(1 comments) SHARE Monday, January 11, 2021 Unmatched Cairo
Even when badly housed and fed, Egyptians survive, and have done so for longer than just about anybody else. For vast stretches, they've also achieved greatness. Though the evidence may be grimy, corroded, blackened or crumbling, it's more than stupendous enough to awe
SHARE Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Serb Hillbillies, Sandra Afrika and Alexander the Great
Few lives change nearly every other. Plus, overwhelming power awes, mesmerizes and seduces, as long as you're not threatened, that is. Alexander will forever fascinate, as will Quin Shih Huang, Genghis Khan, Charlemagne or Napoleon, etc. AAA males are so rare, how can us tick-like wusses, fearful of our own shadows even, not buckle our knees?
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Aleksandar of Macedonia
All over the globe, villages like Vladimirovo have been compromised and degraded, if not wiped out completely, but this trend must be reversed if humanity is to have a future. Though it's hard to believe it during this grim and uncertain moment, that's exactly what will happen. Soon.
SHARE Friday, September 18, 2020 Architecture of Cruelty
The 20th century gave us world wars, atomic bombs, gulags, political correctness, napalm, canned music, Barbara Streisand, laugh tracks, American cheese, Israel and the absolutely shittiest, most inhumane architecture ever, and for this, we can thank Walter Gropius, above all.
SHARE Friday, September 4, 2020 Belgraders
The bright bar had people of all ages, plus a lounging dog. The NO SMOKING sign was clearly meant as a joke, for there were ashtrays all over. In the bathroom, there were six poems, pinned to a corkboard. A nine-year-old boy wore a "GOOD VIBES" T-shirt. Here and now, at least, life's normal, and that's more than good enough.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, August 24, 2020 Heritage is Home
When you're steeped in your own heritage, just about every act has meaning, and for this reason alone, Serbs, Koreans and Vietnamese, etc., will outlast those whose most sacred heroes, symbols and customs have becoming meaningless, if not despised.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 1, 2020 Balkans Ahead!
Bombing Serbia, America gave Russia and China a wakeup call, and forced them towards a new understanding. Everything changed after 1999. Again, this tiny nation played an outsized role in remaking our world. Balkanizing, Americans can look here for warnings and inspiration. Five hundred years from now, a Serbian nation will still exist.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 18, 2020 Bloodshed, Tyranny and Privation
So Communists are reactionary. Interesting. Their striving for a utopia is a bloody forced march towards a supposed Golden Age. Seen in this light, Pol Pot and Mao sending city folks to primitive farms or even uncleared land makes more sense.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 11, 2020 Who Should Be Shot?
American elections are cathartic farces. Drawn out and elaborately staged, they're designed to give false hopes and stoke emotions. With the national mood already so volatile and foul, however, this year's balloting promises to be a horror show. Unable to aim at their oppressors, Americans will be reduced to shooting each other.
(4 comments) SHARE Friday, July 3, 2020 Genghis Khan vs. Thomas Jefferson
As much as anyone in history, Thomas Jefferson inspired and challenged us all to rise or fight our way out of such savagery. With unprecedented clarity and poetry, he insisted that freedom is our natural, God-given state.
SHARE Sunday, May 17, 2020 Coronavirus Missives from the US and Vietnam
Encountering bureaucracy anywhere is usually stressful, but thankfully, the process here was quick and straightforward. Koreans know how to be efficient. Buses and trains always run on time, and my dealings with a Busan bank has also been extremely smooth.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 3, 2020 Let It Cull!
Like all those diners hunched over their miserable food, we are basically hoarders, all of us, for we just love to commune with our private pleasures as we withdraw from the world. We've earned these respites from our own suffering, for each of us is short-changed and starving, if only figuratively.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Mixok in Laos
North Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Trails branched into Laos, so the United States dropped a record two million tons of ordnance on this poor country. These included 270 million cluster bombs, of which up to 80 million haven't detonated yet. That's the most tangible of the American legacy here. More abstract and unquantifiable, yet much more explosive, is the dissemination of an increasingly absurd and decadent American culture.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, December 23, 2019 Beached in Nha Trang
Chinese come here to be massaged and cheaply stuff themselves with Cantonese dishes. It's almost like home, but much warmer, and more exotic than Hainan. Chinese see Vietnamese as wayward cousins. So close to Chinese, Vietnamese can't stand them, and I'll probably get beaten up in a minute for even writing that. Ukrainians are not Russians, Catalonians are not Spaniards and Scotts are not English, etc.
SHARE Monday, December 9, 2019 Corpses in Ocean
During the boat people era, corpses routinely washed up on Vung Tau beaches, for it was near suicide to escape on an unseaworthy vessel, but such was their desperation. Though every local past a certain age remembers this horror, it's recorded in no history book, so what else is new?
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 24, 2019 Chinese Rebels
A great irony of colonialism is that many of the colonized nations have managed to stay more coherent, intact and true to themselves than the colonizers, so that seven decades after the Indians kicked out the Brits, for example, India is still essentially India, if not more so, while England has become relentlessly less English.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 26, 2019 Jack London?
As writer or thinker, Jack London can't touch George Orwell, but he's nearly the Brit's equal when it comes to describing society's bottom. To both, being a writer is as much a physical as an intellectual endeavor. Wading into everything, they braved all discomforts and dangers.
SHARE Friday, September 13, 2019 Quotidian Sweat
There is a dearth of writing about work, its variety, tedium and grind. This is understandable, since most writers have devoted much of their time to writing and reading, and not painting houses, cleaning toilets, washing dishes, planting crops or performing mind numbingly monotonous tasks on an assembly line, etc.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 20, 2019 Christian to Death
With its eschatological Bible, the West is constantly haunted by its death and hypothetical rebirth. Its apocalyptic imagination is unmatched.
SHARE Saturday, July 13, 2019 Surviving Vietnam, Listing America and Jeffrey Epstein's Bestest Friends
A besieged or even paranoid nation stands a much better chance of survival than an oblivious one. Though America has been fighting war nearly nonstop since its founding, much of this serial bloodshed has taken place overseas, so American civilians have generally assumed they could cruise through life without any exposure to bombing, mortar rounds, car bombs, enemy tanks, sudden mass incarceration or fleeing for one's life.