Writer | Actor | Voice-Over Artist

Monthly Archives: July 2015

This guy changed the world: We won’t see the likes of Jon Stewart again

Some thoughts on Jon Stewart’s resignation — not the flawed liberal hero we needed, but the one we deserved #SnarkKnight

It’s strange thinking that people my brother’s age who have just graduated from college remember Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” always being a political institution. It’s hard to explain to them just how big a deal Stewart’s sudden rise was back during the Bush years, what a shock it was to see Craig Kilborn’s tacky random-riffs-on-the-headlines show turn into the most credible source of news for the millennial generation, why Stewart’s impending retirement feels so momentous and sad.

I’m one of the college kids who in 2003 and 2004 grabbed onto what seemed like certain cultural anchors of sanity in what felt like a world gone mad. I remember the sense of despair as the Bush administration systematically took apart the social safety net, as Serious Pundit after Serious Pundit queued up to take their turn explaining why we absolutely had to cave into the neocons’ desire for a pointless war in Iraq, as every day revealed a new headline emphasizing that America was firmly in the hands of the religious right and the establishment left was enthusiastically welcoming our wingnut overlords.

Good satire then was like water in the desert. We were thirsty for any reminder that we hadn’t gone crazy, the world had, that the policies of our leaders were in fact as monstrous and deranged as they seemed to be. That things were not OK. The Onion, “The Daily Show,” “Arrested Development” — those were the comic voices that defined my coming of age, and I remember them all coming from a stance of incredulity, of “Can you believe this shit is really happening?”

Read the full article at Salon


When the Absolute Right to Snark Turns Sour

If there’s a generational text for us millennial Twitter-using opinion-having Internet denizens of the 2010s, it’s Tom Scocca’s “On Smarm.” It was the manifesto not just for Gawker Media but for the whole wave of New Media that Gawker was the vanguard of. Everyone I knew shared the hell out of it when it was… Continue Reading

Reddit’s Terrorists Have Won: Ellen Pao and the Failure to Rebrand Web 2.0 – The Daily Beast

Some of the worst trolls on the Internet are celebrating victory, as embattled interim CEO of Reddit Ellen Pao stepped down yesterday after what can charitably be described as a month or so of pure hell. Let’s review the story briefly, since there’s a gushing torrent of BS that’s accompanying the joyful celebrating of Pao’s departure among… Continue Reading

Not in our name, either: Rejecting the myth of Asians as the model minority – Fusion

“Oppression Olympics” is a bad word. Very little positive tends to happen when members of various minorities start to battle over who has it worse–the whole point of the term “intersectionality” is to put a label on the general fact that it’s way more complicated than that. That said–if we were to hold an Oppression… Continue Reading

Kevin Kwan’s ‘China Rich Girlfriend’ – New York Times Sunday Book Review

Proudhon said, “Property is theft”; Balzac said, “Behind great fortunes without apparent cause lies a crime forgotten.” Well, if great wealth is a great crime, Kevin Kwan’s “China Rich Girlfriend,” a sequel to his 2013 “Crazy Rich Asians,” slots neatly into the grand tradition of true-crime narratives — those lurid paper­backs that aim to repulse… Continue Reading

Remember when we liked the Internet? Longing for a world without trolls, tracking and Twitter roundups – Salon

I made a commitment a while ago, in the wake of the deeply embarrassing statistics about female directors in Hollywood, to boost the work of women–especially Asian women–in film. It’s been easier to do so than I thought it’d be, since two of the most powerful films I’ve seen this year about the experience of being a… Continue Reading

Bill Cosby: Why Weren’t You Outraged? – The Daily Beast

Last week I talked about how the “outrage culture” that it’s trendy to bash these days—which included the outrage against Brendan Eich, Chick-fil-A, and other “political correctness gone mad” headlines—played a starring role in getting same-sex marriage from unachievable dream to inevitable reality. That seems to be a controversial thesis, with lots of people lecturing me that no,… Continue Reading

Outrage culture changed the world: “PC” critics are wrong — marriage equality happened because activists used shame and rage – Salon

Gather round, young post-millennials who’ve grown up feeling like social progress is an inevitable onrushing tide and are therefore prone to “liking” Facebook posts about Feminism Going Too Far and The Left-Wing Outrage Machine. Gather round, everyone who says dumb shit about how everyone’s just too darn mean to marriage equality opponents and proclaiming that it takes no courage to stand… Continue Reading