance of the country was a demand of self-determination for them, with the option of return to Japanese control. When viewed in this context, it would clearly appear that regardless of the complexities introduced by the treaties, this pre-

1970 position could easily be interpreted as acquiescence, or a form of tacit approval. From the viewpoint of the Vulcratures, the edicts set forth by the ICJ rulings make the decision of these matters a trivial task. Of course, for humans, the issue remains one which continues to be conflated by emotions and subjective interpretation. Historically speaking, the ICJ does not hold supreme authority in international disputes, and its decisions only reflect mere suggestion. While the linearly-minded Vulcratures easily arrived in an agreement when they had a code upon which to follow, when we inject the element of humanity into the equation, the only certainty in Senkaku-Diaoyu is the fact that there is a lack of one.

Design by Jennifer Soong


Asian Pioneers in

By Jason Ha In February 2012, Linsanity took over the world as Jeremy Lin scored 25 points and led the New York Knicks to a 7-0 record in his first seven games as a starter. Ichiro Suzuki, in his late 30’s, still led the Yankee’s in stolen bases and was all over the field making highlight catches. Son Heung-Min from Hamburg SV was named the best player of the week twice in a row in German Bundesliga, one of the world’s best soccer leagues. However, Asian athletes have not always performed at such high levels. When I was a child, I could not name one Asian superstar athlete. Whenever I tried to talk about my favorite Asian athlete, the


response was “Who?” Not many Asians played even one minute. If an Asian athlete played for a short time, news about that athlete decorated the headlines. For example, when a basketball player named Ha Seung-Jin played two minutes in a meaningless pre-season game, Korean newspapers put headlines on the front page saying “Ha Seung-Jin: Swept the League with Two Assists”. In fifteen years, Asian athletes have made a quick turnaround and now we see Asian superstars such as Ichiro Suzuki becoming household names. Many factors can explain this turnaround: economic growth increased spending

in sports, and hosting of major competitions are all possible reasons for advance in Asian sports. However, the biggest reason for success for Asian players is due to great athletes who opened the door to other athletes. They tried to accomplish something that others did not and could not achieve. Those exemplar athletes showed the world that Asian athletes can be great at sports regardless of their race. Their greatness resonated with and motivated other Asian athletes to not give up and to follow their dreams. They pioneered Asian sports. Their names are Ichiro Suzuki, Park Se-Ri, Park Ji-Sung, and Yao Ming.

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki has been a renowned superstar in the Major League Baseball for the past 12 years. Ever since he came to the United States in 2001, he has made 10 All-star appearances, and has won 10 Golden Glove awards that are given to the best defensive players. He also won three Silver Slugger awards that are given to top hitters. He was the American League batting champion twice in his career and was the Most Valuable Player in the league in his first season with the Seattle Mariners. He holds the record for the most hits in one season, and most people view him as a first ballot hall of famer when he retires in few years. He also led the Japanese National Team to two World Baseball Classic championships. Nevertheless, many spectators did not foresee this success. Even before he applied for a draft in the Japanese league, Ichiro Suzuki was only selected in the fourth round because of his small size. He then subdued his critics by becoming the most valuable player in Japan for three straight years. Even with his

success in the Japanese league, Major League scouts were afraid of his skinny figure, thinking that he might not hit well or might never be able to play a full season. Many baseball fans thought he would not succeed in the big leagues, and not many had hope in his prospects. However, he shattered those prejudices and concerns with his playing. He was very determined to succeed in Major League Baseball and had an incredible work ethic, hitting an average of 300 balls per day. He also knew his strength of getting on base instead of hitting long balls. He also dedicated his efforts to change his

batting form and approach to base, which he had been accustomed to for years. Because of this dedication and effort, he succeeded in the highest level in baseball and became a superstar. Before Ichiro, there had not been a non-pitcher who succeeded in Major League Baseball. No Asian baseball players had been mentioned on Sportscenter or other major newspapers. When talking with my friends, I could not name one Asian athlete to refute their argument that Asians cannot hit or play defense. Now, when the same argument is brought up, I can proudly point to Ichiro’s spectacular catches on Sportscenter’s Top-10 and numerous hitting records he has re-written. His achievement does not end with just Asian children having a superstar athlete of their own to follow. His biggest accomplishment in baseball is showing other Asian players that they can also be one of the elite players in the best league in baseball. They truly have a role model. Not only that, but Major League scouts are now eager to scout Asian countries for the next Ichiro.


Se Ri Pak

Se Ri Pak is one of the most accomplished female golfers in history. She won a total of 25 LPGA tours and won the US Open in 1998. In her rookie season, she won

Many Asian female golfers were inspired to follow Se Ri Pak’s footprints (Golf World, Feb 2011 Issue).


two major opens, two other competitions, LPGA Rookie of the Year, and second most amount of prize money among female golfers only behind Annika Sörenstam. She went on to win three more major championships in her career. She was the youngest golfer and the first ever Asian golfer to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The greatest performance she had was during the US Open in 1998. At that time I was in Korea, where there was a huge financial crisis. It was a hard time for many people, including our family. I could hear my parents sighing whenever they watched the news or read newspapers. However, whenever news about Se Ri Pak’s performance came out, my parents’ moods lifted a bit. When she was competing in

the US Open, my parents were cheering her overnight. The competition went overtime twice, but they were glued to the TV. She was not just a great player, but she was also a national hero who allowed us to forget about bankruptcy and economic turmoil at the time. Instead of talking about how bad the economy was, people began to talk about how Se Ri Pak competed with Annika Sörenstam, the best golfer at the time. Before Se Ri Pak, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was dominated by American and European golfers. She was winning competitions in Korea, but she was practically unknown everywhere else. She had no example to follow, since there were not many successful Asian golfers at the time. She

also had cultural and language issues because she moved to the United States at the age of 20. She had huge expectations from her sponsor and many Koreans who were cheering her on. Pressure was always on her, but she was never rattled by it and just kept on pushing. Her great will for victory was a key to this success as demonstrated in her most famous battle against Jenny Chuasiriporn in 1998. The battle went on for 92 holes, an LPGA record, and she showed great determination and concentration throughout the event. My family watched the intense competition, with the two competitors neck and neck throughout, and we cheered as she eventually pulled out a win with a clutch performance. She had a phenomenal impact on many Asian female golfers. Before she came into the LPGA, there was no female Korean golfer. However, ten years later, there are currently 45 Koreans playing, and the largest source of revenue for the LPGA was the sales of TV rights to Korea. After watching Se Ri Pak defeat the world’s best golfers on the biggest stage, many Asian youngsters, especially Koreans, were inspired to become golf players and follow Se Ri Pak’s footprints. Jiyai Shin, the winner of the British Open, said in her interview that Se Ri Pak is still her hero and role model. Golfers such as Michelle Wie are also continuing to follow her trail. There is no doubt that Se Ri Pak’s influence on the LPGA and Asians is huge, as it is evident in Asian golfers’ continued success in LPGA.

Park Ji Sung

against Germany. Park Ji Sung was all over the field pressuring Park Ji Sung is currently German players. Even though the captain for Queens Park Korea lost to Germany, his Rangers, a team in the Barclays phenomenal performance was Premier League, the best soccer stuck in my head. league in the world. He is better Although Park Ji Sung known as the ex-captain of has been a very special player for more than a decade, he did not start out as a Park did not start out as a prodigy. No team prodigy. No team wanted him in Korea’s soccer wanted him because he was short, skinny, league because he was and had flat feet. short, skinny, and had flat feet. He was even rejected the Korean national team and by college teams even though he a star on Manchester United, was on the Korean national U-20 one of the most prominent and team. However, Coach Kim Hee elite soccer teams in Europe. Tae from MyungWith Park, Manchester United Ji University won multiple Premier League recognized his championships and become a potential and European champion. The most tried to recruit memorable moment in his career him. is when he took the Korean national team to the semi-finals in the 2002 World Cup. Korea and Japan were hosts for the World Cup and a huge crowd gathered around Seoul’s city hall and cheered for the team to succeed. It was the first time that thousands of people gathered around the city hall to be cheer the team on together. My family and I wore “Be the Reds” shirts and joined the crowd to cheer the Korean team on during the semi-final game



Unfortunately, there were no soccer scholarships left and Coach Kim had to recruit Park Ji Sung by awarding him a tennis scholarship. Even after graduation, he had to go to Japan’s division II league to start his professional career because he was so short. He almost did not make the 2002 national team, but Guus Hiddink, the coach of the team, decided to give him a chance, and he shone when he scored the only goal against Portugal to advance the team to the tournament stage of the World Cup. He then followed Hiddink to play for a Dutch soccer team and eventually transferred to Manchester United. Despite his success, his career has been threatened by injuries. For example, he once tore his ACL and everyone questioned his ability to return to form. He persevered and continued to come back from surgeries and played a major part in Manchester United winning the Premier League multiple

times and becoming a European champion in 2008. After watching Park Ji Sung’s success in Europe, many teams began to send scouts to Asia for more talent. Players like Kagawa Shinji, Ki SeungRyong, and Lee Chung-Ryong have since experienced success in Europe. Asian countries began to believe that Asian players were capable of competing with European and South American players and started to invest in infrastructure and facilities for youth development. Even China, which was not on the world soccer radar, began to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to recruit star players and improve their league. Park himself hosts a celebrity soccer match every year to help out young players in Asian countries. His success encouraged European teams to look for Asian players like Kagawa Shinji, who ended up in Manchester United, to fill their rosters. Those young talents have certainly improved their respective national teams,

Park and Thai children pose at the Asian Dream Cup (JS Foundation).


and Asian teams are competing to become a force in major competitions.

Yao Ming

I first learned about Yao Ming in eighth grade. I had just moved to the United States and did not have many friends, mainly because I was not fluent in English. One day, a guy sitting next to me in class leaned towards me and asked if I knew Yao Ming. Back then, I was not a basketball fan, so I shook my head. He then went on to show a tribute video of Yao Ming on my computer featuring his unblockable dunks and turn-around jumpers. From that moment on, I started to get into basketball. At first, we just talked about Yao Ming, but we started to widen the horizon and talk about many different topics in basketball, which helped me learn not only basketball, but also English. I have become a huge basketball fan and I watch and play basketball regularly. Yao Ming was an 8-time All Star and was one of the best centers in his generation. He also led Chinese national team to three straight Asian Championships. Although he found success in the National Basketball Association (NBA), he had to overcome many obstacles. He had to fight racial stereotypes, as evident in Shaquille O’Neal’s early taunts. Yao Ming also had to suffer from wrongful fouls called against him and no-calls when he was flagrantly fouled. Consequently, he had to endure hard fouls, which eventually resulted in injury-plagued seasons later in

Although Yao found success in the NBA, he had to overcome many obstacles including racial stereotypes. his career. Still, with his height and unstoppable offensive skills, he became one of the dominant centers during his career. One of his best games was against my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in 2004. Shaquille O’Neal was called the most dominant player ever because no one could stop him from scoring, but he outplayed Shaq by scoring 29 points along with 11 rebounds and his team, the Houston Rockets, beat the Lakers 102-87. Unlike the other athletes mentioned above, Yao Ming’s success did exactly not create a crop of young Asian athletes emulating his success in the league. However, it still made a huge impact on Asian basketball. Basketball became one of the most popular sports in China, with an estimated 300 million citizens playing the sport. International corporations such as Nike began to invest in developing the infrastructure and the market in Asia, trying to find the next Yao. China continues to invest in basketball facilities and its league. Suzuki Ichiro, Se Ri Park, Park Ji Sung, and Yao Ming introduced me to their respective sports. I do not know if I would enjoy watching basketball or soccer games without them, and their success stories transformed me into a zealous sports fan.

Michael Jordan and Yao Ming pose for a portrait (

In addition, I am not the only one motivated by their triumph against hostilities and racial stereotypes. They motivated Asian youth to pursue careers in sports and in doing so, motivated Asian governments and corporations to invest in sports facilities and equipment. They opened the door for young Asian athletes striving to be the next


superstar. Now we just have to wait for the next generation of athletes to break through and then motivate the following generation to do the same. I hope to see a ripple effect of success, and maybe we will even see Asian athletes having their own shoe brands and shooting commercials.

Design by Jiwon Ha


Movie Review

The Hottest Korean Actor Plays a Ruthless Agent who lives for today By Michelle Kung In The Man from Nowhere, Won Bin stars as Taesik Cha, a retired special agent who manages a pawnshop. Living mostly in quiet solitude, Tae-sik interacts with only one person, So-mi. Played by Sae-ron Kim, So-mi is a young, precocious girl who lives next door with her mother, who pays very little attention to her. Tae-sik and Sae-ron’s eccentric relationship is shattered when So-mi’s mother steals drugs from a gang. When the violent criminals kidnap So-mi and her mother, Tae-sik is pulled in by his own will to save So-mi. However, the gang realizes that they could use Tae-sik to do some of their own dirty work, and he ends up being the target of an intense police manhunt. With law enforcement and various criminals encircling Tae-sik on all sides, Tae-sik’s

34 Design by Jiwon Ha

Title: The Man from Nowhere Original Title: 아저씨 Ajeossi Release Date: August 5, 2010 (South Korea) Running Time: 119 min Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller Rated R Director: Jeong-beom Lee Stars: Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim IMDB Rating: 7.8 /10

dark past is slowly revealed bit-by-bit as he does whatever it takes to save the one person who understands him. Having won and been nominated for various international awards, The Man from Nowhere has easily been noted as one of the best movies of the past few years. Many may say it is just another typical action-packed film about revenge, but in this 2010 thriller, the combination of secrets, desolation, and roundhouse kicks never stops and never disappoints. Despite lack of plot originality, Won Bin’s skills are honed to perfection as his fighting scenes are impeccably done and ten-year old Sae-ron Kim does an impressive job of showing displays of fear and disappointment. The amount of blood and gore-filled scenes can be easily overlooked, as the

Sae-ron Kim plays as So-mi, the little girl next-door.

essence of the film is never lost. So, if you’re looking for a movie to watch on a Saturday night, The Man from Nowhere is the perfect violent thriller full of dark and dangerous surprises that will leave you on the edge of your seat. As Tae-sik said, “The ones who live for tomorrow are f__d by the ones who live for today. I only live for today.”



Us Stronger

by Yang You

Athletes from the East and West Come Together to Excel at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games If you were like me, you enjoyed sitting back on the couch, relaxing, and watching the greatest athletes in the world participate in the Olympic Games while taking a break from any and all physical exercise. This is exactly what happened to a large part of world’s population from July 27th to August 12th this past summer, during the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London—just among the 311 million Americans in the United States, 219 million of us tuned in to the Games. Known as “Games of the XXX Olympiad,” it is puzzling to think it has only been the 30th round of the Olympics since 14 participating nations first gathered in Athens in 1896 to compete in nine events. Man grew stronger, and the number of sports grew to 26. Ever since those games began in the modern era, the Olympics have been a symbol of peaceful collab35

oration between countries to set aside differences and watch the strongest, fastest, and swiftest human beings on the planet compete at what they do best. Not surprisingly, controversies have arisen at almost every Olympics, with violence and boycotts due to global political conflict. However, the average Asian American watching the Games from a television screen may struggle with a much different conflict—choosing between cheering for their country of origin or the U.S. The start of these Summer Games brought me several flashbacks. Four years ago, I was lucky enough to be sitting on the bleachers of the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing during a United States versus China preliminary women’s volleyball match. Walking into the stadium, I was given a set of inflatable

clappers and a paper flag with a phrase that translates literally to “With Me, China is Strong.” I was overcome with excitement to be able to see a live game of my favorite sport, with the top athletes in the world just a few hundred feet away from me instead of virtually through a TV screen. Towards the end of the first set, I was torn between who I truly wanted to win: the country that represents my ancestral background and heritage, of which almost everyone around me was cheering for, or the country I was born and raised in, the place I have always called my home. Reluctantly cheering whenever the US team won a point, I soon became the victim of skeptical glances and disapproving frowns by the predominantly Chinese audience sitting around me. I sat back and toned down my enthusiasm, and came to realize something: although it is a good thing that one is prideful of his or her country, the ultimate feeling of the Olympics should rise from the spirit of competition, on the test of man’s abilities, not on whom you are rooting for. Athletes from all over the world are joined together not just by the desire to win, but also by their excellence and love for the sport. Asians are no different. Asian and Asian American athletes were well represented in this past summer’s Olympic Games: in the gym, on the track, and in the water. Participants with Asian descent may have been competing against one another, but this ultimately represents their greatness in athleticism and in their respective sports. On this note, I profile three outstanding athletes in this year’s games that displayed their love of sport below.


Liu Xiang

, the gold-medal hurdler from China, was undoubtedly the most prominent and talked about athlete in China for the four years leading up to the 2012 Games. This was partly because he brought home gold in 2004 from Athens in the 110-meter hurdles and was the former record holder in this event. As an athlete excelling in a field that scarcely any Asians had dominated in, this quickly placed him on a pedestal as the face of China in the Olympics. With fame came an overwhelming amount of pressure to perform well in the spotlight, and four years later in his home country, Liu disappointed his fan base in the Birds’ Nest stadium when he withdrew from the 110-meter hurdles race due to a torn Achilles tendon in his right foot. He may have devastated his fans, but injury and pain is something that is out of anybody’s control. This past summer in London, Liu’s injury overtook him once again as he drove his left foot into the first hurdle and tumbled onto the track. The Chinese audience gasped in disbelief as their greatest hopeful just gave up all chances at medaling in the blink of an eye. He climbed up in pain, and symbolically finished the race by hopping on one foot to the final hurdle. In the true spirit of athleticism, two other hurdlers in that heat, from Britain and Spain, put their arms under his shoulders and supported his limping body to a wheelchair. Unfortunately, his performance immediately sparked outrage and controversy among his supporters in China, who claimed he had been putting on a show, or just appeared in the Games for publicity even though he knew the entire time his injury would prevent him from competing.

Struggle and defeat as harsh as what he had experienced would discourage the weak-minded, but Liu was driven by a genuine love for the sport and a bold athletic spirit that was incomparable. In the end, I believe his symbolic crossing of the finish line to conclude his Olympic and track career was extremely admirable, a daring display of strength despite an astounding degree of physical shortcomings and external pressures.


Nathan Adrian

was one of the Olympic swimmers on the US men’s team competing alongside Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. One would presume it is difficult to grow out of the shadows of these better known swimmers, but Lochte managed to make a name for himself this time, both as a crucial relay team member and as an individual competitor. He had previously brought home gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but pushed himself to perform harder this past summer in London. He won two gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley and a silver medal in 4x100-meter freestyle relay. His strength in freestyle led him to swim the anchor leg in the medley relay—the final position in relay race, often given to the fastest or most ex-

perienced competitor. Looking at his background, we see that his mother is of Chinese descent and was raised in Hong Kong. Many Asians may identify with him when they find out he holds a pre-med degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and had hoped to become a doctor. He is a prime example that Asian Americans may successfully overcome stereotypes and pursue atypical routes, such as an Olympic career in swimming. Although his fans are rapidly increasing and his races are displayed on a stage to the world, he stays grounded with the firm goal of swimming to improve himself, and does not allow the massive publicity to deter him. Just like the two athletes profiled earlier, Nathan holds a strong athletic spirit that keeps him motivated to compete with the greatest swimmers in the world, both alongside them on Team USA and against them in individual races. Through failure and triumph, each Olympian left London this summer with another chapter of their own story to tell. Asian-American athletes bring back glory to the American people, while Asian athletes bring pride to the citizens of their respective countries. Despite my initial hesitations about cheering for the United States versus China, I think these Olympic athletes and the triumphs they have achieved tell a more meaningful story. After the Games are over, we take a look at all the new World, Olympic, and personal records set, all the recoveries after downfalls, all the close calls and the astounding performances, all the medals awarded and the anthems played, and realize the celebration of the athlete overlooks any competition or rivalry in the Olympic Games.


Kyla Ross

“the celebration of the athlete overlooks any competition” All these Olympians, and many others, are proving a challenge against the stereotype that Asians are poor at athletics. Through failure and triumph, each Olympian left London this summer with another chapter of their own story to tell. Asian-American athletes bring back glory to the American people, while Asian athletes bring pride to the citizens of their respective countries. Despite my initial hesitations about cheering for the United States versus China, I think these indi-

was one of the

“Fierce Five” USA women’s gymnastics team that brought home team gold this summer. As the last to be picked for the Olympic roster and also the youngest competitor on the USA Gymnastics team this year at age 15, she is often overlooked, but proved to be irreplaceable on the team this year as a strong gymnast in all four women’s events. Prior to her Olympic career, Ross had previously been a two-time US junior all-around champion. Her cultural background is diverse as well: her father is of African and Japanese ancestry, and her mother is Filipino and Puerto Rican. This leads many to talk about her “international look,” both in her uniquely mixed cultural background and in her execution with grace and fluidity. Kyla was especially driven to excel by Olympic dream despite her young age, and that was what kept her devoted to artistic gymnastics. Although she was not one of the leading members of the women’s team this year, she naturally attracted attention with such a diverse ethnic background and positive spirit, and the Asian American audience was proud to see someone like Ross representing the U.S.

vidual athletes and the triumphs they have achieved tell a more meaningful story. After the Games are over, we take a look at all are the All these Olympians, and many others, new World, Olympic,against and personal records proving a challenge the stereotype set, all the recoveries after downfalls, all failthe that Asians are poor at athletics. Through close calls and the astounding ure and triumph, each Olympianperformancleft London es, the medals the anthems thisall summer with awarded another and chapter of their played, and realize the celebration of the own story to tell. Asian-American athletes athlete overlooks competition rivalry bring back glory any to the American or people, in the Olympic Games. while Asian athletes bring pride to the citizens of their respective countries. Despite my initial hesitations about cheering for the United States versus China, I think these individual athletes and the triumphs they have 39 Design by Chanamon Ratanalert achieved tell a more meaningful story.























By Kenny Zhu






There is no shortage to the amount of things on a college campus that creep a person out, from the antsy looking dude at parties who’s always trying to be your best friend to the weird guy down the hall you caught last Friday checking out your Facebook pics. Add the internet to that equation and you got a recipe for weirdness that makes a Stephen King novel look like Disneyland.





`So it’s no surprise that last Friday while I was browsing the web experiencing the time-sucking euphoric joys of Tumblr and the endless picture galleries of Facebook, I happened to stumble upon several blogs that held a number of curious and often wacky trends that recently took the web by storm. Being the good natured investigative reporter I am, I did what any certified investigator would do; I

Sleeping in the Library Just a few weeks ago, one of my friends conned me into opening a link to what he thought to be the funniest thing in the universe. At the time, I barely had enough time to comprehend what I was seeing before he started excitedly pointing at the screen while yelling into my ear, “Hey look at them; they’re sleeping LOL!” Lo and behold, it was a collection of pictures filled with Asians comatose in various positions. A few more seconds of browsing revealed them to be snoozing on some of America’s most prestigious University campuses. Many who see it for the first time find the concept to be intriguing, even hilarious; some join in, embarking on photography tours of our nation’s campuses armed with only a camera phone, on the prowl for slumbering college students. What’s funnier than a bunch of Asians passed out in a library? The answer: almost anything. Taking pictures of sleeping people is plain creepy and falls in the same category as collecting butterfly specimens and taxidermy. The fact that the creator of this blog dedicated an entire site to scrapbooking the sleeping habits of a single demographic sets off the ringing of alarms in my mind.


The verdict, don’t fall asleep in public places where people can take pictures of you. But on that note, when you’re on a campus like ours where people will inevitably pass out from sheer exhaustion at their desks, please for the love of god stop taking pictures of them, especially if you don’t even know who they are. Nothing’s worse than finding a picture of yourself posted on Facebook the next morning, drool flowing freely from the sides of your flapping mandibles. Let’s stop this endless cycle of photographic terror.

dug hard (ten minutes of surfing the web) and found no less than three other sites featuring the strange internet antics of Asians; the results I encountered were as bizarre as they were shocking. Below I’ve assembled a list of my most popular findings listing their sources on the World Wide Web, solely for the purpose of your reading pleasure. Feast your eyes on these jewels:

Pictures of Asians Taking Pictures of Food I’m a man, and being a manly man I like to have my food and enjoy it. Where my enjoyment ends is when I reach the aesthetic side of food presentation. I don’t see a need for my chef to decorate every roll of sushi with the perfect mix of spicy mayo and caviar; I honestly don’t need my steak to be garnished before I cut into it with a fork and butcher knife; I don’t mind if my nacho bacon enchilada looks like it’s made from Play-Do and a pile of acorns, what’s important is that it be pleasing to the taste buds. Food is meant to be savored, not observed from behind a plane glass window. So why is it that when I’m out with certain people, every meal seems to turn into a ten minute photo-op? Some just can’t seem to stay away from this habit. It’s so much worse if you’re with the ladies (if you’re a guy and you do this, I don’t even know what to say), especially in huge groups, what used to be your Korean BBQ buffet dinner has become the Victoria’s Secret Summer fashions catwalk, you can just hear the camera going off in unison down the table click, click, click. And just like the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, we’re not allowed to touch any of it; Not, One, Bite. Here’s my typical dinner date. And so that’s how it goes in a nutshell. A simple six step process on “how best to annoy a man before he even begins his meal,” I’m pretty sure that many of my manly brethren agree with me on this. If I want my food, I want it now. I DON’T want to be held up

by paparazzi while my steaming hot bowl of Pho noodles eagerly awaits my stomach. I DON’T want the first bite of my crispy bacon cheeseburger to coincide with the flash setting on somebody’s Kodak. This practice becomes cruel and usual when they start posting these images on the internet; these eventually end up on Facebook and end up bringing hunger and untold suffering to the hundreds of thousands of Facebook friends who are forced to suffer while they helplessly watch the newsfeed.

Asian Duck Face There’s nothing that people seem to love more nowadays than the cutesy poses that Korean pop stars air. The pose itself is simple; it consists of one female, often petite with doll-like features, puffing out her cheeks in the same manner as a hamster storing food for the winter, and then placing her hand to her face in a gesture very much like a cross between a victory sign and an ok sign. There currently exists no terminology to adequately describe this phenomenon. For lack of a better name, I dub this pose the “Asian Duck Face.”

Kenny’s Typical Dinner Date 1. I’m hungry, she’s hungry 2. We debate for half an hour over where to eat 3. I lose said debate and we end up going to her choice of restaurant 4. We show up at said restaurant and order our food 5. Said food is delivered and I begin to reach my plate 6. Date pulls out the DSLR and begins snapping shots like its fashion week in Madrid

This obsession with cutesiness promises to plague our internet with images of teenage girls in sailor costumes fully clad in full pastels. One can’t seem to browse Facebook without stumbling across a couple here or there posing like they’re the cover of the latest K-pop album; the gushiness is so overbearing it makes me want to vomit. I’ve even seen the unspeakable act of men, nay groups of men posing in unison like a row of teenage girls. Whatever happened to men being men? The vulgarity, the barbarism, the uncouth nature of it all; all washed away by a Girl’s Generation of girly men sporting the Asian Duck Face. I miss those days.

Comparison: With puckering lips and split fingers, Kenny does his best ‘Asian Duck Face’

Design by Ian Go




Nov 19

Feb 9

Nov 17



Nov 18


Dec 1




Asian Student Leadership Conference Mar TBA



Apr 27


CARNIVAL Apr 18-20

Feb 11

Design by Rachel Jue


our staff

Executive Board


Jason Ha Jessica Han Tiffany Ho Hannah Kumar Michelle Kung Edward Ma Lauren Xu Kenny Zhu Yang You


Jiwon Ha Ian Go Rachel Jue Niki Kawakami Rosanna Ma Chanamon Ratanerlert Jennifer Soong Eric Yi Sandra Yeh

web team Claire Chan Amanda Ko

public relations Lily Zhang

Bonita Leung Co-Editor in Chief

Charles Leung Co-Editor in Chief

Eddie Lu

Head Copy Editor, Treasurer

Calvin chan

Co-Head of PR/Marketing

maureen chung

Co-Head of Marketing

Kendra Ho

Head Designer

Staff page designed by Sandra Yeh

Tiffany Ho



Big Straw Style F'12  

Carnegie Mellon University Big Straw Magazine F'12