ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
Earlier this spring, mainstream awareness about the existence of Asians reached a fever pitch following a surge in anti-AAPI hate crimes that’s been building after over a year of kung flu rhetoric.
Lucky for this half-Chinese, Hawaii-born public radio producer, that swelling of awareness happened to coincide with the greenlighting of KUOW’s On Asian America series, which I hosted and curated. It also meant this: a dream interview with ceiling-crushing crusader Cindy Gallop about the power of disrupting the porn industry in order to explode silent and submissive images of lotus flower girls.
I’m so excited to finally share the resulting 8-minute feature with all of you: 'Shame changer': Sex tech CEO disrupts Asian stereotypes with adult films.
If you’re not yet part of the Make Love Not Porn founder’s throng of obsessively loyal fans, I hope this story changes that. I guarantee the clip of Gallop’s gloriously shocking TED Talk at the top will be enough to spark the launch of your most inspired Googling. Thanks for listening! And if you have feedback about the piece, please reach out. I’m always here for the follow-up.
SOMETHING TO READ (AND WATCH)
When I was in elementary school, a teacher asked our class to create posters declaring what we’d become when we grew up. Understandably, future astronauts and veterinarians came out in force to represent. But then there was my poster, stating boldly that I would become an “advertising artist.” It was a job I thought I had made up.
Turns out this is an actual profession that Cindy Gallop and my genius Creative Director wife happen to be brilliant at.
One of the many bonuses of marrying Keri is that I now have a constant companion to nerd out with. We often text each other spectacular (or spectacularly bad) campaigns, and then we unpack them at length with our teenager, who’s turning out to be a bit of a Mad Man himself. BUT THEN! Recently she sent me “Womb Stories” from Libresse/Bodyform, and then the two of us had only this to say: Whoa.
Watch the groundbreaking 3-minute short film and read Adweek’s interview with the creatives behind it here: 'Womb Stories' Wins 4 Grands Prix at Cannes, but Its Creators Warn Taboos Remain the Norm. And if you have more to say about it than me or Keri, reach out. Let’s talk about it.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
This week’s SHOT is a weird and wonderful salad. I’ve been eating a version of this all week and it’s making my summer. I enthusiastically recommend using those lumpy heirloom tomatoes that are at their peak right now at the farmer’s market. Here’s it is from Peanut Butter and Peppers, but I’m pretty sure you get the gist of it from the title: Watermelon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Salad.
THAT’S A WRAP FOR THIS WEEK AND NEXT
That’s a wrap on issue 50(!), friends. I’ll be taking next week off, but then I’ll be back in your inbox to celebrate ROCK PAPER RADIO’s one-year anniversary of three weekly links for unlikely optimists.
Sending big, post-vax, awkward hug vibes to all of you in the meantime. And if you’re missing our misfit dispatch next week, feel free to peruse the archives here.
See you the Thursday after next.