Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The whole owing a life thing

I was watching some vids on Facebook of a Chinese American Actor- Nathan Jung or something like that. Some of the clips also had Bruce Lee in "Here comes the Brides."
And one thing that came up was the "If I save your life, now you owe me your life." I saw this concept come up in the Corrupter too. Interestingly, I've never seen this concept in a Chinese movie. There is the whole idea if someone does something for you, they owe you. But if you saved a crime boss's life, he would give you a reward or whatever but they aren't going to suddenly become subservient to you or something. 

I also found all the old old stories about the Tongs, like way back, to be really interesting and how most of the stuff out there is just plain racist. I mean essentially these organizations are just that. Groups of people. Just like the Sons of Liberty or any other organization. 

I bought Wing Kai To's book about Chinatown and it mentions some stuff, basically a round up of Chinese people way back in the day which was both cartoonish and racist.  But looking at all the old stories.. I mean when do they stop? The same sort of thing was happening in the 70's with raiding gambling houses, and mostly it seems just because the police get to pocket a lot of the money, and with all the stereotypes in the movies and TV.. I mean nothing really has changed much. You look at a Charlie Chan movie and his kids are IVY league and they compete well at sports and they make it into the American dream already. So theoretically if you look at that then, then now Chinese should be accepted and part of the mainstream. But instead... it seems like it's almost the same situation now as it was then. Or maybe things got worse during wars with Asian countries, and now things are getting better again as we are fighting wars with Middle Eastern countries. 

To find more human stories am I going to have to go collect those myself? I mean for the really old ones not that many people are alive who can tell those. Maybe some were passed down. In fact there are a lot of stories that are just floating around and people seem to take it as a mark on future generations if your past generations were involved with crime somehow. 

Shoot if that's the case then what about slavery? Nobody really feels to guilty about that? I mena people talk about the Kennedy's being bootleggers but does anyone really think the name Kennedy and think the word shame? How about Warren Delano? His name came up because Ted Cruz quoted him in a debate. He was a big time Opium dealer in China, and FDR's grandfather. In fact, that makes me wonder if that there was some lasting connection between families that made it possible for the head of the Boston Tong to get FDR as a lawyer. What's the story their? The point is, a lot of the ways Chinese culture and Chinatown's history is represented is not only one sided.. it's just boring. But the truth is so interesting and historically significant. I mean I've been to places where much less was turned into some tourist attraction and really pumped up like it was a big deal. 

Nobody is going to pump up Chinatown FOR Chinatown. In the end Chinatown has to do it for itself. Either that or an outsider has to be able to cash in big time for doing it.
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