Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Goong Hay Fot Choy

Dear Readers,

Well, Chinese New Year is coming this weekend. Happy Year of the Rooster!  The perfect book for the occasion is Frank Chin's Donald Duk. Read Chin's novel and learn how Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year. Best-selling author Tom Robbins called Donald Duk "red hot chop suey laced with laughing powder and amphetamines - makes most so-called ‘modern’ writing look old-fashioned, chauvinistic, and tedious."

A brief book description:
As twelve-year-old Donald Duk burns 108 model airplanes in mid-flight to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Frank Chin torches stereotypes of Asian-Americans.

Welcome to Chinatown, Chinese New Year in San Francisco. The day of the dog. The day of the thief. Everybody’s birthday. The lantern festival of the fifteenth day. Welcome home. Crashing Cantonese opera, dancing lions, comic book heroes, and a childhood among partying pagans . . . . Little Donald Duk is a twelve-year-old kid with everything, including a name he doesn’t like and a family who doesn’t deserve him. As he completes his first turn around the Chinese zodiac’s cycle of twelve animals, the Mandate of Heaven turns; he takes flight and dreams himself a home.

As this novel opens, Donald Duk would rather be Fred Astaire than the son of a Chinatown restauranteur. Through the course of this robust, vigorous work, Donald learns to see himself more clearly as he, and we, see his culture free of distortive stereotypes.

Here's Chin reading the first chapter of Donald Duk:

Another one of Frank's works that takes place during Chinese New Year is his play Year of the Dragon.

(Frank Chin and Kathleen Change in a production of Year of the Dragon in 1978; photo by Nancy Wong)

There was a TV Movie based on Year of the Dragon.  It actually starred George Takei in the strongest performance of his career IMO. He called it "one of the most thoroughly satisfying, fulfilling role that I've had as an actor."

Enjoy and have a happy new year!


P. S.  Oh... before I forget.  Frank Chin's Amazon site is now active!  Check it out: amazon.com/author/frank.chin

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Black-Yellow-Jamaican & White


Newscaster , Bernard Shaw - Born MAY 22, 1940 - He is also remembered for his reporting on the 1991 Gulf War. Reporting with CNN correspondents John Holliman and Peter Arnett from the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, he found shelter under a desk as he reported cruise missiles flying past his window. He also made frequent trips back and forth from the hotel's bomb shelter. While describing the situation in Baghdad, he famously stated "Clearly I've never been there, but this feels like we're in the center of hell."

I’m embarrassed. He’s colored, like me. His colored people have an American lit of their own, overlooked by W. E. B. Dubois, and the means to satisfy all the needs of a self-sufficient civilization. Bernard is a veteran. He’s seen war before. Get up off the floor. You’re on tv, fool! Everyone, even the Iraqi aiming his RPG at you and watching tv. But who listens to a Yellow on how Blacks should act? There was a time when that was exactly our function , as the Model Minority. Sad but true, behind every Chinese-American alive today, there is a Chinaman who sold out to God and the White Man for the suit of the Chinese-American in the 1920s, or 1930’s or 1940’s or the 1950’s or the 1960’s etc In the 2015 the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday mag publishes 100 ChineseAmericans and not not one knows or has heard told a Chinese children’s story and the paper shouts with glee, the Chinese have forgotten their fairy tales and just yesterday’s Chinatown. Chinese-Americans’re so smart, we have no childhood not told by a White Charlie Chan acting like a White faggot. Today every Chinese-American on tv limps their wrist and says, "Oh my! That White man plays Charlie well."

I’m used to whispers and children cuddling their parents and leering at me. Groceries at the Safeway in Placerville, Post Office in Diamand Springs, and El Dorado doesn’t exist anymore. That's where Uncle Jackie and Aunt Bea are buried. The whispered or shouts of “Jap” are meant to raise fight out of me, but Uncle Jackie and Auntie Bea are Irish show people and I am in their care. “You’re not a Jap. A shout of ‘Jap!’ Jap is Do ya wanna fight? To a Japanese, that is. They want to fight you, they better not call you ‘Chinaman.’ Which makes no sense at all. So, forget it for now. Into the pot, and let it stew.“

LOUIS SIMPSON- Louis Aston Marantz Simpson (March 27, 1923 – September 14, 2012) was an American poet born in Jamaica. He won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work At the End of the Open Road.

At the age of 17, he emigrated to the United States and began attending Columbia University, where he studied under Mark Van Doren.[5] During World War II, from 1943 to 1945 he was a member of the elite 101st Airborne Division and would fight in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Louis was a runner for the company captain, which involved transporting orders from company headquarters to officers on the front line. His company was involved in a very bloody battle with German forces on the west bank of what is now the Carentan France Marina - Simpson wrote his poem "Carentan" about the experience of US troops being ambushed there. In the Netherlands, he was involved in Market Garden and Opheusden fighting. At Veghel his company suffered 21 killed in a brutal shelling while in the local church yard. At Bastogne bitterly cold temperatures had to be endured while the 101st Division was surrounded by enemy forces for days. After the end of the war he attended the University of Paris. Subsequently, he returned to the US and worked as an editor in New York. He later completed his B.A. at Columbia University's School of General Studies in 1948,

ADAM CURTIS – film - “THE LIVING DEAD” - Documentary - THERE’S LOUIS SIMPSON- ON PART ONE - “ON THE DESPERATE EDGE” HE TALKS ABOUT WAR- I WAS IN HIS CLASS OF 40 – Entry into the class is based on a number of pages of writing.

- ONE DAY HE BEGINS CLASS BY READING FROM MY WORK- HE STOPS AT “THE AIR was so hot the street SMELLED LIKE PEANUTS” HE READS ON A BIT, AND ASKS, “WHAT IS THIS PERSON DOING IN SCHOOL? HE SHOULD BE WRITING.” EVERYONE INCLUDING A BLOND SORORITY SWEETHEART TURNS TO LOOK AT ME. THAT IS A MOMENT I BASK IN, JUST ENJOY WITHOUT COMMENT. I LEARN THERE ARE WOMEN THAT ARE TOO PERFECT, TOO BEAUTIFUL, TOO RICH FOR ME TO TOUCH. JUDY BEEBELAR IS A BLOND STATUE, AND LATER TINA CHEN IN A PLAY OF MINE. DAMN, SHE IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT REMOTE. WOMEN I ADMIRE LIKE A RARE AUTOMOBILE , WALK AROUND , STARE AND HANDS OFF – Then there exists in Alameda, Navy Town through a tunnel under the estuary to a man-made island, a girl with the most quivering, smiling, come hither flesh. Every part of her shudders or twtches your way, drives a boy crasy. A Lesbian Jewess whose flesh, the droops breasts full of floaty stuff. Every look from her is a frank and sexy “Hey, Sailor.” And hearts beat fast, and snorts blast beat out of noses. She smiles out of films in the open air shops with movie machines, where her flesh moves lighter than her bones. She smiles and shows the rich of her spread. In the military in town in the 50’s, Roberta is everybody’s dreamfuck. Nobody cares who she fucks, as long as she fucks you. She is advertised on the covers or insides of every men’s mag in DeLaurer’s huge bookstore on Broadway a block from the bars, used books and notions, and the Army & Navy Entertainment block. She is a live advertisement for sex right now!

Louis Simpson does not advertise he is a poet. He does not read from his own work. I never hear him read his own work to the class of 40. Adam Curtis’s The Living Dead, finds Louis Simpson speaking in his flow of plain language in the soft rhythms of Jamaica, talking about being 19 years old in the glorious 101st Airborne Div.

Trees in the old days used to stand
And shape a shady lane
Where lovers wandered hand in hand
Who came from Carentan.

This was the shining green canal
Where we came two by two
Walking at combat-interval.
Such trees we never knew.

The day was early June, the ground
Was soft and bright with dew.
Far away the guns did sound,
But here the sky was blue.

The sky was blue, but there a smoke
Hung still above the sea
Where the ships together spoke
To towns we could not see

Could you have seen us through a glass
You would have said a walk
Of farmers out to turn the grass,
Each with his own hay-fork.

The watchers in their leopard suits
Waited till it was time,
And aimed between the belt and boot
And let the barrel climb.

I must lie down at once, there is
A hammer at my knee.
And call it death or cowardice,
Don't count again on me
Everything's all right, Mother,

Everyone gets the same
At one time or another.
It's all in the game.

I never strolled, nor ever shall,
Down such a leafy lane.
I never drank in a canal,
Nor ever shall again.

There is a whistling in the leaves
And it is not the wind,
The twigs are falling from the knives
That cut men to the ground.

Tell me, Master-Sergeant,
The way to turn and shoot.
But the Sergeant's silent
That taught me how to do it.
O Captain, show us quickly
Our place upon the map.
But the Captain's sickly
And taking a long nap.

Lieutenant, what's my duty,
My place in the platoon?
He too's a sleeping beauty,
Charmed by that strange tune.

Carentan O Carentan
Before we met with you
We never yet had lost a man
Or known what death could do.

Carentan is not a myth psyched from the Greco-Roman mists of Freud, his nephew Debrays, or Advertising. It is not a product, made to manipulate the people to serve a productive purpose. Carentan is a myth of individual experience smashes against the accident of reality. The vets are told to forget the war.



Monday, January 02, 2017

Chinaman's Chance

[Video link here]

CHINAMAN’S CHANCE (1972)  Directed by Ene Riisna. Researched by Ene Riisna and writer Frank Chin.   Riisna  was a refugee, a “displaced person” from Estonia, which ceased to exist as a nation when Russia took over.  She went from Canada to American news docs with CHINANAN’S CHANCE, and went on to a produce and direct at ABC 20/20.  Chin a mag journalist went on to write plays, novels, and essays.  The doc contains segments:

An interveiw ith Roland Winters the last White Man to play Charlie Chan in the movies in a Chinatown movie theater.

Chinatown, New York through - talks with Capt Gunderson and  Lt. Freda at the Police at Catherine Street Station about Chinatown and gangs. Interviews with the Borough President, Chinatown politicians, two of whom, years after the doc, were charged and convicted of crimes in office. Interviews with  China born, Labor Organizer Ben Fee, about  opening White restaurants in San Francisco to Chinese customers before WWII,  and the ladies garment workers union , in New York.  An interview with Sociologist, Betty Lee Sung, a disciple of Rose Hum Lee, author of THE CHINESE IN AMERICA, Sociology parodying science for the U. of Chicago, using her family as the anonymus sample to illustrate her manual on kissing up  to obviously superior assertive and competitive White religion and culture.  Betty Lee Sung says, White society finds Yellow women are more likable than Yellow men. Women will rise. Yellow men have choice assimilate or you’re fucked.   A conversation with a school principal about Tom Wolfe’s Esquire article. THE NEW YELLOW PERIL,  likening Chinatown to temp towns constructed by ARAMCO, where Americans could smoke and drink and women walk in public without veils and everyone could eat pork.  An interview where Chin listen’s and chews a toothpick, rather talk with two boys Henri Chang, and a young man between a shop in Harlem, and a home in Chinatown, listen to their mentor “Bird” talk of the street culuture.  Henri Chang began writing his first novel whilst working as a director of security for the Trump Organization. The novel, CHINATOWN BEAT, was published in 2006.

Henri Chang has been featured at the Asian American Literary Festival and has done readings in collaboration with the New Museum's Festival of Ideas for the New City and the Museum of Chinese in America.

An interview with concerned White youth workers at a school playground.  Wing Tek Lum, an award winning poet living in Chinatown reads from his work.  He is today the publisher of Bamboo Ridge Books, of Hawaii. A visit to a family, parents China born, and their American born children. An interview with journalist Bill Wong , and his wife Joyce.  He’s more comfortable with his White wife among White people. She’s more comfortable among Chinese. Bill Wong , from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism went on to the Wall Street Journal, and a career across newspapers and media to found the Asian American Journalists Association. He becomes a senior editor of his hometown paper, in the 1980’s , The Oakland Tribune.  He was a commentator on  McNeil/Lehrer on PBS.  One day in the 90’s, he was fired,  and  to this day , no one knows why, and Yellow journalists did not  have the chops or guts to ask.

More video links:

More Asian Than Thou?

Frank Chin and Friends watch Flower Drum Song