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Archive for the ‘Performing Arts’ Category

It doesn’t matter whether an opinion is correct; it always matters who holds it.

— Karl Kraus (1874-1936). Once described as the ‘master of venomous ridicule’, Kraus, an Austrian born in present day Czech Republic, had been nominated thrice for the Nobel literature prize.

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https://i.ytimg.com/vi/HTyOm1jlGuM/maxresdefault.jpg

Above, Clare screaming out of her lungs: “Listen to me, folks, here are my answers to your problems. Sin not, for God shall bring Sodom and Gomorrah upon you.” Note that her golden brown hair sits very well with yellow, the politically correct color of the day.

In another time, Mahathir Mohamad, below, would be Clare’s target, as it were, she’d call him all sorts of names, a dictator, an autocrat, even Hitler Ali, a man presiding over the ruin of mankind and the end of Malaysia. Today, though, they are joint saviors of the country.

So, what happened in between?

Might she, therefore, change her mind one day about Najib Razak? And about all the Malays as well, whom she calls ‘Comical Alis’. If she does change her mind, who might she wish to pick on as the next Paragon of Sin? Here’s one Clare: ‘The Ching Chongs‘…. It’s just a suggested title which, one must confess, was plagiarized. Below:

Ching chong Chinaman
sat on a rail.
Along comes a White man
to chop off his tail.

Those exact lines are from John Steinbeck’s ‘Cannery Row’ (1945); cannery as in a canning factory. Over to you, Mrs Brown….

https://shuzheng.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/56f41-clare2brewcastle2bliar.jpg?w=500

Introducing Cannery Row to the Old Horse, eh, Clare? Or is it some profound book we hadn’t heard of? Teach us, our Venerable Laojie 老姐….

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In Defense of the ‘Comical Alis’

Well into 2015 when Clare Rewcastle-Brown began publishing online 1MDB, she must have felt like a Julian Assange of WikiLeaks because, before that, who would have heard of Sarawak Report. Who would have cared anyway? Even the pigs didn’t, but not anymore. The Guardian now thinks a big deal of her; the British believing she, even alone, can take on entire governments, from the deserts to the jungles. She is one of them, after all: liberal, moralistic, puffed up, and with powers to change the world, themselves excepting, of course.

Today, Clare gloats. Nobody, it seems, can ‘snuff‘ her out. It would be a pass to governments worldwide: Clare Rewcastle-Brown is the people! The immediate cause of her jubilation is MYR130,000 (GBP 24,000) she had raised online from 500 ‘supporters’ out of the a world population of, shall we say, 6 billion? She calls the money ‘Justice Fund‘ which is for lawyer and court expenses arising from a defamation suit brought against her by one brown-skin Ali named PAS. (If Justice Fund is yet another ponzi scheme, like 1MDB, Malaysia is sucked in again, only this time by a White woman instead of some made-in-Wharton Anglophiles and Arabian towel heads.)

For the moment, return to 2015 because, by then, Clare must have sensed, like Assange, she could crush any government and not just the British ones (that is, British so long as it is not named after a Brown). This is the sort of power over not specific, influential individuals but especially entire institutions, indeed an entire way of life even if foreign to her.

Clare is no Kafka (against bureaucracy) nor Virginia Woolf (against reality). What she lacked in intellectual power she would make up with an instrument and something far less tangible. The first is called the Internet, the second is her left morality.

Delivering the second into the first, and from 12,000 km away, she would bring to Malaysia the western dichotomy of state versus individual. In this is the idea that anyone with a private life must have something to hide, a notion not far behind her Christian upbringing in which sin is a natural state — all are born into it; there is no escape. Privacy, thus, is the liberal version of the biblical story she would have heard since a child: don’t go the apple of that tree! When curiosity got the better of Eve and she did, there was the hidden Sin waiting.

In modern day terms, the end of (government) privacy is the end of dictatorship, exposed in all its hideous nakedness. There is a caveat to this demand: only individuals are entitled to privacy but not persons in the like of Najib Razak or Jho Low, even if any of them is not in government. Thus is Jho Low exposed in his sins, living up with White women, necking on board yachts, driveling his head into the tits of Paris Hilton. The Internet has never been a private place for safe chat room conversations.

In Clare’s double standards, privacy, so it appears, is something she bestows and is applicable only when it goes beyond the gates her own cunt. Other people are fair game because it is the righteous thing to do; that is, she is doing journalistic exposes; she is doing the world a favor; she is doing good deeds (however defined).

Out of this contradictory, morality ways of White society, what is considered acceptable conduct is therefore what Clare says it is. As in Karl Kraus (top of page quotation), western morality has always been who says it is, never if it is right or reasoned in. (In Chinese intellectual thought, we have always, always insisted on the opposite.)

This — her ultimate revolt against her upbringing — was long due. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, declaring the end of western culture and the death of God, had seen it coming 100 years before Clare. That, all her Christian values being an utter sham, she becomes her own god. Being her own god is the 11th Commandment issued: Thou shall not fornicate with governments.

Thus is made universal a morality that had once belonged solely to her society and, from which it had arisen, the privacy that had only been applicable to her bedroom. Does it therefore surprise you that the Clares of England would spawn such like-minded Anglophiles as different in age and in background as Hannah Yeoh, Josh Hong, Sumisha Naidu and Annabelle Lee? Or in such duplicitous Malay characters as varied as Zaid Ibrahim, Ahirudin Attan, Mahathir Mohamad, then back down to unknown bigots like Eddy Daud?

In this upended, new moralistic, liberal order, Clare sees governments as an inherent Evil to be done away with and it didn’t matter if it isn’t her government: ‘I’m doing it for mankind’. She actually believes she is saving the world. (In Mahathir’s heydays when Clare hadn’t yet made a name for herself and when mankind was limited only to the British Labour party, Ahi Attan, duly reporting, would quote the Old Horse to condemn western interference in the Sarawak jungles, saying, ‘the West only want the Penans to study as museum pieces‘. Today, Mahathir wants Clare’s intervention.)

Because Clare’s entire moral existence survives only on the Net (Sarawak Report in particular), could she afford to step out of it? Of course not, because, if she did, she would fall apart; so frail is the Ego grown in the orchards of Eden.

Westerners never would have imagined that in their post-Christian world, they could have no crutches to lean on once they each made themselves god: the mind would be out of their bodies, and their God out of their souls. But, that it has happened simply showed that with privacy gone there can be no soul because it is the only thing private that there is left. The soul is the only place where all privacy finds refuge; it is the only thing internal to the person.

Out of sight, out of mind, as they like to say.

This result, brought ashore to Malaysia, is as unsettling as it is devastating. Unsettling because Najib Razak could find no refuge from Clare Rewcastle-Brown, Malays would become comical Alis, though we, the Chinese, raised in the ways of our ancestors and by Confucius, are inoculated against Clare’s apple poison.

And the devastation is this, the more Najib et al challenge her, the more determined Clare becomes. It’s her Life after all, so that the more exposes there is to expose, the more invigorating it is for her, proving the idea that once privacy falls onto the feet of Mrs Brown, it works in inverse relationship: the wider the world of Najib is prised opened, the greater is Clare’s success in violating the man’s closet.

But for all that to work, really work, Clare needs a relentless stream of digital information coming into her Apple laptop. Picture then a woman glued to her computer screen night and day waiting, under her new found freedom, to wake up the world to its own perils. It is another contradiction but, for her, there is simply no other better sustenance, pathetic as it appears.

Clare on the Net is like a girl play-dressing Barbie dolls on an App or a boy 24/7 hooked on Internet games. She would be too narcissistic (recall that God is her) to recognize her own failings and mistakes or simply to step back and be restrained about it all. That is, What if she is wrong? Wrong about Najib, about Malaysia, about its institutions. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is another explanation for those secretive, anti-private papers on which she overdoses herself. Truth, after all, is not necessarily a matter of pure numerical values.

But her morality permits nothing of the sort.

Even if she does come round to it, Clare, by which time, would have moved on, to another morality march, another conquest, other souls to save. Her sense of reality is too drugged by her goodness to be disentangled from it. More likely she would shrug it off her shoulders as an addition to life’s experiences: ‘Too bad, it happened to some Alis. I was only trying to do good‘.

With Clare, as with PAS mufti and imam towel heads, regret is a passivity. And, whether it is with Jesus or Mahathir or Mahathir’s Allah, God is never, never, never, never, never known to have expressed a regret; they are un-human after all.

Of course, now with 130K ringgit in her pockets, Clare could say, Malaysia invited her in as if she needed an invitation. White people, westerners, have never bothered to ask permission when they came to Malacca, Hong Kong or China. They don’t need an invitation. People like Clare see it as an inevitability, in political terms today, their ‘right’, because the message from her god is, ‘Go forth and multiply’.

Multiply she did. In Malaysia multiplying was easier than in any other country because its fields were long ago tilled with Anglophile souls, from Kit Siang to Hannah, from Mahathir to Zaid.

What to do?

Perhaps we should treat Clare and her ‘stories’ as just that, a whole funfair of existential provocations, in which, under a tent, there is a merry-go-round that you jump on and off, just for the hack of it. In such a Clare-induced world, everybody can be anybody, riding a horse one minute, unicorn the next, swinging here and there. Or, picture yourself inside a hall of mirrors then treat this Clare-induced reality as no big deal. That is, her stories are just a contortionist idea and when you’re done with the fun, we can say, that’s not us. Or, alternatively, see Clare as the clown in the ring. Her spectacle has to end some time when not soon so that we, the spectators, are bound to return to our lives, as banal as it is challenging but more real then the image of her wedded to a computer as she is driven in her illusion of saving the world.

Power though is on her side — the freedom of the Internet, so they say — and also because she alone defines morality. But we have this other source of power: it is the realization that, in the end, she will amount to nothing because, really, think about it, what could be more frivolous than a clown running a dog and pony show? It is, to say the least, unreal; it’s just a game.

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Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr: In Clare’s society and in her value system, such a white woman fucked by a Chinaman would be considered sacrilegious not too long ago. Not true? Read it in Steinbeck. Sumisha Naidu, Anglophile at Channel News Asia, thinks so too: it would be ‘obscene’, as obscene as Watsons is obscene, she’d say.

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Of course, a character such as Seet Li Lin, one of the second-tier 1MDB Singaporean operatives, is a motherfucker and, no thanks to Clare for pointing it out. Why? Because and note this: he, like Jho Low, was educated out of Clare’s value system and in her white culture, speaking like her and thinking in terms of ‘gaming’ the system (Li’s word). That man, also like Jho Low, even manages to toss around his name so badly you have to wonder which of the three words actually belongs to his family. While Clare is her own god, Li is his own father, and each of who is their own morality, going by their own rules. It’s freedom, you see.

Clare sits on Li’s flip side of the same White society coin, he to ‘game’ the system in one direction and Clare comes from the opposite side to expose it. In this collision, her ‘stories’ are peppered and laced with the same self-righteous morality (‘damning, eye-wateringly, extravagant, debauchery’) as Li’s reference to his self-centered individuality. As if that isn’t enough, Clare pitches her language to one of racial ridicule (‘Miranda’s pudgy admirer; the brass-necked, bumbling Alis’).

The problem always lay with the colored, not the Whites. So, where Miranda was concerned, Clare must have thought: How could a pretty White girl like her end up with such a fat, ugly Chinaman with an unpronounceable name. Such a racial thought cannot be a surprise: Sumisha Naidu, Indian paragon of White anti-racism and tilled in the grounds of Clare’s morality, made the exact same racist remark of Jho Low, asking the question not of him but her instead. How could Miranda…! But it isn’t a question.

As it was with Watsons against who Sumisha had railed against for racism all because the company wishes to sell some skin whitening gel that Indian girls wanted for beauty’s sake, Jho Low is also a marked man. Sumi, like Hanah Yeoh, like Clare, know how to veil their racism: when it is politically correct to do so.

There is no implying here that Clare’s so-called ‘stories’ served no political or legal purpose. But, given her racism (Comical Alis, Jho Low and Miranda) then her intent, purpose, and motives fall into question. Fundamental to which is her ethical standards: Since when has she been the benchmark of good conduct made applicable to all and sundry?

Clare the dubious narrator is made the more self-evident when she hides her own life in the shadows of the banner called Sarawak Report. Like the infamous Assange, hiding behind WikiLeaks, she has promoted herself as indispensable to her ’cause’ (whatever that is) so that, in the process, the image that emerges is a Clare Rewcastle-Brown as narcissistic as she is unreliable. For one thing, they do the same same western-styled public relations that they routinely condemn.

In less flattering terms, she is a hypocrite. And, like the early Scottish arrivals who, unemployed and unemployable at home, would enter Malaysia and find, to their surprise, that in this land they would be treated like some well-heeled half-icon, half-god. After which they would justify their presence to say they were building up the land, developing it for the good of tree-dwelling idiots, those Comical Alis.

Two hundred years on, Clare showed she still had learned nothing, not the history and not the people she today feigns to serve, and she is still as bigoted as she is racist, and never pausing to drive herself into the local consciousness. She even considers Malaysia her entitlement.

Little does she know that if she was going to call Malays names, it would give her away as the penultimate condescending bitch that she is. Who does she think she is? Did she not know that only the Chinese (and Indians) are entitled to call Malays names because this is our fight, not hers, and the Malays are our compatriots when not family. Clare ridicules the Malays, Clare answers to us.

White people and their stories matter little to us, and that we have had enough of their intrusions, their hypocrisy, their god, their morality, their irrationality.

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https://i0.wp.com/i2.sarawakreport.org/e/a/5/2/5/ea52526cb2952b1405ecaf5fa16e02243efa8131.jpg

Seet Li Lin (right) with Riza Aziz: one faces possible jail while the other has so far escaped public scrutiny.

Both men are as different as chalk and cheese, birthed in different societies then grew up in separate countries. So what brings them together? It can’t be just money. But soccer? Try, however, imagining something else, something deeper.

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Neither Clare nor her White society has the monopoly on what is justice and fairness, or in differentiating frugality from accountability. Her notions of evil and good in conflict are also not ours. Such differences in our worldviews are for good reasons and, to see why, start with a simple question: by what standards does Clare imposes her morality on ours? Or, whose standards?

We believe our standards are rational, but not hers. And because values are the result of a rational endeavor then they can’t be universal either. And without this universality, our values are not White values; and, indeed, those that are held by Clare and propagated by her god are complete nut jobs.

Seeing as we are different, where then is Clare’s moral authority to decide if the squandering of 1MDB money is immoral for having spent on, she says, ‘debauchery’? If there is a failing in 1MDB, it would be our failure, by our standards, not hers.

Now, should the day happen we shoot Jho Low in the head we have no doubt she will flip around, do a somersault and scream human rights.

Clare, you are truly fucked up; so leave us alone, go back to school and get a real education. But then, of course, why should you listen to us? You are the superior one, the Laojie, after all, and in your eyes we are, if not Ching Chong Chinaman, just a bunch of Comical Alis deserving only of your contempt and derision. Besides, being superior, you believe, by telling us how to act, you are here to save us from ourselves.

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Three Inches of Heaven 三寸天堂

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青青子衿、悠悠我心 qing qing my collar qing

What we did to a 2,500-year-old poem

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China in tumult some 2,500-old years ago, there were as many as 14 self-ruling states (map above) before these were whittled down to five then three and leaving finally the Qin dynasty. This era, known as the Warring States, was also one of the most immensely productive, spawning the works of Confucius, Laozi, Sima Qian, printing, metallurgy (weaponry) and agricultural innovations (canals and systematic irrigation). Thrown into this range were lots of poetry and, thanks to numerous historians, they have been handed down to us.

These poems, even in their present-day translations, read remarkably modern-day. One of which that endured is simply known as, innocent enough, The Collar 子衿, today anthologized in the 诗经 shijing, or The Book of Songs, one of the five most important classics surviving from that era.

The actual poet is still a mystery. What we know is that the poem came from the State of Zheng. That it endured is owed to its terseness, down-to-earth simplicity, its repetitive, sing-song quality and especially its theme, the longing for the return of one’s love. It meant that the poet is very likely a woman, educated, of course, and perhaps the daughter of a high ranking official employed in the palace because the lines mentioned of her waiting at the gate walls looking out.

In Beijing today, artistes and film directors have taken the same poem and, without altering a word, staged the poetry into a dance and theater, with the entire enterprise resting solely on its three couplets. Here it is below, and there is nothing like this in the western literary world or its theater (watch on full screen):

 

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The poem’s title in Chinese is, 诗经·国风·郑风·《子衿》, in translation ‘Shijing, National style of the State of Zheng, The Collar.’ This is not as long as you think.

Because China is a warehouse of ancient literary works, these have to be categorized. Thus, for this particular poem it is identified first by its published source, that is, the 诗经 shijing, or The Book of Odes, also called Book of Poetry or Songs. This published source-name is followed by the stylistic origin of the work, in this case, the National style of the State of Zheng or 国风·郑风. Finally, the poem title itself, The Collar 子衿 zijin.

The lines, in traditional form and its pinyin version, read (source is here):

青青子衿、悠悠我心。 qīng qīng zǐ jīng,yōu yōu wǒ xīn
縱我不往、子寧不嗣音。 zòng wǒ bù wǎng,zǐ nìng bú sì yīn

青青子佩、悠悠我思。 qīng qīng zǐ peì, yōu yōu wǒ sī
縱我不往、子寧不來。zòng wǒ bù wǎng, zǐ nìng bù lái

挑兮達兮、在城闕兮。 tiǎo xī dá xī, zài chéng què xī
一日不見、如三月兮。 yí rì bú jiàn, rú sān yuè xī

In translation (by shuzheng):

qing qing my collar qing, echo echo my heart throbs.
if I go not to you, might you not at least send me word?

qing qing your pendant qing, echo echo my mind rings.
if I go not to you, might you not at least come to me?

standing at the gate tower I look out into the distance.
one day not seeing you seems now like three months long.

Because hanzi is monosyllable, its poems are best sung, as much as they ought to be read aloud. This practice is still used today in the Chinese schools in Malaysia where bigoted Anglophiles (Khoo Kay Peng, Lisa Ng) and ignorant Malays, seeing and hearing it, scorn at the recitation as rote-learning. But, the poem, delivered in this way, produces a deep sense of intense longing as if the poet, pleading to her love with her life and on her knees, finds her personal loss quite unendurable.

The title itself is very queer and so is the first line, 青青子佩、悠悠我思 qing qing my collar qing. This mystery is lifted once you think about it: What hangs round a neck collar and makes a chiming sound?

This object, a pendant, which had left a deep mark and triggered the sorrow, might have been the only possession he had left with her before leaving. But, why pendant? One guess is this: the man is probably a soldier, an army officer who must leave behind his civilian ornaments before going to war. That, or they were just married or engaged.

Did he return? There is no knowing because no other poem from the poet came down to us. Furthermore, the State of Zheng, today Henan and surrounding parts, was eventually overtaken and seized by Zhou.

Below is an upbeat version without any attempt to convey the emotion in the poem.

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Artifacts developed during the Warring States

https://i2.wp.com/www.csstoday.com/UploadFiles/Dialogue/2015/9/201509241535271996.jpg

Left side are bamboo strips, resident today in a Shanghai museum, that were used during the Warring States period. The right side is the rendering in the modern hanzi written form.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/Warring_States_Traction_Trebuchet_Model.jpg/280px-Warring_States_Traction_Trebuchet_Model.jpg

On display in China: model of the recoiling trebuchet, precursor to today’s artillery. Below, currencies and sword.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQL4s-zM8LR4dNX6Bc5OSiuPpJ40AFRRNK_V50_65kjFqxwnl_a

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Painting on lacquer ware from the State of Chu (704–223 BC). Note that 4-color printings were already available then.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Jade_dragon.jpg

Garment ornament made from carved jade. Origin of state unknown. The above poem zijin was referring to one of these sorts of ornament.

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The Confucianist Lee Hsien Loong

Few things irk the Chinese more than to see family matters laundered in public, given especially a family in public office. Anglophiles have no problem with that — they don’t know what’s propriety — hence Lee Hsein Loong’s brother and sister.

Properly raised, no Chinese would read into the clip, above, that Lee is a Chinese or that he is a famous Chinese PM or a PM with a hidden agenda, to save his political life. They see, on the basis of his arguments, tone and demeanor — above all, his apology and how he intends to remedy the damage — a good man instead, a man of virtue, properly raised. He was especially fair to himself.

But, what does Mahathir Mohamad see and hear? Why does he hate Singapore — that is, the Chinese — so much? What cause have we, the Chinese, given him to spit at us, even today? With Mahathir’s way, the Umno Malay way, the result is this.

Firdaus Abdullah at A Tale of Two Prime Ministers has rightly raised the pertinent points comparing Lee and Najib Razak. And not because one is Chinese, the other Malay, which bigoted racists like Ahi Attan and Annie of the Valley are wont to do, without batting an eye. This is, as it should be, the way to inspire true loyalty, the way to inspire confidence, the way to conduct relations, Malays among themselves and between Malays and Chinese: sincerity, introspection and virtue.

The Analects: 子曰。爲政以德、譬如北辰居其所而衆星共之。 [In transl.] The Master said: “If you govern with the power of your virtue, you will be like the North Star. It just stays in its place while all the other stars position themselves around it.”

[Muller’s comment] This is the Analects’ first statement on government. Scholars of Chinese thought have commonly placed great emphasis on a supposed radical distinction between Confucian “authoritative” government and Daoist “laissez-faire” government. But numerous Confucian passages such as this which suggest of the ruler’s governance by a mere attunement with an inner principle of goodness, without unnecessary external action, quite like the Daoist wu-wei are far more numerous than has been noted. This is one good reason for us to be careful when making the commonplace Confucian/Daoist generalizations without qualification.

Analects again: 有子曰。信近於義、言可復也。恭近於禮、遠恥辱也。因不失其親、亦可宗也。[In transl.] You Zi said: “When your own trustworthiness is guided by fairness, your words can be followed. When your show of respect is guided by propriety, you will be far from shame and disgrace. If you have genuine affection within your family, you can become an ancestor.”

[Muller’s comment] Fairness is one way of rendering of the Chinese yi 義, which we also translate in this text as Justice, according to the context. Although not quite as essential a concept as ren 仁, it is a strongly internalized human capacity. Being attuned to fairness allows people to do the proper thing in the proper situation, to give each person, place and thing its proper due. In the Analects and other Confucian texts, 義 has the specific connotations of fairness, or justice delivered in a situation when a person is in a position of power or authority. Thus, one of the greatest qualities to be possessed by teacher, a supervisor, a judge, a company owner, or the leader of any social circle is that of fairness, or justice, in treating those over whom he or she has power or influence.

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Updated with Zainuddin Maidin

Zam: You tahu saya siapa?

Sure we tau, you’re some motherfucking Malaiyoo prick from Mahathir.

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Why are you dragging PM Lee into your Malaiyoo affairs, Zam? So, what slap? Your character, indeed your entire life, is as vile and as base — and stupid — as it gets with an Umno Malaiyoo. While praying to your Allah, go fuck your mother, Zam. Especially if she’s dead. And if you aren’t satiated, fuck your father too.

Keep doing this Zam, we’ll know what we should do. Motherfucker.

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China’s Revival (not the Spratlys)

In the following three video clips, China’s women have done it again, taking to a new high point in Chinese performing arts: dance + painting + music + poetry + theater + history

星月神話 Myth of the Constellation

(Play it on full screen.)

金莎

千年之後的你會在哪裡
身邊有怎樣風景
我們的故事並不算美麗
卻如此難以忘記

如果當初勇敢的在一起
會不會不同結局
你會不會也有千言萬語
埋在沉默的夢里

Where will you be the next millennium?
Beside you, will all be the same.
Our story is not the most beautiful
but, in this way, how hard it is to forget

If at the time we were altogether brave
would not the outcome be different,
would you not be chatting away,
or bury in your dream, your silence…

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Jian dressed for rehearsal…

纵我不往,子宁不来? Even if I did not go to you, might you not come to me? / At the gate tower I look out anxious into the distance / Days are gone for so long without you beside me… How, for you, shall I and Motherland compete…

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An Afterword

穿越時空 錯相逢
千年情緣 夢醒空
畫中踏情 夕陽紅
來世再見 已千年

It might be in time, a chance meeting be a mistake,
as if waking from a dream, one millennium away.
As if once stamped on canvas, a red sunset
is goodbye till we’d meet the next millennium, life.

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采薇舞

子衿

[Video note: What you see isn’t a stage set, but on location in the old imperial palace grounds, Beijing. Play on full screen.]

青青子衿,悠悠我心 纵我不往,子宁不嗣音 青青子佩,悠悠我思 纵我不往,子宁不来 挑兮达兮,在城阙兮 一日不见,如三月兮。

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Han Rejuvenation

Chinese etiquette and ritual culture, pivoted on tradition, beauty, arts, a value system and history:

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https://i0.wp.com/www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/Images/YY50BG.gif

Human purpose and, with it, his character changed forever when the Daodejing 道德經 composition was completed around 200BCE. It also guarded Chinese society (and Korean and Japanese and Vietnamese) from the terror and destructive consequences of Christianity and Islam; the Chinese being fortunate to have an antidote before the birth of the poison of dogma from Jesus and Mohammad and the barbarians they subsequently spawned.

Of Daodejing’s conventional translation into English, The Book of Tao, the title says nothing. Chinese don’t obey the rules of western syntax nor semantics (why should we) so that, taking its actual contents as guide, 道德經 should read as ‘Classical Principles in Ethics‘ wherein dao = way as in a highway or route; de = inner character or strength, today called virtue; so that 道+德= 道德daode=ethical principles; and 經jing=book/classic/canon which as a standalone definition is redundant; of course, this is a book. (Englishmen and Scottish, the Xaviers and La Salle preachers, so overdose with doctrine and god theology, can be stupid. So stupid, they called Daoism a religion, like Jesus Christ is a religion.)

Correct naming, such as in translation, is important. The Daodejing (Ch 1, Mitchell translation):

Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Recall Liu Tezuo 刘特佐 (Jho Low) telling the diamond sellers to keep everything secret, recall the PM’s office complaining about the DOJ’s ‘gratuitous naming‘, recall the secrecy wrapped around the investigations and the money laundering. All of which so clearly shows that, though the PM have few advisers (actually just macai) ethnically Chinese, a character like Jho knows nothing about what goes into Chinese thinking:

若要人不知除非己莫为 = if you don’t want anyone to know, don’t do it.

This, above, is a principle so down-to-earth that it beats all Christian abstract injunctions, for example, Do no evil. Because, the first problem, what’s evil? Whose evil? Daodejing:

The world recognizes beauty,
only because there’s ugly.
People see good,
only because there’s bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Evil was created by the good, and good by evil. That’s to also say, if evil ceases to exist altogether, nobody could do good because it won’t be recognizable. The West in the person of Saul Bellow had only just discovered this notion; so profound they thought he was awarded the Literature Nobel prize. Writing in the Dangling Man, 1994, Bellow argued through a character how a man locked up alone in a cell, with nothing except for the surrounding walls, could be neither good nor evil, and so unrecognizable as a human; like a day-old baby, useless and meaningless even to himself. He would need another human to be himself recognizable. (Which is why, with Albert Camus, suicide is the ultimate self-consciousness.)

Within this interdependent, inter-exchange motion of duality, God if he were any good at all would have to make Jho Low a thieving, fraudulent character, not the Chinese. (We can’t create nature.) The reason being, a thieving Low would make Jesus look like the ultimate good — and the inane Bible (or Quran) necessary to sell. A thieving Najib is already making Mahathir, a man equally base in character, beginning to look like a saint. Yet, just as Umno made Mahathir and Mahathir Najib, Najib made Umno. To save Malaysia, all have to be removed then start over.

Low again:

This — size matters — is so Anglophile, thrown around a million times that the English-educated like Low think nothing of repeating the trite which, as a principle, is badly flawed. Daodejing (Ch 11, Waley translation) in contrast:

  • We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.
  • We turn clay to make a vessel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.
  • We pierce doors and windows to make a house; And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.
  • Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the usefulness of what is not.

Daodejing principles once properly translated has a modern, even scientific sense in them and, therefore, immensely profound. There, in those lines, is the analogous marriage of the physical characteristics of space, void and matter with the human sense-feelings of being adrift, uselessness, emptiness and vacuousness. Size doesn’t matter; nothingness matters.

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三寸天堂 Three Inches of Heaven

All, pure erhu

Someone, a German, called the erhu the most emotional musical instrument belonging to the Chinese. Perhaps he is right.

From 永安 Yung An: 三寸天堂 Three Inches of Heaven

The vocal version

步步驚心,刻骨銘心。 夢回大清,愛恨難清。 是是非非,隔世再敘。 兩世宿命,豈非天定?

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From 宋飞 Song Fei with the 中国中央民族乐团, China Central Orchestra

Performance in Vienna: She is so natural…like she is one with the instrument. Watch and listen to the crescendo at 4:16 then in the closing bars 5:25

二泉映月

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From 賈鵬芳 Jia Pengfang, a Sino-western combination.

情侣 To my Love, in China

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Travel Worries 旅愁

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Pure strings, pure energy!

战马奔腾 or simply 赛马. Either way, in English, this neo-classical piece is titled: Galloping Horses. In all versions, note the parts in which the strings are beaten (they didn’t break) to imitate the sound of horses at war, galloping and panting.

 Version #1: single erhu and string quartet combination. Performed in Canada by Gao Shaoqing 高韶青, one of China’s top erhu masters.

Version #2: With the Russia Symphony

Version #3: Pure erhu. This is the conventional version, performed by Hong Kong students, and is the best of three so far. They made music underscore the real, like a thousand horses charging!

Extra X-Version: Below is a solo experimental with an electronic erhu! Blasphemy!

Verdict: F for Flop! 放弃吧 好像马要死了

The guy on the street, below, does an even far better job.

This is dedicated to all erhu street performers. 祝你们顺利

Street music performance is as old as Chinese civilization.

The piece played below was composed by a blind street erhu performer 80, 90 years ago, someone who had the same, impoverished beginnings, a time of war and widespread hunger. He died, still poor, but his composition outlived him. Song Fei 宋飞 (near to top of section) played the same piece in Vienna: a single instrument, so ancient, contributed to give China hope and helped sustain our people and our spirits. 中国加油!

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The Prophet of Gelugor answers the Press

Mkini Mob: Bagi comment sikit?

SY: You mau comment? You first suck my dick.

Mob: Will you step down?

SY: Who asked that? Come out! I’ll step on you. I’ll shit on you.

Mob: Will you apologize?

SY: Apologize to stupid assholes? Never!

Mob: Do you have a daughter?

SY: What is it to you? You have one? Give her to me… Bodoh! You tahu saya siapa?

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O! Malaiyoo!


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Love Jiangshan, you’d love Beauty

西边儿黄河流
来呀来个酒啊
不醉不罢休

West the Yellow River flows
Come, come my Wine
Unless drunk, I shan’t give up

李丽芬: 爱江山更爱美人

道不尽红尘奢恋
诉不完人间恩怨
世世代代都是缘
流着相同的血
喝着相同的水
这条路漫漫又长远
红花当然配绿叶
这一辈子谁来陪
渺渺茫茫来又回
往日情景再浮现
藕虽断了丝还连
轻叹世间事多变迁
爱江山 更爱美人
哪个英雄好汉宁愿孤单
好儿郎 浑身是胆
壮志豪情四海远名扬
人生短短几个秋啊
不醉不罢休
东边儿我的美人哪
西边儿黄河流
来呀来个酒啊
不醉不罢休
愁情烦事别放心头

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Waiting on the West shore for Love

降央卓玛 : 西海情歌

自你離開以後,
從此就丟了溫柔,
等待在這雪山路漫長,
聽寒風呼嘯依舊。

一眼望不到邊,
風似刀割我的臉。
等不到西海天際蔚藍,
無言這蒼茫的高原。

還記得你答應過我不會讓我把你找不見,
可你跟隨那南歸的候鳥飛得那麼遠。
愛像風箏斷了線,
拉不住你許下的諾言!
我在苦苦等待雪山之巔溫暖的春天,
等待高原冰雪融化之後歸來的孤雁。
愛再難以續情緣,
回不到我們的從前 ……

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From the West Sea, a Love Song

Since you left
My spirit, too, leaves.
Waiting by the snow mountain,
The road is long
Chill winds scream, as usual.
I take a look…

There is no end in sight.
Like a knife the wind cuts my face.
Shall I wait till the West Sea turns blue?
Not a word from the highlands.

Do you still remember your promise to me?
That you’d never let me miss you,
Yet you follow the wild geese fly far south.
Now, love feels like a kite on a broken string in flight.
I shan’t hold you to your promise,

Still, I wait, in deep sorrow
For the spring’s warmth to return to these snow mountains;
Wait till the snow melts in the highlands
For the goose to return, alone.
But love finds hard to go on, for
I know, it won’t return to the way we were.

***


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Jian who is 一万 li away: Wishing Us Forever

Western pop singers don’t recite poetry. But our Chinese singers do.

Below is 但願人長久 [Wishing Us Forever] by Faye Wong 王菲, the lyrics of which are an exact copy of 水调歌头 [Water Melody: A Prelude], the Song era poem by Su Shi 苏轼 (sometimes pen name Su Dongpu, 1037-1101)

Ci 词 — a sort of ‘free verse’ in modern Western form — is so highly stylized it can be sung. Many of today’s Chinese songs, labelled ‘pop’ by ignorant Anglophile idiots and stupid Malaysiakini editors, are actually ci put to music with the original verses often left intact although they are usually re-titled like the one above.

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但願人長久 / 水调歌头

明月幾時有 把酒問青天
不知天上宮闕 今夕是何年

我欲乘風歸去 唯恐瓊樓玉宇 高處不勝寒
起舞弄清影 何似在人間
轉朱閣 低綺戶 照無眠
不應有恨 何事長向別時圓 (月時圓)
人有悲歡離合 月有陰晴圓缺
此事古難全 但願人長久 千里共嬋娟

[In translation, the last few lines.]

People have their grief and joy, togetherness and separation,
The moon, too, may be dark and clear, waxing and waning
Such as it is since the beginning of time.
But, together, we see the beauty of the moon a thousand miles apart.

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Hurry! For at the Grassland my Love waits….

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我的爱  答应的。。。

你有用功训练吗

我可以开幕式到达

Above, the exquisite and finale begins from roughly 7:30 when the conventional opera is sidelined — it can be inhibiting — and in its stead drama and language seize center stage.

The opera art is still alive everywhere in the Motherland. It has outlasted the Commies, who couldn’t eradicate it.

貴妃醉酒

Confused? Forget then the singing. Pay attention instead to the visual, movements, costumes, stage design, the like.

And note the progression from the classical to the modern, combining elements of the operatic and the rap.

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In Defence of Namewee

Now, take any of the above and compare it to Namewee’s ‘Oh My God!‘ (clip below). See similar elements? No?

Namewee’s act is a derivative of an ancient art form, adopting a street version, using a modern-day religion theme, then given the rap beat. It is, to us — how shall we say it? — raw and rough, but the man can do whatever he wants with the art. Only a Chinese Malaysian, having lived among Malays and Indians such as Namewee, could produce such a thing. Insult Islam? Oh, my god!

Truth be said: Those arsehole Malaiyoos just want to find a Chinaman to nail so that they now can say, Gotcha! They see Islam purely from their racist standpoint and it has gone to the extent that the police, helping them to justify the racism, then throw in the part about Namewee ‘insulting other faiths’ as well. See, a Daoist filing a police complaint, not just this but anything?

Truly, those motherfuckers. Namewee, stay there, don’t come back; it’s pointless. It doesn’t happen this year, it will happen the next and on and on and on.

Namewee’s own defense, below. Note he’s unapologetic because, really, is he out to malign Islam? Or even any religion? What he say is true: The moment he steps out of Malaysia, he becomes a Malaysian, not a Chinese, and finds himself with an unenviable task of defending and supporting Malays, his childhood neighbors and probably even schoolmates. It’s a thankless task, and this is his reward. Oh, what the fuck: From nothing they can make a mountain.

Is that motherfucker named Helen Ang gloating over this: ‘See, told you so. The Chinese are up to their mischief again.

Fuck them all!

 

 

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周子瑜

放弃吧。 放弃

  • JYP
  • 台湾
  • 中国
  • 韩国

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来马来西亚。 我们有:

辣死你媽 nasi lemak

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黃明志 Namewee

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四葉草 Joyce Chu

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人情 也有家有爱 rasa sayang

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雪 snow

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纳吉大哥 很有钱…and Najib Razak, he is very rich.

Tak cukup? Apa lagi you mahu?

 

 

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Letter to J.Y. Park, JYP Entertainment Corp.

J.Y. Park, above, also on YouTube

The nine-member TWICE K-pop team. Chou Tzu-yu is in the center. Below, Tzu-yu’s apology which never says specifically for what. There is an official version issued by the Korean JYP Entertainment Corp but the English translation when not atrocious is inaccurate. The one here is not much better in the translation but it’ll have to do.

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(This is a suggested letter for the parents of Chou Tzu-yu, or Zhou Ziyu in pinyin.)

Dear Mr J.Y. Park

Thank you Mr Park for, again, your company’s clarification which we have just received and read not once but five times. Counting the one from you in person a few days ago, there have been altogether three letters in one week. Or is it four? Five? Sorry, we hadn’t been counting.

All that raises a dilemma: Where, as Tzu-yu’s parents, do we start in order to reply to you. Which letter? All? And then to reply, we wonder, Are those letters genuine? That is, we have to presumed that they had come from your goodself and from JYP Entertainment Corp., and not from some impostors. These days over the Internet, you never can tell.

We say that also because those letters when they are not vacuous they say roughly the same thing, using only different words in the translated English. Do you write in English or Korean, Mr Park? Chou Tzu-yu didn’t have much schooling — and this failure is ours, over which we can’t even begin to forgive ourselves because is too late to mitigate the damage already done to her life.

What about you, Mr Park? Are you literate, by which we mean, do you know how to spell in Roman letters? Can you compose an essay? A letter? Whether one or the other, there is a structure to writing wherein you say what you mean and then set out those points in an orderly, coherent fashion.

We say these because your letters will show who and what you are. If you are confused and sloppy the words will show. Here’s an example from your personal letter, quoted herewith verbatim:

“I apology sincerely to those who have supported me, my company and its artists. We have let everybody know, we have hurt everybody’s feelings. In order to make up for the hurt and to repay your support, we will continue to work to contribute towards cultural exchanges between China and South Korea.”

We’ll let go the poor grammar, vocabulary and bad syntax and consider only your intended meanings. You have said nothing in your letter nor in that passage about what is it you are apologizing so, please, forgive us if we take the context and background from what we read online and elsewhere, all of which information suggest that you are talking about the photographs captured of Tzu-yu raising a Taiwanese flag then circulated online.

But, tell us, what’s the wrong that needs your humble apology? We don’t care if it is a moral wrong or political, or even implied; tell us anyway. We are curious: What’s the ‘hurt’ that you and your artistes (not ‘artists’) are said to have inflicted on ‘everybody’s feelings’? The fact that Tzu-yu had the flag in her hand? Or, because it is the wrong flag? If it’s the wrong flag, what’s the right one?

From what we can tell, there was a flag placed on a top bunk bed which was set aside for her. That flag came along with others in other beds for the respective South Korean and Japanese members of the TWICE team.

If, say, the five-star People’s Republic of China was given Tzu-yu, would that be right flag?

Now, be careful there, before you answer Mr Park. If your answer is, ‘Yes, that’s the right flag,’ then that answer has to do with the ‘feelings’ of other people you had mentioned and which we have quoted above. By feelings, we presume you mean the feelings of the people of PRC nationality. In other words, you want to appease them, to make them happy and so that the ‘right’ flag is purely incidental to your objective. Right?

Whether right or correct or true in Tzu-yu’s case is a matter of objectivity. That is, in other words, a matter of what she really is: born in Taiwan, to us as Taiwanese parents, attending Taiwan schools — none of which is of her choosing but that’s the reality. That piece of island across Fujian province in China is called Taiwan, like it or not, feelings or no feelings, that’s the objective truth. When she enters South Korea it is on a Taiwanese passport bearing that flag that you say is the wrong one. That’s the implication coming from your answer.

We won’t go into arguments whether Taiwan is a state or a country, independent or not. You stick to your stage dancing and your cooing and your little theatrics and your illusions of grandeur. Bigger things in life are beyond you and beyond the bounds of a simply question you won’t even answer — not even once in all your letters that regurgitate your stupid remorse and your stupid explanations: Is the flag the correct one for Tzu-yu to be holding?

You see, Mr Park, if you are only concern about feelings, then you are in for more trouble: what if one of your Korean ‘artists’ has strong sentiments for North Korea. Then, going by your logic — and your sentiments — she is right to carry the North Korea flag. Feelings is more important than objective fact, you see.

Of course if you had the benefit of hindsight, JYP wouldn’t conduct that event at all, and nothing will happen; life goes on, you do your dancing, you make your money, Tzu-yu won’t be humiliated in front of the world, and everybody is happy. If you had hindsight, you will be God, Mr Park.

But you don’t need hindsight to do things right because here’s the question that, in order to be right, you never answer in any of your grovelling letters. (You know what’s to ‘grovel’ Mr Park?) You keep saying you are sorry, and sorry for what? Where is the wrong done by Tzu-yu, Mr Park?

We know from all that we wrote above it isn’t about the fact of a Taiwan flag, or the fact that Tzu-yu is Taiwanese — just as there are Koreans like you. In another way of speaking it’s the association with the Taiwan flag that bothers you. That is, what does the flag means to you, to Taiwanese like Tzu-yu and to all of China.

For that answer you are contending that Taiwanese is not Chinese, hence Tzu-yu’s public confession which, by-the-way, the world, including us, suspect you had forced on her. So then tell us, where did you get the idea that Taiwanese and Chinese are mutually exclusive. From the Internet? From Weibo subscribers in China mainland? From Huawei? Or from Huang An?

Suppose we grant you that they are mutually exclusive, then answer this, What’s a Taiwanese who isn’t Chinese or a Chinese who isn’t Taiwanese? What’s a Chinese even? Pause there to think, Mr Park, otherwise you’re going to make more mistakes. Other than your little kiddy dancing, you are not a clever person; it shows in your actions, in every letter, every word from your tongue. Worse than stupidity, you don’t even have a spine to consider things through for yourself because all that you ever say is sorry, relying on the Internet and on Huang An to tell you what to think.

Have you any idea who is Huang An or what he is?

We urge you to pause also because when you begin to move out of objectivity, into feelings, and now into questions of international politics and then to issues of identity you are entering into an area of Big Philosophical questions that you don’t have the brains for. Face it, Mr Park, you aren’t just stupid you’re also incompetent so that if you are going to be sorry, we suggest you close shop and throw your idiotic, banal life out the 10th floor window of the Korea Stock Exchange. You can’t even run a company of half-educated girls.

We won’t bother ourselves with Huang An but we’ll deal with one last point which he has raised and you’ve bought into and which is all over Tzu-yu’s apology and inferred in all your letters. It is this: Does holding a Taiwan flag mean, really mean or even suggest or indicate that the person is against One China position?

There is no need to answer that; the answer is self-evident. (You know what is self-evident, Mr Park?) The curious part is this: Why did you humiliate Tzu-yu to answer a question based purely on a supposition by, of all people, the windbag rabble-rouser named Huang An who now has nothing else to do with his life other than put down other people.

Tzu-yu doesn’t have to answer, nor you, nor the company. Let Huang An do it; he is the one making those suppositions. Instead, he throws you a bone and you dive in to take a bite. If a Taiwan flag means Against China, then let Huang An prove it. If possessing a Taiwanese identity card means Not Zhongguoren then let Huang An prove it? He has a Taiwan ID after all. But, why do you, such a motherfucker you’re, have to force Tzu-yu to prove it? Do you think that saying something makes something therefore true?

Equally appalling is this remark from your personal letter which we quote at length:

“Over the past few days, Tzuyu has suffered a lot even as she reflected upon herself. She left home at age 13 and came to South Korea. I and my company have not brought up Tzuyu properly for her parents. That is a huge mistake on the part of me and my company. We will stop all of Tzuyu’s activities in China for now, and we will properly handle all the matters that have come about as a result of this affair.”

You’ve no idea, absolutely none, Mr Park, what is it to suffer. We know. We have. And, since when did we appoint you as Tzu-yu’s foster parents? Grant that you’ve taken up that responsibility — and we thank you — you then admit that you’ve failed. If you’ve failed, what have you been teaching our daughter? What have you been doing the past two years or more? Sleeping with every girl under your care? What did Tzu-yu do or say or even thought of doing or saying that demonstrated your failure? If it’s your failure, why do you still abuse her for the world to see, humiliate her, wreck her life and then she has to, in her turn, apologize — for your failures!

Instead of standing up for her, instead of protecting her, instead of caring for her, to comfort her when, in the night, she chokes on her tears, you throw her to those Pekingese poodle dogs.

Mr Park, go fuck your mother.

Yours sincerely,

Parents of Chou Tzu-yu

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Letter #1 from Mr J.Y Park, circa Jan 11

Hello everybody, I am J.Y.Park.

First of all, I sincerely and deeply apologize for the hurt that I have caused my Chinese friends. At the same time, I have very sorry about the seriousness of this affair on my workers, Tzuyu and myself. I am very sorry.

As a result of htis incident, I have once again appreciated deeply that working with a country means having to respect the sovereignty, culture, history and the feelings of the people of that country.

All this has given a tremendous lesson to my company and its artists. In the days ahead, we will resolutely stop any such incident from occurring.

Once again, I apology sincerely to those who have supported me, my company and its artists. We have let everybody know, we have hurt everybody’s feelings. In order to make up for the hurt and to repay your support, we will continue to work to contribute towards cultural exchanges between China and South Korea.

Over the past few days, Tzuyu has suffered a lot even as she reflected upon herself. She left home at age 13 and came to South Korea. I and my company have not brought up Tzuyu properly for her parents. That is a huge mistake on the part of me and my company. We will stop all of Tzuyu’s activities in China for now, and we will properly handle all the matters that have come about as a result of this affair.

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Letter #2 from JYP Entertainment, circa Jan 15

Hello, everyone! This is JYP Entertainment.

Recently in the online world, there have been reports that our agency’s artist Tzuyu is a ‘Taiwanese independence demonstrator’. We are very sorry to those who have felt uncomfortable due to these untrue reports.

1. Our artist Tzuyu understands and respects the principle of ‘One China’ . Taiwan is Tzuyu’s homeland, and Tzuyu has an unbreakable tie with Taiwan, but that doesn’t mean all Taiwanese people are ‘Taiwan independence demonstrators’. Tzuyu has never made a comment on Taiwan’s independence, and the online public opinion that Tzuyu supports Taiwan independence is not true.

2. She supports both Korea and China in achieving an amicable state, and she understands and respects China as one. We are saying that we can not accept a situation where our company internally harms the friendly relations between both countries.

If we as an agency were lacking in managing our artists, we are very sorry, and if there are people who were hurt because of our delay in responding to Chinese netizens, then we apologize once more.

We thank you all for supporting JYP Entertainment, and we hope you all will keep giving JYP Entertainment love and attention. From now on, we will rigorously keep an eye on this situation, and prevent something like this from happening again. We hope you all will keep giving lots of advice. We apologize once again for this situation and will put in effort to work even harder in 2016.

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