Transformations

Transformations

I am going through some big shifts. I had a dream about the perfect dance partner, everything we did together always worked. Part of the dream was that this is a dream I have had over and over out to infinity. It as if the perfect dance is always here with me, and yet my life is an obstacle to it. 

Here are a few choice links for my weekly blog. 

Ever wonder why women in the 1800s dueled topless? The best part of this fascinating piece of history is the reason they were dueling. Not love, or truth, but beauty.

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The Four Mass Destructions

The Four Mass Destructions

I just finished reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing, by Madeleine Thien. It is a fictional account of China from 1920 to the present. It follows a family of musicians. It is a great piece of fiction because it gets you inside peoples thoughts. It is historically accurate and emotionally mature, although incredibly sad. I highly recommend it. I am considering making it mandatory reading for my students.

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Zombie Tai Chi Movie

Zombie Tai Chi Movie

Can't you just see it? A horror movie where seemingly normal people just start doing Tai Chi, then they creep towards you to try and eat your brains. Hollywood, are you listening? 

It is going to need a cause. The disease thing has been overdone. An electronic, cellphone-activated brain re-wiring app, perhaps. But for the deep chill down the spine, it should be caused by political indoctrination. Government hypnosis conspiracy using Tai Chi to eat people's brains. Dang.


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Re-Thinking the Importance of Comic Martial Arts

Re-Thinking the Importance of Comic Martial Arts

My new book uses the idea of a YMCA Consensus. That is, after the Boxer Uprising all the voices of reform and Modernity can be understood as conforming to a Protestant Christian notion of religion and the state. There were three or four categories of thought that martial arts reformers subscribed to, but they were all within the YMCA Consensus. They all agreed that martial arts had to be separated from the gods and immortals. They all agreed that temple-festival martial arts were a cause of China's suffering. They all agreed that some forms of theatricality degraded the martial arts--demonstrations of invulnerability being number one on the list.

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Famine

I had a massive writing push this week. No time for a full post. 

But I have a link to a wonderful article about famine in North China in 1876-1879. (From DisasterHistoriies.org)

The famine comes up briefly in my next book because 1876-1879 are the years that Dong Haichuan was teaching Baguazhang in Beijing. It is a confused issue. Dong Haichuan was supposed to have died in 1882. According to his tombstone, he only began teaching after he was released from service to the Su Prince--after he had become old. 

Questions about Martial Arts

Questions about Martial Arts

There appears to be a cultural shift going on. In the past there was a small number of people who could have deep intellectual or kinesthetic conversations. The technology of video distribution is slowly changing that. Very few people have the concentration, focus, and appetite to read deep books. What is changing is that the few of us who can read, can now spread ideas via video. And we can talk to each other in front of massive rock concert sized audiences for several hours at a time. Books are still essential for deeper levels of engagement, but video has the capacity to make lots of people think. 

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Murals, Wrestlers and Hot Pot

Murals, Wrestlers and Hot Pot

Last week I briefly posted about the Chinese view of Christianity. The Chinese idea of religion is inseparable from the state. Totally inseparable. Martial arts were part of religion, so they were part of the state. All of them. Even when martial arts were practiced by bandits, they were just a renegade part of the state. As the Chinese government evolves, it seems to be sticking to the idea that religion is part of the state and martial arts are part of religion, therefore--PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING MUST BE REAL!

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