I’ve met more than my share of famous people, just because I’ve lived mostly in big metropolises and hung around with journalists a lot. Among those encounters: one with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, back in 1984. I wrote up an account in a column back in 2003.
Well, His Holiness is still among us here in the material world; now 81 years old, but still doing speaking engagements. One of those engagements has caused a bit of a fuss over on the Left Coast. Here’s the nub of it:
Chinese students are joining their peers on American campuses in getting woke. Their cause? Defending the official line of the Communist Party.
On Feb. 2, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) formally announced that the Dalai Lama would make a keynote speech at the June commencement ceremony.
The announcement triggered outrage among Chinese students who view the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as an oppressive figure threatening to divide a unified China. A group of them now plans to meet with the university chancellor to discuss the content of the upcoming speech.
Chinese students in the US are using “inclusion” and “diversity” to oppose a Dalai Lama graduation speech
By Josh Horwitz, Quartz.com, February 15, 2017
The rest of the story is hard to read with a straight face. These Chinese students at an American university—a tax-payer supported public university, yet—have twisted the language of political correctness—”inclusion” “diversity,” “respect,” and so on—to enforce the line of the Chinese Communist Party that His Holiness is a scheming terrorist who seeks to destroy China.
It’s all preposterous enough, but the underlying issues are nontrivial.
A lot of these Chinese students are quite sincere. Nobody in China ever hears anything about Tibet but the official line. They believe it. Since their parents are paying full tuition—tens of thousands of dollars—they are entitled to feel that they shouldn’t be insulted by the presence of a speaker who, as they have been told all their lives, is plotting against their home country.
Some others among the students—my guess would be somewhere between twenty and thirty percent—know that the Communist Party line is a lie. However, they also know that the Chinese government monitors its citizens, both at home and abroad, very closely. If you think privacy is an issue here in the age of Big Data, try imagining how much privacy there is for Chinese people, under a government unrestrained by any constitutional protections.
If you’re a Chinese citizen, just for the authorities to know you were in the same room as the Dalai Lama could wreck your life. So even students who haven’t swallowed the ChiCom lies are rightly fearful.
Well, all that is a problem for Chinese people. But why is it any problem for us?
Why is the chancellor of an American university—a public university, on a salary paid out of tax receipts from American citizens—why is he being vexed by delegations of foreign students urging him to enforce the dogmas of a foreign Communist party?
Short answer: Because our immigration systems is nuts.
Further down the Quartz news story, we read that:
More overseas Chinese students are studying in the US than ever before. According to the Institute of International Education, more than 304,000 international students were attending university in the US during the 2014-2015 academic year, marking a nearly fivefold increase from a decade prior. [Emphases added]
Why are we issuing that many student visas? Our universities are a resource, a great educational resource. That resource should be for the benefit of our people.
If you say things like that out loud, of course, you mark yourself down as a hater.
Well, the hell with that. I’ve been living among Chinese people for forty-five years. I’ve been married to one for thirty years. I’ve written two novels with Chinese protagonists sympathetically (Seeing Calvin Coolidge In A Dream and Fire From The Sun) But I love my country and I think her citizens should have first claim on her abundance. That’s not hate.
I’ll tell you what I hate: I hate the stupid, bogus, degraded vocabulary of “hate” and “bigotry” and “exclusion” that is now the default vocabulary for talking about national issues. I sure do hate that.
It’s not as if the universities who admit all these foreign students are doing it from high morality and a sincere desire to improve the world.
They’re doing it for money: foreign students pay full tuition. It’s not an open-hearted spirit of national generosity: it’s a cash racket. [Ker-ching.]
So there’s another action point on immigration for you, Mr. President: a ceiling on student visas.
And here’s a slogan to go with it: “American schools for American citizens!”
To play us out, here’s a glimpse of the other side.
I do not mean the other political side. God forbid everything should be about politics! No, this is the human side—the personal, not the social.
I’ve listened to a lot of Chinese pop music this past forty-odd years. Most of it is forgettable dross, of course, like pop music anywhere. But there’s also some surprisingly good stuff.
One thing I’ve noticed, from the very beginning, is what a high proportion of Chinese pop ballads are laments for unwilling separation across the width of an ocean for a period of unknown length. That’s just a cultural reflection of the fact that so many young Chinese people—people in those romantic late teens and early twenties—were going abroad to study, leaving their sweethearts behind.
Here’s a random sample of the genre, one of hundreds. This is the late Teresa Teng, who died tragically young, singing in Cantonese. The song title is 一水隔天涯, which translates as “An Ocean Apart.”
See what I mean?
[Music clip: Teresa Teng, “一水隔天涯.”]
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He’s had two books published by VDARE.com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.
This is one of the funniest mutations of PC.
Chinese invoke ‘diversity’ to shut out the Dalai.
‘Justice’ is so ‘fluid’ depending on who’s got the power.
Just ask the Palestinians.
That song is weak.
Teng had a good song, but Faye Wong’s cover version is much better:
I sampled some Sino-pop. You’re right. Most are dross.
But this one’s folk-pop is really good. It has heart. She was good in late 80s and 90s but then got silly. Something in the late 90s turned everyone into MTV-crap.
Not a fan of Chinese language, but Pan makes it musical enough.
The New Kids: VICE News Tonight on HBO (Full Segment)
Published on Feb 9, 2017
The number of Chinese students enrolling at American secondary schools is on the rise–and if the success of the Wisconsin International Academy is any indication, it will grow exponentially in the years ahead. VICE News Tonight visits a former hotel in Milwaukee that is now home to 170 Chinese teenagers. They have left their families on the other side of the world to study for a better future in the American Midwest.
Harmonic Divergence: The Wealthy Are Dropping the Dalai Lama’s Name, Literally
by Jamie Johnson July 19, 2011
These visas are about 2 things:
1. money !! The money grubbing Unis want the tuition bucks. Likely are charging “out of state” tuition too which is usually double or more than “in state” tuition.
2. Immigration. Since we have “immigration by hanging out” here in the USA getting a student visa gets you a 90% chance of citizenship …100% if you marry a local or knock out a kid….
This is interesting. It seems like their real beef is they feel like this isn’t a “nice” thing to do.
I think they are sincere and actually seem to understand a part of the PC ideology they live with.
” According to him, the group won’t ask the chancellor to disinvite the Dalai Lama. But it will request that he “send out statements that clarify the content of Dalai Lama’s speech,” “make sure his speech has nothing to do with politics,” and “stop using words like ‘spiritual leader’ or ‘exile’” to describe the Dalai Lama.”
Their beef, in part, is that it is ‘bad manners’ and ‘disrespectful’ to invite a divisive political figure to speak at a ceremonial event. And sure, it is *insensitive*.
They are surrounded with students who claim to need ‘trigger warnings’ and safe spaces and the utmost respect and tolerance for their unique ‘differences’.
So, in that context, why shouldn’t the university show sensitivity to conservative Chinese parents who will be attended. After all, there is no form of gender or sexuality diversity that isn’t entitled to it.
Its not like I disagree with Derb. It is bizarre. To me, the disturbing part is that the students didn’t find the campus liberating in any sense nor the notion of freedom of speech an important value. But hell … they didn’t experience it.
And maybe, consistent with Derb, its because there are so many of them that they found it easy to live within their own community. And correctly interpreted a dominant value that of ‘being nice’ as more important than debate and diversity of opinion.
2 Anon > Sino-pop. You’re right. Most are dross.
little known trade secret: lots of Asian pop music is not-exactly-made in Asia. Yeah, the vocal track is recorded dry – you can do THAT cleanly with a few grand worth of a high-end mike & digital tape recorder; but those ones&zeros are satellited to an office in LA, where it is handed off to a multi-million-dollar-equipped post-production house.
the Singaporean upper-classes are rather wealthy, but there isn’t a single farm-to-fork music production house in the country. Actually, most Singaporean talents fly to Taiwan to lay down their vocal tracks. You could physically do it in Singapore, but any Singaporean who became rather good at engineeering such a session, is already in Taiwan, or perhaps HongKong.
Singapore ALSO allows its nightclubs to import live-club pop-music cover-bands from the Philippines.
that REALLY puts a damper on any Singaporean musician kid thinking that if he just pays his dues for a few years, he might someday MAKE A LIVING at his craft.
Very good post, Mr. Derbyshire – I see you got around to the real reason, the money. Your post is more of a comprehensive article about this subject than Mr. Sailer’s one a few days back, but you’ve read the comments on that one – so, as the Rusbo’s people say: DITTO.
Just more about China, though. I have ahem, family, from China, and the pop music now seems to try to resemble soul music and modern American pop, and I hate to say this, but if this is the way it’s gonna go, then BRING BACK DISCO! Your cutie notwithstanding, their music truly sucks, and that goes back past the time of Confucius. In my
politicallycorrect opinion Only the English-speaking world has ever made good rock music, and come to think of it, of course the only good country (gotta go back before 1990) and blue-grass, and ….
More importantly though, I defer to Cntrl-V of my comment from Sailer’s post:
I’ll add to this in a minute.
I repost my comment verbatim here from “Diversity” Means Beijing Must Rule All Under Heaven, by Steve Sailer.
I remember now my other point, John, about the privacy thing.
In the late oughts, I felt quite a bit freer in China than I do here. I opened a beer (had gotten it in 1st class, and I don’t like to waste) at 8 AM just outside the Chinese version of the TSA, and it spewed everywhere, after having rolled around in the luggage. Nobody made a big deal like they would have here. A guy can smoke a cigarette in a lot of place without the BS. Cash is still King in China, which is a measure of freedom. It’s free in these ways kind of like a Mexico, where you may have laws, but regular people just don’t give a crap about the small stuff.
I saw almost no cops pulling over people for driving violations – well, what are you gonna do – arrest the whole road?!?
I know I couldn’t have, especially as a Chinaman, just put up antigovernment flyers and such, so I am not arguing on the big picture here. It is true that the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are not exercised in China, but we are very far away from them here too.
OK, to the privacy issue, back then the internet was not as locked down on the client side (the reader). One could pay 2 yuan and surf the web for an hour – 30 cents or so – with no ID required. Cell phones could be used by buying a SIM card (you’ll like this John, a phone number with a bunch of 4’s would be half the price of one with lots of 8’s!). There was anonymity in both these modes of communication, and don’t go telling me about any spying by the government based on internet/phone signals, as our NSA is tops in the surveillance of citizens business by a long-shot.
However, things changed by around 2009 – the internet cafe wanted an ID, so I just mooched off of wireless signals from nearby apartments. Nowadays (at least going back 3 years), the owners of cell phones must “register” the SIM cards or phones in some manner, and the quantity one can “register” is limited.
I think all this has changed not because there had been a lull in the Commies’ lust for control, but more like they just are always a step behind – which is a good thing, unlike in the US, where the control freaks have got the best computer tech.
I’d like to see a rule that money that comes from the government CANNOT be used to subsidize grad students, unless they are US citizens.
If there is a genius for the ages out there, just dying to do grad work in the US…
Then I’m sure the University can pay the Chancellor or the football coach a little less.
Dang, checked my link to the post on Confucius. This one is what I meant. Sorry about that.
How many of these students are doing this because the Chinese government is telling them to do so? After all, most will be going back and have to face scrutiny as well as be worried about their career prospects not to mention the well-being of their family members. They’re not necessarily free agents.
“Getting woke” must be the worst verbal tic to appear in some time.
“Only the English-speaking world has ever made good rock music”
Some Mexican and Polish rock are really good.
Poles are also expert at Jazz.
“How many of these students are doing this because the Chinese government is telling them to do so?”
Even overseas Chinese don’t care about Tibetans.
But then, do Americans care about Palestinians?
Money makes BS talk.
If the foreign students are paying full tuition at a state university, doesn’t that take some of the burden of supporting the place off the native taxpayers? Sounds like a win-win to me.
I’m all ears if you’ve got a few links.
Please, please don’t bring up 99 Luft Balloons by Nena on behalf of the German contingent of rock-and-rollers. It’s just too early in the day for that.
My prediction is that PC will eventually dissolve into incoherent mush–it’s in the process of doing so already–with the result that the SJWs who spew this crap will marginalize themselves out of existence.
Mana the Mexican rock band had some titanic songs.
Polish Jazz scene is well-established worldwide. Maybe they see it a hip version of Polka.
In the 90s, I used to listen to Polish-American radio station for music, and there was fair amount of decent rock songs.
The Italian Paolo Turci is something special
The Chinese really do excel at anything, once they put their minds to it: piano and violin, math contests, the SAT… Why should mastering the language of SJWism be any different?
Me, myself and …
Derb, what part of Beijing’s coverage about Tibet do you consider a lie?
Most Chinese, even ones living in China, support their policies because separatism is seen as a way to divide and undermine the country, not because they believe everything is wonderful in Tibet, or even that the Dalai Lama is an evil man. It’s called nationalism.
I’m sorry to disagree on the Mexican songs, Mr. Factor. I think the first one has neither a great tune nor a good “sound” at all – I eventually fast-forwarded to see if the girl in the video would take off the rest of her clothes. (Spoiler alert, I’m still here in front of the keyboard ;-}
The 2nd one sounds like a U-2 knock-off without The Edge – you <a title=”"http://www.peakstupidity.com/index.php?post=163"http://www.peakstupidity.com/index.php?post=163">absolutely, positively must have The Edge if you’re gonna be U-2.
I am listening to the 1st Polish one now, I first thought I should listen to it backwards (Reverse Polish Notation, and all), but it sounds pretty good. I’ll listen to the rest tomorrow.
Have a good night and thanks.
You’re hard to please.
But even you won’t deny this classic.
I don’t have a problem with China’s policies on this issue. China’s claim to Tibet seems to be just as respectable as the US claim to Hawaii. Or California for that matter. It’s China’s business.
Nobody in China ever hears anything about Tibet but the official line. They believe it
It’s not just a PRC thing. Taiwanese Chinese feel the same way, or at least they did when I lived there 20 years ago. Tibet was, is and always will be part of China. Taiwanese maps of China still showed Mongolia as part of China, and I swear I once saw a map in Taiwan that showed Vietnam as a Chinese province.
Germany/Austria consistently produce good bands. German New Wave may not be your thing, but in the 1990s the Hamburg scene produced some very cool bands – Blumfeld, Tocotronic, and Die Sterne. Toten Hosen and Die Ärtzte are both very good punk bands, the latter like Green Day but with clever lyrics. Austria has a young garage band called Wanda that is pretty good as well.
Russian rock is far superior to Polish rock, sad to say. Many great bands starting with Kino and Akvarium in the 1980s, to DDT, Zemfira and others.
The money doesn’t matter. The 300,000 foreigners telling us what to do does. And the stealth immigration of PC Chinese, a new alien overclass, matters a great deal too.
Hey Discard, we agree that it’s not worth it for any money for Universities to take the people , for the sake of our country, but they are not doing it for the sake of our country – they are doing it for the money! So, money is indeed the reason this goes on. Does that clear it up?
However, I disagree about the immigration of PC. We arguably* didn’t invent PC here in the US, but we sure do it up bigly! If anything, the Chinese over here are becoming PC from watching the idiot box to learn English. See my earlier post, #8.
Peter, you and Priss may very well have some good tunes to listen to from those lands. The fact is, the amount of good rock made in the middle 1960′ through middle 1990’s in the English-speaking world – mostly US and England, with help from Australia’s AC/DC and Canada’s Rush is OVERWHELMING. I could literally and figuratively give you 10 band/artist names every day for a year with a discography of 20-50 good songs by each one.
I don’t know how my link got munged overnight, but this is my take on the loudmouth Bono who would be a nobody were it not for The Edge, and my short selection of great music so far – multiple genres.
Listen to these 4 and get back to me:
(If nothing else, listen to Jerry place lead between 2:50 and 4:50 – can ANYONE else play like that?)
Hahahaaa, that guy needs a good choreographer, is all. I’m sure he’ll improve.
Elaine Benice, now she was beyond help:
Have you ever considered what you learned about China and Tibet are also lies and fake news spread by the elite establishment with agendas ?
Well, if you were talking about China 40 years ago, I would say that you were right, but not anymore. China has changed so much in past 40 years that I don’t think nowadays Chinese government monitors its citizens more than the US government does, neither Chinese citizens are more fearful of their government than Americans do. Many people who know both countries well would say that people in China have more freedom of speech than in the US because there is no political correctness in China to suppress people to express themselves.
I guess all those “Free Tibet” stickers on the bumpers of Progressive’s Priuses and Volvos are going to have to come off.
Yeah, or they could get all entrepreneurial and s__t, and, instead of peeling them off and possibly ruining the bumper-cover paint, they could add another sticker to the right that says:
en Coffee – http://www.commie-coffee.com
hahaha … get it, Pound Zedong (instead of Mao Zedong) … hey I’ll be here all week folks … try the free Tibetan coffee, along with your favorite whores-dee-voors.
Chickens are coming home to roost! Nixon (more like Henry) paved the way of good intentions and the Reagenites (and Bushites, Clintonites & Obamites) helped build upon it, the Chinese currency reserves with which, the Hegemon, is going forward to battle the Empire. Is it any wonder then, the robots in American universities are beating the drums of war against the ever isolated Dalai Lama at the behest of the Beast in Beijing… What prompted the Judeo-Christians to give up its rightful place in the world pecking order to a novice dilettante, notwithstanding the several thousand year old culture cliches? What prompted the ‘Whites’ to put ‘Yellows’ in charge after equally dominating Blacks, Browns, Reds and Grays (the people of Levant)? Why do they see the Orientals as the heir apparent? What say you, John Derbyshire?
Americans always need to believe that they have the only free society that has ever existed. That’s why they have to dominate the world – to bring the blessings of American freedom and democracy to the rest of us (it goes without saying that freedom and democracy are entirely American inventions).
America’s dislike of China is simply the fear of being overtaken by an economic rival but they have to turn it into a moral crusade, as they always do.
I did not mean to imply that the Chinese are bringing PC to us, if I did. I will add that all foreigners that come here are being assimilated to PC through the schools and media. They will never become Americans when they are taught un-American ways from the time they set foot here.
If you like Polish rock, you may want to try:
1. “Noc Komety” by Budka Suflera (1980s)
2. “Conceiving You” by Riverside (2000s)
3. “Takie Tango” by Budka Suflera. This became an international
hit. You might want to watch the Taiwanese version, “Takie Tango” by
Power Station. Derb will love it!
4. Polish death metal band Behemoth with Adam Darski
5. “Długość dźwięku samotności” (Length of the sound of solitude)
by Myslowitz. Janusz Kamiński, Polish cinematographer who has
worked with Steven Spielberg on his major movies (Schindler’s List, etc),
loved the band so much, he collaborated with them on some of their
6. Any song by Monika Brodka. She was recently making videos in Britain
7. “Litania” by Edyta Górniak from the Polish musical Metro that played
on Broadway a few years ago
In addition, the Polanders, being The Eternal Wanderers, like the Jews,
emigrated to the United States, and contributed a ton of songs and musicians
in the U.S. E.g.,
1. Ray Manzarek of The Doors
2. Bobby Vinton, 1960s crooner
3. Pat Benatar, 1980s
4. Basia, e.g., “Time and Tide” – famous in the late 1980s
– early 1990s (born in Poland but her career was mostly in the U.S.)
5. “They don’t know” by Tracey Ullman, Polish-British singer and
actress who also did a lot of TV work in the U.S. The video is, of course,
famous for a cameo by Paul McCartney which catapulted her to fame
in 1983 I think
6. Musical “Hair” (1968) was created by a Polish-Italian duo James
Rado (Radomski) and Jerome Ragni
7. Michael Anthony (Sobolewski) Van Halen, Clem Burke (drummer, Blondie),
Peter Cetera (singer, Chicago), John Curulewski (Styx), Gene Krupa (drummer),
Liberace, Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), Matt
Skiba (Blink 182), Cory Wells (Emil Lewandowski – Three Dog Night), and
8. I shouldn’t forget jazz musicians like Michal Urbaniak and Urszula Dudziak
9. There is also an incredibly talented young Polish-American country and bluegrass
singer from Texas who just won two Grammys. Her name is Sarah Jarosz.
You should try her “Build me up from bones” or “Crazy”
I just want to add one more song by Sarah Jarosz,
“Come on up to the House” – Highly recommended.
What a great vocalist she is!
I’m sure that Russians in the 1980s also thought that the USSR was eternal and indivisible… China’s hold on Tibet is no more natural or permanent than Russia’s hold on Ukraine.
And of course Krematoriy. But other than with DDT , who had very nice albums in the 2000s,there doesn’t seem to have been much good Russian rock produced since the 90s.
Yes, Krematoriy is great. I also have the same impression about Russian rock having really fallen off in the last decade, but maybe I’m just older?
Dmitri Shagin and Mit’ki have made some great records, but that might not be “rock” music.
Leningrad produced a classic record in 2003 – “Dlya Millionov” but that is a while back now.
Can Chinese people websearch for the phrase “Tiananmen Square” or “Tiananmen Massacre” and not be blocked? Can they discuss and criticize the government’s decisions openly? Can they practice the religions they wish do, or do churches need official government approval?
Are you one of those people paid to post approving lies about the Chinese government online? Or are you foolish enough to do so for free?
The question you asked here proved my point in my earlier post. You too need to think about the question I asked Mr. DERBYSHIRE :” Have you ever considered what you learned about China and Tibet are also lies and fake news spread by the elite establishment with agendas “?
Probably not yet, I didn’t check this last time I went back to China. I wish that Chinese government does not block the internet, but given the situation, I understand the necessity for it. Considering Google and Fackbook start to filter “fake news” now, I hope you can understand why Chinese government has to do this.
Yes. You can see this everywhere in Chinese social media.
True. Again, consider the situation in China and the power of church in the West, I agree with Chinese government on this.
I think there is a combination of haughty decaying absent-mindedness (watch how haughtily any typical WASP yokel – bitch tend to behave towards Chinese locals in any Shanghai 5 star hotel) (they don’t dare acting in this way in the hallways of Moscow Kepinski), racial-sexual masochistic complex (30% or higher WASP JEW leftie whiety nerds don’t dare to so much as whisper when a Whitney ugly girl walk by, but deign to drool and flirt towards Yellow Asian chicks, all of whom they stupidly presumed to be Chinese), and techno economic fetish of a decaying Christian civilization which had some time ago morphed into a Marxist materialist soulless civilization, calling itself a democracy ( listen to how Fareed Zachariah drool over the lordly Chinese great economy). All three factors combined I am at times tempted to presume that the WASP race is indeed thoroughly depraved and self hating and hardly deserved of sympathy. ( Me I am a WASP educated Yellow who lives in Russia).