Asian America, social media and baby boomers

AARP's TEK team helped elderly Chinese at a senior center in Boston learn to use smartphones, and they were sending texts ad shooting selfies at the end of the session.

AARP’s TEK team helped elderly Chinese at a senior center in Boston learn to use smartphones, and they were sending texts ad shooting selfies at the end of the session.

This was a fun photo booth at the AARP Member Convention in Boston, which promoted an upcoming PBS series about baby boomers sponsored by AARP. Nope, I'm not actually in the series...

This was a fun photo booth at the AARP Member Convention in Boston, which promoted an upcoming PBS series about baby boomers sponsored by AARP. Nope, I’m not actually in the series…

As a journalist, I’ve been really lucky.

I started my career as a music critic and then a reporter, so I’ve always been able to write about pop culture – especially the pop culture of my generation, the baby boomers. Then when the Internet came along, I was able to move over to work almost exclusively in digital media, and these days I work in and speak about social media. And since I started writing my “Nikkei View” column and blog, I’ve been part of a growing chorus of Asian American voices (like the JACL’s Pacific Citizen, which is about to re-launch its website after a two-year hiatus!) covering issues and stories that mainstream media frankly tends to ignore.

So I couldn’t believe my great fortune last month when I was named the 2014 Asian American Journalists Association’s AARP Social Media Fellow.

AARP, if you aren’t familiar with the organization, is the American Association of Retired People, whose members are 50 years old and older. That means that this year, the youngest baby boomers are turning 50 and can join AARP (the baby boom went from 1946 to 1964).
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Godzilla, the world’s most famous Japanese American

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Although Hollywood has been making monster movies since the original 1933 “King Kong,” the monster with the most staying power and screen incarnations didn’t come out of California, but from Tokyo.

Godzilla is back with another cinematic reboot produced by Hollywood featuring the usual array of mega-special effects, including a digitized monster instead of a man in a monster suit.

Whether costumed or computer-generated, Godzilla is the most famous Japanese American in the world. He’s starred in 28 movies, stomping his way through cities on both sides of the Pacific.

Godzilla, or the Japanese pronunciation, “Gojira” (a combination of the words for gorilla, “gorira” and whale, “kujira”) made its first Japanese appearance 60 years ago, in 1954, but the film was edited and scenes inserted starring Raymond Burr as an American journalist for its 1956 release in the U.S. as “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!”
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