Sunday, November 28, 2004


Last night I went out to dinner with a bunch of folk: Asa, Vespertilia, Mike, a couple of German guys, and a handful of Chinese metal-heads and a punk rocker. As usual, I didn't talk much around people I don't know well. So let me give my responses here to some of the things that were said last night:

First, Chinese people hating Japanese is a mark of weakness and low self-confidence. Also, Japanese people not accepting their own history of wartime atrocities is a mark of weakness and low self-confidence. In the end, it's like Mike said: we may come from different cultures and grown up socialized in different ways, but in the end most people are united by the common traits of laziness, boring-ness, and selfishness. We're not so different after all.

Second, the idea that too many foreigners at "underground" rock concerts in Beijing is killing the scene is one of the most incredibly stupid things I've heard. Anybody who is focused on "creating a scene" purely for its own sake is chasing after the wind; enjoy music, make friends, and a scene will develop on its own. If you have to micro-manage who attends what concerts, it wasn't worth bothering in the first place.

We had dinner at a little Chinese place, drank down an endless supply of Suntory, picked up another case at a convenience store, moved on to a skewered lamb place, and chatted till two in the morning. And if John reads this, here's the retort that I didn't think of until 15 minutes later: I don't ask folks for their passports when I make them my friends.


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