We were wrong not to distinguish between Christian CHINESE-AMERICAN lit invented in 1910, and the older, non-Christian “CHINAMAN” literature invented by the CHINESE ENGLISH PHRASE BOOK, of 1882, by Wong Sam & Associates. Chinaman literature. My apologies to my co-editors of AIIIEEEEE! And THE BIG AIIIEEEEE! history.
I was too hasty. I had never thought of “Chinaman” as a sensibility of the definition of a form of it’s own. And what of the WWII vets working as copy editors, reporters, and writers on the real metro daily dominants of their market, everyone knew were busy at their typewriter every night writing his or her guts into a novel based on their WWII experience.
Ken Wong of the
Chinaman lit isn’t Christian, isn’t autobiographical. And it doesn’t lie. The Chinaman writers are Wong Sam & Associates (1882) and Chiang Yee of thirties, stranded in
I say for the twelve smiling graduate stupids in class, “The Chinaman writer has no interest in being accepted by whites, as Monkey had no interest in being accepted by men.”
“I disagree,” the Chinese educated UCLA professor of AALit says, in her deep voice that reminds me of Hildagard Neff, “Monkey wants to be accepted by men, that’s why learns the ways of men.”
“There’s more to learning than learning the ways of men, Monkey learns from men who try to master him. He learns that the men that teach him try to master him, so he seeks the beings that men regard as masters, and learns that they are corrupt, as he beats what he wants to learn out of them.”
“I used to be Chinese, but I have learned to be Chinese-American, ” she says.
“Asian-Americans want to be mastered. Chinamen master but are not mastered,” I say. “Monkey tries to teach the Monkeys and Apes he settles in the
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the UCLA princess snoots.
“Exactly,” I say.
Ladies and gentlemen of
It was no mystery where we had come from. The Qing were Manchu horsemen as the Chinese learned when Qian Cai published a novel GENERAL YUE FEI, about a Chinese hero from history, who beats Wushu, a prince of the horsemen, in the mountains, on the water, on the plains. The book was published after Qian Cao’s death ( he died sometime before 1735) after being banned from publication by Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) And published or not the novel was being read so the ban was lifted or drifted away by 1862. The plot of the novel reflected Chinese hatred of the Manchu and hatred of the Christians driving Chinese to service and consume opium. Good reading during the Opium War initiated in the southern
We came from the British Opium War in
THE FIRST BRITISH OPIUM WAR-1840-1842
Ah the opium war started by an honest law abiding Cantonese port Commissioner who confiscated three million tons of opium, smuggled into China by the British. Lin the Commissioner had the British sign a bond promising not to deal opium in
Lin the Commissioner humiliated the Brits with invitations to watch him dissolve the opium in water, add more than a dash of salt, and a large sprinkling of white lime that caused the solution to boil up thick bubbles that swelled and popped a noxious smell.
The Christians confessed to being dopeheads and cried they’d been robbed of their “personal property,” to their armed alter ego, and the British Navy arrived in
In 1849, whites from the States, on the other side of the elephant, were as much foreigners to the
THE SECOND OPIUM WAR 1856-1860
The East India Co sent Christian missionaries to enslave more Chinese to opium, to Christ, and bring home Chinese silver for the church. They sent missionaries on a tour the Christian world raising money for their opium enterprise in
In 1856 the British were joined by the French, and then the Russians, then the
Tribal horsemen have fallen on
The first emperor might have been mad to build the Great Wall, with the waste of men and the grief of women he built it with, but his unification of Chinese writing, and weights and measures made several Chinese peoples one people.
The tribal Nomadic descendants of the horsemen on the wrong side of the wall in the BC took a large bite out of China in the AD around 1115, with a dynasty they called the “Jin” for Gold, and lost it, got it again in the Mongol Yuan, lost it to the Chinese Ming, got it back in the Qing, who farted China away.
The Manchu Qing is falling. We farmers from around the Pearl River Delta come across the ocean from
The Chinese left home to confront the enemy on disputed ground. While the family built walls and towers around themselves their children and farms, and cannons in the towers to protect their integrity.
The Brits made the Qing pay for losing the war, they took Hong Kong, the Portuguese got Macau, and the Manchu Qing made the Chinese pay. From the Chinese people came expressions of anti-Manchu anti-Christian Chinese sentiment. The Taiping Rebellion, led by Jesus Christ’s younger brother, that delayed the start of the second Opium War till 1856 and the Boxer Rebellion of 1899.
The story of China is defined by a long, swing of an erratic but never ending pendulum of war between the Chinese farmers and nomadic horsemen that ended in what the Chinese used to call the Revolution of 1911, but today call “The Bourgeois Revolution of 1911.”
From the rise of the First Empire 221 BC to the fall of Qing in 1911 AD, the life of a hero is based on certain truisms. Life is war. Writing is fighting. Love is two warriors standing back to back fighting off the universe.
WHAT MAKES A CHINESE A CHINESE?
What makes a Chinese a Chinese is the same thing that makes an American an American. Common knowledge of common history.
An American test from, ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON, made early in WWII, and released in 1942, from a story by the producer and director Leo McCarey.
Ginger Rogers, an American meets Albert Dekker in
Look let's understand each other. You're an American so am I.
Well, I am.
You mean, you don't believe me?
Well, now, I'll have to convince you. Maybe I'd better tell you something about myself.
I'm afraid you'd have to start way back when you were a little boy.
All right, I will. I was born in
But wait a minute. We're getting way off the track. You say when you were a little boy you went to
(Speaks in southern accent)
Honey, I wasn't born in old
(Reverts to his normal accent)
And then we moved to
(Speaks in a Mexican accent)
Oh, sí sí. We live just north of the border. By the
(Matches his Spanish Mexican)
Seguro, Miguel. And maybe you will hear of my see-ster's neck.
Oh oh ho he. Sí sí . Your see-sters neck, she fell in the river up to it. But you know about my mother? My mother makes more better tortillas than your mother.
And if I don't think so you show me your mother. ( She Laughs)
Oh, sí sí.
(He mimes a pregnant woman stroking her belly.)
( Assumes a Scandinavian accent)
Vas you ever in
(Matches her Scandinavian accent)
Oh, ja ja. I take my best girl for a picnic. Every noon I ask he if she wants to take a walk with me in the voods. And do you know why she says, No?
Ja! Because it wasn't her first pic-nic.
(They have a laugh together.)
Now do you believe I'm on the square.
(Takes on a
Yeah, Yeah but, being on the square today, brother, ain't what it used t o be. Your jabber don't jive.
Cuz if you're on the square, you're like duh bear. And the bear's nowhere. But won't take long to repeat you with zoot suit. And a stuff cup. And get you back on the beam. Why in no time at all you'll be cooking with helium.
Well. Don't that make you hep? Ain't you plugged in? Or am I just beatin' my gums?"
I'm afraid the lingo's passed me by. Say where were you born?
Near Ebbetts Field?
Foul balls used to light in my backyard.
What a ball team!
Dem lovely bums. Hmm, it's a great country." She heaves a sigh.
And you do love it, don't you.
I can't wait to get back and see that lady. You know that lady that stands out in the harbor?
Hold it! Say this with me, 'I pledge allegiance to the flag of the
Common knowledge. Baseball is the American game. Young men, the GI’s know baseball. The older men know American movies. All Americans can pass the American tests in the movies, not just the Brooklynites, Minnesotans, Georgians, Mexican-Americans, even Chinese-Americans can pass. So they can justify the “American” part Chinese-American. Can they pass the “Chinese” part?
The CA writer whose claim to being Chinese rests on his being from Chinatown, Oakland is Chinese only in the Chinatown, Oakland he knows, and knows him. One foot beyond
Check your local school library. You won’t find one genuine Chinese children’s story, not one heroic novel, on the shelves but a lot of fake Chinese works by whites, like the baldly racist THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS by Claire Huchet Bishop. Still a best selling, illustrated 32 page children's book teaching that Chinese looks and brains are inferior to whites.
THE HEROIC TRADITION
The heroic tradition are the Chinese stories that inform the Chinese part of “Chinese-American.” Chinamen know the Chinese stories that brought them here. Monkey, one of the heroes of the heroic tradition tells the Chinaman to learn the stories people tell in
Correction: Know your enemies as well as you know yourself means everyone is your enemy. You are alone. Alone! Alone!" the strategist says in mock horror.
“What strategist is existentialist?”
“If Monkey isn’t existentialist in form and content, I’m a monkey’s uncle.”
“You’re wrong! Monkey is not part of the heroic tradition!”
“Spoken like a true idiot! Next you’ll say Monkey isn’t Chinese.” I was wrong to call her an idiot. I was bewildered by her denial Chinese knowledge.
“You don’t have to be crude!” she sniffs.
“I’m trying to be contemptuous. The Greek Oedipus crossed paths with blind Tiresias and Roman heroes had their blind men that aroused a doubt about themselves. Henry II had his Archbishop of
She seethes, she leaks steam, from where she should leak steam.
“Monkey is born without parents out of a lifeless, know nothing rock. Totally without a past.” I say, “He learns to identify things like clothes with his body, words, to eat with sticks then he learns to combine the things he knows into tools, then he enters a learning competition with teachers of knowledge. Men, priests, teachers, Taoists, Buddhists, the Jade Emperor, the Buddha. Monkey learns the joy of learning is learning itself. That’s a lesson the Buddha has never learned.”
The Chinese blue ribbon teacher shuts her eyes and shakes her head violently no, no, no.
“Buddha is stuck in piddling little Nirvana. Monkey learns more than the Buddha himself, and is so far beyond Nirvana he isn’t in the last chapters of his book. He is still out there, learning this learning that. If Monkey can bring the gods to shame through learning, so can men.”
“No! No!” blurts out of the UCLA English Department’s
“You flunk the Chinese test. You look Chinese and sound Chinese but are not a fit teacher of the heroic tradition. As the American sounding Nazis in American uniforms were not really American.”
BATTLEGROUND (1949) 1hr 59min- Prod. Dore Schary D.Robert Pirosh. (Story and script)
Starring: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, George Murphy, with Marshall Thompson, Jewrome Courtland, Don Taylor, JAMES WHITMORE, Leon Ames, James Arness RICHARD JAECKEL
The three leafed clover of the Club on the helmet and the screaming eagle of 101st Airborne on the left shoulder
An American jeep is stopped by an American patrol in the
What's the password?
(TOUCHES GLASSES AND SPEAKS BEHIND GLOVES)
Keep'em covered they may be German.
Any line on these woods, Major?
I didn't hear countersign.
Oh,Leager. Texas leaguer.
Will this road take us back to Third Bat headquarters?
Just a minute.
(RAISES RIFLE ON MAJOR)
What is a Texas Leaguer?
I said, what's a Texas Leaguer?
It's some kind of baseball term.
SOLDIER IN BACK OF JEEP
Outside pitch, it's just over the infield.
Nobody asked you!
(TO THE MAJOR)
How'd the Dodgers make out this year?
Hey, who's your commanding officer, soldier?
Whoever he is he knows how the Dodgers made out.
Let's see your dog tags!
Come on we're not taking any chances.
Sprechan ze Deutsh!
Hey what is this?
Wat is die nommon.
Hey what kind of non…
Schnell! Schnell! Nommen! Nommen! Sprechen zee!
SOLDIER IN BACK OF JEEP-
(STANDS AND pulls M-3 submachine gun on Johnson)
Drop those rifles. Whose Betty Grable going with?
(raises rifle )
(TO VAN JOHNSON)
Whose the Dragon Lady?
She's in TERRY 'N' THE PIRATES.
SOLDIER IN BACK OF JEEP
What's a hotrod?
It's a hopped up jalopy.
Hello Joe Whaddaya know?
Just go back from a vaudeville show...I guess they're okay.
Thank you Sergeant.
A PFC Major Praying For Civilian. That's why I believe in being careful. And may I suggest sir, that you study up on baseball?
Say, I guess I'd better. And by the way, you might tell your buddy, that Caesar Romero is out. She's married to Harry James.
Jeep goes off-
Artillery crumps and flashes in background. The three go off into the darkening woods.
Yeah they really should've sent out a bigger patrol.
Well if you want to goof off...
Who said anything about goofing off?
Nobody! Nobody! I'm just saying the best way's to tell'em you uhh you heard voices talking in German.
Let's say you heard voices talking in Japanese and let G-2 figure that out!