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« On Herbert Fingarette | Main | More on the Politics of Cultural Openness »

March 07, 2009


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Greetings Sam,

Your blog is interesting.

re: "If PRC leaders really want China to be a "Great Power" they need to think of that not only in military and economic terms, but in cultural terms as well. Great Powers are producers and exporters of culture."

I agree. Perhaps they do think about exporting culture, but have too limited a view of that culture.

re: "uptightness over cultural products that ruffle conservative feathers simply restricts the creative capacities of Chinese artists and the global reach of Chinese ideas and images."

Yes, they appear to be too conservative, too restrictive. But what is too much or not enough is always questionable, always relative. And there is a price to pay for being too liberal. America's ugly underbelly is on full display in her movies. They sometimes foster dislike of America. But, it's better to acknowledge one's faults and not pretend they're not there. Should Obama do more apologizing for his country? Heh!

Perhaps creativity fosters chaos.
How much chaos can we handle?
How much creativity do people actually need to express to maintain satisfaction in life?

re: "It's a "soft power" thing."

Wow! I'm shocked that I haven't heard of this term earlier. Thanks! Very useful concept for understanding De 德. And Wen 文. Now, Google and i are are going to search out info on "soft power."

re: "To gain power and influence ... you have to give up control."

Yes, it does sound like what we find in the Laozi. If we regard the statement as one intended as a corrective, we should take it to mean that often giving up control is the best means to achieve our desired ends. Perhaps sometimes, control is needed.

Daos can dao, but they are not constant daos.

Slumdog Millionaire shanty town a model for urban planning, says Prince Charles
The Bombay shanty town featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire should be a model for urban planning, Prince Charles has said, as it represents a better way to house a booming population
He pointed to the district's use of locally-sourced materials, its balance of business and homes and its walkable neighbourhoods as evidence for its superiority.

As was visible in Slumdog Millionaire, Dharavi has a very poor sewage system and water supply.

It is estimated that the town contains one lavatory for every 1,400 residents. A local river, Mahim Creek, is widely used by local residents instead, leading to the regular spread of infectious diseases. During monsoon season, streets regularly flood with human waste.

"I strongly believe that the west has much to learn from societies and places which, while sometimes poorer in material terms are infinitely richer in the ways in which they live and organise themselves as communities," the Prince said.

"It may be the case that in a few years' time such communities will be perceived as best equipped to face the challenges that confront us because they have a built-in resilience and genuinely durable ways of living."


I don't doubt the tremendous amount of value of entertainment this Slumdog movie has provided to their ex-colonial masters, we could expect Prince Charles will soon move his palaces to these said slums. "one lavatory for every 1,400 residents" is what the Prince of Darkness planned for those ex-subjects.

For all these lucky Indians and Brits who benefited, financially or psychologically, from this commercial deal, this Oscar awards Gimmick, it is good for you!!! Why can't they leave China out of it?

“Soft power” like this China might want to leave others to enjoy.

Would Laozi ever watch a Hollow-wood or Belly-wood movie or become a star chaser if he is alive?

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