10.20.2004

why the vietnam war continues to be a bad idea

this really pisses me off.

in short, the first ever vietnamese-oriented (no pun intended, heh heh) television program, VAX had the plug pulled on it, after 2 FRIGGIN' EPISODES! apparently, they aired a segment on a documentary about a 1999 anti-communist protest in westminster. somehow, a bunch of a-holes decided that the segment was a show of support for communism and went and protested outside of the VAX studios. According to the official press release from Saigon TV protestors were pissed off
1) that the image of Ho Chi Minh and of the Vietnam communist flag was an indirect support of communism, 2) that VAX is not a respected or proper media outlet to discuss such a serious topic, and 3) anything related to the 1999 Little Saigon protest should not have been discussed period because the Vietnamese community wants to forget about it.
unfortunately, the press release didn't say who these protestors were, as it might be possible that these protestors were in fact, vietnamese. if they aren't, i've got a much longer rant. but since when i tried to google news this story, i came up with squat, i'll leave racial and identity politics out of this rant. but to deal with these protestors' objections.

1) what the hell are we supposed to do? burn all images of ho chi minh? the vietnam communist flag happens to be the official flag recognized by the UN and EVERYONE ELSE IN THE F-ING WORLD! the display of these symbols is no more a show of support for communism than a display of a picture of hitler is a show of support for nazi germany. however, i will concede that if the protestors were vietnamese, i understand a little bit. my mom and most of my family is still really bitter about the whole having to become political refugees thing.

2) what does constitute a proper and respected media outlet? if the protestors didn't notice, vietnamese people don't have one and this show was the first step in having one.

3) i as a vietnamese american categorically do want to talk about it. as do a bunch of other second generation vietnamese people whose only connection with their parent's homeland are the movies platoon and full metal jacket (both good movies, but completely devoid of any perspective of what the vietnamese experience is).

i'll be honest and get personal with you. i'm livid. i don't know all the facts yet, but having a tv show about vietnamese americans seemed like such a good idea to me. how in earth could anyone want to shut it down so quickly. anyways, this may inspire me to get off of my fat ass and find out more. i'll keep you posted as i figure out what's going on. or some news outlet writes a friggin' story about this.

in apocalypse now, robert duvall's character famously says, "someday, this war's gonna end." unfortunately, that someday hasn't come yet and it's amazing to me that we still continue to feel the effects of the vietnam war. i feel them personally, and as evidenced by this incident, so does the whole vietnamese community.

i know that i promised never to get political or partisan on your ass in this blog, but i fear that we're headed down the same road with the stuff that's going on in the middle east. even despite the fact that the boston red sox are about to beat the yankees, i'm genuinely sad right now. we need to make sure that we elect the right person in november. god help us all if we don't.

No comments: