Author: greatwall_sg

Chinese are ugly everywhere [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-7-8 00:33:23 |Display all floors

Developing our judgement

Developing our judgement

Over the past 4000 years, China has produced only one great thinker: Confucius. In the 2500 years since his death, China's literati have done little more than tack on footnotes to the theories propounded by Confucius and his disciples. Rarely have they contributed anything original to the body of Confucian thought, simply because the traditional culture did not allow it. The minds of the literati were stuck at the bottom of an intellectual stagnant pond, the soy paste vat of Chinese culture. As the contents of this vat grew more and more putrid, the resulting stench was absorbed by the Chinese people. Since the many problems in this opaque, bottomless vat could not be solved by individuals exercising their own reason and intelligence, the literati had to ape other people's way of thinking, or be influenced by other schools of thought. A fresh peach placed in a vat full of putrescent soy paste will soon wither away and turn into a dry turd.

China has its own peculiar way of transforming foreign things and ideas and making them Chinese. You Westerners say you've got democracy; well, we Chinese have democracy too. But in China, /democracy /is understood as follows: you're the /demos /(people), but I've got the /kratos /(power). You Westerners have a legal system; we Chinese have one too. You've got freedom; so do we. Whatever you have, we have too. You've got pedestrian crossing lines painted on the street; we do too, but in China they are there to make it easier for cars to run pedestrians over.

The only way we can do anything about the Ugly Chinaman syndrome is for every individual to cultivate his own personal taste and judgement. One doesn't have to be an accomplished actor to enjoy going to plays. People who don't understand what is happening on stage can at least enjoy the music, the lights, the costumes and the scenery, while those who do understand can appreciate drama as an art form. The ability to make such distinctions is a great achievement in itself.

When I first arrived in Taiwan some thirty years ago, I met a man who owned eight sets of Beethoven's symphonies on records. I asked him if he would  or give one of them to me, but he refused. Contrary to what I had assumed, each set of the symphonies was performed by a different conductor and orchestra, and they were not at all similar. When I realised that, I felt quite ashamed of myself. This friend was a true connoisseur of music.

During a recent US presidential election, the pre-election debates were broadcast on television in Taiwan. Many people found it remarkable that not once during the debates did either of the candidates reveal anything about their opponent's private lives; American voters disapprove of such tactics, and it would have cost the erring candidate many votes. Chinese politicians are just the opposite. They go out of their way to expose their rivals' personal secrets and perhaps invent a few as well, all couched in the filthiest language.

The quality of the fruit is determined by the quality of the soil in which the tree grows. Similarly, people are the 'fruit' of the societies in which they live. The citizens of a country should cultivate the ability to judge their leaders; otherwise, they only have themselves to blame for the consequences. If we are willing to shout our praises for a man who is unworthy of our respect, who is to blame if he rides roughshod over us? Buying votes is a very disturbing phenomenon. Voters line up to cast their ballots, a man starts handing out money, and the voters ask him, 'Hey, where's my share?'

If this is Chinese political judgement, is China really ready for democracy? Democracy is a privilege to be earned, not a free gift. People say that the Taiwanese Government has relaxed its restrictions on human rights considerably, but I find this a terrifying situation. I have my own freedom and rights, whether the government grants them to me or not. If we had the capacity to make proper judgements, we would demand elections and be rigorous in our selection of candidates. But lacking this capacity, we will never even be able to distinguish a beautiful woman from a pock-marked hag. Who are we to blame for this? If I paint a fake Picasso and you give me half a million bucks for it, who is the fool? You are the one who is blind and entirely lacking in taste and judgement. If there are too many deals like this, no one will buy authentic Picassos, and as the market becomes flooded with fakes, all the real artists will starve to death. Thus, if you buy a fake, you only have yourself to blame. To give another example, you hire a tailor to install a door in your home, and he puts it in upside down. You scold the tailor, 'Are you blind?' But the tailor says, 'Who's blind, you or me? Who told you to hire a tailor to install a lock?' This is a story worth remembering. Without the capacity to make informed judgements, we will always end up making the same mistakes.

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Post time 2010-7-8 00:34:34 |Display all floors

Only the Chinese can change themselves

Only the Chinese can change themselves

Plagued with so many loathsome qualities, only the Chinese can reform themselves. Foreigners have a duty to help us, not through economic aid but by means of culture. The Chinese ship of state is so large and overloaded that if it sinks many non-Chinese people will perish in the whirlpool as well. I would like to invite all the Americans attending this lecture to extend us a helping hand.

One final point: China is seriously overpopulated. The country has more than a billion hungry mouths to feed, with a collective appetite that could easily devour the Himalayan range. This should remind us that China's problems are complex, and call for a high level of awareness on the part of each and every Chinese. Every one of us must become a discriminating judge and use our ability to examine and appraise ourselves, our friends and our country's leaders. This is our only hope.


From: Bo Yang, /The Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture/, translated and edited by Don J. Cohn and Jing Qing. St. Leonards, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 1992

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Gold Medal

Post time 2010-7-8 08:55:34 |Display all floors
Although it took some time to read it, tkx for posting it. A few remarks:

Bo Yang, a former resident of T.   w, was one of the strongest promotors of Chen Shui Bian and, although Chinese, strongly anti China and pro U.S. (which is also evident from his speech). I think this must be said in order to better understand his anti China and anti Chinese stance. His way of thinking was normal within the Chinese diaspora as well as for T.  w.ese  who believed in the U.S. and of course in Japan and the Japanese way. All of them could not imagine how China was going to change and none of them believed that it could happen in their lifetime. Bo's speech was given in 1984, 26 years ago, when Japan was at its all time zenith and before the country was forced to let the JPY freely float which resulted in its never ending agony.

I wonder whether Bo, who died two years ago, would still give a similar speech today. I suspect he'd rather shut-up than making a fool of himself.

Last but not least, it's more Chinese like him that the west wants to see. Chinese that adore everything in western society and are shameful of their own history and past. In other words, he's the "perfect" Chinaman for governments in western countries.

Think about it.

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Medal Medal of honor Gold Medal July's Best Writer 2012 October's Best Writer 2012

Post time 2010-7-8 12:03:49 |Display all floors

Yawn ......................................

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Post time 2010-7-8 12:15:51 |Display all floors
Originally posted by satsu_jin at 2010-7-8 08:55
Although it took some time to read it, tkx for posting it. A few remarks:

Bo Yang, a former resident of T.   w, was one of the strongest promotors of Chen Shui Bian and, although Chinese, strong ...


Totally agree with you.  China in the 80s is nothing like present day China.  In fact China changes so quickly that Chin 2 yrs ago is nothing like china today.  

If it weren't for Russia and America using "divide and conquer" on China, the Chinese Civil war would have never happened and China would have been stronger.

[ Last edited by wetac0s at 2010-7-8 12:31 PM ]

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Post time 2010-7-8 12:32:53 |Display all floors

In a word; self-hate....!

Originally posted by satsu_jin at 2010-7-8 08:55
Although it took some time to read it, tkx for posting it. A few remarks:

Bo Yang, a former resident of T.   w, was one of the strongest promotors of Chen Shui Bian and, although Chinese, strong ...


Poor Bo...!

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Post time 2010-7-8 12:41:33 |Display all floors
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