OH. MY. GOD.
For Sampan, covering Boston Chinatown and the New England Chinese community at large:
The last article was the one I connected with the most. Corky Lee roams around the country taking pictures of every Asian cultural group. I don’t know of anybody else that does that. Their depth is amazing too.
Enjoy! And look out for more Sampan articles from me here.
“Enlightened” Has Been Cancelled by Kate Aurthur - Click here
well, we get the shows we deserve, i guess.
To write about how great and good Enlightened is without sounding so maudlin. And without pitting it against Girls, though I still want nothing to do with those characters.
How about I talk around it? Today, my coworker came up to me and asked if it was true, had I liked Enlightened’s facebook page? And then he told me that if I didn’t know about it before, to listen to Mike White’s interview on Fresh Air, and then to watch seasons 14 and 18 of the Amazing Race, because Mike White and his father are on it, and are adorable. which I said I vaguely remembered as well.
Then he said that the father, Mel, was Jerry Falwell’s ghostwriter, and then came out as gay, and now protests evangelical churches and their intolerant stances. In the interview, Mike White said that Mel used to go into the evangelical community to try and persuade people in it to be more open-minded, and they would spit in his face.
His mother has been so supportive, though, and Mike White’s parents divorced amicably after his father came out.
This has everything to do with the TV show that White has now written (with Laura Dern, who’s awesome, and who doesn’t get enough credit). It has everything to do with how angry this show is, how prickly and courageous the heroine is, how compassionate and comforting and sun-dappled its worldview, how almost every conversation passes the Bechdel test.
I don’t know how to end this, except to say that I wish for one more season, for the rest of television to follow its example, for people to stop liking inane Buzzfeed posts about Hannah’s most relatable quotes and start aspiring to Amy’s imperfect altruism…
the key to writing
1. To proclaim that that sex scene in Observe and Report is rape
2. To defend Beyoncé, indubitably
The plot is short-story-perfect. I also like how the writer deals with the protagonist’s Chinese-Americanness (and let’s get real - that she gives her that ethnicity, because I could count on one hand the stories I’ve read with Asian American protagonists.)
So, like, I don’t understand art. I’ve never gone to museums often, so when I see something that’s not immediately pretty, that’s like much of the conceptual, deliberately chaotic and ugly stuff at the ICA for their 80s exhibit, I’m just baffled. And I read their wall descriptions and am like “?” (“that’s just a picture of a man, a woman, and a camera. how am i automatically supposed to look at this and think ‘male gaze’?”). art renders me stupid. and when the exhibit titles and the descriptions tell you to consider politics and gender norms with these whatevers, it just feels wrong to me. like, i think of a museum or gallery as a neutral space and these works are just ripped from their context and jumbled together. well, no, i’m sure their presence and order are carefully considered by the curator, but it’s lost on me.
so that was a whole paragraph of “i’m lost.” cool. art is great and important, i’m sure, i just never grew up with it or trained myself to know how to approach it.
but! i glommed onto the pieces that had a lot of words in them, because i love to read, so the words gave me something to focus on. and i loved “The Shadow” by Sophie Calle, because the words dominated, and were full of names like “Tuileries” and “the Louvre” and “I bought flowers at the grocery store” and all these words that set off starbursts in my head, like, “Paris! Paris! I love Paris! take me back there!”
it was a relatable piece too. because it was so creepy and narcissistic. are you ever walking through a great city alone and you feel and look beautiful and vital and you wish somebody was watching you and admiring you? you can just wait for those moments to come along, or you can just hire a private investigator to tail you and create that feeling sort of on-demand! throughout her report of the meandering day that she took him through, calle was all, “i was afraid he would lose me,” “it comforted me to see him having a beer at the bar,” and “i wonder what he thinks of the day i created for us. i wonder if he has thought of me, after.”
so this was a day that calle ostensibly created for the benefit of her spy. she took him to really well known places in paris, tourist attractions. i assume her investigator is from paris, or from france. i kept thinking that it would’ve been more interesting to go to more obscure places, and to relate to him like a local (a hipster?) (though she made him trace her traditional walk to school and everything). or so that actual parisians or people who have lived in that city like them could be like, “yes!” or “i gotta check that out.” but maybe it’s for the benefit of those who have never been, either. you know, those who watch “Midnight in Paris” and are like, “i want to be in THAT postcard.”
that’s fine. i like that conception of paris, and i’m glad that i’ll never lose it myself, even though i have seen enough of its sometimes greatly, sometimes drearily obscure corners. there’s something about that city that belongs in the realm of nostalgia and romanticization, even if it’s only sometimes true.