AAPI Heritage Month 2022

If you’re up in Manhattan, today, Saturday, May 14, 2022, was Japan Day, with a Japan Day Parade up at Central Park West/81st St to 68th St., with George Takei as a Grand Marshal.

Plus, tomorrow, Sunday, May 15, 2022, is the city’s first AAPI Heritage Parade. See more info over at Time Out New York.

It feels a bit last minute, since it was announced on May 11, 2022 (I linked to the Gothamist piece about the announcement) and the cynic in me feels like we can have better ways to fight AAPI hate. But, visibility is a way to deal with hate.

Our own local Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is seeking people to join the contingent to march for the parade. RSVP asap if you want to join us, by registering over at the AABANY website. – ssw15

(cross-posted to sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)

Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect 2021

Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

-“Try to Remember,” from The Fantasticks.

I have been in a mood this whole week, realizing that the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, was upon us. It feels surreal that it has been 20 years.

20 years ago, I was trying to figure out how to make any use of my last year in law school, and then that Tuesday happened. I didn’t imagine the entirely different landscape that we’ve had since. I never imagined that all the crises and calamities we’d be through.

20 years ago: I didn’t think that we’d be in a pandemic. I didn’t think that the progress of, say, 15 years of rebuilding downtown Manhattan would be reduced to misery by the pandemic. I didn’t think that Afghanistan would be such a regression, leaving much to be desired about our moral values as a country, let alone what moral values were in Afghanistan.

20 years of what, as far as we went forward and as far as we have not done enough, I’d say.

It’s a Saturday and we’re in the 2nd year of a 9/11 anniversary during a pandemic. I woke up to watch the moment of silence on television for 10:28am, when the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center fell. I let out my own moment of wondering and feeling despair.

I managed to get out to the Brooklyn Promenade after all, earlier this evening, awhile before sunset. There was a prayer circle of a family and people just walking their dogs. It was peaceful. I didn’t stay long, but it was nice.

I do wish all a peaceful and thoughtful day.

This NPR piece, “How To Talk About 9/11 With A New Generation Of Kids,” Sept. 9, 2021, was worthwhile. The experts explained about being clear with kids about what happened, accepting the discomfort, and being able to share your own feelings. And, I liked how the piece closed: “And the answers — that it is possible but hard and that we have to help each other — are as relevant today as ever.”

Dan Barry’s piece over at the NY Times, as part of 20th anniversary observations, raises “What Does It Mean To ‘Never Forget’?” Barry notes:

What, exactly, do you remember? What stories do you tell when a casual conversation morphs into a therapy session? What stories do you keep to yourself? And what instantly transports you back to that deceptively sunny Tuesday morning? [….]

“When I hear ‘Never Forget’ for 9/11, my next question is: ‘Never forget what?’ said Charles B. Stone, an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. [….] “Probably the closest answer is: Never forget that it occurred,” Dr. Stone said. “But it’s the little details that will be forgotten.”

Dan Barry (see the above link).

Barry’s piece is worth a read, because I do wonder what we’re asked to do when we’re told to not forget. Memory is a tricky thing. We’re only human; perhaps that’s the most important to remember – never forget you’re only human.

Photo I had taken some years ago, at the Brooklyn Promenade.

See here for last year’s post, for more photos or observations.

Since I’m the one who brings up The Fantasticks’ lyric about September, I’ll note that FC shared this over on Facebook, so I’m passing it along: “Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day (Cover by First to Eleven). As FC said: “Today’s soundtrack – ‘twenty years have gone so fast.'”

Take a moment to pause and reflect, and thanks for being here. — ssw15

Team Triscribe’s “Better Than Sliced Bread”

For years now (I’ve lost track – it’s probably more clear on the Triscribe blog!), FC’s Team Triscribe or its variants have participated on/off in the Asian American Film Lab‘s 72 Hour Film Shootout, where competitors make a complete short film, up to 5 minutes in duration, during a 72 hour period. I’ve been doing it with FC on/off and we somehow managed this year!

This year’s theme was “Be a Hero.” I think that we keep improving through the on/off years that we’ve been doing this. This year, to our shock during the last several days since the results came out: we won the Best Screenwriting Award!

The biggest credit should go to FC for being our director, film editor, and leader. Without him, I’m never sure how every crazy idea, odd musing, or whatever else becomes something of a fun gem! Always a good time to get laughs, a creative charge, and stress over the process.

You can view the YouTube link to see Team Triscribe’s film for this year (5 mins. of humor and poignancy!). Check the film’s credits to see all of us credited – but a big shout out to all who have been on the Team Triscribe ride of supporting us, being in the prior films, and enjoying or bringing food or supplies, or providing other support.

Team Triscribe’s film for this year is in honor of our friend and hero, the late Asian American photographer laureate, Corky Lee.

Disclaimers: Dr. Apollo is not a real doctor. But, sandwiches are good, and no sandwiches were harmed in the making of the movie, even though a lot of them were eaten. They were not eaten by me. Also, you don’t need a fake doctor to save your relationships. You can still save a relationship. Hopefully! And, why, yes, isn’t that our running gag of the girl named Elizabeth Ong…?

Also: many ridiculous clips were left behind. YKC found a lot of amazing sandwiches in Japan. My wish for a Ken Burns-style documentary on the ongoing Chicken Sandwich War is still but a near-running joke that’s kind of serious. I also don’t think we really answered in the film regarding whether a hot dog is a sandwich, but I still think it is!

And, yes, the film is more than about food. It is about relationships.

Also: very flattering that we got publicized on the AABANY blog! (see link here) Thanks, AABANY!

(And, that’s the Asian American Bar Association of New York, to the rest of you not in the know, of which a bunch of us in Team Triscribe have been longtime members).

During the Asian American International Film Festival 44th edition (hybrid – online and live – from August 11, 2021, through August 22, 2021), you can also still check out Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Film Shootout online/streaming presentation of the Top Ten, and it is worth a watch for the films that made it. We didn’t make the Top Ten, but one had to wonder how close we were!

I’m hoping to eventually put up a post on my viewing of the 72 Hour Film Shootout’s Top Ten (let’s see if that’ll happen!). I still have to get to watching my online viewing of other AAIFF offerings. In the meantime, let’s keep supporting diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the cameras and in all of the arts!

P.S. – I did intend for the – uh – pun in the post’s title. Don’t you think that we’re better than sliced bread, after all? 😉