What Happened in July: Some News and Events

It’s JULY, Tháng 7. Contributor Julie Nguyễn offers a critical recap of July happenings in the general interest of a Vietnamese American. She most likely missed a few things, Vietnamese and not, so if you come across something you think should be shared with the readers, please send them to Julie via this email: ngujle [at] gmail [dot] com.

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July seems to have passed with an interesting mix of the good and bad. Some of us get to celebrate with the newlyweds of NYC with the passing of the same-sex marriage law; and also on that front, the President ratified the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Meanwhile, on the total opposite side of the spectrum there was the horrifying bombing in Oslo, which sparked consternation about Norway’s immigrants. And then there is USA’s notorious debt plan that precariously passed. Thoughts people?

Vietnamese in the NEWS

Nguyen Cao Ky in 1965, the year he became prime minister.

This title says it better than I can: Vietnamese Americans have mixed feelings about ex-leader’s death, an article about the recent passing of Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam and later, Vice President. If you want to learn more about the man himself, this obituary is more helpful.

I fervently hope that it’s only me, but there seems to be several gun rampages as of late. In Texas, Tan Do gunned down his ex-wife and several of her relatives before turning the gun on himself, at their son’s roller-rink birthday party. The children were not physically harmed.

Out of Garden Grove comes this rather gruesome tale: Woman Drugs Husband’s Dinner, Cuts Off Penis, Throws It In Garbage Disposal. I don’t know what to say.

Ms Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was sentenced to 3.5 years of prison on charges of 'assault ' in 2009.

And then this caught my eye: Trần Khải Thanh Thủy, a Vietnamese dissident journalist, was released in a surprising move from Hà Nội…maybe not so surprising. Rubbing noses with America when China is poking your bordersisn’t exactly unpredictable.

Vietnamese in the ARTS
Foreigners dancing the tango get the cold shoulder in Argentina (And xenophobia gets a kick in the shins! Notice!).

Michelle Phan (make-up guru and Lancôme spokesperson) gets a mention in this NYT article about Asian-Americans on the big screen. It’s a fun read about Hollywack and their insistence that somehow, our Asian American stories are not universal and therefore not very marketable. Youtube can tell us otherwise, in numbers. While mainstream America likes to finance stupid stereotypes (thx Dat Phan…), the rest of Asian America is moving on.

For example: the call is out. Help fund Saigon Electric so it can take over the world. Tired of being labeled with ‘that’ Vietnamese stereotype? Let’s shake things up and put our diverse faces in as many theaters as possible.

Along those lines, if you like to stalk the amazing spoken word artist Bao Phi, check out the APIA Spoken Word Summit happening in the lucky Twin Cities. (Also contributing will be Sahra Vang Nguyen who has some impressing things to say about humanity.)

gratuitous Tila pic

Look out NYC because here she comes! Tila Tequila is on the prowl. You know I’ll be looking for her, lol!

And finally, a short and interesting little documentary about The History of Vietnamese and Nail Salons (streaming video).

(thank you RL and VTN for your help in bringing some of these news pieces to my attention!)

Julie Nguyễn likes toads a lot but only eats vegetables. She kinda loves being Vietnamese even though there aren’t that many in NYC.

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