Lee Yang’s Campus Journal

A documentary, a concert, and some race monologues

 paradiso girlsshwayzeart piece from the multicultural symposium - asian?another art piece - ‘algerian-american gothic’the panelthe settlers of catan!

I. Remember the mini-documentary I filmed last Friday? Well I stayed up all night on Sunday editing it and here it is. I hope you like it.

Alright, apparently we can’t embed YouTube videos on this thing, so click here to watch it directly on YouTube (and watch it in HD if you can!)

 (A few notes: Bon is short for Bon Appetite, which is the company that runs all the food-related operations on campus, including the cafeteria. “The Raz” is the awesome shuttle that transports LC students from campus to downtown and back.)

II. On Monday, I went to the Party Rock Tour with Carina at the Hawthorne Theatre. The line-up included LMFAO, Shwayze, Far East Movement, The Paradiso Girls, and Space Cowboy (Lady Gaga’s DJ). I had wanted to go since I found out about it months ago but couldn’t find someone to go with until Saturday, two days before, which coincidentally was also when the show sold out. So I tried my luck and hit up Aria, the lead singer of the Paradiso Girls on Facebook (she added me as a friend a few months back because she liked a video I recorded of them performing at a club in West Hollywood). And what do you know? She put me on the guest list. Heeeck yea, and I recorded some videos (1234) and wrote a review of it for the PioLog, but unfortunately they were already full for this week, and it will be outdated by next week’s issue – so I’m just going to post an excerpt of it here:

Space Cowboy began the show with his hit “Falling Down,” which is sort of like a male reincarnation of “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga. This is not a bad thing. Nor is it a coincidence; both songs are penned by the Swedish Grammy-winning producer RedOne. On stage, Space Cowboy goes for a minimalist feel: he is backed by a DJ and two half-clothed female dancers, one of whom seems to have an affinity for licking her index finger. (I counted five times.)

The night is not about asceticism, and who better to declare this than the Paradiso Girls, a group consisting of five girls of different geographic origins, and whose recent club hit “Patron Tequila” pairs a Lil-John produced bass line with these lyrics: Hey girl, where’s your drink/We can all get f—ked up tonight/By the end of the night I’mma have you drunk and throwing up. Adorned in so much shiny that you feel the need to wear shades, the girls put on a brassy performance of intricately-choreographed and high-energy electro-hip-pop songs, while simultaneously showing enough skin to rival the Pussycat Dolls.Yet despite the dubious couture, their Peaches-influenced “Who’s My Bitch?” (which samples the melody from the famous aria ‘Habanera’ from the opera Carmen) suggests that these girls  reject objectification and are proponents of girl-power: I’m not your bitch/I’m not your ho/Now give my heels a lick/And tell me, who’s my bitch? 

Entering the stage in gorilla suits and space helmets, with Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock” blaring in the background, the boys of Far East Movement served up a doubleshot of energy with their unique electronica/funk/hip-hop style. Never mind that these guys have received the least amount of attention from mainstream media (several people I asked also had no idea who they were), shortly into their set it immediately became clear that they were here to rock, as iPhones were turned to standby, and couples making out untangled their tongues – the crowd was rendered physically unable to stand still…

 III. The rest of the week went by as usual. Classes were interesting, and I’m pretty sure I aced my Spanish exam. I also went to the health center to get a few things tested and I am all good to go. So I’m pretty psyched about that. J

IV. Tonight, I went to the Race Monologues It’s kind of like the Vagina Monologues, only the panelists are (mostly) ethnic minorities (at this school/in this country/in their country of origin/etc) and the topics discussed have to do with race and multiculturalism. It was started a few years back to give minorities at LC a venue to speak and apparently has gotten better with each year. This year’s theme was Mixed: The Politics of Hybrid Identities, and it was absolutely amazing. Some of the monologues were emotional, some were downright hilarious, and some could have written with a bit more care and understanding, but each was insightful in its own way.

V. After Race Monologues, I went to a friend’s apartment on campus to play this board game called The Settlers of Catan. It is simply brilliant and got me and all my housemates hooked. I have a feeling it will have a pretty major presence in this house in the next few weeks (Ivan is already planning on buying it tomorrow hahaha).

Phew. That’s all. I’m off to enjoy my weekend. I think I’m shooting a music video. And writing papers. And applying for internships for next spring. And brainstorming for my senior thesis, for which I’m contemplating doing a documentary. It will be a lot of work, but it sounds much more appealing than writing a 25-page literary synthesis. We’ll see.

14 November 2009

Holla,Ween! (and other things)

steph…as a sexy policewomanhalloween2.jpgivan the hamburglarbuster as an m&mthe housebecca and mejellyfish!table dancinglost high school girl who doesn’t know what to be for halloween?halloween13.jpg At last, the long-awaited Halloween post! I noticed that not many of fellow bloggers posted Halloween-related pictures. It’s quite disappointing…but don’t fret, I’m here to save the day. To recap last weekend: on Friday, my housemates and I went to a Halloween party hosted by our friends Tess, Nicco, and Eric. They always put on great parties because they live in a gigantic house that is very party-friendly. And for this party in particular, they made it even more party-friendly by covering their entire floor with black garbage bags. Geniuses!! To be honest, in my three years at LC, I have witnessed a growing trend of the parties getting rowdier and rowdier. Whether this is a good thing or not, I don’t know. Parties hardly define life at LC anyway; this post exists solely for the purpose of showing you guys how awesome this Halloween was. SO, back to the topic of Friday’s party. My housemates and I all dressed up: Ivan was a (ham)burglar, Ethan was a merchant from the 1800’s, I was a gangster thug, and Hiroshi, always creative, decided to go as the Homeland Security Alert. His costume featured various colors to show the different warning levels, with his head being the “red” since he gets the Asian Glow when he drinks alcohol (he’s 21.) Ivan’s girlfriend Steph went as a sexy policewoman.  The party was pretty fun. Lots of dancing and mingling, and things didn’t get too out of hand.

The real party, however, was at our house on Saturday night. And of course, being the creative college genius that I am (ha), I ditched the thug getup and went as a droog from the book/movie A Clockwork Orange. I wanna say I memorized a bunch of AMAZING lines from it, but I didn’t. But it didn’t matter, because there was very little actual talking at the party since there were like a gazillion people here. We ended up having to scheme to get people to leave the house because it was so over-capacitated. We turned off the music, turned on the lights, and made the party “exit-only.” Gradually people shuffled out, and while the dance floor still remained 100% full, it wasn’t nearly as crowed as before. And that’s when the fun started. The best part of the night (and my favorite thing about Halloween) was seeing all the costumes people came up. My favorite was the girl who dressed up as a jellyfish. There is a picture of it… awesome right?

This was also a really good week in terms of school work. We had an interesting discussion in my Global Inequality class about development in Losotho and came to the conclusion that the World Bank is evil. Plus, I got my Communication Technology & Society midterm back: 95% baby! It had been a while since I’d gotten such a high grade on a not-so-easy exam.

Onto more current times…. I spent the earlier part of tonight downtown with my good friends Becca and Yan. We grubbed on some sushi and had dark chocolate “shots” as dessert, and I captured some great footage for a mini-documentary I’m doing for the Communications department. It gives a little taste of what a Portland is like after the sun goes down. I’ll post it on here for you guys when I finish editing it.

I apologize for writing such a long entry… but I hope you had fun working through it.  It’s almost 10PM on a Friday night and there is a mahjong party in my living room that I probably should be getting to… so, until next time! As always, you can reach me at lyang@lclark.edu

6 November 2009

THE Piolog

And so concludes another week of my hectic fall semester. This week wasn’t so great, because I got really sick last weekend and yet still had a midterm to study for, and a paper and two Piolog (the student newspaper at LC) articles to write (I can’t wait to see them in the papers today). Which brings me to the topic of this blog: The Pioneer Log, or simply Piolog.

I haven’t always been a fan of Piolog – they’re sort of a running joke on campus for being…well…crappy..ahem. I remember freshman year it was sort of a ritual to make fun of Piolog articles on Fridays, whether be the writing or the content. But I really had no idea how hard these editors worked (and I presume not many people do). I mean, they literally cannot have a life on Wednesdays, which is why I am just a staff writer. I also used to get ticked off at the editors because they always add/remove a whole bunch of stuff from my articles and in essence change them completely. And I understand when it’s for bias, but I still thought they went overboard sometimes. I’m over it now. The way I see it is that if I’m going to get into journalism after graduation then it’s probably better that I get used to it now. Plus, I just found out last night through talking with one of the copy editors that the AP Format only allows “says” or “said” to be used with a quotation. Oops.  

The Piolog editors this year have also been especially hardworking, and I guess some of the section editors haven’t been too happy, so as a result they’ve had a hard time keeping people on staff. Free plug: Piolog is looking for section editors, and as an editor, not only are you guaranteed admission to the best of the best journalism graduate programs, you also get PAID. How much? I don’t know. I can’t do it, because 1) I have no time and 2) I have no time. But prospies (that’s you, prospective students), think about journalism; it’s easy and you can get paid. Plus, society always needs good journalists! So what are you waiting for, get out that AP Style Guidebook and start memorizing the rules.

Here are my two articles from this week’s issue if you’re interested:

Faculty and staff salary increase approved

 Ariana Lenarsky is a little mouse in a big house

Can you believe tomorrow is Halloween already? October really went by in a blaze and I was too preoccupied with school work to enjoy it. That… is a first.  

We are having a party at our house this weekend! Expect epic pics next week.

p.s. holler at me, lyang@lclark.edu 

30 October 2009

80s Night

Hey guys,

This past week has been craaaaazy. I am so tempted to post a scan of my agenda so you guys can marvel at the monstrosity that is my week and laugh at my misery, but I have a habit of scribbling all sorts of inappropriate stuff all over my agenda when I’m bored in class. So you don’t get to see it. Anyway, there is still one more day before the week is over, and it’s going to be the most hectic of all; on the menu: midterm + exam + 2-page response paper. Fun!working itmore fun!team sexybirthday boy and his… 

Onto something that’s actually fun… Last week my buddy Alex turned 22, and to celebrate we went to Lola’s Room on Friday for the 80s Dance Party (every Friday, FYI). Let me tell you….it was happening (or is it hopping?? whatever you cool kids are saying nowadays)!! People in their 30s with voluminous 80s hair, people in their 40s wearing nothing at all, and even a few people in their 50s doing their best to keep up with the ‘Thriller’ choreography.  Okay, no one was naked. And I made that last part up, but from the cool costumes, to the endless ridiculous music videos from the 80s on the big screens, to forming a circle to let the cool kids get in the middle to do their thing…I ended up having a great time, as did everyone else! It’s a great distresser from a hectic week filled with school work.

I came across this awesome quote the other day and wrote it down, but without a commentary. I am almost for certain I had something awesome to say about it, but I can’t remember… shoot.

“If culture happens to be what seizes your soul, you will have to recognize that you will always be working in an area of displacement.” – Stuart Hall (aka the Mac Daddy of Communication/Culture Studies).

So… try not to let culture seize your soul.


Write down all the awesome stuff that randomly pops into your head.

22 October 2009


buster, the resident fattybuster and armando!buster sleeping with stephrandom autumn moon festival confectionary i stumbled uponme and carina

You know what doesn’t quite make sense? Sonic Youth’s cameo on this past Monday’s episode of Gossip Girl. Never mind that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore are both in their 50s, the band actually performed an acoustic version of their classic, “Starpower,” a song that Wikipedia tells me was written in 1986! By no means am I condemning them for appearing on the show; I really don’t mind when a band “sells out.” It’s just a bit strange to think that most of the audience of the show probably has no idea who they are. Somewhere in here there is a super lame joke about how the band is just trying to live up to their name… Har har.

Know what also doesn’t quite make sense? Forgetting that you left your bike at a friend’s house and then expecting to ride it to school 7 minutes before a midterm. So on the Monday after we returned from Fall Break I had an Art History midterm. The night/morning before, I had studied for approximately 8 hours (which was nowhere near enough). The exam was at 12:40, and since it usually takes me about 7 minutes to bike to school, I was outside my house by 12:30 (I was 3 minutes early, ha!), ready to take that bike ride so I can kick butt at my exam. Only I couldn’t find my bike. Did it get stolen? Did a housemate use it without telling me? OH! *FACEPALM* I left it outside Adam and Shane’s house on Saturday night when I went to pick up a chair!! Merde!!!!! Freaking out, I began to speed-walk. But as always, time hates my guts, and I was nearly 15 minutes late (even though I ran the last 500 or so meters), effectively missing the first three slides that we were supposed to identify and explain. No biggie, the three questions together were only worth 15 points. But it turns out that I was way less prepared than I had thought. Yeah, I recognized all the art pieces, but I’d forgotten the names to half of them! It had been a while since I had to take an exam that involved identifying and recalling, and my memory totally failed me. Art History: 1. Lee: 0. It’s okay, even though I got my ass handed to me, I still really like the class. But mark my words, I will be coming for that final.

At least Fall Break was fun. Three of Ivan (housemate)’s high school friends came up to visit. And Friday night I went out to a club with Carina and Natalie. There are some awesome pictures for you to enjoy. Lots of Buster!formerghostsgreensmall.jpg

I also got the time today to make the poster for the upcoming LC Music Coalition (LCMC) concert with Former Ghosts (w/ members from Xiu Xiu), Anthony Russell, and LC students Barra Brown, and Julia Crager. Former Ghosts’ sound isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but you should check them out for yourself on their Myspace. Regardless, you should still go to the show if you can, if only to support your fellow LC classmates.

Another great find this week is a program called Poladroid, which converts any normal picture to a Polaroid. Sure, you can do it on Photoshop, but Poladroid will do it with just one click. And it only takes about a minute. If you’re interested, it’s available for download for free at this place. On the right is a “Poladroid” picture of me and Carina from Friday night.

And my e-mail is lyang@lclark.edu if you need to get in touch with me!

14 October 2009


mature college kids being sillysacred wall of lego piecesthe lego store! The days are getting shorter and darker, and fall break’s already started! Unfortunately, I don’t have any exciting plans. However, I would love to pilgrimage to the nearest mountain peak to witness a storm, and take a much-needed break from my insane 21-credit semester! Yes, you read right, 21 credits. Why am I torturing myself during my final year of college you ask? Well, I kind of “relaxed” a bit too much these past three years; from taking 12-credit semesters to easily withdrawing from classes without considering the consequences.

Alas, here I am, taking five classes and reading more about development in third-world countries and media saturation than ever before. The lesson? Take your studies seriously. That way, when you’re a senior, you won’t be the one stuck at home with 100+ pages of reading every night, while all your friends are out at bars having fun.

Back to the subject, I’m just glad that the readings are fascinating. I’m also taking Beginning Spanish, and so far it’s been a bit of a challenge. I took French in high school, so I have to try very hard to resist not pronouncing certain words, or blurting out in class “qu’est-ce que c’est?” But I’m liking this language, as well as the tidbits of Latin American culture in the textbook.

Another class in particular that I’m enjoying is Western Art History, taught by the wonderful Ben David. It amazes me that not only does he know so much about art, he also talks about it with such poise, and eloquence…so much that his words are like poetry. Added to the dim lighting of the classroom, it’s hard to not relax too much and fall asleep. I’ve been guilty of this several times already.

To further prove that this hasn’t been the semester from hell (yet), I managed to squeeze some time in on Tuesday to volunteer at a homeless feeding center in Southeast Portland. And no, I didn’t take pictures. I’ve always had this thing where I think that by taking pictures of, and by extension, studying homeless people (especially when it’s for school projects), I’m objectifying them. And the thought of that is unsettling, since they are in enough misfortune as it is… I know this probably doesn’t make much sense; it’s just one of those things that I haven’t really thought through just yet.  

But anyway, it had been a while since I’d helped with the homeless, and like each previous time, I was reminded of just how privileged I am. I’m not going to go into the stories people shared with me. They’re too depressing. Instead, I’m going to leave you with some pictures I took today at the mall, because really, there is no better way to end a blog post than by juxtaposing homelessness with vapid commercialism. (Although I have to admit the Lego store is really cool.)

7 October 2009