Zhou Mo Kuai Le!

An open thread. What are your weekend plans?

I’ll start things off with Dave’s comment from the old thread…

The Discussion: 27 Comments

Hey, I read Jo Bananas English Rape translation, and I gotta say I agree mostly with the article. The thing is it focuses on compulsory English, and how that’s unnecessary, unfair, no fun and takes away time from individuals whose time could be more productively used studying something else. I couldn’t agree more; but the compulsory part is what makes the word “rape” at all relevant, and it’s not the English language itself that makes its study compulsory.

Hmmm…. who makes English learning mandatory on the Mainland? And if we substitute their name for the words Compulsory English in the articles title:

The English Language Has Raped the Chinese People

What does this article really say?

September 16, 2005 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

My weekend plans appear to be thus:
cook a Chinese feast for ten Chinese people so they can celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. Without them bitching about how the food tastes wrong.
I’m afraid that mooncakes may be involved.

September 17, 2005 @ 2:45 am | Comment

Sorry, but something about that word “mooncakes” reminds me of Beavis and Butthead…..

September 17, 2005 @ 3:09 am | Comment

Dishuiguanyin, thanks for reminding us of the moon festival. I’ll have to ring mum to say hello otherwise I’ll be in trouble. I forgot to call her at Chinese New Year’s eve this year and I don’t think that I’ve forgiven yet.

Now that I’m now 6 hours flight away from Mum, I don’t have to put up with mooncakes anymore. Thank god. I’m having apple rhubbard crumble for dissert tonight. It’s just done. I can smell it. Yum!

September 17, 2005 @ 3:26 am | Comment

There’s some handy advice here for avoiding mooncakes.
Ignore at your peril.

September 17, 2005 @ 4:45 am | Comment

The “snow mooncakes”(Ñ©Ô±ý) are actually very tasty, it’s basicly just ice-cream with a thin layer of mooncake crust, who doesn’t like ice-cream?

September 17, 2005 @ 5:15 am | Comment

Speaking of Beavis and Butthead, I can’t see why people like it. The humor is mostly based on stupidity, the animation is really bad (making characters look ugly on perpose?).


September 17, 2005 @ 5:27 am | Comment


September 17, 2005 @ 7:37 am | Comment

Hey, I’ve had some really good mooncakes – they don’t ALL taste like cement paste. A friend brought me back a couple last year that were – I’m not joking – just delicious. Maybe they are nouvelle mooncakes, I’m not sure.

I am hanging out in San Diego with the folks. Went to a baseball game last night (a losing one unfortunately) in a truly spectacular ballpark, Petco Park. It’s not one of those full-on ‘retro’ parks but is architecturally very interesting, incorporating one of the old warehouse buildings in left field. The concourse uses a heavy white lattice – sort of tinker-toy effect overhead, so it’s open and airy as opposed to the gloomy vibe you get in a lot of stadiums and parks. Much of the park is constructed from this golden sandstone. Beautiful waterfall too.

September 17, 2005 @ 12:29 pm | Comment

Very interesting, I googled for some images of the park and got one with a pretty good angle of a warehouse building on the left side with the banner “WESTERN METAL SUPPLY CO.” on the top, I wonder if that was added on by the stadium or is the building actually owned by WESTERN METAL SUPPLY CO and they were granted an amazing ad space in compensation for frequently giving it broken windows?
[ here’s the picture if anyone’s as curious as me: http://www.animal-actors.com/Petco%20Park%20-%20Tikki%20and%20Gloria.jpg ]
..proving my point, eh?

September 17, 2005 @ 3:05 pm | Comment

Garn – that’s the original signage from the old Western Metal business. The interesting thing is that they actually MOVED that entire brick building a couple of yards (I’m not sure how far) so that it would be at the proper angle for left field.

September 17, 2005 @ 5:02 pm | Comment

Really? Didn’t realize San Diego was that crowded.

Is the warehouse still used now? (otherwise why didn’t they just knock it down and build up a skeleton?)
↑MAJ, why are you using
QuanJiao? Had to type the thing up

September 17, 2005 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

Well Garn, I’m not going to get all precious and pretentious about the meaning of Beavis and Butthead. But I do see it as good social satire, and their stupidity is mostly a foil to show the stupidity of others around them.

For instance I loved the episode where they go to a coffee house, and Beavis drinks too much cappucino and morphis into “Cornholio”, take the mike and starts babbling nonsense and all the pretentious wannabe “poets” think he’s a genius…… 🙂

September 18, 2005 @ 12:35 am | Comment

sorry, typo errors above. I meant to write “morphs” and “takes the mike”

September 18, 2005 @ 12:37 am | Comment

I confess!!
I’ve never sat through an episode of B&B, there’s just something about those two that makes me wanna shut the TV off. I get goosepumps whenever I’m reminded of the time two class clowns mimiced (I’ve no idea how to spell this) their gigling duet and the whole class began snorting endlessly along. Ever since then it’s been a kind of phobia like when I see snake skins or hear the starting theme of XinWenLianBo

September 18, 2005 @ 1:46 am | Comment

Garn if you were a HS student when B and B came out, then you’re considerably younger than I am and it might have cut too close to your nerve.

I was way past university when B and B started, so my reaction was more along the lines of: “Oh, thank god, FINALLY someone is doing a REALISTIC satire of what American teenagers are REALLY like!” I was almost too old to remember, but still just young enough to be refreshed by it.

It’s not so much nihilism, as it is a satire of the nihilism which pervades America just under the skin.

September 18, 2005 @ 3:17 am | Comment


Buttmunch. 🙂

September 18, 2005 @ 3:19 am | Comment

“FINALLY someone is doing a REALISTIC satire of what American teenagers are REALLY like”
Really? I havn’t had the chance to meet many American teenagers, not really looking forward to it now…

September 18, 2005 @ 6:18 am | Comment


You really don’t want to know. I was lucky in growing up in one of the remaining traditional and unspoiled (meaning “no f—ing suburban housing tracts”) communities somewhere on the East Coast. It was OK there at least until around the 1980s. So I didn’t grow up among too many Beavises or Buttheads. (Although there were a few creeping into my community even back then, along with the beginnings of stupid f—ing suburban “developments” and office parks.)

You see we had real towns there. And real continuity – I mean, many of the families there, had been there for almost 300 years. So they really cared about the place. And they really talked to each other. And so, they had real manners and real courtesies, and real dignity. And it wasn’t a matter of money – most of them weren’t rich – but they did have dignity and good manners, because they had something real, a real place to care about.

But now, today whenever I hear Americans under the age of 30 (or even 40) speaking, it sounds like a foreign language to me. Not the words – no I don’t mean that they’re speaking a new “fashionable” dialect like all new generations do – no, no, it’s a lot worse than that. I mean, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK, at all.

Now they all speak some kind of MTV mush, some bizarre kind of slurred, snivelling mealy-mouthed infantile dialect, all with a weird lisp.

And I know one of the main reasons for this. It’s because there are almost no real communites left in America. Americans really don’t get together and converse, not anymore.
And so the American language has suffered a lot from this.

I say, the automobile and the suburban “American Dream” which has grown with automobile symbiotically (like a cancer), has done more damage to the English language than anything else at any other time in history. Not to mention how much it has damaged America’s body politic, America’s sense of civic responsibility, all of it, all thrown away for stupid cul-de-sacs and a fantasy about being “autonomous” in their stupid cars.

Sorry, ranting more than I usually do here. But I’m just old enough to remember what America (or some wonderful parts of it, INCLUDING our once great cities by the way) used to be like before the suburbs and cars ruined it.

September 18, 2005 @ 7:32 am | Comment

I’m just old enough to remember what America used to be like before the suburbs and cars ruined it

Dude, cars and suburbs have been around en masse since WW2. How old are you?

September 18, 2005 @ 11:11 am | Comment


I was born when JFK was President. And we had a portrait of JFK in our house when I was a small child. 🙂 And I learned how to read when I was two years old, and so one of my earliest memories is of looking at the portrait of JFK (circa 1967) in our house, with his words written at the bottom:
“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
So, I remember a different kind of America, way back in the 1960s, when our house would only fly the flag a few times a year, only on special days like Memorial Day and July 4. And then we would fold up the flag respectfully, until the next patriotic holiday. (Quite unlike all the fake American “conservatives” who dishonor the flag by flying a little plastic flag on their car antennaes…)
And I remember – as recently as the late 1970s – how special it was, on every Memorial Day Parade, to see and to talk to the old veterans of the Spanish-American-War, and of the First World War. It was very precious, to meet and to talk with the old vets who fought in World War One, in the 1970s.
I was born in JFK’s time. But I was also born when some former American slaves were still living.

You are partly right about how the suburbs started just after WW II. However, the suburban “development” of America proceeded very gradually after 1945.
The damage of suburbanisation did not really spread througout America until the 1980s or so. For around a generation or two after WW II, there were still a lot of unspoiled old communities in America.

But very few left, now.

“Dude”, if you have never known anything about what SOME parts of America were like before 1980, then I feel sorry for you.

Yes it’s true, the cancer started around 1945. But the cancer did not take over the whole country until the
last 20 years or so, when the cancer of “development” metastasised.

Oh God. I’m less than 20 years older than Britney Spears. But I remember going to the Farmers’ Market – where I grew up, somewhere on the East Coast – and listening to stories about the Civil War, from sons of Civil War vets. And listening to old stories from wonderful old men and women born in the 1800s.

“Dude”, if you have never had any personal connection with the 19th century, and even further with the 18th century, like I had when I was growing up in America, then, “Dude”, I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for anyone who belongs entirely to this new Dark Age……
….and I was born in JFK’s time, still rather young, but so different from all the new Barbarians who were born just a few years after me…..the MTV/Playstation generation who have NO personal contacts with the last few thousand years of civilization…….

…unless some of them might be wise enough to talk to some of the older people, talk to their grandparents, while they still have the chance? 🙂 🙂

September 18, 2005 @ 1:11 pm | Comment

Ivan, you’re getting all cranky and curmudgeonly on the under 30s! Dang these whippersnappers and their new-fangled baby talk! Bah humbug!

Let’s not forget alot of those mealy mouthed infantile dialect speakers were educated (or what passed for education) by their betters, namely the older generations.

You aren’t by any chance a fan of Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind”, are you?

And as for suburban housing tracts, ground was broken on Levittstown, Long Island around 1950… so I think the suburbs had been around a good decade by the time you were born.

September 18, 2005 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

“Dude”, if you have never had any personal connection with the 19th century, and even further with the 18th century, like I had when I was growing up in America, then, “Dude”, I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for anyone who belongs entirely to this new Dark Age……

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Just kidding, I don’t speak l33t. But Ivan, we don’t need or want your pity. As for the wonderful stories you heard, you sound like a very lucky person. Why don’t you cherish that rather than decrying our medievalism?

I know plenty of people older than you who never had the opportunity to be part of oral history. Alot of the time that connection isn’t there because people aren’t alive to tell those stories. Ever think of that?


September 18, 2005 @ 9:08 pm | Comment

Well, my cooking was halfway successful. Could be worse. The mooncakes weren’t too bad (I stole all the green tea ones and left my friends to eat all the other disgusting flavours. Worst flavour this year? Seaweed. Gak.)

Beavis and Butthead? Well…I’m not American, and I was also at college when it came out on TV (but as I was at a British college that could have been later than in the states). I totally and utterly could not understand the humour for the longest time.
Then, the day before the start of my second term as a teacher at a secondary school (combination junior and senior high), I was pretty much suicidal at the thought of going back. I went round to the house of an older and wiser teacher to sob on his shoulder about how terribly I was doing at the profession, how my students spent their whole time rioting and laughing during my lessons, and how how badly my self-esteem had suffered. He spent a couple of hours calming me down and reminding me that most teachers find the first year a living hell. Then one of his flatmates turned on the tv…to Beavis and Butthead.
The two of us who were teachers were screaming with hysterical laughter to the puzzlement of the rest of the room. We both knew them so well. We both taught them day in and day out.
Beavis and Butthead aren’t just American teenagers – they’re universal teenage boys, aged approximately 12-14. But don’t worry – they do grow up. Eventually.

September 18, 2005 @ 10:29 pm | Comment

Yes, I like the green tea variety as well. The ones with nuts and seeds are still my favourite though. I’ve never had a seaweed mooncake. The thought of it would be bad enough to turn me away.
I find my students, who are at their late teens and early 20s, very well-behaved and civilized. Some of my academic staff though, particularly those at their late forties and early fifties, can sometimes be really difficult. They have arguments with their students as well as their peers. They refused to back down even though they know that they are wrong. Is this what we called “mid life crisis”?

September 18, 2005 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

So you’re all teachers in here….?
Suddenly I feel … uncomfortable…

September 19, 2005 @ 7:30 am | Comment

“So you’re all teachers in here….?
Suddenly I feel … uncomfortable…”

I’m not.

September 19, 2005 @ 9:09 am | Comment

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