Friday, February 06, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


In recent weeks, in various frustrations I've been reading some English language China-blogs. As China Bounder points out, living as a Laowai brings out the worst in many men. We all have it in us to be arrogant, abusive, condescending, and brutish towards women, but China makes this permissible, and in many cases, seem normal.

The above-mentioned blog is loaded with attacks on the CCP and the Middle-Classes of China. But its primary tool at fulfilling its purpose (pissing off Chinese men) is its tales of the sexual adventures of its author (seemingly one or two men in their fifties who live in Shanghai). They also collaborated to write this book.

Then there is a blog by expat women to share tales of douchebag expat men that make me grateful for the lack of an expat community where I live.

To quote Bill Hicks: "Have some self-respect. Stay at home and jerk off."

But I don't just wish to blog abou the sex-lives of Laowais. Although that is related to the hatred between some expats and some Chinese.

One point that Chinabounder makes is that the instincts behind Socialism are indicative of the nobleness in the human-character. But, he continues, it's a sick and sad joke to suggest that China is or ever was a society that sought justice for its weakest members. To illustrate this, he points out that ordinary Chinese generally don't give a cuntsuck about each other: He claims that this is evidenced in the way they drive, the way they regulate factory-production, the way they manage mines, the way they use schools to control rather than to educate.

You may think that's true, but when you walk down the street as a Laowai, you meet with every reaction except for indifference. People closely watch what you do, and listen to what you say. Surely this is an opportunity to knock back their predudice and influence people.

What becomes easy to forget in all of the isolation, idle curiosity and mockery is the unexceptionality of China's 老百姓 or ordinary people. Laowais often complain about or praise the predictability of human-interaction here. It's very easy to predict how teenage punks, 30-something yuppies, teenage girls, etc. will react to seeing you, and what they will say if you take the time to listen to them. Therefore it can easily be argued that talking to most people is a big fat waste of time, but but but but but, is that not the same anywhere?

Teaching in China has reinforced one thing I learnt in four years in Higher and Post-Graduate Education. Our species, in its natural state, is a big mindless blob and we live in a particularly unsophisticated time. To do anything worthwhile requires crawling out of the swamp of our instincts.