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The commercial application and revenue generating possibilities soon stoked the imagination of institutional investors looking for the “new new thing” in Silicon Valley innovation. Beyond the involvement of Chen with its invention and astounding $1.6 billion sale to Google in 2006, You Tube has special relevance to the subject at hand: The deployment of Asian American ethnonationalist propaganda by the pharmaceutical-university postindustrial complex in dubious battle against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) to which those of “Asian” genetic heritage are claimed to be highly susceptible.
The objective is threefold: 1) To demonstrate the efficacy of critical media studies in addressing matters of vital importance to the diverse Asian American communities, 2) To examine the complicity of Asian Americans themselves in contributing to the bio-panic, and 3) To warn of the dangers that Asian Americans face in submitting to a well-organized, heavily-funded, and manipulative corporate propaganda campaign.
Finally, this essay concludes with observations that connect the current targeting of Asian American communities by the hepatitis B public relations campaign with the documented history of overseas and domestic “racial hygiene” programs mandated by the State, overseen by its agencies dedicated to “public health,” and delivered by for-profit medico-pharmaceutical corporations that enjoy a favorably close relationship with government regulatory bodies such as the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Supranational organizations, in particular the World Health Organization (WHO), promote a global vaccination agenda that at times has proven disastrous to large numbers of people.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, has backed financially mass polio virus vaccinations in India that has resulted in about 47,000 reported cases of paralysis. Gates reportedly hired popular Bollywood actors to promote both the polio vaccine and genetically modified cotton seeds engineered by Monsanto, in which he has a large investment.
Drawing from notorious behavioral science techniques pioneered at his alma mater Stanford University, self-described “chief evangelist” for Apple computers Guy Kawasaki inspired cult-like devotion among its early adopters in the Asian American-dominant Silicon Valley region before its faith came to encircle the globe. Into this confluence of historically transformative events where Asian Americans figured prominently came You Tube, cofounded by Steve Chen in 2005.
Born in Taiwan, his family immigrated to the US when he was fifteen years old.
Chen graduated with a degree in computer science (2002) from the University of Illinois and had been at Pay Pal with co-founders Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim before striking it rich with You Tube.It began as an informal means of sharing among a circle of friends and acquaintances low resolution video distributed over the Internet.Broadcast Your Self There is a wealth of literature that examines the near-exclusion of Asian Americans from corporate media, film and television in particular. The advent of “new media,” however, held the promise that groups denied equal and fair representation on network television and in mainstream cinema could establish a presence that would help compensate for their subordinate social status.Moreover, tempered optimism has been expressed in some quarters that the Internet revolution might afford self-identified social minorities the opportunity for independent production and hence control of program content. It is brutally clear today, however, that the early example (1993) of cyberutopianism touted by the likes of Howard Rheingold, has been proven way off the mark. So too with “Whole Earth Catalog” guru Stewart Brand who today embraces all manner of “New Communalist” techno-fascism that stems from one branch of the 1960s counterculture.7 The control of the Internet by the national security establishment and its sprawling surveillance asset Google exemplify the worst-case dystopian outcome for a technology that had promised so much in the way of liberty, equality, and fraternity. By contrast, the earlier and current work by cyber-culture theorist Lisa Nakamura and her professional associates have remained constant in their skepticism toward the fantasy of a race-free, egalitarian online peaceable kingdom proffered by a certain brand of sociopolitical visionary that tend to live among themselves in upper middle-class White enclaves within the San Francisco Bay area. That Jerry Yang (Yahoo!) and other Asian American IT entrepreneurs were instrumental in the development of the Internet for the non-specialist public fed the popular hope that the seemingly infinite demand for program material would at last break the monopoly held by the corporate media combines.Ethno-pride publications such as Asian Week and the website contributed to the aspirations of the Asian American-identified general reader by publicizing the achievements of co-ethnic techies in feature articles, interviews, and self-flattering editorial commentary.