Archive for the ‘Reportage’ Category


Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island? Yes, captured from Samoa where it was already surrounded by white treasure hunters when he arrived. They took everything, even the Samoan soul.


When Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are the same Liberal


Author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson first sailed into Samoa 1889 Dec 7 and this is what he wrote to his friend Charles Baxter:

I am not especially attracted by the people; they are courteous, pretty chaste, but thieves and beggars, to the weariness of those involved.

Robert Louis Stevenson and his household in Samoa

Robert Louis Stevenson and members of his household in Vailima, Western Samoa. (Back row, from left: Joe Strong, Margaret Stevenson, Lloyd Osborne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Fanny Stevenson, and the steward Simi. Stevenson’s step-daughter Belle is sitting on the right in the middle row.) 


If Samoans are by Stevenson’s Christian morality standard ‘evil,’ then he should leave. He didn’t. Instead, this is what he wrote in a letter to the British artist Trevor Haddon about the Samoans:

No man can settle another’s life for him. It is the test of the nature and courage of each that he shall decide it for himself.


Robert Louis Stevenson’s tomb.

The tombstone atop Stevenson’s mountain grave in Samoa bears as an epitaph his poem ‘Requiem.’ Even in death Stevenson continued to assert his shadow on Samoan society: Scottish literary culture.


Note that Stevenson had arrived in the era when white Europeans made seizure and plunder a way of life, normal, from one end of the world to the other, from Canada to Central America and the Falklands, from Samoa to the Andamans to Africa. After which they divided it up among themselves. The Qing Dynasty fell, the South China Sea islands changed hands, Philippines, and onwards and onwards and onwards.

Between the time Stevenson arrived and died, the Samoans began changing, first in small ways. (Note the sarong in top photo). But not Stevenson. (Check out the photo again taken after he had taken a slice out of the Samoans.)

Samoans were still a free people despite British and German agents who tried seizing their land for the coconut oil for making soap, cosmetics and some kinds of medicine. Stevenson remained a liberal. Although he supposedly ‘bought’ from the Samoans 314 acres to build his mansion, calling the estate Vailima, but what were the Samoans to do with his British currency? Later it was used to buy British goods. Until then neither Samoan economy nor their secluded, self-sufficient lives ever needed British banknotes. What the fuck off? Toilet paper?

(Here’s an aside: entire Polynesian and Micronesian economies were, once upon a time, self-sufficient by fishing mostly and growing taro, a kind of root crop. See below. After the arrival of white people, they stopped fishing and began buying and eating canned fish imported from the British and other Europeans. Ayam brand? This is how people lose their freedom: they become dependent. What also followed is worse, Samoan lives actually depended on ‘advanced’, today called ‘state-of-the-art’ British medical services and pills. Why? What was once a healthy population, latter day Samoans — and not only them but virtually all the little Pacific islands — fell sick from nutrient deficiency because they ate only processed foods, including English potatoes in cans. Today, their economies, indeed their pitiable lives, are reduced to dancing for tourists. And it’s always, always, always the same dance for tourists after tourists after tourists to music played on western-made instruments. What’s there to change for different faces?)

What changed in Samoa was this: Stevenson became a liberal in the modern sense from the old Tory conservatism he was. This explains the contradictions in his letters and Stevenson’s own hypocritical actions. He takes other people’s land and yet say this to students at a theological college:

You may make all the good laws on earth, still your land will be sold, and when your land is sold, your people will die.

He says, No man can settle another’s life for him, and while urging Western powers to stop interfering in Samoan affairs for financial reasons, yet he tells Samoans to “make a little more money.” In other words, Samoans ought to be like him, a Liberal individualist, free, capitalist, laissez faire enterprise, to accumulate. Samoan culture was, once upon a time, shared culture, scarce property being shared assets, much of the land for example, not individualist. But in his own Vailima estate, Stevenson turned Samoans into minions, a person’s life being controlled by aristocrats, through the medium of money, serving as a kind of property class, a feudal idea imported from Britain and Europe and which is entirely alien to Samoan culture and even for most of the non-white worlds.

Until the arrival of the white man bringing in their ‘civilization’ — whatever the fuck that is — Samoan lives were free to themselves, as Karl Marx might say, work in the mornings and fish in the afternoons.

Stevenson helped instead ‘settled’ the lives of Samoans today. Land gone, the Samoan died, as Stevenson say they would. They became more and more like the Western man and over the decades less and less and less like Samoans were.

Today they called this culture process ‘assimilation’, an inevitability, white people say, in Cambridge in particular. This assimilation is odd. As did happened in Samoan assimilation, Malay assimilation, Malaysian assimilation, Indian assimilation, all went one way, in one direction, all towards white ways of life, and note this, assimilation was capped by white political culture and thinking: Liberal. Freedom. Democracy. Human rights.

Assimilation became white — it becomes, and it is, Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man (1992).

This definition of Liberal, in simultaneity with Assimilation is really bizarre: entire worlds convert to western ideas about what it is to be free and have human rights and now these worlds, from the Canadian ‘Indians’ to the Aztecs in South America, from the Samoans to Zulus in South Africa are instructed — America being the biggest and loudest instructor — to adopt that and only that, the liberal benchmark on what it is to be free.

This, being liberal and democrat, being Anglophile, is what Joseph Lim Guan Eng means when he says “I’m Malaysian” although there is no native Malaysian culture, identity nor native thinking nor native political philosophy. Not even in the beginning; there was no beginning. Guan Eng’s own life, as with all Anglophiles, starting in a Johor pigsty going on La Salle and white Australia, had been subverted to only one form and one content and one benchmark. His own freedom gone, all that’s left is a whiteness. A Banana.

Even Penans of Sarawak and the Orang Asal of the Peninsula are giving way, Mahathir Mohamad being instrumental in their conversion. But one nation stood up to survive the invasion and all that plunder, the conversion, the assimilation and the havoc. The Chinese.

We Chinese have our own clothes, own food, own political philosophy, own land, own music, own ethics, own freedom, own pine trees and firs, own forest and rivers, own language, own history. We don’t need white people tell us how to live nor tell us what it is to be free. We Chinese will stand up against white people, every time, any time they come near us again. History will not be repeated. Not in our motherland, not even near us. And should Anglophiles, Indians and Muslims join white people to undermine and threaten us, we’ll crush them as well. But you wouldn’t know a thing. It’s painless. Our ancients taught us that.

Last man, Francis Nipponie Anglophile Fukuyama? The end of history, you say? You ain’t seen nothing yet, boy…

image from BloggingHeads.tv podcast

Francis Nipponie Anglophile Fukuyama: He argues that the last, perfect man in the world is, White, Liberal, Anglophile. Nothing comes after — the End of History. Of course, this is after the White, Liberal made Anglophiles of everybody, the rest of the world, one country excepting. We’ll see, Francis!



Above is the taro plant. Looks familiar?  Guess its native origin? Southeast Asia, Malaysia in particular.


Today, Samoa is a ‘protectorate’, whatever the fuck that is, of the USA. Poor Samoans, fucked by the French, British, Japanese then Americans.

For a time, a century actually, the French and the British ‘owned’ almost all the areas marked above. Today Americans treat the entire Pacific, 16,000 km wide shore to shore, like it is their property-protectorate so they decide who lives where, when, and who passes through. They have rebranded this neo-colonial policy to call it ‘freedom of navigation’.



Stevenson’s own mansion in Samoa would be something like the one above in Batu Gajah, Perak, on land paid for with with dirt-poor currency value and that is used mostly by the British at the time.

This is the same idea behind the US dollar as foreign reserves and international currency: America prints the money, literally, then uses it to buy and own assets elsewhere and with which you pay for their Boeings so you can have a holiday in London, in US dollar, after you have tucked in your fucking bowl of nasi kandar, rice imported not even from America but Thailand. These stupid ‘Malaysians’.

No wonder Lim Guan Eng is swimming in one trillion worth of debts. He was counting in as well his wife’s Betty panties and his own Gucci briefcase that hadn’t yet been settled in US dollar. What a motherfucker. But hurray!


End Note: This article draws quotations from The Weekly Standard that’s helping to sell, it says, “Joseph Farrell’s excellent book” Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa. Americans, Liberals, Anglophiles and Ahi Attan and Wong Chen will read then interpret it and say, See! White people have a heart. They are all for assimilation and freedom and reject colonialism.



A Message to our huaqiao 华侨 compatriots

Clip immediately below is for concerned overseas Chinese individuals and businesses, a FYI. Forward it if you can.

Also, prepare yourself for war and work out your lives towards that eventuality, mentally and in your daily routines without disruption. We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of Ming and Qing China, both falling to foreign invasion in spite of early warning signs, none of which they at the time took for real, even possible, China being prosperous and strong. If we fail again, it would be catastrophic to our people.

We do not go out looking for trouble. But, as did Japan and Britain before, America and its allies have today made us Chinese their enemy and so it shall be. All other talk is just wayang.

We in China are ready, our soldiers instructed, our people told, and we are still perfecting our preparations and we wish you the best. Unlike before this won’t be a war fought on Mainland soil where the population lives, and therefore will suffer the more. No, not this time.



Thought to let you all know: We have moved ahead with the electronic guqin 古琴. Here it is, though, if you are experienced, you could tell it from the original instrument 3,000 years ago…

Conventional, non electronic: the timbre variation from the old is greater.



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By all means, dissent. America is a liberal country. But it keeps the concentration camps


In the US more than 13,000 children, aged between 13 and 17, were wrenched from the arms of their parents then thrown into the detention camps like the one above. The camps are still there. For how long? Maybe Jesus Christ knows, but he ain’t saying.


Camp Rules

  • Do not misbehave.
  • Do not sit on the floor.
  • Do not share your food.
  • Do not use nicknames.
  • Do not touch another child, even if that child is your hermanito or hermanita [younger sibling].
  • Also, it is best not to cry.


Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites. — Immanuel Kant, German rationalist, ethics philosopher, 1724-1804.


I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all other species of men … to be naturally inferior to the whites. — David Hume, British ‘Enlightenment’, liberal philosopher, 1711-1776.

The Abduction of Children made Democratic


A group of about 80 American writers have released an Open Letter (below) denouncing concentration camps for immigrant kids in the US.

Isn’t it odd that in the country where liberals brag as the world’s most free, most democratic, in fact you can dissent all you want, but America gets to keep the camps — after throwing the accompanying parents out and back behind the border fence.

White British immigrants to Australia did the exact same thing except then those were native children, the Orang Asal, and they had been converted to believe in Jesus Christ and the separation from families was for life. The outright kidnap and confinement of children by Christians and white liberals has a replica-case in Malaysia: the 2010 Malaiyoo Syariah abduction of Penang school girl Tan Yimin while two Pakatan state governments watched but saw nothing.

In western liberal ideology, human rights are for the government to give. But, what a liberal government gives, it can also take away so that the liberal form of totalitarianism is near complete. All the powers of tyranny are, they say, legitimate and voted on. Can you see why natives, migrants and people like Tan Yimin — meaning, the weak, poor, the colored, ‘heathens’ and the powerless — suffer so badly because the denial of their freedom is considered lawful and actually sanctioned by the People!  Even by their Christian and Allah gods.

This white ketuanan and liberal totalitarianism wasn’t launched yesterday nor in Hitler’s time. Plato, crucible of western ideological ideas and who laid the foundations of western philosophy, suggested picking out then separating and confining certain classes of people from the general population because, he wrote, they get in the way of Athenian democracy flowering and elitist rule. (Also see quotations from Hume and Kant, above)

Even white ‘feminists’ (think Hannah Yeoh of Malaysia) were totalitarian and racist, a two-in-one (think Rais Hussin). The American suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt said: “White supremacy will be strengthened, not weakened, by women’s suffrage.” Emmeline Pankhurst, her British sister in the struggle, became a vociferous supporter of colonialism. It was not, she said, “something to decry and something to be ashamed of. It is a great thing to be the inheritors of an empire like ours.” (sic)

You get all that, these depraved minds only — and only — in white, western societies which today they bragged as liberal, free, democratic, brimming with human rights. I wager anyone to find one line advocating the same in any Chinese political text or literature, past or present.

Below is the American letter which, really, is a lot of fart and acts as a smokescreen for their totalitarianism. These liberal writers were directly culpable: they voted for Obama, all singing how wonderful a man he is and, yet, this doyen of liberalism started this — Yes, Barack Obama. He signed arrest and detention into law, therefore making the concentration camps lawful! At the time the same writers saw nothing, heard nothing.


Where tyranny is legal and lawful

Sister, Do Not Touch Your Brother

And Do Not Cry. Or Else…

In Tornillo, Texas, in rows of pale yellow tents, some 1,600 children who were forcefully taken from their families sleep in lined-up bunks, boys separated from the girls. The children, who are between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, have limited access to legal services. They are not schooled. They are given workbooks but they are not obliged to complete them. The tent city in Tornillo is unregulated, except for guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. Physical conditions seem humane. The children at Tornillo spend most of the day in air-conditioned tents, where they receive their meals and are offered recreational activities. Three workers look after groups of twenty children each. The children are permitted to make two phone calls per week to their family members or sponsors, and are made to wear belts with phone numbers written out for their emergency contacts.

However, the children’s psychological conditions are anything but humane. At least two dozen of the children who arrived in Tornillo were given just a few hours’ notice in their previous detention center before they were taken away—any longer than that, according to one of the workers at Tornillo, and the children may have panicked and tried to escape. Because of these circumstances, the children of Tornillo are inevitably subjected to emotional trauma. After their release (the date of which has not yet been settled), they will certainly be left with emotional scars, and no one can expect these children to ever feel anything but gut hatred for the country that condemned them to this unjust imprisonment.

The workers at the Tornillo camp, which was expanded in September to a capacity of 3,800, say that the longer a child remains in custody, the more likely he or she is to become traumatized or enter a state of depression. There are strict rules at such facilities: “Do not misbehave. Do not sit on the floor. Do not share your food. Do not use nicknames. Do not touch another child, even if that child is your hermanito or hermanita [younger sibling]. Also, it is best not to cry. Doing so might hurt your case.” Can we imagine our own children being forced to go without hugging or being hugged, or even touching or sharing with their little brothers or sisters?

Federal officials will not let reporters interview the children and have tightly controlled access to the camp, but almost daily reports have filtered through to the press. Tornillo, though unique—even among the hundred-plus US detention facilities for migrant children—in its treatment of minors, is part of a general atmosphere of repression and persecution that threatens to get worse. The US government is detaining more than 13,000 migrant children, the highest number ever; as of last month, some 250 “tender age” children aged twelve or under had not yet been reunited with their parents. Recently, the president has vowed to “put tents up all over the place” for migrants.

This generation will be remembered for having allowed for concentration camps for children to be built on “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” This is happening here and now, but not in our names.

The letter writers include:
  • Rabih Alameddine
  • Jon Lee Anderson
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Paul Auster
  • Andrea Bajani
  • Alessandro Baricco …
  • Susan Yankowitz.


Postscript note

Hey Annie! America wah-se. You like? They got free room and board some more, three meals a day, if you under 17. Maybe your cousin, you know the one still in Mara, boleh qualify. Not 17? No problem, tukar itu IC sikit sikit. All expenses paid what.

Tell you what. Look up Rais Hussin, PhD. He can write a beautiful introduction and support letter to US immigration for your cousin saying, New Malaysia now shares with the US the universal values of “freedom, democracy and human rights.” Your cousin will be in the US to learn and perfect those values.

Yankees like this kind of love letters. It proves that their concentration camps are for freedom, democracy and human rights. Even some coconut tree dwelling Malaiyoo in some Third World country has said so. They just might publish the letter in The New York Times.

You never know, President Trump might then pin medals on your uncle or your father or both. Go for the Congressional Medal of Honor, it’s like the one your beloved, handsome PM Mahathir got from the Japs because he was looking up to them as a model of a human being. Look East. Your family will be famous la. Next step, your dream Green Card.


The Manifesto of Mahathir the Old Toad

Three months after May 10


Promises? What promises! Hear me, Friends! I offered you this magic potion, and it’s only an offer. Not a promise. Not a cure. You were not supposed to drink it!

So die, Shithead.


Related Update: Liberalism in Canada

On political vengeance, Mahathir: “We follow the Rule of Law.” Below, in clip, is the wondrous Rule of Law, and its application thereof: The Indian Act of 1876, Canada.

The Annihilation of Canadian Natives


Where genocide is the Rule of Law

To kill the Native in the Child.” This is as recent as 1996. And the genocide is legal and Canada is held up by the (western) world as a beacon of freedom, of democracy, of liberalism that abides by the Rule of Law.

Justin Trudeau: The genocide is “not integral of Canada.” A hundred years done on a whole native nation by white Pendatang — and legalised — and which is irreversible is “not integral” to Canada? If not white Canada, then what is the genocide integral to? How did it even start? If not integral how is it that the same method is adopted wherever white people emigrated, even today, 2018, in America?

Annihilation of other peoples, their cultures, from the Canadian Arctic to the Falklands, from east to the west, was, and still is, integral to white people, white culture, their ideologies, their white gods, from Jesus and Allah to some desert so-called Prophet. It is just that white people, Justin Trudeau included, and copied by Anglophiles, the converted, by Rais Hussin, by Joseph Lim, never stop their bullshit and duplicity and their sweet words to suit the times.

I promise, 我亲爱: We’ll never, never, never, never, never let this happen to China, our motherland, our children so that Xinjiang Muslims, in the name of their Allah or whatever Turkestan, having killed Chinese because we are infidels, we will kill them also — all of them! 各地的白人 我们会挑战他们.

We won’t be sitting ducks like Canadian natives, or Australian natives or American or Latinos or Filipinos so that 100 years later there will be no occupier-Governor speaking platitudes to us that their genocide is ‘not integral’ to Islamic culture. Or Christian values.


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The history of the DAP is its history of duplicity.


The script now needs to be rewritten in its entirety.


现在 是谁用谁


Record keeper of beans?

Image result for emoji laughterImage result for emoji laughterImage result for emoji laughter


When Will I Be Home?

by Li Shangyin (c. 813–858)

When will I be home? I don’t know.
In the mountains, in the rainy night,
The autumn lake is flooded.
Someday we will be back together again.
We will sit in the candlelight by the west window,
And I will tell you how I remembered you
Tonight on the stormy mountain.


Someday we’ll be back together again / We’ll sit …by the west window  / I’ll tell you how I remembered you…


Just in

Home sent autumn flowers and I thought that the red winter coat, just bought, is very elegant. All these act like reminders that I’m taking too long and, really, I must hurry.


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Warning: Graphic images!

I was going to call you yesterday because I had such a traumatic experience, but I decided against calling because often words can’t describe what I have seen….



What Lynsey Addario saw was, and still is, America! Annie’s America.


Letters to Mom from Iraq

by Lynsey Addario


Feb 2004

Hi Mom,

so nice to hear from you. i’m doing well. still chasing explosions almost every day, though it seems quiet strangely. we don’t usually find out about the bombs until three hours have already passed, and it makes the scene difficult to cover as a journalist. typically, the americans seal the area and keep us so far away that we can’t see anything, and the iraqis are so enraged about what has happened that they turn their anger on us.

i was going to call you yesterday because I had such a traumatic experience, but i decided against calling because often words can’t describe what i have seen. i was doing a story in the children’s cancer ward of this hospital in baghdad, where the hospital is in such bad condition that raw sewage mixes with the drinking water and patients end up sicker than when they first checked in. it is understood that there are hundreds more cancer victims in iraq since the gulf war, because the u.s. used bombs which emit depleted uranium, and many people in the country are now suffering from cancer. so, i went to the cancer ward, and it was so emotionally overwhelming that i couldn’t handle it. the first woman i saw was unrelated to these cases. she was the grandmother of a newborn with jaundice. the baby was the color of a banana, and the young newlyweds couldn’t even look at the baby as it screamed over and over. the grandmother just sat on the bed, alone, rocking the baby, and at some point, she started asking for the doctor, calmly, saying that the baby was cold. the nurse walked over and bluntly said the baby was going to die, at which point the grandmother, still alone because the parents couldn’t deal with the trauma, started weeping alone on the bed with her banana colored baby. i photographed her. the mother came in and stood off to the side. the grandmother continued weeping.

i then returned to abdullah, 11, who i had been photographing. he has leukemia. he wears a nike hat to cover his baldness, and is now too weak to hold a pencil. he used to be at the top of his class, and his mother just sat on his bed, complaining how he no longer can play, can go to school, can do anything but sleep and cry. the nurse called out his name to give him his daily medication dose before his chemo treatment, and his mother went over to collect 25 bottles of fluid to be injected in him for the day. one day. he lied on his side, swimming in this medication, and his mother started looking for a nurse to give him the chemo. we went into a bare room, where the boy started crying at the mere sight of the needles. apparently they missed his vein in his hand in the morning, and he was in a lot of pain. the mother, father, and doctor stood by the bed while another child with cancer waited behind him, bald, who had been undergoing treatment for three years already. Omar was about 12 years old. as the doctor put the needle in abdullah’s hand, he started screaming at the top of his lungs, and his father, a sturdy, proud, arab man, started crying as he tried to calm his son. the mother left the room. abdullah continued screaming. the father walked away to wipe his tears. i was crying so hard at this point that i just kept the camera in front of my face in shame, and I eventually had to go out on the balcony because i couldn’t stop crying.

then i thought how little it would take to help these kids and their families. maybe enough so they had medication or tissues or a cafeteria where the food wasn’t boiled in sewage. i don’t know, mom. I’ve seen so much money and so much poverty, and i can’t understand why they aren’t more equally distributed.

love you, lyns

Miriam Hadi, 6, sits with her mother, and aunt, right, in the oncology ward of the Baghdad central pediatric hospital February 12, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq. Miriam has Leukemia, and is blind and possibly deaf, and is from the Northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya. She and her family have travelled to this Baghdad hospital for treatment. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003, the state of hospitals around Baghdad has declined (sic!), suffering from a continued lack of resources, cleanliness, electricity, among other things. (Lynsey Addario/Corbis, for The New York Times)


April 5, 2004


I am still in baghdad. I almost died yesterday, and the day before, and am tired and stressed, and counting the days before I can come home, or find the most deserted beach on earth (and possibly a boyfriend for rent), so i can sit down with some chilly margaritas and watch the ocean swallow my feet. this country has sunken into the depths of hell. there is the potential for a complete uprising against the americans almost any day now, and with every fight between the americans and the iraqis, it becomes more and more difficult to work. My judgement of what is dangerous and what is reasonable are so skewed right now that, last night, I drove into the middle of a gun-battle in Sadr City, the Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, and skipped out of the car while my armed escort, a heavily bearded, former iraqi army guy, cowered in the front seat, adamantly refusing to get out of the car to offer me protection. Tires burned along the sides of the main roads, the air thick with black, rubbery smoke, and the streets were barren, save for the occasional man, warning any pedestrian who dared to enter Sadr City to get out. They were worried—‘get out, get out . . . pointed at my driver, qais, and I . . . they will kill you . . . she is a foreign woman . . . get out.’

I spotted Muqtada al Sadr’s office, in flames and at the end of an infernal road, and pointed my camera and began shooting. I had faith the Iraqis wouldn’t kill me, and was in this zone of immense concentration, when I felt qais’ hand heavy on the nape of my neck. I was confused . . . shots rang out, louder and louder until they were deafening, and qais started screaming, ‘the Americans are coming . . . tanks, Americans . . . ’ repeatedly. I had always had this feeling that in the end, my fate might be at the hands of the Americans . . . and this was the end, I was sure. The tanks plowed towards us, opening fire from I have no idea where, and I froze. qais, clenching my abeya, and wrapping arms around my waist, ran me into the nearest home which opened his door to us. Everything remains a blur. We scampered through puddles of raw sewage on the main floor, and I remember thinking of my obituary—she was found face-down in a puddle of raw sewage, and I got a bit depressed. I had a little bulletproof vest hidden under my abaya, with basically two plates that I had no confidence could save me from a stabbing much less tank fire. Qais and the Iraqi man led me up a concrete stairwell, up half a flight, and qais and I crouched low underneath a window, behind the continuation of the stairwell, him covering my body with his own. the owner of the house crouched directly beneath the window, and I thought—shit, I should be taking photos. Only in times like this do I actually pray and revert back to ten hail mary’s I once recited after my first confession, when I lied to the priest because I had nothing to confess. I told him I had stolen bubble gum and was instructed to recite the same hail mary’s I always start saying when I am about to die . . . maybe because it is the only prayer I ever actually learned growing up? the sound of tank fire ricocheted all around me, that I realized I am completely crazy.

Abdul Munim Ali Hamood wraps the body of his only son in the Al Karama morgue after he was killed in this morning’s car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, June 17, 2004. At least 31 Iraqis were killed this morning in Baghdad as a bomb ripped into a throng of men waiting today to sign up for the new Iraqi army (sic!).(Lynsey Addario, for The New York Times)


Editorial Note: Pay attention to the wording; italics are added for emphasis. Note the ‘sic!’ going with the reporter’s language and the subtle propaganda inferences derived: Hospitals decline for the lack of a ‘regime’, America create enemies — No, invent enemies — and enemies don’t have a government, they have a ‘regime’ (see further below). Bombs go off for no reason other than for the heck of killing and maiming. In short, it is not America’s fault. Things happen, people die, all for no reason because this, Iraq, is a barbaric society. In The New York Times and others, they would, if they can get away with it, erase all semblances of direct American responsibility.


Lynsey AddarioLynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time magazine. She has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and the Congo, and has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.


When will America, Lynsey Addario leave us alone!


Postscript Note: They send in the soldiers, the guns, the planes and bombs. And after that, and this is odd, they send in their Reporters. And other people’s suffering, the crying, the needles, the deaths, the morgue, they become fodder for American writing, for The New York Times, for their awards, and prizes and, of course, money.

Look, they’d say, we Americans, the world’s freest, most liberal country, is also the world’s most compassionate. We also have a heart! So moving….

Then, after all that, after those sob-sob stories, the soldiers, the guns, the planes still go in and the bombs continue to go off. And you’re left to wonder, which country is next? There were Korea, Vietnam, yesterday Iraq, tomorrow? So what’s left for the Abdullahs, the Omars, the newlyweds, the mothers and the fathers? Do they stop crying and wait for America the Compassionate!

When will America leave us alone!

Or they will never because then Lynsey Addario will have nothing to write home in her letters to Mom and ‘boyfriend-for-rent‘ and she can’t dream of ‘chilly margaritas and watch the ocean swallow my feet‘ while ‘this country‘ sinks ‘into the depths of hell‘. Poor thing! And, they will never because then there will be no prizes and no awards and no money.

Imagine! There, that country, with the sort of value system that actually gives you a prize for painting miseries and deaths that they themselves had wrought on the rest of the world! It’s not Lynsey’s hell, after all, and there is that chilly margaritas and ocean waiting for her. The Iraqis? America, and no kidding, actually celebrate you in dinner suits and fine evening dresses, toast and dine you, for the sufferings inflicted elsewhere that you then bring home. So beautiful, that picture! So poetic, those words!

Still, they see nothing wrong in their perversity. American cruelty is simply romanticized away. They couldn’t see that nowhere else in the world, absolutely nowhere, is there a country sicker than America.

But America would be the sort of encapsulation of morality people like Rais Hussin, Saifuddin Abdullah and Annie of the Valley would like to emulate, fawn over; the world’s freest place to live in, too. Small wonder Pakatan Harapan can be so hypocritical and they don’t even bother to blink when they deceive. New Malaysia, yes, indeed. Hence, it’s now a New Hope government whereas before it was the Najib ‘regime’.


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Malaiyoos like us if we don’t do well, hate us when we do, hate us even more when they themselves don’t do well.


Below, listen to him speak, his tone, his language and watch his demeanor.

This is so characteristic of ‘I’m not Chinese, I’m Malaysian’ Oh! Anglophile

Above, you are looking at and listening to expressions of hair-raising Anglophile culture in its finest:

Saya latuh, Oh! Saya bagi amaran, Oh! You jangan main main saya, Oh!

Related imageRelated imageRelated image


Talk about roots:

If that man is not Chinese, would he be Malaysian?

If not Malaysian, would he be the son of Lim Kit Siang?

If not son of Lim Kit Siang, would he be Lim Guan Eng?

If not Lim Guan Eng, would he be DAP secretary-general?

If not DAP secretary-general, would he have a Chinese constituency?

If not for a Chinese constituency, would he be MP?

If not MP, would he be bookkeeper in the finance ministry?

If not bookkeeper, would he ‘talk so big Oh…? You know who am I, Oh….? You don’t cross me Oh! I’ll fix you Oh!’

Talk about roots, does that Oh! Anglophile Oh! even know what shit Oh! he is saying, Oh!?

Listening to Joseph Lim, it is no wonder, Malaiyoos and mamaks alike (Mahathir, Ahi Attan, Rais Hussin, Kadir Jasin) hated the Chinese by confusing Anglophile culture for Chinese. These Malaiyoos, with their like-minded Helen Aku Cina Ang and Annie of the Valley are seeing the split images of themselves in Joseph Lim: Inside their balls, white people without roots, Anglophiles themselves, hating other Anglophiles, living on borrowed culture, speaking pidgin languages, bellicose, loud-mouth, no refinement.

What a performance, this Joseph Lim, a clown and a motherfucker to boot.

And there are lots more like him and from where Anglophiles had come. Where to find them? Try looking up Annie’s place. Or Ahi Attan. Or Malaysiakini. Look into their comments section. Lots of coconut heads Oh!

No wonder they clap so often to Joseph Lim’s speeches.

But, do Anglophiles even have roots?

Answer: Yes, of course. And don’t laugh, it is called a Banana.

Image result for banana white inside yellow outside

The Rest and the Brownie heads…?

Image result for banana white inside yellow outside


Pop Quiz

Name one difference between the two below?



Gotcha! Answer, nothing!

Split open their prick or cunt, they are the same white shit inside.



Glad Joseph Lim made it clear he’s not Chinese? He’d bring us nothing but shame.

Now, compare Anglophiles to the ones below, and who are just one slice of Chinese art culture expression, common, street culture at that. No yada, yada, no bullshit.

Does all that look like we Chinese live in an oppressed, dictatorial society — the sort that Joseph Lim is fermenting even as you read this. The issue isn’t whether or not a person should or should not get a title. No, it is this instead: how free are you to let it even happen, a thing that you may not like.

In this regard, aren’t Joseph Lim and Mahathir Mohamad identical in value system, like all Anglophiles, like their Christian God, tyrannical, only they are right, only they have the answers, go against me, I will fix you. Christians call it, Vengeance.

And note that Joseph Lim goes after the people lower down, people he can step on, weaker. He dare not touch the Malaiyoo giver of the titles. That’s the crux of the video clip, isn’t it?

For dictatorship, it’s happening everyday, piling up, in that motherfucking jungle mosquito country called Malaysia today run by Anglophiles. With or without Najib Razak, Malaysia is a sick country.


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…to lose my family, my country, my motherland.



Excerpts below were lifted from an interview done with Jenny Zhang by (張關 Zhang Guan) or Frank Guan and published in Vulture. Their conversation centered on her book Sour Heart (Penguin Random, 2017).

Born 1983 in Shanghai, Jenny grew up in the US, studied at Stanford U, today lives in New York City. Remarks are formatted below in point form, for example, about white people, about being bilingual and, most important, about motherland China:


Assimilation is a Trap


Overseas Chinese


It seemed to me this book is not really an Asian-American book, but a Chinese-American book, specifically a mainland-Chinese-American book. In a way, the book is not actually centered on America at all, because the fundamental divide in the book isn’t between Americans and non-Americans, but Chinese and non-Chinese. Was that just a product of instinct on your part, or was it something intentional?


When you’re a white writer writing about white characters, very rarely are you like, “Okay, how do I explain this to the black reader? Okay, how do I explain this to the Korean reader?” You’re never thinking that way; you’re never using anything other than yourself as the assumption [of the norm]. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be just as — even though you can’t — but I wanted to be just as free, and I wanted to write from a point that was … I wanted to write like an insider. I didn’t want to make, like, a “global” piece of fiction.

I wanted to write really deeply inside the perspective of these families — and, to be honest, a lot of the time white people will be like, “Why do they hate us?” And I’m like, “But we don’t even think of you sometimes.” You’re like the 20th thing we think about.




Part of the process of you centering Chineseness is that you don’t translate all of the Chinese words, right? Sometimes you even use Chinese characters. What was the thinking behind choosing when to use each thing — when to translate for the reader, when to use romanized Chinese words, and when to use Chinese characters?


…in their memories of their childhoods with their parents, all of them remember their parents as fluent. If you’re not bilingual, it can be very hard to convey how you actually speak. Because, it’s not just like, “Now, let’s transition from one language to the other!” Even when I speak English to my parents, I’ll say an English word differently to my Chinese parents and friends than I do to my English-speaking friends — you know, I’ll pronounce “McDonald’s” differently, because it feels right, and that’s what I’m used to. I’ll switch between Chinese and English; I’ll say two words in Chinese, one word in English, one word in accented Chinese, accented English. You know, it’s really too intricate to show — it’s its own language.

I wanted to show that even when you have such a specific language with your family, because you’re bicultural or bilingual, it’s very hard for outsiders to see that, because when you’re around outsiders you speak in the language they speak in. But I wanted to show it from the inside: The way the characters remember their parents, they’re perfectly articulate. Even some of the dialogue that’s in English that’s remembered by these kids, I wanted to make it clear that it’s fuzzy; it may have been the parents literally said those words in English, or it may have been the parents said something in Chinese, and that’s how the child grows up to remember that moment, or it might be a combination.




What’s great about this book is that you get the uplift, but you also focus on what they’re being lifted up from. You’re not squeamish about pointing out how being poor is really shitty — literally very shitty, a lot of the time. Is that something you’ve always been committed to? Just not forgetting where you came from, where your people came from?


Having parents from mainland China, and my extended family there, one of the common ways I was brought up to think about being Chinese is like, “Do you realize this country went from being literally dirt-poor and starving for millennia to, in the course of like two decades, modernizing? Do you realize how long that took so many other places?” It’s not necessarily a point of saying, “We’re the best,” but it is this kind of hyper-unreal reality, and it’s like, I descend from these people who literally ate shit and survived. That kind of creates a deep feeling of hardiness.

But at the same time I did want to show that when you are the child of immigrants who actually chased and succeeded in becoming upwardly mobile, there’s a kind of mystery as to how the hell that happened. That story is part of the mythology of America: We like to believe that that’s foundational to all Americans, but it’s actually a very rare thing, and one of the reasons it’s so mysterious is because people can really hide the help that they’ve gotten — either because they don’t want to admit it, or because they don’t even see it as help. In these stories — I don’t know whether it’s too buried to be obvious — what these young girls are realizing as they get older and are looking back on their childhoods and trying to figure out is like, “How the hell did we go from sleeping ten to a room to having a house on Long Island, you know, in the space of ten years?” They’re starting to realize what class their parents descended from, which is very confusing because, like you said, I’m not writing about the Asian-American experience, but specifically the mainland-Chinese-American experience — and, in particular, this class of Chinese-Americans who are scholars. They would have been, perhaps, the academic class or the elite class.


The Intelligentsia


It’s very confusing, because it seems like they (Chinese immigrants) came from nothing, but they do have this lineage — an intellectual lineage, the lineage of poets and scholars. These people have their lives turned upside down, but eventually all of them come to the United States to pursue degrees of higher education, and then their lives are turned upside down again, because it turns out, if you have a Chinese face and you get your degree in linguistics or English literature, you don’t have the easiest time of it when you don’t have any financial support — when you have no cushion and you’re depending completely on yourselves and you’re supporting your family. So one by one, every one of these families drops out of their programs, pursues degrees in business, in computer science.

This is a very common story….




I don’t know if your parents are like this, but when my parents don’t eat Chinese food for too many days in a row, they become physically ill. They have to eat Chinese food. They’ve developed diets that can’t be changed in an instant, and one of the issues they had coming to America was being constantly sick; their bowels were in turmoil. And I sometimes wonder, because I did grow up eating only Chinese food for the first ten years of my life, I do wonder, like if, you know … maybe the scatological elements are the most autobiographical of all the parts in these stories.


The Girls!


You’re a Chinese girl whose parents are Chinese. All the narrators in these stories are Chinese girls. So it’s a group portrait, and the multiplicity allows you to create an image of the Chinese girl that’s not monolithic. One aspect is that a lot of the time Chinese girls don’t like each other. Do you think it’s an externalized self-hatred, or just repulsion between different individuals?


I think when you feel really close to someone, it’s almost like the closer you are to someone, the more you can feel judged by them. They see you too transparently. In one of the stories, there’s this Chinese girl and her frenemy who’s Taiwanese, and one of their points of contention is the Taiwanese girl grew up in America, so she speaks fluent English, and the Chinese girl has just learned a year ago. And the Taiwanese girl’s like, “What’s wrong with you? Are you a dummy?” And that starts things off on a very sour note between them. There are small battles, and there are big battles. In that same story, the big battle is racism — the kind of racism that makes anyone care about having an accent….


Motherland China


This book begins and ends on a note of family reunion. The way you close the book off seems to suggest that despite all of these radical changes that these immigrants have gone through — moving to an entirely different country, working with people who don’t speak their own language, whose language they themselves are not very well-versed in — despite all of these drastic changes, the family unit is still strong enough to withstand these centrifugal tendencies, I guess, the kind of individualism that’s at the bedrock of Western culture. Is that a conflict you would want to see more of? Exploring the possibility that this process of Westernization, of assimilation, it may change you in a way that you may not be recognizably Chinese to people who live in China.


I mean, assimilation is a trap, because you’ll never be accepted truly into the society and culture you’re trying to assimilate into, and you’ll lose your connection to the people you came from. In some ways, you’re trying to get away from the people who want to claim you, and you’re trying to move in closer to the people who don’t want to. But what else can you do? You live in the country you live in, and this is not a particularly hospitable country to aliens, to people who don’t want to embrace this white Americana. I think that I did try to end these stories on a hopeful note, but also the hopefulness comes from … I think a family unit that, at least in this generation, stays intact.

If I had kids, I don’t know what would happen to the part of me that feels very much Chinese and from the old country. I don’t know if it would survive. I think it would die, I think it would end. And I think the idea of breeding generation after generation that’s more and more alienated from the one before it — it’s very sad to me, and I think anyone who has been forced to assimilate understands and fears it. You lose your connection to your motherland, and in its place you have to create a new home, a home that can shelter you, and who you’ve chosen to create your family with. I haven’t gotten to that point, to be honest, and my biggest fear is losing the family I came from and having to create a new one. I don’t know, maybe that has stunted me in some way, but I think I’m so afraid of losing the family I’m from because if I lose the family I’m from, I feel like I’m losing the country I was born in and the people I descend from. And I don’t want to do that.


Postscript note: Jenny’s ideas are very smart, very sharp. About being bilingual: American Chinese have had it easy. We Chinese in SEA, Malaysia in particular, need to master three languages, one of which Kadir Jasin’s Malaiyoo is completely useless outside of that steaming motherfucking, mosquito country. (Annie! You want loyalty? Suck my dick.) Jenny’s truisms appear closer to the 华侨 huaqiao feelings of Malaysia and SE Asia, excepting Anglophiles and those Aussie Banana morons. Her debut fiction Sour Heart below. (Good news: It isn’t one of those pathetic Amy Tan-kind of novels.)

A belated note on the book title ‘Sour Heart‘ (New Yorker review): The title, you can tell right off, is very Chinese and you won’t, for example, read it from an Anglophile, certainly not a white man. For sure, ‘sour’ translates from the Chinese 酸 suan though, in this case, it almost certainly is used as part metaphor, often in conjunction with other words to offer a descriptive idea of an emotion or a state of being, such as 酸甜苦辣 suantian kula (sweet, sour, bitter, spicy) to mean ‘the joy and sorrows of life’. Or, this 臭脸 choulian which translates as ‘smelly face’ but means a scowling demeanor. We Chinese are rich in such metaphor language. Frank Guan (he himself probably an over-ripe Banana) missed interrogating Jenny on this.

So my guess is this, and think of fermentation producing wine or soy sauce. Some liquids kept long enough turn sour. Hence 酸 suan has this 酉 yǒu, script-word for vessel or bottle, typically for wine. An emotion bottled up turns the heart sour 酸心 suanxin which in popular Chinese connotation would translate as one of two ideas: (a) sick in the heart or (b) being pedantic, some stickler for frivolous rules, and stickler as referring to a bottled-up person incapable of change and flexibility. I’d go for the first (a).


For Jenny (Re: Guardian)

临渊羡鱼  不如退而结网




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The Chinese Are Back!

Erasing the Chinese

When the DAP finance minister Joseph Lim Guan Eng declares to the world, ‘I am not Chinese, I’m Malaysian‘, he wasn’t being nationalistic because the two, Chinese and Malaysian First, are different things. No, he spoke his true self, a bigoted racist, stupid to boot, born to Lim Kit Siang, believes in Jesus voodoo, without culture, divorced from civilization, raised among pigs, in the pigsty, in Johore, in a mosquito-infested, steaming jungle country call Malaysia. A bookkeeper!

Joseph Lim highlights how the same bigotry, the same racism that prevailed in the US (and still does, in Donald Trump) remains rife in Malaysia. In the latter, it appears worse because the erasure of Chinese from all public life is committed by the Chinese themselves (Anglophiles, taking up a white god, changing names — a former editor of The Star, now in Australia, maybe, named himself ‘Wong Sulong’!) whereas it was American whites who made sure the Chinese didn’t exist in all cultural records.

With Mahathir Mohamad at the helm, and Rais Hussin prodding from behind, how soon, how quickly will the Malaysian government enjoins itself to the old white American crusade to remove the Chinese from all cultural references, names, schools, language, cinema, arts, literature…?

In the essay below, Chai May-lee writes about the restoration of the Chinese in America. Fluent in Mandarin and English, May-lee lives and teaches in California. Her native seed is Shandong, 山东 Confucius birthplace, her laojia 老家, out of which her grandparents escaped war to America. Article originally written for The Paris Review, October 23, 2018. All titles are mine.


The Great Chinese Cultural Restoration

British pendatangs to America simply treated the Chinese like we are a freak human specimen — a creation mistake by their Jesus God? — as was ‘Afong Moy’ (above) treated nearly two hundred years ago. One wonders what her specimen life was like? American Natives and the Blacks had it worse, of course.

Odd that everybody once called South Africa apartheid but not the USA.

And to think that people like Rais Hussin, Petra Kamarudin, Kadir Jasin, Annie of the Valley, Ahi Attan, Elizabeth Wong, Steven Gan, KTemoc, Josh Hong will fawn after the pat on their shoulders from a pair of white hands, never mind if it’s Aussie: “Good show, Matey!”

Andrew J. Russell, Joining of the Rails at Promontory Point, 1869: 13,000 Chinese worked to build America’s railroads, but not one appeared in the photo above.


Arnold Genthe, Chinatown, c. 1900 (Library of Congress)


Putting Back the Chinese in America

by Chai May-lee

Image result for May-Lee Chai

The first known Chinese woman in America was nineteen-year-old Afong Moy, who arrived in New York City in 1834 on the steamship Washington. Three weeks later, she was put on display as part of an exhibit called the “Chinese Saloon.” For fifty cents, New Yorkers could purchase a ticket to gawk.

Afong Moy sat from ten A.M. to two P.M. and then three P.M. to five P.M. daily. She performed for the crowds by using chopsticks and speaking in Chinese. Eventually she toured up and down the East Coast, and by 1848 was performing as part of a P. T. Barnum show. Then, her popularity eventually waned, and by 1850, she’d been replaced. There are no more records of what became of Afong Moy. All that remains is a black-and-white drawing of her performance that appeared in a newspaper. She appears as a tiny, round-faced woman seated on a large chair in the middle of her exhibition space, surrounded by paper lanterns and other artifacts of chinoiserie. 

The 1869 photograph The Joining of the Rails at Promontory Point, taken by Andrew J. Russell, features nearly a hundred white men carefully arranged around two black steam engines. Railroad baron Leland Stanford commissioned the shot to commemorate the completion of the first transcontinental railroad when the two lines, the Union Pacific from the east and the Central Pacific from the west, joined in Promontory, Utah. There are two white engineers positioned in the very center, shaking hands, while in the background white men raise glasses of champagne. Missing from the picture are the thirteen thousand Chinese workers who had made up the majority of the workforce on the Central Pacific line.

The Golden Spike National Historic Site, as it is now known, offers tourists an opportunity to re-enact the staging of the photograph. This curious communal, repeated act of mimesis occurs twice a day on Saturdays and holidays during the summer tourism season, according to the website, with a “dedicated team of volunteers” who dress in period costumes and recreate the golden spike ceremony. There is also a downloadable script for use by schools, two versions for both grades fourth through sixth and seventh through ninth, in which children may also participate in this bit of historically sanctioned whitewashing.

In 2002 and in 2012, groups of about two hundred Chinese Americans, including descendants of the first railroad workers, gathered for their own re-enactment in Utah, replacing every figure in the historic photo with a Chinese person. It was a symbolic act of resistance to a symbolic act of erasure.


Arguably, the most famous nineteenth-century images of Chinese people in America were taken by white photographer Arnold Genthe. The black-and-white photographs were taken of San Francisco’s Chinatown between 1895 and 1906, the year in which the original Chinatown was leveled in the San Francisco earthquake. He later published two anthologies, Pictures of Old Chinatown (1908) and Old Chinatown (1913). An immigrant from Germany, Genthe said he was inspired to photograph the neighborhood after reading one of the many guidebooks written by white men who claimed it was dangerous, seedy, and a must-see. As Genthe would later write in his memoir, “A sentence saying, ‘It is not advisable to visit the Chinese quarter unless one is accompanied by a guide,’ intrigued me. There is a vagabond streak in me which balks at caution. As soon as I could make myself free, I was on my way to Chinatown…”

At first, Genthe’s photographs seem invaluable for their depiction of the buildings and alleys and fashions. However, historians have shown that Genthe’s photographs were far from objective documents. Genthe staged some scenes and heavily edited others. He removed anything that detracted from the exotic image that he wanted to convey: cropping out images of white people, English-language signs, telephone poles, and even electrical wires.

He labeled his photographs, too. The photo of a Chinese woman standing on the sidewalk: “The Street of the Slave Girls.” A Chinese man walking away from a stove is captioned, “The Devil’s Kitchen by Night.” Even a shot of random Chinese men in crowds on the street, smoking, talking, walking, is ominously labeled, “The Street of Gamblers.”

After the original Chinatown was leveled in the 1906 earthquake, Chinese businessmen raised money to rebuild the neighborhood, in an intentionally lighter, airier, and more “beautiful” manner, with pagoda-esque elements added to buildings to attract tourists to the local restaurants and small shops. Genthe declared the new Chinatown too commercial and declined to take new pictures.


The Chans are back

With the rise of motion pictures, the superficial representation of Chinese immigrants increased although the use of actual Chinese actors did not. White actors were cast instead. I remember the first time I saw D. W. Griffith’s 1919 silent film Broken Blossoms, or The Yellow Man and the Girl. It was broadcast on public TV when I was in elementary school. It caught my eye because I’d never seen a movie before that depicted an interracial couple in which the man was Chinese and the woman was white, like my parents. However, it took me a while to realize the man was only supposed to be Chinese. He was played by the white actor Richard Barthelmess in yellowface, with taped eyes and a fake braided wig.

Still from Broken Blossoms (1919): America wouldn’t feature a Chinese, so they had a white stand-in

Above and below: Stills from The Curse of Quon Gwon (1917)

Still from Chan is Missing (1982)


He was among the first of many white actors playing Chinese, including Warner Oland and Sidney Toler as the detective Charlie Chan; Paul Muni, Luise Rainer, and Tilly Losch (as Wang, O-lan, and Lotus respectively in The Good Earth); Katharine Hepburn (Jade Tan in Dragon Seed); and even Emma Stone (playing the mixed-race Chinese American Allison Ng in 2012’s Aloha).

I once showed The Good Earth in a creative-writing class I was teaching at Amherst College. My students were mostly Asian American and we laughed at the broad stereotypes portrayed by all the white actors in yellowface. Afterward, one Korean international student in the class stood up; he was shaking. “It’s so-so-so exaggerated!” he managed to say.

Seeing his distress, I realized I had forgotten what it felt like to experience erasure for the first time, to see the unfamiliar features of the actors, Paul Muni’s ridiculous, corny overacting as he prepares for his wedding day, the wide-eyed look of dumbfounded oppression on Luise Rainer’s face. As an adult I’d been acculturated to such images. I had forgotten how I’d first felt, when I realized Richard Barthelmess, with his freakish taped eyes and stupid wig, was supposed to be someone like my father, my grandfather, like my family.


What would it have been like to grow up in a country that had shown images of Chinese made by Chinese? While Crazy Rich Asians’ record-breaking box office revealed the pent-up desire of Asian Americans to see reflections of their diasporic identity, films from a century earlier offered their own attempt at cultural restoration. In 1917, two years before Broken Blossoms, a Chinese American woman in Oakland, Marion E. Wong, wrote and directed The Curse of Quon Gwon. The melodrama starred Marion and her sister-in-law, Violet, in a love story about two Chinese American sisters and their suitors.

It received no distribution. No movie theater would show it.

Years later, Violet’s grandson found three reels of the movie in his grandmother’s basement and paid to have them transferred to 16mm. Although incomplete, the film was eventually restored professionally and, in 2006, it was added to the National Film Registry. The Curse of Quon Gwon was finally screened theatrically in Oakland in 2015, ninety-eight years after it was filmed and nearly a half century after the director’s death in 1969.


Wayne Wang’s 1982 debut, Chan Is Missing, addresses directly the sense of erasure and the efforts at recovery of Chinese American identity. Like a palimpsest built upon these missing, elided, cropped, staged, caged, and erased images of Chinese immigrants, Wang’s black-and-white film captures the loss but also offers resistance.

In a subversion of the Charlie Chan trope, a local Chinatown cabbie (Wood Moy) plays a would-be detective searching for his long-time friend who’s identified only as Chan. The cabbie interrogates old friends, strangers, and colleagues only to find that each describes the missing man in a different, often contradictory light. As the title suggests, there will be no Charlie Chan images, no yellowface, but instead an exploration of the complexity of Chinese American identities.

Sitting in the flickering light of my college campus theater, I could not put into words what I felt the first time I saw Wang’s film, the surprise that someone else had felt this way and could articulate it so subtly and brilliantly. It gave me hope. And it planted the tiny seed in the back of my mind that storytelling was important, that art could fight erasure, that maybe someday, I could do this work, too.

At one point, Chan’s daughter named Jenny (Emily Yamasaki) also disappears. The cabbie looks for her in the restaurant where she works, but the hostess has no idea who Jenny is until Jenny walks into frame. “Oh, her,” the hostess responds. “Her name is Shao Lui, not Jenny.”

In this scene, Wang captures the idea that a person could be lost as easily as that, slipping into the crack between languages, the way the paper trail for many immigrants has been lost between the transliteration of one’s Chinese name or paper-son name or Angel Island name. Like Afong Moy, like thirteen thousand Chinese railroad workers, like women and men turned into slave girls or gamblers, one’s real self could be erased so quickly from the record of America.


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41yJdI5HjkL._UX250_.jpgMay-lee Chai is the author of ten books, including the memoir Hapa Girl, the novel Tiger Girl, and, most recently, the story collection Useful Phrases for Immigrants.


My Chinese in My China



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