Cantonese Manichean Corridor

~~~

Forced against my will to consume Disney but not really.

When it comes to languages, especially Cantonese, I usually go with books or things I already know so I won’t be completely lost when I read them.

I read dozens of Geronimo Stilton books when I first started learning, the ones with a castle on the cover or a horror element initially then, later, the one where Stilton is on a fitness binge.

It’s a kind of brain death, but you’ve got to do it.

Cos then you get to the non-translated stuff

like Wai Si Lei.

~~~

Somewhere in my room, there’s a box with about 20-30 local Hong Kong sci-fi novels, all in Chinese, and I don’t think I’ve read more than five pages of any of them.

Give me a week of no interruptions and I could probably get through it, but it’d take a lot of dictionary work and only a vague intellectual concept as to what was going on in the plot. I wouldn’t be able to really feel any of it. Or judge the writing.

It is my sincere hope to one day reach the level where I can write a review of one of these novels that doesn’t sound like a seven year old’s school book report.

If it happens, I’ll put it up here.

~~~

‘We must expect not one, but a multitude of revolutions taking place in different countries at different times.’

Red Star by Bogdanov, the anti-War of The Worlds.

Not that I’ve read it yet. Just bits here and there. A utopian, communist society on Mars, capitalist drudgery on Earth, a Russian Bolshevik sliding between the two…

In some ways, Bogdanov saw Disney coming, only he called it the ruling classes and overstated its ability to put together military expeditions. Then he sailed off into the realm of endless blood transfusions. Interesting guy.

Would he have borrowed Jedi Academy from the library?

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The case of the man from Japan // Andre “Bre” Breton

Elementary, Dear Data « Mission Log Podcast

~~~

Chapter 1: A Visitor Calls

~~~

It was a cold, breezy, temperate, zealous, overly described morning on Baker Street when Sherlock Holmes.

“If I’m not mistaken, Watson.”

“But Holmes!”

Murderer of four husbands walked in and threw down two teabags, announcing a surprisingly tall man from the embassy of Japan.

The tall man walked in, bowing.

“Case.”

“You have come from the butchers in Dundee, recently fingered your stepdaughter, dabble in alchemy and have a fettered interest in ‘no hands’ pottery.”

‘But Holmes!”

“Case. Confusing. Help.”

“Say no more. Watson, call a taxi. Mrs Hudson, isolate.”

~~~

Chapter 2: A Pleasant Journey

~~~

Near Bordeaux

Stared at the tip of his pipe

Near Lisbon

gambled with Watson

Near Mauritania

Tutted at the blacks

Near Lagos

nice church

Near the Cape of Good Hope

Stared at what used to bend, resentful

Near Madagascar

Wanked over rare bee

In the Indian Ocean

Scraped off the grottiest of the wallpaper

In the games room

Near Sri Lanka

Watched young boys run from Arthur C Clarke

Near Bali

Struggled to breathe

Collapsed on top of Watson

Near Hong Kong

bit his tongue

Near Taiwan

worked on his Japanese

Near Yokohama

lurked under the rustiest of the metal stairs

As the ladies came down

In Yokohama

Said Konnichiwa

Poorly

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Worf Vs Monster

                     Worf Vs Monster [Version 1]

                       Painted by Zasulich, on trellium-board, 2020, Cluj

The concept of this picture is easy enough to grasp, if you’re led by the hand and told exactly what everything means. First, look at the lack of legs on both Worf and the monster. In representational terms, no legs means no mobility, yet the stance of both is one of aggression, of combat, which, of course, traps them within their own irony. What’s more, the blank, white background indicates empty space, a lack of ideological brickwork for the two subjects to lay their impossible battle on. In all possible respects, they are in a vacuum, with only the monster, by facing the observer, seemingly willing to consider both the physical and intellectual terror of its predicament. As with all great works of the Science Fiction Fiction movement, the piece is unfinished on its own, and can only be seen in completion alongside its other versions [of which there are typically between 4 and 8].

              Worf Vs Monster [Version 2]

The second version fills in a little more of the picture and enhances our understanding of the piece so far. [Within the Science Fiction Fiction movement, it is always talked about as the piece ‘so far…’ The idea of discussing all four versions at once is considered to be ‘self-defeating defeat’.]

So, there are legs, and the suggestion of movement. Yet the vacuum remains, rendering both subjects firmly de-territorialised in this frightening, alien environment. What is their future? What was their past? It is both unknowable and irrelevant. The only thing they have is what they were when they were frozen. From this perspective, which is obviously the only perspective, the monster is and always will be framed like a puppet, while Worf has and always will have his hand down his pants. Also notable is the lack of colour. This matches the lack of background, as colour would represent life, beliefs, doubt, happiness, fear, was and will be etc. The implication of the artist is clear: In a vacuum, you lose everything [except your rage].

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Dirty Futurism

RoboCop - Rotten Tomatoes

A denser than usual

mob of neutrino emissions

fisting the drawbridge menu pad

pro-peasant

in spurts

run a level 2 dialetecticalosis

[comrade]

convert proto-matter

to anti-matter

to doesn’t matter

to matters are bleak

in the Martov house.

Julius is not here right now, if you’d like to shit on the hamlet quote, please call ba-

Oort not a cloud but vapourwave

rope from ‘Rope’

Spock: the Bolian years

Latvian maid big tits rides sleepwalking master,

house bot watches from padded plant,

pleasures itself

again

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Star Trek TNG: Season 1 episode list

Things You Didn't Know About Season 1 Of The Next Generation

* Warning: some bad language [and some nice language too]

Series One of the Next Generation always gets bad press, but is it really that terrible? Let’s look back and re-review:


1 – Encounter at Farpoint
After being refused entry to the Enterprise for lewd behaviour, First Officer Riker is ambushed and put on trial by an entity known as Q – and the punishment is Angel One! Meanwhile, an outpost with a population of around 200 applies to join the Federation yet is left puzzled by the stiffness of the new cast. Can they overcome the script and establish a trait?


2 – The Naked Now
The crew encounters a ship where everyone died from capitalist realism. Data theoretically fucks Lieutenant Yar for days. Wesley licks pages of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and ascends. Picard stews, ostensibly the captain. Will we ever truly escape hierarchy?


3 – Code of Racism
Tasha Yar is kidnapped by a planet of black aliens the writers can never be allowed to forget and forced to gymnastic someone to death. Worf and Geordi bite their respective tongues. Picard quotes MLK. Riker gets stuck into the extras. Crusher calls security when alien leader breathes nearby.


4 – The Last Outpost
While pursuing a Ferengi ship the Enterprise and its crew become trapped in a piss poor episode. Can they work with the scheming Ferengi to free themselves from it? Will the Ferengi stop dancing around like monkeys? One of them’s Quark, I think.

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Welcome To Dvxxxnagshbi

TNG] Darmok - Let's Watch Star Trek

The year was 2079 and half the earth was anarcho-communist.

Aliens had been discovered six years earlier, a series of telescopes in Paraguay picking up a signal that, when deciphered by twelve year olds on the internet, simply said, ‘what go on?’

Discovered was a generous term

Contacted by was more accurate

But the Americans insisted on it, and everyone had to listen to the Americans as they had funded the telescope construction, at least fifteen percent of it, and when the second message arrived two days after the first, they used their satellites to intercept and their machines to translate and a six hour star-stunted special to present it back to the world.

The content of the second message?

‘We visit. Don’t move.’

By 2074, it was clear the aliens were at best a casual type of creature, at worst, barefaced liars, as their ships were nowhere to be seen, and the radar systems that few understood weren’t detecting any blips in the Kuiper Belt and people online were going back to The Oort Cloud Chronicles and Love Factor 6, and the politicians got bored too, realigning themselves to different struggles [the war on acrylic!], leaving the alien paraphernalia to the fringe and hoping with a great degree of confidence that taxpayers would forget about all the money they’d splurged on the Welcome to Earth/Please share your tech banners.

A year later, it was as if the aliens had never existed.

Of course, their exact nature was still debated by philosophy students, philosophy professors, philosophers for hire, anarchists, UFO enthusiasts, lunatics, people sitting next to lunatics in diners, astronomers, libertarians, exo-biologists, endo-biologists, Pluto lovers etc. but most people shrugged their shoulders [in spirit] and returned to quotidian life, thinking about food, food, food, food, food, creative pursuits, food and writing thank you letters to the scientists who’d perfected fusion.

The actual, real, genuine, couldn’t possibly be a lie truth was…the aliens were hanging out at a Lagrange point near Eris when they’d sent the signals.

And it hadn’t been intentional either.

One of their more senior observers had gotten so used to the ‘on base’ routine of their Eris habitat that, when they were told it was time to go home and spawn, they responded by fragmenting, stripping down to their core and hiding in the helium pools. That would’ve been fine, it had happened before on other bases…all they needed was enough time to program the nano-kleps, make sure the input data was sufficiently xenophobic…but this observer knew the routine and, somehow, managed to access the computer from the pools themselves.

Fortunately, they didn’t send any threats to the humans, but they did introduce themselves as a form of object-reality – an alien to their normal – and that was something difficult to walk back from.

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Wintered Hotel [Nu Strălucirea]

Stephen King Rejected Doctor Sleep Pitch to Recreate Kubrick Overlook |  IndieWire

#

High up in the Carpathians, on the south-western slope of a mountain dominated by snowstorms and sluggish bears, a man who called himself Jaq shoveled the remains of the previous night’s blizzard away from the hotel doors.

It was tedious work, but necessary.

At least that was what he’d been told. To him it was pointless, no vehicles coming up this way until April, no tourists in danger of slipping on the ice, but he was a disciplined man and routine could be a comforting thing.

So he dug, for forty-five minutes each day.

Religiously.

Digger digger digger digger digger the snow

If ya, if ya, if ya don’t want Etta to know

Depositing the last dregs of sleet on the snow at the side, he took the shovel back inside the main lobby, propped it up against one of the mauve pillars, sat down in front of his Adler 39 typewriter and started to write.

After an hour or so, he heard a noise.

It wasn’t the first time.

In fact, it was the hundred and thirty-seventh time…in two months. Which, according to his calculations, rounded out to two point one six occurrences a day. Of course, most of these noises ending up being nothing more than his kid breaking something, or his wife rehearsing her role in The Cherry Orchard…but not all.

The noise came again, from upstairs.

He took one last look at what he’d written on the page, muttered ‘bland, average’ then reclaimed the shovel and went to investigate.

#

According to the hotel manager, room 237 was the most auspicious spot in the entire region. VIP guests had been married in it, philosophical theories had been thought up from inside its bathtub, an indigenous Romanian tribe had fitted the pipes [before being beaten to death with other, looser pipes]…the mythology was infinite.

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The Restaurant at the end of the Universe [in Chinese]

In the tradition of reading above my level, I got the Chinese version of The Restaurant at the end of the Universe // Douglas Adams from the library and, so far, I’m up to page two.

Not sure why I’m doing this, I have some of the Sherlock Holmes kids series in Cantonese to get through, but for some reason they’re not sticking, so here I am, pushing the rock up Mt Sci-fi.

Previously, I attempted So long and thanks for all the fish in Portuguese, and it’s already clear that, language-wise, I’m about to start having the same problems.

Problem 1 – idioms

This is also an issue I have with the kids books in Cantonese…they use a lot of idioms, some easy to guess, others impossible. Like in English, if a character says they’re a bit under the weather, you probably won’t know what it means unless you’re fluent. Same problem here, only worse, as Cantonese idioms are more localised and non-existent in western culture.

An example, the four characters highlighted in green below:

The best way I’ve found to get through it, is to skip them. Skip the whole sentence and aim for an understanding of the paragraph as a whole. If the idiom turns out to be foundational then go back and look it up.

Problem 2 – logic

In my experience, when you’re a non-native speaker of a language…anything up to high intermediate, possibly higher…you have to rely on logic and context to understand what people are saying.

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The biggest racists in Trek

DS9 Caption Contest 100: He's the Gorram Sisko! | The Trek BBS

After watching episodes of DS9 and Voyager and TNG every night for 276 days straight, I’ve had some revelations that I never really thought about when I was a younger viewer.

1] Chief O Brien is a bit of a prick

2] The continuation of the Bajoran religion makes no sense

3] there’s a lot of xenophobia floating about

The last one is especially prevalent in DS9 and, considering the background of the series, fairly understandable.

Premise

Bajor is fresh out of a 50 year occupation by the Cardassians, the Ferengi are capital fundamentalists [and perverts] and the chief of security can change shape. For most of the first few seasons, both the Bajorans and O Brien are hostile to the Cardassians and I have no problem with this in terms of scripting as it’s completely realistic.

It’s not very Trekkian, in terms of concept at least, but it makes sense.

Actually, in the case of O Brien, it’s less justifiable as he’s fought many alien species, but seems to have a special disgust towards the Cardassians. Of course, getting kidnapped, tortured and put on trial for made up bullshit in Season 2 probably didn’t help, but it’s not just the Cardassians, he’s also rude and aggressive with Quark too.

It’s true, Quark is a sleaze most of the time, and treats his workers like slaves, but other times he’s just coming up to the Chief to ask how he’s doing, or making a comment about something happening in the bar, like when the Klingons arrive on the station at the beginning of season 4 and he mentions the low ambient noise level in the bar…O Brien snaps at him, as he always does, and Quark is forced to just stand there and take it. In all honesty, Quark usually takes these things quite well, almost like he expects it. And when O Brien walks in, he must expect it every time. Oh look, it’s the guy who has the emotional control of a four year old…can’t wait to chat with him. Even giving him his holosuite program, something he should be happy about, is a dangerous business.

Why people think O Brien is an everyman character, I have no idea. He’s just a big sulk half the time…poor Keiko…

Back to the racism…

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Malzberg Portal To…

Bajoran wormhole | Memory Alpha | Fandom

#

HERSELF, WITH THE MONITORS

MAY NOT YET REACH US FOR BILLIONS OF YEARS

IONS OF WHICH

DAMNED INNOCENT

UNSETTLE TRON

Q-BACKED

IF YOU GIVE A SHIT

 –

KAZON MINING GRIFT

DEUTERIUM-COATED THREE YEAR OLDS

RAMPANT

SAY IT’S OUTSOURCED

SAY IT’S DRUNK

SAY IT’S CLOSER TO A THEME PARK THAN A HORROR SHOW

FOX WHO?

HALF A STAR FOR THE LIZARD EP

ZERO STARS FOR HER

KEEP GOING DOWN THIS PATH NED

KEEP GOING DOWN THIS PATH AND THE KIDS ARE GONNA DISCOVER KORSCH DIG UP ROBESON THINK ABOUT

VOIGT AS BAO ZHENG

STREEP AS THE ANC

DID SANKARA HAVE A LISP?

CAN KOREAN PEOPLE LIE? Continue reading