The Civil Tube: Asians Eat Weird Things (Music Video)

We’re in a music kind of mood over here at the Civil Word. This week’s Civil Tube comes by way of the Fung Brothers who created this spoof to showcase the wide range of cuisine eaten across the Asian diaspora. And yes, the lyrics are strong and the production level is quite high, but the really the reason this video is so special is because it promotes good ole-fashioned pride. Asian-Americans and traditional Asian cuisine are otherized and exoticized to an remarkable degree — and videos like this are an exercise in reclamation. Gotta love it. Lyrics below the fold.



America’s Three Economies…

I’m reading a pretty interesting book titled ‘The Geography of Jobs’ by Economist Enrico Moretti.  The book details the divergence of American cities, pointing to the vast disparities generated by education, city-level job sector allocations and the migration of skilled labor to innovation hubs.  The interview below does a great job of summarizing Moretti’s findings.

Fareed Zakaria’s Harvard Commencement Speech

I am a huge fan of writer and television host Dr. Fareed Zakaria. His work is always insightful and seems to approach whatever the subject matter is from all angles.

So imagine how excited I was to hear that Dr. Zakaria was giving the commencement speech for Harvard’s graduating 2012 class! I watched the speech on YouTube this morning and he absolutely rocked it. Commencement speeches are tough. For a commencement speech to be done right, one needs to strike the right balance between inspiration, humor, and insight. Many fail. Zakaria soars.

My favorite snippet is below; with a video of the complete speech underneath. Enjoy and let me know your favorite line!

Now you might listen to me and say “This is all wonderful for the world at large, but what does this mean for America?” Well, for America and for most places, peace and broader prosperity — “the rise of the rest” — means more opportunities. I remind you that this is a country that still has the largest and most dynamic economy in the world, that dominates the age of technology, that hosts hundreds of the world’s greatest companies, that houses its largest, deepest capital markets, and that has almost all of the world’s greatest universities. There is no equivalent of Harvard in China or India, nor will there be one for decades, perhaps longer.

The United States is also a vital society. It is the only country in the industrialized world that is demographically vibrant. We add 3,000,000 people to the country every year. That itself is a powerful life force, and it is made stronger by the fact that so many of these people are immigrants. They — I should say we — come to this country with aspirations, with hunger, with drive, with determination, and with a fierce love for America. By 2050, America will have a better demographic profile than China. This country has its problems, but I would rather have America’s problems than most any other place in the world.