In Chinese the character for “Crisis” is the combination of the symbols for danger & opportunity. I once asked a friend to draw the character for me for use in my old Website.
While Claudia cooked me lunch I continued reading from the Book Age of Ambition. Its chapter 9 echoed the threatened paranoia of Post World War One America.
Ah, but I have twenty minutes to get to tonight’s school board meeting. I’ll continue this later. We had a calm meeting. I’ll let Loren comment on it in a week or two if he wishes. Chair Kirby was very pleased it only took three hours. I was glad to get home in time two watch most of “The Americans.” Its a Cold War tale on Russian spies in Reagan America in its fourth season. Its hard to believe that looking back it was more reassuring to have Brezhnev in charge of Russia then than Putin in charge today. Of course the Ruskie’s themselves are now looking back to the murderous Stalin with nostalgia. I can almost forgive some addled Americans for cheering on Trump today – almost! Now back to the China of today.
China today is surging ahead in fast forward while the US seems to be circling some drain like the Romans on the cusp of the Gothic invasions.
Aw crud. Yesterday I woke up in a lather to write about Paranoia from several perspectives. Now, 24 hours later, I don’t so much have writer’s block as I do thick fingers that lost hold of a thread. [My Buddy] replied to the second Paranoia post with one word, “Oy.” I don’t blame him. So I am crawling out of this tangle of tangents that have lost their urgency. I gladly leave them to my eight loyal readers as proof of my limitations. Just understand that I believe ignorance and paranoia go hand in hand and I’ve been reading about several histories which have reinforced that conclusion for me.
If you want to see what I just typed as my thought process lost its steam you are welcome to waste your time reading them.
Young Chinese know it and are in the midst of a nationalism like so many other nations. Like many nationalisms a primary ingredient is a resentment of others who can be blamed for past and present grievances. China has a long list starting with Queen Victoria’s reign when Great Britain used its navy to force China to let British Narco’s sell addictive drugs to the Chinese people. It was called the Opium War and how dare those “slant-eyes” interfere with the free exchange of commerce. (By the way the movie Sayonara, based on a James Mitchner story it stars Red Buttons who is horrified when his Japanese girlfriend attempts to have a quack doctor surgically “fix” her eyes so they look western)
America is right up there with its Chinese Exclusion laws. We did our best to keep Chinese women from immigrating because we didn’t want a them to pollute California after we had pretty well cleansed the state of Indians. The “Yellow Peril” was another quaint nineteenth century paranoia.
We ordered Age of Ambition on the Internet but I was so captivated by its prologue and first chapter, which I read online, that we checked it out from the Duluth Public Library. But I daren’t mark up the people’s book with my yellow marker. I’ll wait till I get my copy in a couple days.
Author Evan Osnos makes it a point to search out some very interesting perspectives on contemporary China. A six minute video lambasting the United States that garners millions of hits in the days leading up to Beijing’s 2008 Summer Olympics leads him to its 28-year old producer and his friends. They have all drunk deeply in the cannon of the Western thought none more so than Tang Jie who made his video on the spur of the moment using Microsoft’s Movie Maker.
The young people Osnos interviewed were easily able to navigate past the blockades China puts on the Internet. They knew about Tiananmen Square. They understand the differences between one party China and the United States and they are willing to put up with China’s imperfections. Now, eight years on with Donald Trump as the President of the United States, I doubt that any of them have changed their minds. They are brimming with confidence while