Showing posts from June 22, 2008


In 2006, Time Magazine did a full page feature on Tila Tequila, a phenom of "..........Tila clearly grasps the logic of Web 2.0 in a way that would make many ceos weep. She sells Tila posters, calendars, a clothing line of hoodies and shirts. She has been on the cover of British Maxim. She has a single due to be released online. She has a cameo in next summer's Adam Sandler movie. She has four managers, a publicist and a part-time assistant. It's hard to know how to read the rise of Tila Tequila. Does she represent the triumph of a new democratic starmaking medium or its crass exploitation for maximum personal gain? It's not clear that even Tila knows. But she knows why it works. "There's a million hot naked chicks on the Internet. There's a difference between those girls and me. Those chicks don't talk back to you.", she said......."

By 2008, Tila Tequila is already into her second season of her own MTV reality show - A Shot At …

Strange Bedfellows

As Madison Nguyen recall effort is in full swing, the Viet politics in San Jose is heating up just in time for the summer. The recall team, after the first 4 weeks relying on recall stations at strategic locations to obtain signatures, now adopts the standard get out the vote tactic of precinct canvassing with precinct captains and door to door visit. Meanwhile, Madison Nguyen is relying on a myriad of elected officials sending out anti-recall messages at public events and letters to show soliditary behind her.

Mayor Chuck Reed has been her most ardent supporter. At the recent Vietnamese Armed Forces Day, Madison Nguyen showed up with him to let everybody knows that she has the support of the mayor and the entire city council against the recall. Mayor Chuck Reed was an Air Force pilot stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. His daughter is also an Air Force pilot and a Gulf War heroine.
In early March of this year, at the city council hearing, after listening for 5 hours of hundr…

The Irony of Little Saigon Gate

In the mid 1990s, Frank Jao, the successful developer of Asian Garden Mall in the original Little Saigon district in Wesminster, proposed to have a pedestrian bridge built across the Bolsa Avenue. The intention was to relieve traffic congestion on the very busy road at the heart of Little Saigon. The city council approved the project. Frank Jao would pay out of his own pocket. It was supposed to be a straight forward endeavor. Well, it turned out to be at that time the most fractious and divisive fight the community had to endure. For about 6 months, waves of nasty attacks between opponents and proponents of the bridge played out on radio and in articles in daily newspapers. The contention - which design of the so called Harmony Bridge would most appropriately represent the cultural values and historical significance of the Viet community in Little Saigon.

In the end with no concensus and not wanting to upset any particular groups, Frank Jao withdrew the project and said: " I am …

A Ground Breaking Ceremony

Last Thursday, June 19, 2008, a ground breaking ceremony for the Little Saigon Gate was held and attended by about 200 people, including the city manager and City Supervisor Chris Daly.

The gate will be paid mostly by the city (the total cost is about $108,000). The Little Saigon district is 12 blocks long on Larkin Street running north and south from McAllister Street to Geary Blvd. It is one block away from San Francisco City Hall and Civic Center Plaza.

In a city of 766,000 people, the Vietnamese-Americans constitute about 2% of the population. However, their economic and cultural contributions to revitalize a once debilating segment of town was recognized by the city in September of 2003 when the board of supervisors unanimously voted to name the 12 blocks area Little Saigon.

In contrast, the Little Saigon naming effort in San Jose drew nation wide attention for its controversy. In a city where 10% of the population is Vietnamese-American, a Vietnamese-American city councilmember (Ma…