Happy Valentine's Day

Posted 14 Feb 2010 at 11:52 UTC (updated 14 Feb 2010 at 14:01 UTC) by badvogato Share This

My thoughts put burden on my mind. From reporting of the prosecution of Rutger's Chinese Ph.D for 'trespassing' at Newark airport that produced a HUGE security breach scare, to my disliking of James Lewis argument that Internet can not remain entirely as a self-organizing entity'

What would you die for? Love, Honor and your country? And where do you start? rejecting/saving hjclub as part of your effort in securing your love for advogato?

I like the argument that terrorists are not warriors nor are they lovers but they are oppressed being fighting their own demons. When they lost their battle, they lost their mind and their claim to be part of our humanity. Their battle is our 'Bible' to learn how to love and how to live.

The poet and the monkey

We are so much alike. 
Two poisonous snakes 
betraying each others’ treasure
No-one can transcend the prison of lies No-one knows who is a corpse When the sun explodes Sleeves are empty Everywhere is a foreign land Death gives no refuge.
How to design/restore a civilization so that poets and monkeys will lead our ways to overcome our fears? I created this group on Linkedn called s 'Nunia 神经' . It started its discussion from Mao Zedong's poem. ( Ten Poems and Lyrics by Mao Tse-tung, translator Wang Hui-Ming is a very interesting book that included Mao's own calligraphy on each poem), then collected my own thoughts on religion and language.

none says “世界上本没有宗教,迷信(某一特定迷信)的人多了,(那种)迷信 就成了宗教。” nunia says 神灵与宗教是两码子事。世界是由神灵主宰的,信神 的人多了,世界就有主了。世界是人为的,迷信的人多了,世道就有福了。有福之 人信神乎?或有,亦为千年难得!无福之人信神乎?或有,亦为万人难容。故人与 神难共患与众。此为天机也!

Nunia 神经, Nunia is borrowed from a Mrs nuniabiz on LiveJournal. We joined badvogato.org together at the same time under crackmonkey's reign. I liked her 'nuniabiz' 'none of your business' proclaim. 神经 as a phrase in Chinese, literally means 'nerve/ crazy' etc... first character also means gods. and second character means god's saying. Isn't that phrase revealing what our trouble is?

If Western civilization wanted a free China, we must NOT start from politics but start from intimate relationship between public education and prejudices and religious convictions within a family/group/community. In China, strife confronting Taiwan/Tibet/Shanghai/Beijing/Japan has always been there through out Chinese history. Communism has swept the globe at the turn of last century, Chinese are no longer following its doctrine as much as Japanese or Americans. Chinese civil examination institution was a total and thorough democratic process. Its cultural history was so much richer than any other modern nation's parliaments/courts and elections. Right now, the ruling elite in China are Tsinghua Univ. graduates. They believe in scientific advancement and Western technology more than Four books and Five Classics. Their official moral teaching still maintain materialistic Marxism in regards of religion and arts. I was reading official English translation of Chairman Mao's speech 'On literature and art'. That literature and art MUST serve the needs of mass and the people. If literature and art MUST serve the needs of the people on their immediate woes, can it foretell the desire of another generation and many more to come? If power, money and knoweledge MUST serve the needs of the people, should it be in the hands of everyone equally for all nations and all religions? What is the use of God and religion if people do not need it to name their common origin, their diverse fate and their diverse/common destiny ?

A Cultural History of Civil Examinations , posted 14 Feb 2010 at 12:38 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

"A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Emperial China' by Benjamin A. Elman, University of California Press.

The book is dedicated to Sarah 蔡素娥, with love and affection.


Session One
1. Four Books 四书     three quotations
2. Five Classics 五经  Four quotations each

Session Two 1. Discourse 论 2. Documents 诏表[ Imperial mandates, admonitions, memorials] 3. Judicial terms 判语 [ reasons for conferring decisions ]

Session Three 1. Five policy questions. 经史时务策 5 essays

In this multidimensional analysis, Benjamin A. Elman uses more than a thousand newly available examination records to explore the social, political, and cultural dimensions of the civil examination system, one of the most important institutions in Chinese history. For seven hundred years, all positions wthin the synastic government were filled through the difficult examiniations, and each year tens of thousands of men from all levels of society attempted them.
Covering the system from its inception to its demise, Elman revises our previous understanding of how the system actually worked, including its political and cultural machinary, its long-term historical legacy, and the unforseen consequences when it was unceremoniously scrapped by modernist reformers. He argues that the Ming-Ching civil examinations from 1370 to 1904 represented a substantial break with Tang-Sun dynasty literary examininations from 650 to 1250. Late imperial examinations also made 'Tao Learning' or neo-Confucian learning, the dynastic othodoxy in offical life and in literati culture. The intersections between elite social life, populate culture, religion, and the mantic arts are examined to reveal the full scope of the examination process, which drew the participation of millions of men and affected all levels of society in late imperial China.

"Darkness and Light", posted 15 Feb 2010 at 19:32 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

Thomas, that is a very well put sonnet . I once was surprised to find out that Thomas means 'twin'. Per chance, I came across Steven Spender's 'DARKNESS AND LIGHT today.

Darkness and Light

To break out of the chaos of my darkness Into a lucid day, is all my will. My words like eyes in night, stare to reach A centre for their light: and my acts thrown To distant places by impatient violence Yet lock together to mould a path Out of my darkness, into a lucid day.

Yet, equally, to avoid that lucid day And to preserve my darkness, is all my will. My words like eyes that flinch from light, refuses And shut upon obscurity: my acts Cast to their opposites by impatient violence Break up the sequent path; they fly On a circumference to avoid the centre.

To break out of my darkness towards the centre Illumines my own weakness, when I fail; The iron arc of the avoiding journey Curves back upon my weakness at the end; Whether the faint light spark against my face Or in the dark my sight hide from my sight, Centre and circumference are both my weakness.

O Strange identity of my will and weakness! Terrible wave white with the seething word! Terrible flight through the revolving darkness! Dreaded light that hunts my profile! Dreaded night covering me in fears! My will behind my weakness silhouettes My territories of fear, with a great sun.

I grow towards the acceptance of that sun Which hews the day from night. The light Runs from the dark, the dark from light Towards a black and white total emptiness. The world, my life, binds the dark and light Together, reconciles and separates In lucid day the chaos of my darkness.

From 'The Still Centre', 1935

True or False, posted 15 Feb 2010 at 22:22 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

An excerpt from 'Ten Poems and Lyrics by Mao Tse-tung, translator Wang Hui-Ming'

'Art comes from convention and not invention'

'My sympathy lies with the Chinese convention that there must be painting in poetry and poetry in painting. In other words, I would like to see a poem written with a painter's eyes and a painting painted with a poet's mind.

In Chairman Mao's calligraphy, we can see that he is a man of firm determination, unpredictable mood, quick in decision and fast in action - soft yet strong, pliable yet penetrating, sophisticated yet earthy, and delicate yet robust. In short, he is indeed a "simplicated" and "complied" man. The upward tilt of the right corner of his chracters suggests a contempt for conventions. It is reminiscent of the calligraphy by the eccentric poet, essayist, painter, and seal artist Cheng Hsien (1683-1765), who called himself fengzi ("the mad man"). Both men show an unyielding independence in their work, a quality treasured by all and achieved by few in the history of art. ... Most Chinese poetry is written in simple characters, and one does not need a large vocabulary to appreciate it. After all, there are only somewhat more than a thousand characters in the great Tao Te Ching, and most of them are common characters. A student in elementary Chinese can read Chinese poetry without difficulty if the poetry is presented to him as a word-picture. In fact, he will enjoy it more and learn faster if he begins his reading in poetry and writing with a brush instead of learning Chinese as a tool to learn other things Chinese later, as commonly practiced today in universities. The very attitude of learning a language as a tool dulls the sense of wonder and diminishes the pleasure of learning. ... I realize that it is less sinful to write bad poems than to translate good ones badly. If Mao's poetry comes through my translation, credit must go to him as a good poet. IF readers find flaws, no one but I am to blame.

-- "Ten Poems and Lyrics by Mao Tse-Tung' Wang Hui-Ming, translator.

In this unusual book, Wang Hui-MIng has translated a cycle of ten poems by Mao which concern historic incidents in the Chinese Revolution, especially the Long March into Northwestern China during the 1930s. The work is distinguished by the inclusion of reproductions of Mao's original calligraphy.

Mr. Wang, an "artist who loves poetry" contributes a woodcut illustration to this volume. He is the author of 'The Land on the Tip of a Hair: poems in wood, the boat untied and other poems, a folio of woodengravings, and The Birds and the Animals, a folio of woodcuts based on the poems of Po Chu-I. He also is the illustrator of Jumping Out of Bed by Robert Bly. Wang Hui-Ming teaches in the Dept. of Art at the Univ. of Massachusetts.

I inclined to agree with Wang Hui-Ming's view that 'Art comes from convention, not invention'. Then Nikolai Gogol's nose started making face at me. I was distressed. Where lies the truth apart from false?

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