Tuesday, June 29, 2004

farenheit 9/11

what a film. the things you'll see you won't be able to shake of. you'll lose yourself in the heartbreak - the kind probably best healed with a warm bowl of pho (number one large.)

i'm lucky. i've never had to fight in a war. i don't know how i would deal with it, i don't know what kind of soldier i am. who will i be? the soldier who bumps "burn motherfucker burn" in his discman as he cruises the streets of iraq, or the other one, the man who whispers that he loses a part of his own soul everytime he has to kill?

the film puts me to shame. alex made a comment today during dinner about not seeing it because he thinks it'll make him lose faith in america (was he joking? half-joking?)... no, i think it'll do the exact opposite. it'll remind you what being an american is about, we see the side of america that many of us are lucky enough not to have to deal with. this movie shows us the effects of the war on the american people. we see horror, we see lives where military seems to be the only option, we see poverty, we see torture, we see pain, we see suffering, we see ugly things, we see our reflections, our role in all this with our complacency, we are caught by images that shed us naked and remind us what it means to be human.

i don't know what to say, 2 days since i've seen it and i'm still trying to recover from it.

see this movie, please.

(and word to jimmy, i want to choke a bush.)


where is hitchens getting his crack? conservatives are pointing to a piece written by chris hitchens to back up their desperate "see! the movie is all lies!" retorts. read it if you want, but be sure to catch chris parry's superb bitchslap, he point-by-point takes hitchens on, kicking ass and busting knowledge like bubble gum.


for more post-farenheit 9/11 reading, keep up with daily kos and atrios, michael moore is starting to fill his website with more in depth facts about the content of his movie, and, also: bush's vacation numbers, bush's old professor speaks about bush in class, how the US filled Iraqi soccer stadiums... with dead bodies, how military recruiters go after school children.

by-the-by, buy margaret cho's dvd, revolution is on pre-sale. buy a revolution, 50% of sales go to starting one too.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

"two lives to live, but just one man, stuck between good and bad, slowly but surely going mad..." - duc

justice for duc, something that demands to be watched. i've got so much anguish pulsing through my veins my knuckles are turning white, "no more prisons" is something easier said than done, wish i donated my books to jails last semester instead of selling them at ned's, can't be a leader if i don't live it, all i got is this stupid blog to vent on.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

sasc 2004, long live the bright eyes of a student, watch em shed fire as they cry, two things that they'll take home:

1. how to play big bootie (big bootie, uh huh, big bootie big boote big bootie) and
2. when someone yells "go back to your country," yell back "fuck you" (or rather, "you go back to your country!")

this is not about hate, but rather about love, that the love for your community is stronger than anything you've ever imagined, bigger than your own backbone can wrestle with, so enticing, so daring that every cubic inch of your body demands to rock steady, remember this, you are the ones who should never be afraid, doooo it, and not just for your community, but all communities, women, gays, lesbians, everybody, you know, like what mike said: don't just say it, believe it, feel it in your chest. don't just be an architect, be the home, don't just be a dancer, be the rhythm, don't just be a writer, be the language, and please, don't hesitate, you can lose the uhs and ums... there's nothing to be shy about anymore.

Friday, June 25, 2004

i am sprinting through a park at 6 in the morning, the sky is red, and laughing like kate winslet in a montauk beach house, i overhear the summer wind whisper to the stars that they need to get a real job, that all they do is stand around.

word to what lili said, "moving forward yet again," all you can eat shrimp, spilled crabs, big bootie number one number one big bootie, mike tran speaking about love under a chinatown gate, jeremy's blue hat, motorcycle and photography stories over apple juice, spoken word poetry juking out of a camcorder, ring-around-the rosies around a lamp post, prof um advising us to all eat healthier, so sorry to make that old couple run away... i'm really wishing i could be around the high school students more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

been in berkeley for five days and still have yet to sleep in my own bed. brother's in town so we're sharing a slim mattress together (no, no spooning.) other fine places to sleep: on the circular concrete benches outside dwinelle hall, in the folds of a thicky thick winter blanket in s' apartment, and on the faded floor of a unit 3 dorm room cramped with three other vietnamese dudes. living like a rockstar!

Friday, June 18, 2004

damn, spankin'! all my friends are heroes: congratulations to my boy jose vadi for making it onto the 2004 oakland slam team, and to kevin frigging murphy for taking first place in the architecture acsa wood design competition. effin' a! y'all make me blush.

(by the by, a damn nice record, courtesy of the g4, meaty ogre throws us leo vs pisces, a syrupy cd, it's sesame street with funk guitars, melt bones like butter on a steaming freight train, for you typical cats fanatics, peep qwel and denizen kane busting out like bonanza bananas out of their peels, in other words, i like it.)

oh, and my brother and i bought matching b-boy jackets. they're fugging urgly, oh baby!

last day of summer, see you in school.
art crimes has a not bad gallery of street art and graffiti from countries all around the world, but nothing from vietnam, cambodia, or laos. there's no hip hop in southeast asia? i don't believe it! do us all a favor, andinh ha, could you please snap a lomograph of the graffiti in saigon?

ps: architect zaha hadid's gotta be a hip hop head...

(photo: art crimes + weekly dose of architecture)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

listening to ghosts through my headphones, an unkept promise over four years old... i discovered a lost letter written by my grandfather (i call him "papi") next to a litter of embarassing photographs and dusty vocab sat flash cards (how nerdy was i?) in an excavated bedroom, a story to his "petit fils bien aime" about how he yearns that i can one day visit vietnam with my petit frere sometime soon, an unkept promise over four years old, there's nothing like listening to my mother tell stories about my grandparents over satay and peanut sauce, i didn't go to his funeral and i've never forgiven myself for it, peace to all the kids spending their summers discovering the streets their parents grew up on, dig tiny holes in the dirt and plant an extra hullo and goodbye for me, slam your lips to the ground and never let go.

Monday, June 14, 2004

ladies and gentlemen, your sf 2004 slam team: jason bayani, liz green, adriel luis, jimmy thong tran, and geoff trenchard. gorgeous! one helluva team, it gives me so many goosebumps i'm having golden eggs for breakfast. hell yeah, they'll fuck things up harder than 10 000 fuck couches.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

tadao ando: too fuggin cool.

db: do you read architecture and design magazines?
ta: I don't read them. just look at it.

db: what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
ta: nothing in particular.

db: do you have any pets?
ta: a dog named 'le corbusier'.

check out how he rocks an aging rockstar mane.

can't write, can't speak, my voice is gone, i sneezed, and it snuck out by hiding in the wrinkles of a crumpled tissue. i threw it out and it took a bus to the beach, perhaps in search of shinnier things, it likes to press its ear against shells and listen to the spoken word poems of the sea.

could ya help a brother out?

i'd very much like to get my voice back, really i do, i won't mistreat it with bad poems or poor papers anymore, i promise! my voice is a quick one, speaks almost too quick for its own good, but when it's tired it likes to nap under the folds of my tongue. when it feels secretive, it likes to hide in the tiny holes of cypress trees. when it feels flirtatious, it sort of trips off my lips and falls clumsily to the ground. if you see it, please ask it to write back, i really do miss it.

Friday, June 11, 2004

*_* (updated 6/11 - 6/12)

til my eyes turn red like cherries, things that i like looking at:

freaklub, tonho, matt sewell, opt, jon burgerman, david shrigley, gary trinh, fecal face, ambushdesign, hewho, fancy bicycles, airplane homes, apple g5s, homer's car, folding architecture, gehry's mit stata center, 2008 olympic stadium, and the pistons keeping the lakers down.

(by-the-by, all you friggin artsy fants, neomu7 is open for submissions.)

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

whales & orgies - harry kim

"What kind of degenerate scumbug writes fuck you on the wall? That's me! I write "fuck you" on the wall! (...) I'm gonna go in and bring the property value down, and make it look ugly, ugly fucking slash beautiful."

david choe, on whales & orgies and everything in between, on ifilm.

just tumbled through the celluloid skyline of new york, a multimedia exploration of new york, based on the book by james sanders. scope out some nice photographs of the old days of new york, as well as the upscale great gatsy daydreams old hollywood art director tried to turn the city into.

also, kathy showed this to me a while back: graffiti archaeology cassidy curtis brings us a timelapse collage of some sf graffiti over the past 6 years. nutso!!

meanwhile, my academic butt wants to cop this: the cybercities reader. and damn, i should be working on my thesis paper.

summer break's got me spraypainting the word "jackass" onto all over my skin, while i'm taking it easy in so cal, the sasc family is bending their backs like hyperboles for the 2004 summer institute. an all-expense paid educational experience on heritage, culture, community building and social change. the family has been working on this for almost a whole year and it's coming right up in two weeks. i'd give my bones and sweat glands to this program but i have summer school in the way. 24 students are coming up for this, including my younger brother. thank you for making this happen.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

old boy - park chan-wook

sprout angel wings with this movie, the strange happiness i felt after seeing this, a knucklepunch that left me smiling. don't be surprised if every college dorm room has a poster of old boy up a year from now. don't mean to add to the hype, there's plenty of it here and here. we have a man who is kidnapped and imprisoned for no apparent reason and is set free 15 years later without a word of explanation. what happens next is something both gorgeous and vicious, like a butterfly with wings made out of shrapnel floating through your stomach. and damn, choi min-sik, who plays the main character, is insane (his performance in the first and final 10 minutes of the movie are unbelievable.) gnaw on a squid and give me a smile, see this movie and then have some coffee with me. i want to see some harry potter 3.

[update: 2/9, 2:14 am]

jsa - park chan-wook

oh, and have you seen park chan-wook's first film, jsa (joint security area)? i caught it one free evening during finals week, and i still remember that evening clearly, mostly because i got the chance to spend it with s, the first time we could hang together in too long a while. fascinating stuff, not only because i'm an ignorant ass who knows next to nothing about the north-south political situation there (see, all i knew about the korean demilitarized zone was taught to me by the drunken babbling of one mike nguyen at a party at steve's once) but also because it's a damn fine mystery too.

Monday, June 07, 2004

something that i wish i heard at my graduation: martin espada's "imagine the angels of bread."

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roofdeck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;
this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;
this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;
this is the year
that darkskinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border's undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;
this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;
this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;
this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;
this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;
if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.

what i wouldn't do to watch him bust this!

i began reading the wind-up bird chronicle when i was sprawled out on the tiled floor of an empty house in the san fernando valley, a shipwreck of a home now, things hastily moved out, except for a few phone books and some old action figures that no one really wants to keep. as toru okada climbed down a dried-up well and looked up to see a half-moon full of stars, i was lying in the beach, forming half of a sand angel with the left side of my body. when he decided not to run away to the mediterranean ocean with the psychic prositute, i wanted to dip my head in the pacific ocean and imagine what would happen to him if he did. (no i didn't ruin a plot twist.)

Sunday, June 06, 2004

c'est aujourd'hui samedi, et il y a des choses dont je n'ai jamais aime parler. je suis dans mon lit et je veux que la lune eclate contre ma peau. je veux nouer mes reves sur une chaussure et laissez la donner un coup de pied contre le toit de ma maison. soulevez le toit! je veux que le ciel soit mon parapluie contre mon coeur si effraye. benissez les etoiles si seuls. frappez-moi si j'ose oublier la language de mes grand-parents.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

los angeles has me itchy in my own skin, maybe it's all the smog calling the nooks within my lungs "home", maybe it's the loneliness my legs feel with all this driving, maybe it's the lack of wind combing through my hair (which perhaps explains all the dandruff), but this, all this here got me tripping over my own shadow, i don't know what to say,

time to get out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

summer break so i've got some free time on my hands, i watched akira kurosawa's stray dogs and roman polanski's chinatown back to back last night and felt real blue after it all, film noirs got my blood running black i couldn't fall asleep. chinatown is set in pre-war los angeles, with jack nicholson's jj gittes (a private dick) shit talking and lying his way to find out the truth, stray dogs' got toshiro mifune's detective murakami running across sweaty post-war tokyo in search of his missing gun. dusty and sweaty films, kurosawa's got eyes made out of watermelons, his visuals are that rich and sweet. mifune give a subtle show but we get glimpses of the wolverine rage he'll show off in his later movies (seven samurai!) and their endings... damn, don't they make you want to drink yourself to sleep.
bomb the suburbs! (this place digs television antennas into my retinas.)

(primitivo suarez)

street art fans worldwide, clutch this asap, the wooster collective brings it through and through everyday of the damn week, gorgeous stuff, seeing all this is making me go bananas, i'm itching to get out of the suburbs quick, you have no idea how much i loathe for 405 freeway (everyday i dream of godzilla and mothra rising out of the pacific and thrashing the place down.) all i do is drive from point A to point B and back again.

(meanwhile, when i'm not driving, i'm - sigh - gaming... by-the-by: play bushgame - howard dean AND mr t, in the same game? pop culture nerds and political lefties, this is your mario party.)

i miss s so all i do is stare at these pictures of lower manhattan and imagine her shadow breeze by on top of them. amsterdam seems to be a happening place, any city that invests so much money in public transportation must be worth a visit. doesn't this bus stop make riding the bus seem like a rollercoaster ride? what did ruth forman say? "somethingsomething should ride the bus?" oh yes, poetry should ride the bus, but i think i've forgotten a thing or two about that subject.