Originally posted here via my tumblr, December 6th 2014.

Who are Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh?

Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man who bought two cases of beer in 1988.

Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man who was verbally assaulted with racial slurs.

Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man who was physically assaulted with a wooden stick that was approximately 5’ by 2-3”.

Thanh Lam is a Vietnamese man that Mark Wahlberg beat so hard that according to police reports, “Thanh Lam was knocked to the ground unconscious” and “the stick broke in two.”

Hoa Trinh is a Vietnamese man who had the misfortune of encountering Wahlberg on that same night in 1988.

Hoa Trinh is a Vietnamese man who was also verbally assaulted with racial slurs.

Hoa Trinh is a Vietnamese man who was also physically assaulted and punched in the eye so hard that he lost his vision.

Let that shit sink in.

I’ll give you a moment.

Ready to continue?

Because of Mark Wahlberg’s racial hate, two Vietnamese men had their lives irrevocably changed. Thanh Lam was knocked unconscious and sent to the hospital and Hoa Trinh lost his sight in one eye.

But justice was done, right? I mean, Wahlberg was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to two years imprisonment at the Plymouth House of Corrections, with three months to be served and the balance suspended. After a whole 45 days at the Deer Island House of Correction, Wahlberg was released.

How long do you think it took Hoa Trinh to learn to function with diminished eyesight or Thanh Lam to feel secure walking to and from his car? More than forty-five-fucking days, I’ll bet.

Wahlberg has insisted again and again that despite his prolific use of racial epithets, race did not motivate either attack. “During the incident, I was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics.”

Wait one hot minute, all that racism just happened because you were all turnt? No. Try again. Hate like that doesn’t just pop up overnight and to claim that you used that hate speech because you were fucked up, then you were just so socially lubricated that you felt comfortable enough to let your racist flag fly.

(If someone can find where he’s asked for forgiveness from those who wronged, please post it below. I cannot seem to find Wahlberg speaking on his teenaged brutality or his use of racial slurs in those incidents.)

According to various reports, Wahlberg wants this formal pardon so he can obtain a “concessionaire’s license to help him with his restaurant businesses, and he’d like to be able to help law enforcement, working with at-risk kids.” He claims that “I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past. To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.”

And: “The more complex answer is that receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988. It would be formal recognition that someone like me can receive official public redemption if he devotes himself to personal improvement and a life of good works.”

Well bully for you, Mark Wahlberg. I don’t believe that you deserve this official public redemption that you seek just because you’ve devoted yourself to a life of good works. You did racist, hateful things and you should not be allowed to forget them because your priest says your “life speaks for itself,” and that you’ve “really turned his life around in faith, family and giving back.”

No. Fuck that. No. Wahlberg committed not one, but TWO hate crimes against Vietnamese immigrants on the same night!

And were you aware of that time that he menaced school kids?

Yup. Two years earlier in 1986, Wahlberg and his friends attacked Jesse Coleman (12 year old black male) and his older siblings. Wahlberg and his friends menaced them using racial epithets. The next day, Jesse Coleman and his classmates were on a class field trip. Wahlberg and his two friends followed them on the street, again yelling racial slurs but this time, they started throwing rocks. Kristyn Atwood and Emily Harr were both struck with rocks. He and a pair of friends threw rocks at CHILDREN, like they were stray animals being shooed away from trash.

What. The. Ever. Living. Fuck.

Is Wahlberg sorry? I’m sure he is. Would he want it all to go away? Again, yes. Should he get a pardon? Hell to the no.

Hate crimes like these should not be pardoned just because a famous person regrets his actions. There needs to be accountability for crimes committed. If Wahlberg is pardoned, it will because of two decades of celebrity, NOT because he’s exhibited contrition. Besides, his apologies feel like apologies for getting caught, not because one might be remorseful for one’s actions.

And before you start playing devil’s fucking advocate or whingeing about giving people a second chance, don’t. Check every single one of your privileges right this minute. Right now. Do it. Because if you can’t conceive of what it feels like to be marginalized for something that you cannot change, you must be blessed with so much privilege, you don’t know what to do with yourself. So take your derailing tactics, your excuses, and your privilege and be gone.

It is important that no matter what Wahlberg says, these are hate crimes. Racial epithets were used in ALL of these cases. Misspent youth is one thing, racially-motivated crime is another. Teenaged Mark might have just wanted to continue getting his buzz on but newsflash! The moment he opened his mouth to use those hateful racial slurs toward Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh, it was and IS a hate crime.

The moment he chose to throw rocks and shout epithets at Jesse Coleman, Kristyn Atwood, Emily Harr, and their classmates, it was and IS a hate crime.

Stop and reflect for a moment. Those last three names that I listed were schoolchildren… school children. We’re not even talking grown-ass men here. Mark Wahlberg and his friends made the conscious decision to throw rocks and yell at CHILDREN. Children on their way back from a field trip were terrorized by white teenagers throwing rocks at them and hearing racial slurs, so yeah… I don’t have time for any hazy revisionist history, that was and IS a hate crime.

Massachusetts Parole Board, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.

Gov. Deval Patrick, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.

Massachusetts Governor’s Council, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.

Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, do not pardon Mark Wahlberg.

Do not send yet another message that being white in America means you can break the law with impunity. Just don’t.

Do not send yet another message that people of colour are worth less.

If you are curious, here is Wahlberg’s request for pardon, posted by The Boston Globe.

Fifteen years.

So much has happened since our lives began together. I have collected boxes of our own historical ephemera: concert stubs, movie tickets, fortune cookie aphorisms, and several scrapbooks. There are thousands of photographs on my hard drive and countless mentions on various social media platforms. We’ve attended funerals and had the honour of witnessing the little folk in our lives mature. We’ve changed so much and yet remained the same.

Throughout it all, you’ve been there for me. We have been there for each other.  You know when to give me space and when to smother me with hugs. You have made me laugh more than you have made me cry. You have fabricated worlds for me to frolic and spun stories that left me (and our friends) rapt. You can make me feel better even when I desperately want to simmer in my sulk and you posses this (irritatingly) uncanny way to see through my bullshit, even when I think I’m being slick.

Our conversations have seen sunrises and sunsets, sometimes in the same day. We have lost track of time on road trips to nowhere particular and everywhere special. You are my DJ, my navi, my companion, my love, and above all, my best friend. Not a day passes when I don’t pause to give thanks for all the privileges we enjoy.

I love you, Andy, and I’m looking forward to fifteen more years of conversation and more.

(I hope these words illuminate a fraction of my feels because I loves you, like a LOT.)

Image credits: Wow, Robin Hood, and mix tape.

The Gauntlet has arrived.

I am proud to say that I am on the GeekGirlCon team!

Also, I’ve missed you, blog.

I has it.

I also has a supreme laziness when it came to updating this blog!

I plan to remedy this posthaste.

That is all.

Back to your regularly scheduled programme…

Seeya on the flip side
– GermanCityGirl

Currently listening to: Supercommuter.

Meal: A slice of kalamata toast with vegan butter.

I am unabashedly a child of the 80s. Scour my high school yearbooks and you will find asymmetrical hair cuts, O-ring bracelets and other tell tale signs. It’s not just the clothes that might give me away or the year on my driver’s license. It might be my love for a handful of John Hughes movies that I clearly remember seeing at the theatres. I don’t mean 101 Dalmatians or Uncle Buck. While I did see those at the cinema, I mean the handful of movies that seemed to resonate with kids of my age when they were released.

Last night when I heard of his death, I realised something. It wasn’t only his films that resonated with me, it was the music… the glorious music that was tied perfectly to scenes in the films. Stop and think about a scene from your favourite Hughes film. Ferris commandeering a parade float twisting and shouting to the Beatles or Duckie tossing playing cards into a hat despondently as the Smiths play… maybe the strains of “Holiday Road” when you embark on a road trip or imagining badly dancing teens in prom gear when you hear a specific cheesy OMD song?

Whatever the scene, the music just fit perfectly. Musicians like Jesus And Mary Chain, Love And Rockets, Psychedelic Furs, Kirsty Maccoll, Kate Bush, Gene Loves Jezebel, XTC, the Smiths, EBTG, Belouis Some, Oingo Boingo, Altered Images, Flesh For Lulu, Stephen Duffy, David Bowie, the Vapors, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Rave-Ups… are just some of the artists that appeared on a Hughes soundtrack. And I loved them all. Jolts of happy recognition when I would know a particular song. That made me feel cool and in the know, like a mix tape made to introduce someone to music they have never heard. The difference was that I had heard it and I did know it, so the films have more of a special place for me.

When I think back on some of his movies, I can’t honestly say if they had staying power throughout the decades. I know I still giggle at them but would jaded teenagers today would get the humour as much as I did in those darkened movie theatres in Houston? Or would they find the characters hackneyed and the situations trite? I don’t care either way. What I do know and care about is that the music he chose to punctuate and sometimes underscore his movies are what did reach out and grab me.

So for his infinitely quotable movies (Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?) and music, I thank him. Thank you John for helping me formulate my musical tastes and giving me refuge from the wastelands that was 80s music.

RIP John Hughes.

And now, on with the obit written by Roger Ebert:

Few directors have left a more distinctive or influential body of work than John Hughes. The creator of the modern American teenager film, who died Thursday in New York, made a group of films that are still watched and quoted today.

Hughes, who was 59, died of a heart attack during an early-morning walk while visiting family in New York City, his publicist said. He lived all his life in the northern suburbs of Chicago, southern Wisconsin, and on a farm which he operated in Northern Illinois.

Refusing to move to Los Angeles, he once told me why he preferred to bring his young acting discoveries to Chicago to film: “I like to check them into a motel far away from their friends, keep them out of trouble, and have them focus on the work.”

The list of films Hughes directed, produced or wrote includes such enduring hits as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, Some Kind of Wonderful, Curly Sue, Mr. Mom, Home Alone, Pretty in Pink,
Weird Science, She’s Having a Baby, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Beethoven, 101 Dalmatians, and Baby’s Day Out.

His films helped establish an international notion of ordinary American teenagers, and he was as popular abroad as at home. Once when I was visiting the largest movie theater in Calcutta, I asked if “Star Wars” had been their most successful American film. No, I was told, it was “Baby’s Day Out,” a Hughes comedy about a baby wandering through a big city, which played for more than a year.

Hughes, who graduated in 1968 from Glenbrook High School in Northbrook, used the northern suburbs as the setting for many of his films, notably “Ferris Bueller” and “The Breakfast Club.” He converted the gymnasium of the former Maine North High School in Des Plaines for use as a sound stage, assigning his actors schoolrooms as dressing rooms, and corridor lockers with their own combinations.

Hughes was a star-maker for a generation. Among the actors he introduced or popularized were Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Macaulay Culkin and John Candy, who worked in eight Hughes films. Some of those actors, freed from their confinement under Hughes, later became famous as the Brat Pack.

He took teenagers seriously, and his films are distinctive for showing them as individuals with real hopes, ambitions, problems and behavior.

“Kids are smart enough to know that most teenage movies are just exploiting them,” he told me on the set of “The Breakfast Club.” “They’ll respond to a film about teenagers as people. [My] movies are about the beauty of just growing up. I think teenage girls are especially ready for this kind of movie, after being grossed out by all the sex and violence in most teenage movies. People forget that when you’re 16, you’re probably more serious than you’ll ever be again. You think seriously about the big questions.”

“I’m going to do all my movies here in Chicago,” he told me. “The Tribune referred to me as a ‘former Chicagoan.’ As if, to do anything, I had to leave Chicago. I never left. I worked until I was 29 at the Leo Burnett advertising agency, and then I quit to do this. This is a working city, where people go to their jobs and raise their kids and live their lives. In Hollywood, I’d be hanging around with a lot of people who don’t have to pay when they go to the movies.”

After Hughes died today, some reports referred to him as “a recluse who disappeared somewhere in Illinois.” A few years ago, a friend of mine ran into him and kidded him about having disappeared from the Hollywood radar. “I haven’t disappeared,” he said. “I’m standing right here. I’m just not in Los Angeles.”

Hughes was incredibly productive as a screenwriter. He personally directed eight films, produced 23 and wrote 37, most recently “Drillbit Taylor” (2008). Such filmmakers as Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith cite him as an influence, Smith once saying, “Basically everything I do is just a raunchy John Hughes movie.”

Hughes is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, two sons and four grandchildren.

It’s been a lovely few days here in the Emerald City. Monday was the Harold Lloyd talkie Movie Crazy at the Paramount. It was really fun complete with popcorn and smuggled in Toblerone.

Tuesday was Loreena McKennitt and she was phenomenal. I heard every single song that I desired to hear including The Lady of Shalott. I was awestruck to hear her live. And to be reminded that no, I am not smart… to listen to Loreena speak about this historical event and that one, weaving them all back around to the context of her thoughts… yeah, it made me feel pure short bus.

Before we went to the Loreena show, we ran by to get some tickets for the upcoming SIFF. It’s rapidly filling up but our upcoming schedule is as follows.

(SIFF Cinema) Friday, May 25th: An Evening With Lisa Gerrard.

(Neptune Theatre) Friday, May 25th: Paprika.

(Neptune Theatre) Monday, May 28th: A Battle of Wits (Mo Gong).

(Egyptian Theatre) Thursday, May 31st: Exiled.

(SIFF Cinema) Tuesday, June 05th: A Conversation With Julien Temple.

(Neptune Theatre) Friday, June 08th: Day Watch (Dnevnoi dozor)

(Egyptian Theatre) Sunday, June 10th: Mushishi.

(Egyptian Theatre) Sunday, June 10th: Tekkonkinkreet.

(Lincoln Square) Monday, June 11th: The Banquet.

Tonight (or rather, Wednesday night) was the first show of the American String Project. And we were treated to a piece that is rarely performed in the U.S. – Bottesini’s String Quartet Op. 4 in D Major. It was simply breathtaking to hear violins, violas, cellos, and a bass all play in harmony. The strings soaring and falling, making an indelible mark on my memory. When they began to play, my breath skipped and my eyes teared because yes, I’m a dork when it comes to music… and the piece was beautiful.

All I have to say is that front row for Lisa Gerrard is simply going to fry my brain. Oh yes, I will be bringing tissues with me.

Busy month ahead – a month of jam packed with events + appointments.

There are two more sessions in our epic Star Wars game before we take a much needed summer break. Sniff sniff. No more excellent Tanake action but she needs a break from being such an amazing bad-ass 😉

Great films open this month including Spiderman III, PotC with my fave Chow, and Satoshi Kon’s Paprika, which will be cool as hell. Check out the trailer if you haven’t seen it.

Going to see some things at the glorious Paramount – a great venue built in the 20s.

Flying going solo to the Morrissey gig on the 6th. He’s just too emo for GC’s tastes. On the 14th, it’s a double bill of Harold Lloyd films complete with live Wurlitzer organ-playing. It will kickin’ it old school style 😉 Many people aren’t familiar with Lloyd but he made more films than Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton combined… and he’s one of my favourites :). The next night is Loreena McKennitt, whom I’ve never seen live.

Then there are two concerts on the 16th and 18th performed by The American String Project, a fifteen member ensemble that will be performing pieces from Bottesini, Grieg, Schubert, Haydn, and Bartok. I looked it up to see the make-up of their group: five first violins, four second violins, three violas, two violoncelli and one double bass. We’re going to be in strings heaven.

Final gaming day happens around there. And finally to finish out the month of May, we have a show at the Moore, built in 1907. We’ll be seeing the phenomenal Lisa Gerrard with unheard of front row tickets. My head might actually explode from the proximity to that woman’s voice.

It will be a damn good month kicking off the summer with a busy little bang.

Whee to the hee 🙂

Seeya on the flip side ;)
– GermanCityDancingGirl

Currently listening to some Kaiser Chiefs. We just recently saw them live and they were a lot of fun.

Meal: A bowl of hot chili with fresh green onions, shredded cheese, and crumbly corn bread. It polished off with a glass of some sort of bubbly blackberry fruity drink with ice. Mmm.