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February 2010
 
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Fri, Feb. 5th, 2010 10:43 am
Mr Pantouffle's self-fab skyhut

62CommentReply

tampopon
tampopon
Fri, Feb. 5th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
Personality is destiny

Nice. Make no apologies! That's good. I wish I could be adopted by a family and make love to their daughter in one of these. Why not? There's only 1.3 billion Chinese.

I have often thought of finding a word that encapsulates the spiritual feeling that comes with the decor and environment of a Chinese restaurant in America: grease, fluorescence, life, pinkness, stained but cute clothes, red-cheeked girls behind the counter. Very Chinese, and very sexy and poor. How they have no idea what I think of them.

Who's happier? Americans who are stuffed with anti-depressives and anti-anxiety medicine living in isolated mansions playing video games and using porn? Mother Theresa thought the U.S. was spiritually desolate, and didn't feel good coming here. Compare that to India, where there is visible death and poverty, yet a certain serenity in the face of things anyway. Having said that, I am scared of China sometimes, and their ruthless practicality and willfulness to 'become somebody' in the face of just getting their act together on the world stage.

I just meant to write about Italo Calvino's 'The Baron in the Trees', about a viscount who retires to the trees to look down at society. Italo Calvino is nice, and especially apt at giving a sense of solidarity and humor in this current world where the rug is being pulled out from under our feet, with the sense that nobody really knows how to escape the conditioning that is turning everyone into a perpetual man-child.


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farblust
farblust
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
Re: Personality is destiny

"How they have no idea what I think of them."
I do take offence at what you said. I think it is very demeaning to base your perception of the entire culture on the less-educated part of the people. I agree that many cultural output from Mainland China now has a "new rich" aesthetics(ie West worshipping, little understanding of the refined high culture of both the West and China). But there are modern Chinese culture that is not as vulgar. Taipei, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing all got their own distinctive culture, due to different dialects and political backgrounds. We are not as homogenous as you might think. It's essential to recognise the complexity within the Sinosphere.
I recommend you to read "My country my people" by Lin Yutan. It is a good introduction to reading the Chinese culture, beyond all the empty revolutionary fervour that many people like to mock China with.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lin_Yutang


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farblust
farblust
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
Re: Personality is destiny

The whole book can be found here.
http://www.archive.org/details/MyCountryAndMyPeople
Enjoy.


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tampopon
tampopon
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
Re: Personality is destiny

Thank you. I don't mean to offend, just sharing. If it helps, I don't exactly trust my government or 'people' most of the time, or haven't. I helped take care of 26 Chinese students from Fudan University, all of whom were very nice, soooo nice. It is just that, as a nation, China is gargantuan, and from what I can tell even from Chinese students' stories about growing up in relative poverty, they are as anxious do devote their whole lives to progress, at the expense of grace and environmental protection.

Operation Snakehead is a term I learned from them, about immigrants coming to Chinese restaraunts illegally. So, I can understand that many restaurant workers are from the lower classes. I can't imagine how hard it must be for them, but they are still cute.


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