Time to Fess Up

by Brian Zhang
hardboiled staff writer – fall 2014

Since the end of World War II, the Japanese government has largely dodged questions regarding its coercion of Korean and Chinese women into sexual slavery. Dubbed “comfort women” by most, estimates on the number enslaved range from 20,000 to 400,000. Today, less than 100 victims are still living.

In 1993, Japanese politician Yōhei Kōno, serving as Chief Cabinet Secretary, acknowledged in what came to be known as the Kōno Statement that the Japanese Imperial Army had forced civilian women into prostitution at “comfort” facilities during WWII. Up to this point, the Japanese government had denied that the women were coerced into prostitution.

The surviving victims petitioned for an official apology from the government in 2007. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, however, denied the existence of any evidence suggesting the government had kept sex slaves, despite Kōno’s report from over a decade prior.

For the Japanese government, skirting the issue does not seem to be enough. Radhika Coomaraswamy, a lawyer and UN investigator from Sri Lanka, published a report in 1996 condemning Japan’s wartime use of sex slaves and demanding an immediate apology by the government. Last week, the Japanese government asked Coomaraswamy to redact the portions of the report denied by Tokyo. In fact, in June current Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced that a full review of the Kōno Statement is underway to verify its claims.

Almost four generations have passed since the end of WWII. For the few surviving victims, an official apology from the Japanese government is long overdue. Further denial of such crimes – the existence of which is undeniable – can only serve to further anger the victims and their respective governments.

So why does Tokyo insist on maintaining this ridiculous charade? Political analysts believe that politicians such as Prime Minister Abe are acting to curry favor with the populace, or to avoid losing face. Maybe Japan does not see the need to apologize for crimes during its imperialist era when countries such as the United States appear free from such pressure.

Historical negationism, especially by a sovereign government, is a dangerous practice. East Asian ethnic tension is especially complex and deeply rooted in past military conflict. Negationism only serves to widen the gap between these ancient nations, when in fact they have so much in common. Such firmly ingrained prejudices will take generations to die, but Tokyo is in a position to truly offer an olive branch. So, for the sake of future common peace, fess up already.


by Bruce Zhang
hardboiled story intern – fall 2014

To some, dreams start and end with the bed.
They start when we sleep, and end when we rise.
They are not persistent, they’re ever-changing.
They don’t have meaning, they are just present.

To some, dreams are just our subconscious speaking.
They speak of our innermost desires, the ones which we try to hide.
But often they are difficult to grasp, difficult to understand, difficult to fathom.
Difficult to comprehend just what is occurring in our minds.

It’s these dreams that are like butterflies.
Beautiful to behold, but they just flutter by.
They catch our attention for a moment and then disappear.
They come and go with the whispers of our “subconscious” desires.

Just as I have dreams when I sleep, I dream when I am awake.
It’s these dreams that stick and have power.
That give me the determination to continue on
Even when hope is distant from the horizon.

They give me the will to fight against the injustices I see.
To refuse to take the world as is and to imagine something else.
To imagine a world where people are no longer oppressed.
Where every chain can be shattered and everyone is free.

It tells me to fight for a future where Ferguson will not repeat.
A future where people are not stopped for being the wrong color at the wrong place.
Where every shooting, every murder, every wrongful action will be given its proper court case.
And where the police are no longer the aggressors, but the blue who keep the peace.

My dreams tell me to fight for a future where the government don’t lie.
Where every vote is counted and every election is fair.
Where the people can freely choose their leader from a list they pick.
It’s with these dreams that Hong Kong sits still.

They tell me to fight for a future where rapes are investigated.
They show me a time where every victim’s voice is heard and every rape is given its due case.
That instead of the universities worrying about their so-called reputation,
They will worry about the welfare of their students and those they “educate”.

Now these dreams float so lofty in the sky,
But they are the battle cries of our generation.
They ring out from Ferguson to Hong Kong to Columbia.
They ring out from movement to movement, from nation to nation.

People may call us, this young generation, foolish, people may call us naïve.
But nonetheless we march forward, with our dreams in stride.
For we are dreamers dreaming of a different present.
So let them call us young naïve fools,
We call ourselves dreamers.

Asian Privilege in a White, Male System

by Megan Lee
hardboiled staff writer – fall 2014

As Asian immigrants and Asian Americans, many of us have had to say something along the lines of, “No, that’s not right. Not all Asians are alike.”

According to Bill O’Reilly, we may have to change that statement to “No, that’s not right. Not all minorities are alike.” In a series of heated debates, O’Reilly has asserted that white privilege no longer exists, and references to the success of Asians – a so-called “Asian Privilege” – and the abolishment of slavery as an example. O’Reilly argues that Asian Americans are actually more privileged than whites, and by this example white privilege cannot possibly exist – a phenomenon widely known as the Model Minority Myth.

On “The Daily Show”, host Jon Stewart engages O’Reilly into a debate on the existence of white privilege. O’Reilly defends his beliefs, but it becomes evident that there are significant logical fallacies and arguments based on pure emotion (and possibly pure ignorance).

At the end, Stewart elicits a concession from O’Reilly that privilege does exist, but for all races. O’Reilly was also kind enough to provide the following advice: “If you work hard, if you get educated, if you’re an honest person, you can make it in America!”

Well, O’Reilly, I would encourage you to take your own advice. Work hard to understand that all Asians and minorities are different in their own respects. Understand that each minority group is diverse and has its own ethnic or cultural identity. That each immigrant has a different story. That we are not a group that you can conveniently lump together under some ambiguous umbrella term and apply some flimsy category or stereotype to. That Asians such as Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees have suffered in America, despite working hard, struggle to obtain a decent education, and have remained honest individuals – even contributing members to society – despite the fact that they are subjugated to a social, racial hierarchy created by the White Male. Essentially, work hard to be educated. If you do this right, maybe you can be honest, and realize that a social hierarchy does exist and that you are perpetuating it by denying its existence. Maybe you’ll make it in America. Not as an “obnoxious” person who is (in)famous because they’re obnoxious, but because you’re diligent, well-learned, and honest.

workshop on ethnic press and zines

What’s the difference between the Daily Cal and hardboiled? Why do hardboiled‘s editors bookmark blogs like Colorlines and don’t give a shit about Fox’s coverage of the news?

Date: Wednesday, Oct 8
Time: 6-7:30 pm
Location: 283 Dwinelle

We will also make the second-half of this workshop interactive by making our very own zines! Bring some scissors– we’ll supply the rest.

18.1 is underway!

hardboiled‘s first issue of the semester is projected to come out in late October. With that said, we are looking for writers, layouters, and copy editors to help us produce issue 18.1!

If you are interested in the production process, stop by our DeCal this Wednesday from 6-7:30 pm in 283 Dwinelle. Our Layout Editor, Katherine Wang, will be introducing staffers to Adobe Photoshop and InDesign during this semester’s second production workshop! Our staffers will complete rough mock-ups of hardboiled layouts by the end of this workshop.

Come join us! No experience necessary!

our first official decal meeting (fall 2014)

hardboiled will begin its regular weekly DeCal meetings in 283 Dwinelle from 6-7:30. This week, we will be hosting our first production workshop!

Are you interested in writing for the next issue of hardboiled? If so, our story team will teach you how to brainstorm and pitch your articles and ideas. We will also go over our production cycle and how that works!

Come join us!

hardboiled fall 2014 is recruiting!

Interested in publications? Asian Pacific American (APA) issues? Then, come join hardboiled, Berkeley’s APA newsmagazine!

We are a student organization, student publication, Asian American Studies Field Studies course, and a DeCal. We welcome students of all experience and interest levels into our organization. If you’re interested in learning about the publications process or Asian Pacific American issues, come to our space! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

fall 14 flyerWe will be hosting an infosession on Wednesday, Sept 10th in 283 Dwinelle from 6-7 pm. Additionally, you can meet our 2014-2015 core at Calapalooza and at the DeCal Expo!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail hardboiledmagazine@gmail.com

mission statement:

hardboiled newsmagazine seeks to empower the Asian Pacific American (APA) community by raising awareness and initiating discussion regarding APA issues in an inclusive space. hardboiled aims to be a vehicle for activism by providing an APA perspective and exposing issues affecting the APA community through the bold voices that prevail in our publication.

hardboiled is the student asian pacific american newsmagazine at UC Berkeley. We get our money from the nice people at the ASUC Publications Fund.

We are not an official publication of the ASUC or the University of California, Berkeley, and the views represented here are not necessarily the views of the University or the ASUC.

Reporting from Taiwan: An Interview with Hip Hop Artist LEO37


rainy days are the best for interviews…and good lighting

Under the moniker LEO37, Leo Shia has firmly established himself in the international hip hop scene, from his hometown in Toronto to Taipei, where he moved three years ago to pursue his passion for music and design. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and now based in Taipei, Shia wears multiple hats as an artist, from organizing hip hop and live music events to overseeing the label PPF House with his brothers to producing with creative collective the BLAST. In this interview, Shia shares his thoughts on the rising interest towards hip hop in Taiwan and how family is at the heart of his work as an artist.

*This will be the first in a series of interviews conducted by hardboiled staffer Sam Lai during her time in Taipei this summer. A little bit from Sam: I first came across LEO37 on Angry Asian Man when the Fanfare music video was posted. What struck me the most was seeing a Taiwanese face not only rapping, but also rapping in a way that stood out from the hypermasculine Asian American hip hop artists I had seen. At the time, I had no idea that I would end up meeting both Phil Yu the Angry Asian Man and LEO37 in the next three years. PERKS OF BEING ASIAN AND A WRITER WOOT.

So you’ve been in Taiwan for eight years? [edit: Shia has been in the hip hop game for eight years. Sam needs to do better research.]

No no, three years. I did a tour around Asia with my good friends MAGNOLIUS (Toronto-based Hip-Hop group), back in ‘06, and that was the first time I’d been back as an adult: last time I was back I was 11. I was able to experience a lot, since a lot had changed. Back home, for independent Asian rappers, we were doing okay, had day jobs, but you start to see a roof. When I began to see some of my more favored counterparts and colleagues get deals, some major label, but see them struggle, I thought I’d give it a shot out here. I started going back and forth for several years, and three years ago finally made the move [to Taipei].

What’s a regular day for LEO37 look like?

As an independent artist, there’s nothing regular. Nowadays, independent artists, they have hands in everything. They have to multi-task and be a lot more business minded. Pseudo-entrepreneurs if you will. My day-to-day, it depends. I do a lot of graphic design work, promotion: me and my two brothers (Howie and Tim) run PPF in Toronto and I have the Blast (Serpico, Poppa Baer and Oohchild) out here in Taipei. So it’s different depending on the day. Obviously I’d like to be writing a lot more considering that’s my technical job description and I have three different projects in three different countries that need finishing, but unfortunately, I can’t be in the studio every day.

What’s your approach to writing like?

My brother Howie, he did the videos for “FANFARE,” “YOU & THE NITE,” produced for my first two albums, did all the artwork for all my physical and digital releases, and he’s a songwriter as well. He’s worked harder at his craft than anyone I know. He’s the reason I know how to do graphic design and he’s the reason why I approach writing the way I do now. When he started working professionally, he told me there was no time to wait for inspiration, you have to treat it like a job. So when I have time I force myself to write. When inspiration comes, I do write faster, in comparison to when I really have to sit down and force myself to write. But the key is to treat it like a job. You can’t really wait for inspiration anymore when this is your living. You have to be able to work under pressure. I used to carry a notepad everywhere, but now I have my iPhone where I’m constantly writing things down, so when I go to work, I can always refer to these pages and pages of random notes, lines and words to get me started.

This past March you hosted Raekwon and Ghostface Killah [of Wu-Tang Clan], how was that?

Members of Wu-Tang Clan Raekwon (L) and Ghostface Killah (R) perform at the ATT Showbox in Taipei on March 19, 2014.

Members of Wu-Tang Clan Raekwon (L) and Ghostface Killah (R) perform at the ATT Showbox in Taipei on March 19, 2014.

So the company I have out here is the BLAST [started in 2011, based in Taipei], we started it with the idea to go big right away, like “Let’s make a mark on the scene.” We wanted to get Ludacris and thought, How much could he be, he couldn’t be more than 10,000 US [dollars]. We hear back and his fee is like $100,000, including 7 or 8 flights, so okay, we’re nowhere near that. So we started to focus on community and culture-driven projects to really build and contribute to the scene. Eventually we started getting a lot of great offers from artists on legacy runs but none of them ever seemed like the right fit. So when we got word from Ghostface and Raekwon, it was the right offer at the right time so we jumped at it. Contrary to what I had heard from other promoters, they were both real cool. Hell, Rae even taught us some new ways to play pool as he trash talked us at the table. It was surreal.

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