Monthly Archives: January 2013

China Regret

At some point, every single day, I regret studying Chinese. I regret moving to China and I regret developing a career here.

I regret moving here because there is terrible pollution that makes me sick. I regret studying Chinese because it has taken years and in my heart of hearts, I still feel like I’ve gotten nowhere. I regret working in China because I have to deal with an internet situation that makes it almost impossible to do a good job.

On a deeper level, I regret living in China because I am financially supporting a government that has polluted Beijing to the point where its unlivable without a particulate blocking mask. I work here and I pay taxes. My contribution, in the grand scheme of things, is minimal. But it is mine.

There are a lot of different ways that ex-pats deal with China Regret. The more successful ones can rationalize their life here in either financial or cultural terms: they’re building a bridge between East and West. My rationalization is a lot simpler: I worked very hard to learn Chinese and I feel like I have to be here to take advantage of my hard-work. I’ve made an investment that I don’t want to waste.

Maybe someday the regret will conquer the rationalizations. I don’t know. I do know that there was a crossroads moment for me when leaving China behind was a pretty easy option. I didn’t do it and I would be lying if I said I made the right decision.

Obviously its winter and things will look better once the pollution lifts. And I can always just leave. Maybe I should, who knows? Likely, I would regret the decision to leave too.


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Clean Air Live at Hot Cat 2012-11-17

These are dirty times in Beijing. A pall has descended. We are all walking around with N95 masks on. How can we dance without clean air?


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What the Hell Are We Doing Here?


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by | January 29, 2013 · 3:28 am

Mao Would Dig the Juggalos

Chairman Mao and the Insane Clown Posse share something. Both of them understood the power of outsiders, the vast swaths of people that society leaves out. Mao harnessed the power of China’s peasants, who despite being the majority of the population, were scorned and ridiculed by China’s political elite (especially Nationalist Generalisio Chiang Kai-Shek). The ICP created the Juggalos in order to bring together a large group of Americans living in the forgotten cracks of the American Dream. ICP got rich and Mao got a country. Maybe you should consider the power of the scorned too.

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