The Elixir Complex

By Thomas Kochman - 12.20.2009

Frank Rich’s op ed column “Tiger Woods, Person of the Year” characterizes the fraudulent image that Tiger Woods perpetrated as a big “con” although not nearly in the same category as the illusions created by leaders who “marketed to us on the way to Iraq” or those “titans who legally created and sold the securities that gamed and then wrecked the system.”

Yet the question is raised who is responsible for being taken in by the images and illusions that others directly or indirectly promote.

There seems to be little doubt that we are a nation of hucksters, people constantly preying on our fears or greed to sell us something. After all, isn’t that what politics, capitalism and advertising is all about? Yet despite what we know and the warning signs — buyer beware — that surround us we continue to be taken in. As Rich says, “We keep being fooled by leaders in all sectors of American life, over and over.”

So, as any good anthropologist or therapist would say, “What’s going on, here?” Read more »

What’s Happening With HAPAs?

By Adrian Chan - 07.09.2009

Michael Jackson Memorial: Who Was That Singer?  

If you followed the Michael Jackson Memorial, the unknown lead singer for the ending, “We Are the World” and “Heal the World”, is Judith Hill, a Los Angeles-raised musician, who was an alternate backup singer set to perform in Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” concert tour. She is also a HAPA, daughter of a Japanese immigrant mother and African American funk band father. As she put it, “I was a skinny mixed kid with a lot of hair that I didn’t know what to do with.”

So who is a HAPA?  This is a Hawaiian term used for biracial, multiracial Asian Americans, and drew impetus through the 2000 USA Census which allowed for citizens to identify their bi/multiracial backgrounds. Read more »

Race Awareness

By Thomas Kochman - 06.20.2009

A report by Target Market News last week noted that News Corp is forming a diversity council following protests over a cartoon of President Obama that appeared in a February issue of the New York Post. Protesters picket New York Post over chimp cartoon February 19, 2009. Over the years we have noted many protests occurring as a result of blatant racism (as in the present case), as well as thinly disguised racism, or  simple racial insensitivity, as in the case of Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilgheman who was suspended for the \’lynch\’ remark about Tiger Woods.

Sometimes, the charge is more one of bad timing or bad taste, as directed toward The New Yorker for example. The New Yorker ‘s cover of Barack and Michele Obama in which they were depicted as terrorists, was presented and seen by many as satire –mocking the mockers, so to speak.  But it was also received as having “all the scare tactics and misinformation that has so far been used to derail Barack Obama\’s campaign — all in one handy illustration.Read more »