Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Review of Amy Chua’s BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER
Among books I read last year were the biography of PAULINE KAEL: LIFE IN THE DARK by Brian Kellow and BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER by Amy Chua. I thought to write about the Kael book, but I could go on forever about Kael, and so I decided to save it for another day. On Chua’s book I have only a few things to say, so I might as well get it over with.
I hadn’t heard of Amy Chua until last year when I came upon a post by the Blogger Named Ernest, which led to a spirited discussion among regular readers. Blogger Named Ernest seemed more approving than critical of Chua’s approach to education. Though a member of the liberal elite, Chua, it turns out, tends toward political incorrectness—or as such things are possible within her community. Like Camille Paglia, she’s something of an odd fit, a kind of insider-outsider. Married to a Jewish man, maybe she feels a certain rapport with Jews who’ve long defined their position in white gentile society as insiders/outsiders. Anyway, what follows is not really a review of the entire book but observations on certain aspects of Chua-ism or Chualogy. The approach is more psycho-social than anything else.
For those who haven’t read the book, just go to any search engine and look up ‘Amy Chua’ and ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ for the summary. Having watched some of her interviews regarding her recent and earlier books on Youtube, I got the impression that Chua is a high-spirited and energetic woman, more vivacious than vicious. She admits she can be aggressive and demanding, but it seems more a matter of personality and attitude than deeply rooted hostility and rage. She can be hot-tempered and say hurtful things, but she’s also quick to forgive, make up, and hug & kiss and all that—or so she says. Her personality, unmistakable in the interviews, comes through the pages as well. She doesn’t seem to have much to hide. Some might say she’s a counter-stereotype of the demure and submissive Asian woman, but I wonder to what extent this stereotype is real, ideal, or exotic. It could be Asian societies long upheld the ideal of the demure woman, but given that most Asian women were stinky peasants or haggling merchants, most of them could not have been all that polite or nice. (It could be also be that traditional Asian women tended to act ‘nicer’ and ‘gentler’ in the presence of foreigners, leading many Westerners to think Asian women are like that all the time when they might be far more casual and direct among their own kind, even the males.) Also, given the merciless and cruel history of the Orient, smarter women probably learned the lesson of having to be cunning, calculating, and shrewd to find the right man, gain special connections, and etc. And to do this, they needed to turn on their charm; thus demureness could have been as much an act as a feminine ideal—to be sure, this has been the case in most traditional societies and still applies in modern society in cases where good-looking but less intelligent women try to attract the attention of rich good-looking men. Since they couldn’t openly be power-women in the modern feminist sense, they had to rely more on personality. They had to use the style of submissiveness to gain advantage in society.
In any society, there are women who, no less than the men, desire power, privilege, and riches. Since power-lust wasn’t supposed to be on women’s minds and agenda, it had to be nestled within their charming femininity; they had to perfect the art of hiding their fangs behind their smiles. In modern times, with the erosion of traditional values, it seems more Asian women, not least in China, have been more open in their desire for power and wealth. In America, women like Chua have little to hide or mask. They can openly strive for the best of everything, and no one will look on them as lacking in virtue as had been the case in traditional Asian society. (Even so, since Chinese society tended to be cruel and merciless, an ideal Chinese mother had to focus her energies on amassing power for the family, if not for herself. Since a woman didn’t amount to much in traditional China, the path to power rested with the success of the son, which is why it was so important to have sons and to make them rise up in the world. Since family was key to Chinese society, a successful son wouldn’t just go his own way but take care of the entire family. His power/honor would thus be power/honor for the whole family. Since Chua has two girls instead of two boys—and since the girls are half-Jewish—, her story is an odd modern twist on the age-old Chinese theme. It’s especially interesting because while Asian femininity is much-valued in America, Asian masculinity is not. For many Americans, the notion of ‘Asian masculinity’ is even a oxymoron, as the typical image of the Asian male is a Star-Trek-novel-reading geek who makes a Jewish kid named ‘Eugene’ look buff in comparison. So, if Asian males have long been favored in Asia, Asian females are favored in the West as iconic images of exotic beauty, cuteness, and the like. Thus, Chua’s girls’ Chinese-ness could be an asset, whereas it might have been a deficit if they were boys. Since ‘Chinese’ + ‘male’ doesn’t get much respect in America, had Chua’s kids been boys, maybe she would have less emphasized their Chinese-ness and steered them more toward identifying with their whiteness/Jewishness.)
Though understated in her book, I believe that the three main themes of the book is (1) Amy Chua’s lifelong repressed anger at her own father (2) her sense of smallness when faced with the power of the Jewish intellect and (3) her sense that she is something of a traitor to the Chinese race. Readers may not pick up on this because Chua says she’s filled with love and admiration for his father—who, though mean at times, was being strong for the family—and because she seems to a happy and well-adjusted member of the liberal elite community.
But if one reads the book closely, it goes something like this: the Chua clan is member of the ancient and proud Chinese people. Chinese are a great people. Chua clan settled in Philippines and made a fortune, proving their Chinese superiority over the dumb Filipinos. Chinese, through their intelligence, wisdom, family loyalty, work ethic, and sacrifice, can do anything and win if they just put their mind to it. Chua was among the best students in her highschool. She applied to the top university in the nation and was accepted. Sky’s the limit, she thought. Sure, she knew many smart white kids, but Chinese would rise higher since Chinese have a longer history, greater will to study and suffer. But... it kinda came crumbling down. Not that she flunked out of college and became a loser. But at Harvard she realized the limits of her intelligence. She was smart but no super-genius. But the bigger culture shock was she felt dumb around super-smart Jews. Of course, she doesn’t exactly say it in quite this way. Instead, she relates how being surrounded by people of higher intellectual caliber, she felt tongue-tied and slow-witted. For most of her student yrs prior to college, she had towered over all others; and her lively personality dominated many situations with peers. But among the sharp, aggressive, wily, and brilliant Jews, she felt like something of a Suzie Wong bimbo. Though Chua is many times smarter than Michelle Obama—as well as more pleasant as far as I could tell from Youtube videos—, how one feels about oneself is a matter of context. As Michelle Obama felt as an outsider at Princeton where most students—mostly white—were a lot smarter than her, Chua found herself in a situation where she was nothing special. It was like a white athletic star who goes to college and finds out he ain’t nothing special when compared to faster and stronger Negroes. If Michelle Obama was filled with resentment all her life—rather like the film critic Armond White—, Amy took a different tact and approach to her dilemma. For one thing, even if she was less smart than Jews, she knew she had every right to be at Harvard; she wasn’t admitted via affirmative action like the Obamas and most Negroes. Also, if blacks harbor feelings of ideological and historical animus against whites—even against liberal whites with ‘good intentions’—, there is no particular history of Jewish vs Chinese hatred(though things may change with tensions arising between China at odds with America dominated by Jews who may resort to ‘yellow peril’, not least to direct gentile hostilities outward and away from themselves). Another thing is the Asian personality may be more willing to bow down to those deemed superior than the black personality be. Though Asians have their own brand of power-lust, it may come more naturally for Asians to kowtow before Great Power. Blacks, more self-centered, prefer everyone to suck up to them EVEN WHEN blacks are well aware of their intellectual inferiority vis-a-vis Jews and whites. (The way blacks see it, ‘white intelligence’ is just a cold calculating machine without style and coolness. Just as a computer can process information faster than man but man has control over the computer, the Negro feels that the ‘creative’ sun people should have authority over the ‘calculating’ ice people. Whites and Jews may add and subtract better, but Negro has the ultimate vision and style. The white man may have the superior factual know-how to create advanced musical instruments, but the Negro really how to make the music. White genes may produce the beautiful white women, but only the masterful Negro dude can give her full sexual pleasure that the flabby, bland, and dull white boy simply can’t deliver. Incidentally, this sort of attitude isn’t limited to just Negroes but to many whites as well, which is why so many white liberals are crazy about Jazz, worship MLK and Oprah, revere Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali, and voted for Obama. Though white liberals deny that blacks have lower IQ, the likelihood is that even if they were to be convinced of racial IQ differential, their admiration of Negroes would remain the same because, physically-musically-and-soulfully, the Negro seems more powerfully and authentically ‘human’ and ‘alive’ than bland white boys. After all, some white rightists think East Asians have higher IQ, but they don’t have any particular awe of East Asian folks; if anything, their attitude toward East Asians is rather similar to black people’s attitude to white people: grinds who may be better at learning stuff but not as ‘original’, ‘creative’, and ‘expressive’. Of course, no bunch of white folks are as bland as SWPL dorks, but their self-conscious lack of color and flavor is paradoxically what leads so many of them toward worshiping the Negro. Many white liberals know that Obama is no great genius, but who needs geeky high-intelligence when you got style, charisma, and soul? Obama doesn’t have to ‘think’ like most people do since he just KNOWS through his superior and cooler Negro intuition. It’s like we know that pigs are smarter than tigers/lions, but most people admire the latter more. Pigs, for their higher IQ, are piggish whereas tigers/lions look noble, beautiful, and tough—though, in fact, they are just like any other animals in doing anything-to-survive.) If Chinese act like they are members of the greatest civilization in the world, each Negro acts like he or she is the greatest being in the world. Despite Chua’s individual ambition, her Asian nature wants to belong to the Great Group. When she realized that Jews are greater than Chinese, she wanted to be a member of the Jew Clan. In contrast, because EACH black person thinks he or she is the greatest thing since sliced watermelon, he or she is bound to feel resentment unless he or she is regarded by others as the biggest dude or ho in town. If Armond White—the black NY movie critic—were Asian, he might have been content to rub shoulders with smart Jewish critics who dominate the scene. But that’s never been enough for Armond White. He had to the top dog among NY critics, and if anyone dared to call out on his pompous jive-ass self, he would accuse his critic of ‘racism’. Blacks like Oprah, Obama, and many others have a typical black personality of boundless self-regard and narcissism. It’s there with Spike Lee too. Many filmmakers much greater than Spike Lee don’t make a big deal about their talent and show generosity toward others, but Lee’s been promoting himself as the greatest filmmaker of his generation and accusing everyone of ‘racism’ for not funding his projects, not giving him awards, not watching or liking his movies. With so many insufferable jerks like this, it’s no wonder that the black community is so dysfunctional. Though blacks bitch and whine about whites, they should be relieved that there’s white people to ‘oppress’ them because without such, not only would there be no white wealth to be funneled to the Negro community but Negroes would all be whupping each other for the title of ‘biggest baddest mofo there be’.
Anyway, Amy Chua had a rude awakening that her smarts weren’t such great shakes in the realm of the super-smart Jews. She was good at learning and memorizing things and putting them to practice. But she couldn’t juggle the things inside her head with the brilliant ease of the Jews. Though naturally bright, she has to work hard to master things whereas the minds of Jews seem to be work with less labor. Chua had a great mechanical mind, but Jews had the great computer-like minds. Her mind was hardware, the minds of Jews were software. Her mind dealt with objects, Jewish minds could turn objects into liquids and gases and spin them around and turn them into new elements. She felt like Mickey Mouse in SORCERER’S APPRENTICE. In the film PAPER CHASE, we see the difference between the merely excellent mind and the truly brilliant mind. Some people have the ability to work hard and master something. Others not only master it with less effort but discover new ideas and connections that go beyond established knowledge; no people are as good at this as Jews are.
With her book on the history/nature of superpowers, Chua demonstrated that she has a superior mind—I haven’t read the book but watched her interview on the subject on Youtube—, but as with Francis Fukuyama, her ‘findings’ are hardly original. Her intellect is superior to that of most people, but it comes nowhere near the super-superiority of Jews. It’s insightful but not groundbreaking.
Her other book, dealing with the problems of globalism, seems to lean toward political incorrectness, but this is understandable because if lesser intellects have one card to play against smarter people, it is the courage of honesty. Though we like to think in terms of greater intelligence = greater truth, it so happens that very smart people gain lots of power, and they would like to keep that power, and that means not rocking the boat of current social and political taboos. Look what happened to James Watson when he dared violate the taboo. No matter how smart or distinguished you are, your reputation and career can be destroyed if you say or do the ‘wrong thing’. Since smart people rise high, they have more reason to be fearful of losing their power/privilege since they have more of it to lose. So, though they have the intellectual power to attain the truth, they end up using their great talents to suppress the truth and promote the lie. It’s possible that there is a part of Bill Gates that understands the reality of IQ differences among races, but imagine what he would lose if he said so? Probably worse than what happened to Larry Summers. Summers, being Jewish, at least had the protection of the Cabal network, and though a rich guy, he wasn’t as rich as Gates and so didn’t have as much to lose. If Gates were say something ‘racist’, his entire empire would be boycotted, and many of this top talents—white and liberal Jews—would leave ship, and then there would be calls to boycott Windows, and millions of people would dump Microsoft shares. In this sense, the powers-that-be in the West are no more honest on certain issues than the communist leaders of China. Both parties dare not say things that will undermine their power, and so they continue to adhere to the official ideological faith/narrative of their respective nations—and use their powers to suppress all heretical thought. So, Gates uses his considerable power and wealth—created by his intelligence—to maintaining a great lie.
But, Jews have another reason for using their high intelligence to maintain the lie. It isn’t merely out of fear of political correctness; after all, Jews control the terms of political correctness. Jews promote and maintain the official lie of ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ because it serves their tribal interests. If most Americans were to wake up to the reality of racial differences—blacks, being stronger, pose a physical threat to the white race, and Jews, being smarter, will be the permanent overlords over the white race and treat whites like cattle or guinea pigs—, white Americans may finally begin to see Jewish power for what it is and unite to challenge it. So, in America, it is not the case that greater intelligence = greater truth. If anything, the best and the brightest in America—especially the Jews—are using their great intelligence, wealth, and influence not only spread lies as official truth but to purge and root out all politically incorrect elements from positions of influence. Thus, the Democratic Party has become the party of Jews, blacks, feminists, illegal aliens, and gays lording over working class white Americans. And the GOP has become a den of neocon sharks who’ve purged the party of Paleocons.
Political Correctness is far more dangerous than McCarthyism. If McCarthyism lasted a few yrs, political correctness has been with us for decades and, if anything, seems to be growing stronger and taking over all of media, government, courts, and media. Few more people like Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court, and we can kiss freedom of speech goodbye. In its stead, the Orwellian notion of ‘Hate speech is not free speech’ will be branded into the minds and soul of all the impressionable young Americans—who’ve also been brainwashed to think ‘gay marriage’ makes biological and moral sense. Sad to say, high intelligence, which should be the friend of truth, has often been the enemy of truth. (And the powers-that-be indoctrinate and recruit the Best-and-the-Brightest to perpetuate the ‘official truth’. The Catholic Church have done this for over a thousand yrs. Since the smartest children were trained to think inside the box of religious orthodoxy, they used their talents to stamp out all heretical thoughts and ideas, such as those of Galileo. The Turks forcibly recruited the smartest and strongest Greek boys and shaped their talents to serving the Islamic agenda of the Ottoman Sultans. Himmler recruited the handsomest, toughest, and smartest Germans to serve in the SS. Cuban and North Korean communist parties recruit the smartest people to run many of the operations of the state. Even if some of these smart people come to realize the lie of the state, they bend to the law of carrots and sticks. Why bother with the truth when it can get them killed and why not perpetuate the lie when they are rewarded handsomely?) The main goal of Jewish high intelligence is to hoodwink white goyim into accepting the official lies of the Jewish elites. Of course, these Jewish lies appear to be true, rational, and scientific since Jewish intellectuals—supported by Jewish controlled institutions and foundations—come across as so rational, knowledgeable, and kindly. Listen to Jared Diamond, and he seems like the nicest guy, a modern day wiseman. Or take the soft-spoken Steven Pinker and many others. And there was Stephen J. Gould. And there’s no denying that some of their ideas were not only correct but thought-provoking, even profound. But just as we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, we shouldn’t save the bathwater with the baby. The fact is that on the fundamental question of race, these men are liars through and through, and it’s not just a matter of differences of opinion or misreading of data but the product of a willfully mendacious agenda of Jews to preserve their supremacy over everyone else. When Jews express shock at certain ‘racist’ ideas, it’s not because they are offended by ‘racist lies’ but because they are confronted with the truth that they don’t want any of us to know or think about. This is why Jews associate ANY discussion of race and racial differences with Nazism and the KKK. Ironically, the very people who condemn McCarthy for having conflated liberals and moderate leftists with communists—guilt by association and implication—are now associating anyone who discusses the truth about race with elements of the crazy right. And it’s bemusing how these people who take such pride in their rationalism speak of such things as ‘sin of racism’. Isn’t ‘sin’ a religious concept? So, you see, if you have certain views, you’re not only factually wrong but you’re spiritually evil, just like the term ‘homophobia’ implies that if you oppose ‘gay marriage’, you’re not only socially misguided but mentally, psychologically, and clinically sick. But, I’m sure the politically correct left is working to conflate homosexuality with spirituality, so that if you oppose the radical gay agenda, YOU will be the ‘sinful’ one.
Anyway, the one advantage of high intelligence being allied with political correctness is it gives lesser intellects an opening in the intellectual debate. If the smartest people in America were to honestly and openly discuss matters such as racial differences, they will, of course, dominate the debate. But if they refuse to touch the subject—except to stomp it with their iron boot—, then it’s up to lesser intelligent people to explore, discuss, and own the subject. And that seems to have happened in the West. Though there are exceptions, most people who discuss matters such as racial differences are not the brightest folks on the planet. But what they lack in super intellect, they compensate with courage and honesty(though I must say some tend to be on the crazy side). Of course, the problem is political incorrectness tends to attract a lot of dummies who don’t much care for the truth but merely want to counter one form of correctness with another, their own. Take Alex Kurtagic. He bitches and whines about leftist political correctness, but his thoughts on culture and politics suggest he simply wants to replace Jewish-dominated PC with a form of neo-Nazism. And it is because the discussion of racial differences attracts so many dummies—especially the clowns at Stormfront—, that it’s been difficult to win intellectual respect for the subject. Jared Taylor does no favor to the movement by giving interviews to morons like Don Black’s son, a slacker version of KKK idiot.
Whenever super-smart and powerful socio-political forces ban certain ideas—out of fear or to maintain control—, the less smart but more courageous/honest have an opportunity to make a mark on society. Suppose the smartest and most powerful people in society denied that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Since they won’t explore or express ideas on this truth, the less smart could claim the truth by daring to do studies that do indeed show that Earth revolves around the Sun. Now, this is purely a hypothetical and not an allusion to Galileo who was truly an intellectual giant. But all throughout history, there many been many times when the most intelligent people, seeking entry or continuance of the social/political status quo, invested their superior talents and energies to maintaining the myth over unearthing the truth. Though such political conditions can be oppressive and dangerous to people committed to truth and courage, it can also provide lesser lights of society with the opportunity to become ‘great minds’ merely on the basis of having the guts to say it like it is. In the story of the EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES, the kid who says the Emperor is near-naked isn’t smarter than other townsfolk. He simply has the gall to speak the truth. (My guess as to why some conservatives think Thomas Sowell is such an intellectual giant has little to do with his supposed ‘genius’. Sure, he’s a smart guy, but his main advantage has been a willingness, especially for a black man, to observe and write about obvious things that sound startling ONLY BECAUSE most of us, like the townsfolk in EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES, are not supposed to notice. If one is not allowed to notice or say that it’s raining when it’s raining, the person who dares to say it may seem like a truth-teller of genius. In DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, the eponymous character says of a certain patient that he’s suffering from a disease that ‘does not exist in Moscow’, which is starvation. Since everyone ‘s supposed to be well-fed in a socialist state, how can people be starving to death? To say the obvious can either get him killed—by the state—or admired as a great truth-teller—by us, the audience—when, in fact, all he did was say what everyone knows but isn’t allowed to know.)
Amy Chua’s book on the problems of globalism seems to be, to an extent, meant to confront certain politically correct assumptions. Since Chua cannot match Jewish thinkers in areas of brilliance—even lies can be brilliant whereas truth can be prosaic and dull, or maybe one can be more brilliant with lies than with truth because whereas the latter has to stick to facts, lies can spin new realities with all sorts of mind tricks, and this is nowhere near as obvious as in advertising where the objective is to hook people to the look and vibes of the product than for its actual specifications and qualities, and given that most people wanna belong to a group than truly be different, the art of lies and hype requires a great deal of brilliance, as was the case with Apple’s ‘Think Different’ strategy which fooled a lot of people into buying the same gadgets to own a piece of the brand of ‘being different’, which is to say the gullible fools thought ‘difference’ was something they had to purchase with hard-earned cash because, deep down inside, they knew they couldn’t develop it on their own—, her strategy has been to take note of certain obvious facts that happen to be politically and/or ideologically inconvenient to the elites. If she pushes too hard with political incorrectness, she could be branded as a heretic, shunned by her colleagues, and exiled from the elite community. So, Chua tries to steer as politically incorrect as possible within the orbit of PC. She’s too much of a lover of being a member of the elite to risk everything in the name of truth, but to the extent that the daring to mention certain truths does make one stand out as ‘different’ in elite circles defined by the orthodox ideology of PC, it can serve as her claim to fame IF she plays tactfully enough not to go all the way and connect the dots showing that some races are messed up and hopeless in the globalist order because of their naturally lower IQs or greater proclivity toward violence and jivery. She sort of pushes the envelope but knows well not to stuff it.
So, it’s possible that Amy Chua’s somewhat politically incorrect contrarian quality is a kind of strategy to stand out among the people she hangs with. She cannot spin ideas as brilliantly as many of her Jewish colleagues, but she can say things others dare not say. There seems to be an aspect of this in Camille Paglia as well. Though she was smart enough to attend Yale, she surely realized she was no intellectual equal of people like Susan Sontag and the like. She also couldn’t land a teaching gig at one of the top schools. So, her claim to fame was to make a lot of politically incorrect noise and say things that others, though much smarter than her, were afraid to say. But then, Paglia played it ‘smart’ in blaming all the problems of PC on puritanical wasps than on radical Jews. In fact, her shtick is that Jews were originally great and radical in the 60s but then turned into prissy politically correct commissars because they came under the influence of flavorless and dull wasp ideological culture. Yeah right, I suppose Jewish commissars of the early Soviet Union turned into cold ruthless killing machines because they took pointers from American wasps who were really behind communism.
Anyway, the downside of political-incorrectness-as-claim-to-fame is it can lead one to make a fetish of contrarian-ness, whereby one comes to mistake something as true or truer simply because it offends polite or correct society. And so, Paglia has said really dumb stuff such as ‘Sarah Palin is really smart’. In her knee-jerk opposition to what she calls ‘elitism’, she relishes championing every populist figure. But in many cases, she’s practicing just another form of correctness: contrarian correctness, something Christopher Hitchens was often guilty of as well.
So, what’s politically incorrect about BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER? For starters, it makes no apologies of Chua’s elitism. Her point is Chinese care deeply about success, her father drove her to succeed, she finds great pride in success, and she wants her children to succeed too. If Bill Gates and other members of the elite act like their main concern is ‘equality’ and ‘social justice’, Chua makes no bones about success being her main obsession. She bemoans the days when her immigrant family vacationed by staying at the Holiday Inn and the like. She loves quality stuff, fancy hotels, and rubbing shoulders with the best & brightest. Though NPR is the favorite radio show of the elites—and elite-wanna-be’s—, it’s very SWPL-ish in packaging liberal elitism as a kind of egalitarianism. The news stories are read with an air of sophistication, but there is also an air of hipness and casualness(a very affected one at that). There are many stories of good decent intellectual types going to poor places around the world brimming with compassion, conscience, and concepts to improve lives of suffering people around the world; NPR listeners love the fact that they CARE, which also allows them to love themselves.
Fancy jazz is the main form of music presented on NPR, but jazz also has the pedigree of being Negro music, music of the streets, of rebels, etc. The whole thing is very Ken Burnsy. It touches on many subjects and topics of non-elitist nature but in an elitist tone.
And since NPR also features interviews with rock stars, celebrities, and etc—but of course in an ‘intelligent’ and ‘erudite’ way—, it’s for cool people and not just for snobs. It’s a hip-haute form of snobbery. It’s like rich people like to wear casual clothes by fancy designers, thereby having the cake and eating it too: they are one of the people but different, though in a subtle way that only people-in-the-know would know.
Now, I don’t mean to denigrate what is good about NPR—it is better than any talk radio program though I haven’t been a regular listener since around 2003—, but it has a bogus air of having it both ways: elitist and egalitarian, classy and edgy, bland and colorful, inoffensive and different, staid and fresh. It’s really a cross between Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street for adults.
Amy Chua doesn’t exactly play by SWPL-NPR rules. Her shtick is not “I want power and privilege because I’m hip and caring and wanna save society and raise IQ scores for Negro kids.” It’s not “Waiting for Superman” bullshit peddled by Michelle Rhee, who is more the hope-springs-eternal SWPL type. Though Chua doesn’t explicitly talk about IQ or race, it’s quite obvious from the book—her mention of her famously intelligent father, her marriage to a very smart Jew, her obsession with elite circles, her goal of raising her girls to attend top schools, etc—that she knows well enough that some people are naturally smarter than others, and there’s nothing you can do about it. After all, though smart herself, she wasn’t as smart as her father and could not, despite all her effort, to succeed in the field of hard science and math. And though she studied very hard, she admits she felt intellectual small when she met the really smart people at Yale. So, though Chua believes hard work can do wonders, she knows it can’t do anything.
She went to a top school to be around smart people, to marry a smart guy, and to have smart kids. The difference between Chua and SWPL type is Chua is more forthright about her dreams and preferences whereas SWPL types, though ambitious and wanting of the good life(and seeking intelligent mates to have smart children with), will officially claim that they believe in and are committed to ‘equality’.
Perhaps, part of Chua’s forthrightness owes to her immigrant background. She couldn’t take things for granted since the good life had to be earned the hard way by her parents—and along the way, maybe her contact with the lower elements didn’t endear her to them; maybe she met white trash, black trash, and brown trash calling her names; maybe she wanted to rise above dumb Chinese-American kids who were only good for making and delivering chop suey.
Take the movie LOVE STORY. Oliver(Ryan O’Neal) was born rich and feels burdened by his social status; he wants to show the world that he isn’t some privileged child of the Barrett fortune but a good guy who made his own way in the world. He seems to be doubly burdened by his family legacy. On the one hand, there’s the expectation for him to be as distinguished a student and athlete as his father had been, but there’s also the anxiety of being perceived by others as having been shoed into Harvard Law School thanks to family connections. Anyway, he falls in love with Jenny Cavalleri(or Cavallieri)and wants her to know that he doesn’t give a crap about privilege and all that. In the sequel OLIVER’S STORY, he even works pro bono for poor folks. Jenny(Ali Macgraw) was born to an Italian baker, and being a Radcliffe girl really means a lot to her. She knows she made it purely through merit, and no one thinks otherwise. It’s a great honor for her, and since her father is a baker, she is burdened by the baggage of ‘guilt of privilege’. (I must say though, rather unrealistically her devout Catholic father allows her to call him ‘Phil’ and acts in most regard like some proto-hippie Jew.) And she admits to Oliver that one of the reasons for his appeal is what he is than merely who he is. She’s an Italian-American girl from a humble background, and she is thrilled in love with some rich wasp guy from a distinguished family. Though she doesn’t marry Oliver for his money—the fool disowned his father when the latter suggested, not entirely unreasonably, that he put off the marriage til he finishes law school—, the fact is he’s a smart guy, bound to graduate near the top of his class in law school, and make a lot of money; she wouldn’t have married him if he was the college janitor. Jenny’s directness makes her special, especially in contrast to the reserved manners of the wasp elite. Though Oliver rebels against his father, they both share the inability to express themselves openly.
Amy Chua, like Jenny, has the guts to express her real feelings, to rock a little the paradigm of the established liberal elite that plays to win but preaches ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’. (The irony of the liberal elite is it sneeringly looks down on Red State ‘white trash’ as vulgar and crude but pretends to understand and appreciate and sympathize with the even trashier and lower culture of the black trash. The liberal elite professes to care about the poor and be committed to raising the bar of ‘social justice’ for everyone, but it also takes great pleasure in looking down on rednecks and poor white folks as crude subhuman neanderthals. The very people who sneer at country music culture and NASCAR find rap culture to be important and meaningful. The very people who decry the dumbness of our culture seem to be blind to the fact that liberal Jews mostly own, control, and profit from trashy Hollywood, music industry, TV, and porn. They won’t face up to the truth that so much wealth of the liberal elites has been produced by feeding trash culture to the masses made dumber every year. But instead of looking in the mirror at their own moral/cultural corruption, they blame the masses—especially white conservatives—for all that’s wrong with popular culture and society. Perhaps, the liberal elites are willing to overlook and/or make apologies for black stupidity and craziness since the grand narrative says blacks were damaged by centuries of oppression and ‘racism’, whereas ‘white trash’ have no excuse for being so dumb, poor, and/or worthless since they not only hadn’t faced racial discrimination over the centuries but practiced it against non-whites, especially blacks. So, while one could argue black trashism resulted from victimization under white trashism, white trashism is just pure and simple trashism of people who freely chose to be trashy. In a similar vein, we are told that Jewish greed is somehow less evil than white greed. White greed is pure and simple greed whereas Jewish greed was something Jews were historically forced into since Jews, not having been allowed to own land, had no choice but to excel in professions like money-lending and money-changing.)
Amy Chua is also politically incorrect in not making noise about American racial discrimination against the Chinese. In this regard, she is different from Obama—and Iris Chang, the worthless celebrity historian. Obama’s white lineage goes back to white slave-owners in the South and his black lineage goes to black slave-owners in Africa. But being the shameless Jafro that he is, he acts like he’s the rightful heir to Selma, MLK, and all that. Though his power base has been mostly Jewish, he acts like the second(and mellower)coming of Malcolm X, one who has put aside rage and violence in favor of peace with white folks(as long as white folks provide him and his disgusting wife with everything, because if white folks don’t accept the bargain, he’s gonna get pissed and promote black rage, in which case there won’t be any hope of racial peace forever; it’s a kind of social black mail, which might as well be called ‘African-American mail’; either accede to Obama’s offer or there will be ‘fire next time’). Though Amy Chua is surely knowledgeable of the bad treatment meted out to the Chinese in American history, she seems to prefer living in the present than dwelling on the past. (This is either gracious or naive on her part, or maybe both. Maybe in her ‘let bygones be bygones’ attitude, she is simply blind to the advantage of playing the ‘race card’ for the sake of ethnic power. Or, maybe she has no taste for such politics since Chinese minority was hurt by the politics of resentment in the Philippines. Furthermore, maybe she understands that Asian-Americans playing the race card cannot complete with Jews with Holocaust cult, Negroes with slavery and Jim Crow jive, and Latinos with sheer numbers. Or, maybe she has a natural aversion to bullshit, at least compared to most people in her elite community.) And maybe she feels it would be presumptuous on her part to wrap herself in the banner of Chinese who suffered in the past. After all, historical-collective victimology is a really a form of grave-robbing, something that’s been turned into a science by Jews and into a performance art by Negroes. Rich and powerful Jews invoke the suffering of their ancestors to make never-ending demands on the white gentile community. Negroes today run riot and act like stupid wild apes, but they use the history of slavery to turn themselves into automatic saints: since my great-great-great-great-grandparent was a slave, that makes me a noble victim too though I’ve done nothing in life but commit crime, talk shit, drop out of school, and have babies at tax payers’ expense. It’s like the Jena Six are thugs but have been turned into saints—sadly without any political/ideological/moral opposition from mainstream conservatives who are a bunch of pussy cowards. It’s one thing to remember historical tragedies; it’s quite another to morally rob the graves of one’s ancestors to wrap oneself in sanctimonious self-righteousness. But Jews and blacks do it because they are utterly shameless. Jews do it to preserve their great power—Holocaustianity forbids any criticism of Jews—, and blacks do it to gain power they don’t have(due to their lower IQ and craziness). When the discussion involves Jews or Negroes, it soon degenerates into hand-wringing about the Holocaust or slavery or some shit that’s been over-exposed and over-exploited to death. There are surely some Asians—along with Hispanics and Muslims—who wanna take this route. I mean, hey, it has paid off very nicely for Jews and Negroes. No one dares to criticize Jews, and blacks get lots of favors from government and businesses. But Chua doesn’t seem to have a stomach for that sort of thing. She doesn’t play by the liberal narrative of “my people were and will always be victims of white racism.” She mentions how some kids made fun of the way she talked as a young immigrant student, but she doesn’t moan and groan about it as ‘racist bullying’ that traumatized her for life and for which the entire white race must atone. Instead, she says the teasing only made her learn to speak better English.
Hers is a story of an immigrant family with a strong sense of priorities that never complained but pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. Liberals often whine about how poor Negroes and Hispanics can’t make it because they don’t have this or that. But Chua says her parents went through winters without heat to save money. One gets the sense that Chua has no use for excuses as long as one has the basic needs in life: roof over one’s head, water, food, family. If you want more than the basics, you gotta work for it, and one should never complain or make excuses. In America, Negroes and Hispanics—even illegals—have more than the basic needs of life, and indeed they all eat better than most white people in the 1950s. I dare say a middle class white family after WWII didn’t have all the amenities that Negroes have—and for free. But what Negroes do with it? They burn things down, they punch holes in walls, the beat up teachers, and act like apes. And faggoty white liberals and venal Jews keep making excuses for the Negroes, not least because if the truth about genetic differences were ever to be known officially to most people, much of the liberal paradigm will just crumble. (Of course, most Americans do know and sense certain aspects of racial differences, and indeed such is okay as long as it’s not explicitly or officially stated. For example, all sports fans must know that blacks have an advantage in speed, explosive power, and rhythmic coordination. And we all know that Jews must have higher IQs. We know, and popular culture can even indulge in such stereotypes as long as the reason are not officially or explicitly stated. So, TV shows can give us the commanding-voiced Negro and the demure Asian women, and we can enjoy them as stereotypes, but we’re not supposed to say such things reflect actual racial differences. On the occasion that some ‘anti-racist’ people do raise questions about stereotypes, the liberal explanation is the media are merely responding to widely held assumptions of most viewers. In other words, news programs prefer Asian females over Asian males and the comedy industry favors Jewish comics over Mexican comics not because Asian females are more feminine while Asian males are less masculine and not because Jewish comics are funnier than Mexican comics but because the media industry is pressured to give the prejudicial public what it wants. So, the ‘fault’ is not with racial reality or with the Jewish-controlled media but with the bigoted assumptions of the gentile masses. Though I’m not sure how many people are actually dumb or naive enough to fall for such lies, they do serve as acceptable ‘official truths’ to justify the status quo where stereotypes seem to continue.) This is why political correctness is so crucial to the left. Unable to face facts, liberals seek to silence dissent and debate by categorizing a whole bunch of ideas and information as ‘hate speech’. It’s be foolish to think of Chua as some kind of closet-conservative. She says she is very much a cosmopolitan who’s taken her kids around the world to appreciate the rich diversity of mankind and cultures, and all that. However, her emphasis on success and privilege makes it clear as day, intended or not, that such cosmopolitanism can only be afforded by highly successful people, perhaps the top 5% of Americans. (Personally, I would have considered it a great privilege in my youth had my family went on trips staying at the Holiday Inn. It was always campgrounds for us.) Perhaps on an ideological level, Chua filled her daughters with MLK worship, but that is not the focus of the book(as it might have been by other liberal authors). Rather, there’s an emphasis on the importance of success, status, money, prestige, and privilege: the stuff that most liberals REALLY want but pretend not to.
Chua’s message seems to be anyone in America—even non-white immigrants—would do well to concentrate on matters of intelligence, work ethic, family values, constructive attitude, and ambition to succeed. The implication of such outlook is that liberals are fundamentally wrong about white ‘racism’ keeping everyone down, especially minorities and women. If so, how did Amy Chua, a non-white woman, rise to prominence so fast? Despite her liberal politics, her views seem to be at odds with prominent Asian-Americans who’ve decided to jump on the PC bandwagon for either opportunistic, sincere, or drone-like reasons. The opportunism could be based on Asian-American calculation of where this nation is headed. With the decline of white numbers relative to the rise in black, Hispanic, Muslim, and Asian numbers—due to higher birthrates especially among blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims(though not for Asians) and massive immigration—America is said to be ‘browning’. Thus, even for Asian-Americans who personally tend toward ‘conservatism’, it’s smarter in the long run to gravitate to the Democrats. The future of America is written on the wall. Most Asian-Americans will have noticed by now that (1) most white Americans not only lack the will to fight for their racial survival but they seem to worship MLK and welcome ‘diversity’, and this is as true of the GOP as of the Democratic Party. Why bet on a dying horse? When Brits used to rule Hong Kong, native HK elites sided with the British. But as the fateful year of 1997 drew nearer, Hong Kong elites switched their allegiance to the Mainland Chinese—though Hong Kong had developed in ideological, political, and economic opposition to what the communist mainland stood for. Since Asian-Americans will never have the numbers or power to dominate America, their best bet is to side with that forces that will dominate America. Indeed, that future may already be here, what with the near-total control that liberal and neocon Jews have over all the powerful institutions in America and the fact that close to half of white Americans—and an overwhelming number of young white Americans—, along with nearly all blacks and Jews and huge share of the Hispanic and Asian population, voted for Barack Obama. Today, most white men are pussyboys who worship MLK and most young white women dream of being pummeled by some big-penised muscular Negro. Though massive immigration and affirmative action are destroying the white race, most white people have been brainwashed or cowered to remain silent or to blame all the problems on ‘socialism’. (Libertarians will have us believe that Detroit is what it is due to statist policies! Yeah, I suppose that is why all of Vermont is just like Detroit. Too much gubment.) People without power gravitate toward people with power for survival. When Spain was ruled by the Moors, Jews worked for Muslims. When Moors were kicked out, Jews tried to ingratiate themselves with Christian rulers. There have been cases of minorities ruling over the majority, such as British rule over India, French rule over Algeria, and Dutch-Anglo rule in South Africa. But, as they say, demography is destiny. The most successful minority rule is the Jewish domination of America, but Jews, being clever, rule officially as a ‘powerless’ than a powerful minority. Though Jewish-American power is the greatest the world has ever seen, Jews use the smoke-n-mirrors of Holocaustianity to make themselves out to be an eternal victim-race. Thus, officially at least, Jewish-American power is not the power of the powerful but of the noble/righteous powerless. Based on where America is headed, one could argue nothing is as dangerous as the paradoxical phenomenon of ‘powerless power’. It appears Jews may have perfected it, but it might have its origins in Christians using the victimization of Jesus and early Christians as the justification for their power to crush all opposition; even as Christians became very powerful, their power was morally justified in linkage to a time when early Christians had been powerless victims of pagans and Jews. This is why Jews are so eager to associate their power with blacks and Hispanics. That way, Jewish power is morally justified and ennobled as a force of helping the weak-n-helpless.
Asian-Americans, though reasonably successful, are no intellectual match for the Jews, and Amy Chua’s book makes that abundantly clear—at least if you read between the lines. Also, Asian-Americans cannot melt into elite circles as seamlessly Jewish whites can. Some Asians enter the circle, but there remains an air of ‘outsider’ about them. (Asian success may even seem as something of an affront to blacks, Hispanics, white liberals, and white conservatives. Even if Asian-Americans have made it meritocratically, the grand narrative says it’s black people’s turn to reap the rewards of America since they’d been denied for so long. Thus, it may appear that Asian-Americans are cutting in front of the in front of African-Americans even if Asian-Americans played by the rules. Latinos, with a longer history in the Americas, may feel the same way. As stated earlier, Asian-American success may be an affront to white liberal ideology that insists most non-whites, especially women, cannot make it in ‘racist’ America without special help. Furthermore, white liberals may not be too crazy about themselves and their kids having to compete with Asian-Americans for good jobs and privileges; it’s one thing to be liberal and generous when one’s on top and looking down on others, but quite another to be surpassed by others who don’t seem to be as ‘liberal’ as oneself and one’s own people are. Thus, some of Chua’s ‘illiberal’ comments may offend white liberals on two levels. Not only are they borderline ‘conservative’, but it suggests that Asian-Americans like Chua shows no appreciation for white liberalism, i.e. white liberals, full of selfless compassion and high-minded conscientiousness, had reformed and improved society so that Chua’s ilk can make it but all she cares about is more power and privilege for herself and family without much altruistic concern for helping others. Given that many Americans feel this way about China as a whole, Chua may serve as a kind of microcosm of the fears held by many Americans about the changing power structure of the world.) And while most Americans are comfortable with the idea of Jewish elites(noble people of the Book and/or survivors of the Holocaust) and Negro elites(the people of MLK), they may not be so comfortable with Asians in elite roles, and this is as true among liberals as among conservatives. A political poll on race and elections revealed that 98% of Americans were fine with a Jewish president or black president, 40% of Americans were okay with a Mormon president, but only 2% of Americans were okay with an Asian- or Muslim-American president. And such attitude is perfectly acceptable. Imagine if the findings had revealed that 98% of Americans said they couldn’t vote for a Jewish or black person to be president. The Jewish media and NAACP would have used that as reason for a ‘national discussion on antisemitism and racism’. Also, because the Chinese-American and Japanese-American experiences haven’t been victim-hyped—plus the fact that Asian-Americans, like their racial cousins American Indians—haven’t been very vocal on such matters, there is less historical/political consciousness about ‘white guilt’ pertaining to Asian issues. Also, rise of Japan and China—plus the stuff about ‘Japs’ killing dolphins and Chinese eating dogs—haven’t endeared Americans to Asians. Especially the rapid rise of China has filled Americans with fears of Fu Manchu.
Also, as Patton said, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.” To most Americans, there’s nothing special about Asians who outwardly look and sound like a bunch of losers. White people are deemed to possess natural beauty in physical/facial form and cultural/expressive beauty in music. Blacks are deemed to possess musical power, athletic power, and sexual prowess. Jews are deemed to be funny, witty, brilliant, original, and genius. Gays are deemed to be creative and expressive. But Asians are deemed to be physically scrawny, sexually timid, musically stiff, and diligent grinds than genuinely creative minds. Blogger Named Ernest often refers to Mexicans as ‘boring’ and ‘mediocre’, and to most Americans, Asians are just smarter versions of Mexicans. At least, Mexicans have the numbers, and certain groups of Hispanics—especially Cubans—have some fun music. Asians are seen as dull, dull, dull, a people who deserve to be losers or drones taking orders from the beautiful whites, charismatic Negroes, and brilliant Jews. (There is a subculture of Japanese animation or anime fandom in America, but it tends to attract the beta personalities, the dorks among the whites.) But, China seems to be on the rise, and Asian-Americans seem to be succeeding in certain fields—especially academic—more than most Americans. And so, it fills many Americans with a certain befuddlement that can simmer into rage. How dare a race of gophers rise above eagles, lions, and wolves? Anyway, the opportunism of Asian-American politics isn’t difficult to understand. Even if the majority of Asian-Americans would prefer a solid white majority America—after all, if ‘diversity’ is so great, Asians would have emigrated to more diverse Latin-America than to America that long had a solid white majority population—, they know they have no control of the destiny of America, which is to be decided by the venal Jewish elite and pathetically suicidal white Americans who cheer their own political, cultural, and demographic demise not only in America but in Europe, the homeland of the white race. And if the future of America is mulit-culturalist(with its neo-ethnic politics), it only makes sense to have more of YOUR OWN KIND in America, and that means Asian-Americans will support immigration to bring over more of their kind.
But there are probably sincere or ideological reasons as to why some Asian-Americans support liberalism. If American public—and even much of private—education is a form of politically correct indoctrination, it means that the people who are MOST educated will also be the MOST indoctrinated. This is the dark side of diligence and commitment. Why did Germans become so pro-Nazi during the 1930? Because Germans had long been culturally conditioned to diligently commit themselves to ideas, values, and thoughts disseminated by official authorities. So, when Nazis used the media and education system to spread Nazi ideas and values, Germans took to them with greater fervor than Italians did to Fascism or Russians did to communism. All said and done, an Italian would rather have a plate of spaghetti than commit themselves to some ideology; and Russians prefer vodka over anything. Germans, in contrast, had greater respect for authority. When education = indoctrination among people who favor authoritarianism and conformity,
the most educated can actually become the most fanatical and blind. (German/Prussian authoritarianism was different from Russian authoritarianism. The German model required the elites to mold the masses, and the masses dutifully complied to be ‘good’ citizens and soldiers. Thus, German authoritarianism strengthened the bond between the elites and people. The hierarchy remained, but there was an active element of molding every citizen into a ‘good useful citizen’. Russian authoritarianism, in contrast, instilled passive acceptance among Russians. Russian elites mostly ignored the Russian peasant masses as a bunch of dummies, and so the Russian soul and ethic languished under the rule of Russian elites. German authoritarianism extolled all Germans, even of lower classes, to be upright, studious, clean, and orderly—to be proud Germans. Russian authoritarianism told Russian poor to remain dumb, ignorant, slovenly, and childlike. German authoritarianism was far more useful, but the dark side was the masses could be blindly led to do crazy things if evil people gained control over the state. Germans could be both more-good or more-bad than other peoples depending on the leadership.) Similarly, due to either the cultural background or genetic inclination of Asian-Americans(or maybe both), Asian-Americans are likely to be unquestioningly accepting of official PC disseminated by the Jews. Thus, the cultural conservatism of many Asian-Americans is paradoxically likely to turn them into good little liberals. Since conservatism emphasizes hierarchy, obedience, and conformity, Asian-Americans brought up with conservative outlook will likely conform to the powers-that-be. If American elites and institutions were overwhelmingly conservative, most Asian-Americans might grow up to be good little conservatives. But since the powers-that-be in America are liberal Jews, Asian-Americans will likely conform to politically correct liberal views. (You see how brilliant Jews are. They know how to, judo-like, flip the conservative personality to produce the liberal mentality.) Similarly, communism could be drummed into the Russian masses because centuries of ultra-conservatism had conditioned most Russians, dirt poor and ignorant, to submit to higher authority. When the authority had been the Tsar and the Orthodox Church, most Russians mindlessly bowed down to all that. But when the new boss was communism, most Russians took readily to communist dogma(though still not as much as to vodka). Just as Jews know how to use aspects of Christianity to make Christians suck up to and worship Jews, Jews know how to use Asian conformist-conservatism to turn them into good little liberals. With their limited personality and emotional bandwidth, Asians, though decent in IQ, are easily led along like lemmings by Jewish weasels. Though politically correct Liberalism is actually anti-liberal—‘liberal’ here meaning open-minded, freedom of expression, etc—, most Asian-Americans can be fooled into thinking they are ‘free’ and ‘open-minded’ simply by swallowing and regurgitating PC tripe fed to them by smarter Jews. Asians, in their status-conscious anxiety, are also more likely to care about the brand than the substance, i.e. they’d rather be branded as ‘progressive and liberal’ while actually being illiberal than personally discover and settle on a truly liberal—meaning open-minded and individualistic—path. (It’s like
Asian students in Asia are more interested in going to top colleges than gaining true knowledge and wisdom. They’d rather be branded as someone-accepted-into-Tokyo-or-Peking-University than someone who really strives for the truth. If given a choice between the integrity of true knowledge vs the status of knowledge as a brand, Asians—and maybe most people—will choose the latter. Worse, they may not know the difference substance and brand since social forces instilled in them a certain tunnel vision. Though Americans are not as education-obsessed as East Asians, we may actually be more tunnel-visioned when it comes to ideology. Most highly educated Americans would rather be branded ‘liberal’ and be illiberal in actuality than branded ‘anti-liberal’ and be truly liberal in actuality. Of course, given self-esteem issues—no one wants to regard himself or herself as a mindless cultural or ideological drone—, people are eager to fool themselves that they are free thinkers and ‘rebels’ than the sheeple that they really are, and this is no less true of the right than of the left. Sites like Cross-Currents and Occidental Observer are actually more open-minded and honest than left-wing sites.) Just as communism offered no equality but only the cult of equality, modern liberalism doesn’t offer genuine freedom of thought but only the cult of freedom of thought. But cults go a long way. It’s like Steve Jobs was a materialistic and greedy son of a bitch but fooled a lot of people in seeing him as a ‘rebel’. Brands matter, and Jewish liberal elites have found brilliant ways to associate certain intolerant dogmas with notions of ‘freedom’, ‘equality’, ‘tolerance’, and ‘open-mindedness’. As long as their positions and ideas SYMBOLIZE those principles—while, in actual fact, violating them—, most people can be fooled. So, even though the ‘anti-racist’ and ‘anti-homophobic’ hysteria has, in reality, stamped out much of free speech and open-minded discussion, as long as ‘anti-racism’ and ‘anti-homophobia’ have symbolically branded as ‘freedom’ and ‘justice’, a lot of people will go with the image—just as they are fooled by commercial advertising—than deal with actual facts and uphold real principles of political freedom. But conservatives do the same thing. When Pat Buchanan pushes some of his less-than-pro-freedom proposals in the name of ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’, it all becomes rather suspect. Also, the states-rights argument of the American South was morally and politically on the dubious side. White segregationists argued for the freedom or rights of states to choose their own laws except that this so-called freedom meant blacks had to be denied certain political, social, and economic rights. (If white Southerners had any integrity and courage, they would have justified segregation or, better yet, called for permanent separation of the races on the basis of REAL RACIAL DIFFERENCES between blacks and whites that render the former a danger to the latter. But obsessed with anti-Darwinian Christian fundamentalist idiocy and the myth of white supremacy—implying a tough white guy who beat up any Negro—, white Southerners came up with pro-segregationist arguments that only got dumber and more hysterical and desperate by the day. With white Southerners refusing to address the ONLY ARGUMENT that would have morally justified racial separation—the fact that blacks are naturally tougher and more aggressive than whites—, Negroes and Jewish liberals won on all accounts—moral, social, political, historical, and etc. So, where is the American South today? Though known for conservative politics and redneck culture, many young Southern white boys pitifully ape black rappers while hordes of white women are running off to have babies with Negroes; indeed there is more miscegenation in parts of the Deep South than in any Northern blue states. And as the STUFF BLACK PEOPLE DON’T LIKE blog has argued many times, the main religion of pathetic white conservatives in the South isn’t even Christianity but Negro-dominated college football. Your average Bible-thumping white conservative male thinks in terms of, “Negro, thank you leading our team to victory, so please hump my daughter—and my wife too while you’re at it.”)
Anyway, the relation between Jewish-American liberalism and Asian-American liberalism is that the former leads the latter by the leash. And in some ways, Jewish control of the Asian-American mind is no less a prize than Jewish control over Negro and Hispanic politics. Jewish liberals, by exploiting the issue of ‘white racism’, seek to suppress and control white identity and interests. Jewish liberals, by offering political and economic bribes to the Hispanic community, drove a wedge between white Americans and Hispanic-Americans(most of whom may otherwise might have assimilated into the white community). Jewish-liberals, by controlling and molding the minds of diligent but drone-like Asian-Americans, will have a vast number of highly educated yellow robots to do their ideological bidding. Jews are probably very relieved at this. If Asian-Americans had politically gone in the other direction, they might have challenged Jewish supremacy in academia and think-tanks. But Asian-Americans, having less balls and chutzpah than Jews, have decided to do as the Great Jew orders them. (Besides, even Asian-Americans who gravitate to the Right will likely come under the influence of neo-con Zionist Jews. John Yoo, though reviled by liberal Jews, seems to be little more than an ass-kisser of neocon Zionists.) So, Jews have it all locked up: they got the Negroes, the Hispanics, and the Asians. And of course, affluent Wasps suck up to Jews too since Jews control finance and media. And sad to say, most white Americans today aren’t any more individualistic and independent-minded than most Asian-Americans. Just look at the fools glued to OPRAH and AMERICAN IDOL. What kind of real independent-minded people are addicted to such nonsense? Or take the bland bogus church of Rick Warren. What white folks need is a culture of critique of their own.
Ideologically liberal/leftist Asian-American may be sincere in their support of ‘progressivism’. Though affirmative action hurts Asian-Americans in general, the ones who made it to the top surely know that officially supporting affirmative action—and whining about how minorities need it to counter white privilege, though many Asian-Americans are actually more privileged than most whites—will prove useful for furthering their own careers. If you’re a very successful Asian-American person and support affirmative action, you can also play the ‘people of color’ victim card and be favored by liberal Jews and wasps for promotion. You can pretend to be with the noble blacks and Hispanics against evil ‘white racism’. And what does it matter if affirmative action hurts OTHER Asians as long as YOU made it to the top and since embracing PC will help you climb higher?
Also, given the prevailing ideology of PC in America that says privileged white oppressors keep ‘people of color’ down, Asian-Americans might feel nervous about the fact that their example of success violates this holy narrative. If, as MLK said, America is so ‘racist’ that there needs to be minority set-asides and affirmative action for non-whites to succeed, how come so many Asian-Americans have done well without such aid? Thus, Asian-American success becomes an affront to the mythic narrative of MLK-ism. Given their timid-subservient nature, Asian-Americans lack the chutzpah, nerves, and guts to say, “Look, we studied and worked hard, we deserve what we got, and the rest of you should work as hard as we do.” Instead, many Asian-Americans seem nervous and apologetic than proud and confident of their success. It’s almost as if they’ve betrayed the holy truth of MLK-ism and succeed by sucking up to ‘evil racist whites’.
Asian-Americans may also fear that their success will mark them as targets of envy and resentment among blacks, Hispanics, and not-so-successful whites. So, Asian-Americans may find in leftism a convoluted way to explain their success and how their success obligates them to work hard against ‘white racism’ in order to help blacks and Hispanics. The convoluted narrative goes something like this as far as I can make out: blacks historically suffered a lot more than Asians, and there’s more anti-black animus than anti-Asian animus among whites. Also, many Asians arrived in the US with college degrees whereas white slavers destroyed the culture of African-Americans, which is why blacks are mired in poverty to this day. Also, there may be a concerted effort on ‘white racists’ to favor Asians as a ‘model minority’ over blacks. Since Asian-Americans are deemed to be more docile, gentle, less uppity, and more obedient, white ‘racists’ have allowed a measure of Asian-American success to uphold the Asian-model-minority example to justify the oppression of other minorities who aren’t as lucky as Asian-Americans: “Hey, Negroes, stop your uppity ways and bow down to white power just like Asians, and you’ll get some goodies too.” Indeed, what if white ‘racists’ were to use ‘Asian model minority’ success to rationalize continued ‘oppression’ of blacks and Hispanics? Instead of taking into account the historical and social context for black and Hispanic failure, the “if Asians can do it, blacks and Hispanics should be able to also” argument is an all-too-convenient way for whites to neglect the special needs of non-Asian-minorities who’ve been especially crippled by history of white ‘racist’ oppression. By embracing the less-threatening Asian as ‘model minority, the white ‘racist’ is able to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, he can say, “look, how can I be ‘racist’ when I’m embracing a people of another race?”, but it can also serve to justify the attitude that goes, “the reason I reject blacks is because they won’t act ‘nice’ and ‘gentle’ like Asians.” Thus, the ‘anti-racist’ embrace of the Asian comes to justify the ‘racist’ rejection of the Negro.
Now, there may have been a grain of truth to this in the 1980s when a bunch of Hollywood movies inexplicably seemed to give sidekick roles to Asian-Americans in many movies. It’s like a white guy can maintain his alpha male status next to an Asian character but might be demoted to beta male status next to a Negro character.
But, the ‘anti-racist’ liberal narrative falls apart upon closer scrutiny. (But given the shallowness of PC, it may well be the prevailing outlook of most Asian-American liberals.) The notion that black failure in American owes to loss of African cultural heritage is utterly bogus when sub-Saharan Africans, with their heritage intact, are much worse off than blacks in America. And it’s not like African culture amounted to much more than spear-chucking, booty shaking, and bongo drum pounding. (And black Africans practiced slavery for 100,000s of yrs, and Bantus committed massive genocide against the Khoisan peoples, so what they fuc* are they bitching about?) Also, if loss of indigenous culture leads to social failure, why did Northern Europeans rise to such heights after Christianity replaced their indigenous culture dominated by beer-swilling gods and the warrior virtues of head-bashing?
It is true that most white people are less worried about Asians than blacks in their neighborhoods, but this has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with black behavior. After all, many Asian-Indians are dark-skinned but whites don’t mind integrating with them. I always say, ‘better hindu than voodoo.’ Besides, due to their musical culture, sports dominance, and popularity of ‘gangsta’ culture, most whites are more admiring of blacks than of Chinese-Americans or Hindu-Americans. Whites may worry about there neighborhoods having too many Negroes, but whites are far more eager to win the approval and friendship of cool Negroes than of geeky Chinese or weird Hindus.
And while it’s true that many Asian immigrants do have college degrees, this seems to be a rather recent phenomenon. Look back a few generations, and most Asians in Asia—and maybe in America as well—didn’t have college degrees. And I’ll wager life has been tougher and rougher for most Asians than for black Africans even in the 19th century. Personally, I’d rather be a black slave in the American South than be a Chinee in 19th century China. I don’t wanna get caught up in something like the Taiping Rebellion which some estimates say killed up to 20 million people. If we compare 20th century American history with 20th century Asian(or even European)history, there is no comparison. Though social injustice faced by blacks in America during a good part of the century is undeniable, what black Americans went through cannot be compared with the massive poverty, famines, wars, pestilence, civil wars, and mass murder that took place all over Asia. And Europe wasn’t much better with WWI, rise of communism, WWII, and Soviet rule over Eastern Europe, etc. It’s said the number of blacks lynched from 1865 to 1965 numbers less than two thousand. Now, any lynching is awful, but compare that to 4 million Ukrainians starved to death in the 1930s by Stalin and his Jewish communist henchmen. Compare that to the Poles murdered by Germans and Russians. Compare that to the suffering of Southeast Asians due to Japanese invasion and wars of ‘liberation’ against Europeans, especially the French in Indochina. Consider the wars, aerial bombings, mass rapes, and etc. that destroyed literally tens of millions of people in Asia and Europe. When we take those issues into account, the notion that black-Americans suffered especially and more than other people in the 19th and 20th centuries sounds like a joke.
When it comes to Latinos and Hispanics, it becomes even more confused because they come in all colors: Spanish-American, Italian-American, Portuguese-American, indigenous native, black, mulatto, mestizo, etc. Can one say a white Cuban-American or a white Brazilian-American is held back because of the color of his skin? And if the greatest evil in the world is ‘white racism’, aren’t white Latinos just as guilty of it as white Americans? But, PC is less about actual events and real history than selective history shaped into a quasi-spiritual myth by the powers-that-be. In Nazi Germany, the poor victims according to official myth were always Germans whose rights were denied by Poles and Czechs, and their victimization was used as a pretext for Hitler’s wars. Even as the German war machine set about killing millions of non-Germans, Nazi victimology only focused on ‘Aryan’ victims of Jews and non-Aryans.
In America, we hear about the great crime of Japanese ‘Rape of Nanking’, but America’s massive bombing and nuking of Japan are seen as ‘necessary’. Also, we’ve been made to think that South African apartheid was evil, evil, and evil, but Zionist oppression of Palestinians is, well, justified. Negro suffering at hands of whites is terrible; Muslim suffering under Jews is.... well, you know them Muzzies are savages!! So, politically correct history is a form of national myth, and its heroes and villains are determined by the powers-that-be.
Who are the powers-that-be in America? Jews, most of whom are liberal and virulently anti-white. Given the sheepish and drone-ish ways of Asian-Americans, they’ve decided to swallow the liberal Jewish myth of political correctness. But what about the fact that this myth doesn’t jibe well with the actual Asian-American experience? It calls for a ‘creative’ form of thinking that squeezes intellectual triangles into circles and circles into squares. Modern liberalism has turned this form of Procrusteanism into an art and science, with NY TIMES coming up with ever more ridiculous—but creative—reasons for the IQ gap between whites and blacks. One week, Leroy ain’t getting all his vitamins, next week Leroy’s mother is too stressed over cable tv bill to be thinking of nuthin’ else. I wonder to what extent Asian-Americans liberals play this game because they are really foolish or because they know it’s THE game in town one must play to get ahead.
Amy Chua, as far as I could make out, doesn’t seem to subscribe to this outlook, at least not in an explicit way. Come to think of it, according to the book by the grossly fat and repulsive Jewess Paula Kamen, Iris Chang—the OTHER famous Chinese-American female author—at one time also expressed impatience with people who bitched and whined about ‘racism’ as the obstacle for success. After all, if America is really ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’, how could it have been possible for an Asian-American woman like Chang to rise so fast? But then, the formative period for Chang, a graduate of University of Illinois in 1989, was the Reagan years when many young people did lean conservative and ‘patriotic’. (Having attended college around the same time, I recall the elder professors, even liberal ones, tended to be moderate, thoughtful, and open to different ideas. They were indeed liberal in the true sense of the word. But they were retiring in droves and being replaced by a new crop of professors for whom the main thing was ‘commitment’; the Bill Ayers generation began to take over. A great loss for American education.) In the 90s, the cultural-political landscape was shifting. As Buchanan noted in the 80s, conservatives had won politically—and even economically—, but they had failed to secure their position culturally and intellectually(not least because of the simple-minded cultural policies and values of the Buchanans of the world, one might add). 90s became increasingly politically correct. If the forces of leftism in the 60s and 70s, as they pushed against the weight of status quo and powers-that-be, stood for increased liberty and freedom, they had, by the 90s, gained near-total control of the media and academia and began to clamp down on free expression through all sorts of codes, rules, and injunctions. Once the left had the power, it only wanted more and was willing to do anything—especially clamping down on speech and ideas subversive of their own—to get it. As the 60s radicals made peace with the fact that their dream of Revolution couldn’t be realized in political and economic terms, they made do with the possibility of using laws and culture to gain control the hearts and minds of most Americans; they compensated for their lack of success in the economic arena by taking political correctness to extreme. Ironically, though political correctness was ideologically rationalized as a weapon against privilege and oppression, the elites—especially the Jewish ones—found it as a useful tool for clamping down on ‘mob mentality’; thus, political correctness is now more the tool of billionaire Jews to suppress the ideas and passions of ordinary whites—and even Negroes, e.g. Negro athletes and entertainers being forced to apologize for remarks insensitive to the gay community; political correctness doesn’t so much protect the masses from the powerful elites as protect certain elite groups from the anger of the masses. Elena Kagan supports curtailment of free speech in the name of protecting poor minorities, but her real agenda is to silence the 98% of Americans who are goyim lest they dare to wake up and speak truth to Jewish power.
Since the earliest times, the people-of-ideas have felt resentment toward the people-of-money. People-of-ideas like to see themselves as driven by ideals, principles, wisdom, justice, and purity, whereas people-of-money are driven by greed, self-interest, lust, and gluttony. The leftist revolution was supposed to rid the world of people-of-money, but once the New Left realized that radical socialism wasn’t going to work and that they’re gonna have to depend on people-of-money for funding, it subconsciously—or subideologically—felt compromised and impure, like a bunch of whores. To regain their sense of purity and to repress their shame of dependence on the people-of-money, they ramp up the shrillness of political correctness. Not too dissimilarly men like John McCain may be especially shrill in their support of Wars for Israel. Since they subconsciously feel that they’re little more than running dogs of AIPAC—political whores really—, they try to OWN the cause by barking as loudly as possible. Though they are powerless wimps doing the bidding of Jews, by making noise and acting shrill, they hope to convince others as well as themselves that they are powerful men with a proud and principled commitment to protecting Jews from evil Muslims, Russians, Chinese, etc. Though people like Bill Gates adhere to PC truisms, they aren’t the most shrill politically correct folks around. Rather, it’s people in academia, media, and government, like Katha Pollitt, Anita Dunn, Naomi Klein, and Bill Ayers. Their shrillness has to do with the resentment that they will never have the reach, influence, and/or popularity of famous celebrities and big moneymen(even liberal-leaning ones like George Soros and Bill Gates.) In a way, their shrill form of political correctness is a way of repressing the shame of being leftists dependent on the largesse of people-of-money.
Anyway, given the changing political culture as the 80s rolled into the 90s, maybe it was not surprising that Chang made her mark with RAPE OF NANKING, a trashy and lurid book—more a piece of literary performance art than work of history—that seemed almost custom-made for the victimological narrative of the 90s. It was essentially a Chinese version of Goldhagen’s foul HITLER’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS—and other trashy books like HITLER’S POPE. I do not contest the horrors visited on the Chinese by the Japanese; what I detest is the sensationalism, the self-righteous and self-promoting quality of the book, the petulant rage of turning a historical tragedy into a grandstanding career move. There is almost a sadistic joy of detailing the horrors in the book akin to the mindless sado-masochism of Mel Gibson’s PASSION OF THE CHRIST that turns the suffering of Jesus into a holier-than-thou shtick. (Of course, SCHINDLER’S LIST is a kind of Passion of the Jew and very possibly an inspiration for Chang’s equally holier-than-thou populist work.) RAPE OF NANKING is almost giddy, in the worst politically correct way, of pouring on how wicked the Japanese were and how helpless, noble, and saintly Chinese were in their suffering. (Chinese government has since made SCHINDLER’S LIST-like movies about the Nanking tragedy in a manner not much different from Chang’s hysterical book.) This isn’t to suggest that it’s wrong for Chang or anyone to feel a sense of outrage—which, I’m sure, all civilized people share—, but a book on such an important chapter in modern history surely called for an author with a degree of emotional maturity and intellectual honesty. Perhaps not surprisingly, Chang later went mad and killed herself. Paula Kamen’s book about her is your typical leftist Jewish bitching and whining. What kind of woman is Kamen? She is gross and fat, complains of aches and pains, and grapples with depression and dependence on drugs. Did it ever occur to her that maybe her depression owes to the fact that she eats too much and larded herself into an ugly fatty? Anyway, the transition of Iris Chang from someone who’d once embraced the ‘can do’ spirit of America to a pathological victimologist says something about the cultural shifts that took place from 80s to 90s. With SCHINDLER’S LIST as the template for what might be called the new historiconography—and with every group making its own claim of noble victimhood—, the sensible career move for Chang was to outdo every other group with her crazy ethno-self-righteous book, though to be sure, it can’t be said to be any worse than the sort of holier-than-thou tripe produced by Jews and Negroes on a regular basis. Perhaps, Chang’s overreaching had something to do with her having attended a public university. Lacking Ivy League credentials, she might have felt the need to go the extra-mile to be noticed. Though I haven’t read Chua’s book on superpowers, from the youtube interview, I gather she is, despite her excitable personality, a more thoughtful writer than the silly Chang. And if Chang seems to be attracted to the emotional aspects of history—she later worked on a book about Japanese atrocities against American P.O.Ws—, Chua seems more interested in the power dynamics of history. And whatever her personal feelings, she seems to know the difference between historical scholarship and history-as-personal-rant.
Be that as it may, I think there maybe an aspect of multi-culturalism—if only subconscious—in Chua’s emphasis on the Chinese way of parenting. Because we generally associate multi-culturalism with victimology, a book about the Chinese way of success may seem too positive and triumphant to fit into the multi-culturalist mold. Generally, a multi-cultural argument emphasizes how a person of non-white cultural/racial background has all the odds stacked against him, and therefore needs the active caring, compassion, and commitment of do-goody white/Jewish liberals to make it in America. There is none of that in BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER. Amy Chua says the Chinese way worked for her and for her girls as well—though not without emotional costs. If anything, the book suggests the American system/society is accommodating enough to allow different cultures to succeed on their own terms, which doesn’t jibe well with the multi-culturalist argument that non-white groups need special protection and support to make it in a hostile ‘white-male-dominated’ world. Also, Chua’s version Chinese-ness seem to imply that one can preserve one’s cultural heritage and pride WITHOUT statist policies. After all, she maintained her Chinese-ness and Chinese culture by speaking Chinese at home and being taught Chinese things by her parents; there’s nothing in her book to suggest that Chinese-American students need special bilingual classes to maintain their culture against the forces of ‘cultural imperialism/genocide’ of Anglo-Americanism. She sees the need for a collective American identity in the public sphere and reserves cultural heritage/values to home and family. Though Chua thinks other parents may benefit from her experience and advice—in terms of learning from her mistakes as well as from her successes—, there’s nothing to indicate that Chua thinks her ideas should be formulated into state policy on how to reform education. Her emphasis is foremost on the primacy of the family and parent-child relationship. She seems culture and values as essentially something handed down from parent to child than something instilled by the state.
Even so, one senses an aspect of multi-culturalism in Chua’s book. When multi-culturalism is not victimological, it is therapeutic. Thus, it exaggerates the glories, greatness, or benefits of certain non-Western cultures. So, blacks are told that the Ancient Egyptians were black. American Indians are told that their ancestors were wise noblemen who communed with rivers and trees, living in ‘harmony with nature’. So, there are multi-cultural exhibits exaggerating the intellectual achievements of the Muslim world. There may be this element of therapeutism in BATTLE HYMN because despite Chua’s display of cultural confidence and even arrogance, she seems to feel small in the company of super-smart Jews. According to her book, she was headstrong in her youth and thought she could do anything... until she came to Harvard and realized she was nothing special among the really smart people. She may have thought that her success owed a lot to her upbringing, yet many whites and Jews who were raised differently actually turned out to be smarter and more successful than her. After all, her Jewish husband Jed was raised by a rather tolerant Jewish family, but he was even more successful in his profession than Chua in hers. Within the company of super-smart Jews, maybe Chua didn’t feel so special being Chinese anymore. Thus, her method of ‘Chinese parenting’ may have a therapeutic value. By emphasizing her own Chinese or Chinese-sy upbringing and by raising her children in the ‘Chinese’ way, she could make a claim for the greatness of Chinese culture and values. Without such emphasis on Chinese-ness, Chua cannot claim anything special for herself. She would merely be just another successful academic on campus—no mean feat but hardly extraordinary among her crowd. I even suspect she got her gig at Yale through her husband. I find her account of why Yale hired her somewhat unconvincing. We are told that Yale was initially not impressed with her work—and so she settled for a teaching gig at the less prestigious Duke—, but then her essay in a political journal impressed Yale so much that it decided to bestow her with full professorship. I do not suggest that her husband Jed pulled dirty tricks to Chua hired. Rather, there seems to be a kind of liberal-elite-network that works almost subconsciously to favor their ‘own kind’—depending on ethnicity, ideology, and who-knows-whom. The Yale faculty members would have known that Jed is a prized scholar on campus and keeping him happy would be good for the college. Sure, Chua had sufficient academic credentials—but surely no more than many other distinguished graduates of Harvard—, but the clincher seems to have been her husband’s prominent place at Yale as the big man on the campus. Since he’s such a prized star, why not bring aboard Chua as the starlet to create a more satisfying working environment for him. When one gains a certain prominence in any field, people around you simply wanna do you favors out of calculation or admiration.
But the book would have us believe that Chua got in because her article in some academic journal blew the Yale faculty away. I haven’t read it, but I suspect it wasn’t anything really special. Old-Boys-Network has been replaced by Jew-Boys-Network: anything to please the Jew.
I suspect on some subconscious level, Chua suspected she was admitted to the Yale faculty because of her association to her more distinguished husband. For her to be just another academic at Yale would have been hurtful to her own big ego. So, she had to grab onto something to make herself feel special. Other than a mild case of political incorrectness—just enough to raise eyebrows in polite community without really ruffling the feathers—, it was her emphasis on Chinese-ness and motherhood that would do the trick.
It’s especially interesting since the title of the book is BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER as opposed to TIGER PARENT. She knows that as the mother-wife, she fits the stereotype of the submissive Asian in relation to the more successful and smarter western/Jewish husband. The public imagination has wielded many stories of white man and Asian woman, much more so than Asian man and white woman. So the cultural mythology of East/West is feminine Orient and masculine West—though maybe Edward Said overstated this. Chua both fits and doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of the Asian woman. She did marry a white/Jewish guy, and her career has been eclipsed by his. But she is also a feisty and expressive power-woman. Since she cannot be the equal of her Jewish husband and his super-smart Jewish friends in the field of pure academia, her claim to fame had to be as a CHINESE mother or power-mother. Thus, the ‘Battle Hymn’. Chua simultaneously accepts and rejects the role of traditional mother; she both plays to and against the stereotype of the Chinese/Asian. On the one hand, the book features her as a devoted wife and mother who really loves her husband and will do anything for her children. But the theme of the book is about raising girls to be ruthlessly driven power-women. Chua pushes Sophia and Louisa to beat all the competition, be better than everyone, and rise to the top. It is traditional motherhood + feminism(and good dose of elitism). Similarly, when it comes to her view of Chinese-ness, there is the traditional/familiar emphasis on hierarchy, order, obedience, and order. But Chua insists that her way isn’t to turn her children into cowering conformist sheep but to toughen them into Fu Womanchus(or Womanchuas). Thus, Chua is able to turn her inferior position vis-a-vis her husband and smarter Jews into a kind of superiority(at least in her mind). She isn’t just a mother but a ruthless CEO-like power-mother. She isn’t just an Asian grind but someone who uses Chinese culture/values creatively to turn her daughters into Fu Womanchus who will destroy the competition.
To the extent that her Chinese-ness has a certain therapeutic value, there is an element of multi-culturalism in her outlook. Without power-motherhood and Chinese-methodology, there would be nothing to make Chua feel particularly special or outstanding in her community of supersmart Jewish and white people. By emphasizing her seemingly illiberal and even shocking—to oversensitive white liberals—way of upbringing and her tough treatment of her daughters, she makes herself stand out was a warrioress in the battle to win and dominate.
It kinda reminds me of a black girl I knew in college. She used to tell me how things were so different the way she grew up. If she got out of hand, her mother would beat the crap out of her. She said it with a certain pride as if to imply (1) my mother be a tough woman and not some willowy flake like lots of white women be (2) for us black folks, it’s a matter of survival, so we gotta be tough and we respeck a woman who be whuppin’ her child if he or she be ackin’ up (3) we black girls be so ‘bad’(meaning good) cuz we don’t act fluffy-duff like them spoiled, privileged white girls who be named ‘Heather’; another variation of this is Dorothy Tillman’s “my mama didn’t buy me no baby dolls” (4) my childhood was tougher than anything a spoiled white bitch who done had it so good could ever know, and etc.
It’s like there’s a certain dignity in the fat old black mother in RAISIN IN THE SUN. She ain’t no fancy educated person, but dang, she done know right from wrong cuz she worked hard all her life to keep the family together. (I must say I myself personally get a kick when the mother slaps her fancy educated daughter and solemnly says with clenched jaw: “You say there is God in mother’s house.” It’s enough to make even secular liberals get down on their knees and say a few prayers. The loss of such women—if they really existed—was probably among the greatest losses in the black community.
Anyway, there is something like ‘Egg Foo Young in the Sun’ in Chua’s book. Though Chua is an highly educated and cosmopolitan woman, she clings to the sense of family unity and cultural community she felt as a major part of her identity when she grew up, and she tries to impart those sacred values onto her daughter—and they better accept them or else. And one senses an anxiety bordering on fear that unless she emphasizes this cultural legacy and identity, her girls, even if successful in life, will become just like any other bland ‘white folks’, or maybe more-Jewish-than-Chinese—we are told Jed and Amy agreed to teach the girls Chinese but raise them as Jews. A person obsessed with herself, Chua cannot simply let her daughters grow up and becoming ‘something else’. She wants them to feel a link to Chinese-ness and that their success owes something to their half-Chinese background. It’s like when Archie Bunker in ALL IN THE FAMILY takes the child of Meathead and Gloria and secretly has him baptized; he wants a part of his identity/values to be transmitted onto the kid. It’s very possible that all this Tiger Motherhood business wouldn’t have crossed Chua’s mind had she married a Chinese-American or Chinese person. I think it became a special issue because she married a Jew and had half-Jew kids and because she felt small in the company of super-smart Jews and whites. She felt a need to compete to maintain the importance of Chinese-ness. (Though Chua says her family was nominally Christian, religion never meant much to her.)
There are two kinds of talent: one that comes naturally and one that is attained strenuously; another way to put it is “natural outflow vs. strenuous input”. Of course, anyone who wants to excel cannot rely on natural talent alone. Even born athletes, musicians, and writers must practice hell of a lot. Even so, talent comes more naturally to some people than others in every field. Though Muhammad Ali no doubt practiced a lot, boxing came naturally to him. Though Woody Allen spent a lot of time perfecting his jokes, he’s obviously a born wit. Given that people have different natural talents, generally it’s ideal to identify the nature of the talent and let it flower. But things don’t always turn out that way because parents/teachers/fate might pressure or force a person to take up something he or she’s not naturally good at. Or, the person may choose to specialize in one thing when in fact he or she’s actually more suited for something else, e.g. a woman with natural talents to be a painter may have dreams of being a ballet dancer. (It seems most people who wanna succeed in acting, music, or most arts have no real natural knack for it.) Though natural talent may well be abundant among many Chinese people, it seems Chinese culture has traditionally placed an higher emphasis on strenuous input than natural outflow. Part of the reason could be the influence of Confucianism and arch-conservatism. Since great respect was reserved only for the Confucian scholar class, Chinese came to narrow the definition of success. So, even if some Chinese kid was naturally at painting or music, his parents and teachers would likely have forced him to become a scholar. Since most natural talents were suppressed and directed only at becoming learned scholar(who would then win a position as a bureaucrat), many of the expressive arts got a short shrift. Of course, one can point to many wonders of Chinese art, painting, sculpture, architecture, calligraphy, etc—though no one’s gonna convince me of the glory of Chinese music—, but artistic expression took the backseat to scholarly learning. Also, much of Chinese art was associated with learning. No ‘art’ was as highly respected in China as calligraphy, but then it was essentially the art of the literati class. Thus, calligraphy was thought to be the artistic expression/extension of scholarly good manners, tastes, and wisdom. Though Chinese invented many musical instruments, Confucius had warned rulers and the scholar class of the danger of being diverted by the trivial charms of music from the sober, ethical, and serious affairs of governing society.
Of course, even in a culture that suppresses natural artistic talent/expression, there can be a lot of natural flow of ideas and literary expression. Think of England. Though the Anglos, at least compared to the French/Italians/Germans, were less expressive in music, food, and dance, they developed a richly expressive, explorative, bold, and daring literary culture. Why didn’t Chinese do the same? Though Chinese history is longer than English history—and notwithstanding the fact that Chinese produced their share of philosophy, poetry, and other fine stuff—, why is Chinese written art less interesting than that of the British? It could have been due to the didactic nature of Confucianism whose moral preachment had a repressive effect on any writing that smacked of ‘fun’. Thus, the top literary talents, instead of expressing themselves more naturally and expressively, practiced night and day on how to write boring but culturally correct essays on virtue and ethics. I hear Chinese works of fiction such as DREAM OF RED CHAMBER, WATER MARGIN, and some story about a monkey king are classics of Chinese literature—I haven’t read them—, but prior to modern times, respectable scholars might have disdained them as ‘trashy’ popular literature than valued them as literary treasures. Though I haven’t read him, I heard Lu Xun in the 20th century did much to reverse the course of Chinese literature and modernize Chinese sensibility. (There’s a chapter on this subject in Debra Fallows’ DREAMING IN CHINESE). Another reason for the stultification of Chinese literature could have been the nature of Chinese language itself. Latin alphabet can be written prettily and fancifully, but there are only 26 characters, and this has limited pictorial-expressive potential. So, one learns to write European languages mainly for meaning. Though proper penmanship was important among the educated classes in the West, it was not an obsession since one could do only so much with Latin letters. But Chinese has thousands of characters, and the art of calligraphy could indeed do much with them. They could be expressed like paintings, like music.
Thus, not only did the spectrum of Chinese expressiveness become concentrated in literariness, but literariness turned into a obsessive fetish in its own right. In the use of Chinese, especially among the educated elites, it wasn’t just a matter of conveying meaning but HOW the meaning was conveyed through artful calligraphy. It may have been good for the art of calligraphy but it became bad for meaning. Thus, a Chinese guy with a lot of good sense but poor calligraphic skills could go unheard. Even his good sense came to be demeaned and belittled because he couldn’t express it through fancy writing. (Paradoxically, if Chinese written language turned into an expressive fetish because it had ‘too many’ characters, spoken Chinese turned into a similar fetish because it had too few sounds. Since Chinese sounds were less flexible than European languages, meanings had to be intimated by tone. So, among the scholarly class, what mattered wasn’t so much what was said but how one said it. Of course, manner of speech has been important in the West, especially among aristocratic circles. But it’s often been the case in the West, especially in America, for someone to rise and win respect not because he was a fancy speaker but he had the guts to speak the truth or say original and interesting. Not so much in China, as far I could out. If he no speak fancy, he no good.)
Though Chua seems possessed of natural talent—though not on the level of Jews—, her cultural background emphasizes strenuous input over natural outflow, a case of ‘cram talent into the kid than bring it out’. One doesn’t get the sense that Chua first looked to see what kind of natural talents her daughters might possess. Instead, in the traditional Chinese style, she fixated on what-was-most-respectful-in-society and figured she would mold her daughters in that direction. Though Western classical music has nothing to do with Chinese music, Chua’s approach to it seems calligraphic. Though her interest for classical music is real enough, it is more as a high-end profession than a personal passion. In other words, if classical music weren’t a ticket to elite cultural circles, she most likely would have chosen something else for her kids. Mastering classical music for Chua is like a traditional Chinese person mastering calligraphic skills to prove one’s worthiness to elite society. (I suppose there’s more dignity in this than raising one’s kid to be TV star or pop idol.) Chua’s musical education for her girls centered on mastering correct technique than encouraging personal exploration/expression. Of course, one has to master technique and gain proficiency before embarking on a personal style, but there’s precious little in the book to suggest Chua wanted her daughters to grow into personal artists than merely excellent ones approved by the ‘best teachers in the world’. An astounding performer like Glenn Gould is said to have achieved something beyond excellence; he made music composed by others his own. Though every aspiring artist must be a good student, there comes a time when he or she must rebel against established authority and do his or her own thing. Perhaps, given that the book is about the formative years of Sophia and Louisa, when learning is more crucial than personal expression(let alone creative innovation), maybe it’s too harsh and premature for a generalized criticism of Chua’s approach. Sophia, as a Harvard student freed from the clutches of her mother, could well be working to establish her own signature style, if she hasn’t already. Anyway, the very nature of classical music tends to demand adherence to established methodology than other forms of music with a less refined pedigree. Besides, the culture of classical music is essentially about preserving the timeless glories of the past than creating something new, for which there are other musical genres and forms, many of which employ new technology to make sounds as yet unheard. Given that very few people have the stellar talent of a Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Ellington, or Dylan to create a whole new kind of music, the next best hope for success in the field is perfection of technique, vocal or instrumental. Since voice is something one is or isn’t born with, the better bet is to master an instrument. Since Jazz and Rock require a degree of improvisational leeway, which happens to be a precious commodity(at least at the high level), expertise in classical music offers the best chance of success for people without great deal of natural musical talent. (In no way, shape, or form am I suggesting that anyone can succeed in classical music through practice alone. Even outside factors such as compositional creativity, vocal ability, and improvisational ability, some people’s minds are wired better and coordinated more nimbly to work with the fingers; in this sense, best classical musicians are naturally gifted artists with the ability to grasp the essence and master the subtleties of the form. So, while a person without natural musical talent would do better to practice classical music for long hours than attempt composition or try Jazz, there’s no guarantee that he’ll keep getting better with more practice. It’s like everyone can learn to type reasonably well, but some people are naturally wired to type must faster and with few errors than others. Practice makes better but not necessarily better. The difference between classical and Jazz/Jam-rock, however, is that the latter cannot rely on performance-honed-by-mastery-and-practice alone. When a classical pianist or trumpeter prepares to perform a tune, he must play exactly as he’d prepared it for many months or years. Mastery was difficult, but once mastered, one knows exactly what it is, and the challenge lies in the perfection of presentation, as with the carefully choreographed routines in gymnastics and figure skating—interestingly enough, Asian athletes seem to do better in these than most others. With Jazz and Jam-rock, that is never enough. The audience expects a different variation, version, and take every time, and so the performer cannot simply replay something he perfected in practice. He must offer practice + spontaneity = surprise. Blacks seem to be especially adept in this endeavor.)
Maybe just maybe, the reason for Chua’s emphasis on strenuous input over natural outflow had something to do with the fear on her part that her daughters’ success based on natural outflow would make her feel less significant—and maybe even invalidate the Chinese way of success. If her daughters excelled in life mainly owing to their natural talent and personal input, it would mean the triumph of Jed’s Jewish genes/style than her Chinese genes/way. After all, she’s not as smart as Jed and his Jewish friends. And Jed, who grew up under a rather tolerant Jewish mother, turned out excellent. So, if Chua had allowed her daughters to grow up more ‘naturally’ and if they succeeded in life just like their dad, Chua wouldn’t have been able to claim much for her role—biological and cultural—in the success of her daughters. In a way, Chua’s obsessive interference-ism could have been like Steve Jobs’. Jobs in Walter Isaacson’s biography comes across as someone who stuck his nose into everything. Partly, it was because he was a perfectionist and a control-freak. But one suspects part of the reason was to compensate for the fact that he actually knew little about computer engineering. Since much of the nitty-gritty grunt work were done by others, Jobs might have felt the need to stamp his signature on the product in some way. Without such interference, he couldn’t really make much of a claim on Apple products. He might have been less high-strung if he really understood the nitty-gritty of computer engineering as Bill Gates and the Google Kids did. Will-to-power was compensation for his limited skill-to-power.
Likewise, what Chua might have subconsciously feared is that her daughters would do just fine without her special input. It’s interesting that Jobs, during his college yrs, had more interest in calligraphy than in science and that Chua’s approach to classical music is essentially calligraphic—learn the correct form to gain entry into the castle. Though Chua’s fears that her daughters might grow slack and face generational decline without her fierce support/pressure—as with many rich kids raised into comfort and privilege—may be sincere, I think maybe her other fear was the prospect that her daughters would see her and her Chinese-ness as nothing special to their happiness and success. Since Chua is a successful professional and not the traditional mother ‘sacrificing’ everything for her children, she couldn’t beg for her children’s loyalty by means of emotional guilt-trip. I can see how a poor semi-literate Chinese or Jewish immigrant mother in America could have employed heart-tugging tactics to remind their kids of her suffering and sacrifice. But Chua’s kids grew up with full knowledge that her mother is a successful, affluent, and fulfilled woman in every way. What need for them to feel any guilt about their mother’s ‘sacrifice’ when their mother has it so good? So, the way for Chua to form a strong bond with her daughters was to push them to do things even a successful career woman like herself never had a chance to do. Excel in what some consider the noblest calling: high culture. Chua, though successful and rich, is a professional, not an artist. But if her daughters could become great performers of what is considered by educated people to be the greatest musical culture in the world, that would really be something.
It’s possible that Jews put greater emphasis on natural outflow than strenuous input for the following reasons: (1) being smarter than Chinese, Jews are naturally more curious about intellectual matters and don’t have to be pushed as hard to study; generally, smarter kids have a greater affinity for studying. So, if many not-so-smart Chinese kids had to be pushed to study, many Jewish kids may have taken it with greater enjoyment: more pleasure, less pressure. (2) Talmudic studies allowed greater intellectual and mental flexibility, both analytical and speculative, than Confucian scholarship. Since Confucius was a man who spoke about human affairs, there wasn’t much room for imagination . Instead, one simply had to understand what he said. God, on the other hand, is mysterious, and one can interpret the Old Testament in many ways. (3) Due to higher IQ and greater wit, Jews had a naturally more irreverent nature, which explains the heritage of Jewish humor that blows away all other kinds of humor in terms of snap, crackle, and pop. Since humor was such an important part of Jewish life, and since one needs to have a feel for humor, Jews might have developed a more natural style. Being a more humor-oriented people, Jews were less likely to turn education into an exercise in pain, a kind of endurance test. In contrast, though Chinese came to revere education as path to success, they associated knowledge with pain. Since no one naturally likes pain, Chinese came to feel that kids had to be forced into accepting the hardships of education; and if kids suffered as a result, Chinese parents saw this as a sign of progress. Though Jewish parents are well-aware of the
difficulty of learning certain things for their children, nothing would make them happier than to see their kids taking great pleasure from the learning process and doing it with greater ease. In contrast, Chinese parents might find something wrong if their kids actually seemed to be having a good time learning stuff. According to Chinese thinking, real progress only comes—indeed must come—with lots of grueling pain. Such attitude leads many Asians to think that no one will naturally take to learning unless they are forced to, and this fills them with anxiety that if their children lose the ruthless will to suffer pain—and pass down this sado-masochistic philosophy to their own kids—it will inevitably result in generational decline. (4) Jews, having been a minority group in goy lands, had to be more creative and inventive in their dealing with larger society. Thus, they had to learn to be adaptive and accommodating. Thus, they couldn’t take any social reality for granted as permanent. Since their status in society was constantly changing in relation to the more numerous and powerful goyim, Jews simply had to be more quick-thinking in different situations, and that called for greater natural outflow of talent since no amount of strenuous input talent could be useful for all times. In contrast, Chinese got used to the notion of exam-as-path-to-success in China for over 1000 yrs. (5) Though Jews prized Rabbinical learning above all else, they also recognized the value of trade and finance. They didn’t look down on moneymaking as much as Chinese. Oftentimes, businessmen need to be mentally more inventive than ideologues and moralists. Though many Chinese were into business, they did business to earn enough money to eventually afford the refined life of the scholar. (6) Due to higher IQ, Jews are faster learners than others, and so there’s less strain on their thought processes. If it takes a Jew to read a book in one day while it takes a goy to finish it in three days, The Jew will have two days to freely think about the book while the goy is still slogging through the book. Or, if we use the analogy of athletics, an athlete like Michael Jordan didn’t have to work on his muscles as much as others in order to perfect his technique. Naturally muscular and fast, he could focus on his skills whereas a less naturally muscular/fast athlete would have had to expend more time to strenuously increase his strength and speed. Again, this isn’t to suggest that naturally superior black athletes or naturally brilliant Jews ‘take it easy’ and just ‘coast’ on their talents. Rather, since their basic advantages—mental or physical—are natural, they can focus on finer points while others are straining just to be basically mentally or physically prepared. If you have a hard time lifting 100 lbs, the act of lifting the weight itself becomes the main objective of your energies. But if you can lift 100 lbs with ease, you can then learn how to juggle 100 lb objects.
So, that could have been the difference between Chua and her Jewish husband Jed. Though Chua had enough brains to do some intellectual heavy-lifting, the primary focus was on the lifting, whereas with Jed the lifting came easier so he could focus more on the brilliant juggling of what he knew and understood. Chua climbed the tree like a diligent bear while Jed could swing around in gibbonic mode. I suppose we’ll never know how much natural talent Sophia and Louisa were born with since Chua ground them through her ‘strenuous input’ regimen, but because of their mother’s “tiger-mother-ism”, they’ll probably feel a certain affinity for their Chinese heritage. As to why Jed allowed Amy Chua to have her way, I’ve no idea. Maybe he figured if she was busy with the girls, she would drive him less crazy.
The second reason for Amy Chua’s emphasis on the Chinese method could be grounded in the issue of sexuality. On the one hand, it’s probably fair to say she fell in love with some good-looking intelligent Jewish guy, and so they got married, and that was that. Since America is the Land of the Free, a cultural and sexual melting pot, none of this should be strange, especially in this day and age. (Besides, there was never much a taboo against white male and Asian female in American history. Indeed, there has even been many accounts of white man and American-Indian mother. The social taboo involved white woman and non-white male, especially the Negro, though, with the rise of Obama and the popularity of black athletes/celebrities, the black male/white female sexual ideal could be the most potent in the New America. In some ways, it could be some white guys prefer Asian women over white women because it makes them feel more like a man. When a white guy is with a white girl, he fears, “what if she has jungle fever and sees me as a dorky pussyboy compared to a Negro?” But with an Asian girlfriend, a white guy may feel more manly since the Asian girl chose him over some geeky Asian guy.) But as the Blogger Named Ernest once articulated in the essay “Color of Love”, there may be more to this than meets the eye. On the one hand, an Asian-American woman marrying a white guy has become as American as apple pie—or all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
But, there may be a part of Chua that feels that she sexually betrayed her own kind out of feelings of racial inferiority. Why did she seek out a white/Jewish guy? Surely, there were plenty of Asian men on the Harvard campus when she was a student. I’m guessing she purposely chose a white/Jewish guy because she found them taller, manlier, better-looking, and more exciting than Asian guys. She might have heard that Jewish guys especially have fat meaty penises, something which I can’t vouch for personally(as I don’t go for that sort of thing)except to say I’ve been so informed on more than few occasions. So, though her going with a handsome Jewish hunk seems officially to be about ‘going beyond race’, Chua’s interracism was very likely premised on racial factors. She didn’t want some short, scrawny, geeky, skin-and-bones Asian guy with a smaller whanker than one hanging on a Jewish stud. In other words, though she is filled with admiration for her father, she doesn’t want to marry someone who looks like him. In a way, there is a parallel between Chua’s preference for Western Classical music over ‘chinky’ Chinese music AND her preference for Jed, the Aryan Jewish stud, over the gimpy Eugene Chen’s of the world. Though Chinese are a proud people with a great tradition, history, and culture, Chua prefers Western art and men to their Chinese counterparts. (And her sister also married some white guy, so it must run in the family.) In some way, it’s a generic story of ‘becoming American’. But in another way, especially for a people as proud as the Chinese, it means being something of a traitor. Chua says her father initially insisted she marry some Chinese guy but accepted her choice of mate and even became a great friend of Jed. (I guess it wasn’t so bad since she married UP than down. Imagine if Chua had married some Negro cab driver.) So, on the surface, all went well. She loves Jed, Jed loves her, her father likes Jed, Jed likes her father. But it’s possible that Chua, on some psychological level, feels wrong about what she did. My guess is she didn’t just bump into Jed and fall in love with him but CONSCIOUSLY chose not to marry some scrawny Chinese-American and purposely pursued some good-looking white/Jewish guy. In other words, her own kind—at least Chinese males—are not good enough for her. It’s even possible that there is a status-thing among Asian-American women when it comes to sexuality. Since most Asian-American girls hanker after white man—though maybe increasing numbers are going wild about Negroes too—, it’s possible they consider it an honor to be romantically accepted by some white stud. It’s like the sexual equivalent of being accepted into Harvard. In contrast, an Asian-American woman with a Asian-American husband might fear that others will see her as a sexual reject, i.e. since white guys wouldn’t have her, she had to settle for marrying her own gimpy kind. This neurosis could be a part of Amy Chua’s inner-make-up. If true, it might have set off a crisis of identity and inferiority-complex. If she willfully went after a white guy, then she obviously thought a Chinese-American guy is not good enough for her; but, she loves and admires her father and is proud to be Chinese. But how can you be Chinese if you marry a white/Jewish guy and prefer Classical to Chinese music?
This sexual/cultural rejection of Chinese-ness could have paradoxically made Chua more conscious of Chinese identity. Since she rejected Chinese things, she may have tried to redefine and preserve Chinese-ness as a method, a way. So, even though her girls are half-white/Jewish, they are to be raised with ‘Chinese values’. And even though they are to be taught Western classical music, they are to be led in the ‘strenuous input’ calligraphic manner.
Similarly, some of the most vocal blacks on the issue of black identity and pride happen to be light-skinned mulattos, some of whom look far more white than black. Since their authentic blackness has been compromised by race-mixing, they feel a need to compensate by exaggerating their black credentials. There was some of this with Obama himself. A half-whitey—a soam or son of a mudshark—, Obama took up some serious black identity bullshit in college. And like Chua, Obama may have realized in college that his smarts was NOTHING compared to the super-smarts of Jews. He got in through affirmative action, Jews didn’t. Since he couldn’t compete with Jews in the area of intellect and felt small academically, he focused more on his black identity, and used it to win favors—among do-goody white liberals and weasely Jewish supremacists—, even becoming president of Harvard Law Review. Though Chua was no affirmative action baby on the level of Obama, their clinging to issues of race/culture could have had a therapeutic as well as professional value. For Obama, it was more obvious since affirmative action goodies are showered on any black guy with above average intelligence. For Chua, the benefits of race-consciousness may have been more personal in the beginning, but then she later saw how it could be turned into a marketable product. Her subconscious sense of racial betrayal and inferiority complex—that she willfully chose a white/Jewish guy over a Chinese guy because she found most Chinese men repulsive as sexual mates—may have consciously led her to emphasize her sense of Chinese pride and identity. But the truth can be repressed only so much, and there are signs that she may be partly consciously aware of this. Near the end of the book, she recalls a time when her daughters and she went to China. While she was telling her girls about their Chinese heritage, Chinese pointed their fingers—not too nicely—at the girls because they were ‘Eurasian’. To the Chinese, the girls were not really Chinese; if anything, they were more white to their eyes. A part of Chua must have realized, if in a repressed way, that she herself had opted to turn her back on the Chinese, at least biologically. Maybe she used the liberal cosmopolitan argument that there is no such thing as race and it’s all about ‘culture’. So, as long as her daughters were raised with Chinese ‘cultural consciousness’, they would be bona fide Chinese. But the real Chinese didn’t think so, and the girls didn’t feel they belonged in China. If anything, they probably feel closer with Jewish-American friends and relatives in America or with Asian-Americans who try to be as white-as-possible(not least in their sexual mating habits). Perhaps, the Chinese who pointed their fingers and giggled at the girls were not trying to be nasty or rude. Maybe to the Chinese, many of whom are still provincial in their knowledge and experience of the world, it was a curiosity to see mixed-race kids. And if they felt a bit of hostility, maybe it was less toward the kids—who had no choice in their parents—but at the mother, Amy Chua herself. Maybe they found her conceited in (1) marrying some white guy (2) betraying her race and culture (3) having half-white kids (4) coming to China as though she is still a good Chinese (5) showing off her half-white children as something special compared to merely 100% slanty-eyed Chinese kids and etc.
Whether it’s a Muslim-American, Chinese-American, Greek-American, or whatever-American who is revisiting their native countries, there’s bound to some resentment among the natives when they see ‘one of our own’ return from rich powerful America and ‘put on airs’. ‘One of us’ has turned into ‘one of them’, the stupid Americans. In many cases, it could be the whatever-American who’s returned ‘home’ isn’t putting on airs at all but merely being natural(at least in the American way that he or she’s grown used to). But perceptions are everything, and what might simply be ‘acting American’ could been by the poorer and more provincial natives as ‘acting big’. (A Greek-American friend tells me she faced two kinds of hostility when she returned to her home country. On the one hand, there were the ‘have-nots’ who saw her as a traitor and American imperialist; they hated her simply because she had more. But then, there were Greeks of some means who put on airs of being sophisticated and well-dressed, and they sneered at her for dressing too casually and being philistine like most Americans. Since most Greeks feel insignificant in their poor and relatively backward country, some Greeks go out of their way to look extra-good and stylish, and it gives them a certain sneering satisfaction to look down on trashy Greek-Americans who’ve apparently lost their way. Of course, the need for Greeks to feel superior actually betrays their feelings of inferiority.) Such dynamic operates within a country too. If some kid from a small town goes away, becomes successful in the big city, and then returns to his hometown, some people may welcome him as ‘boy who made good’ while others will resent him as ‘mr. bigshot.’ In IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, George Bailey wants to lick the world but remains stuck in Bedford Falls while Sam Wainwright makes his name in the big world. Though Wainwright is an okay guy, we can’t help but sense George’s resentment whenever Wainwright’s around.
There is similarly an element of envy and resentment in BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER, though much of it can be gleaned only between the lines. I think Chua is filled with envy(as well as admiration and respect)for the superior Jewish intellect—and maybe superior male intellect(at the tail end of IQ)since, as smart as she may be, she isn’t of the same caliber as her father and husband; therein may lie the ‘feminist’ aspect of her book, a story of a strong mother pushing her GIRLS to make it in the world. Yet, it’s interesting that she chooses classical music than something like science, math, or engineering for her daughters to excel in. While Chua pushes her girls to get A’s in all classes, it’s as though she wants her daughters to succeed in something aesthetic and performance-oriented than intellect-oriented. (Of course, music education requires a lot of learning and knowledge, but it’s still not advanced physics or chemistry.) It’s as though Chua settled on the highest end of what would make her daughters attractive and appealing that what would make them intellectual and ‘geeky’. So, Chua’s ‘feminism’—if it can be called that—is both modern and traditional. She pushed her girls to work hard to make it to the top, but she also wants them to succeed in areas where their appeal as women would be an asset. (Though classical music isn’t butt-shaking skanky, there is a sensual aspect to an attractive woman ‘making musical love’ to an instrument, and Chua’s girls, if not dropdead gorgeous, are clearly above-average pretty. Their father is a Solomon-like hunk, and Amy Chua is on the attractive side too, though I suspect it was more her bubbly personality than looks that turned Jed on.)
On the subject of envy and resentment, it’s also there between the girls. Though they seem to be loving sisters, we are told that, upon reading the manuscript, Sophia thought the book makes Louisa look good at her own expense, and vice versa. Competitive as they are, their different personalities—more obedient older girl and more willful younger girl—seem to complement one another. There is also the element of cultural envy in Chua’s respect for Western classical music. She says Chinese music comes nowhere near the masterpieces of Beethoven and the like.
But given her active and lively personality, Chua was never one to sit, mope, and simmer in cultural resentment. If it’s better, it’s better, and she’s gonna make her daughters experts in it. In a way, culture belongs to whoever uses it. After all, if black people took elements of white music and made it into ‘black music, and if white people took elements of ‘black music’ and made it into ‘white music’, why shouldn’t Chua’s half-Chinese kids take up classical music—as indeed so many Chinese and Chinese-Americans(as well as Japanese)have done already—though none of them seem able to mold it into ‘Asian music’? You don’t have to be Russian to use the AK-47 or Japanese to master karate and kendo. And you certainly don’t have to be Chinese to order egg rolls. If anything, the cultural resentment associated with classical music may actually go the other way. If Asians and Asian-Americans readily accept the superior musical culture of the West and participate in it, there may be some white/Jewish people who aren’t very happy with Asian/American ‘dominance’ in the field. The reasons for the resentment may differ between white/Jewish liberals and white conservatives/nationalists. White conservatives and nationalists generally don’t produce much of any kind of music except country music and hideous form of rock called ‘black metal’. Of course, rich white conservatives value classical music as a status symbol, and some of them may have genuine affinity for it. Some white conservatives may listen to classical music in church, but most of them prefer pop-like gospel in church. Certain white nationalist elements may be more into classical music but mainly as a symbol of white pride/power than out of genuine appreciation of music. So, Richard Spencer and Tom Sunic begin their audio podcasts with the ominous music of Wagner. For white nationalists, Asian dominance of classical music may be akin to what the Jewish ‘takeover’ of classical music signified for European nationalists in an earlier era: a form of cultural theft and desecration and deracination of Western heritage.
Prior to WWII, which ‘changed everything’, classical music for the European Right was more than an art form; it was the spiritual expression of the Germanic, Latin, or Slavic race. Given the sacred essence and significance of this organic music, who were the damn Jews to be outplaying white performers and gaining prominence as conductors and managers? The extreme policies of Nazism forbade Jewish musicians from performing and banned works by Jewish giants like Mendelssohn and Mahler. Though the reaction of the European Right in regards to Jewish creativity tended to be on the shrill side, we cannot brush it away as mere ‘antisemitism’. Music, especially classical music, became like a religious experience for many Europeans, especially with the rise of the German greats, among whom Wagner the Germanic racialist was perhaps the most important. (The racialization of music is paradoxically both unnatural and natural. More than any artform, music has that transcendental quality. Even if you never read the Bible or the Koran and don’t know anything about their creeds, you can be moved deeply by Christian or Islamic music. You can hate ‘niggers’ and still dig Motown, or you can hate ‘krauts’ and still love Beethoven. Music, like the wind, seems to know no borders. On the other hand, music is the deepest, most heartfelt, and powerful expression of the soul of a person or a people. A Christian feels most Christian when he’s enraptured in gospel music, and a Muslim feels most holy when he listens to one of those halabalalah prayer songs. And a Negro feels most like a Negro when he’s shaking his ass to some funky tune.) Though classical music has spiritual origins in the church, the new faith of the 19th century was nationalism and race-ism(meaning “race + ism = rational belief in races” as opposed to ‘racism’ meaning “irrational hatred of other races”); therefore, the spiritual element of classical music moved away from official religion and became closer to the idea of the kultur and race of a people—or to the creative genius embodying the best of his heritage and people. The music became the soul of a nation, especially in Germany, whose cultural legacy was always bigger on music than literature and other arts. Thus, with the rise of German nationalism and the advance in Darwinian science of racial origins—and with the nationalist theories of Wagner—, many Germans weren’t too thrilled to see so many smart Jews rising in the music world and ‘take over’ the culture. It was as if an alien people were taking control of what was uniquely and proudly German. (There is an element of this in black musical ideology too. Though some blacks appreciate the fact that white musicians have admired and learned from black music, others feel resentment that ‘honkeys’ and Jews be stealin’ black music. According to Afro-centrists, ancient Egyptians were black, and therefore, white folks stealin’ from black folks go back 3000 yrs when them faggoty Greek white boys done stole from Egyptian libraries filled with scrolls written by black scholars. Oddly enough, Afro-centrists say Socrates was black too, so I don’t know what is going on here. Did a Greek Negro steal from Egyptian Negroes? Anyway, it’s not unusual for blacks—and white liberal toadies like Ken Burns—to say that all Gershwin and Elvis really did were ‘steal’ from black folks. Paul Simon, after he came out with GRACELAND album, was accused by a Howard University student in an interview of stealing ‘African music’. By the way, ironic as it is, though we tend to consider German culture and African culture to be extreme opposites—Aryan nationalism vs jiggerish Afro-jive—, there are similarities to their cultural, political, and sexual appeal. Perhaps, the two most musical peoples—at least in worldwide popularity—have been Germans and Negroes. Germans were the masters of classical music, blowing away all other peoples by a mile. Negroes, or at least Negro influence, came to dominate much of pop music in the 20th century. The appeal of both cultures is essentially ‘irrational’, passionate, aggressive, powerful, charismatic, voluptuous, and overwhelming. Sure, the nature of the emotions and expressions are different, with German classical music emphasizing nobility, beauty, solemnity, and grandeur while much of black music emphasizes zippity zap and doo woppity flap; even so, black music is not without grandeur with bellowing voices of Negro gospel; and it’s not without beauty in the soaring vocals of Marvin Gaye and the lushness of the Supremes. The overall effect has been to blindside admirers of German culture and black culture to the dark side of Germanness and Negroness—or even the dark sides have been made appealing by virtue of their overpowering musical expression. German music is so beautiful, powerful, sublime, and etc, that it’s easy to fall head-over-heels in love with Germanness. Having thus become smitten with Germanness, one can easily overlook the dark side of the German character or romanticize it in Wagnerian terms as grandiose, profound, and deep. Wagner even made the utter destruction of the world at the end of GOTTERDAMMERUNG sound and feel thrilling, ecstatic, and redemptive—and some far-right Germanophile clods romanticize the destruction of WWII as if it was one great Wagnerian opera; their logic goes, “since the Germans were so cool and magnificent, they had the right to inflame the world in a kind of grand theater.” Maybe if it weren’t for the heritage of German musical culture, fewer people would have been hoodwinked into supporting, apologizing for, or tolerating the rise of Nazism. Hitler both sincerely saw himself as the heir-apparent of the Wagnerian tradition and cynically employed German high culture to mask his gangsterism. Given the admiration for German culture, many Englishmen became especially sensitive to German plight after WWI. Had Germans not produced such great musical culture, there might have been less sympathy for German suffering and less rationalization of Hitler’s rise as necessary for redeeming German honor. After all, who cared about Ukranian suffering in the 1930s under the Soviets? Most Europeans associated Ukrainians with drunken Cossacks, not Beethoven, Brahms, and Wagner. Why do we care more about Tibetans than about Uighurs in China? Because we associate Tibet with Shangri-La spirituality whereas Uighurs are seen as a bunch of ragtag ‘Muzzies’. Sympathy and support for a people seems to be related to their culture; greater and more admired the culture is, more sympathy the people is bound to receive; the more we are likely to overlook, forgive, or rationalize their sins. One reason why we support Jews in Israel over Palestinians is because we associate Jews with Einstein, Bellow, Dylan, Horowitz, and many other great men whereas it’s difficult to name one great Palestinian, which is why Edward Said was so important to the Palestinian cause; he was like the lone superstar for the Palestinians. Since Germans were associated with great musical culture in the 19th century and early 20th century—when indeed symphonic music may well have been the most revered art form in the Western World—, many people had a natural sympathy for the ‘noble Germans’ after WWI—and Germans, largely due to their pride of musical culture, were filled with wounded pride. Though there was widespread fear of Germany and revival of ‘Prussian militarism’, there was also a lot of mushy feeling for Germany. Perhaps, no artform was as central to Nazism as classical music—though architecture came close, but then Hitler’s visual imagination was essentially Wagnerian—, and this indicates that Hitler was well aware of the cultural stakes and advantages at hand. For people like him, the idea of Jews playing German music was like a Jew defiling a German woman. And of course, we cannot pretend that Jewish participation in classical music was purely out of admiration. Jews, with a different racial personality, spiritual traditional, and national consciousness than European gentiles, were bound to have different ideas and approaches to the music and tradition. As far as German nationalists were concerned, Jews could learn to play the music well—indeed even better than Germans—, but they were playing as outsiders; they were mastering technique without understanding the true soul of the music which could only have flowed from the authentic ‘Aryan’ soul—just like a Negro might say when Eric Clapton plays the blues, he’s imitating the sound externally without really accessing the Negro soul within the music. Anyway, if admiration for German musical culture/soul blindsided many Europeans to the dark side of Germanism, nowadays, the admiration of black music/soul has blindsided many white people to the far darker side of the Negro. While Germans could become collectively crazy, they were still a civilized people. Even if Nazis had won and carried out all manner of horrors, it would not have been the end of civilization; an evil civilization is still better than end of civilization. While Negroes can be wonderful in musical expression, rise of Negro numbers/power means death for any civilized society. But people are blindsided to the dangers of Negrohood because they are addicted to Negro music, just as so many Europeans, in their great admiration for Germanic music, had been blind to the danger Germans posed to other nations. Germans and Negroes have also been admired for their physique and athleticism, and this admiration, while stirring up fear in some, have also excited passion in others. Today, the basic trope of professional wrestling is Teutonism, with Thor-and-Conan-like muscle men pretending to bash one another. Though Hulk Hogan, the great blonde icon of the 80s, has been usurped by mulattos like the Rock, the thick-skulled muscle-flexing goes back to the lore of Germanic heroes battling the giants—and also to Greek heroes and the Roman gladiator fights where the most popular matches were between the powerful Negro savage and big Germanic barbarian. Though Romans and Christianity did much to tame the Germanic barbarian soul, it survived musically and philosophically, re-emerging as Nietzscheannism and Wagerianism, and then culminating in WWI and especially WWII. It was truly tamed only after WWII, but this required radical surgery. German people/culture were allowed to survive but only if they were castrated and pussified; the bargain was harsh, but given the sheer madness of WWII, it seemed sane at the time. Perhaps, the demise of German cultural pride and essence has a fatal impact on all of Europe. If England and France represented the rational mind of Europe, Germans represented the passionate soul, or the heart of Europe. Thus, German music, even with the association with rising German nationalism, spoke and felt for all of Europe. Geographically and emotionally, Germany was at the very center of Europe, between east and west, north and south. This culture had potential to do a great amount of good or evil; it was used for evil in WWII, and the military and political defeat of Germany also had the effect of destroying the soul of Europe. Worse, WWII wasn’t merely a military conflict among nations but defined by Nazi Germans in terms of the noblest ideas, values, and peoples of Europe combating the forces of evil, ugliness, and rottenness—especially Jews, communists, and Russian hordes. When all of German culture was packaged and used as an instrument of cultural/spiritual as well as military war by psychopaths and degenerates like Hitler and Himmler, defeat wasn’t simply going to be military but civilizational. After all, Germans had lost wars before, especially during the Napoleonic era, without losing their pride and confidence in Germanness. Defeat in WWII was bound to be different because the stakes were much higher. It was also bound to be far more humiliating and shameful since the greatest achievements of Western civilization—from the Ancient Greeks to German classical music—had been invoked in the service of a truly foul ideology; but then, this can also be said for communism, an ideology that promised liberation and justice to redeem all of history and mankind, only to bring forth so much death and destruction. In some ways, Wagner, more than the ultimately cartoonish Hitler and his henchmen, embodied the contradiction within the core of Western Civilization, especially as expressed by German music that came to represent Europe’s heart and soul. Wagner may well have been the greatest artist of the 19th century, a genius who created the most sublime, powerful, and transcendental music, but he was also a man of astounding callousness, immorality, pettiness, and vanity; and most of his theories outside music tended to be on silly side, some flat-out crazy. The example of Wagner cautions us against the cult of personality. A man with the soul of a god may lack the soul of a man. Anyway, defeat in WWII opened Germany to accusations of rottenness not only politically but spiritually, soulfully, culturally, and historically. Thus, Holocaustianity in Germany now requires Germans not only to hate Hitler and Nazis but to be insanely self-loathing and suspicious of all aspects of German culture and history. But given the musical/spiritual power German culture once had over all of Europe, the defeat and humiliation of the German soul also meant the demise of the European soul. If the powerful barbaric German soul was finally tamed, the savage Negro soul is on the loose and growing more powerful. If German barbaric energy became associated with oppression, Negro savage aggression has become associated with rebellion against white oppression. So, even though blacks are now the oppressors running around the streets, beating up white boys, and taking white girls, the Negro, especially with the support of Jewish-controlled media, has become the Eternal Victim with the license to rob, rape, and murder honkeys who, no matter how brutalized by blacks and robbed by Jews, will always be seen as the evil ‘racist’ oppressor of all mankind. Anyway, it’s really the power of black rhythm and vocality that have turned blacks into a kind of chosen-soulful-people in the popular imagination; due to the vocal power of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and the like, many white people now believe that blacks are indeed more spiritual, more soulful, more passionate, deeper, more authentic, etc. than all the other races combined. Thus, in our irrational admiration for black soulfulness, we are blind to the danger posed to civilization by crazy Negroes. Thus, in an odd way, Negroes have become like the funky Germans. The appeal of both Germanism and Negroism is related to the power of charisma. Though Allan Bloom in CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND fixated on the negative influence of German philosophy/culture on modern history/ideology, he could have been slyly implying that the American infatuation with Negro culture/politics is a kind of replay of the earlier infatuation with all things German. Though Bloom doesn’t say much about blacks or black culture, he condemns Rock music, especially as represented by the Rolling Stones. The music of the Rolling Stones was essentially white guys taking inspiration from black music, or white people acting like ‘wild crazy niggers’. Thus, Bloom could have been hinting at the parallels between the cult of charisma in both German and Negro culture. Both cultures are bigger on passion and expression than on reason, facts, and moderation. Nietzsche was a speculative philosopher whose ideas couldn’t be understood apart from his emotions; one might even say he primarily used his reason to conduct his emotional symphonies. In certain strains of German thought, the emotion and thought welded into one. Heidegger wrote a tome on ‘being’ that dispensed with conventional reasoning on the meaning of existence. The emphasis was on being ‘authentic’. Truth wasn’t so much a matter of true of false but what FEELS true or false. Thus, Bloom says in his book that he notes a similarity between the Nazi Nuremberg Rally and Woodstock. Though vastly different in form, expression, and message, both mass events shared the primacy of emotions over thought as truth. For the Nazis, it was the FEELING of belonging to a holistic organic community of Aryan warriors and mothers whose blood flowed with sacred purity. For the hippies, it was the sense that using drugs, having orgies, shitting all over, and blasting loud rock music—climaxing with the Afro-Gotterdammerung-ism of Jimi Hendrix—would restore the Garden. So, the two events, while different in their outward manifestations, shared a common irrational root according to Bloom. Jonah Goldberg sort of expanded on this theme in LIBERAL FASCISM. The irony of the Alternative Right community is it denigrates rationalism and obsesses about ‘white authenticity’ in opposition to Negro power and passion, but its Nietzscheanism shares with Negro-ism the preference for ‘authentic’ feeling of community over reasoned consideration of facts. The Alternative Right community welcomes facts ONLY WHEN they flatter the white right’s sense of racial power and superiority—higher IQ over blacks, physically more attractive than Jews—, but it cannot handle facts when they undermine the pampered sense of white—especially Northern European—self-esteem and greatness. Thus, it features the embarrassingly unscientific analysis spouted by Caste Football whose denial of black superiority in sports is as laughable as politically correct denial that black IQ is generally lower than that of whites. So, Alternative Right only deals with selective truth of therapeutic value to stoke racial self-esteem premised on white supremacism. Anyway, Negro-ism vs. Alternative Rightism—as defined by Richard Spencer and Alex Kurtagic—boils down to Nigga vs Nitcha. Both sides embrace a form of irrationalism and selective factualism. They are both about the ‘authenticity’ of racial identity and pride than the real truths of racial differences that call for sober analysis and appraisal. But modern power-politics isn’t simply about whites vs blacks; there is the crucial Jewish factor. Though Jews are the leading promoters of globalism that supposedly transcends and unites all races, they are also acutely aware of what is Jewish and what isn’t Jewish. Among modern secular Jews, the new Kosher-ism is determining what is Jewish as opposed to merely Western or European. Though Jews bitch and whine about how Europeans hadn’t accepted Jews as full-fledged Europeans but regarded them as an ‘alien’ element, Jews themselves have long insisted on a sense of intellectual, historical, and cultural separateness. Thus, the NY Times review of THE GERMAN GENIUS questions the book’s inclusion of certain thinkers, scientists, and artists as ‘Germanic’ when they may more properly be considered as ‘Jewish’. Take Freud, Kafka, Heine, and many others. Indeed, a Polish-Jewish writer is generally considered by Jews to be Jewish than Polish, or a Jew who wrote in Polish than a Polish who happened to be also Jewish. I mean what is Roman Polanski? Polish? American? French? If he can be said to be anything, it’s Jewish, which is why the international Jewish community has been protecting him from American prosecution for having drugged and anal-raped a twelve year old girl. The Jewish culture of separateness could partly be attributed to antisemitic attitudes among goyim who refused to fully accept Jews, but the other reason is Jews—even secular modern—ones have long insisted on their separateness, uniqueness, and specialness; indeed, many Jews, Freud included, took great pride in their outsider-trouble-maker-ness. There is also the factor of higher Jewish intelligence. If Jewish IQ were on par or equal to the IQ of the goy, perhaps modern Jews would have been more willing to blend in. But since Jews tend to see goyim as dumber, there’s been a tendency for Jews to maintain their separate superiority in relation to the goyim—just like more intelligent white South Africans didn’t want to blend in with the dumber black Africans. Of course, Jews would never say this publicly as it smacks of arrogance, supremacism, and contempt, but any honest observer can palpably feel the Jewish disdain for less intelligent goyim. But Jews are well aware that a small number of goyim are actually quite intelligent—even smarter than most Jews—, and it is with those goyim that Jews mate and have kids, thus appropriating elite goy genes into the Jewish bloodstream. Thus, smart gentiles who might have become leaders of their own community have been absorbed into the Jewish community, and their half-Jewish children will grow up with Jewish consciousness—just like Amy Chua’s daughters. And given that many Jews prefer goy looks to their own, absorbing the best of goyim—best looking or most intelligent—will likely improve the genetic characteristics of Jews. If many Germans in the 19th and early 20th centuries were upset with Jewish entry into areas such as German classical music and if some Negroes have been angered by the sight of white musicians ‘stealing’ from Negro music, Jews have also been angry with what non-Jews usurping Jewish ideas and power. Though American conservatism won some Jews to its side—though, in the end, it was more like Jewish neocons won Christian conservatives to their side—, many more Jews are offended by the nature of Christian Zionism. Liberal Jews don’t believe that dumb bigoted Evangelical dummies should wrap themselves in the Israeli flag as if they own it and know what is really good for the Jews. Conservative historians like Paul Johnson and Andrew Roberts are effusive in their praise of Jews and even goes so far as to define the essence of Jewishness, but most Jews are not buying it—and for good reason since both Johnson and Roberts are lying snakes whose sucking up to Jews is essentially cynical and opportunistic—, though, to be sure, some Jews see Johnson/Robert’s shameless shtick for what it is but choose to tolerate it because ass-kissing tributes to Jewish greatness has a certain pathetic charm, especially when Jews keep farting in their faces but they keep coming to kiss more to be farted on more. But of course, the biggest kosher beef that Jews have with goyim stealing from Jewish culture is none other than Christianity itself. Though Jesus and early Christians were Jewish, in time the new religion got appropriated by goyim who twisted the meaning of Jewish history and God to their own advantage. Thus, the most important spiritual possession of the Jews, indeed their greatest cultural invention, became the instrument of the Christian goyim to bash and torment Jews. But just as gentiles took elements of Jewish culture and wielded it against Jews, modern Jews have learned how to take elements of Christianity and meld it with the grand narrative of Jewish ‘martyrdom’ to invent a new spiritual faith called Holocaustianity. Thus, whereas Christians used to feel morally superior to Jews, aka the killers of Christ, now Christians feel guilty for the mass murder of God’s Chosen People. Jews won back what the goyim had stolen from them for nearly 2000 yrs, and in spades. Though the tyranny and mass killings of Jews by Nazis have as their closest counterpart the totalitarian tyranny and mass killings by Stalin and his Jewish henchmen, American Jews have chosen to suppress the fact that Soviet Union was largely the creation of communist Jews and to stress the parallels between antisemitic Nazism and ‘racist’ white America’s treatment of Negroes. It could be one reason why Jews prefer the Negro narrative over the American Indian narrative is because what Zionists did to Palestinians in Israel was like what whites did to Indians. Also, the tragedy of American-Indians is that of a native people losing their land to newcomers. Since the Jewish ideology is for open borders and the eradication of established cultures and communities in both America and Europe, the story of Negro diaspora melds better with their narrative than that of American Indians who lost their lands to white invaders. Today, whites have become the Indians who are losing their lands to the Third World invasion orchestrated by hideous Jews. Anyway, since Holocaustianity has become linked with MLK-ism—with your typical WWII documentary on PBS stressing parallels between Nazi racial killings of Jews with white American racial discrimination of Negroes—, there isn’t much cultural pride left in Christian morality. To be a good Christian, you have to suck up to Jews and worship MLK more than God and Jesus.)
If white nationalist types dislike the prevalence of Asians in classical music because it’s “our music”, white/Jewish liberals, though ideologically committed to ‘diversity’, may feel threatened by Asian presence in classical music because the competition has gotten fiercer. It’s pretty tough to make any kind of living playing classical music as it is; now, whites and Jews have to compete with a whole bunch of Asians. White and Jewish musicians may consider themselves to be more committed to the spirit, meaning, and personality of the music while Asians practice, practice, and practice to play it correctly. Since many Asians technically play better, they are often chosen over white and Jewish musicians who may focus more on personality and uniqueness of style. Though white and Jewish musicians are loathe to say it bluntly—since it sounds stereotypical and maybe even ‘racist’—, such fears and anxieties may well exist. I recall reading an article in the NY Times in the early 90s about some East Coast community with an elite private highschool. There was a small community made up of families of Japanese workers stationed in America. Being ‘grinds’, Japanese students in these American schools did very well, often better than American students, and this upset many American parents who felt that Japanese students’ performance undermined the chances of their own children to make it top colleges. It was especially upsetting because the Japanese students had no long-term plans in America and would eventually return to Japan with their parents. I’m guessing this particular community was on the liberal cosmopolitan side ideologically, but fierce competition brings out the tribalist in everyone. Who knows, maybe lots of Asians themselves are not happy with the Asian association with classical music. Though classical music has a valued pedigree among certain elite circles, it is a dying culture. Reports say classical concert attendees are getting older and older, with little sign of appreciation among the young. Indeed, even your ‘sophisticated’ NPR listener is much more likely to be into Jazz and Afro-pop than into classical music. Classical music is considered by many to be stodgy, pompous, overblown, stuffy, repressed, and etc. At its worst, it is associated with the sort of sordidly inhuman characters in Haneke’s THE PIANO TEACHER. And given the Germanic core of much of classical music—and what Germany means to many people thanks to WWII and the Holocaust—, it no longer has the hold on cultural imagination and reverence it once did. Also, people think of classical music as ‘lame’ stuff without the beat where performers play the same notes over and over in exactly the same way as if they’re robots. True or not, perception is reality. Classical music though to be museum-like; at worst, even implicitly ‘racist’, attracting the sort of people who cannot stand ‘nigger music’. Anyway, given that most Asians are surely more into pop music, videogames, and sports than classical music, it may be no great pride for Asians to know that Asian performers are prominent in classical music.
Now, we come to the third part of BATTLE HYMN’s hidden meaning, which I think has something to do with Chua’s wounded emotions in relation to her father. On the surface, Chua is filled with love and admiration for her father, and I don’t doubt her sincerity for a minute. She remembers episodes in her life when her father said mean and what-we-might-consider-as-cruel things to her, but she takes them in stride, saying that her father was a man of his times, wanted the best for her daughters, and was being strong for the family. He wasn’t being mean just to be mean but to push his children to be successful and respected members of society. He pushed her to excel because he believed in her potential, not because he took sadistic pleasure from insulting children. Besides, Chua tells us, Chinese and Western folks have different views about raising children. Western—at least since the late 60s—parents tend to see their children as sensitive, vulnerable, and tender creatures who need to be coddled and shown lots of affection. (Of course, there is no single American or Western style of parenting. Since Chua hangs around mostly successful liberal white people, her view of what is ‘Western’ may be severely distorted since most Americans of all backgrounds do not share the values and privileges of upper crust elites, for better or worse. From my personal experience with friends and relatives, the so-called Western model of the coddling and sensitive parent has never been part of any social reality I’ve known. Most parents of my friends tended to be tough/decent, tough/not-so-decent, neglectful/selfish, or not-there-at-all. But if we were go by popular culture and mass media, I suppose there has been a kind of consensus as to what an ideal parent should be—though, these days, media tell us that ‘gay parents are the best’, an indication of how debased modern liberalism has become. But I suppose among the affluent, pampered, and well-educated, there could be a culture of sensitive parenting, though the reasons could be varied. Maybe some boomers resented the brusque patriarchalism of greatest-generational parenting and decided to be nicer to their own children. Or maybe affluent kids were raised nicely by their parents, and that’s the only social and emotional reality they know: to be nurturing. Or maybe spoiling their children is a form of youth rebellion by other means, i.e. a refusal to grow up. People who wanna stay young forever and see themselves as rebels—who’d stood up to their parents—are likely to face an emotional crisis when they are now the parents. Thus, by being extra-sensitive to their kids and telling them about the evils of tyranny and power, the parents get to revive their cult of rebellion through their children, which is rather odd since their children are not so much being taught to be rebel as being spoon-fed a ready-made formula of rebellion. Or, maybe, by being so nice to their kids, rebel-parents hope that the kids will not rebel against them, which would after all be rather humiliating since they, the parents, are supposed to be the youthful rebellions forever. In Chua’s case, her tough parenting could be a way of showing off some street cred to softy whites—like she’s been to the dark alley of human emotions and been beaten and bruised, but it only made her tougher—, but such need to display her ‘badassness’ betrays a feeling of insecurity on her part. If she’s so tough, why does she have to show it off so much? She wears Tiger Motherhood too much like a prison tattoo or a boastful war wound. It’s rather like the Japanese in the 80s huffing and puffing about how they are so tough and disciplined while Americans, especially blacks and Hispanics, are so razy; there’s an element of exaggeration to it.) Chinese parents, in contrast, tend to see their children as hardy little critters who can take lots of abuse—and indeed should because what-doesn’t-kill-you-will-only-make-you-stronger. (With the one-child policy in China, it’s possible that Chua’s view of Chinese parenting is antiquated in China itself. Since Chinese parents can only have one child, there may be a tendency to spoil and indulge the precious kid. Incidentally, Ian Buruma, the noted Dutch-Jewish-English Japan scholar, said Japanese kids, especially the boys, are raised as total brats until the age of six, whence they are suddenly, possibly traumatically, tossed into a system of rigid discipline and adherence to social conformity. I don’t know if this is true with the Chinese as well, but it would explain why so many Japanese are weird.)
It may be easier for Chua to love her father because things worked out fine for her. If she hadn’t made the grade and made something of herself, her assessment of her father and of herself may have been very different. But having succeeded, she could tell herself that her father’s way of parenting was vindicated after all. To be sure, Chua doesn’t say the Chinese way is perfect. We are told that living in America was a learning experience for her father as well, who grew more tolerant and understanding as a man. And Chua writes of a younger sister who was born with Downs Syndrome. She says her parents initially felt shame and disgust to have such a kid in the family, but the Western-Christian culture of compassion won them over to being supportive and even proud of her when she won medals in the Paralympics. So, Chua’s tiger parenting is really one of those hybrids of ‘best of west combined with best of east’.
That said, there had to have been some lingering emotions of bitterness and anger repressed in Chua’s heart in regards to her father. I mean no child can feel happy being called ‘trash’, especially in Chinese which isn’t the prettiest of languages. Chua was personally tough enough to weather the storm, study hard, work hard, attend the premier college in America, and all that, but a part of her may have wanted to an apology from her father. But my hunch is that Chinese don’t much have a culture of apology, especially involving a parent, especially the patriarch of the family, having to say ‘sorry’ or admitting he was wrong to the child, especially a daughter. The most pointed and even moving part of the book was when Chua drives Louisa to tears and near-madness, whereupon even her father tells her she’s gone too far. It’s as if by pushing her daughter to tears and heartache she somehow steered her father to see the pain and hurt of Chinese parenting, the pain he’d caused her. It could have been Chua’s way of telling him, “YOU did this to ME.” Given the nature of parent-child relations among Chinese, neither the father could apologize nor could the daughter ask for his apology. Thus, the only way to rub her father’s face in the cruelty of Chinese parenting was to openly demonstrate it on her daughter Louisa.
When Chua’s father berated and belittled her when she was young, she had no one to turn to—her mother probably thought the father was right in everything—, and so she took the pain in silence and swallowed the bitterness. So, pushing matters to the point where her father interceded to protect Louisa from her could have been a psychodramatic way of squeezing an ounce of gentleness that she had always wanted from him. Thus, in a strange way, Louisa becomes Amy’s alter ego; by winning the affection of her grandfather, Amy’s father, and by successfully rebelling against her mother—unwittingly playing the role of her tough father—, Louisa-as-Amy-surrogate finally breaks free of the buried trauma of tiger-parenting. In a way, one could say Amy loses or loses to Louisa, but, in another way, Amy is finally liberated through her. Unconsciously, Amy may have been pushing her daughters not just to excel but to rebel; she may have not only wanted to share in their success but in their freedom. In terms of tiger parenting, Sophia was the greater success, but in terms of ‘born free’ lion-izing, Louisa was the one who unlocked her mother’s caged fury. Though Chua says that pivotal emotional moment was a great lesson for her—that she may indeed have taken it too far—, I sense the other great value of that moment was she finally made her father to condemn, if only indirectly, what he had too often done to his daughters. Of course, this is psychological speculation, but such things have been observed in children. A child with abusive parents will abuse the family dog or cat not only because abuse begats abuse but also in the hope that the parent will admonish the child for the cruel behavior. Thus, in an indirect manner, the child comes to hold a mirror to his parents as if to say, “if it’s wrong for me to abuse the dog, why do you abuse me?”
BATTLE HYMN OF TIGER MOTHER is more media hype than anything else, but it still offers some interesting insights into the lifestyles and tensions of the modern elites composed of Jews and other rising nationalities.