Tag Archives: Criticism
February 5, 2012Posted by on
Intellectuals are doing too little of what they should be doing, and act too much like advocates.
My suspicion is that people are so easily to be carried away by the natural animal instinct, the surviving instinct perhaps. The end goal of being the stronger side and avoiding being eaten is so strong and so hard wired into our brain, so without conscious effort to suppress it, we will stick to our stand and push it, being it right or wrong.
Originally posted on Modeled Behavior:
Kevin Drum replies
So sure, it’s kabuki. All of us who write about politics for a living understand that 90% (at least) of what we do is just shadow boxing. Controversies are invented, then debunked, then invented all over again, and debunked. Sometimes the inventors know perfectly well what they’re doing, while other times they’ve talked themselves into actually believing their own nonsense. In either case, these things are mostly just proxies for the issues that really matter.
But so what? The Reichstag fire was wholly invented too, and look what happened after that. As demeaning as it is, fighting back against bullshit is every bit as important as fighting back against the real stuff.
This is an important point but we should define a line between where the contributions of professional intellectuals end and where the contributions of professional advocates takeover.
April 3, 2011Posted by on
[An old post from mid-Oct. last year (Oct. 19). Too much have happened since then. Alas. Let's dig out and brush up the debris, and try to, ah-hem, move on.]
When I try to think up a tagline for this blog, a word that I saw on some “family friend”‘s facebook profile popped out in my mind: the world is “warped”.
I bet you would agree. Everyone loves a negative comment these days.
Don’t get me wrong. As much as I roll my eyes on a regular basis, I love this world, partly because I feel unjustified not to love it after it has caused so much bitterness and resentment inside me. And it is just easier to be an optimist.
Anyways. So I am currently reading “Out of Mao’s Shadow“ by Phillip Pan, a Washington Post correspondent who used to station in Beijing for 8 yrs and is now in Moscow, and it is a rather heavy book, not only because it is hardcover with 350 pages (yes this is heavy for me thankyouverymuch), but also its subject matter.
The Inconvenient truth:
As a China-born Chinese person, the ways I stick to my heritage include, not not limited to: mimicking the proper Chinese version of English as you may have heard from our beloved Russell Peters, keeping pennies in a tinfoil wrapped roll, and being humble. So despite all the blood, sweat and tears I put in my past three years of law school, I still feel that I am not, um, educated enough [insert jokes on re-education here].
Why? Well if I were you I would imagine someone like me would know in and outs about the enaction of AZ immigration laws; nope, and not until today that I find it fascinating and decide that I would later post something on it; and I imagine that I should know more about Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen, um, Incident (?), and SARS; nope, nada, well I mean I know it is BAD, but how? Aren’t we suppose to know how and why through education rather than blindly listening to others, so we can make an “educated” decision?
If you are Chinese or a foreign lawyer who knows a whole lot about either of the above or know a substantial number of people who know quite a bit about either of the two, please let me know and I will take down this stupid post.
My goal today is not to write a long winding piece to criticize the law school education or the Chinese education system. Who am I to talk here. But one line from the Phillip Pan book I would like to quote here, which basically inspired me to do this post:
“The unspoken rule is that loyal Chinese should never say anything to an outsider that would make the motherland look bad”.
Oh my, well put, Pan. I bet Ms. Wang at Duke can’t agree more. As the young people in China become more liberal minded, often times I am baffled about how strong the reaction can be in certain touchy issues, such as Rangzen. Chill people. Chill.
And interesting that I recently talked to a friend about my experiences during SARS. It was my senior year in high school, when everyone in my class was fervently preparing for the formidable college entrance exam
But again, don’t laugh too early yet, American folks, over your Arizona sweet tea. [I don't quite understand this last line. What about the Arizona tea? Me wanna some Arizona tea right now. YK is weird]