Thymos of Portland, Oregon
and the Fighting 44’s:
"Hello, Portland" is being posted on my blog to give you people grist for your mill. Curtis and me fly in on the Friday11th of July. That night he shows his movie WHAT'S WRONG WITH FRANK CHIN? The next morning I tell stories to the kids who bring their parents, and talk yellow to yellow on Saturday, the 12th. My friend Jeff should tell his guest from China to read "Hello Portland" She should have said all of this, as a Chinese by birth, by upbringing, by choice long ago. In fact, thirty-five years ago. She wasn’t born yet? You mean she was born and lived in China all her life and she doesn’t know Chinese childhood lit? Oh she grew up the Cultural Revolution of the comical Gang of Four that came on in 1976; replaced Chinese culture with their paperdoll revolutionary operatic silliness till 1976, when Kingston’s WOMAN WARRIOR fortuitously appears with hateful lies about China and continues to erase Chinese culture, lit, and pride. And recording her every word, with adoration in his eyes is Bill Moyers, the owlish former Presidential Press Secretary.
I will say it plainly: Bill Moyers is a white racist. He Popes his own TV church preaching Kingston’s lies about Mulan being a victim of sadistic parents, about Chinese opera people mutilating the mouths of newborn, about the written character for "woman" being the same character for "slave" as the revealed truth. To give Yellow voice to these Christian lies about Yellows he appoints Yellow turncoats Marilyn Chin, Garrett Hongo, Li-Young Lee, David Mura, to his college of archbishops and invests them on TV. Their posture as artists of Asian-American history and culture is based on their American dreams, following Kingston’s intellectual method and not one fact of Mulan, the Chinese children’s story, or Chinese culture, just their singular dreams.•
I stopped by a Chinese woman friend's place unannounced and was greeted with her and a white woman friend making happy over Maxine Hong Kingston's WOMAN WARRIOR which was being celebrated in the white Harper’s Newsletter, The New Yorker, "Ms", the white magazines. The N.Y.Times, L.A. Times, the San Francisco Chronicle were ecstatic over Kingston's uncovering the truth of Chinese culture through the intellectual method of writing her dreams. My friend was Kingston's friend and rather than turn on my heels, I said “If you like Kingston’s writing, you are a white racist.”
“You can’t say that!” the white girlfriend said.
“Sure I can! I just did.”
“Maxine does write beautifully.” My Chinese friend said, “She likes the writing.”
“George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were faggots who used to give each other blowjobs before meetings of the Constitutional Convention.”
The two women’s faces reddened , the darks of their eyes tightened like assholes, and their mouths set.
“You don’t like what I said?” I said, “I said it beautifully didn’t I? I just changed the names of Kerouac and Ginsberg. As Kingston says, ‘Myths have to change or they die.’”
Later my friend scolded me for insulting her white friend.. “You should not have called her a racist,” my friend insists.
“What else should I call her? A liar? All right, I don’t mind. Your friend is a white racist liar.”
“You have to be careful what you say. People don’t know THE BALLAD OF MULAN like we do. It isn’t known by everybody, you know.”
“Then where did she get the name? And you don’t care enough about Chinese kids to tell your friend the truth?”
“It’s just conversation.”
“And you oppress your own cultural integrity for the sake of a white friendship? You think you’re protecting your friend by attacking me for telling the children’s truth?”
“I consider Maxine a friend too.”
“Fine. I don’t. Don’t count me a friend any longer.”
White lies anointed by Moyers and blessed by President Clinton have rewritten Chinese culture and history to Kingston’s racist specifications, and their church of Asian American Studies has grown on the adoring repetition of white lies that guide their dreaming, and the dreams guide their poetry that enable the lies about the Chinese past to grow some more lies.
The truth of Chinese history and culture is told in its literature. THE BALLAD OF MULAN is as definitive a work of Chinese lit as the “myth” of Joan of Arc defines the “French” of every Frenchman. Everything known to any of us comes through books, printed on paper till 1041-1048. Paper was easy to make and meant more copies for the Chinese at a time the west was still scrawling on prepared and treated animal skins. The books of skins prepared by hand were for the rulers and the Church only. Paper was made by and written and drawn on and bought by the people.
THE QINGLI reign of the Song Dynasty, [1041-1048] Bi Sheng invents movable type. He made a small rectangular blocks of clay, and carved inverted characters in relief on them. He fired them hard, forming pieces of movable clay type for mass use in printing on paper. Chinese culture was booked 400 years before Gutenberg printed his first Bible in 1435.
The Chinese kept records from the First Empire on. In the age of mass printing, and Chinese rule of China in the Ming, centuries of official facts of history became Chinese children’s stories, and fictions of the Heroic Tradition. 3 KINGDOMS, WATER MARGIN, MONKEY and Yue Fei "the tattooed general", Liang Hongyu "the Little Drummer Girl", Mu Guiying "The Supreme Commander of the Yang Family Armies", Soong Ching Ling "The Soong who loved China", and Mei Lanfang, the man who introduced Peking Opera to the west. Sometime between 1932-38 Mei Lanfang wrote version of the 5th century poem MULAN JOINS THE ARMY. Sir T.L. Yang's 1995 translation of the Qing Dynasty novel GENERAL YUE FEI, by Qian Cao completes the Ming cycle of the heroic tradition.
The heroic tradition has everything to do with THE BALLAD OF MULAN. The Christian autobiographers have never heard of the heroic tradition or even read THE BALLAD OF MULAN. Their colleges don’t believe the Chinese about the Chinese. They believe Maxine and the white Christians who praise her.
President Clinton officially blessed white racism against China and Chinese culture as official US policy when he gave Kingston his Humanities medal in 1997.
If you can choose to be (1) a Chinese who reads, or (2) a Whiteman’s Ornamental Oriental, why not choose (3) to be something, anything other than Yellow? Why insist on being a Yellow know-nothing who makes your Yellow name as a writer hating Yellows? Why make the search for false knowledge to hate yourself, the heart and soul of your poetry, or prose or artistic expression?
In the interest of an interesting give and take when I speak on July 12th at 10 in the morning, here is more than I can say, when I’m there. (Bibliography at the end)
When Maxine Hong Kingston published THE WOMAN WARRIOR, every Chinese-American writer was put on the spot. Luckily there weren’t many at the time. She seemed haunted by a woman hero and the trotting rhythm and rhyme of a Chinese childhood chant. Jick jick fook jick jick/ Muklan dong woo jick/ But mun gay chur jing./ Woay mun nur tahn sick. White vigilantes descended on their local Chinatown with their Chinese ornaments and demanded to know the truth from every Chinese man, woman, or child, “Oh, you poor kid.” Chinese children were especially interesting. “Don’t be afraid. I’ll protect you from your cruel parents.” Children could be converted. “Tell me Little Yellah, did the girl warrior really have letters carved into her back in the BALLAD you grew up with?” They called it teaching school in San Francisco. They called San Francisco the most Asian city in the continental U.S.
And the brave Yellow writers answered, “Did’ya hear that? Shhhh! Listen!”
That’s the sound of distraction.
I am a Chinese-American writer. I know the Chinese children’s story. In fact, I used to be a Chinese child. In 1972 THE CHICKENCOOP CHINAMAN took a corner of New York and occupied the theater there. The ungrateful Chinese-American playwright appeared with three Asian-American writers, scholars and poets as co-editors of a collection of short fictions by American-born Asians in AIIIEEEEE! in 1975. The foreign-born AA like Yung Wing, and Lin Yutang were already published. 1972-1975 were good and bad years for the Ornamental Orientals of the Hollywood white stereotype machine.
ABC put KUNG FU on TV with David Carridine playing a “half-breed” named “Caine” passing off slow motion ballet exercises as martial arts, and stupid Charlie Chanisms for Chinese swimming instruction from a blind man. “Listen for the color of the sky. Look for the sound of blue...”
I wrote the N.Y.Times that the days of the machine-made riddle talking Chinesey KUNG FU were over, and waited for the yellows to show themselves.
Howard Friedlander one of KUNFG FU’s racist creators sneered at THE CHICKENCOOP CHINAMAN, in comparison to his KUNG FU, and predicted, rightly that his KUNG FU, was the future of Chinese in America. My ungrateful American written Chinese or Chinese written American plays and the first assertion of an American-born sensibility in AIIIEEEEE! jammed the gears of the Christian stereotype machine. They became unstuck and fluid again with Maxine Hong Kingston’s 1976 release of THE WOMAN WARRIOR.
Fakework breeds fakework. David Henry Hwang and Amy Tan have written fakery about Chinese heroes they name, and fake Chinese children’s stories that conform to the Christian white racist stereotypes of the 19th century. They have made the airwaves safe for David Carridine to revive his mumbo jumbo impersonation of a Chinese Buddhist monk to the delight of whites. “Hey, Caine! Love your Yellow ads, man. But can you tell me how to get the men’s room? I have to go, bad, man!”
“Haste make waste.”
“Can’t you just tell me, man? I gotta go! I mean…”
“Rolling stone gather no moss.”
“MMMan, I have to go!”
“Two in hand worth one in the bush.”
“Two in the bush worth one in hand?”
“As mistress Kingston says, ‘Myths have change, or they die.” Of course what she says is nonsense. When did the Greek myth of Ulysses change? What changed? He didn’t own a dog in the original? Did it die? Check the text.
How many of you know the story JACK AND THE BEANSTALK? You all know JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. CINDERELLA? Everybody again. THE UGLY DUCKLING? PETER AND THE WOLF? PINOCHIO? Everybody. RUMPELSTILTSKIN? Yes. Everybody in this house is American. Somehow, in the twenty years of life as a child in America, each of you has learned the children’s stories brought here by immigrants from England, France, Denmark, Italy, Russia, Germany. The PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN? Another Bros Grimm from Germany. Yes again. Who told you these stories?
In your All-American childhood, you’ve picked up, and can tell, if you take a moment, at least a hundred children’s stories, fairy tales, fables, songs, legends and lies from around the world. Yes! Take a moment and think. The Gullah stories of the Georgia Sea Islands come echoing back to some of you privileged to have heard them when you were a kid. Others of you may know “Br’er Rabbit” and “Uncle Remus” as Walt Disney creations, but the stink Walt Disney created with the movie SONG OF THE SOUTH will remain a mystery to those of you fifty years old or younger because Disney won’t distribute the film in America. Disney fears of the controversy that still seethes between Disney and the characterization of African-Americans in the movie. You have to go overseas to Europe to Asia to see the movie that gets the backs of Blacks up at home.
You remember the stories, but you don’t remember the first voice or the face, or the language when the magic of this story started to work. When you were 20-25 years old you lost or gave up the magic of children’s stories for the urgent awareness of your hormones and their awakening new feelgood sensations that made body beautiful to be in.
Then you have kids.
You yellows know that Rumpelstiltskin and the rats the Pied Piper takes out of Hamelin are us. You should tell your kids RUMPELSTILTSKIN before someone else tells them the story.
We’re a people that look different and have funny names like RUMPELSTILTSKIN and of course we know how to spin straw into gold.
Is it fair to take the straw we’ve spun into gold and not pay us the price agreed on eye to eye and a handshake before we set to work? Not only are we stiffed, we are humiliated in public as if this cheating foreigners out of their labor is the custom, and we’re run out of the neighborhood, run out of the town, run out the country, run out of their language.
This question is for people who have taken an Asian American Studies course:
How many of you know Poon Goo, the giant in the egg? Nur Waw the Mother of Humanity? Nah Jah (Nezha) the three headed boy?
When your kids ask Mommy or Daddy, “Tell me a Chinese story,” what story do you tell? Or is this when you discover AAS hasn’t taught you the stories to tell your kids?
What good is AAS if they can’t teach what the Asians learn of themselves? The why of their existence. You know the American childhood hit parade. You’ve gone to AAS and thought you were home to the Chinese children’s story, the Korean children’s story, the Japanese children’s story.
If AAS hasn’t taught you the Chinese stories, they haven’t told you of the China under the Mongols of the Yuan Dynasty that drove the Chinese stories to be written, and published, when publishing was new.
The Chinese children’s story taught self-sufficiency, loyalty to the family, in a time of imminent threat from the horseman tribes of the north. Keeping the family together was the prime objective. The Mongol Yuan wiped out six generations of a traitor’s family. Marco Polo’s foreign trader’s account of Chinese trade goods, and customs was accurate. Of course the peasants and middle-class of the Ming didn’t tell their kids they might have to move suddenly, take another name and get out of China. But if the worse came to pass the kids were ready to run from the first story they heard and remembered THE FOX AND THE TIGER.
Is this a story you want to teach your kid?
THE FOX AND THE TIGER
YOU ALL KNOW what a fox is. Looks a little like a large house cat. Looks a little like a medium sized dog. Sharp-nosed. Sharp-eared. Bright-eyed. Bushytailed. It is a nice day. Fresh. The little fox is out for a little walk, through the woods, minding his own business.
Out of the shadows jumps the tiger. "All right, little fox, say Goodbye! to the world, for I'm going to eat ya!"
"Now, hold on there, Tiger!" the little fox says. "You just can't jump out of the shadows with bad manners and threats! You can’t interrupt my pleasant nice little walk around the charms of my woods!"
"You don’t know that I am the King of the Woods?
"You! The King of the Woods?" The tiger laughs, "You? You? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. You can't be King of the Woods! You have a teeny kitty cat body, and I have this beautiful, (Ooh, I love it so much) magnificently sculpted musculature! You have these little itty bitty kitty cat paws. Me, I have these magnificent ripping, terrifying claws. You have little toy teeth that can't get around one of my toes. And I have a mouth full of these pointed big teeth to puncture hide and muscles, break bone, and bite meat. Teeth that break! Teeth that gnash! Teeth….!” Suddenly the cat purrs, “How can you be King of the Woods?"
"Tsk.Tsk. Tsk.," the Fox shakes his head, "Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.. I don't want to hurt you, Tiger."
"I know you are just a big dumb guy. But I am willing to give you a chance to see for yourself."
"I am going to walk down this road here.”
“You’re going to walk?”
“We are going to walk down this road here. And we’ll see how the first three animals we meet along the way treat me with courtesy and respect.”
"If just one of these three animals talks bad manners all over me, or spits on me, or makes threats… I’ll let you eat me."
"Hmmm,” the tiger thought a moment, “You’re going to walk down this road?”
“The first three animals we meet…”
“And if just one of them treats you with bad manners, spits, or makes threats, you let me eat you?”
“I’ll let you eat me.”
"Hmmm," the tiger thought a moment and said, “How do I know you won't just run away, Little Fox?"
"To make sure I don't run away, Tiger, why don't you just follow me as close as you can?"
"Hmmm," the tiger says, and thinks, "Hmmm.” And thinks some more, and says. “To make sure you don't just run away, I get to follow behind you as close as I want?"
"Sounds good to me, let's go."
The little fox rattles along on his little feet. And the tiger follows close behind with his big shoulders rising and falling and his big pads silently separating the grass and settling into the earth.
"A little fox!" A buffalo comes snorting and charging out of the grass, “Stomp! Stomp! Stompity! Stomp! Gonna stomp on a Little Fox!” The buffalo screeches to a stop. “Oh ho, Little Fox!” he shakes his huge head chews his cud. “How are you today Little Fox?”
“Fine Buffalo. How are you?”
“Fine! Fine! I was stomping along and saw you, and just had to stop and say it’s such a beautiful day, isn’t a beautiful day?”
"Yes, it is Buffalo."
"The birds are singing." The buffalo blinks and shudders a bird off his flanks. “And the bees are buzzing.”
“Yes, they are Buffalo.”
“Well, it’s such a nice day, I’ll just be stomping along. If that’s okay with you.”
"Nice seeing you, Buffalo," the little fox says, and walks on.
The tiger follows, and says to himself, "Hmmmm. Interesting."
They walk on, come to a river and walk by the river awhile.. Suddenly an alligator comes leaping out of the water and snapping its jaws toward the fox. "My, my, my …!" the alligator sees the tiger, "Ooops! …friend! My pal. Ahhh." The alligator smiles, "Beautiful day. My good friend, Little Fox.”
“Have you noticed the sun is shining, the grass is so green.”
“Yes, I have noticed that.”
“The water sparkles.”
"Yes, it does."
"Yes, it does. I just had to say it to somebody."
"Why, thank you, Alligator. That’s very kind."
"Yes, it is, isn’t it. Well, see you later."
"See you later, alligator," the little fox says and the alligator slinks back into the water. And the little fox walks on.
The tiger follows, saying to himself, "Hmm. Interesting."
Next a huge python snake comes dangling out of a tree and sticks its thin black forked tongue out and in, fast several times without licking its lips. "Haaaa, Little Fox say..." and the snake sees the tiger, "Hi-i-i-i! Say, Hiiiiiii there!"
"Hello, snake, how are you?"
"Oh? Oh, I'm just fi-i-i-ine, just fine thank you," the snake says. “Well…I mustn’t keep you. I’d hate to do thaaat.”
“Well, I should be going.”
“Yesss. Welll…” and the snake slips around a tree trunk and disappears.
The little fox walks on a few steps, then stops and turns to the tiger. He dusts his fur and asks, "Well, tiger, do you feel like eating me now?"
The tiger shies back and gulps and looks down at the little fox, "Err. Oh, Little Fox. I lost my head. I obviously did not know what I was doing. You are, indeed the King of the Woods. With your permission, I'll withdraw now."
The tiger back steps away, turns and disappears into the shadows, and the little fox walks on.
Why didn’t the Tiger eat the Little Fox at the end?
Hands again. Yes, the Little Fox had connived to have the Tiger think he was following the Little Fox to keep him from running, and the animals think the tiger was the Little Fox’s bodyguard. And as lightbulbs blink on above your heads, I’ll reveal the whole title. THE FOX AND THE TIGER STRATEGY.
All the stories come to us through the presses of the 100 year Mongol Yuan, and the 250 year Chinese Ming.
The Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Kublai Khan. Marco Polo. Gary Cooper was a joke as the adventurer in THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO. Peasants, the lowest of the low revolted against the Mongols, and brought in the Chinese rule of the Ming Dynasty.
The Ming was Chinese, but they were chicken Chinese. The Ming had the peasants build the Great Wall and thought the wall would keep the horsemen out. The wall turned out be not horseman proof. The Mongols and other nomads on horseback, didn’t rule but still they gathered south of the wall every year at harvest time, like crows around China’s farm goods.
The Ming didn’t know the power of mass printing in the hands of the people till unauthorized editions of Luo Kuanzhong’s THE ROMANCE OF THE TRHEE KINGDOMS printed by pirates hit the underground market.
The loud, public mock courtly language of the opera became the private contemplative language of the first operatic or “vernacular” novel, THE ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS. The novel was a new form. A book of history and fact written by an opinionated personality calling for his people to ally up and defend their China. In the Ming he had to write sly, to slip the anti-Ming, pro-family message under the noses of the Ming.
From the first words, the reader was in the words and atmosphere of a rousing opera building enthusiasm for three men over their vision of China, and their fight to achieve it. But the enthusiasm for revenge and war is the reader’s alone in contemplation with the book, in words the peasants read and understood.
Luo Guanzhong the first Chinese author, wants his readers to identify China as home and to prepare to fight for it. A loose translation of the first words:
Kingdoms rise and fall.
Nations come and go.
It’s a good day to die.
Let the goodtimes roll.
The first novel saw the invention of Chinese patriotism in the reader. The reader is filled with a personal pride and responsibility for the spot of land where he was born. Home. 3 KINGDOMS is the first novel in China, Korea and Japan and has shaped the way China, Korea and Japan sees their history.
The book tells the history of family dynasties becoming empires giving this book the heft of history. Serious history.
One day: Chien Hsi Huang, a mere king, among kings, gobbled up one his neighboring kingdoms, and was more than a king. He gobbled another neighboring kingdom, and another, making him the first emperor of the first empire, the Qin. Qin (pronounced Chin,) is the word “China” comes from. Chien Hsi Huang unified Chinese writing, standardized money and spent ten years, and hundreds of thousands of men’s lives building the Great Wall to keep the nomadic desert horsemen out of China.
The folk called the wall the long cemetery where the wails thousands of widows and mothers still search for their men. The first empire the Qin lasted from 221-206 BC, just 15 years, and isn’t much loved by the Chinese.
The Han, is the second empire. The Han glitters, twinkles and shines.
The Han is, above all, beloved. The Han is the most legendary, longest lasting of the three Chinese dynasties ruled by Chinese. The other two being the Tang (618-907) and the Ming (1368-1644). Ah, the poor Ming.
The book zips through the Han begins to slow down with a revolt that brings three men, with three differently colored faces, from different parts of China, and three different walks of life, a white faced pretender to the throne of the Han; a redfaced murderer; a blotchy faced popeyed rich farmer, meet on their way to save the Han.
The three take to each other and repair to the farmer’s peach garden and swear an oath of blood brotherhood, with the famous line, “Though we were born at different times and places, we hope to die at the same place, at the same time.” They don’t.
Cho Cho, the villain of the piece, who started this mess of revolts that has brought the three Brothers together, with cunning, brilliance and the strategy of Sun Tzu, in an unholy mix with the strategy of Wu Chih. Cho Cho is the pouting misunderstood genius of the piece.
Cho Cho ursurped the throne, and Han China has split into Three Kingdoms.
Cho Cho rules Wei the big chunk to the west, of Wu, where the 3 Brothers of the oath in the Peach Garden end their lives in failure. Shu is the kingdom in the south.
All three brothers die failing to restore the Han. And the novel plods on under the care of the 3 brother’s strategist genius Kungming, aka Geegawk Leong. He dies. It ends with Wu being devoured in, you guessed it, war.
We are born in war. We will die in war. Our right (whoever “we” are) to occupy and farm China as ours is always a matter of contention.
So the book ends. The reader in the Ming was not satisfied. The reader was left with his bloodlust awake and throbbing with Chinese patriotism, in the present day Ming. The peasants that had driven the Mongols out of China. The Ming had let the peasants down by hiding in the silk and porcelain art of their Ming selves, in cities behind walls peasants and common folk were forbidden to cross.
3 KINGDOMS didn’t fire up the people of the Ming. It was the other way around. Luo was born to a people fed up with the cowardice of Chinese Ming. The people of the Ming were publishing schools of kung fu with drawings of their moves. Even the secretive Buddhists of Shaolin temple published their animal strategies. The rich farmers financed private armies to protect them from the government and to fight the tribal horsemen from the north.
Tales of the WATER MARGIN appeared like news broadsides had been distributed piecemeal like meat during the Mongol Yuan. The peasants snarled at the Mongol Yuan and foamed at the mouth and used their teeth, then ran for their lives. Luo Kuanzhong edited and added the long end chapters before Shi Nai’an’s WATER MARGIN was published. Shi Nai’an and Luo Kuanzhong tell a story that reminds readers of the cowardly and ineffective Ming Dynasty that rules them.
Their story is set in the Song Dynasty. The Song has given up bits of China to the nomadic invaders from the north. Worse, the Song confiscates the land and outlaws any Chinese that raises a hand against a nomadic horseman.
Soong Gong (Song Jiang) an average county clerk with an unusual admiration for men and women of the “gallant fraternity” known for their fighting skill is outlawed by the Song he serves. The gallant fraternity nicknames him the “The Rescuing Rain (that breaks the drought)” for his generosity to warriors passing through his county. He is outlawed by the Song he serves and flees to Liangsahn Marsh, or “the Water Margin,” a marshy constantly changing swampland, known as the hideout of criminals, on the Yellow River.
He recognizes talent and isn’t jealous. He leads of the good 36 Stars of Heavenly Spirits, and the bad 72 Stars of Earthly Fiends to combine as Chinese, to save China and the Chinese family from the government and the invading nomads.
They form a community on a mountain hidden deep inside the depths of the Liangsahn Marsh.
The outlaws of the marsh are, the soul of China fighting two enemies. The government out to break up and take the place of an individual’s family and the nomadic invaders out to subjugate China to a crow’s way of life.
The people who live and farm around the outlaws hideout ask the Rescuing Rain to declare himself emperor, but Soong Gong (Song Jiang), refuses. Being a good Confucian, he disdains high office.
He sends a message to the emperor asking for an amnesty for defending China’s borders, an amnesty the outlaws really do not want. Their loyalty is to Soong Gong, not the empire. The emperor agrees, but there are conditions. First Soong Gong must stop the raids by the nomads without involving the emperor.
The outlaws know they are soul of China and will fail to achieve the China they embody because of their leader’s change of heart.
The 5 Ruan brothers ask Soong Gong for permission to withdraw from the 108. Soong Gong gives permission to leave the band, to all that ask.
The Ruan brothers leave the Water Margin with their families and head south and west where they found the kingdom of Siam. The Ruan’s are an indication that Chinese don’t need China to be Chinese.
All you need to be Chinese is to belong to a Chinese family that defines itself with the Chinese story.
Those that stay with Soong Gong are killed in battle, or killed by government agents.
Soong Gong, the leader of the dying band, is sent imperial wine from the emperor himself. He knows it is poisoned, but drinks it to not offend the emperor. Is this criticism of Confucius? Soong Gong, the Rescuing Rain dies. His servant Lee Kuey, the Black Whirlwind, the lowest of the low, and the first of the 36 stars of earthly fiends who used to tear off his clothes to run into one end of battle naked swinging a thirty pound battle-axe in each hand, and out the other end covered in layers of congealing blood buries his master’s body and dies. The China the outlaws loved is in the hands of traitors and a cowardly but artistic emperor.
And another the novel ends with the reader unsatisfied, bristling and gnashing teeth.
The peasants including moneyed farmers who used their money to support vigilantes to protect them, rose against the Ming, and were betrayed. Instead of a new Chinese ruler, the Manchu rode through the wall and established the Qing, in 1644.
Qian Cao of the Manchu Qing, the early Manchu Qing, he died sometime before his emperor died 91 years into the Qing. After he was dead the vengeful Qing pulled his book from publication. That showed him.
His book GENERAL YUE FEI was knowingly insurrectionist. Yue Fei had fought the Jurchen ancestors of the Manchu’s that ruled the Qing, in Qian Cao’s day.
Mother Yue tattoos “Loyal to the country” with the character “Gawk” for “country” formed by the armed farmers surrounded by the borders of a farm, on her son’s back. The character announces the contempt for the “Kwun” or “Lord (over the empire)” or the emperor. The tattoo is the mark of a criminal, and the crime is Yue Fei’s love for the land and the family over the emperor. After beating back the nomads trying to invade China over the mountains, on the plans, over the water, he’s arrested and killed for this crime against the empire.
Yue Fei’s mother leads the descendents of children of the children of the Water Margin and the 3 Kingdoms out of China and into China again. As if to show the Chinese family didn’t need China to be Chinese. The first novels in the language of the people’s opera developed a very assertive belligerent fighting mad individual fed up with bickering chickens in charge of China from 3KINGDOMS to GENERAL YUE FEI.
You who grew up without the Chinese children’s story and with the so-called Chinese-American identity problem. You know that if you do as your parents did, your kid will grow up as confused as you did. You also know you can learn the stories and tell them to your kid, while he or she is still a kid.
The Chinese children’s story doesn’t mean your kid is doomed to grow up to be a good or bad person. It means, rich man, poor man, begger man, thief, he’s as Chinese as he is an American.
The secret of the Chinese-American two century long identity problem is the Chinese children’s story.
The war against being Chinese, hidden in plain sight gives urgency to the Chinese children’s story in the Ming. The storytelling in print builds a sense of Chinese familial propriety that is above the government. The sweet THE FOX AND THE TIGER is a way of teaching “Strategy.” All the Chinese children’s stories teach strategy.
THE NORTH COUNTRY WOLF dramatizes a verse of the strategist Sun Tzu: All strategy is based on deception. The story so simple, everything in plain sight, yet it wasn’t plain to me. What strategy did Stupid the Failed Scholar use on the wolf out to eat him? Actually it’s the old teacher of questionable compis menti, who uses a simple deception based on the wolf’s own ego, against him. Parents, hold your kids. Protect them any stray strategy or spit splashing out of my telling of:
STUPID THE SCHOLAR & THE WOLF
(THE WOLF OF SHANDONG)
(THE WOLF OF SHANDONG)
A SCHOLAR HAS failed the Imperial examinations, "Oh me, I failed the exams. I'm stupid, stupid, stupid!" The failed scholar mopes along on the road of life with his bag of books over his shoulder. "How can I go home? Hi folks, I failed the Imperial exams?" He groans. "I'm just another failed scholar on the road of life to nowhere.” He kicks himself. “Oh, me. Oh, my. I failed.” He slaps himself on the forehead. “I'm stupid. I don't know nothing. Nothing!"
A wolf dashes out of the woods and falls down at the failed scholar's feet, and looks up into his eyes.
"Please! Save my life! Save my life! Save my life!"
"Who? What? I don't know nothing! Nothh…"
"I'll give you silver," the wolf says.
“I'll give you Gold!"
"Just hide me, and save my life! And I'll give you silver and gold," the wolf says.
"Err, uhh, how? Where?"
"What do ya have in the bag, man?"
"Books!" the scholar said.
"Books! You don't need books! No one’ll give you silver and gold for carrying books in a bag! Dump the books!"
"Right," the scholar says and dumps the books. The wolf climbs into the bag. His body is tight fit. His neck sticks out. Off in the distance barking dogs are heard. The wolf is frantic. "Come on, man, stuff my head down in this bag. Come on!"
The scholar shoves and pushes, and pushes, "Come on, get me in the bag!" The scholar shoves the wolf's head down into the bag.
"Now tie the bag up! Hurry, man!"
The scholar ties the bag up.
"Now pick the bag up and start walking, come on, hurry!"
The scholar heaves the bag full of wolf onto his back and staggers into a walk.
Hunters on horseback break out of the woods and rein up by the scholar. "You there! Have you seen a wolf come by this way?" the leader of the hunting party asks.
"You're sure you haven't seen a wolf come by this way or cross this road?" the hunters ask.
“The dogs sniff the wolf on your trail, and then nothing, no wolf spoor.”
“Well, I haven’t seen a wolf. If one were around, I certainly would have noticed.”
“Would you?” one hunter asks and laughs.
“You seem a stupid, for a scholar,” the other says. The hunters back their horses and the scholar finally looks up and sees they wear imperial colors. They are the emperor's hunters. They ride off the road where the dogs are sniffing for a trail.
The scholar walks on carrying the wolf in his book bag for one mile, two miles, six miles till the wolf cries out, "Hey, lemme out here! I can't breathe! Put me down. Let me out of here!"
The scholar stops and sets the bag down, unties it and helps the wolf slip out.
"You know, while I was in your bag," the wolf says, "I got awful hungry. I'm so hungry from being in your bag, I am going to eat you up. Don’t look at me like that, it is your fault I'm hungry."
"Now, wait a minute, Wolf. That's not fair. You promised me silver…”
“Yes, I know. And I promised you gold.”
“And you promised me gold if I hid you in my bag and saved your life," the scholar says.
“If you saved my life, yes. That’s what I said.”
"I kept my part of the bargain, and now instead of silver and gold you tell me, I owe you a meal, and I'm it? That is not fair!"
"Sure, that's fair. Anybody will tell you that's fair," the wolf says. "What’s unfair about it?"
"Come on, nobody will say that's fair! I'm not that stupid."
"Ask anybody. Anybody! And they'll tell you, I'm being fair."
"Ask anybody. Ask any three living things, and I bet, they'll tell you it’s fair to eat you for saving my life."
"Yes. Ask three elders, and if one, just one, says it's not fair of me eat to eat you…I won't eat you," the wolf says. He chuckles. "Stupid!"
They walk a bit and come to an old withered apricot tree. "Talk to the tree," the wolf says.
"Talk to the tree?" the failed scholar whines.
"Talk to the tree," the wolf says.
The scholar stops by the old apricot tree, and bows. "Old Apricot Tree," the failed scholar says, "I beg your pardon, I'm nobody, I don't mean anything, but I would like the benefit of your instruction in a personal matter."
The rickety Old Apricot Tree rattles and sighs, "Hummmm."
"Old Apricot Tree, I was minding my own business moping along the road of life after I flunked the big exams and this wolf runs out of the woods begs me to save his life. He makes me dump my books, and promises me silver and gold to hide him in my bag and carry him, and I do, and the Imperial hunters ride up, and ask me if saw a wolf, and I tell them I didn't see any wolf, and then when the wolf gets out of the bag, he tells me he got hungry inside my bag, and it's my fault he's hungry and he's going to eat me," the scholar says on a long breath. "Is that fair, Old Apricot Tree?"
And the Old Apricot Tree sighs and rattles his rickety twigs and says, "I was born and the rain watered me. And the sun shone on me. And you protected me from the birds and made sure I got water and sun, and I grew and grew. And then I sprouted fruit and you humans picked my fruit and ate it and threw away the seeds. And you carved your initials in my bark and you let your kids climb into my branches and break them. Then you cut off my branches and you burned them for firewood. And, yeah, it's fair for the wolf to eat you!"
Oh, oh, the scholar thinks. This isn't good, and thanks the Old Apricot Tree and walks on.
They come to a field and in the field is an old horse. "Talk to the horse," the wolf says. And the scholar approaches the old horse, bows and says, "Old Horse, I'm nobody and don't mean anything but beg the benefit of your instruction in a personal matter."
"Oh, boy, here we go again," the Old Horse says.
"Old Horse, I was minding my own business just walking along the road of life after I flunked the big exams and this wolf runs out of the woods and begs me, to save his life. He falls on his knees at my feet, and begs me to save his life. He promises to give me silver and gold if I'll hide him in my bag and carry him, and I do, and the Imperial hunters ride up and I tell them I didn't see any wolf. And then when the wolf gets out of the bag, he tells me it's my fault he's hungry and he's going to eat me," the scholar says on a long breath. "Is that fair, Horse?"
And the Old Horse says, "I was born. I suckled on my mother's milk and ran and played after her. And you humans gave me good grass and good grain to eat and lots of water to drink and lots of room to run. I was out when the sun shone and sheltered from the rain. Then you made me pull and drag for you round and round or back and forth back and forth. And then you whipped me to make me pull harder when your plow hit hard ground. And the work and the harness left sores on my body. Then you let your kids ride on me, and whip me, and you tie me up to trees and leave me all night. Biting flies buzzed and birds came to eat off my open sores as I got a little older and you stopped feeding me. You no longer let me in out of the rain after all the work I've done for you and, yeah, it's fair for the wolf to eat you."
"Whoops," the scholar says to himself, "I'm in trouble."
Next the wolf and the scholar come across an old teacher asleep on the road.
“Talk to Sleepyhead,” the wolf says.
"Old Teacher. Wake up. You’re sleeping on the road.”
“What?” the Old Teacher says waking up. “What am I doing on the road? I was asleep here? Who are you? Did you rob me?”
“Ask the Old Teacher,” the wolf says so the old teacher will hear.
“What?” the scholar asks.
“Ask him,” the wolf says with threatening show of teeth.
The scholar bursts into tears, falls on his face in front of the old man and whimpers, "Old Teacher, I wasn't hurting anybody I was just walking along the road of life after I flunked the big exams, minding my own business. And this wolf runs out of the woods and begs me to dump my books and promises me silver and gold to hide him in my bag and carry him, and I do, and the Imperial hunters ride up and I tell them I didn't see any wolf. Then when the wolf gets out, he tells me he got hungry inside my bag, and it's my fault he's hungry and he's going to eat me!" the scholar whines. "And he says that's fair! Is that fair, Old Teacher?"
"There are many sides to every question,” the Older Teacher says. “I want to understand this before I decide. Is this what happened, Wolf?"
"Yes, I thought he told it very well," the wolf says.
"Hmmm. There's something I still don't understand," the Old Teacher says. "Where did you say this happened?"
"Oh, back this way along the road about, maybe six miles," the scholar says.
"Can we go back there and let me have a look at where this all happened?"
"Sure, we can. Let's get this over with fast," the wolf says and leads the way.
They reach the spot where the scholar and wolf met and the Old Teacher paces around this way and that with his stick and shakes his head. "No, there's still something I don't quite understand," he says, "You say you dumped your books and this wolf here climbed into that little bag?"
"Oh, I understand your problem," the wolf says, "You don't believe a big magnificent wolf like me can fit into that little bag! Here we'll show you!" The wolf turns to the scholar and snaps, "Come on, Stupid, help me get in the bag!"
The wolf and scholar huff and puff and grunt and groan and stuff the wolf into the bag. And the Old Teacher laughs. "I can still see your head, Wolf. What kind of hiding is that?"
"Well, I had Stupid shove and push on my head till it was stuffed in the bag too."
"Well?" the old Teacher shrugs.
"Come on, man," the wolf says, "Stuff my head down into the bag!"
And the scholar uses all his strength and shoves the wolf's head into the bag, and stops to catch his breath.
"Then what did you do?" the Old Teacher asks.
"I tied up the bag."
"Aha!" the Old Teacher says.
"Tie up the bag!" the wolf says from inside the bag.
The scholar blushes, "Oh, how stupid of me!" and ties up the bag. "Now what?" he asks.
"Walk on," the Old Teacher says.
“Walk on?” the scholar asks.
“Walk on?” the wolf asks inside the bag.
How many of you have read THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS by Claire Huchet Bishop. Everybody.
Is it real or fake? The book jacket quotes the N.Y.Times “based on a Chinese story.” It is? How many of you asked if it was real or fake? You gave it to your kids anyway, right?
You didn’t you warn your kids THE 5 CHINESE BROTHERS is a story based on the memories of men who enjoyed torturing Chinese during the 100 years of the Opium Wars and their penalty phases?
THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS are five Chinese victims of torture for the entertainment of whites. Burn the Chinese. Ha! Ha ! Ha! Drown the Chinese! Ho! Ho! Ho! Hang the Chinese! Ha ha! Ho ho! Chop off the head of the Chinese! Hee hee Hee! Oh, the Chinese are so funny. They’re fireproof, drown-proof, hang-proof, chop-proof…
The First Ornamental Oriental
Maxine Hong Kingston is the first Ornamental Oriental to give her yellow voice, to a fake story and apply it to a real name from Chinese folklore, “Mulan.” Kingston wrote a horrifyingly spare and lovely scene of the girl Mulan at fourteen being surprised awake by her parents sneaking up on her with knives in their hands. White Christian reviewers in the N.Y.Times, The New Yorker, the S.F.Chronicle, The L.A. Times were all fooled into thinking they were suddenly experts on Far Mulan was the tattooed girl.
Fakework breeds fakework. David Henry Hwang repeated Kingston’s slander of Mulan as a tattooed victim like clockwork and faked a tale of another hero by name Kwan Kung, in “F.O.B.” the Obie Winning Off-Broadway play. Then Amy Tan rewrote THE UGLY DUCKLING as a fake Chinese story about a mother who goes to market for a duck that dreams of being a beautiful goose, and put it on page one of THE JOY LUCK CLUB.
“How do you know her duck story’s fake?” an Amy Tan fan might ask.
Ducks and geese bought in the market symbolize one thing in Chinese folk, fiction and lit: food. In China birds bred for market have the intellect and nobility of chicken McNuggets. That’s why they’re called “birdbrains.”
It is the wild birds that embody the 5 noble qualities of you know who. It is the wild birds mate for life.
WILD BIRDS. NOBLE BIRDS.
A terrible defeat. Soong Gong, the Rescuing Rain leads the Outlaws in panic stricken retreat back to Liangshan Marsh. Dejected, passing thoughts of suicide he comes to Double Woods Crossing and stops to rest. Yan Qing the great archer among the 108 outlaws tries to restore his leaders spirits by shooting down a flock of wild geese.
From Chapter Ninety of OUTLAWS OF THE
MARSH trans Sidney Shapiro.
Page 1423. 5th paragraph:
Song Jiang directed that Yan Qing come to him immediately. The Prodigy wore a broad brimmed white felt hat and a parrot-yellow tunic quilted with a flaxen floss. Astride a roan desert steed and carrying his bow and arrows, he canted up to a halt before Song Jiang, the dead geese hanging over his horse’s rump. He dismounted and stood waiting. “Was that you, shooting geese just now?”
“I needed practice and saw them flying overhead. I didn’t expect every arrow to score a hit. I must’ve brought down more than a dozen.”
“A military man ought to practice his archery, and you’re an expert at it. I was just thinking – these geese leave Tianshan Range in autumn and fly south across the Yangzi with reeds in their beaks to where it’s warm and they can find food, and don’t return till the following spring. They’re the most virtuous of birds. They travel in flocks of up to half a hundred, flying in orderly ranks, with the leader at the dead and the inferiors behind. They never leave the flock, and post sentinels when they rest at night. If a gander loses his goose, are a goose her gander, they never mate again. These fowl possess all five attributes – virtue, righteousness, propriety, knowledge and faith.
“If a goose dies in flight, all utter cries of mourning, and none will ever harass a bereaved bird. This is virtue. When a fowl loses it’s mate, it never pairs again. This is righteousness. They fly in a definite order, each automatically takings its place. This is propriety. They avoid hawks and eagles, silently crossing the passes with reed sticks in their beaks. This is knowledge. They fly south in autumn and north in spring, every year without fail. This is faith.
“How could you have the heart to harm such admirable creatures? Those geese passing in the sky, all helping one another, are very much like our band of brothers. Yet you shoot them down. How would we feel if it were some of our brothers we had lost? You must never hurt these virtuous birds again!”
Every AAStudies and AALit course teaches Ornamental Orientalia as the only Yellow writing worth talking about. I am banned across the country. I don’t care what the whites say about me. I am not white. Being banned by the yellows for saying “Only white racists can like Kingston’s hatred of the Chinese,” leads me to every yellow written review of WHAT’S WRONG WITH FRANK CHIN? slapping me around for Kingston bashing. Not one Chinese-American reviewer stands for THE BALLAD OF MULAN. They deny the content their youth. Not one stands for Chinese children’s story. They deny they ever had a Chinese childhood. Not one is ashamed of their stupidity showing.
PRINTING IN THE MONGOL YUAN
THE PRESS IN THE CHINESE MING
THE PRESS IN THE CHINESE MING
The storytellers of the Ming printing press appealed to the Chinese sense of being Chinese from the family on up to resist having their crops raided by Mongol and the Manchu horsemen. These weren’t the complaints of poor peasant farmers eking out a living from their pile of rocks. These were the rich peasant farmers growing the wealth of China.
The government built walls and appreciated art. The secretive Buddhists of Shaolin temple Kung emerged one of a flurry of kung fu clubs turned publishers to recruit and train their readers. The well-read, or the literati of the Ming ignored the call to arms being sounded in the play MULAN JOINS THE ARMY, and the vernacular novels ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS, WATER MARGIN, JOURNEY TO THE WEST, THE CANONIZATION OF THE GODS, CHING PING MEI, all written during the Ming. The Ming government judged all but 3 KINGDOMS to be insurrectionist.
The Far Mulan found in the Chinese children’s chant of 550 AD was the world’s first poetic statement of male-female equality, in war and peace. There’s a difference between love homosexual “love” of the Greeks and Romans and the “equality” between the sexes of the Chinese. The chant closes with a quatrain:
The she rabbit dims her shiny eye.
The he rabbit tucks in his feet to sit.
Two rabbits hop side by side.
Who can tell which is the he and which the she?
In the Ming, Xu Wen put these lines onstage. The sight of the Mulan and her ally, as the Yin and Yang circle, as a meaning of the Taoist circle struck what was Chinese in the Chinese. Life on the land versus the life of a nomad.
Xu Wen tucks between the lines of Mulan galloping north to join the army, across the Yellow River to the Black Mountains, a scene of Mulan riding up on a pair of slow moving horsemen going north to defend the wall. She scolds them for thinking women had an easy life at home. Home was the source of wealth. No crops. No money. By the time she reports to the commander she has assembled a number of men insanely loyal to her. That scene is more critical of the Ming present than any dynasty lost in the haze of long ago. Life was war back then, and it was still war in the Ming.
Mulan, the commander of generals, observes in the BALLAD:
Sawk hay churn gum tawk.
The tight northern air drums the watch.
Hawn gong jew tit yee.
Winter dawn glints off the chain mail.
Jerng Gwun bok gin seee.
My generals of a hundred battles are dead.
Jawng see sup nien gwai.
My soldiers’re spent from ten years at war.
Maxine Hong Kingston identified the Mulan of the BALLAD as her Mulan. She quoted lines from THE BALLAD OF MULAN before she has her creepy parents creep in and surprise her with tattoos. Her attempt to sell her FIFTH BOOK OF PEACE as having been preceded by four previous Chinese BOOKS OF PEACE, places one of those BOOKS, possibly, the first, with the first Chinese printing press and the freedom of the Chinese Ming.
If her book of peace had existed, at the time, it would have faced one of the most belligerent works of the heroic tradition, China’s first vernacular novel 3 KINGDOMS, in the marketplace. The BOOK OF PEACE would have been compared and criticized and slandered, and scandalized in an intellectual-propogandist journals or the other. Anonymous or pseudonymous critical articles about non-existent chapters of MONKEY seemed to be traded. Was that criticism of MONKEY or the cowardly and oppressive rule of the Ming disguised as MONKEY? Books are asking the Chinese what does it mean to be Chinese, between an oppressive Ming and an oppressive invader? Where is the BOOKS OF PEACE? The Ming would definitely approve it. Peace is what they want. And if it existed, the peasants that rose against the Ming would have ridiculed Kingston’s formula for peace: write a poem instead of fighting the whole world for your land and your way of life.
The Ming falls and the Qing is in, but still Qian Cao, a Chinese writes to rouse the Chinese in the Chinese, to stand and fight against the foreign Qing.
[to be CONT'D]