5 ways the KDAY sale can be tolerable

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Hip-hop heads and westsiders poured a little liquor last week, when it was announced that KDAY (93.5 FM), aka the best radio station in Los Angeles, was bought out by a company looking to replace 90s g-funk, hourly Eazy-E, and the Westside Connect Gang with Mandarin-dialect programming. If that’s true, L.A. is losing, yet again, the namesake to the legendary station that helped propel rap music over 20 years ago, as well as unarguably the best weekend mixes on the FM dial.

There are only five ways the alleged KDAY sale will be tolerable.

  1. Mandarin DJs spinning nuthin’ but west coast gangsta rap.
  2. Fung Brothers named head of programming.
  3. In return, KAZN 1300 AM bought out by Greg Mack and the original Mixmasters.
  4. Nightly kung fu theater of English-dubbed 70s Shaolin films.
  5. LA Boyz.
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YOMYOMF Channel: Week One (Take Two)

Shots fired! I tend to agree with Brian’s clear-eyed, full-hearted take on why the YOMYOMF YouTube channel feels like a watered-down version of the take-no-cultural-prisoners approach that we’re used to, though I do think there isn’t quite enough “there” there to take a proper pulse yet. Because broad generalizations lead to drawing definitive conclusions, which people much smarter than me keep telling me is how we ended up with the latest Pew findings.

It’s probably worth keeping in mind, though, that the YOMYOMF channel is more than just a movement: it’s an advertisement for a movement. Continue reading

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YOMYOMF Channel: Week 1 recap

They called it the Bananapocalypse, which could refer to some kind of yellow-faced take-down of the internet-as-we-know-it, a changing of the (racial) guard, or perhaps the fact that Hollywood is willing to get their hands dirty playing in the same sandpit as the YouTubers. But having now seen every second of new YouTube channel YOMYOMF Week One, I think the Bananapocalypse might actually be the fact that 350,000 subscribers (the “big story” of the week!) clicked “like” on explosions and b-list stars and somehow we’re now writing epitaphs for Long Duk Dong.

Yeah it’s just week one, but this banana-flavored Kool-aid is getting to people’s heads, and in a few months, those subscribers risk looking like the Mayans after week one of 2013.

Here’s all you need to know. Continue reading

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The Breach ain’t Broke

…we just got ourselves some jobby-jobs.

But we’re lurking behind a corner. No water fountain and abandoned car is safe. We’re armed with Twitter, and don’t make us use it.

In the meantime, re-visit our year-old Jeremy Lin blog summit, featuring Oliver Wang, Hua Hsu, Jay Capsian Kang, and ourselves. It’s a weird combo of the prescient, the timid, the wildly off-base, and the desperate. But most of all, the line we can draw from September 2010 to Jeremy Lin dunk #1 says it all about why we’re all struggling for words right now.

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Culture mashup: The Karate Kid x Tiger Mother

Poor Amy Chua.  If she were only old, male, unattractive, washed-up, alcoholic, and too pathetic and self-hating to write a memoir, nobody would be giving her any fuss about her parenting methods.

On the other hand, lucky Jackie Chan.

Things I learned today about parenting, from The Karate Kid (2010):
1. “wax on wax off” parenting is most effective because it’s not only torture, it’s also highly amusing
2. black kid’s message to Chinese parents: chill out! your daughters are safe with me!
3. American mothers fail at teaching their children to clean up their rooms because they have not mastered the Chinese parenting method (hours of unexplained physical torture) (see lesson #1)
4. Chinese dads will cry over their dead sons, but only when drunk
5. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith were on set all the time, no doubt whipping Jaden into speaking perfect Mandarin. (“We’re not auto-tuning those tones you lazy piece of garbage”)

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Best of 2010: 5 reasons ESPN’s 30 for 30 were must-see TV

2010 gave us David Simon’s follow-up to The Wire, a resurgent, refocused Mad Men, as well as other top-shelf home entertainment like Breaking Bad, Louie, and lest we forget, Andy Samberg’s Mark Wahlberg skit. Cue the “television is the new cinema” meme. And yet the most cinematic achievement on television this year — ESPN’s groundbreaking 30 for 30 series — was, in fact, actual cinema: 30 feature-length films featuring 30 of the most spine-tingling, soul-crushing stories about slippery truths; half-forgotten icons; larger-than-life Man Love; snatching victory from the jaws of defeat only to have it snatched back; the price of too much success, too soon; and unwanted martyrdom, to name just a few. That the role of sports seems so certain in all this yet so elusive at the same time speaks to the fundamental paradox that greets anyone who’s ever been a fan: We think we know. But we have no idea. Here are the five films in the series that kept us asking all the right questions:

1. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (Directed by Steve James)

Many have argued that Steve James (of Hoop Dreams fame) fails by not trying to set the record straight about Allen Iverson, one of this generation’s most polarizing, mercurial hoop stars. They would be missing the point. No Crossover is first and foremost about the the discussion of race when it revolves around faces without identities, words without meaning, circumstances without context.  As for AI himself, he remains an enigmatic symbol — is he a tragic hero felled by society’s hypocritical, parasitic ways, or an insensitive, immoral thug? If you answered neither one, then this is precisely the film for you.

2. The Two Escobars (Directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist)

No documentary in the series takes wider aim at the mark than Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s The Two Escobars — and with good reason. A multilayered narrative connecting drug-ravaged Columbia in the early ’90s (The Kosovo next door: reads one titillating NYT headline) to the rise and fall of drug lord Pablo Escobar, along with his spiritual better half, Columbian soccer hero-turned-goat Andres Escobar, Two Escobars doesn’t take too many bold stylistic risks — but when the stakes are this high, it only takes the lightest of touches to tip the scale toward cinematic gold. It’s easy to take umbrage with the notion that sports can be the panacea for an ailing society, but in the case of The Two Escobars, it’s more than that — for a country hoping to find ways to forgive and forget, soccer is the only way out. Try telling that to the family of Andres Escobar, though.

3. Once Brothers (Directed by NBA Entertainment)

I’ve already waxed plenty poetic about this Vlade Divac-narrated documentary, so I won’t do so here, except to say: fellas, love is always having to say you’re sorry.

4. Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks (Directed by Dan Klores)

For those of us who were raised on the NBA on NBC (every Sunday!),  we know that it wasn’t exactly an aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball played by the Knicks and Pacers during their storied rivalry. That said, Patrick Ewing choking, Reggie Miller stroking, John Starks emoting, and Spike Lee, well, being Spike Lee adds up to freeze frame heaven, as well as the perfect reminder that, no matter what all the stat gurus tell you, professional basketball today is undoubtedly the better for it.

5. Guru of Go (Directed by Bill Couterie)

The tragic, untimely passing of Hank Gathers hangs like a spectre throughout Guru of Go, but ultimately, it’s a film about taking unconventionality to its very limits. Paul Westhead and his runnin, gunnin Loyola Marymount teams provides a fascinating look at what happens when sports transcends structure and chaos rules — the fans win. Besides, it has the ultimate cornerstone image — a right-handed Bo Kimble offering a salute to his fallen teammate in the form of a left-handed free throw. If that’s not cinematic, I don’t know what is.

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