Amazing article by Juliana Qian on Chinese identity: The Name and the Face
I know what stories sell. Australian audiences have an insatiable appetite for the suffering of people of colour, for stories of violence and poverty, trauma and tragedy. But I came to this country on a Cathay Pacific plane. My childhood was suburban and ordinary. I had experiences of racism, of loss and shame, but always plenty of friends too. And the China I knew was largely peaceful and comfortable, despite real corruption, censorship and repression. My parents used to rush to the television whenever China was mentioned, but soon my father began to grumble that they were only interested in the dismal and catastrophic. SBS showed many horrific documentaries, few films, no comedies. As Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie says about representations of her country, ‘to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience … the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete’.
My generation was promised equality after assimilation. And for a while there I believed it: I read Blyton and Blume, and later Plath and Salinger. And I loved them as I should. I forgot Chinese word by word and let my tongue grow wooden. And I hardly noticed because I always had more to say to my friends than to my parents. I waited for strangers to stop asking where I came from, and they kept me waiting. I went to the place I didn’t remember that I’m supposed to have come from, I looked at my grandparents’ bookshelves and the gaps in their photo albums and I thought about culture, loss, change and time. When I was four an ocean crossed me. If it hadn’t, I still wouldn’t be in the same place I came from.
I got chills.
Amazing article by Juliana Qian on Chinese identity: The Name and the Face
Omg, whut. I can't even.
Shanghainese (Wu dialect/sangheiwu) is, I suppose, my mother tongue before English. The one I mostly forgot. But it still sounds like childhood. It sounds like far away relatives. It sounds like home. It sounds like... my grandma trying to rap? Whut?
These probably won't make any sense to anyone except tangledtale, but if you're interested...
( Videos under cut )
My mind still boggles.
Small-minded, insular people annoy me. So much.
Also - I am so sick of being woken up every morning by the sound of saws and drills and hammers. I swear, I haven't gotten a proper
night's morning's sleep these entire holidays. Bathroom renovation FAIL. For the last two weeks, I've been woken up at 9am (after going to bed at around 4) and then I spent three or four hours stuck in that horrible place where you're really sleepy and want to keep sleeping, and you occasionally manage to drift off, but are repeatedly woken up by persistent but random noises. And on the days when the workers aren't here? I've been woken up by Rianna or the telephone each time - once from a telemarketer. It makes me want to kill someone. Srsly. And now I have to go back to the office to do work every day, so there is no more sleeping in for me. :(
This morning I dreamt of guildchat and walking down a lonely path in the Barrens. I randomly bumped into Lyan and I was like "what are you doing here?" And then Ingrid's Dad turned up, and took us to Disneyland in Egypt. And then we posed with the pyramids.
In other WoW related news - today I rode past this person called Cloudberry in Ironforge. For a single, brief shining moment, I thought Cloudberry would turn out to be my Scandinavian soulmate who would one day help me fulfill my dream of eating cloudberries by a fjord. But then I asked and it turned out to be an American named after booze. *sigh* Oh world, why do you disappoint me like this?
Happy 60 Years of Communist China everyone, yay! (I'm only being facetious slightly.)
If you haven't already seen 'em, check out these go-go boots and amusingly short skirts on China's female soldiers. I do love women in uniform - even if they're scarily in sync.
Meh. I am emo today. In every weekend there comes a point where a very large part of me rebels and refuses to face up to the fact that tomorrow I have to go back to work and the face the million things I need to do, back to the stress and the responsibility and the constant stream of people and emails and phone calls and students. Then, that very large part of me kicks into procrastination mode in a desperate attempt to delay tomorrow, and I don't get anything done. That pretty much sums up today.
The weekend itself was good. I had a very productive day on WoW on Saturday. Ran three heroic instances with my guildies, won a Wintergrasp battle, quested, did a bunch of achievements... all in one morning. I even managed to get most of my marking done.
Today I watched more Battlestar Galactica. I was watching Episode 2.07 when, suddenly, Lucy Lawless turned up! I was like "holy crap, I totally forgot she was in this!" I was so surprised. I can't believe I forgot. I'm also slightly disturbed to find myself developing a man-crush on Apollo. Lyan thinks he's a "whiny betch", but somehow I find that attractive in a guy.
Before you all start doubting my lesbian credentials, I totally need to link you all to this Gender-reversed Star Trek 2009 cast picspam post, featuring Yvonne Strahovski as Kirk, Jordana Brewster as Spock and Lena Headey as McCoy (hellooo, doctor). Someone needs to film that. Right now. I don't quite agree with Grace Park as Sulu (she does nothing for me), but I can't think of any other Asian women who I'd prefer. Maybe I'll volunteer. And there's gotta be a better Scottish woman to play Scotty. Maybe Simone Lahbib? Can't quite see her in the part though. They need a hotter Russian for Chekov, too. Jennifer Connelly as Nero, however, is perfect. *happy thoughts* ...Ahem.
Oh and China is hosting its first ever gay pride festival in Shanghai, called Shanghai Pride. Though I shouldn't really use the word "hosting" because it's not hosted so much as tolerated by the government. Still, nobody's shut it down so I remain optimistic that China is becoming more progressive about teh gay. I hope it all goes well and becomes an annual thing.
Continuing with the gay news, this week's Brunch with Bridget is with Erin Kelly! You can watch it here. Erin Kelly is so cute. I don't know who's idea it was for her to wear that nightie during the interview, but it was in serious danger of falling off the entire time.
And finally, it's been brought to my attention that my hotmail accounts have been compromised and are currently sending out large amounts of spam to all my contacts. I've run a virus check (nothing) and changed my passwords. Hopefully that fixes it. I'll keep looking into it, if not. In the mean time, just ignore my emails or IM messages if they contain the words "weight loss" or "penis enlargement".
On the drive back home, my aunt was talking a bit about her travels. She's been to Egypt and India and all over Europe and Russia and parts of Asia and the USA and now Australia. She's even been to Scandinavia, at which point I became truly envious and started pining for my fjords. I don't know how she got from 63 yuan a month to travelling the world, but it's pretty awesome. It made me wonder again how all my dad's siblings can be such cool people and why he has to be such failure.
My skins from DecalGirl arrived in the afternoon which was very exciting. Now my Xbox 360 is black and matches my computer and PS2. And my Nintendo DS is plaid and matches my scarf/boots/sandals/car/anythingred. Both are very shiney and pretty. Check it out:
The air was full of promise.
The clouds hung low;
The skies were white as death.
It came on the breath of the rain –
Treachery and slaughter.
The streets bled silently,
And the humans not so silently.
And their idealism,
Fresh and red and blooming,
Washed away into the Yangzi
A thin, muddy pink.
Later, the rivers overflowed.
Swollen with blood and
Fed by bitter tears,
They drowned a generation.
Our tongues dried up,
And we died of thirst.
For all that was left to drink
Was dead, red water.
© Lishesque 2007
Inspired by the poem Dead Water by Wen Yiduo (who was, incidentally, later assassinated by the Kuomintang.)
[Edit: I have no appropriate icon for all my latest scarily-nationalistic Chinese politics related posts. So I'll have to make do with...teh seal of d00m]
( Cut for depressing, sickening history )
I'd always vaguely known about the Sino-Japanese War so I wasn't expecting to be shocked. But reading a detailed account of it, I was shocked, and completely sickened by it. And then I was just angry. Angry at the Japanese, obviously, for their actions. Angry at Chiang Kai-Shek for retreating to inner China (all the while keeping troops stationed against the Chinese Communist forces but doing shit all about the Japanese) while the Japanese raped and burned and murdered their way across the country. Angry at misogyny and the patriarchy and men in general for their disgusting treatment of women during wartime (and any time, for that matter). Angry at the rest of the world (except Russia) who did practically nothing until the latter part of World War II when they started to feel threatened by Japanese expansion. Angry at the Japanese government who to this day denies or plays down many of the atrocities that happened. Angry at Douglas McArthur who granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing America with the data they had collected from their "research" on biological warfare using human test subjects. Angry at humanity for being capable of this. So much anger. And nowhere for it all to go because it's pointless to be angry at things I can't change. Full of rage and nothing I can take it out on. Except my LJ.
My LJ is like a stress ball. *squishes it*
I hate being a History major sometimes.
So here I am.
The last couple of weeks have left me too exhausted to write much. I even broke my New Year's Resolution of writing every day in my paper journal a few times simply because I fell asleep before I could remember to write in it.
I skipped karate today to read tbsol_v2. I love TBSOL. It makes me happy and full of squee.
All my classes are going okay. Karate is going okay. Street Latin Dancing is going okay. My night job as a streetwalker is going oka... um nevermind.
My favorite subject is still Making China Modern, even though it depresses me completely and causes there to be much rage in me against Western Imperialism. I've never felt particularly Chinese or Australian. I've never felt comfortable in either culture. And I've always held quite a large amount of disdain for nationalism or patriotism and those people who paint themselves blue and drape the Australian flag over themselves and go to sporting events screaming "Aussie Aussie Aussie, OI OI OI!" I never understood it, even. So it is slightly... unexpected... and somewhat alarming, that I find myself feeling increasingly - dare I use the word - patriotic about China the more I learn about it, and the more I learn about how screwed up it was/is.
The other day while watching a movie in the lecture I felt tears come to my eyes.
Very alarming indeed.
*invades Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and Japan*
*goes to bed*
I vaguely feel sorry for him. He spent the rest of his life in exile writing political stuff and memoirs about Russia. And then the Russian Orthodox Church wouldn't even let his body be buried in Russia on account of the fact that he failed to stop Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
I asked mum if she thought the Chinese Cultural Revolution was a good thing overall (given the state of China at the moment - i.e. lookin' good), and she said no. I'm still undecided on the issue. On the one hand, it played a part in modernizing China and making it a growing world power that owes nothing
Oh! Speaking of China. The next Phonetics assignment, which is about contour tone languages, is on Peking Mandarin. Like omg! How unfair is that? Unfair for people other than me, that is, and for those who aren't international students that speak Mandarin. When she announced it, I couldn't help but smile because I have a HUGE advantage, since I'm already familiar with the tones and could tell you which was which if I was drunk, half asleep and deaf in one ear. I should feel bad for people who are disadvantaged, but... eh, I'm still happy. :D