Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Andis Kaulins in China Weekly: September 16, to September 22, 2013

Gratitude:  Thank God for holidays!

Acknowledgement: I don't think I am good for much of anything.

Requests: Email me at

The AKIC Week in Brief: It was a week of incidents such as running into people. Some people just happened know me from before. Some knew me from my blog or from bus television. It was also a week of being in holiday mood as I took Thursday off for the Mid-Autumn Festival and began to look forward to a five day stretch of days off for the Chinese National Day holiday. There was a change in my routine, as I took a different bus route to work.

About AKIC: If you want to learn what Andis & AKIC are all about, you can visit here.

If there are things about AKIC you don't know about, like places and people I mention in the entries below, you can go here to find out what they are all about.

AKIC Weekly Features:

I in in China!  我祝你们中秋节!

I am Canadian! 我是加拿大人!I hear it was cold in Brandon, Manitoba; and the water in Winnipeg was brown. From the Wuxi Water Crisis to the Winnipeg Water Crisis! Ha!

I am Latvian (sort of)! I can barely speak ten words of Latvian.

Wuxi Peach Maoists Update: Visit here to find out how Your Peach Maoists did in week two.

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! In certain contexts, I wouldn't want to be a conservative. For example, being conservative now in China means wanting to keep the Chicoms in power. I am not for that. I would love to see China become a constitutional monarchy. I prefer calling myself a reactionary because I believe human nature never changes and humans never progress toward anything in their earthly existence. I believe in the Nicene Creed and that the only poverty that can be fought in our live is a spiritual poverty.

I teach English! If only the students would prepare before they came to class, I could actually teach them something.
I am not a freak! I just like to act like I am one! Mind you, it isn't easy to be a freak in this day and age. Non-conformity is really conformity these days and true eccentricity is not tolerated.
I like to Read! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week:
Don Colacho's Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself.  I read ten aphorisms at a time.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in my weekly blog entry. (See below)
Ulysses by James Joyce.  I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney figures he will have the whole novel covered in about 22 years.  Delaney completed episode #171 this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of Delaney as far as reading the book.  I will be finished my reading of it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it

The Holy Bible King James Version.   I am reading a chapter, or more, a day of the greatest book of all-time. I have finished the the General Epistle of James and the First Epistle General of Peter, and am now reading the Second.

Columns by Father Schall. I have been able to take all his archived writings and place them on the Dotdotdot app.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Like Father Schall's writings, I have been able to place its contents on the Dotdotdot app.

The Limits of Pure Democracy by WH Mallock. Oligarchy is man's natural state. Attempts to have it otherwise are illogical.

The Search for Modern China by Jonathan Spence. A good book, but certainly not an authoritative book about China. One gets the impression that China is so big that it is hard for an historian to write a clearly focused book about it.

Mao Zedong: Man, Not God by Quan Yanchi. A Hagiography given to me by a local.

I like to take photos

I like to make videos

I like to cut and paste quotations:
200 We should not conclude that everything is permitted, if God does not exist, but that nothing matters.
202 Do they preach the truths in which they believe, or the truths in which they believe they ought to believe? [Good Question!]
210 The individual today rebels against immutable human nature so that he might refrain from amending his own correctable nature.
217 Societal salvation is near when each person admits that he can save only himself. Society is saved when its supposed saviors despair. [A despairing Obama is a good thing indeed.]
218 When today they tell us that someone lacks personality, we know they are speaking of a simple, trustworthy, upright being. [I have taken the expression to mean they find the person boring. But then boring, trustworthy and upright beings don't stand a chance in this day and age.]
228 The intelligent man's unjust judgements tend to be truths wrapped up in a bad mood.
229 The people have never been feted except at the expense of another social class.
230 Modern man already knows that political solutions are ludicrous and suspects that economic solutions are too. [It is certainly true to say that politics and economics don't mix like oil and water. Oil and water are useful things however. Is it better to say the politics and economics are like jealousy and materialism because both don't solve man's real problems?]
240 I envy those who do not feel that they own only their stupidities. [These people are saintly.]

WH Mallock:
It is, however, one thing for a man to accept a principle as such, and quite another to be satisfied with its particular application to himself. [That is the test of anyone who is conservative or reactionary. They would have to accept a lower position in life if that is what their talents consign themselves to. However, I suspect many are conservative because of a need to feel superior to socialists.]

David Warren:
The apes are specialized, each species for its niche; men, to the contrary, were generalists from our beginning. It is to be regretted that the modern university is, for the most part, graduating apes, not men.

A hideous, ape-like, destructive force has been at large in our world for generations, & through the hierarchy of our Church for at least the last two.

Literalism, reductionism, point-scoring, prioritizing, are marks of the poorly educated mind. [Thinking of point-scoring. I think how lefties always like to bring up the unfortunate hunting accident of U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney. Contrariwise, I think of how those on the right like to bring up the many verbal gaffes of President Obama and Vice-President Biden – this is done in response to the lefties trying to score points of George W. Bush's gaffes. Thinking of Literalism, I have run into a few ignorant Ape-like Wuxi Expats (most Wuxi Expats are Apes to be honest) who love to engage in this activity of taking something someone said too literally. I remember a few times having something I said, just for the sake of making conversation, taken literally and used to mock me for being trite. Thank God, I don't associate with these people. When I think of prioritizing, I think of the idea of being cool (Cool people are too cool to do common things); I think of the man who is all business all the time; I think of the man who even makes his leisure time a serious business; and I think of the people who compartmentalize. The latter remind me of SS concentration camp commanders who would go home to their wife and children after a hard day of work.]

Theodore Dalrymple:
My philosopher companion said that I should take pleasure in the good buildings of the square and disregard the bad for, after all, the good buildings were as good as they ever had been.

But, I said, the square was not just a lot of individual buildings, it was a Gestalt, more than the sum of its parts. The one atrocity destroyed it all.

The philosopher at first denied this, so I thought of an analogy. Suppose you are in a restaurant and your meal is delicious. Suddenly the diner at the next table vomits copiously. Do you continue to eat with the same delectation as before, just because the food on your plate remains unchanged?
[It is so hard to find a Gestalt in Wuxi that is beautiful. At best, Wuxi is a diner where the food at one table is delicious, and there is copious vomiting at every other table. For example, I have seen five star hotels located next to lots of rubble in China.]

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