Showing posts from January 11, 2009

Demonstration Against LAAVA

Despite the fact that the "FOB II: Art Speaks" exhibit was shut down by city code enforcer due to a lack of a gallery permit, the demonstration against VAALA still took place as planned on Saturday as promised by the anti-communist groups. About 700 people showed up with their Freedom Flags demanding the dismantle of VAALA.
On Friday, the San Jose activist Ly Tong flew down and managed to enter the closed exhibit and sprayed paint the infamous photograph of the bust of the Great Uncle Ho positioned next to the lady with a yellow star red tank top.

As expected, politicians of all stripes are feasting on VAALA to build their name recognition. State Assemblyman Jose Solorio (Whom the community has no relationship or has an inkling who he is) in an open letter suggested that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido should shut down VAALA's headquarters right away. The reason - VAALA has violated the dignity of the Vietnamese-Americans and all others who defend and respect freedom and de…

Westminster Mayor Pro Term to VAALA: Apologize

Wesminster Mayor Pro Term Ta Tri and the Trannie's demanded VAALA to apologize and make amend to the community (?). The shutting down of the exhibit apparently was not enough in their view. Y Sa, the ED of VAALA, scoffed at the idea and responsed by reiterated the fact that VAALA as an organization always respects and honors the many suffering and sacrifices the community experienced under the communist regime and its fight for freedom and democracy.

At the end of the day, nobody wins and the community is again at a stalemate. VAALA representing the younger generation with a more liberal cultural value view is trying to provide a forum for a silent majority. But with a bad timing and questionable agenda to start with, the exhibit was designed to fail. The idea of mixing arts and politics or letting arts representing political voices can either be explosive and self-destruct or be brilliant and constructive vanguard.

If there is lesson to be learned, it is about don't try to be a…

Democracy At Work (Depending on Which Side)

At the press conference on Friday's morning in VAALA's headquarters while about 60 protesters standing outside with their anti-communist chants and Freedom Flags, the organizers of the controversial exhibit "FOB II: Arts Speak" announced that they will close the exhibit immediately. One of the main reasons is because Santa Ana City code inspector told the organizers they did not have gallery permit for the ground floor of the office building they had leased. The other reason is of course the threat of a massive demonstration this Saturday (which is doubtful because these anti-communist groups lack the majority support of the community)
Assemblyman Van Tran, R-Costa Mesa, also put VAALA on notice with his political ultimatum of cease and desist. In a letter to VAALA, Tran compared the exhibit as promoting a Nazi flag with a bust of A. Hitler in the middle of a community of Holocaust survivors. The only real drama of the day was an emotional statement from Han Doan, the …

New Year's Celebration

To mark the upcoming year of the Golden Ox, the Vietnam Consulate in San Francisco threw a big party last weekend with traditional New Year's food and music. The Tetmosphere in the Green Room at the SF War Memorial and Performing Art Center was vibrant and the crowd of over 500 people readily enjoyed themselves with the hope of bringing better luck in 2009 while trying to forget a disastreous Year of the Rat.

Not to be outdone by the communist government's party, the Vietnamese-American community in San Francisco is having their traditional Tet festival on Jan 18 in the newly named Little Saigon District (made up of 6 blocks of streets) next to SF City Hall. For a community of less than 14,000 people, it was quite a lobbying effort to not only have the name but also get the city to pay half of the cost for the gate. How did they do it? Well, a prominent journalist there suggested:"Because we did not have a Vietnamese-American councilmember in SF city council."

The big…

VAALA and Art Revenge

VAALA stands for Vietnamese-American Arts & Letters Association. This is a nonprofit organization founded with the intention of promoting Vietnamese-American artists, writers and film makers. The original driving force behind VAALA was the largest Vietnamese-American newspaper in southern California, Nguoi Viet. Le Dinh Y Sa, the executive director, is a champion of VAALA and has spent tiredless efforts promoting its causes.

Recently, touting its current exhibit as one of the hottest events in Santa Ana, VAALA announced the opening of " FOB II: Art Speaks ". The main attraction of the exhibit is a provocative photograph of a bust of the Great Uncle Ho Chi Minh, the founder of the French Communist Party as well as Indochina Communist Party and one of the most influential people in the 20th century (according to Time Magazine), positions next to a young woman gazing nostagically while wearing a blood red tank top with prominent Yellow Star on her chest (for those who don&#…

An Appointment of a Filipino American to Replace Madison Nguyen

So LSI went North to attend the swearing in of a new mayor and on the way home, got a text message from the 18th floor that the Filipino American whom Chuck Reed had approached for the appointment to replace Madison Nguyen after March 3 election actually turned down the position. Her reason to Reed is that this is a tainted seat and she does not agree to the condition that Chuck put forth - cannot run for election in 2010. Not to revealing any name to protect the innocent but on the other hand, it would not make the story interesting, LSI can only say that the person's first name is rhyme with the name of one of the recent US First Ladies.

Since early December, it is a well known fact on the 18th floor that Reed will appoint somebody to replace Nguyen. His dilemma is who? A Vietnamese-American, a Hispanic, an Anglo Saxon? In District 7, where there is only 20% Whites, it would be difficult not to choose a person of color. But who, not a Hispanic for he does not want Nora Campos to …