Asian Pop’s 2009 Year in Review

2009 — what a crappy year for Asian Americans.

Every year, Jeff Yang contacts high-profile Asian American bloggers (and, inexplicably, me…) to act as muses for his popular (and often hilarious) end-of-the-year wrap-ups. This year was no different, and after compiling my email to him, I toyed with the idea of writing my own end-of-the-year “Best Of/Worst Of” list.

But then, Jeff published his — a far more exhaustive and witty piece than I could hope to come up with. What’s more, he had to put his to verse! I give up, dude, and I bow down to the master!

Here are some choice excerpts:

‘Tis the day before New Year’s, a date that reminds us
Of all that we saw in the year that’s behind us
So to give an assessment that just can’t be ducked
Two-thousand-and-nine? Well, mostly, it sucked

Recession, rescission, Iran and Iraq
Swine flu, banker bailouts, and plummeting stock
Ponzi fraud, acts of God, sky-high unemployment
Not a lot to look back on with too much enjoyment

In fact, all in all, we’d much rather forget
This horrific year; is it January yet?
Oh well, it’s our duty, so let’s start at the top
And review ’09’s “Best and Worst” in Asian Pop

Galactica“‘s end put Grace Park fans in shock
(But “Stargate” has Ming-Na’s new lesbian doc)
John Cho lent “Flash Forward” his eyebrows and glare
While in “Star Trek” he sat in George Takei‘s old chair

Pixar’s “Up” made us all want to think, laugh and cry
While making a star out of Jordan Nagai
Ong Bak 2” proved that Tony Jaa rules modern action
No one else so creatively puts guys in traction

But the far-from-good “Goods” chose to laugh at hate crime
Hey, at least Ken Jeong works almost all of the time
A half-dozen films in ’09, plus he’s featured
On the new hit “Community,” as a weird Spanish teacher

Whatever you might think of Reality
At least in those programs, an Asian can be
More or less normal, and still a scene-stealer
Okay, I’m not talking ’bout Tila Tequila

Or the guy for whom Kate plus eight wasn’t enough.
Thanks a lot, Jon Gosselin! Asian dads had it tough
Before you gave tabloids a bailout by cheatin’
And choosing to act like an aging frat cretin

And how about Tiger, golf’s King Cablinasian?
By proving he too has tail-chasing persuasions
He traded his family and billions in green
For fore! play and strokes and, um, holes in 14

(To be fair, Asian mothers aren’t looking much better
What Balloon Mom put Falcon through really should get her
Not just jail time — three weeks in the pen plus probation —
But psych help and a permanent husband vacation.)

This is all just the tip of the iceberg of shame
That we saw in a year for the Lame Hall of Fame
A year in which Texas state Rep. Betty Brown
Made a modest suggestion for our proper nouns

“You Asians have monikers we can’t repeat
Why not change ’em to something sweet, simple and neat?”
(The person she said this to, named “Ramey Ko
Must have thought, “Even shorter? How low can you go?”)

A year in which immigrant kids in South Philly
Were battered — and told that their fears were quite silly
A year where teen idols chose to honor us Asians
By teaching the “slant-eye” to new generations

Still, we hate to close out the year toasting with whine
So here are a few things we loved in ’09
Gojira’s the World Series MVP now!
The world’s greatest boxer is Manny Pacquiao!

But, definitely, check out the full article to get a complete dose of Jeff Yang’s awesome.

Also, don’t forget to read the email quotes that went into the making of the article. I especially love how mine are like fourteen-sentences long — God, if that isn’t me, I don’t know what is!

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