Nanjing and Minnie Vautrin

uncovered from my draft entries, last modification dated  13 déc. 2017 03:32.

she might or might not be a significant figure of the expat and missionary communities in nanjing china in the world war ii era, what is written on her and her personal experience will sure be a part of the war / massacre / peace / never again narratives for a turbulent era. her name is Minnie Vautrin.
Minnie Vautrin

so here is what I penned around the christmas season  of 2017:

what to write or not -rthk late night documentary repeat had an episode on the massacre in Nanjing, sooming my focus in and out throughout the 50 plus minute, a missionary’s story caught my attention – Minnie Vautrin 魏特琳. Reading this in December when everyone walking into shopping centres got bombarded with jingles make the contrast more vehmenly sad. Vautrin, probably suffered a nervous breakdown from witnessing so many people dying around her, took her life within a year of returning to USA for a sick leave.

today, 14 may is the anniversary of her suicide.

Minnie Vautrin 's tombstone

if you leave – Pretty in Pink

if you leave (80s)

if you leave

came from the movie “Pretty in Pink”

fore more clips

or a soundtrack without video? some typed up lyrics plus still photos…


if you leave, a number plays its visits from time to time in the airwaves resembling a not-so-distant relative. Whether it’s from the radio or boombox, in the car or at a fast food joint, I always allowed its melody in to my unsuspecting ears. Although I have never watched “Pretty in Pink“, the electronic 80s never fall out of favour. I wonder if it has anything to do with the above PG-13 but not risqué at all lyrics.

Coming of age, Cult, Classic 80s, words that thrown around to discribe the film, don’t really matter to me. My simple weakness for replaying the song or turned up the radio whenever it was on, was hinged upon the melody, and maybe the lyrics.


Four Queens and a funeral

That was the post title I had in mind a year ago on 31 July 2012 when Gore Vidal took the elevator to heaven. The London Olympics were in full force and I remembered seeing Freddie Mercury (no, I wasn’t hallucinating), the Queen Elizabeth II and George Michael somewhere, somehow during the opening ceremonies. Mix that with Vidal and you know how the mathematics worked out.

I’ve watched more video interviews, documentaries on VIdal than I’ve read his books. Nevertheless, his wit and elegance perfused in the media forms by and about him. Here are some of his quotes.

Our state of affairs:

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

On being a Queen perhaps:

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.

On democracy:

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.

and on Religion, from his Lowell Lecture at Harvard University, April 1992

The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal—God is the Omnipotent Father—hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is not just in place for one tribe, but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good. Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god’s purpose.

I really preferred this ONN particular Queen I wrote about among the four.

Vidal on corporate grip

Vidal on corporate grip

Snowden and Sinicisation of the States

If you are USA citizens (many nationalities are Americans, you don’t need me to lecture you in this particular post, do you?), you shouldn’t be so proud that gay marriage seems to be making grounds, nor that you have re-elected your first Black president for a second term. Nothing worth going jubilatory about.

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary of George W. Bush, had tweeted as around the time when Snowden’s leak surfaced:

“Drone strikes. Wiretaps. Gitmo. [Obama] is carrying out Bush’s 4th term. Yet he attacked Bush for violating Constitution,”

Well a few short notes for those of you, that might mean MOST of you who haven’t noticed.

Chinese dissidents flock to foreign media such as BBC, Radio Free Asia, RFI, VoA and the like when they have something to say.

And this time the news broke with The Guardian, a British newspaper, a foreign media for the people of ths USA. The journalist, who is American, seems to be based in Brazil these days. I bet North American soil is too safe and free for him these days.

While China has its Great Fire Wall to block out bad influence websites for her citizens, the USA seem to be catching up by blocking the entire Guardian website for troops stationed abroad.

Hmmm Did I say Sinicization?

And the rhetoric of US officials on Snowden while is not identical, but definitely rhymes with that diffused by the Chinese government when Liu Xiao Bo was honoured with the 2010 Nobel peace prize.

Perhaps Evo Morales was “meddling on the internal affairs” of the USA that the Western European countries citing technical or diplomatic difficulties and did not allow the president of Bolivia to pass through their airspace. Boy I thought “meddling on the internal affairs” is patented by the Chinese government. Apparently not, or Beijing failed to follow up with the ptent office.

hmmmm did I say Chinalization? LOL

I dunno whether Dick Cheney was correct on Snowden as a “Chinese” spy, but I am curious as to how much backbone the Nobel committee will have should Snowden receives a nomination for the Peace Prize in the coming years. Afterall, Obama had his during his first year in office.

So be faithful to your country, dear US of A citizens, for the government is doing everything to promote you and your liberty!

hmmmm Did I say Sinification?
Wait a minute, I might be wrong afterall. Google, whose offices in Beijing got a sea of flowers when Chinese netizens sent in their condolences. Google took the moral high ground to leave China because the Chinese government likes to breathe down the necks of her citizens. Now, by the same token, Google, MSN, Facebook and the like must find refuge somewhere OUTSIDE of the USA if NSA/Prism are acting like overprotective parents. But where could these companies go tomorrow?

See you in DC! Oops I really meant Peking LOL.

Gac Filipaj, janitor and now Columbia graduate

A friend of mine questioned me the significance of a janitor from Columbia University, Gac Filipaj, who graduated with a Bachelor degree in Classics after taking 14 credits per year in the morning while holding his full time job in the afternoon into the wee hours in the morning.

custodian Gac Filipaj  at work

custodian Gac Filipaj at work

It’s inspirational because he presevered and took advantaged of free tuition offered to employeees and studied over a span of twelve years. A decade to finish this academic project, how could one not paying any respect!

Gac Filipaj congratulated by boss

Gac Filipaj congratulated by boss

I also read from from news sources that he was making US$28 an hour. Two things came to my mind immediately for comparaison. Firstly, in Hong Kong employeers and business owners bitched about how the minimum wage, implemented since May 2011, hurt their businesses. While I don’t know the exact minimum wage in New York, probably 9 or 10 US$, HK’s stands at less than US$4 (HK$28). Secondly, I recall student newspaper of City University of Hong Kong documented the Uni’s practice of moving a three-shift (8 hour each) day to a two-shift (12 hour each) arrangements for security guards. That compounded with the fact that another university outsourced the sanitation work to save money, make me think and rethink progress or the lack of in various industrialized economies. Sure there are people living in poverty, but Hong Kong businesses have some learning to catch up in treating the lower-paid employees.

Filipaj among graduates

Filipaj among graduates

84th Oscars

Les français doivent si fiers de leur culture, plus spécifiquement leur cinéma, lorsque la 84ème cérémonie des Oscars. Une production française – The artist, et deux autres productions américaines qui ont les thèmes

1) sur un des innovateurs du cinéma – Georges Méliès dans Hugo et

2) un fantasme sur Paris et quelques fameux resortissants américains à la ville de lumière des années 1920s dans Midnight in Paris,

sont dans le final de 100 mètres pour le meilleur film.

Georges Méliès -    Le Voyage dans la Lune

Georges Méliès - Le Voyage dans la Lune

Je n’ai pas assez de temps à voir The Artist avant la cérémonie, mais pour un film muet parmi les dix finalistes ne se répète pas comme la comète de Halley. Hugo, immergé en haute technologie de graphisme, porte une histoire qui m’attire petit à petit, étant donné que j’avais assisté à une conférence de digital 21 l’an passé à Pékin sur “Video art” dont le nom Méliès est entré dans ma tête. Ce prémier s’est manifesté encore dans le couvert de magazine Paroles de l’Alliance Française de Hong Kong.

French film paying hommage to American Cinema or American films centred on French themes – The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Hugo.

Young protagonists playing detective with traces left by parent – Hugo (again) and Extremely loud and incredibly close covered what I’ve watched prior to the ceremony this year. Perhaps I ‘ve screened too many arthouse type of late, so I have my biases and let see if the results with overlap my preference.

Shit White Guys Say… to Asian Girls

this video is relevant mainly for my friends and acquaintance in North America. It is in certain way funny but people ACTUALLY say those things re-enacted in the video. Cultural appropriation, a hot potato revisited from one of the many angles.

Fortunately most of the white people around me have some degree of cultural sensitivity. If not, they are hiding their bigotry pretty well LOL.

Yes, of course there are self-hating Asians (or should I say Asian Americans or Asian Canadians) who like to be appropriated or just wanna be “white”, but when people have identity issues and choose to live miserably, that’s non of my business hahaha.

And to those offended by this video, I tell ya I follow what
Eleanor Roosevelt had said:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

from American Debt to Quoom1 & Jessica Latshaw

The irresponsibility of governments, corporations and individuals that lead us to this so called ‘global’ economic crisis, ironically satirized in this short film about. I won’t dampen your spirit forcefully (which you can through self-imposed S&M by watching the video linked above.) Instead, the clip below rekindles my love for NYC, a place where I lived on and off for almost ten years from the 90s right into the first few years of this millenium. I am biased, but just as expressed in the title of the video, not LA nor Wind city nor San Diego nor San Francisco nor Boston nor anywhere else in the USA would have that level of spontaneous vibrancy of strangers. Thanks in part, I believe, to the long gap between stations on the express D or A train running along Central Park West. I might not like America – random examples of political hegemony, or the quantitative easing externalising responsibilities to other countries or watching South Sudan oil like vultures and so on that would probably take an equal time since the very existance of the USA to list – but I still love NYC in 2012. How nice to see humanity at work on the subway, not to mention it brings back memories of subway rides between 125th Street and Columbus Circle.

drummer: Quoom1 on youtube
singer: Jessica Latshaw’s myspace, and blog:

Any one wanna learn ukulele or drumming now?

9/11, 10th anniversary

"911 truth" will we ever uncover it?

"911 truth" will we ever uncover it?

I dunno whether it’s an insider job. I simply know civil liberties went very much backwards in the USA and it is
100% a police state these days. I still have many nice and close friends from the USA but I don’t want to set foot on this land of the “free” anytime soon. I was living in the city that affected most by 911, NYC and was working just east of Time Square, between 6th and 7th Aves. That would have been another popular “target” given the amount of traffic and people and what not passing through.

"911 truth" bus as seen in Vancouver, July 2011

"911 truth" bus as seen in Vancouver, July 2011

Of course it was an eerie experience in NYC at the time. I remember the strange “smell” I would detect while waiting for the No. 7 subway train at the 40th Street station in Queens in the days if not weeks after the towers’ collapse. The asbestos and toxins that got released into the air, the many many lives perished. Not to mention the conspicuously altered skyline of Manhattan viewable from Long Island City as well as many parts of the city.

bus tagged ""

bus tagged ""

New York might still be a very lovely city, even though that country I know as USA probably had shifted very much to the right as we know it.

Now i am NOT AT ALL into conspiracy theroies but I came across this bus in Vancouver in Canada in July 2011. Interestingly though someone sent me a link to a video about the hotel tower that collapsed, later in the afternoon on the same day that twin towers were reduced to debris and dust.

When will atrocities ever end?

Chinese diaspora in the USA 2011

Jean Quan won Oakland mayor’s race and became the first female Asian American mayor of a major city.

Almost immediately just days after, San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Edwin Lee to succeed Gavin Newsom as mayor, as the latter was elected California’s lieutenant governor in November 2010. So this 2nd of the one-two punch put another Chinese American as a mayor for a city of real international caliber, San Francisco.

I haven’t really set foot in San Francisco apart from a one-time transit on the way from New York back to Hong Kong. However, for Asian Americans hungry for more visibility of their own. These are gigantic steps for them, just as Chang-Lien Tien became the the first Asian American chancellor of UC Berkeley to first Asian American United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu or Gary Locke as the secretary at the Department of Commerce. Well, at least the days of counting some congressmen/women from Hawaii or 2nd or 3rd line actors in Hollywood are over. Oops, was I being too harsh on the Asian-American community?

How xenophobic can America gets?
Even with Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce, Steven Chu as Secretary for Energy, the downward spiralling economy in the U.S. led some organisations to resort to scaring people, exemplified by a video like this:

Even with an African American at the helm of the presidency of the land of the free, can you imagine a video depicting Afican professors in such a video if South Africa or some other nation is poise to become a superpower?

Coincidentally, I browsed through a book called “My mom is a fob” which originated as the linked blog. The foreward by Margaret Cho speaks volume of the discrimination faced by Asian-Americans then til now.

If instead of fear, the panicking Americans want an alternative look at China, perhaps they should check out this talk by Martin Jacques

With all the dust settled and what not, in the year 2011, Asians Americans are still shouldering the burden of perpetual immigrants, American born or not.