Monday, December 2, 2013

Dispatches from Akicistan #1

Gratitude:  Thank God, I am an Akicistani. This is the best thing in the world to be

Acknowledgement: I hate confrontation and I shirk confrontation, but sometimes it is better to be slapped on one cheek and then another, whether it is deserved or not.

Request(s): I wish that brain dead liberals, and by that I mean liberals, would smarten the f up.

What is Akicistan? It isn't a place. It is more a state of mind that places cutting-edge state-of-the-art sticks in mud. The word Akicistan is formed from the initials AKIC and the root stan.

Akicistan news in brief: The past week or so, I discovered that I could order Crown Royal Whiskey, hitherto hard for me to get in China, on Taobao, a major Chinese inter shopping site. I feel that this was the biggest milestone in my life in China since the birth of my son Tony. As well, I feel that the purchase marks a new era or age in my life in China. Now that I can bathe in Crown Royal, I will certainly take on new airs at work. It is the dawning of a classical or golden age in Akicistan.

Important Akicistan Links:

In Akicistan:

Some of us can speak Chinese!  My wife's Chinese is very good. I think my son's Chinese is very good. Everyone knows my Chinese is poo. 因为我的发音不不不好!


We sometimes pay attention to China. I have confessions to make. I never read any other blogs written by foreigners who are living in China. I rarely visit sites dedicated to China. I never read the English language China Daily.

I regularly listen to one podcast about China: Laslzo Montgomery's China History Podcast. I sometimes listen to the Sinica Podcast but I get turned off by its cast of know-it-all journalists from main stream western news outlets.

Other then the two podcasts, my interest in matters Chinese is confined to reading Learn Chinese textbooks designed for foreigners and Chinese histories that I can snag for free off the Internet.

I have to agree with David Warren's distrust of most modern Chinese experts. Despite its opening up to the world, people who study China for a living have to make a bargain with the devil to get visas to come to China. The opening up of China and thus our increased knowledge of it is an illusion.

We are fond of Canada! I have to admit though that it was after the fact that I heard about the Saskatchewan Roughriders (or is it Rough Riders?) winning the Grey Cup on their home field. I only learned about it when my Mother phoned. Had I known two days earlier, I would have listened to the game on the Internet.

For some reason, I thought that the Grey Cup was the fifth won by the Green Riders. It was in fact their fourth.

We are fond of Latvia! Because Arnis and Aina Kaulins were born there.

It was with sadness that I heard about the shopping centre roof collapse in Riga. It was interesting to see that the Latvian Prime Minister resigned because of it – which goes to show you that Latvians have more integrity that the Clintons. Hilary, if she had any decency or balls, should have resigned after Benghazi.

The Politics are Conservative and Reactionary! Are Leftists/Liberals/Progressives capable of intelligent thought? I know there are some clever ones, who use their brains to try to spite common sense and the truth, but is that really intelligence.

Reason #1 (of many) that Hilary shouldn't be President: She is a cuckoldess who because of political ambition let her husband publicly humiliate her. If she had the balls to President, she would have strung up Bill by his balls at the entrance to the White House, and shown the world that she was not a women to be trifled with. If she, as a woman, cannot control her husband, how can she be expected to control a nation and intimidate its opponents – many of whom like to engage in hanky panky? And besides staying married to a rapist, she is still attached to a fraudulent ideology.

English is taught! If you want to learn a second language, you really have to slog at it. There aren't any short cuts. Students must be very self-directed. Teachers can help students with their attempts at using the language, but if you can't persist in your individual efforts to learn the language, the teachers can't help you.
Citizens aren't freaks! Akicistanis are eccentric in the old-school way of just being naturally eccentric, not the deliberate in-your-face statement of crazy that people like to present to the world these days.
Reading is the #1 Pastime! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week:
Don Colacho's (Nicolas Gomez Davilla) 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 the AKIC Weekly. (See below)
The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Now that I have finished the Catechism, I will read this and then begin to read the Summa.

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 #182 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 (RSV-C2E version, aka the Ignatius Bible, and Douay-Rheims version).  I will read the two versions in conjunction. Last week, I was reading the Book of Genesis.

Is Life Worth Living? by WH Mallock Mallock is attempting to show that the contention, made by the positivists of the 19th century, that a moral and happy life can be lived without religion is illogical.

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor. Someone in s Vatican Radio podcast said that she could be the greatest 20th Catholic writer.

Reclaiming HistoryThe Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. This book is over 4,000 pages long. Being a Kennedy assassination buff I find the book engrossing.

Memorable quotes are presented and discussed!
Nicholas Gomez Davilla:
550 Serenity is the fruit of uncertainty freely accepted. [Uncertainty instills fear in most people.]
556 In a century where the media publish endless stupidities, the cultured man is defined not by what he knows but what he does not know. [Now to visit news sites or read newspapers is the way I try to be cultured.]
559 God is not the object of my reason, nor of my sensibility, but of my being. God exists for me in the same act in which I exist. [Right now, God is the object of my sensibility. I must change this.]
560 Happiness is a moment of silence between two of life's noises. [Happiness for me is seeing my son Tony asleep.]
568 The barbarian either totally mocks or totally worships. Civilization is a smile that discretely combines irony and respect. [Jon Stewart, by this definition, is a barbarian.]
569 Individualism degenerates into the beatification of caprice. [I completely agree with this. I wish I had thought of this myself.]

David Warren:

It is as senseless to “buy into anger,” as to buy into money as an end in itself. And equally it is senseless to neglect the information each supplies. These are only guides to what is currently possible and impossible; messengers not to be killed, but watched carefully.

My own wrestle with anger has been, over the years, partly a struggle to understand it. Part of this struggle, in turn, is against the reductionism of our post-Christian culture, in which the glib and plausible substitute for intelligent thought. For instance, the notion that “anger is always a response to fear” is among the glib and plausible ideas that lead us, usually, astray.

Think, for a few moments, and it will be seen that this reductionist account eliminates the possibility of a righteous indignation – something our very Christ was not ashamed to exhibit, on one memorable occasion. Too, it narrows the field of perception, presenting man as merely animal, reacting to environment by instinct alone. Anger has more significance, in humans.

[I am always feeling spasms of anger. Sometimes thinking about some vexing matter, I get so wound up that I briefly imagine myself taking out my anger in a violent way. The feeling lasts a few seconds before I realize that I have gotten a little too carried away. This anger is never a response to fear. It may sometimes occur because of a blow to my pride, but a lot of times it is righteous indignation at the tardiness, the hypocrisy, the retardediness, the blind high self-regard, the lack of self-critical awareness, the glib psychoanalysis of others, and the lack of traditional morals of others.

Be that as it may, what does my anger tell me? I live in a corrupt society where I feel powerless to do anything about it.]

Lists are made:
Here is a list of the most popular movies in Akcistan:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia [They don't make movies like this anymore: serious, artsy, intellectual and having a big production budget.]
  2. The Royal Tannenbaums [I saw this movie two times in the cinema and bought the DVD.]
  3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [A Western starring my two favourite actors: Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.]
  4. The Keys to the Kingdom [I just saw this movie last week. It is about a Catholic Priest in China.]
  5. Oklahoma! [A rousing musical.]
  6. Kiss Me Kate! [Cole Porter writes a musical based on a play of Shakespeare.]
  7. Top Hat [I wish I could be like Fred Astaire!]
  8. The Dambusters [This movie shows Englishman at their finest. With the exception of one, the Englishmen I have meet in real life don't come close to the ideal. Too many Englishmen have been defiled by Socialism.]
  9. Wizard of Oz [I have seen this movie fifty times at least.]
  10. A Man for All Seasons [Well acted. It seems like it was filmed in another age on another planet.]
  11. The Country Girl [There is a scene in this movie starring Grace Kelley, Bing Crosby, and William Holden that brings tears to my eyes.]
  12. Black Sunday [The one thriller on my list was made in the 1970s. I remember seeing it in the cinema at the time.]
  13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Saturday Night Fever spawned a lot of cliched spoofery. And in an analagous manner, this film spawned at lot of horrible nerdish humour that makes normal people and me cringe. Be that as it may, it is still a very funny movie.]
  14. The Long Voyage Home. [This film has John Wayne playing a Swedish sailor. It is my favourite John Ford directed film. As well, it is the best film on seafaring life that I have ever seen.]

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