An overdue Fluff post



Time to put down on paper yet more random thoughts and directionless meanderings.

Since I’ve done a fluff post I’ve seen a large uptick in both my Russian and Ukrainian readers. China as well, by chance.  

I realize the time between posts has stretched out a bit, but when you write 2500 words a post, like I did in my last post….my longest post…..I figure you all need time to digest it.   And as many of you do, you go back to my older stuff, all relevant to present day. 

The Pulitzers came out a few days ago.  Did anyone see mine?  Lost in the mail maybe?  For the past couple of years now, I’ve been talking about My Opus…..and I still haven’t written the damn thing.  It doesn’t help of course that you guys are all much more interested in the “relationship” oriented posts.   

No one wants to read my take on…..anything else?

OK….let’s talk:

My daughter’s birthday.  While my older child can pretty much dictate who she wants to invite to her party, I see my wife still dictating who my younger child’s guests will be.   It was to be a simple party with 3 guests.  A few days ago she added two more.  To no avail, these are kids my daughter doesn’t particularly like very much.   I find it strange my daughter has no say who will be attending her party.   She is old enough to decide for herself, methinks.   It seems more important that China Wife’s friends’ children come than anything else.  And wouldn’t you know it, their all Chinese…….

Makes me wonder what other China Moms do out there….?

Actually, giving my children more decision-making in their lives is hard to do with China Wife.   Once I dictate they are to make their own beds, she comes out with the well worn refrain,

“What’s next, driving lessons?  You want them to get a job, too?”

Alas, having my grade school daughter actually decide who she wants to come to her bday party is….well perhaps at least a year or two away.

Even more, my daughter actual knows what she’s getting for her bday!!!

Where is the mystery nowadays?  How about a little stick and carrot?

Trends….

It’s "race time" out in the South China Sea.   The Philippines has brought China’s violation of its sovereignty up in Court.  Decision time I believe is later this year.  China of course, though I believe(?) it is a signee to the treaty, doesn’t seem to recognize its authority.  All the same it’s racing to build a permanent post before the decision comes down against it.   Btw, the USA doesn’t recognize its authority either. 

Oh Yes, the Filipino Supreme Court is set to rule later this year as well as to the constitutionality of the new US-Filipino Bases Agreement(or something like that).   This is the real reason China is busting it’s ass.  Once the Supreme Court brings down a decision the US Navy will very quickly re-establish bases in the area and a patrol zone.   Like the bad guy in the movies who knows the cop won’t shoot, China has correctly surmised the US will do nothing with the bases being built off the coast of the Philippines.  

All the same, very soon the USN will be having a heavy presence in the South China Sea, a presence that won’t be going away anytime soon.   Not as long as the Chinese are there.  The Chinese have thus been wise to establish something now rather than never.

This is another reason why Hillary would probably be the best “bet” for president.  Her decided lack of fuzziness aside, she’s quite the hard ass.  I’m confident China would rather see a Republican in the White House.  (It was the Bush People that toasted Champagne to the Chinese in Beijing in June 1989, right?)  The USA just doesn’t in this day and age need a photogenic person as leader.  Or a fashion queen.  It doesn’t need a Jackie O.  It needs a bitch.  Obama for all his talent and brains, is just too nice.  His opponents have surmised as much.

Everyone say goodbye to Australia as probably by 2030-2035 you will by all purposes be a Chinese province.  Prepare for your Foreign Policy to be dictated by China.  I’ve written previously about how Aussieland is dollar by dollar losing its economic independence to China.  It’s not their fault.  If there is anyone to blame, it’s Geography.   You see, China doesn’t give a fuck.  Once it’s imports from Australia are large enough, it will effectively call the shots.   It will have no problem barring Australian imports from China if the Aussies do something it doesn’t like.  Doesn’t matter how many Chinese jobs are at stake.   That’s not how authoritarian governments roll.  So tell your kids French is cute but worthless.  Make sure they all study Chinese.

Book I’m reading

Another Stanley Karnow book….In our Image, the USA in the Philippines, or something like that.  A history of the Philippines, post European discovery.  I’m not to page 70,  but the thing to note is that when the Spanish arrived in the 1500’s the Chinese were already there.   Chinese mercantilism was already in full throttle.  They simply lacked centralized support of the Ming.

Once again I am simply in awe at the quiet influence of the Chinese pre “division of the world” by the Pope into Spanish and Portuguese spheres.  Fuck that.  China was already getting it done.

Once again one can only think “what might’ve been” if Zheng He’s Navy had been allowed to do what it does best…..explore!   The Philippines without question would’ve been a Chinese vassal by the 1520’s.  When the Spanish came it was nothing but an archipelago of disorganized tribes and utter nothingness.  True, the Spanish swept the Chinese aside with ease, but soon realized how important they were and tolerated their presence. 

If only China had been as organized and focused on the Seas as the Dutch, the Portuguese, etc Asia indeed would have been its oyster.   Maybe China’s determined domination of the South China Sea is nothing more than simply a reclaiming of its destiny……?

Karnow won his Pulitzer with this book by the way.

More on the personal side…

I attended a Homeowners Meeting the other day, and as soon as I walked in a Chinese Lady promptly undressed me with her eyes.  All of us laowai in China know what I’m talking about;  when a China Female stares at you for several seconds, often with a slight smirk on her face, oblivious to how obvious she is to the person being stared at.  

Now this is ok in China because the person is a complete stranger.  However, it bothers me a bit in the States’ when this takes places because the person gawking at me may or may not know my wife.   What to do?  All I can do is turn my back to the other person and pretend to be busy with something.  
I’m sure this happens to many a laowai, especially at Chinese dinner parties back in the Home Country. When it happens in China, quite frankly it’s just a reflection of that basic Chinese attitude that all laowai are “to die for”.    (aren’t there any ugly laowai in China?)

But when it comes from a person that has lived in America for twenty years, I know it’s more a reflection of yet another middle aged Chinese lady who has long since lost passion in her life.    Someone who married her first boyfriend, and well…..you get the picture. 

Still, now that I’m spending more of my time back in the States’, I can’t help but wonder how I will react once the “excitement” has left my life?   Will I be this person?  Sometimes the most excitement I get is simply avoiding the garbage bins each house puts out the night before trash pickup, during my evening exercise.

Maintaining my children’s self esteem

I find day in and day out my battle is the same:  ensure the above at all costs.  Keeping my children positive.  Keeping them optimistic.  Not letting them fall into that downward spiral of negativity.   Tiger Mom tears down, I build up.  That has become my role in the family.   Mom screams at child for not preparing properly for a math exam, dad and daughter go for a walk to put it all into context.   China Wife is obsessed with math.  Obsessed.    She spends every day working on this with her, and nary a moment nowadays on anything else.   It is overkill.   And at the end of the day I have a child that feels she is stupid and worthless.  Children, especially daughters have sensitive psyches.   Yet I find China Mom just doesn’t get it.  There is no subtlety with Tiger Mom.   No psychological awareness.   Rather, it is brute force.  A Tiger Tank crashing through a white picket fence.   The paw of Godzilla on Bambi. 
I know China Mom is simply using her own experience to raise her child, ie “that’s how I was taught and therefore I will act the same towards you”, mentality. 

Except American Kids were not brought up in 1970’s or 1980’s China.  They don’t know what a ration card is, and they like their cake with sugar.  They have televisions and remotes.  They ask not for a new bicycle but an Ipad.    Children of Tiger Mom cannot relate to Tiger Mom’s upbringing anymore than I can relate to the childhood of my father.   

But this teaching still stands: children cannot be told when they are young how worthless they are, or how stupid they are.  Children a thousand years ago still have the same fragile psyche of a child today.  Humiliating a child as motivation to do better, all for the sake of a wee bit  higher test score, and much more for the Face of Tiger Mom is frighteningly dangerous.   But this is a study for the next generation of psychologists to undertake, ie what happened to all those children of Tiger Mom? What became of them?  What became of Tiger Mom’s grandchildren?   Will the number of Asian American musical virtuoso’s and perfect SAT scores dwindle? Will the effects of Tiger Mom be defeated by that vast swamp of decay we call American Culture?

Or will the flood of Chinese Immigration we continue to see simply replace the newly assimilated Asian Americans with fresh blood?  

Whatever the trend is, whatever happens in my country will happen in your country, too.

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