Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I realize that resorting to the use of quotations might be a cheap way to fill an entry, but so be it. The month has finally taken its toll and I'm in bed tonight with a touch of the flue, nothing too serious at the moment, but I begin our travel extension with parents this Saturday and it might be special if I did not vomit all over their shoes. Attended an interesting class this morning on the Jewish community in Shanghai. I've been leading a class this week on Jewish refugees in Shanghai, which I pretty much had to throw together on the fly, since I wasn't aware of any Jewish communities in China. The earliest record shows Jews in Kaifong since the Northern Song Dynasty (about 1060), so they've been around some parts of China for awhile. About 20,000 Jews came here from Germany and Austria in 1937-38 (Shanghai was one of the only ports not to require a passport or entry visa). Anyway, a rabbi from the Shanghai Jewish Center and his wife came in this morning to talk to us about being Jewish in China, which was rather fascinating, especially considering that the Chinese government does not recognize Judaism as a religion and puts severe restrictions on them (not quite like those on Falung-gong, but limitations nonetheless... -- DAMN COMMIES! they did it again. Using 'anonymous.org' I can get to certain sites that the pukes in Beijing don't wish their people to know about. But apparently the little creeps are actively checking up on my surfing. So I had Wikipedia open and just now typed in 'Falung-gong' to get a correct spelling. Surprise surprise Sergeant Carter! 'The page cannot be displayed.' They've shut down the entire browser window. Pretty effective limiting information in a country of 1.3 billion - guess thats why the Chinese never knew that a man landed on the moon until 1976, or what the Chinse high-shool students who joined our program knew nothing about the Cultural Revolution or the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.

6 comments:

MrC said...

I understand your frustration Paddy. I get so angry when students in this country, where we still have access to history, don't know things. I am willing to bet that if you asked American High School students, in in special hogwarth programs, no one remembers or know about The Chicago 8, who Abby Hoffman is, or even Kent State.

sobinator said...

I know that I've already said this to you Wop, but its immensely frustrating to hear you bash Hogwarts students, or American High School students for their lack of knowledge. I can think of tons of students who know in sufficient detail each of your three important "things" (as you so eloquently put it). I think it would do you some good to realize that there are a bunch of students who will graduate from Hogwarts knowing more "things" about a lot "things" that are a lot more important than Abby Hoffman. So maybe you should be pointing the finger somewheres else, huh Wop. Maybe its your generation, not mine, who should be taking some of the blame. Maybe your generation, who know "things", have done a shit job of teaching. Or is that just perposterous? Should I learn, and consider equally imporant every single thing that your generation deems valuable information, should I just accept the shit that gets handed down to me everyday from all of those who know about Kent State and the Chicago 8? You tell me, he who knows many "things."

Paddy said...

I think the fact that you got fired up from WOPs post and wrote that, Sobes, tells me that you are indeed learning the important 'things.' Personally, I don't subscribe to inter-generational warfare. There are numbskulls of all ages out there. Ask Mr.P about the stately jammin gentleman in the balcony of the 9:30 Club at the Senead O'Connor concert. We all know and do not know different things. It's more an issue of what we do with what we do know that matters. I was just talking to WOP about my background in a small farming town, and when I think about it in this context, there were many students in my high school (as well as their fathers and fathers' fathers and mothers) who couldn't care less about Shakespeare and probably didn't know much about Kent State, BUT they could raise and slaughter cattle which put a steak on my plate and helps feed this country. And I guess when it comes right down to it, isn't that ultimately much more important than what I, who know many 'things,' do?

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