Whenever Honiara’s aggrieved local kine throw a pogrom and burn Chinatown to the ground, I have the same reaction: Stop AAPI Hate. Ya don’t need to do dat, yeah? Dat wasn’t aloha, yeah? Or talofa or whatever and all dat kine. Russians and Ukrainians insist that they speak different languages, too. It wasn’t very aloha of the local color in South Central to beat Reginald Denny to the brink of death and try to murder sundry Korean corner grocers, either. A Pinkberry manager told our interview group in Marina Del Ray about the reverence Koreans show their customers as a matter of deep Korean culture when they pass ice cream orders over the counter using both hands to bludgeon beggars with tire irons for panhandling downtown.
Thomas Sowell, report to a White People Courtesy Telephone at once for an urgent message. The Roaring Forties isn’t the safest part of town for the Korean merchant caste when the cops lose it with a dust fiend on TV. It’s because merchants aren’t cops, and truckers aren’t, either. Christopher Dorner showed what happens to those who react to systemic police misconduct by targeting cops. Few are so disciplined or so bold. Nobody who’s paid to comment about or on behalf of the police has a word to say about him. It was Two Minutes Hate when they firebombed his cabin, some pro forma fuming about how he was an evil coward and then, for the years since, nothing.
It’s obvious why. They don’t want anybody scanning his manifesto for coherence and independently investigating the Tingirides Brain Trust. Phil and Emada live in Irvine, where the local cop shop doesn’t deal with crime spikes by rotating brutes in from out of town to run jumpout patrols on neighborhood teens. They basically bragged on TV about committing the collective punishment of their constituents for gang reprisals by flooding the 77th Street Division with bad cops from other divisions. Hey, boys, here’s the deal: Keep it in your waistbands and we’ll be good; outwit the LAPD’s moronic intelligence squads long enough for a cycle or two of gang reprisals and the stationhouse pickup hoops and community cookouts and all the rest of the community policing song and dance will vanish under an onslaught of Punisher decal shitheads on loan from across town who don’t know anybody in the neighborhood. Ask local Rampart heads whether this is good or bad.
It’s no coincidence that this same city elected Eric Garcetti mayor in time to close Covid-19 testing sites as reprisals for protests against police brutality. *Randy Newman Enjoying Coke Voice* We *LOVE* it!
That’s enough lore of the Tingirideses for the moment. Try to keep a reputably straight face for this next part of the story, from up north, where London Breed, formerly in support of Faauuga Moliga, is now against Faauuga Moliga. According to the newspapers, these are real people, both currently serving in elected office in San Francisco. She appointed him to the school board and now wants voters to recall him.
It’s awfully Friendship Ended With fuh, uh, uh–but her name tho. London Breed. She’s the African-American mayor of a New World city named for St. Francis of Assisi, and her legal name is London Breed. Now Imperialism Is Our Best Friend, too, Salman. The world learned about Salman, Mudasir, and Mutual in the original English. If it’s good enough for a massacre at the Lekki Tollgate, it’s good enough for me.
SARS: Don’t let it kill you, too.
Other Africans had to wait to learn of their own blackness until they could take the lessons in French. This isn’t shitposting, by the way. It’s basic history. Empire gives its subjects the tools of its own subversion, or at least critique. “Negritude” first gained currency in Paris, around the time Pol Pot was in town to study radio. Woodrow Wilson had a different Asian kid up in his face with diplomacy about self-determination and shit. Many are familiar with his later work as /Paul Harvey AM Storytime Voice/ Ho Chi Minh.
What, then, is AAPI Hate? Wilson was one we can be pretty sure was never of a mind to stop it. Indeed, by the end, he was of no mind at all. That’s why Hillary Clinton will never be the first lady president. Smears of Irish roustabouts for being the wellspring of anti-Chinese bigotry because they were uneducated have always been misdirection. Master-class scumbags like William Randolph Hearst loved to gin that style of barstool bigotry up using his hardbitten reporter proxies, but the Victorian upper crust as a class tended towards shocking coarseness about race. Theodore Roosevelt, one of the more magnanimous of them, seethed in his own diary about the righteousness of massacring dagos. He approved of the mass lynching of Italians in New Orleans. Wilson was the President of Princeton before he resegregated the District of Columbia as POTUS (and turned the State of the Union, an annual memorandum under his predecessors, into a Toastmasters evening).
The prevailing life of the mind in the American upper crust from Appomattox to Pearl Harbor was aggressively bumptious midwit. Their grandchildren today believe equally embarrassing nonsense because it was on Freakonomics Radio, but that’s the whole point. Mass-highbrow media like NPR and The Economist put on fastidiously bloodless airs. In the telegraph age, it was common for college graduates with over a decade of intensive schooling in the humanities to earnestly regard every Chinaman as a mental defective and every Malay as Fu Manchu. They’d call me scurrilous for describing them like that, but their understandings of race really were crude and stupid.
The reason they were relatively sharp for roughly half a century starting in the Great Depression was that they faced existential threats from the mob and damn well knew it. That’s why they pulled their heads out of their asses for a periodic look around. It was OODA Loop work. Then the Gipper got elected and went off on the overt unionbusting component of the yuppie project. At that point they retreated in earnest back into fantasyland. It’s arguably even dumber and more delusional this time around. The old parlance made it somewhat easier to visualize Henry Ford hiring Pinkertons to brain strikers at the factory gate than the unmitigated obfuscatory mewling that pulses these days through NPR. The old-timers were horrible bullshitters, but they had a more developed sense of direct agency in civics.
Maybe. God knows the scene isn’t any more refined in management than it was in the thirties, or in the police, most elegantly classified as the managers of Outside. There are always details about the details within the details, and I’m not here to publish footenotes, Shelby.
Some trends, however, stand out. It feels like a whole lot of Gilded Age shysters whose own prose was Dale Carnegie via G. K. Chesterton–the bombast stripped of the brilliance–have equally scummy descendants whose writing is the McGuffey Readers edited for Lamb Chop’s Play-Along. A CIA psyop makes as much sense as anything else to explain the proliferation of Wacko Jacko-level childish memes about “adulting.” If Michelle “Life School” Tandler isn’t CIA, Mocha Haole is. What the company used to do in San Francisco back before that whiny bitch was born was use whorehouses to chemically Shanghai the unwitting and vulnerable into psychological experiments. This not-so-distant history makes Tandler’s crying fits about plywood boarding in Union Square storefronts feel downright tame, just like any longitudinal study that examines what the Tenderloin was really like in the eighties. (Shitty, mostly.)
Same as today’s boohoo cracker moral panics about “crime” in San Francisco, where “crime” is burglars calmly carrying fully insured deluxe merchandise out of department stores in neighborhoods long seasoned by the al fresco mental health crises of cold homeless who are too far gone to properly dress themselves, the moralistic carryings-on of the Gilded Age were ordered to the externalization and suppression social problems arising directly from the bad policies demanded by the very same elite moralists. In ye olden steamtime days, the problems arose from industrial capitalism. In San Francisco and other hip cities today, the problems arise from land speculation.
The Bay Area would be sociologically unrecognizable if its real estate prices passed for normal. Anybody with real estate equity anywhere from Mountain View north to the Marina District literally has millions of dollars at stake. A modest market correction–the housing market becoming slightly less insane–would wipe out six figures’ worth of current or anticipated home equity per household. Jenny Luke made it sound like one half of Over-the-Rhine was constantly murdering the other half for a piece of crack rock. “It’s classic.” One might describe the neighborhood as “Over the Germans.” There’s an exchange rate to take into account between the very Anglo but very non-Saxon James “Mack the Pipe” Mack and white people who are Bay Area homeowners because they’re White People, but the spread isn’t a million to one. Everybody who’s anybody on the Peninsula owns a motive for murder.
This is why so many Californians today overtly dehumanize the homeless. Pets are people; the homeless are a threat to property values. This is how they end up living around abusive, chronically trucker-tweaked techbros and becoming only more entrenched as the years go by in their conviction that the homeless suffer from alcohol, hard drug, and consequent behavioral problems unique to the homeless. There’s little to admire or emulate in the lifestyles of low-functioning destitute addicts, but in many times and places they have mostly had stable housing. When they’re living on the streets, one of their obvious major problems, fully separable from any addictions afflicting them (in incidences grossly exaggerated by their propertied neighbors), is that they’re homeless. What the fuck is the problem with addressing this first–getting them into proper apartments–and then dealing with their being lushes or junkies or whatever else they supposedly all are?
Well no shit, the problem is that this approach, a robust housing-first campaign, would depress sale prices and rents, and we can’t have that.
That isn’t the full extent of it, either. Flooding the market with affordable housing would deprive the servant class of that salutary hunger. Most gig app customers must realize on some level that the hustlers driving their entitled asses all over hell and dropping all the shit they order at their doorsteps are of lower strata than themselves. That is, they are not delivering for DoorDash or driving around in their own cars for well less than the cost of a ride in a licensed cab because they’re looking to make a little walking-around money. They realize, if only subconsciously and uncomfortably, that these servants are full-time members of a permanent servant underclass, and that the company line about “side hustles” for people with outside sources of income (From what? How much?) is a crock of shit.
They consider this exploitation indispensable to the elegance of the California lifestyle (get your whiny ass on Muni, bitch; I’ll see you on the bus), but they hate to admit that California is a class-based, classist society. Wanna hear a secret? California is practically Brazil. Maybe it’s India, too. We have more Indians than Brazilians, but we also have more of a residual foundation of broad prosperity and stability to erode than either India or Brazil has ever had. Since this is much more than just a Californian problem, we’re surely integrating our heavily Brahmin Indians into American society in ways that harm the lower strata of the native stock. Look around any shitty part of the Bay Area waterfront if you don’t believe me.
Faauga Moliga is a high-profile representative of the low-rent Asians who keep the Bay Area’s physical plant running while the high-rent Asians do whatever the hell they do for a much better living. If anybody’s a low-rent Asian, it’s a Pacific Islander. The Philippines are islands in the Pacific. So is Japan. Nah, we all know the Japs had their minute of hardship back when they blackened the Western Addition, because they also had the gumption to get over it, except for the ones deputized to ceremoniously celebrate it on NPR, unlike the local color. He isn’t black; he’s OJ! Lance Allan Ito was named for two white guys. We love LA!
The ironic thing about Moliga is that he’s so fucking conservative. He promotes the premise that education is the key to upward mobility. The core of his complaint about the current state of public education in San Francisco is that it disparately advantages affluent children north of Duboce Avenue–little Chinamen, if I may, and if I may not I will regardless–to the detrimental exclusion of poor kids in the deep south, heavily Pacific Islander like himself. He’s dissatisfied that the children of needy Samoan and Tongan families in the Ingleside and the Excelsior are forced to compete on a field slanted in favor of Chinese kids who put the rich into the Richmond. It’s the well-to-do, cutthroat parents of these latter kids who are up in arms with Moliga for trying to keep their precious, precocious, eminently meritorious brats out of Lowell High by weakening the admissions criteria to admit more of the lower sorts of AAPI, whom they hate.
They’re so bent out of shape about this, and they’re so loud, that nobody of any clout is pointing out Moliga’s assumption that his own fellow Pacific Islanders should strive to rise above their parents’ lowly stations in life through educational attainment. His agenda is to help them stay in school and get into “better” schools than they otherwise would (as if this means anything) by leveling the playing field to make them competitive with the chronically hazed, mentally sickened children of high-caste Chinese diaspora nutjobs out in the Avenues.
He’s playing their game. He’s promoting upward mobility for the children of low-caste Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, and the likes, in ways that clash with the same ambitions on the part of low-caste Chinese strivers, in contrast to the ambitions of high-caste Chinese parents for their own besieged children to hold the line and not crash into poverty and disgrace, but they’re all jockeying for position at the head of the class.
A radical critique would call foul on the entire project. It would propose wildcat strikes every week until the stranglehold of the dream hoarders is broken and formal education is moot as channel of socioeconomic advancement. Moliga won’t even encourage his own constituents to use the powerful leverage they have as blue- and pink-collar workers with the sheer numbers in critical positions to shut San Francisco down, along with the northern end of San Mateo County. Instead he wants them to exert their weak leverage as disadvantaged students with low GPA’s against ruthless classmates across town whose parents pull out all the stops to get them into the Ivy League.
Moliga objects to Pacific Islander students being denied the unfair advantages Chinese parents give their own children by getting them into selective high schools and private tutoring services like Mathnasium. What I want to know, as an overeducated, underemployed classmate of dream hoarders who sometimes catches the bus in front of the Mathnasium on Lombard, is when somebody will run for the school board on the platform that Mathnasium is bullshit. You know, the hell’s math got to do with any of this shit? Fuck Mathnasium. Classical Romans had Greek slave tutors teach their children math, among other subjects, in curricula approximating the genuine liberal arts, although not so liberal for the tutors.
The math a prosperous workforce needs is arithmetic sufficient to recognize the price point that makes management cry uncle during a strike. Coding doesn’t pay well because old-line Americans are retarded about math where Asians are brilliant at it. It’s a supply-and-demand thing, pure and simple. Hectoring schoolchildren to study STEM plays directly into management’s campaign to flood the job market with surplus technical whizzes.
The point isn’t to build up a workforce large and skilled enough to keep society running; it’s to depress wages. I would never have heard about that shit on the NBC local news out of Albany if the campaign to improve STEM education and make good minds GRRREAT! were coherently oriented in an understanding of what it takes to run a civilization. You still won’t know much about a science book if you try to keep up with Carisi.
Television: #TheMoreYouKnow about it, the less you trust it.
We’re heightening the inherent contradictions of capitalism again. Whatever Alison Collins said about uppity Ching-Chong a decade ago is a sideshow. I had reasons for alluding to Thomas Sowell’s work on middleman minorities above. Grafting ethnic grievances onto class tensions thick enough to cut with a knife is never good, but it’s not like the Chinese would be in deep and abiding harmony among their own people back home in the middle of the kingdom. Dawg I’ve been on the 30-Stockton. That ridership base is nothing like the Chinese in the Richmond. All Asians look alike? Bullshit. We’re talking about prosperous homeowners in the early trolley suburbs versus indigent peasants living in SRO’s and spending the rest of their ablebodied lives working for restaurateurs whose families moved out to Fremont in 1975. They’re a breed apart, London.
I assume I’d have an even more cynical assessment of this mess if I could understand more than ten words of spoken Mandarin or read more than ten characters. Or maybe twenty. With numbers like those, there’s no reason to learn the math.
The horny-for-rules process-oriented institutionalism of this whole shit show is kind of sad. I have a fairly spotty familiarity with Chinese history, but I can tell that the party line is nonsense when bullying entire generations of children into cramming for years of exam hell is presented as fundamentally Chinese but Maoism is not. It’s past time to confront the worst sorts of Chinese parents for driving their own children to suicide. Palo Alto, now a very Chinese city, keeps losing its own teenagers to Caltrain pedestrian strikes. It’s hard to say how different the college rat race would be in the absence of China’s best and brightest from the American college application pool, but it’s clear that their cultural influence and sheer numbers have some bad effects on the whole country. Why the hell should other Americans have to compete against these unbalanced freaks?
I’m referring to other Chinese-Americans, too. In case sensitivity to Chinese culture is an actual goal here, I’ll note the perky interest I take when I read about the classical Chinese civil service exam apparatus inspiring rampant cheating and cultivating generations of failsons. If we’re looking to learn from the Chinese, that’s some shit worth studying.
Nah, we didn’t learn shit from the initial Japanese edition of the hikikomori, either. The normie twerps who run this show kept assuming we had to take cultural learnings of Inscrutable Oriental about the work ethic or some shit like that. They refused to consider the implications of a generation of Type A white-collar alcoholics begetting a generation of adrift, marginally employable dropouts with no career prospects in a major trading partner with extensive commercial and social ties to the United States.
Captain Ho Lee Fuk are we retarded.
What happens if the Samoans start studying, too? Maybe they can drive for Uber or work dead-end retail jobs with college degrees just like various races of White People. This is most likely not a question that has occurred to Faauga Moliga, just as it has not too much of anybody else in American government. Our man reveres institutions and processes. So do his Chinese haters, who so revere institutions and processes that they need a new school board right now.
An interesting thing I learned about AAPI culture on NPR recently is that Jollibee, which has a restaurant in Daly City, uses wheat noodles, not rice. The Philippines is the most American country on earth. The CIA does what it can to keep it that way, so our hospitals and nursing homes don’t have to figure out how to make payroll for American aides. Tonga is even more American, depending on one’s feelings about Mormons. By Doctrines and Covenants it would be a goshdarned shame if Utah’s honkies were all too busy working the ramp for Delta to run MLM scams on one another.
As I said, this country is retarded. Why would we study useful parts of Chinese history? I’ve read enough about American labor history to know we don’t even study our own.