If I had a penny for everything I didn’t know, I’d have lost a fortune last year. I’d still be doing pretty well for myself, though, as demonstrated by the stack of Chinese books I haven’t read, the bookmark folder full of bass tabs I haven’t learned, and the rest of the universe, to name a few.
In fact, to emphasize the amazing distance I still have to go before I can rightly call myself the Ubermensch, I’ll give a brief list of things that were outside my awareness until recently:
And here I’d been calling it rice wine all this time. From now on, no more translation – the English name is just baijiu.
What I learned from this is that even the most venerated of China observes sometimes make weird claims. Yes, the story is an interesting attack on what it’s like to be a complete outsider, but really? He doesn’t see any of the problems in these metaphors? And doesn’t the idiotness (or, more charitably, lack of self-awareness) of the protagonist kind of undermine any extrapolations? Except, of course, if you’re extrapolating about idiots, which is what seems to be done pretty well here:
I didn’t read the header and then got through the first few lines of the trailer without catching on that it was satire. If you lived here, you might have as well. Or maybe I’m one of those idiots I like talking about.
Aaaaaand now it’s time for work. Babysteps, blog. Babysteps.