About aarondias

First- I want you to rip that E-Brake. Then, I want you to power over. ...Just don't wreck Mona- K?

Sensei – Forever Alone. Masculine, but Still Castrated :(

In his article “Looking for My Penis,” Richard Fung explains how Asian American men are nearly absent in the (mostly white-male dominated) gay pornographic film industry. He goes on about how “black people, both men and women, [have] a threatening hypersexuality, [while] Asians [men], on the other hand, are collectively seen as undersexed,” (Fung) in contrast to the hypersexualized Asian woman (Dragon-Lady) as seen in Hollywood films of the past and even today. Fung mentions how “Asian women in film are, for the most part, passive figures who exist to serve men—as love interests for white men,” and compares gay Asian American men in the porn industry as serving the same role towards the white-male actors and audience- they are only there to provide for the white-male character and audience (Fung).

In relation to Fung’s research about the desexualization of Asian American gay men in pornography, similar attributes in Asian American characters can be seen in Hollywood films such as The Karate Kid (1984) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). In The Karate Kid, Keisuke Miyagi (A.K.A. Mr. Miyagi) is a Japanese American, fitting into one of Fung’s categories of the desexualized Asian American male as “the kung fu master/ninja/samurai. He is sometimes dangerous, sometimes friendly, but almost always characterized by a desexualized Zen asceticism,” (Fung). Mr. Miyagi also fills the same orientalist view of Asians (which disappoints Fung) who is there solely to “serve the interests of the white man,” in which Mr. Miyagi teaches martial arts to the white-male main character so he can defend himself from his enemies at school and pursue his personal love interests.

In Tokyo Drift, the wise-sensei or master character is Han. Han is presented in the same way that Mr. Miyagi is presented in The Karate Kid; he is there to serve the interests of the main character-Sean- who again is white. In Tokyo Drift, Han supplies his student with a car to drift and teaches him how to drift in order to win the respect of the Yakuza in Tokyo who are harassing Sean’s girlfriend.

In many cases, the “images of men and male beauty are still of white men and white male beauty,” (Fung). Therefore, both Mr. Miyagi and Han are seen as “Oriental, and therefore sexless” according to Fung and as all knowing masters in their art fields, are in their movies to serve the needs of the main (white-male) character, in a similar way that Fung sees Asian American gay men in the porn industry as present only to serve the interests of the dominant white-male actors. In both movies, the white main characters are shown happily with their love interest- women characters, but Han and Mr. Miyagi end up fading into the background without experiencing any (sexual) pleasure or getting a romantic character paired with them. These powerful characters are masculine, but in the end, are still castrated or left “unavailable”.

 

Howdy!

Hey everyone! I’m Aaron Dias. Starting fall quarter, I’ll be a 4th year Asian American studies major here at UCSB. My favorite examples of Asian American pop culture include Japanese anime and games such as Pokemon, and how this in particular has managed to grow in such a short time into a successful multi million dollar industry in the video game market. Another example of pop culture that I find interesting is how drifting, as a form of street racing has been around since the mid 1980’s in Japan, but only a few years ago has it come to the attention of the populous of America. About a decade ago, most people would have no idea what it is, nowadays, almost everyone is familiar with this term for getting sideways, whether you see people do it on the track, and now even more common on the streets. The ‘hellaflush’ movement can be seen the same way, but I can go on forever about those so I’ll stop here- definitely a form of popular culture that has exploded recently though.

 

When I think of or hear the words “Pop Culture,” the first thing that comes to my mind is something that is widely known by the young adults and teenager-age groups of people. Pop Culture is a trend that can be a product- like the new Call of Duty coming out for Xbox, how Nissan 240’s are even more popular for tuning because of drifting, or how sneaker heads camp out to buy the latest pair of Jordan’s for hundreds of dollars. It can also be something like a TV show, like how everyone and their mother would say “OMG did you see last weeks episode?” if you were to mention “The Walking Dead,” or how America craves zombie related shows and movies (zombies being the trend). Pop Culture can even be an action, something that people do, across the nation. One specific example I could think of is the Harlem Shake- it didn’t last long but media sites blew up with those videos all of a sudden, being made from people everywhere. Some people will even max their coilovers on their Civic’s and 240’s, lowering the car to the point where they need 2×4’s to help them get over speed bumps without dragging the chassis on the floor. Even Memes, that originated on the internet have become a part of pop culture, appearing beyond the internet on shirts and stickers entering the consumer marketplace. Why? #Becausepopculture