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View Diary: Is America a Humane Country? We Must Answer This Question Before November! (22 comments)

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  •  "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (1+ / 0-)
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    War on Error

    I'd suggest you get this LOOOONG novel from the library. Most of the great Chinese cultural issues are covered in it, semi-historically and with wit, irony, and bitterness.

    It creates a magnificent villain called Cao Cao (the "C" is pronounced like a T followed by an S; the "ao" is like "ow that hurt"). The real Cao Cao seems much more sympathetic but the thing that is sooo pertinent to our discussion is the way Cao Cao in the novel is always trying to be benevolent and grand according to his country's ancient, great tradition. His consistent pattern of failure and lack of talent for benevolent rule is pathetic even while he accumulates magnificent power and his son founds a dynasty.

    Feel free to email me, inc my veyr at earthlink.net home address. There is an intimidating diversity of reading and reality when it comes to China.

    Most of your questions reflect a simpler, Western, and Hellenistic outlook toward humaneness (uhhh, yeah, we're Americans). It's not easy to make really good generalizations about the OLD non-European societies. Kindness was often NOT something that was safe to advertise. As far as kids today in China, that's a WHOLE lot of kids! I'd be willing to generalize that they probably get pushed around by their parents a whole lot. But I'm not sure WHAT they're snared by. I do know that there is enormous awareness of America and what we are doing. Even if we are a decaying society, we could spend centuries decaying and have a wonderful way down -- and personally I don't subscribe to the dismal view of America's future. UNLESS Romney wins.

    As to your deeper question about tender feelings, most of my insights came from being married. My now ex-wife had real trouble allowing herself to be tender and since she didn't have more practice being open and kind, she'd often run into trouble when she tried it, especially by making bad decisions she thought were loving in some symbolic sense. Like people who are creative, people who are humane must survive and "represent." We must achieve a high enough profile to serve as reasonable role models and set an example. In spite of Obama's bad record on the Glenn Greenwald issues, he lives up to this need. Did you see a couple weeks ago he said something about how he never subscribed to the idea that America was post-racist just because he got elected, but he did think it was pretty neat that a lot of kids were growing up with a black man in the White House and just accepting that as normal. Like the gay-acceptance revolution that's happening as people get to know "out" neighbors and friends they respect.

    OH MY GOD all of this is at stake and we have no guarantees for 2013. Thanks for all you do here!!! (picture those exclamation points continuing off into the distance)

    PHIL :)

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