그래요 우린 할 수 있어요

You gotta love the stuff those folks over at United For Obama are doing. They’ve gone and put Korean subtitles on a Spanish song for Obama. They also have a version with Vietnamese subtitles.

If nothing, Obama is definitely the hipper candidate. I think they should release a soundtrack CD of the campaign after all is said and done.


Boulder Up A Hill

I’m sure many of you already know about the controversy behind the opinion piece that ran in the CU Boulder student paper that called for an assault on all Asian American students unless they assimilated. It was authored by a student named Max Karson. If you are curious, here is a link to the article.

But what I found more disturbing was that after a little googling, I came across the below article. It sounds like that despite being arrested for threatening language to fellow classmates last year, the same guy a year later was allowed to write an angry anti-Asian essay for the school paper. Sounds like echoes of Kenneth Eng, the Asian Supremacist. I don’t see how the school paper feels it can defend itself in the matter.

At right is a picture of Max Karson being bailed out by his dad last year for the incident.

From the Daily Camera:

Students return to class after Max Karson’s arrest
Officer in class to answer questions
By Vanessa Miller
Friday, April 20, 2007

Most of Max Karson’s classmates in a women’s-studies course at the
University of Colorado reconvened Thursday, two days after the junior
was jailed for comments about being “angry enough to kill.”

But where Karson would have sat, there was an empty seat. And there was an officer in the room, police said.

“One detective was there in case there were questions,” CU police
Cmdr. Brad Wiesley said. “They had a brief discussion, and that was
helpful for everyone.”

Karson was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of “interference with
staff, faculty and students of an educational institution” after he
commented during a heated classroom discussion about the Virginia Tech
massacre that he was “angry enough to kill his classmates,” a police
report said.

He left the Boulder County Jail on a personal-recognizance bond
Wednesday, and he’s been suspended from the university until a
judicial-affairs review of his case is complete.

Karson’s father said his son — who circulates an underground
publication called The Yeti on the campus — never directly threatened
any students and wouldn’t harm anyone. But Wiesley said Karson’s
intentions don’t matter because students felt threatened and said they
were afraid to come to class.

“His words were taken as a threat of force or violence, and people
said, ‘I’m not coming to class. I’m scared,'” Wiesley said. “So that
impeded their education.”

Among Karson’s controversial comments Tuesday, Wiesley said, was one
that directly answered another student’s question of, “Are you going to
do something Thursday?”

“He said, ‘Well, not necessarily this Thursday,'” Wiesley said. “Do you take a chance on coming back to class?”

With Karson banned from the campus, most of the students were back
in their seats Thursday, and a class field trip in Denver this weekend
should happen as planned, Wiesley said.

“We went from most people not coming to most people showing up,” he
said. “Now they can get the education they came here for, and that’s a
good thing.”

Students have been debating Karson’s punishment on the social-networking site Facebook.com.

“A national tragedy shouldn’t take away anyone’s rights,” one person wrote.

CNN television personality Nancy Grace weighed in on the Karson case Thursday night.

After introducing Karson as a CU student who “says he sympathized
with the V-Tech killer,” Grace asked a woman whose daughter attends the
Virginia school what she thought about Karson’s statements.

“Let’s take him 100-percent seriously and give him zero tolerance,”
the woman said. “We cannot afford another tragedy like this.”

End of the Underground

This is sad news for me — The New York Underground Film Festival is going to have its final festival this year. They started fifteen years ago and were instrumental in helping support me when I was just starting out. They actually gave me my first grant for finishing funds on my first short film “A Waiter Tomorrow” and premiered the film in the festival. I don’t know if I would have been able to get to where I am now if they hadn’t existed. They filled the void where edgier filmmakers could actually have their films shown to audiences that appreciated them. Maybe with the internet, we don’t need these types of venues anymore, but there was something nice about having a gathering of like-minded filmmakers and film-goers. They will be missed.

If you are in New York, don’t miss your chance to be part of a legacy.

Out of This World Kimchee!

From The International Herald Tribune:

Kimchi goes to space, along with first Korean astronaut
By Choe Sang-Hun

SEOUL: Koreans say they must eat kimchi wherever they are. When South Korea
dispatched troops to the Vietnam War in the 1960s, tearful mothers sent
off their sons with clay pots containing homemade kimchi. Soon
troopships were filled with the pungent smell of the fermenting cabbage
slathered with pepper and garlic.

So it was only natural for Koreans to think that their first
astronaut must have the beloved national dish when he goes on his
historic space mission in April. Three top government research
institutes went to work. Their mission: to create “space kimchi.”

“If a Korean goes to space, kimchi must go there, too,” said Kim
Sung Soo, a Korea Food Research Institute scientist. “Without kimchi, Koreans feel flabby. Kimchi first came to our mind when we began
discussing what Korean food should go into space.”

Ko San, a 30-year-old computer science engineer who beat 36,000
contestants to become the first South Korean space traveler, will blast
off April 8 on board a Russian-made Soyuz rocket, together with two
Russian cosmonauts. He will stay in the International Space Station for
10 days conducting scientific experiments.

Ko’s trip will be an occasion for national celebration. Since 1961,
34 countries, including Vietnam, Mongolia and Afghanistan, have sent
more than 470 astronauts into space, but none of them was Korean –
something South Koreans have found humiliating, given their country’s
economic stature. So when their government finally decided to finance
Ko’s trip, they wanted him well prepared for his momentous journey.
Which means he must take kimchi with him.

After millions of dollars and years of research, South Korean
scientists successfully engineered kimchi and nine other Korean recipes
fit for space travel. When the Russian space authorities this month
approved them for Ko’s trip, the South Korean food companies that
participated in the research took out full-page newspaper ads.

The other space food Koreans created include the national instant
noodle called ramyeon, hot pepper paste, fermented soybean soup and
sticky rice.

But kimchi – a must-have side dish at every Korean meal – was the toughest to turn into space food.

“The key was how to make a bacteria-free kimchi while retaining its
unique taste, color and texture,” said Lee Ju Woon at the Korean Atomic
Energy Research Institute, who began working on the newfangled kimchi
in 2003 with samples provided by his mother.

Ordinary kimchi is teeming with microbes, like lactic acid bacteria,
which help fermentation. On Earth they are harmless, but scientists
fear they could turn dangerous in space if cosmic rays cause them to
mutate. Another problem is that kimchi has a short shelf life,
especially when temperatures fluctuate rapidly, as they do in space.

“Imagine if a bag of kimchi starts fermenting and bubbling out of
control and bursts all over the sensitive equipment of the spaceship,”
Lee said.

Lee’s team found a way to kill the bacteria with radiation while
retaining 90 percent of the original taste. Lee’s space kimchi comes in
cans, whereas the Korea Food Research Institute’s version, developed by
Kim’s team using a different technology to control the fermentation
process, comes in a plastic package.

“This will greatly help my mission. When you’re working in
space-like conditions and aren’t feeling too well, you miss Korean
food,” Ko, who is training in Russia, said in a statement transmitted
through the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, which is overseeing his
mission. “Since I am taking kimchi with me, this will help cultural
exchanges in space.”

Ko plans to be host of a Korean dinner in the space station on April
12 to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the day the Soviet cosmonaut
Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. The dinner will conclude
with Korean ginseng and green tea.

What about kimchi’s strong aroma, which often keeps non-Koreans from trying it?

“We managed to reduce the smell by one-third or by half,” Kim said.
“So the other astronauts will feel comfortable trying our space kimchi.”

Choi Gi Hyuk, head of the South Korean government’s Korea Astronaut
Program, said the low-calorie and vitamin-rich kimchi, and its
mouth-scorching punch, would prove excellent in space by “perking up
the appetite” of astronauts “tired of their bland menu.” So far, 150
dishes are available for astronauts, all developed by American and
Russian scientists.

South Koreans consume 1.6 million tons of kimchi a year, at
breakfast, lunch and dinner. Until recently, in a tradition similar to
an Amish barn raising, villagers joined to make kimchi each fall and
stored it underground in jars to last through the winter. Today, most
housewives buy kimchi in stores and keep it in an electronic “kimchi

Many South Koreans say their high-tempo lifestyle – which helped
build their country’s economy into one of the biggest in the world in a
few decades – owes much to the invigorating qualities of kimchi.

When posing for photographs, Koreans say, “Smile and say
‘Kimchiiii!’ ” And there is no doubt a link between kimchi and Korean

In 1967, President Park Chung Hee of South Korea sent a letter
telling President Lyndon Johnson that South Korean soldiers fighting in
Vietnam were miserable, missing kimchi. To make the point, Park’s
deputy, Prime Minister Chung Il Kwon, told Johnson during a visit to
the White House that when he traveled overseas, he longed for kimchi
more than his wife.

After the Americans agreed to finance the delivery of canned kimchi,
Assistant Secretary of State William Bundy reportedly quipped –
somewhat wishfully – that the Vietcong “would never be able to hold the
Koreans once it arrived.”

The developers of space kimchi said their research would help
overcome an obstacle that has daunted businessmen trying to expand
kimchi exports: the food’s short shelf life.

“During our research, we found a way to slow down the fermentation
of kimchi for a month so that it can be shipped around the world at
less cost,” Lee said. “This will help globalize kimchi.”

Remember Michael Cho

If you live in the LA area and are Korean, you probably already know about this. But if you don’t, I thought I should pass along this vigil at UCLA in honor of Michael Cho who was gunned down by police in La Habra.

UCLA Campus Vigil for Mike Cho
7:00pm – 10:00pm, Thursday, February 28, 2008

UCLA Bruin Plaza
308 Westwood Plaza

Los Angeles, CA

 Justice for Mike Cho and UCLA’s Korean American Students Association,
Queer Alliance, and Asian Pacific Coalition are hosting a campus vigil
for Michael S. Cho Thursday, February 28th, 7-10pm at the UCLA Bruin

Everybody is welcome to bring instruments to play along with the crowd.

you knew Mike or work with a civil rights organizations and would like
to speak at the event, please contact justiceformikecho@gmail.com.

Please invite all friends to this event.

Here is an article from the LA Times about the case:

On New Year’s Eve, La Habra police shot and killed Michael Cho in a
strip mall parking lot when he allegedly threatened officers with a
tire iron.

The killing of the UCLA graduate and artist has set off criticism of
police not heard in Southern California’s Korean American community
since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, when shop owners complained that
officers never showed up to stop looters, and they picked up guns to
defend their stores.

This time, community leaders say La Habra police were too quick on the trigger when responding to a vandalism call.

“We haven’t seen this expression of shock, disbelief and sadness in the
community before,” said Richard Choi Bertsch, of the Orange County
Korean American Coalition. “All of the first-generation parents are
saying, ‘This could’ve been my kid.’ ” Charles Kim, a La Habra resident
and past national president of the Korean American Coalition, said that
“the community’s mind is pretty much set that the police overreacted.”

The shooting has been widely followed in the Korean-language media.
Korea Times reporter John Lee called it “one of the biggest stories”
and said every new development is reported “as soon as it comes in.”

Three weeks after Cho’s death, the Korean Community Lawyers’ Assn.
sponsored a meeting in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, where lawyers and a
former police official discussed the use of deadly force. One topic on
the agenda was “Defining Police Use of Force: How to Prevent Another
Korean From Being Shot.” The Justice for Michael Cho committee has
organized vigils at the shooting site and in front of the La Habra
police station and will take a delegation to the next City Council
meeting Feb. 19.

Sensing the concern, police Chief Dennis Kies asked the Orange County
Human Relations Commission to arrange a meeting with community leaders
in Garden Grove on Jan. 4. Executive Director Rusty Kennedy said the
meeting, attended by about 30 people, was “contentious but orderly.”

“There was some anger. People posed challenging questions and wanted to
know why police didn’t use nonlethal force,” Kennedy said. “They wanted
to know why the young man was shot so many times, and how would [Kies]
feel if it had been his son.”

The Orange County district attorney’s office is investigating the
shooting, but few community leaders expect the two officers involved to
be punished for the 25-year-old artist’s death. Authorities refused to
identify the officers.

District attorney’s spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder said the last
time an Orange County police officer was prosecuted for shooting
someone while on duty was in the 1980s.

Cho’s family has hired attorney Mark Geragos’ firm to represent them in
a possible lawsuit against police. Geragos has represented several
high-profile clients, including Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, who
was convicted of killing his wife, and Brent R. Wilkes, convicted of
bribing former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe).

In addition, the Korean Community Lawyers’ Assn. has assigned an
attorney and hired an investigator to conduct a separate probe.

The Cho family said a lawsuit may lead to answers that authorities have not provided.

Information released by police after the Dec. 31 shooting said officers
responded about 1 p.m. to a call about an Asian man vandalizing cars in
the 900 block of North Walnut Avenue.

They were unable to find the vandal. An hour later, another call said
he was at Walnut Street and Whittier Avenue, carrying a tire iron.

The caller identified a man who turned out to be Cho, who was
standing outside a liquor store. A store surveillance tape first
obtained by the Korea Times and posted on the Internet shows Cho
walking toward two officers, who have guns drawn, a sequence that lasts
about 25 seconds.

Cho brings his right hand to his mouth and appears to hold something in his left hand, which hangs by his side.

With both officers still pointing their guns at him, he makes a right turn and walks out of camera range.

Police said in a news release that Cho was “agitated” and ignored orders to drop the tire iron.

Instead, police say, Cho walked toward one of the officers and
“raised the tire iron above his head” as if to strike. Both officers
fired numerous shots.

Pat Harris, the family’s attorney, said Cho was shot at least 10 times.

Honglan Cho said the surveillance tape shows that her son was “very calm and relaxed” and not a threat to police.

She said he regularly walked to the strip mall to buy cigarettes or eat at a nearby fast-food restaurant.

Three hours after the shooting, police went to Cho’s parents’ home,
saying they had received a vandalism report and inquired about their
son, said Sung Man Cho, a painting contractor.

They did not tell him that Michael Cho was dead, he said.

Police returned at 8 p.m. They said Cho was dead but did not say how he died, the father said.

The family was unclear about when they learned how he was killed.

Honglan Cho, 58, a nurse, said she called the coroner’s office on
New Year’s Day, the day after her son died, and an employee asked if
there was anything she could do. “I said you can bring my son back.”

He expressed himself through music, sculpture, drawing and ceramics, which became his passion.

In 2005, after graduating from UCLA, Cho went to South Korea to study traditional Korean ceramic art, his mother said.

He was also active in his church, where he taught art to disabled
children.Cho planned to apply to Yale University’s master’s program in
art and become a college professor.

His friends started a group on the social networking website Facebook that has more than 2,600 members.

The site, “stop police brutality — remember Michael Cho,” was
launched “to celebrate his wonderful life” and protest his death.

“A beautiful young man has lost his life and we can not allow him to
become just another person that has been lost to gun violence,” the
site says.

Visitors are asked to sign an online petition calling for a federal
investigation “as we do not believe that a local investigation would
either be sufficient or free of bias.”

Working in Kaiser Permanente Hospital’s intensive-care unit in
Bellflower, Honglan Cho spends her day in the midst of sickness and
suffering, a world her artist son considered dark and brooding.

“Mike told me that my life was colorless and plain. I trust God will
use Mike in a special way to bring color to heaven,” she said.


Wanted: Overseas Korean Filmmakers

KOFIC(Korean Film Council) continues 3rd Filmmakers Development Lab.
February 19, 2008 (Los Angeles)- In a major initiative to nurture and encourage emerging Overseas Korean filmmakers to bring their stores to the screen, the Korean Film Council(KOFIC) announced today KOFIC Filmmakers Development Lab 2008.
The Lab will be held for a week in Jeju Island, Korea during mid-June 2008. Following in September and October, the Lab Fellows will attend the IFP in New York and PPP(Pusan Promotion Plan) in Pusan International Film Festival in Korea to meet with relevant film industry representatives and organizations whom could potentially produce their projects.
The FDL aims to match emerging filmmakers from Korea and the Korean disapora, with mentors drawn from the film industries in Korea and the United States. The aim of the program is to enable these filmmakers to make their fiction feature projects through script development, knowledgeable advice from an industry professional, and exposure to the international film community.
Five filmmaking Fellows will be chosen from open submission and matched with five professionals who act as their Mentors.
The program consists of a one week Lab where Mentors work one-on-one with Fellows in not only brining their scripts up to a marketable state, but also participate in discussion about topics relevant to filmmaking and film business. Thereafter, the Mentors’ scripts will be included in the Emerging Narrative program of the Independent Film Project / New York in September and also in the Co-Production Market of the Pusan International Film Festival / Asian Film Market, Korea in October. This participation will allow KOFIC sponsor fellows an opportunity to meet film industry representatives and allow themselves to introduce their projects to the film community.
The Korean Film Council is based in Seoul, Korea with a satellite office in Los Angeles. Its mission is to raise the standard of Korean films, and to promote the Korean film industry at home and abroad. KOFIC provides and supports programs to develop creative filmmakers, improve the production of low-budget films, raise the profile of Korean cinema, and create a network between filmmakers in the Korean, overseas Korean and international communities.
Information on the KOFIC Filmmakers Development Lab, and directors for application is available online at http://fdl.kofic.or.kr
The Deadline for submissions is  March 19th, 2008.