"Try not to make me look like a hooker." Getting her face made up while powerless to hold up her own head, Li-Mei from Shortland St has never delivered a more self-referentially brilliant line. Though I cannot divulge whether she is leaving the clinic under a white sheet or on a prestigious plastic surgery internship, there was no mistaking her big 'interview' scene last night for anything but an exit interview.
[edit: it's okay, they've knocked her off now. You know all is lost when Chris Warner throws his cellphone against the wall.]
Expect a fulsome Li-Mei Chen tribute, Yellow Peril style, within the next few weeks.
While on Shortland St the existence of one Asian doctor precludes the existence of all other Asian doctors, in the real world, if you take one Asian doctor and put them in a room, more will eventually arrive, waiting for the pan-Asian finger-food. Last night, these worlds collided. I went to a launch at Parliament of the first ever Asian Health Chartbook, where we had deep fried mini-samosas to go with the incipient Indian diabetes and heart disease epidemic, and deep fried moneybags to go with the nation-topping level of female Chinese super-sedentary lazy-assedness. Then I went home to eat chocolate and sit on my ass watching the poor health outcomes of the soon to be deleted female Chinese character on Shortland St.
This chartbook seems to show that the 'Asian' category has now properly infiltrated the Health sector. There were comments that it's been a long time coming. There was also a sense of relief and appreciation that the report is setting a precedent for disaggregating the 'Asian' category into different ethnic groups, and calculating for length of residence. Samson Tse blew away a few bureaucratic cobwebs with a barnstorming speech about the work still to come - in particular, integrating the effects of discrimination and settlement problems into analyses of health and wellbeing.
Pansy Wong was also bopping around looking pleased as punch. She was at the Tuesday night launch of the AEN Journal too, which is worth checking out for its tackling of the 'elephant in the living room' of pan-ethnic/inter-faith networks: the Palestine/Israel issue. Here are the companion articles by Dave Moskovitz, Progressive Jew and Anjum Rahman, New Zealand Muslim. Am a bit embarrassed linking to something that I have also been published in - especially as it's a pretty half-assed contribution on my part, compared with the other 'serious' articles. But I'd like to acknowledge the amazing work that Ruth DeSouza and Andy Williamson have put in to producing the journal, and in keeping AEN humming along. It's really valuable to feel connected to a group of people who exist in reality, even though we don't exist on television.