Archive for December 14, 1996

Living Beneath the Bridge

It is amazing what one can think of when one is clashing two sticks together. A few friends and I were participating in a traditional Indian dance held by the Indian Student Association when the traditional became not so traditional. The D.J. began to play some funky hip hop music to which all the Indian students began dancing to. My friends and I began to worry because they were not dancing like at other Asian dances. They had their Western influenced Indian dancing and us well…we did not have much.

My friend Simon Wu pointed out that it seemed that as Asian Americans we do not seem to have much culture in this sort of situation. I began to think and I too came to the conclusion that we do not have any asian-western influenced dancing. As a race in whole, we do have a history here in America. There have been protests for Asian American rights, lobbies for culture centers and even demonstrations of Asian awareness, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes the small details come to hurt us the most. Take dancing for example, as Asian Americans we dance mostly at the two ends of the spectrum. Either like americans or like asians but not in a grey area for this grey area barely exists. The Indians could follow one another in clear displays of traditional dancing mixed with hip hop. We stood there dumfounded and baffled and any attempts to try to dance were met with self induced guilt.

“To every cloud, there is a silver lining.”

This saying is true in that as Asian Americans we are still relatively young but self aware. There is time to change and add on to our growing culture. This is a beauty all in itself because at our fingertips is the power to create. This Asian American culture, this lifestyle has come into existence and all of us are playing a part in it’s perfection. Who knows you might be the next Elvis of the Asian American world.

Asianis Brotheris

In the wake of Kappa Gamma Delta, Indiana University’s first Asian interest-sorority, lies herds of wandering beasts. At first, you may not realize just how many of these beasts roam the dark corridors and green pastures of IU’s campus, but take a closer look, and you will find them. Many of these beasts roam in packs every night in the main library. During the day, herds of these peculiar animals can be found in large concentrations resting at the business school. On weekends, a great place to observe these animals’ active behaviors is at the HPER, especially in the evening.

These animals, known to scientists in Jordan Hall as Asianis Brotheris, are known to the average person as the Asian male. Because there are no special support services and/or programs geared toward Asians in general here at Indiana University, let alone asian males, the Asianis Brotheris have taken to somewhat of a nomadic lifestyle, branching off into several sub-species. The Asianis-Americanis Brotheris (i.e. Asian American males) species, in particular, is a breed that has evolved convergently with another species, Whiteus majoris (Caucasian male) while at the same time retaining many similar features as the Internationalis studentis (Asian males). Asian American males represent a very small minority of all students at IU, so where are they to go to seek support from their own? What do they have to call their own? Is this the time for an Asian interest FRATERNITY? The real question is does IU need another Asian-interest FRATERNITY? We already have several. The Asian frats were all out in force showing their colors, crests and skills (or lack there of) this past Saturday at the HPER for this year’s Kappa Gamma Delta Roundball Classic. Alpha Alpha Alpha (AAA), Gamma Kappa Kappa (GKK) and Kappa Alpha Psi Alpha (KASA) were just a few of the Asian fraternities participating.

What KGD did with the basketball tournament was to show that among Asian males, there already exists a degree of solidarity that is consistent with the level of solidarity among Asian females on this campus. To some, the idea of an Asian fraternity is just the evolution of another species of Asianis Brotheris….an official clique, figuratively speaking. However, forming an “official” Asian-interest fraternity here at Indiana University would do a great deal to increase the level of brotherhood among the hundreds of Asian males at IU. Although a fraternity does not appeal to the majority of species of Asianis Brotheris at IU, the amount of positive influence and presence that an Asian fraternity can have on all other species of Asianis Brotheris as well as non-Asians is incredible.

The KGD Roundball Classic is a great example. All types of Asian brothers came out to participate and have a good time in this single event. To non-Asians and Asians alike, a great herd of these Asianis Brotheris stampeding on the hardwood is an impressive display of solidarity and diversity within as well as raw Asian power and masculinity. With an Asian-interest sorority already established on campus, it is only a matter of time now, before IU has its first Asian fraternity. Until that second birthday, let’s support ourselves and sprawl all over this campus.

“Bilingual” the Pet Shop Boys Album review

If you have any knowledge whatsoever about the Pet Shop Boys, you probably know that they are from England, and they’ve had a few excellent pop tracks such as “Go West,” “It’s a Sin,” and “West End Girls.” You also probably know that they are an all time favorite of Asian pop listeners. Well, PSB has stepped back into limelight with its new album entitled “Bilingual.”

The album has been a major success, in fact, currently it has been the biggest success of any PSB album since 1986’s “Please.” The boys, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, sing and rap about their sexuality, energy, and power. A very danceable album, “Bilingual” features two kicking tracks that will have DJ’s spinning those tunes for years to come. The songs are “Metamorphosis” and “Before.” Tennant sings about his change from a straight man to a gay man in “Metamorphosis.” When you first hear the song, the lyrics and rap are not the first things that attract you. Metatmorphosis features trumpets, a guitar, a techno beat that is of the 22 beat nature, and a melody that is a perfect blend of voice and instruments. Lyrics such as, “You know a man, who experiences this, a total metamorphosis. Its all about love, thats a metamorphosis,” tells you just how serious Tennant is about his sexuality. The universal appeal of this song is very strong. Even if you are not in favor with Tennant’s theme, this song has a beat you can grind the floor up with. “Before” was the albums first single, and it reached up to #7 on the pop/dance charts. The song features internationally known diva Barbara Tucker on background vocals, and Tennant singing beautifully in his high pitched voice. The song talks about trying not to settle on a relationship, because you may never know who may come along. I find the song’s keyboard riff astonishing. Lowe samples a melody over and over again, so it becomes engulfed in your head. While dancing, walking, or driving to this song, you can’t do anything but relax and enjoy this melody.

Other solid tracks on the album are “Red Letter Day,” “Up Against it,” and “Discoteca.” The Pet Shop Boys are back. By changing their old mellow beat to a fast paced, nefarious techno-whip, the boys prove that they belong in the limelight and deserve to stay there for quite some time.

One Price’s Rating (out of 5): 4.5

Coming Home for the 1st Time

“Glory Days” was the theme for this year’s homecoming parade, and for a small group of Asian students, the day presented them a chance to show their glory for the very first time. The Asian Student Union, a collaboration of all the Asian groups on campus, took the initiative and built their first Homecoming float. In a small and crowded parking lot, the transformation of senior Tuan Hoang’s dark cranberry pickup truck into the ASU float began. By the end of the afternoon, streamers, speakers and balloons enveloped the former truck. Banners and signs with words of cheer were hung and in the end the float was done.

As the ASU float and it’s creators waited for the start of the parade many veterns appluaded the rookie bunch for their efforts. Amist all the floats and people, Tuan and sophmore Shawn Chen agreed that they had always dreamed of someday participating in a parade, but as launch time approached the two eagar members found themselves without much of a crew to ride along. But fears were subsided as other ASU members flooded the bay of the float. As the parade proceeded the sound of music began to arise from the back. “Choo Choo train” was played continuously by Tuan as the small float ran it’s course down to Indiana Avenue. The crowds danced to the rhythms and eagerly awaited for the candy and fortune cookies being thrown to them. Graduate Christine Hsu climbed off the back and began to distribute candy to smaller children. There was even an instance where the crew ran out of candy and a lone soul ran to purchase more sweets though the floats were still in motion.

By the end of the parade the crew of the ASU float let out a little sigh but shouted with glory as they had completed their first ever parade ride. In the end, senior Candy Truong said, “This was pretty good for our first time but next year we’ll know what to expect.”

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