This is the week I decided to become a reactionary for I discovered the aphorisms of Don Colacho. I am now under their sway.
Gratitude Thank God, there are people in this world who are not part of it. I don't know what they would do without them. It is these people who aren't part of the world, who keep me in it.
Acknowledgement I am not so high and mighty, and yet, I too often I think I am.
Request I wish the Palestinians would stop being victims. If they weren't so closed-minded, they would realize that there is a lot that they could emulate in the people who they think are oppressing them.
My Current Reading
The Everlasting Man by GK Chesterton (Finished. An interesting read. At times, I found it to be obscure and so I think it will deserve a re-reading.)
The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (stopped reading it. I couldn't keep track of all the different peoples mentioned in the narrative. I ended up reading an account of the war in Creasey's 15 major battles of history)
Spiritual Provocations by Kierkeergaard
Economic Sophisms by Federic Bastiat
Pensees by Blaise Pascal
PSmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse
Canada Ain't Cool
This is my lame weekly attempt to ingratiate myself with Canadians by taking a reactionary's view of its virtues.
The Grey Cup, awarded to the winner of the Canadian Football League's annual championship game, is jokingly said to be named after Canada's national color. The game takes place on Sunday evening in Canada, Monday morning in China.
The Wuxi Corrupt Officials
The Corrupts were crushed, in this week's match-up, 104 -46. Their record is now 6-4. They are still first in their division but now tied with another team.
Quotes of the week
George Jonas (a Canadian Journalist) said this in his column about Remembrance Day: "My feeling, by the way, has always been that nations supporting the arts will be successful importers of artists, and nations supporting the armed forces will be successful exporters of art." That explains why American culture has a more powerful hold on the Canadian imagination than does its own Canadian culture. If you want strong expressions of Canadian culture -- I would recommend reading the books written by Canadians and are available on Project Gutenberg -- these books were written before Canada made the very provincial decision to try and subsidize its art.
David Warren (an AKIC favorite) about the U.S. election results and what the Republicans should have done: "In retrospect, the Republicans' only hope was to ignore ethnicity & go large: to go in the direction indicated by Santorum & Ryan (conservative Catholics), & communicate the home truths. They could have lost with such a message — "We have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, & sweat" — but they would have lost honourably & been left with something on which to build." RINOs would say that Warren is a zealot who should be ignored. But RINOs are asking is that a part of its party don't talk about what they believe in. RINOs are asking to engage in a debate with opponents in which the debate is on the opponents terms and is of course narrow and dishonest.
- I don't work.
- Tony stays home because of a black eye he got at the restaurant on Sunday. Jenny says he looks too ugly to appear at school. I have to race to get my weekly blog entry done before he gets up.
- If you love something, you have to be willing to sacrifice for it and put up with inconveniences.
- I took Tony to KFC for lunch. He loves the spicy chicken wings there. Afterwards, on the K family E-bike, we rode around the area. I took some photos and video.
- You may see the video if I can ever get my VPN to work.
- One of the places we went to was the Wu Culture Park.
- I saw someone was repainting the monument to a Bill Clinton Postcard. I could only think of two words: pervert and rapist.
- It is cold in the apartment. My Chinese wife is opening the windows to air the place out.
- At the pond at the Wu Culture Park, I was able on one of my throws, to make a stone skip eight times,
Tuesday (the 20th)
- I don't work.
- Tony goes to school.
- Dang nab it! I can't get my VPN to work on my laptop. So, I can't upload any videos to Youtube.
- I will spend the morning on the computer typing entries for the Wuxi China Expatdom Blog.
- Talked to my Mom on the phone. She is living in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada where the temperature is minus two degrees Celsius and there is snow on the ground. We talked about current events. In the part of Manitoba she is living in, an oil company wants to set up shop. Like nearby North Dakota, there is oil to be fracked for underground.
- My mother told me about a controversial monument that had been erected in Bauska, Latvia -- the place of her birth. The monument commemorates a battle fought by Latvians against invading Soviets in 1944. My grandfather, her father, fought in the battle. Though, the Latvians ultimately lost, they delayed the Soviet occupation for a long enough time that my mother (she was the youngest sibling in a family of five children) and her family could flee to Germany. This was fortunate for me because I may not have been born had the Soviets been able to capture my grandfather. Now the monument is controversial because the Latvians were fighting with the Germans (the Nazis) against the Soviets. Russians in Latvia are protesting against the monument, as are Jews. The Russians are calling the Latvians Nazis. There can be no doubt that there were Latvians who probably reveled in being able to help the Germans in carrying out the holocaust. I can only hope that the Latvians who wanted that monument erected don't try to diminish their guilt on that account.
- When I was growing up, the Latvian dilemma from World War Two as I saw it, was a choice between two monsters: Stalin & Hitler -- ultimately two kinds of Socialism. Did Latvians have a third choice? My mother tells me that there were no Americans or Canadians or Brits that we could have allied with for help. I suppose we could have made a moral stand and extinguished ourselves...
- Alas, WW2 was a horrible time. While good prevailed in some circumstances during that war, a lot of darkness descended on the world -- some of was extinguished in 1989, but unfortunately it most circumstances it morphed into other forms or came back to life.
- This is why I have problems with people who label themselves as middle-of-the-road politically. For the Latvians, what was the middle road between Stalin & Hitler? There wasn't any. You couldn't be defined by either of these people. You had to make a moral stand or think of other ways not at all on the table.
- Alas, I am not happy with having to make excuses...
- I also learned that Mom was watching Doctor Zhivago -- it was the sixth time she told me. My favorite David Lean movie is Lawrence of Arabia. I haven't watched Doctor Zhivago all the way through -- I am too busy with blogging and epubs and Tony.
- In the afternoon, I walked to Tesco to buy bread, pineapple beer, and microwave popcorn. To get to the Hui Shan Tesco from Casa Kaulins, I passed through the local people's square and saw a man sleeping on the lawn of the grounds. I took a photo of this as well as a photo of the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza still under construction.
- I watched the first two hours of Doctor Zhivago on my Ipod touch, despite constant buffering problems or stall-outs as I call them. From what I have seen, the movie is not as good as Lawrence of Arabia, but it is a good movie nonetheless. (I haven't as of this typing, watched the movie's second half.)
Wednesday (the 21st)
- I work 1300-2100.
- For the first time in months, I will have a Wednesday where I don't have a company class to go to, so five classes at the school.
- It is raining out. It is one of those kinds of rains that looks like it will stick around for a while.
- I listened to the Chinese History Podcast episode 104. Laszlo Montgomery, the host, was doing his fourth podcast on the history of Hong Kong. As always, for Sinophiles and Chinese History Buffs like myself, it was very interesting. And if you listen to the episode #104 all the way through, Laslzo does a shout-out to yours truly for which I thank him. But I would recommend, if you haven't listened to any, start at episode #1 and listen all the way through.
- Next door, the girl is watching a video of someone doing the Gagnum style dance.
Thursday (the 22nd)
- I work 1000-2100.
- At 645 in the morning, I was in the bathroom getting ready for work when heard knocking on our front door. I thought that perhaps a neighbor was going to complain about something. I was naked and so I tried to get dressed, but the knocking also woke up my wife who ran to the door to see who was knocking. It was the meter reader. In Chinese, my wife told the man that it was f***ing early! I don't think such a thing would happen in Canada. I wondered if perhaps the man was trying to scope our apartments for the purpose of breaking into them. Either that or he thought that if he came in the mid-morning, no one would be home.
- November 22nd is forever etched into my mind as the date of the JFK assassination. One of my goals in life, which I was able to realize, was to visit Dealey Plaza in Dallas where the assassination occurred. I can't remember the exact year I went there. It was probably in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Here is a photo:
I am leaning against the pedestal where Zapruder stood and took his famous film. Behind me is the road on which JFK's limo was moving when the shots were fired.
- As I was sitting on the bus that was taking me to work, I saw a shirtless man doing a handstand on a black fence-like barrier. I brought out my camera to take a photo of this, but I was only able to get one grainy image before the man came down.
- A student made this sentence for me: "People enjoy taking baths in bathrooms." The grammar was fine, however I had to groan because the sentence said nothing -- I would have been embarrassed to put such a sentence even in my blog.
Friday (the 23rd)
- I work 1100-2100.
- It is cool and damp and depressing. It is raining for a third consecutive day. I have put on long underwear for the first time this fall and winter.
- My Ikea umbrella is not going to survive many more of these gusts of wind.
- One of my shoes has a hole in the heel. I suppose it was time it happened to these shoes. I have bought them in Chilliwack, B.C., over two years ago. I hate to have to throw away shoes in Wuxi. I am a size 47 and shoes don't come any bigger than size 44 in all the stores here.
- A student makes the following sentence using the word "smart:" My son is smart. Why do you say you say your son is smart? I asked the student. She then said "smart 什么 名字？" (shenme mingzi) to her classmate. She didn't really have a good idea what the word meant but she made a sentence with the word anyway.
- A good crowd at my evening SPC.
Saturday (the 24th)
- I work 1000-1800.
- It is sunny but nippy. I wear my toque (knit cap) to work.
- I am working on putting all of Don Colacho's Aphorisms into a document file and eventually into an e-pub that I can put into my Ipod. Here is one of his aphorisms: A prolonged childhood—permitted by industrial society's current prosperity—redounds merely in a growing number of infantilized adults.
- So far, I have about 30 pages of his aphorisms in my document.
- In the evening I read on my Ipod Touch. Besides me, Tony watches Ultraman on the Ipad. I like these moments.
- A student tells me that she has milk delivered to her home every day. What do you know about that? I said. I think they stopped doing milk delivery in Canada in the late 1970s or 1980s. I remember having it when growing up, but there came a point when we started buying the milk at the supermarket.
Sunday (the 25th)
- I work 1000-1800
- To take a step back and not be high faluting about it -- a goal to be greatly desired.
- Tony had a terrible tantrum in the evening. He didn't agree with being told that it was time to stop playing with the train simulator software on my computer. I had to wrestle him away from the computer and he walloped me in the face a few times -- I had no choice but to be a punching bag because his fury was something to behold. It took twenty minutes to calm him down. I now have no choice now but to take the train software off my computer. Tony needs to be taught about gratitude and other things. His parents, Daddy especially, have to stop spoiling him.