Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Andis Kaulins in China Weekly: October 7 to October 13, 2013

Gratitude:  Thank God for sunny autumn days in Wuxi.

Acknowledgement: I have been in China for nine years and my Chinese is still awful. I need to study more than 45 minutes a day I have been doing.

Requests: I would like verbal silence from all around me and some correspondence from any readers I might have. My email is I need help with becoming a Catholic.

The AKIC Week in Brief: The K family's life had a burden officially finished this week. Andis stayed verbally silent most of the week – no complaining or bragging allowed.

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!  在中国, 我没有朋友。



I am Canadian! The hockey season has started. From half a world away, I will cheer for the Winnipeg Jets.

I also heard that Alice Munro had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. When I first heard she had won, I wasn't sure if she was Canadian. I was thinking she was some black American writer – perhaps I mixed her up with Alice Walker who I am sure is a black woman. One of the reasons I was unaware of Alice Munro being Canadian is that I made a conscious decision to ignore Can Lit. As far as I was concerned, Can Lit is a state imposed attempt at creating a genuine Canadian literature. It probably started in the Trudeau era (also known as the Can Obama era.) Can Lit was a symptom of a Canadian jealousy of America's self awareness. So I don't have an opinion of the merits of Munro's writing. Rex Murphy, in a podcast I listened to this morning, said it was of a high calibre. A Conservative blog I read said that Munro wasn't Margaret Atwood – so that was faint praise. Atwood winning the Nobel would have been as bad as Obama and Arafat and Krugman win the Nobel. I will have to see if I can find some of Munro's work on the Internet.

BTW, my favorite Canadian writers are Marc Steyn, Mordecai Richler, and Stephen Leacock.

I am Latvian (sort of)! Andis is a Latvian name.

Wuxi Peach Maoists Update: Visit here to find out how if your Peach Maoists have finally won a match-up.

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! The shutdown of the U.S. federal government was (is) simply political theatre. It really wasn't(isn't) much of a shutdown. To commit psychic energy to it either side is a waste of time. The whole rotten edifice of government with its overpaid workers is just going to have to come tumbling down – too many people are stupidly attached to things as they currently are.

I teach English! “I ever done that!” Who taught Chinese students to say that? I had a girl, who has been with our school for six months, use that phrase today. I could only shake my head.
I am not a freak! I am rational enough to know that I am irrational about certain things.
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 try to read at least one aphorism a day.  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 #174 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 have finished The General Epistle of Jude and am now reading the Book of Revelations.

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.

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

Quo Vadis by Henrik Sienkiewicz. One of the first Catholic novels if my source on the Internet is to be believed. I put the book on my Ipod, thinking I would read it when I didn't have access to my Ipad, but now I am reading it on my Ipad.

Memoirs of Life and Literature by WH Mallock. A great book. I can't believe I hadn't heard of this writer till this year.

Enoch and the Gorilla by Flannery O'Connor. I am reading short stories by O'Connor and from the Columbia Anthology. The short story of a loner stealing a Gorilla suit is flush with spiritual meaning.

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature edited by Joseph S.M. Lau & Howard Goldblatt. I am reading stories at random from this book. There is a story called Hands that I am quite taken with. I don't know why I didn't “pick up” this book sooner. Reading the few stories I have has told me more about China than reading a history ever could.

I like to take photos

I like to make videos

I like to cut and paste quotations:
320 A Catholic should simplify his life and complicate his thought. [My Life is exceedingly simple.]
325 Solitude is the laboratory where commonplaces are verified.
327 Neither imitation of the past, nor of the present, is an infallible remedy. Nothing saves the mediocre from their mediocrity. [Does this mean that there is no hope for me? LECTOR: Yes!]
332 Wisdom, in this century, consists above all in knowing how to put up with vulgarity without becoming upset. [Vulgarity, at this stage of history is boring.]
334 Today more than ever man runs after any fool who invites him along on the trip, deaf to the lookout keeping watch on the ruined roads and the collapsed bridges. [I want to cease being that fool and somehow play the role of the lookout. I could be the lookout now but I don't relish the prospect of being ignored. I want to stay in the paradise of reclusiveness where no one ignores you.]
335 The prophet who accurately foretells the growing corruption of a society is not believed, because the more that corruption grows, the less it is noticed by the corrupt. [The people who complained when Elvis and the Beatles appeared were right. They were suppressed however.]
337 The basic problem of every former colony – the problem of intellectual servitude, of impoverished tradition, of subaltern spirituality, of inauthentic civilization, of obligatory and shameful imitation – has been resolved for me with supreme simplicity: Catholicism is my native land. [As a Canadian, I feel the same way. Colacho was South American.]

A more interesting question than whether the collapse will take place is why it has not so far taken place. The answer is the mutually assured rottenness of all currencies, which is a little like the Cold War’s mutually assured destruction.
David Warren:
Lest gentle reader be alarmed, I want first to assure him (or her!) that I do not doubt the world may be coming to an end. It would be un-Catholic to reject this constant possibility. But if only for the sake of argument, let me put it to you: What if the end doesn't come soon? What if, rash as this may sound, many living at this hour are fated to die in their beds of old age? [Warren's and Dalrymple's quotes deal with a question I have been wondering about lately. Is this collapse going to happen? And why hasn't it happened yet?]

W. H. Mallock. “Memoirs of Life and Literature.
To praise others was a pleasure to him as natural as that of being praised himself. [I am not like that. I should learn to be.]

Kingsley Amis:
There’s little point in writing if you can’t annoy somebody.”   [I have annoyed some people I am proud to say with my blogging. I have to get back to lampooning Wuxi Expat Perverts.]
1)"What Americans don’t want to admit… is that not only is there not a contradiction between state regulation and freedom, but in order for us to actually be free in our social interactions, there must be an extremely elaborated network of health, law, institutions, moral rules and so on."

2)Žižek sees the controversy over Obama-aid in the US - and the Republican-forced government shutdown - as emblematic of Obama touching "the nerve of what is false in American everyday ideology of freedom."

3)...he claims, many Americans see universal healthcare as a restriction on their freedom to choose a doctor: "well f*ck it, I feel much more free if I simply don’t have to think about that. Like with electricity. I’m very glad to renounce the freedom to choose my water or electricity suppliers: because can you imagine having to make all these choices?"

4)On The Clash: "I like their activity … they were engaged [politically]. So I like everything about them … except their music."

[Slabo Ziwicked, or whatever his name is, is some sort of Leftist. I found the interview with him linked in the Arts and Letters Daily. I have numbered these four quotations so I can deal with each in turn. 1) This looks like a straw man form of argumentation. Who are these Americans who don't believe there must be an extremely elaborated network of health, law, institutions, moral rules and so on? 2) This Ziwicked is ignorant of what the controversy is about. That is all I take away from this statement. 3) What other freedoms is this Ziwicked willing to renounce? What other choices would he rather not have us choose to make? And just because he doesn't want the inconvenience, what gives him the right to not let others deal with in their own way? Is he okay with renouncing the choice of how we should deal with the poorer and more unfortunate among us? It would be nice if we didn't have to think about people in poverty and whoop it up and have a good time. You give up freedom, you give up responsibility and your conscience. 4) I always thought it was a shame that the Clash were engaged politically. I only liked their music and their aesthetic. But as I look at music videos of the Clash, I see they were hacks musically. So I will agree with Ziwicked that the music of the Clash wasn't so great.

I fashion myself to be a 21st Century Pepys

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