Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Had A Dream

I had a dream.
I dreamt that my people were suckered into worshipping Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu as themselves.
I dreamt that my people aspired to playing the son of a fat white man who dropped first person pronouns "I" "Me" and "We" when he spoke,
I dreamt Hollywood took an all American Chinaman girl and turned her into a mysterious Oriental beauty who stared but rarely spoke.
I dreamt that a son of Chan looked at Bette Davis with lust and disgust in THE LETTER and looked at Loretta Young in CHINA and Loretta Young looked back.
I dreamt that Sessue Hayakawa left the stage in Paris rather than perform for the Nazis.
I dreamt Hayakawa celebrated VE Day by inviting American soldiers to dinner.
I dreamt that Humphrey Bogart brought Hayakwawa to Hollywood to star with him in TOKYO JOE.
I dreamt that Hayakawa started an Asian American theater in Los Angeles.
I dreamt that Hayakawa went from the AA theatre to the movies.
I dreamt that Hayakawa starred in Hollywood movies as Pacific Islanders, Frenchmen, Chinese, Japanese, American Indians, and became such a heart throb he started his own studio.
I dreamt that Mako took over Hayakawa's theatre and renamed it East West Players.
I dreamt Mako played a disgruntled engineer on a Chinese gunboat serviced by White coolies.
I dreamt Mako was nominated for an Oscar for shooting his White coolie Steve McQueen being tortured by a White mob in Sacramento.
I dreamt Hayakawa was nominated for an Oscar for BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI.
I dreamt the Hayakawa studio and the East West Players inspired the Asian Americans to tell the story of Asian pop culture from Kwan Kung and 3 Kingdoms and Chushingura and Musashi to balance King Arthur and Shakespeare's Kings.
I dreamt...."Strike the Gong! We are on!"

I woke up confused. Everything in my dream was true, but in reverse order. Asians went from American glory and triumph to the insult of Charlie Chan and his champion Yunte Huang.