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« When "Confucianism" isn't really Confucianism | Main | Confucianism is not a Religion »

February 13, 2012


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Hey Sam! As you know, I've gone completely linsane!

It must be difficult for Lin to be thrust so quickly into the limelight, in so many ways. As a fellow Asian American, I understand the experience of being American but not being perceived by anyone as being "100%" American. "Where are you from?" is never a question about California when people ask me. On top of that, now he'll be asked to represent half the world's population. I don't envy that.
I expect Lin will have to deal with the difficult identification choices you mention. He'll also get lots of endorsement deals -- on both sides of the Strait. I do envy that...

I think, Sam, you're thinking about this issue too deeply.

There are a variety of "nationalism"s in China. Cultural nationalists probably won't care, or if they care, they would see that Jeremy Lin is a well brought-up Chinese youngster and approve of him for this reason.

As for state nationalists and ethnic nationalists, I'm not really in their mind-space. I suspect, though, that at least some would enjoy a good game for what it is.


There are a lot of Chinese people, too, who don't completely buy into the soft power narrative from the PRC. We have our own cultures going on. (I for one think that government interference in culture does more harm than good. The state really has the reverse Midas touch.) If you really want to challenge the PRC narrative, you should talk more to actual Chinese traditionalists and conservatives.

I wonder how his being an evangelical Christian will play into all of this.

Thank you, respected and beloved Professor Sam! Among many of the interesting points you raised, I particularly like the term "anti-nationalist". To me, nationalism is, or at least should be, a political phenomenon of the past. Genuine soft-power dose not relate to nationalism. I would suggest that we distinguish between these two concepts. Soft-power as a word is useful. To me, it articulates the natural talent, desire and effort of peoples of the world in achieving cultural freedom, equality and excellence. Governments and many other forms of political institutions always try to make use of cultural soft-power for their political objectives, like public relations, unfortunately.

Oh well, I guess I am sort of sobering up a bit from my own Lin-sanity, which actually began in 2005 when Jeremy was playing for Palo Alto High School and got off in a tangent in the past 10 days. I am glad I won't have to retire from being a NBA fan for some years now. Looking forward to learning and sharing with you.

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