Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Soul of Penn State.

Penn State does not educate, it indoctrinates.  Penn State people are not educated, they are indoctrinated.  Pennsylvania State University is a fraud.

There are some who argue that Penn State’s football “program,” as it is called, should be shuttered. No. That is misdiagnosing the problem.  Penn State and its football program are inseparable. That is the fraud. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the relevant departments of the federal government should shut down the Pennsylvania State University.

And then the United States government should go after the other football and basketball factories and take their presidents and their trustees to a shuttered “Happy Valley” and show them what became a university that sold its soul. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Soul of Penn State.

Seeking the Soul of Penn State.

Penn State Symphony Orchestra.

                                                         Penn State sculpture class.

Penn State library.

                                                   Distinguished Penn State alumnus.

                                                         Penn State fashion arts class.

                                                                   Penn State classroom.

Penn State students.

                                                      Penn State creative writing class.

                                                             Penn State zoology class.

Monday, November 28, 2011

China's Great Wall of Silence: The Murder of Bian Zhongyun.

I knew the composition of that photograph looked familiar.

I do not mean to suggest by the* juxtaposition of these two death scenes that Bian Zhongyun was a Christ-like person. But there are similarities in their murders! Both knowingly submitted to their fates. Both were tortured. Oh my God, this is cracking my brain.

 I am intending to see if there is something in the way that Chinese reacted to Bian's death that helps explain what they thought--what the female students who killed Bian thought, what Wang Jinyao thought, what his daughters in the photograph thought, what Bian thought.

That photograph is Mr. Wang's composition. He took several photographs of Bian's body.  To document Bian's injuries was one reason, that was one thought he had. This photograph shows facial bruising but it doesn't seem reasonable to attribute the same forensic thought as to the full-body photographs.  This is, at least partly, a mourning shot.  It's like a photograph that would be taken in a funeral home in the West except photographs usually aren't taken in funeral homes in the West.

What was in Mr. Wang's mind when he took this photograph of his two daughters weeping by their mother's body? Whatever the answer to that question, does that answer say anything about what kind of killing he thought it was? A street crime murder?  A political murder, that is an assassination?  Did he think there was a transcendent meaning to his wife's killing?

* "Coincidental" deleted, 5:35 pm.  I don't know for sure if Mr. Wang's positioning of the figures in the photograph was coincidental to a biblical lamentation scene. I assume so, but I shouldn't assume.

Painting:  Lamentation of Christ, by the Master of the Housebook, late 15th century. 
I am not advancing as an art critic. 

What an awesome painting.  It is Berthe Morisot with a Fan by Edouard Manet, 1872

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

China's Great Wall of Silence: The Murder of Bian Zhongyun.

Two years ago* I wrote an introduction to a brief series on a China-related trip to Providence, Rhode Island. The introduction was also a retrospective on my amateur studies to that point. I was stumped and wrote:

"Trying to imagine what was in the minds of the Beijingers involved in Bian Zhongyun's Passion was the wall I hit."

There was no forethought given to use of the term “Passion;” it just came out that way when I wrote.  I’ve given some afterthought to it and it seems to me there’s some hunt in that dog.

Bian knew she was going to be made a “sacrifice”--that word is Weili Ye’s--, just as Jesus of Nazareth did. Bian bathed the night before to make sure her corpse would be clean.  Both willingly went to their deaths, Mr. Wang Jinyao walking his wife part way and watching her disappear around a corner. Both were tortured before death.

Christ willingly went to his execution to save mankind.  Bian?  Several nights ago I read this:

“I am not afraid to die, Citizen Evremonde, but I have done nothing.  I am not unwilling to die, if the Republic, which is to do so much good to us poor, will profit by my death;”**

If we substitute “Comrade” for Citizen Evremonde, and insert “People’s” before Republic, that might be the mentality of those, like Bian, who willingly became victims during the Cultural Revolution--like the man who casually went to the stadium where he was to be struggled. Or it might not. Mr. Wang never offered anything like this as explanation in my interviews of him.

The killings of Jesus Christ, Bian Zhongyun, and Dickens’ nameless seamstress were all ritualized and all done in the name of some higher good.  This is considering the Cultural Revolution from an anthropological perspective, as palimpsest.

** “A Tale of Two Cities,” Charles Dickens, 368.

Image: Teacher Bian's children weep over her corpse.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Libya 2.0

He-he-he-he, ha-ha-ha-ha. Oh! Er, a, yes.

Umm, Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late Muammar Gaddafi, was captured over the weekend. We urge a, ah, fair, ah trial, yeah trial, for al Islam.

Seeking the Soul of Penn State

An additional "incident"  has been reported to campus police at Penn State.  In the summer of 2000 "a known individual" was seen committing  "indecent assault" on a boy in a public swimming pool on campus. The victim is now 17 years old and has withdrawn from high school because of bullying from those upset with him for creating more unhappiness in Happy Valley.

Meanwhile the game goes on. Our Nittany Lions lost to Nebraska on November 12 but rebounded to beat Ohio State Saturday. Love Ya Lions!  Football uber alles!

Image: Penn State cheerleaders entertaining Nazi officers in occupied Paris. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seeking the Soul of Penn State

Who are they?

In the next months we will learn more about the souls of Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz, especially Sandusky.  The pre-trial and trial phases of an American criminal prosecution are pretty good at illuminating part of the souls of the accused.  These trials will illuminate something, but less, of the soul of Penn State, for all three were Penn State people.  They are only three and there are hundreds of thousands who "Are Penn State." The soul of Penn State is in them collectively.

The soul of Penn State is also in "Happy Valley," the place and the notion.  Secluded, and made more so by Joe Paterno, Happy Valley the place was more guarded than the homes of many other universities. But this is America, not China;  America, especially an American public institution, is so open, so transparent;  Americans will see as much as they wish to see that is relevant to Penn State's soul.

Happy Valley the notion sounds Orwellian now.  In hindsight maybe we think now it always sounded weird, like the stadium crowd call-and-response, "Thank you; You're Welcome," but there was truth in "Happy Valley,"  I believe that. I believe a name that sticks that long has to have a lot of truth in it.  It is not the whole truth though; how much of "Happy Valley" is true, how much is "real," "authentic" is another way of asking what the soul of Penn State is.

More than anywhere else the soul of Penn State is in Joe Paterno.  He was "JoePa," the father figure. There is no question that there was much truth in that nickname's benevolence, in the benevolence of the man. So, what is Joe Paterno's soul? Why did he tell Jerry Sandusky that he would not succeed him as head coach?  Paterno sat Sandusky down in 1998 and flat told Sandusky that he would not be Paterno's successor. What were Paterno's reasons?  Did Sandusky's "problem" play any role in Paterno's decision?  Why in 1998?  Why not in 1988 or 1978?  Did Paterno suspect nothing of Sandusky's pedophilia before 2002?  Others did. A barber--a barber--said the rumors about Sandusky and young boys had been going on for years. Psychologists say the sex drive is second only to hunger in its power in human beings. It is not reasonable to believe that Joe Paterno heard nothing and suspected nothing about Jerry Sandusky's sexual desires in 32 years of working together. Maybe we will learn the answers to some of these questions but these prosecutions will not reveal as much about the soul of the one man most important to seeking the soul of Penn State.

What is Penn State? 

Chinese Cultural Revolution, by Zhang Mu. Chapter 5.2 (Part 1)

11. Zhou Enlai died, "April 5 (Ching Ming Festival) counter-revolutionary incident" in Tiananmen Square 1975
(1) “Wu Hao event”, the magic of Mao overmastered Zhou
The CCP always said that Kuomintang manufacturing Zhou Enlai’s pseudonym “Wu Hao separated from the communist party” vent. But other materials said that it was manufacture by Mao. The CCP clique struggle’s the most powerful weapon was giving the oposite a “traitor” charge. In 1931 “9.18 Incident”, Japan invaded China, the national disaster was overhead, but under Soviet Russia's subsidization, Mao seized the opportunity to do “two Chinas”, established “Chinese Soviet Republic” in the Jiangxi Ruijin, Mao was the president, Soviet Russia sent foreign consultant to assume personal command in Ruijin. Soviet Russia controlled Mao by various ways, the CCP central in Shanghai (at that time Zhou was Mao’s boss) also controlled Mao, sent Mao from Shanghai to correct Mao’s “counterrevolutionary suppression” and hiting “AB group” and so on mistakes in Ruijin “Chinese Soviet areas”. Zhou substituted for Mao to be the CCP Chinese Soviet areas central secretary, Mao was removed from office and in recreation. Jung Chang’s “Mao,The Unknown Story” and so on had the evidence to show that Mao did “Wu Hao separated from the communist party” event. Mao could may read Kuomintang’ newspapers daily through Dr. Fu Lianzhang. In February, 1932, Shanghai “Times” and “Shen Daily” published “Wu Hao et al. separated from CCP’s announcement”. Without doubt it was forge. Mao immedietly used the name of “Chinese Soviet areas chairman” to issue and send the notice to “clarify rumor”, so the news spreaded all over the “Chinese Soviet areas” where never had Shanghai’s newspapers, Zhou’s reputation was tarnished. Mao used this way to bring Zhou under control. Zhou fully realized that Mao’s severe Machiavellian tricks, so always followed him, regardless of Yan’an rectification and the “Great Cultural Revolution”, he did “company a king is just accompanying a tiger”.
On May 18, 1967, Jiang Qing delivered the “Wu Hao event” materials which the Red Guards found from Kuomingtang newspapers to Lin Biao, Zhou immedietly on 19th wrote a letter to Mao to clarify the question. Mao wrote: “Hand over it to  each comrade of the Cultural Revolution Group to read, and save it”. It was ambiguous. On October 10, 1967, Shanghai Revolutionary Committee material group’s No.5Grasping Traitors Bulletin” mentioned “Wu Hao event”. Because the rebellers unceasingly used this to criticize him, on January 10, 1968, Zhou wrote a letter to Jiang Qing said: “This matter was in 1931 and 1932, everyone who was familiar with Shanghai politics sentiment, knew it is forge. In 1942 Yan’an rectification, and at a CCP central symposium, I had already told it from beginning to end. If this year has the free time, I must talk this matter again at a meeting, and will give the sound recording, write down the central file.” On January 16, 1968, Mao wrote “This matter has already clarified, is Kuomintang fabricates a rumor slanders.” But Jiang Qing and Wang Hongwen issues an order to Shanghai to continue to do related “Wu Hao” materials. On June 23, 1972, Zhou was seriously ill but said once more to clearly “Wu Hao announcement”, it was enemy (had not said Kuomintang) forged, these were writing record and made a sound record. In 1975, his life was in imminent peril, before entered the operating room, Zhou once more brought out the 1972’s record, earnestly signature his name, and wrote: “In entering the operating room, on September 20, 1975”; Then Zhou said loudly “I am not the capitulationist!”.
 (1,2) Wu Hao quit CCP case special edition, “Party History Research”, January, 1980, People's Publishing House. In 1972, Zhou was seriously ill but said once more to clearly “Wu Hao announcement”, it was enemy, did writing record and sound record. In 1975, before entered the operating room, Zhou once more brought out the 1972’s record, earnestly signature his name, and wrote: “In entering the operating room, on September 20, 1975”; Then he said loudly “I am not the capitulationist!”. (3) “Wu Hao and others separate from CCP announcement”, was published on February 20 and21st, 1932, Shanghai “Shen Daily” and “Times” and “Current News”, who is the author still unknown.
 (1) When in February, 1932 Shanghai “Shen Daily”and so on published “Wu Hao and others separate from CCP announcement”, Zhou Enlai had gone to Jiangxi Ruijin “Chinese Soviet Republic”. Zhang Chong (Director-General of Kuomingtang Central Organization department party affairs investigated branch) seek for Zhou Enlai whereabouts, used alias“Huang Yi”to publish a “search notice” in 1936 April’s “Shen Daily”in Shanghai, said that the family had important matter to request to meet with “Wu Hao”. (2) From left: Ye Jianying, Zhang Chong, Zhou Enlai. Now in China many articles, also had manufactured TV program, wantonly propagandized that“Wu Hao announcement”was forged by Zhang Chong. Actually Zhang Chong was honest and Zhou Enlai's very good friend. Jung Chang’s “Mao, The Unknown Story” and so on had the evidence to show that Mao did “Wu Hao separated from the CCP” event. (3) Zhou Enlai and Zhang Chong. (4) Deng Yingchao, Zhou Enlai, Zhang Chong, Ye Jianying.
1Deng Yingchao, Zhou Enlai, Zhang Chong. (2) Zhou Enlai wrote the letter for Zhang Chong (Huai Nan). (3) Zhang Chong died of illness in 1941in Chongqing, the CCP leaders Mao Zedong, Dong Biwu, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Peng Dehuai and so on all sent the antithetical condolences. Chiang Kai-Shek personally wrote the elegiac couplet to send. Zhou Enlai attended the memorial service, said that he was “Chinese nation's outstanding son”.
 (2) The truth about “Zhou Dismissed from premier” event in 1958
From 1956 on, Mao engaged in “15 years to surpass Britain”, Zhou and Chen Yun and so on proposed “opposition to rash advance”, Mao was angry. From the second half of 1957, within two years Mao successively had at least 13 times severely criticized Zhou Enlai, said: “as soon as the rightists attacked, some comrades threw only 50 meters far to the rightists.” Mao forced Zhou to resign, let Ke Qingshi substitute for Premier Zhou. On January 16, 1958, Mao in the CCP central conference which held in Nanning, took Ke Qingshi’s publshed article asked Zhou in the presence of everyone: “You are premier, can you write this article?” Mao was age of 65 years, Ke Qingshi who was 56. but in the meeting Mao said Ke Qingshi was “a glorified old Ke”. Then, Mao severely criticized Zhou Enlai’s “opposition to rash advance”, and proposed that Ke Qingshi (who promoted Mao’s Great Leap Forward) replace Zhou as premier. On June 9 1958, in the CCP Political Bureau meeting Zhou did an examine and announced his resignation, because most people did not agree, it had not been able to pass. Mao was helpless, but afterward Zhou was even more careful to try best to follow Mao.
Ke Qingshi, born in 1902, member of CCP Political Bureau, vice-premier, secretary of Shanghai CCP Committee. He had famous saying “We believe Chairman Mao should to the superstitious degree, obey Chairman Mao should to the blindly degree”. So he was called “Mao Zedong’s good student”. He was hobnobbing with Jiang Qing, and Zhang Chunqiao was raised by him. On April 9, 1965, he died of illness in Chengdu, the obituary notice said that Ke Qingshi was “Comrade Mao Zedong’ close comrade”. 50,000 people participated his condolence and 13,000 people attended the public memorial ceremony in Beijing, to have, more tham ten thousand people attendd his memorial service in Shanghai.

(1) Ke Qingshi: “Brave the wind and the waves, accelerate the construction of socialist new Shanghai”, Shanghai People's Publishing House. 1958.  (2) On March 1, 1959, Vice-Premier Ke Qingshi (right one) participated the CCP Political Bureau enlarged meeting which convened on Mao’s special train. (3) Mao and Ke Qingshi. (4) Ke Qingshi accompanied Mao to read the big-character posters. (5) The CCP held a grand memorial service for Ke Qingshi, 1965.
(3) Zhou Enlai's younger brother, adopted daughter and Zhou’s aid staff were brutally persecuted
(1) Zhou Enlai and his younger brother Zhou Enshou’s family. Zhou Enshou, in 1924 joined CCP, in 1959 he was commissioner of the Interior Ministry, retired in 1963 due to illness. Jiang Qing and so on said Zhou Enshou was "Liu Shaoqi black line’s figure", because if he was grasped by the rebels there was no guarantee his life, in February 1968 Zhou Enlai personally approved Zhou Enshou to be “arrested for examination”. He was imprisoned for 7-and-a-half years and released in 1975, in 1980, was member of the fiveth and Sixth session National Political Consultative Committee; died in 1985. (2) In 1949, Zhou Enlai, Deng Yingchao and Sun Weishi. Sun Weishi, daughter of Zhou Enlai’s ally and Zhou Enlai’s adopted daughter, once studied in Soviet Union, director and vice president of China Youth Art Theatre. In September, 1967, Jiang Qing and Chen Boda said that Sun Yang (Sun Weishi’s brother, assistant director of Renmin University) was Kuomintang spy and was persecuted to death. In December, 1967, Jiang Qing ordered to put Sun Weishi's husband Jin Shan into jail with a charge of spy, confiscated her family's property and found Sun Weishi’s diary which had the text discontenting Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing accused Zhou Enlai to connive adopted daughter to oppose Cultural Revolution; Zhou was compelled to sign in Sun Weishi's warrant for arrest. On October 14, 1968, Sun Weishi was beaten to death only 47 years old. (4) Xu Ming, Kong Yuan, Zhuo Lin (Deng’s wife), Deng Xiaoping. Xu Ming, secretary of Zhou Enlai, vice secretary-general of the State Council, was persecuted to death by Jiang Qing, her son was imprisoned, her husband Kong Yuan also lost freedom. (4) Cheng Yuangong, Zhou Enlai's chief bodyguard, was persecuted by Jiang Qing and so on, once reform-through-labor in Jiangxi “5.7 cadre school”. In 1968, Jiang Qing once cursed “Cheng Yuangong is a Zhou Enlai's dog, to me is a wolf”. Once Jiang Qing wanted Wang Dongxing to arrest him, Wang did not agree, but afterward Zhou’s wife Deng Yingchao represented Zhou and said to Wang “certainly must arrest Cheng Yuangong, it shows that we did not have the selfishness”. Wang afterward said “Cheng Yuangong followed them (Mr. and Mrs. Zhou) for a lifetime, but they to preserve themselves might throw Cheng Yuangong off”. (5) Yang Dezhong, Zhou’s security guard, deputy chief of the CCP Central Security Guard Office, once suffered persecution by Jiang Qing and so on. In addition, Zhou Enlai's Secretary Zhou Jiading once was criticized in mass rally at the Capital Stadium.

(4) Zhou Enlai in the Cultural Revolution

Zhou: “After I die, the matter all manages by you.” Mao observed Zhou and others’ response, obviously he intended to obtain Zhou’s always modestly declining reply, wanted Zhou say he would assist Jiang Qing and so on, but Zhou had not been swindled, said: “We still work under your leadership”. Mao’s hypocrisy transferring power to Zhou the matter was changed “Zhou wants to substitute for president impatiently” by Jiang Qing, she said that criticizing Zhou was CCP’s the 11th struggle between two lines. Mao instructed Jiang Qing and Mao Yuanxin to organize a group to “help” Zhou and Deng. Deng once advised Zhou at a meeting: “Your position is only one step away from the President, others are unattainable, but you are expected and can be, I hope you can very wary of it.
On December 9, 1973, Mao said in the Political Bureau meeting of discussion the commanders of military regions exchanging posts: “I can fight a battle still! I can eat, also can sleep, therefore have to fight. Only in fighting can distinguish clearly Who is really willing to fight, who collude with the foreigners and want to be emperor.” This was allusion the struggle between him and Zhou.
 (1) In 1966, Mao, Lin, Zhou, Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng growing received the Red Guards. (2) Zhou was always to highlight Mao and Lin. (3) Zhou, Lin, Kang Sheng, Chen Boda and Jiang Qing. (4) On December 16, 1966, Zhou, Jiang Qing and Red Guard chieftain Chen Yongkang in the Worker’s Stadium “Pledge assembly of opening fire violently to the bourgeoisie reactionary route”. At the meeting, Jiang Qing named to overthrow Zhou Rongxin (secretary-General of the State Council) and Yong Wentao (Beijing deputy secretary, Tao Zhu just transferred him from Guangdong).
(1) Mao, Lin and Zhou in Tiananmen. (2) Chen Boda, Kang Sheng, Jiang Qing, Zhou Enlai received the Red Guards by car; obviously Zhou intended to highlight Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng. (4) Zhou always highlighted Jiang Qing's position in public situation.
(1) In January, 1967, Zhou put on military uniform and the Red Guard emblem, led everybody to shout supporting Mao's slogan in Chinese Academy of Science rebels populace meeting. (2) Zhou wearing Red Guards’ emblem and the Red Guards. (3) Zhou was the busiest in the Cultural Revolution. (4) In 1974 Zhou, Deng and Zhu De in the fourth session of National People's Congress.
Inferior modest Zhou Enlai and arrogant Jiang Qing.
Zhou was always to highlight Jiang Qing's position in the public situation.
(1) Zhou Enlai personally placed Qu Qiubai’s coffin. Qu Qiubai was one of CCP’s early time main leaders, in 1920 went to Soviet Russia, in 1922 joined CCP, after 1923 returned to China, participated in the third CCP Congress, drafted the CCP’s principle. In 1927 he was CCP Political Bureau member and managed the central work. In 1928 went to Soviet Union to participate in the sixth CCP Congress, elected to the Comintern  executive committee member. In September, 1930 returned to China to preside over the third plenary session of the sixth CCP committee, in 1931 on the fourth plenary session of the sixth CCP committee he suffered attack by Wang Ming et al. to, was removed leadership duty. In 1934 he was in Jiangxi Ruijin appointed to be the “Chinese Soviet Republic education people commissar”. This time he did against Mao. On June 26, 1935, he was arrested in the Fujian Changting County by Kuomintang and killed. (2) Zhou always catered to Mao’s intention to speak. Mao said his difference with Qu Qiubai was “the CCP’s third struggle between two lines”. In June, 1964, Zhou first time “exposed the fact of Qu Qiubai surrendering to the enemy” in the CCP central secretariat meeting, also many time said Qu Qiubai “traitor question”. On August 30, 1966, when Zhou interview rebel representatives of Chinese academy of science, said: “the intellectual family background's Qu Qiubai, like Li Xiucheng, at his old age became a treachery. We must learn from youth historian Comrade Qi Benyu, learn from him to Li Xiucheng's analysis.” (3) When Mao overthrew Tao Zhu, Zhou also said to overthrow Tao Zhu.
(1) In February, 1972, Zhou arranged President Nixon to visit China. (2) Zhou and Zhang Chunqiao gave a banquet for American President Nixon who visited China. Mao promoted Zhang Chunqiao as standing member of the CCP Political Bureau, On January 5, 1975, Mao appointed Zhang Chunqiao who had not been serviceman, for People's Liberation Army director of general political department, thus limited Zhou and Deng’s authority, also limited the authority of Ye Jianying who belonged to the Zhou Enlai camp. (3) On May 29, 1974, after the Zhou accompanied Malaysian Premier Tun Abdul Razak to meet with Mao, Mao shook hands with Zhou, this was their last handshake. Photo by Du Xiuxian.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


On the back of my car I have a fake chrome decal that says in one-inch high letters, “Manchester City.”  That’s all. Very understated. My car is silver so the decal blends in. It looks like a dealer logo.

Yesterday was Carmen’s birthday—Happy birthday to Carmen, happy birthday to Carmen, happy birthday to Carmen my Cuban Concubine, happy birthday to Carmen—so I drove to her place after work. I don’t like to drive—which is fortunate because I’m a bad driver—, I get bored, I get stiff, it was dark out, and C.C.C. lives about an hour away from my casa de work. But it was her birthday and when you sign up to be a guy it says right there, “You have to go to the girlfriend’s house on her birthday—bearing gifts.” 

Forty-five minutes into the bored, stiff, dark drive a guy in a pickup truck pulled along side my car.  He honked the horn twice. People in Carmen’s area honk their horns a lot (it annoys me). But this wasn’t a “get out of my way!” honk, it was a “get your attention” honk.  So I looked over. The driver had rolled down the passenger window and was holding his cell phone out to show me. My driver’s side window was dirty (my whole car is dirty) and my eyes are bad, and it was dark, and I couldn’t make it out. So I rolled down my window—and immediately recognized the Manchester United logo that he had as a background on his cell phone.

I began laughing, he began laughing, I slapped the side of my car as I laughed, and gave him the thumbs up sign in tribute to his guy-ness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Unpopular Posts.

Public Occurrences has been around long enough, nine years, for there to be some logic to how people get here. Including seven beloved members there have been about 93 visitors here on an average day in the last year and there’s some obvious correlation between content and Google’s statistical visitor profile.  Like, content: Cultural Revolution; fourth country by pageviews, China; search keywords, Mao. Got it.  Then there’s this:

“classic porn pose” spreading.

That’s one of today’s search keywords that landed somebody on this site. What the farkleberry…how did somebody get here looking for that? (This is NOT an objection to that query objective.)  In nine years and 1,706 posts “‘classic porn pose’ spreading” has never been used here, nor has there been any…illustrative analog.

Or then there’s Kiribati. Other inn-teresting results from Google stats recently:

Search keywords

caught in public [Related to “ ‘classic porn pose’ spreading?” ]

Has anyone used stempel schneidler as a book font [Yes, Harold Bloom.]

“the public occurrances [FOUR people.]

 public accurences [Only one person.]

Dumb paintings [Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump.]

zhengyi hu [No idea who or what that is.]

zheng yi [ditto]

“I said so before” [I may have said that before]

“courageous voice for truth”

1960 mini skirta [That sounds like a bad oriental accent]

Rolls Royce phantom 2 hitler


Susan Sontag clicked on her 2005 post again, on November 10.

Why Are Paintings Rectangles?”  February 27, 2005 [3 pageviews].

American Civil War Anecdotes, January 13, 2008.

LeBron James has sped past Anthropology I to become the most-read post.  LBJ was number two for forever but in the last month there have been 436 pageviews of that post—and the NBA’s in lockout. ???  3,289 people have read that post.  Okay, fine but 1,223 people have landed on that post by using the search keyword “lebron james.”  How?  I type in “lebron james” and there are 43,000,000 results in Google. I’ve gone through about 1,000 results and I can’t find that post.

Countries: AlbaniaKazakhstan, Qatar, Serbia, Nepal, Zambia

Monday, November 14, 2011


A.C. Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi gave up his other job of 17 years as prime minister of Italy on Saturday.  On the whole this is considered a good thing for Italy.  Mario Monti, a “technocrat,” i.e. someone who is acceptable to the European Union, has been asked to form a new government. Is that a good thing?

The European Union is not the latter and hardly the former.  It is a good-times club.  When the economies of the member nations are purring the common Euro currency strokes them and keeps them purring.  When the bird hits the air pump though…birds don’t purr and when they’re not stroked they can squawk.  The European Central Bank lacks authority to print money, which some economists (and some bloggers) think efficacious in “priming the pump.” Absent that, the E.U. can only impose austerity on wayward member nations.  And that the E.U. is doing. Technocrat Monti has been brought in to put Italy on a strict, painful diet. The problem there is, since the E.U. is not really a “union,” it looks like some sovereign nations are interfering in the sovereignty of other nations. It looks like that because it is.  And that causes protests and hard feelings all around.

So Europe, best of luck. Keep in touch. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

It is "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"--and of the eleventh year this year--and at exactly this time in 1918 an "armistice," a ceasefire, was called in what was then "the war to end all wars," what we now call World War I.  We now see that armistice as the beginning of World War II.  World War I was the greatest disaster to ever befall Europe, greater than World War II because nothing good came of it, greater because it changed the soul of one of the world's greatest people, the French; greater because it was so avoidable.

Image: trench warfare, Battle of the Somme.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My goodness gracious. Maureen Dowd wrote about the Penn State child molestation case in her op-ed column in the New York Times yesterday and identified the school as "Penn." Penn is the University of Pennsylvania.  The headline to the column was "Personal Foul at Penn;"  the last sentence referred to "Penn scoundrels." What is her damage?  The column has been corrected.

Penn State Child Molestation Case: Joe Paterno Retires.

Mr. Paterno, the head football coach at the university for the last 45 years issued a written announcement of his retirement this morning effective at the end of the season in January. At this writing it is not known if the university will accept his timetable.

More than any single person Mr. Paterno was responsible for raising the visibility and academic standing of Penn State.  It was a remarkable accomplishment, unprecedented for a sports coach. One of Penn State's slogans is "We Are Penn State."  The slogan expresses both the pride and the unity of Penn State people. Really though, the slogan should be "He Is Penn State," for Joe Paterno was. 

It would be inaccurate to say that Paterno is another victim of the child molestation case; that would denigrate the children.  It would be inaccurate also because Paterno grievously mishandled the situation and caused his own downfall.  Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant football coach, testified before the grand jury that in 2002 he witnessed Jerry Sandusky performing anal intercourse on a boy who appeared to McQueary to be about 10 years old in the showers at Penn State. McQueary said he told Paterno. Paterno issued a written statement last Sunday, November 6, after the indictments, completely denying the details above. Paterno alerted his university superiors and his involvement ended there. There is a substantial conflict between what has been reported to be McQueary’s grand jury testimony and Paterno’s November 6 written statement. Prosecutors did not charge either McQueary or Paterno with perjury and specifically excluded Paterno from any criminal suspicion.  At the least, Paterno should have followed up in the last nine years. For that, at least, he deserved to lose his job. It is no bold prediction that university president Graham Spanier will also lose his job. And he should. Spanier was told something of the 2002 incident also, and also did not adequately follow-up.

Penn State is a prominent university in America and this story is prominent in the thoughts and discussions of Americans. What made Penn State a prominent university was football. Football and Joe Paterno and Penn State were inseparable. Football and Paterno were too powerful at Penn State, but Penn State is not unique.  It says here college football--and basketball--are too powerful in America. Football and basketball coaches are the highest paid employees at many American universities. College football and basketball should be deemphasized; I don’t know how, I haven’t thought beyond that.

Whatever Penn State’s or Joe Paterno’s or college sports’ prominence in America, this case is, at base, and it is very base, a criminal case.  What has happened and will happen to Penn State people is very nearly irrelevant when compared to what prosecutors say was done to the victims: the kids, they were just children.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011



I emailed a friend in China and asked him if he had any idea how I could make a contribution to Ai-Aid.  This was his response:

“Well, Ben, I wish to know how you could help, but it's hard to find the someone who would write to you.”

China: Ai Weiwei

There's this old American movie where a young Jack Nicholson plays this ungovernable wild western cowboy. In the opening scene there's a chase on horseback. Nicholson is making for the Mexican border so that he's beyond the jurisdiction of his pursuers, the Texas Rangers.  Nicholson makes it across the Rio Grande.  He dismounts in exultation and picks up two hands full of dirt:  "This here's Mexican dirt!" he shouts in celebration. The Rangers pause, look at each other, and then gallop across the Rio Grande and arrest him anyway.

The lessen of that opening scene in Goin' South is if the authorities wantcha they're gonna getcha.

China's tax collector has fined Ai Weiwei $2.4 million. Thousands of people have donated to help him pay the bill and obey the law, however wrongly applied.  The Chinese government will not take yes for an answer. Yesterday it was reported that one of China's state newspapers had editorialized that the donations actually constitute "illegal fundraising" on Ai's part.  They're just gonna gallop across the Rio Grande and arrest him.

Monday, November 07, 2011

China: Ai Weiwei

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that as of "mid-afternoon" today Ai-Aid had received $833,000.  The Times gives some examples of the political messages that sometimes come with the donations. Let's see how clever we are:  one guy gave a donation of 89.64 yuan (~$14). Where's the political message there?  June 4, 1989.  Ha! Absolutely brilliant.

These guys are completely ungovernable. "And therefore as a free man I am proud to say, 'Ich bin ein ungovernable.'"

China: Ai Weiwei

Ha-ha, he-he, the Chinese people are doing it. Almost 20,000 have donated $790,000 so far to help pay Ai's "tax bill" according to the BBC. When the authorities closed Ai's Twitter account people showed up at his house and threw money over the walls!  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

$790,000 is still well short of the $2.4 million the gendarme are demanding.  There's about a week to go.

I wouldn't have thought Ai could jump that high. Maybe less weight with no clothes.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Child Molestation, Cover-Up Alleged at Penn State.

The Pennsylvania State University, as it is formally known, is one of the better academic colleges in America and is known abroad.  Yet, if you google Penn State (as it is universally known) the first nine images relate to its football team (the first is at top), for it is football that made Penn State one of the better colleges in America and known abroad.

For fifty years the excellence and integrity of Penn State's football program has transformed the university founded as an agricultural school located in a backwater.  Football success generated tens of millions of dollars in free, positive publicity, which made the school more visible to promising college applicants, which increased the quality and quantity of enrollment, and which swelled its endowment with donations from proud alumni.  It was a golden circle.

Yesterday, three men closely associated with Penn State were indicted by a Pennsylvania grand jury. Jerry Sandusky was charged with forty counts related to child molestation. Eight boys are involved, none older than thirteen.  For thirty-two years, ending in 1999, Mr. Sandusky was an assistant football coach at Penn State.  Many of the incidents of child molestation occurred while Sandusky was employed by Penn State, on university property, or on university business.

More ominously for Penn State, the administrator in charge of all sports programs, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz, a senior vice president whose duties include oversight of campus police were also indicted in the case, for perjury before the grand jury and for failure to notify law enforcement of a 2002 molestation instance. Closing the tarnished circle, university president Graham Spanier issued a written statement after the indictments attempting to distance Penn State from Sandusky, who he referred to only as a "former university employee" and steadfastly backing Curley and Schultz.  It is a statement Spanier will regret having written.

Several years ago Spanier and Curley went to the home of head football coach Joe Paterno. The football team was mired in mediocrity at the time. The purpose of the visit was to convince Paterno to resign.  Paterno slammed the door in their faces and stayed on. He is now 84 years old.  For fifty years football has ruled at Penn State.

Child sex cases are among the most challenging for America's judicial system.  That system requires openness.  The presentation of proof of guilt is in public courtrooms.  That means that the victims have to testify and that often means increasing the trauma that they have already suffered.  These cases are also very humiliating to the accused;  there is no more accursed word in the language than pedophile. In an undercover recording of a conversation with the mother of one of the boys Sandusky is reported to have said, "I wish I were dead."  Suicide is more common in these cases than in others, especially, as here, when the accused is famous.  It's a vicious circle:  the charges must be pressed--to protect other children--but those already victimized might be traumatized anew;  the accused must be punished if guilty--but not by death; the system must protect him too. 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Greece in Ruins

Prime Minister Papandreou’s cancellation of the referendum that he sprung on the world Monday night is the political equivalent of the Greek government’s economic recklessness and dysfunction over many years.  It’s also proof that a polluted river can have snow at its source: the birthplace of Western civilization has come to this.  A complete embarrassment. 

Papandreou Blinks

Greek referendum called off. 

China: Ai Weiwei

Dear Chinese amigo friends,

Fat man in trouble.

$2.4 million BIG trouble.

BUT, fat man have mucho friends:  me, and you, and you, and youandyouandyouandyou.Twenty-four thousand friends give $100: fat man out of trouble. BUT, time is short.




但是,胖子mucho朋友我,你,和你,youandyouandyouandyou二万四千朋友给予100走出困境胖子 ,但时间很短

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


The Chinese government, that's who.

Mr. Ai, a prominent and provocative artist, collaborated with Hu Jie in the making of Red Art (1).  He was imprisoned for 81 days earlier this year.  Now he's been hit with a $2.4 million bill by the People's Liberation Tax Collector. He can't pay it. Is it possible to help Ai out here by sending donations?  If so and somebody can send me information I'll contribute:

Chinese microblogs, like Weibo, are coming under greater censorship. Microblogs, I'm told, are the equivalent of Twitter and other social networking sites. I don't know how that stuff works as evidenced by my alarm a few months back when there were something like 561 hits on Public Occurrences one day. According to a report in the New York Times last week the CCP Central Committee had a meeting on "internet management."  The focus of the meeting was curtailing the spread of "harmful information" via the microblogs.

The censorship conferees also decided to spruce up, in their fashion, broadcasting to weed out "excessive vulgarity and entertainment." I would like to make witness that there is no such thing on Chinese TV.  My first time in the country in 2006 I plopped myself on the bed in my hotel room and did the first thing it occurs to an American to do in a new city or country: I turned on the television. There was an interview of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on state TV. The young, earnest Chinese interviewer was reading the questions and reading them in a soft voice. Karzai answered in a soft voice.  It was like the conversation at a wake. It was the most deadening TV interview I've ever seen.  Even Karzai seemed to be bored.  I remember being struck by his eyes.  They seemed unnaturally large, as when one is trying to fend off sleep.  I felt myself going into a coma and turned it off after 15 minutes. The censorship committee is going to limit entertainment shows to two per week, 90 minutes each.  Chinese couch potatoes can expect more interviews, but not of Ai Weiwei.

1. See posts here March 5, 6, 2011.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

European Disunion

In a shock move last night Grecian Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a nationwide referendum on...the devil is in the details.  Generally, on E.U. economic demands before the next tranche of aid is released, but it depends on how the referendum question is phrased. If something grand like "should Greece remain in the European Union," it would probably pass.  If something narrow like "do you want your taxes raised and your salaries cut for the rest of your lives," probably not.

Or maybe it doesn't matter.  In a reaction probably not anticipated by Papandreou the Grecian legislature has called for a vote of no-confidence. If the Papandreou government falls, no referendum.

Until the legislative revolt it looked here like a brilliant political move.  Greece has been in near-constant turmoil since last summer, Papandreou had the damnedest time getting Greece this far--and it wasn't enough for the markets--he clearly bet the house on the referendum empowering his government to push through the E.U. bailout. He forgot about a no-confidence vote.

The Germans are furious, Greece is close to a an "un-controlled" (as opposed to a "controlled") default on its sovereign debt, the E.U. is fraying and Greece's existence therein is in the air.  Brighter bulbs than this one have near-unanimously predicted dire economic consequences for Europe and the world if default were to occur.

T'ain't gonna happen.

Economics is too imprecise for the level of certainty being expressed about Armageddon. And too dismal.  The Grecian agony has been drawn out for months, increasing the agony. An "expeditious" default will "lance the boil."  The Argentines defaulted on their debt some years ago and went back to using the sombrero or whatever their national currency is called.  Who knew?  The world economy did not grind to a halt. There is no sensible reason for the End of Days if Greece leaves or is kicked out of the euro-zone and goes back to using the drachma. Britain is a far larger economy, is a euro-free zone (still uses the pound sterling) and is none the worse economically.  The extent of the euro-zone (17 countries) was a bad economic idea.  It's like the Big East conference in American college sports right now, trying to survive by stitching together a crazy-quilt of universities with no relation to each other or with geography. Greece and Germany have too little in common, as do France and Cyprus, Ireland and Malta, and so on, to be so closely welded together economically. 

Fight, Talk, Build!

Fight Team Fight!
Pork chop, pork chop, greasy, greasy, we can beat the Afghans easy, easy!