Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army was always urging us (and himself) – “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!”
Calm during times of stress. Stoicism.
Kipling celebrated both in his poem If – “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs…”
I tend not to panic. But maybe I should.
I sometimes wonder if there is a delicious sense of liberation to be discovered through panicking. Loosening up. Primal screaming. Abandoning yourself to YAH! Being drunk on unreason. Dancing crazily. Running and running without having to bother with direction. Bungee jumping away from your worries Continue reading
Colonel Sanders is looking young - and Chinese - at the opening of a new KFC outlet in Beijing.
It’s well past time that people woke up to China’s role in the world and I don’t just mean noticing “Made in China” on the base of that thing you’ve just bought. (It’s probably from Vietnam or the Philippines these days anyway – or perhaps Madagascar if it’s clothing.) And eating Chinese doesn’t count either.
It’s crazy how tightly schools cling to European languages to the exclusion of Chinese. Sure, Spanish can be number one – it’s on the doorstep, good weather, world language, beautiful songs. But why should Chinese be relegated below French, German, Russian (!), Italian, Latin, Greek, etc?
Then again, there are some people who are in a constant tizzy about the spread of Chinese influence – soft power, economic investment, military infiltration. The panic has reached such intensity in parts of the blogosphere that it reminds me of that old cartoon (anyone know it?) that had Americans imagining that it was Vietnam bordering Texas instead of Mexico. (Though with the low intensity warfare going on in Mexico these days…)
So is China really the future? Is western democracy tired and doomed to go down with the listing economic ship? Have the Chinese actually got it right in terms of development and never mind the niceties of freedom?
Two Continue reading
Newton Emerson. Gorgeous ain't he?
By rights we should all be long dead, given what we have to put up with these days. Passive smoking, motorists driving while eating apples, cyclists without helmets, overhead power lines, mobile phones frying our brains.
How we ever made it this far without ending up looking like that bloke on the left, God only knows. Continue reading