Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Doublespeak and Bullscat

Politicians truly are amazing.

In China it is fitting that the government spokesperson is a woman, Jiang Yu. In Chinese (and every other) society it is an older woman who will do most of the scolding, attacking, reprimanding and declaring in a household. And by older I mean just slightly past menopause, when their daughters are married or their sons are off doing something somewhere. pops is settling into chill mode with his pipe, homies and chessboard.

It requires a shrill voice and no sense of logic. It requires full confidence in one's own just cause and a firm disdain for the other's cause.

We had that troll Madeleine back in the day ... now its Condoleeza .. i suppose she kind of fits the mold, but she is actually attractive and not that old, so she doesn't need the shrill voice. Hillary. Man she is the prototype. You know how mom's can get. But these were secretaries of states or first ladies. our spokesmen tend to be men, most recently a bald Jew and a bland stuttering office ghost.

Anyway, here is Ms. Yu's bullshit for the day, concerning Chinese student-rioters in Korea vis a vis the evil Tibetan separatists recently sentenced and those of us who have yet to be punished by the righteous People's Republic ... nausea. all this shit gives me nausea in the end:

"As to the disruptions and sabotage by the separatist forces, some students upholding justice came out to safeguard the dignity of the torch -- I believe that’s natural."

You know you really have to be able to hear her say it and know how it would sound in Chinese to truly appreciate the bitchy, self-righteous, grating quality of the statement. And of course the rank hypocrisy, if you didn't catch it, of defending your own and attacking the others for doing the same damn thing.

I wrote a column recently about all this and I went after the West more than China. It is to be expected that China will have illogical, crude arguments based more on fake history, emotion and loud yelling than any real facts.

We should let China simmer in its own juices and tend to our business at home. We have an election to win.

Politics. I think the whole realm of politics benefits from the bum rap we the people give it: the shittier things we expect from them, the shittier things they get away with.

On Friday the torch arrives in Hong Kong. From what I hear its gonna pop off.

Monday, April 28, 2008

noone can f*ck with my tribe

just got off the horn with a one of my tribe's elders (hahaha) and it feels damn good. crazy shit is in the mix ... seems like we might all be on the west coast of the USA at some point. or Colombia. or maybe we'll have a powwow in South Africa with the Peer Brothers and Doc Possible. It could all happen. The connections between us used to surprise me when i was younger, now i know them for what they are: the fabric of livin.

or as the elder put it:

"souls in the cabinet"

spell yur name out foolz!

all the ladies in the world

this ones for you, courtesy of one of your finest.

good news

sites that have been blocked since i have lived here, wikipedia and bbc, are now accessible to the average wang and yours truly.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chillin in the Sultan

I convince myself I am Turkish by wolfing down doener kebabs and smoking shisha. I have spent the past few days running every day and working out with my Shifu. He is headed to Shanghai later this week in preparation for the torch relay. He has been hired to do security.

here is a good primer by the Council on Foreign Relations concerning nationalism in China. There are decent links and as usual, the "double-edged" sword of nationalism is the West's last gasp at controlling this unruly "new kid" on the block. The last sentence in the primer states:

“All this makes nationalism a particularly interesting force in China, given its potential not just for conferring legitimacy on the government but also for taking it away.”

This refers to the possibility that the people will demand aggressive action toward the West/Japan etc. but it is politically inconvenient for the government to do so. The people would then theoretically call the government into question.

This may have been the case a few years ago, but time travels very fast. The Chinese government is not afraid of the West anymore. They might even relish the chance to confront the West head-on, expediting their rise to superpower status.

Friday, April 25, 2008

God loves the Funk

I know some of these pics are sideways .. i apologize but there is nothing i can do about it. these kids are worried about girls and pimples and fashion and grades ... not tryin to hate on anyone ...

Rationalism is Bleak

Today has been another magnificent day in Chengdu. I am sitting in the Bookworm, a fine place to ease back and read/write be smart with myself and I am using my OWN computer. For the past three weeks, I have been using any computer I could because I lost my damn power source while up in Jiu Zhai Gou chillin the in the mtns. But now I have it back.

If you are in China, peep this site for buying stuff. You might need a Chinese homie to help you, as you need an account, but the goods here are super cheap and as far as I have heard it is governed less by strictly enforced rules than a code of conduct.

here are a few news items regarding the past few months in China and how they affect the international community, Chinese people themselves and the Olympic Games.

The situation is tense, but Lord Almighty does time move quick in our epoch. The whole world changes on a day to day basis.

China has agreed to talk to an envoy of the Dalai Lama, and this, more than anything will defuse the situation and tilt it in China's favor. Should have done this a long time ago. But we shall see, the Chinese side is not giving the talks much space to breath:

”It is hoped that through contact and consultation, the Dalai side will take credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China, stop plotting and inciting violence and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games so as to create conditions for talks”

I was telling my cracker friend Himmler earlier that it would take only one more incident to get people here really pissed at the Western media/political establishment. And although it is actually a very small minority of people who are vigorously protesting in defense of China (mostly students and young people) the take-no-prisoners approach of these patriots makes it difficult for anyone to discuss the issues with them. Especially difficult for other Chinese.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


be they American from Pennsyltucky or Chinese from Hunan, they make life difficult. Because their lives are difficult. Cracker ass crackers.

I am working on a Sichuan Guide for Odyssey these days and a collection of essays about Chengdu. Its a smooth way to wrap up this chapter of my life. Sometimes I feel leaving China will save my life, other times i feel as if my life is tied to China forever. In a world as capricious as ours, most likely both are true.

I still dream of a red mansion crawling with babies, while i mutter in frustration at another painting gone awry and a woman is calling out my name in the courtyard below. Its time to eat sasch, get yer narrow ass down here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


so the inevitable has happened. i was talking with some friends (chinese) aboutthe possibility of a cultural revolution style environment here in china and we all agreed that it would be very possible and even likely. makes me want to go to beijing even more i say ...

i have seen mobs in china. the frantic rage and animal expressions. Just a few years ago Chinese with foreign connections were considered traitors by their people. we're talking maybe 15-20 years ago.

China may just pop.

it is hard to not become enraged oneself when dealing with mass retardism. gotta break that chain.

Monday, April 21, 2008

who is the more foolish?

my people are busy lamenting, yet also enjoying, the brainwashing others have endured. it feels good to consider oneself free and to have a target to point at, proof of your powerful mind, resistant to the tendrils of subtle passivity.

it is the prisoner in D block laughing at the man in the hole.

brainwashing is not like in a movie, where aliens make you stupid and you are released by a kiss. brainwashing is the fog in your choices, the distortion of realities and the warping of emotions: all presented as doctrine, clean and precise.

when released from mental slavery, sorrow, pain, shame and rage are the emotions that dominate. not relief. Nothing is more miserable then the disciple of the God that failed.

relief is the feeling we have when we see the brainwashing of others and recognize it for what it is. we shy away from the brainwashed, where ever we may find them. its tiring to talk to them. spittle collects in the corners of their mouths and their eyes reflect the cult within. we laugh at them over coffee and praise Universalism that its not us.

how do we speak with the Christians in America who indoctrinate their children with fog, distortion and warp fields? How do we speak with the young Chinese, who stand as one in the spirit of the Red Guards -- attacking the enemy and purging the weak?

what do you tell a zealot about himself when he has already burned the one doctrine into his consciousness?


The soft overcomes the hard;
The formless penetrates the impenetrable;
Therefore I value taking no action.


The sage controls without authority,
And teaches without words;
He lets all things rise and fall,
Nurtures, but does not interfere,
Gives without demanding,
And is content.


The loving do not act.
The kind act without self-interest;
The just act to serve self-interest;
The religious act to reproduce self-interest.
For when Tao is lost, there is love;
When love is lost, there is kindness;
When kindness is lost, there is justice;
And when justice is lost, there is religion.
Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
Closely held beliefs are not easily released;
So religion enthralls generation after generation.

Religion is the end of love and honesty,
The beginning of confusion;
Faith is a colourful hope or fear,
The origin of folly.
The sage goes by knowledge, not by hope;
He dwells in the fruit, not the flower;
He accepts the former, and rejects the latter.

and finally

Nothing in the World is as yielding as water;
Nor can anything better overcome the hardened.
Just as the yielding overcomes the hardened,
The weak may overcome the strong;
Yet they do not.
The sage says:
"Who accepts responsibility for his people rules the country;
Who accepts responsibility for the World rules the World",
But his words are not understood.

Its goin down

it has struck me -- and perhaps not only me -- how intense things are becoming this year. The race in the US between the two democrats threatens to tire everyone out by the time the real election arrives and the protests in China threaten to cast a pallor over the games months before they begin.

The Olympics have always been political. China, as a Communist nation, is accustomed to politicizing everything. The rank hypocrisy of the Chinese, who deplore the politicization of the Olympics while they themselves set a national goal of getting the most gold medals is clear to everybody but the Chinese themselves. The goal is by all means necessary to beat the US. They will "gain face" that thing that governs virtually all life here and of course send a message to the world which coincides with the rumour-mongering concerning China's explosive rise to the top.

The insertion of politics into the society through indoctrination of the young now manifests itself in a backlash -- political in scope and nature -- against anti-China elements across the globe.

A generation that rallies together under the national flag and opposes outsiders with fanatic determination is capable of Total War.

The US elections will be one of the most intense ever. If Obama gains the nomination, he faces off against a familiar nemesis: the Old White Man. After all of the fighting is done, if Obama manages to survive, will he have the energy to carry on? will the nation be fractured and traumatized by election-cycle bullshit? will the people who voted him in sit back and watch, waiting for Obama to wave his magic wand?

I have decided to be in Beijing for the Olympics. Anyone who wants to join me holler. I plan on smokin, drinking, writing and poppin no-doze. this year will be one to remember.

Chongqing: Luan jiu Luan!

So aside from the young people running around China in support of their country and the Pennsylvania race goin down to the wire, i feel it is my duty to introduce a lil Sichuan Love here.

Check it out.

It is a spoof on one of the 4-5 super-famous-in-China-not-so-famous-abroad English tracks offered in the billions of Karaoke bars across the country. It stars a cracker-peasant selling veggies on the street, a bad-ass Chongqing bitch he tries to swindle, the local boss who whips his ass for no reason and the police, who eventually drag him away. if you don't understand, well, tough shit.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Benedict Wang?

Its hard work being a thinker in China. I spoke with a young Chinese friend of mine the other day about the indoctrination of students and the amazement with which the West contemplates pro-government, hysterically patriotic young people. Something we have little or no experience in, since the end of WWII.

She said:

"It is very horrible for us, our own media wants us to be sheep and the rest of the world either won't believe anything we say or considers us brainwashed. I am not stupid!"

Most people over 40 here are capable of thinking critically about their government and about life in general. They have seen all the bullshit, probably been on the receiving end of it as well. Most students are coddled from birth to age 24, whereupon they are inserted (hopefully) into the family-company sphere from which they will never break out. Young women become controlling mothers, young men become passive fathers. The values of a traditional society are: stability, security and providing for your children.

Most young women here are governed by their mothers. Mothers who focus all of their energy (now that dad has been subdued) onto the daughter's future.

One more quick observation:

The majority of Chinese students abroad have little or nothing to do with the people of the country in which they are studying. They stay amongst Chinese and basically gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make money in China. This attitude is reinforced from home and from the community at large. "We Chinese, for China!"

The few who do slip into different cultures are often treated as quasi-traitors or possibly even (if they are female) as whores.

It is a scary mixture of the Asian ability to become the Borg and the Western ability to nationalize the individual.

i'm so slick

not just cuz my insides are covered in hot pot goo, but because twice now i managed to slip through the cracks in the chinese visa system. last august 10th, they raised the prices for american visas almost 100%. i got my visa the 8th. haha. this month, they said no more F visas for hobos and vagabonds who are not studying, teaching, working or traveling. i got my last 6 month installment one month ago and it expires just after the Olympics ...

"he's a smooth operator. smooooooooooth operator ... coast to coast ..."

in case you aint heard II

After spending some quality time with large numbers of the youth of this nation last weekend, I have a few thoughts i must convey:

if China is looking to be a superpower, to whom would they look for examples of what to do?

Both US and Chinese education systems indoctrinate the youth. In america we have more choices, this is one big social difference. The american system was designed to turn immigrants into americans. The chinese system is designed to make everybody chinese. i think it is clear that the chinese system has had more success.

the kids here have it rough. they get up at 630am and stay in school until 11pm. thats right ya'll. 11. they go to school from 730am to 6pm on saturdays and from 5pm to 9pm on sundays. they get one sunday a month off. this year the may holiday, normally one week, has been officially shortened to one day.

They study all sorts of things we dont and naturally their math and sciences are incomprehensible to the average american student. only a fraction of the society makes it to high school and from that only a fraction pass the tests to get into college. its not the money, its the tests. imagine having tests that are designed to prevent a large swath of society from advancing because there are not enough spaces in the universities. There may be some cutthroat action going on, but from what i have seen and heard, high school classmates are bonded by shared suffering.

They react as one sometimes, know and love the innermost secrets of each other, have nicknames, all agree on who sings the best, who is the most handsome, who sleeps too much, who is a punkass and who is the flower. those people also wholeheartedly sing, smile, sleep and cause trouble so as to maintain balance and solidarity in the face of hardship.

The past few days, CNN's coverage of the Olympics has gained widespread coverage in the chinese media and sarkovy's snubbing of the opening ceremonies has pissed someone off. an SMS has been sweeping the area calling for all patriots to boycott Carrefour (french supermarket) on May 1st. Today an article appeared in the Chengdu Daily ridiculing the link between Carrefour and patriotism, reminding the people that the Olympics are not political and patriotism is best expressed other ways then closing your pocketbook.

People here are thinking about the whole China vs. the world issue and they are calm, bewildered and resigned about it. Life is more important than this type of shit, most people be thinking. They also lack a lot of information. The netbars around schools have firewalls more robust than your average internet spot. in my conversations with my chinese homies, i keep silent with those whose emotions take over and speak with respect to those who want to understand. I try my best to be an ambassador of friendship and peace. several of my antiwar columns have been branded as racist. but as with anywhere you grow attached to, i have a love-hate relationship with this spot.

today, by the way, was one beautiful day in Chengdu. and i am about to go get me some hot pot. word to skip james.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Basic Conversation with a Chengdu Cabbie

Oh shit! Wassup Laowai!

Where you from?

For real? Where you teach at?

You aint a teacher? Where you study at?

Oh so you a company man. How much you make?


Yeah right, lying ass.

How long you been here?

Holy shit! So you like Chengdu?

Can you eat spicy food?

Hell no. Really: Can you eat spicy food?

Well I'll be damned. You married?

No? You like our Sichuan girls? Flyest in China.

hehehe. Thats what I'm sayin.

allright my man. walk slow.

in case you aint heard

the youth of the nation ...

all too short, the distance mist travels ...

glimpses of my other world
memories become feelings
i am caught in mid-thought
breathless as they whisper
the feeling is strongest
when they've already floated away

like grinning urchins tugging at my sleeve
like pitstop pollen on a timeless journey
i wait for them impatiently
and scramble to transcribe their messages
i can only write of the aftermath
of childhood impressions
bubbling to the surface again

The tongue of the toad cannot reach the wings of the dove

you know there used to be a prostitute that hung out by the Fu Nan River that flows through the city of Chengdu. She was one-legged and had a dwarf patna. They would chill in the shadows under old willow trees and lean on the rails, gazing wantonly at the men that passed. Old men with long-stemmed pipes and bed-head peasants would loiter around her and engage her in conversation.

The dwarf was her defiant champion as well as sidekick and freaky bonus for those who contracted her out. Usually it was blowjobs, from what she told me, but she also got taken to apartments and swimming pools and gardens for threesomes and fivesomes. she was asked to do all sorts of freaky shit.

She was from Liaoning, way way in the north, came here by way of factories and truckstops, drifting in and out of prostitution. She didn't remember me, because she told a different story about her leg each time i saw her. Only when she crossed the other side of the river to where my bar used to be did she catch on and keep with the one story ...

The dwarf was in a travelling circus with dwarf strongmen and bearded dwarf ladies and all that. she was the made-up ho. They would go from village to village and put on shows for the peasants. There would be singing and dancing and some older farmer would always take her into the back. The sickness; the silence of the dark as she did things for them was irresistible.

They have been gone from the river for some time now. Only ladyboys in white face cream and trenchcoats roam the riverbanks now. They have the same look as the one-legged ho and her dwarf patna ... listless and inviting.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the sad truth for tibetans and uighers

is that unless China falls apart, freedom will be a dream fulfilled only far from home.

we Westerners should consider what exactly drives our support for Tibetan/Uigher/Burmese freedom. The San Francisco authorities did their best to maintain free speech for all while respecting the integrity of the Olympic Flame. This show of strength by a free society is necessary and powerful when confronting oppression in a foreign country. Remember that the American dream began as a beacon in the dark.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kun Shan

The western media feels guilty for spearing the Chinese. At least some of them do. After jumping all over the Tibet story from the Tibetan perspective -- lambasting Chinese state media along the way -- reporters are starting to look for Han Chinese living and working in Lhasa to tell the story from their perspective.

It will be interesting for them to compare the statistics and see if there truly is a government sanctioned immigration program afoot, in that the state gives incentives to the Han settlers large enough to equal or outweigh the incentives given to Tibetans as a registered minority. I don't know about that ... I will try and look for something.

It is unlikely that the western media will let off the heat, though. Especially when they feel the need to counter stuff like this in the Shanghai Daily:

"It's the heart of the matter ... Jin Jing, a disabled Chinese fencer and torchbearer, closes her eyes and holds tightly to the torch after an assault by a Western man who tried to snatch away her pride and joy."

It's getting emotional. The Chinese make themselves a target with their antiquidated PR campaign -- a campaign that is just a step above North Korea's government mouthpiece. But as my friend Jarret Wrisley says:

"As the Olympic torch flickers its way across continents, protestors have taken to the streets to condemn the treatment of Tibetans and other human rights violations. But what they fail to realize, beyond the sheer implausibility of a free, independent Tibet, is that most people here don’t really care what the rest of the world thinks. Dissent within has been crushed, and foreign media reports are dismissed as so much propaganda. It’s China’s moment, and no one can spoil it."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Flode aka Superboy aka Fat Kim aka aka aka

I can't say enough about this man. Love him. Here is a short description of him on the road in Colombia. Peace to Fat Kim!

They told (me) the car to Cabo would be here soon. A pick-up truck, stuffed with people stops shortly after. Probably 12 in the back, four in the front seat, all kinds of goods and luggage on the roof and three people sitting on top of all of it, one guy standing on the back , holding on . And styrofoam boxes with cold drink, cement, and more stuff amongst the people in the back.
I laugh (to) my self. " FULL" thinking I will just wait for next one.
¡ VENGA ! ( come on) shouts a man, jumps of and throws my bag on top of the car. I take his place, standing in the back, he climbs up on the roof , and sits down on my bag, so it will not fly of. Almost like Asia I think to myself.
The way there is not too bumpy, dry, not much vegetation, and the little that exists is short and spiky, sharp. ochre yellow dust covers my feet and body, I try to cover my face with my t shirt. We stop several times and do " deliveries" It was obvious that when people had the chance to get supplies, they shopped for a while. I help at every stop, carrying, soda, cooking oil, cement, luggage and more. This area is close to Venezuela and they sell polar cerveza at small shops instead of colombian beer. I find it a little bit ironic, coming from the cold north and all that they would call their beer Polar, and have a polar beer as a logo. Here in some of the dryest and hottest place I have ever been.
We finally arrive to Cabo de la vela. It is a interesting scene with ocean, beach, small wooden houses and shelters for tourist who wanna sleep in Hammocks. , desert behind " el puoblo" Indians living in Rancherias before the landscape becomes mountains. We have dropped almost all people and deliveries of, "¿ a donde vas ?" ( where do you go?)asks the driver.

" mas lejos" I respond, waving with my hand
signalising I want to go as far as possible.
He takes me as far as the road goes, I put my back pack on and starts walking. I feels great. I had earlier lived almost a week very cheap in my tent farther south in la Guijira provins. Eating fish for free every day, because I helped the fishers pulling in their nets, and beat boxing for the young ones.
" I am a nomaaad " I sing to myself, very content."

Superboy-FMS Style

My man ....


my man on the road.

what are they thinkin?

I wrote a column a ways back about the "real China" and how the world would get a glimpse of it this summer during the Olympics. We laowai are already getting a taste.

Visas are a constant source of anxiety. Not nearly as bad as it is in the US for my homies from India (what up Q!) but nevertheless a reminder of the lack of control one has over his/her own life in a foreign country when it comes down to it.

Years ago, one could enter virtually any Public Security Bureau and with enough cajoling and a little cash, the job got done and a laowai could stay for 3-6 more months. In the drive to modernize, China has changed the regulations dozens of times in the past 5 years.

With the Olympics on the way, China is tightening controls, making it difficult for people to stay and for people to come. They want only official delegations, if possible. Tourists and journalists will find it hard to make it in and random vagabonds rolling in from Thailand, Pakistan or Mongolia will find it nigh impossible.

Now on the one hand, there is no reason a country on the road to modernization should have a lax and corrupt visa system. It should be tight. People should follow the rules. It is proper and justifiable to police one's borders and keep riffraff and troublemakers at arms length. China's Great Wall ... America's Barbed-Wire Fence ... its a part of being a nation. Sad but true for the nomads of the world.

On the other hand, you would think with the Olympics coming that China would be welcoming and open to the world and confident in displaying itself, old, young, pretty ugly to curious foreigners.

But that is not the case. In my column back then, I wrote that China is still insecure and scared of international scrutiny and will do its best to put on a grand show for all visitors during the Olympics. They must think all foreigners are fools, easily duped by fireworks and banquets, cash and glitzy buildings.

But we aint that dumb. Cash and buildings are not new and not impressive anymore. The foreign media is licking its chops.

Its a fine line between security and hospitality that China is walking. They are leaning towards security. Can you blame them, given recent events? The shitstorm has just started ... the vultures circle ... The Germans have already said they will not attend the Opening Ceremonies. France may be next. The end result can only be tatters.

Since 2000 the West has been waiting for their chance to strike back at this Arrogant New Power, Rising out of the Ashes, Bucking the System, Full of Pride and Manifest Destiny, Creator of Trade Deficits the World Over, Founder of Chinatowns full of Fake Goods ... IPR Jacker supreme ...

don't be surprised if the Olympics, instead of being China's coming out party, becomes a PR disaster like Tiananmen ...

i must say

today was a good day.

didn't even have to yell or scream. no violent threats, no mean muggin. I spent the last three days in my fine little farmhouse ont he outskirts of town and chilled. my Shifu came through unexpectedly as he always does and we got to training. he taught me how to raise my kicks higher and we both grunted with the "The Wheel" (peace to my ninja Big Scott).

A sweet little girl named Zhang Yu Shi moved in for the next two weeks and it is real nice to have her around. She cooks good stuff and keeps the house smellin slightly girly and her giggles are contagious. She is studying for her Journalism Final and thought my place would be a good spot to get some work done. Me and my new roommate Oliver be teaching her the Ways of the Vagabond and she reminds us to keep our mouths closed when we chew.

Boogie moved out .. he's my man, but I gotta thank the Lord. My house is much cleaner now. And the rent is paid. All weekend I read Hari Kunzru's novel "My Revolutions" about an old man remembering his revolutionary youth.

He considers himself a fool for being young and idealistic. He knows the world doesn't work that way. But his heart rebels with every beat. Depression and Detachment are his world now, instead of Action and Defiance. He despises the rebel he once was, not because he was a rebel, but because he was only a half-rebel. He should have died with all the other real hard core revolutionaries. Instead he is a lone survivor in a world where revolutionary means organic foods and hemp fibers in your dresses. Capitalism with a heart. He should have ripped the heart out. But he didn't. And now, at age 50. He is lost.

Lord protect me from such a fate.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

the pot boils over

Let me give you a lil background on whats been going down.

Hotan is in southern Xinjiang, also known as East Turkestan, which is in the northwest of China. It borders Pakistan, Afghanistan several other stans and Russia. And Tibet. Southern Xinjiang is separated from northern Xinjiang by the Taklamaklan Desert -- the name means: once you roll in, you might not roll out. The people who live here are called Uighers and they are Turkish.

Oases such as Hotan and the more famous Kashgar in southern Xinjiang are fed by the springs of the Kunlun Mountains, Tibet's northern border. Without Tibetan water, southern Uigher springs would fail.

In Hotan, the Cultural Revolution is still alive. I have seen it with my own eyes. In the city square, a statue of Mao patronizingly holding hands with a much smaller, bearded and grateful Uigher dominates the scenery. Broadcast towers blare "Qing Ai De Mao Zhu Xi" which is a song from the 1960s which means: Darling Chairman Mao. Children -- I am not playing -- between the ages of 3-12 are lined up around the statue and preached to by police officers while the loudspeakers blare.

The Han run everything in Xinjiang from the city of Urumqi in northern Xinjiang. Both Xinjiang and Tibet are autonomous regions, which means they receive aid money from the central government, which is then distributed "autonomously" from the seat of power (Lhasa and Urumqi.) In order to gain the money, held by the Bank of China for example, you must have the right connections and a plan of some sort.

Just imagine the crony-isms that flutter in the halls of Urumqi's Bank of China outlet. Anyway, the money almost invariably goes to Han Chinese carpet baggers. They arrive from Wenzhou, Chengdu, Shantou etc. and make a run for the money. Uighers .. well ... they might be employed by a carpet bagger if they're lucky ... or not. Economically, anyone going to Xinjiang will see the power of the Han and the desperation of the Turk.

Concerning religion, the Party placed its headquarters within the walls of the holy mosque in Kashgar, burial site of East Turkestan's first Imam. Where once "bismAllah" was written on the walls, now "Patriotic Religious Center of the People's Republic of China" takes its place.

It is forbidden for anyone under 18 to visit a mosque or go to school to learn the Koran. But it is ok for 17 year old Uigher girls to scrap the scarf for high heels and a mini-skirt for the sake of a businessman's patronage.

Xinjiang broke away from the Qing Dynasty in the last 150 years, returning to the state it was before the Qing Dynasty: a loose federation of Turkish Sultanates. In the 1950s, the Party promised freedom if the Uighers would fight the Nationalists. When this promise failed to emerge, they headed to Beijing to fight for their rights. On the way back, a bitter taste in their mouths, the Uigher's plane "crashed" and since then the Party has had a stranglehold on the region.

Xinjiang's Taklamaklan Desert contains oil and gas.

The region was once ruled by the "4 Ma's" a group of men, all surname Ma, who ruled. They were slaughtered by the Party.

Blowback is a bitch, as the US knows well -- China is starting experience it themselves.

also my people ...

my people

we are all whores

Essence Jackers are the people I deal with on the daily. They jack my essence, corrupt it, as they themselves are unsure of what they are jacking, then they sell it. I am left holding an empty bag.

At the same time, i find myself sabotaging lucrative schemes, because the fake nature of most of them repulses me. The essence jackers are insulted. i got friends who tell me: all artists are broke till they die.

easy for them to say.

I will be heading back to the USA very soon. I need the fresh air, the trees and blue skies. i need my people. i need appliances that work, water that's drinkable and a wide variety of choices. I need different lies. I need conversations that do not revolve around how good I speak chinese for an outsider ...

I need to build up a base and bring my chinese homies to the states, so they can breath my air, eat my food, drink my water and look at me with new and glowing, knowing eyes. I have done this in their land. I want to repay them. So we can all be multi-faceted crystals, copied by glassmakers, sold in baskets at a trinket market in "foreigner street."

My membership in the river lake crew keeps me breathing. We struggle together. Without you, my people, I would have doused my head in ashes and worn sackcloth a long long time ago.

Mayhap I still will.

The other view:

A pirate with no boat, a hippy with no cause, a rebel out of laziness. In your own mind, you have built up a tribe with no land, no blood, no moorings ... a creation of dreamscapes and might-have-beens. With which you console yourself, hating those who live in the real world, because its not your world. It requires such things as responsibility, effort, determination and a slick eye and tongue. You sulk in a corner and justify failure with your pithy art. You wrap yourself in darkness and unconsciously retreat into the role of a victim every time hardship comes knocking.

You are a fake man, screaming "REAL" to all that pass, holding out a battered cup, resenting the quarters that jingle hollow in your brain. You are building your own fate: dying in a dream, leaving behind whispers of what might have been.


i think this blog needs some pictures. Soon, I will replace Blogger with Wordpress. Blogger is WAK. Can't upload and format pics, can't format articles and any of that and its blocked in China, weak everywhere else. When i make the change, I will holler.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Let me know if you can see my entire blog and comment on it, cuz i can't.

I have been saving up my energy for this post because I am going to try and describe the inner working of a large state-owned enterprise chartered by the municipal government to promote Chengdu abroad. Even writing this last sentence has taxed my constitution.

What happens is, the state hands Company X a large sum of cash and the goal to promote Chengdu. This cash sits glowing in a safe. A large slice of management crouches before the safe, fingers steepled, plotting. The only way to actually access the money is to have a plan set before the eyes of the Party leadership, a small council of old men at the top who hold the chops. These chops hum in their cabinets. The managers can hear them deep below in the cavernous safe.

Assistants -- young, pretty and energetic -- find ways to implement the plots and plans of their managers, with an eye out for possible pocket-lining opportunities. Certain edicts from on-high filter down: We need exhibitions in Europe, We need Europeans to come here, We need people to come here and spend their money. These edicts are license to plot. A plotting framework.

When an idea is executed, the entire machine turns its focus, blurry and ponderous, upon the event and announces the appropriate things. Long term cooperation. Effusive, gracious thanks. Fervent hopes for mutual benefit. Determined march into the future together.

Managers and their teams of runners smile at each other as they elbow their way to the front, to be gazed upon by the machine. Acknowledged. Dinners and drinks.

The next manager appears. Focus is realigned.

The government has invested billions in the real estate industry. They buy land, sell it to developers, who build buildings and return it to a management company to sell to the people.

The people are not buying.

The state got the money from the banks, their children are in Canada studying. The developers got their money from the state, their kids are in Shanghai or Paris, spending. The rental management companies are buying TV spots and newspaper space. They are wringing their hands in worry. They turn to the state. The state turns to Company X, blurry eyes seeking solutions. Company X replies: Outsiders with money.

If no one buys, the rental management co's default. If they default, the state defaults on their bank loan. The bank goes insolvent. The state steps into bail them out. Heads roll. Children abroad are left wondering what happened to their allowance. The people carry on, trying to ignore all of the lies.

my role in this is Idea Man. Good ideas go by the wayside here, as the mad grab for cash leaves the Idea spinning naked in the rain.