Asian-Americans Defying Traditional Stereotypes

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Vol 30 Issue 03

Ask the Dungeonmaster

The Dungeonmaster has been supervising fantasy adventures for 14 years. In addition to gaming, he enjoys Marvel Comics, renting pornographic videotapes and playing the lute. Send letters to: "DM's Castle," c/o Asst. Mgr., Burger King, Store #4902, Piedmont, CA.

Liver Flees George Jones' Body

NASHVILLE, TN—After more than 40 years of absorbing vast quantities of hard alcohol, George Jones' liver finally fled the famed country singer's body Monday. "I can't take it anymore," the liver said. "A liver can only process so many toxins before it says to hell with it." Jones' liver absorbed its final drink early Monday morning, a bourbon and branch water that Jones had with some eggs for breakfast. Until it can find a place of its own, Jones' liver plans to share an apartment with Merle Haggard's liver and Hank Williams Jr.'s lungs.

Year Abroad Changes Student's Worldview For One Year

SKOKIE, IL—After a tremendously broadening year of travel through Northern Africa, area student Naomi Pilchner returned home to the U.S. yesterday, returning to her pre-year abroad worldview as well. "I'll never forget the things I saw there. There were mountains and grasslands and the most exotic animals imaginable. But there was also terrible drought and starvation—people were literally dying in the streets," Pilchner told friend Jennifer Baskin upon arriving home. "Do you want to go look for shoes at Woodfield, Jen? I saw this awesome pair of green sandals on sale."

Clinton Gets Box To Put Government's Stuff In

WASHINGTON, DC—Unable to keep track of an ever-mounting pile of federal items, President Clinton got a big box to put all the government's stuff in yesterday. "It was getting really messy," Clinton said. "So I decided it was time to get it all off the floor." According to Clinton, the box, made of sturdy, high-quality corrugated cardboard, will be used to hold many of the government's estimated 5.1 trillion belongings, which include 51 aircraft carriers, 296,000 staple removers and the tax records of every American citizen. "That's a lot of stuff," Clinton said. "I just hope it all fits."

Cry Of More, More, More Heard In Midnight Hour

LONDON—A cry of more, more, more was heard in the midnight hour Sunday, prompting police to launch a full-scale investigation. "While we don't have any leads yet, the yell clearly sounded like it came from an outsider, possibly even a rebel," said London police commissioner James Blaney. "Before I investigate further, though, I urge you to let me sink another drink, as it will give me time to think." Blaney added that if the current investigation—during which police have looked all over the world—fails to yield any real clues soon, tomorrow might be a nice day to start again. "Whoever this rebel is," Blaney said, "he clearly has got no human grace."

It Sounded Fancy, So I Ate It

The other day Judy the wife was yappin' that I never do anything with her, so I agreed to go to the big tasting party she was having for the French Cooking course she's taking. I figured at least I could get some grub out of the deal.

The Island of Doctors and Monsters Is Not a Very Good Movie

Ah, the movies. The lights. The glamour. The action! Where else can a person escape to see the stars for the price of a good shave at the corner barber store? Hollywood town! Where a young ingenue can hitch her dreams to a rising star and sit on the director's couch and rise to the top of the Silver Screen.

Military Academies Under Fire

With the Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute opening their doors to women in recent months, only three all-male military colleges now remain in the U.S. What do you think?
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Asian-Americans Defying Traditional Stereotypes

SAN FRANCISCO—When Dith Trang and Rodney Kim get together after school, academics are the furthest thing from their minds.

Described by friends as "shiftless and dumb," Lin Bu is one of a growing number of Asian-Americans helping to dispel the myth of the hardworking, motivated Easterner.

Instead, the two ninth-graders go to Trang's house to listen to rap music, eat Doritos and get high.

"Don't make assumptions about us just because we're Asian," says the bespectacled Trang, passing his friend a joint. "Not all of us care about college."

With poor grades and atrocious study habits, Trang and Kim are among a growing number of young people who are challenging people's traditional notions about Asian-Americans. No longer content to be thought of as successful, intelligent, hard-working and family-oriented, an ever-increasing number of second- and third-generation Asian-Americans are beginning to fail miserably.

"This is the next logical step for us," says Ken Chang, president of the Bay Area Asian-American Association. "People assume all we're able to do is emigrate to the U.S. with nothing and before long establish thriving businesses and careers through hard work and determination. Well, that's just not true."

"People look at me and figure I'm smart, just because I'm Chinese," said Lin Bu, 27, currently unemployed and not looking for work. "Well, I'm not. I am stupid as hell."

"It just makes me so mad," said Jin-Duk Soo, 19, who passed on going to college to focus on fixing up his car and picking up chicks. "I just want to party, not achieve."

Particularly under fire are long-standing stereotypes about cultural superiority in academics. While some young Asian-Americans are simply refusing to take calculus in college or high school, others are going so far as to stage a "math strike" to protest the unfair generalizations.

"The other day in class, my math teacher asked me to calculate the value of a sine curve," said Jen Tashikara, 16. "So I'm like, 'Forget it, old man—I'm Asian.'"

Recently, at Westlake High School in Oakland, Asian-born students held a mass "Fail-In," refusing to answer any test questions correctly. Among their test answers: "Hydrogen is an adverb," and "The President of Russia is 2.6."

But despite recent progress, Asian-Americans still have a long way to go. According to the Census Bureau, nearly 95 percent of Asian-American high school seniors go on to college, a number Chang calls "alarmingly high."

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