Week 3


Phil Yu is the AngryAsianMan. He’s Asian and a man, but he is not angry. Phil uses comedy and satire to express this that peak his interesting in regards to Asians and pop culture. He also posts things showing the Asian American community being just that, average Asian American people.

Shh! Don’t say those things!http://blog.angryasianman.com/2011/08/guest-post-by-kevjumba-shh-dont-say.html

Kevin Wu talks about the cultural and generational gap between first generation Asian American families. The subject of sex, drugs and masturbation are a hush-hush between Asian parents and their children. As a result Asian American young learn about sex, drugs, and masturbation though their peer and external sources; when situations pertaining to these subjects do arise when both parties are present the “tension in the room [could be cut] with a mother effing chainsaw”.

I’m not sure how mainstream media views it, but I, being a first generation Asian American can tell you how I view it. I agree with Kevin Wu, its counter cultural (counter Chinese culture anyways) to – take your kid sit him down and have the talk.

Toyota commercial: “Growing Up”http://blog.angryasianman.com/2011/09/toyota-commercial-growing-up.html

This is a short Toyota commercial stating their cars are long lasting and reliable. They use an Asian American father and baby daughter to demonstrate its use over time. The baby girl is in the back seat and trough motion capture grows with age after each frame until high school graduation.

Phil has take great joy from these types of commercials because it integrates Asian Americans into casual pop culture. That they’re not specially set up so that the only ones who could play the roles are Asian Americans, but a versatile role that allows options.



Disgrasian is co-created by Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen. The title is a mash of up the two words disgrace and Asian. This blog is about things that would be out of the stereotypical Asian norm which then becomes disgraceful. They offer a way for people to get to know and understand the pop culture of Asian Americans and actual Asian Americans

2 Broke Girls’ “Bryce Lee”http://disgrasian.com/2011/09/disgrasian-of-the-weak-2-broke-girls-bryce-lee/

It tells us about a CBS sit come about two women who form an unlikely friendship. The sitcom uses several ethnic roles, such as the pervy Russian cook, the The old black wisecracking cashier, and Bryce ‘Rice’ Lee, to contrast the main characters making them more likeable. A clip from the 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany’s is show about an American playing a clumsy and short tempered Japanese man.

Jen, the poster, comments on how they change Bryce Lee’s name from Rice to Bryce as progress, sarcastically. She seems to be making the connection that the only movement in terms of progress and regression is the fact that in 1961 they used an American to play an Asian role and in 2011 they use a real live oriental!



Bitchmedia’s executive director is Julie Falk. Everyone staff, save Brian Frank and Mac Pogue, are females. Bitchmedia is popular for their magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. They also have numerous blog categories such as TV, sports, book, humor and many more section that provide an active and sober feminist response.

The Pink Scarehttp://bitchmagazine.org/article/pink-scare

This article talks about when a boy of age 4 “parades around his best friend’s house wearing her frilliest purple dress’ society gives the boy and his parents the stink eye. It brings up the contradictory ideal that it is okay for girls to dress like a boy and to boyish things, yet while if a boy does anything that is any but girly it is looked down upon. We then read about a mother letting her son dress up as Scooby Doo’s Daphne for Halloween, which generated tremendous attention. The writer then thinks mainstream media is implying that allowing boys to ‘dabble in nail polish’ will lead to gender confusion. She ends the article comforting the reading, advising them to let their boys and girls play with girl and boys’ toys; as this will build them up and allowing them to express themselves more thoroughly.

Usually when little boys play with girls toys one would thing the boy is trying to make fun of the girl. The thought that the boy might be having fun and enjoy playing with the ‘girlish’ things aren’t immediate. Rather than reprimanding parents and instilling the fear of gender confusion, the writer offers the thought that it isn’t as bad as you think. Much like the Red Scare of the 1920.


“I’m a Whore”http://bitchmagazine.org/post/mariko-im-a-whore

It challenges then redefines the societal perception of prostitutes, strippers and so on. These sex occupations often make more than the writer’s peer with BAs. Prostitution is am occupation that has more danger and risk than other job; that prostitutes are warrior and survivors. Often selling sex is a last resort for individuals who are trying to support and keep alive peoples other than themselves.

In mainstream society prostitution has a negative connotation to it. And those who practice it are inadvertently looked down upon. I think Jesus Christ put it best when he said ‘hate the sin not the sinner’. Though I do not agree with prostitution, I commend some prostitutes for their strength. This article brings new light to the work prostitutes and whores, reminding us they are just as those in the office and those behind desks; they are workers.

Feminist Frequency

Anita Sarkeesian is the founder of Feminist Frequency. She is a Pop Culture: Feminist who applies her Master’s in political and Social communications to express her though on the gender, race and sexuality.

The Mystical Pregnancyhttp://www.feministfrequency.com/2011/07/tropes-vs-women-5-the-mystical-pregnancy/

Anita states that the presence of a mystical pregnancy in a science fiction or fantasy film or show is almost an unwritten rule.

Her view on it is that writers are discriminating women on a biological level. She makes the comment that this form of media demonizes and makes pregnancies look like a bad and scary phenomenon. The lack of proper emotional feelings and physical changes that follow most pregnancies bother Anita, as it seems to belittle the act of birth and the process of pregnancies.

The Smurfette Principlehttp://www.feministfrequency.com/2011/04/tropes-vs-women-3-the-smurfette-principle/

The surfette principle is when it is an all male primary cast with one female. Examples of this would be, the smurfs and smurfette, Transformers and Arcee, and Inception with Ellen Page. This principle was coined by Katha Pollitt in a news article she wrote for New York Times nearly two decades ago.

Anita’s pokes at other pop culture smurfette occurrences and claims that writers are trying to cash out on 80’s and 90’s nostalgia instead of “taking risks on things that are new and exciting”. She proposes that writers should include more female characters in the primary groups and develop their characters more.

Ill Dorctrine

Run by Rick Perry AKA Jay Smooth ill doctrine, verbatim, “is a video blog hosted by Jay Smooth, founder of New York’s longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad”.

General Steele Interview http://soundcloud.com/jsmooth995/general-steele-interview

This interview is between Rick Perry and General Steele of Smif-n-Wessun. The group being interview talks about a performance of many hip hop names and the NYPD’s violent reaction to the said hip hop performances.

Throughout the interview they talked of the double standard the middle class white man with a rifle and a NRA bumper sticker as ‘family values’ versus a minority with a hip-hop background. The rapper from General Steels says that if the NYPD reacted in an aggressive way because they don’t understand the community and they fear it. He add that if only people like the NYPD took time to get to know the rappers, the performers and the hip-hop community they would become more understating for the actions and motives of the hip-hop community. The cultural wall of communication is General Steele’s main concern.

How The BET Awards Changed My Life – http://www.illdoctrine.com/2011/06/how_the_bet_awards_changed_my.html

At the BET awards in June Tiffany Green made a shocked and disappointed expression on her face. Rick Perry uses that expression to convey his feeling towards 2011 a post-absurdity time. His frustration and amazement of 2011’s “stupidity” is targeted towards what has been show on the news: Obama’s birth certificate, Publicity on the Quran burning, and the deviants of Hip-Hop.

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Tom Fan
Prof. Apyrl Berney
September 27, 2011

Week One: What is popular culture and why does it matter?

  1. Where has Freccero taught courses on popular culture before? He taught at Dartmouth College and at UCSC.How did these different institutions influence Freccero’s style of teaching or pedagogy?
    The two different schools, UCSB being overtly liberal and fourth coming and Dartmouth College having a more negative view towards these
    subjects, gave Freccero a diverse and largely different area to look upon.
  2. What are the primary reasons Freccero gives for teaching popular culture?
    First, for political literacy. Secondly, due to the pedagogical shift and the changes it brings.What do you think of the reasons she gives?  I believe them to be legitimate and edifying reasons to study Popular Culture.What reasons would you give for studying popular culture?
    I know enough to understand that I do not understand the importance of popular culture. With that said, as of the moment I do not have the adequate amount of interest in the subject to pursue it.
  3. Identify and explain how Freccero approaches the study of popular culture and what tools she uses in order to analyze and interpret popular culture “texts.”
    Freccero taught using Semiotic dimension, the study of sighs, and allegories.
  4. Freccero’s piece is from the introduction to her book Popular Culture: An Introduction, which was published in 1999.  How has the popular culture landscape changed since the time that Freccero initially wrote and published her book?
    Popular culture seems to have become more prevalent in academics, taking on a more serious and sober tone among politics.

    What examples would you suggest Freccero make to her introduction in order for the examples that she uses to be more relevant to audiences and readers in 2011?Not having grown up in USA, I don’t quite understand the examples given. Rather, I worked around them and used context clues.

  5. During the last two weeks of class students will be in charge of developing and leading class.  In groups of 4 to 5 people, will develop class around a particular theme or topic in popular culture.
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Pop Culture

Le Dents – two of many picture of my trip to Togo, Africa

The psychological inclination to adhere to what seems to be the normative good as defined by the populous.

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