Dive into the archives.
- Zhang Yimou convo
These days I’m working on a book for a Beijing-based architecture studio called MAD. Among other things, the book is a collection of conversations with people with people from across Chinese society (from hair dressers to government officials) and experts from outside, including Ian Buruma and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Sooo…. today my colleague Shuyu and I talked with Zhang Yimou, director of Raise the Red Lantern and Hero, among many others.
He struck me cool, calm, and collected. The main thing that struck me was his voice and gentle, subtly dramatic way of speaking.
I can’t post the interview before the book drops, of course. But here’s a little taste of man’s speech.
In case you’re wondering, we were asking him how his success abroad has affected his ability to work in China. He said something like, “There’s an old saying in China: ‘The blossom inside the wall is usually appreciated from the outside.’…”
Anyway, I’ll hopefully post some more about the book as it develops. It’s got to be printed by the beginning of November, so….
- The Tooth Hurts (Episode III)
The final chapter…
We’re redirected to the appropriate facility, a smaller, similar-looking building in the same complex. I’m whisked through and have an x-ray taken. There’s almost no pre-procedure wait, but a long post-procedure wait. This is perhaps for the best, because the vibe in the x-ray waiting room is considerable less assuring than in the last one. The old pleather waiting sofas have been replaced with wooden and plastic benches, like you might find in a country church or long-distance bus station. There is a TV, but it is off. The walls are concrete, coated with a lifeless pastel in the Socialist tradition. Along the far wall, brown streaks traceable to asbestos-laden pipes (?!) upset the critical balance of new and old, clean and unhygenic. Still, it smells and otherwise looks clean. Perhaps due to the absence of ominous electrical sounds, the atmosphere is calmer and more social. People are stretched out napping, others caught up in boisterous conversation. There are more children. Many are chunky little emperors, and I realize that fat Chinese boys are actually mini middle aged men – proportionally the same, with the same protruding belly, same slow, duck-like waddle. These thoughts are stupid but distracting; gradually my paranoia dissipates and I start to enjoy the wait.
At least for a while. In the end, the x-ray takes an hour to arrive. This is not really a big deal, since I still have two more hours to wait til the doctor will see me. Xiao Mi has to go meet someone for lunch, so I’m left to my own devices – those devices being specifically my ipod, mobile phone, and notebook. I spend the next hours in a media cocoon of my own creation. I have almost no memory of this time.
- The Tooth Hurts (Episode II)
After a rundown of my condition and a brief look, the dentist pronounces my 2/3 tooth terminal. Nothing can be done to repair it, she explains, it will have to be crushed to dust and replaced with a fake. I consider the verdict. I remember the golden teeth on the waiting room poster. A full set of gold teeth – like Trick Daddy – would be too much, certainly. But a single golden tooth – like Dr. Teeth from the Muppets – could give me just the edge I need to take my aesthetic to the next level. A flashy souvenir from a checkered past to which I can refer in fictional nightclub conversation. Plus, I’d always have something to pawn when money gets tight… This new development is a win-win as far as I’m concerned. Where do I sign???
- The Tooth Hurts (Episode I)
Last night at dinner a piece of my tooth mysteriously broke off. I hate dentists, particularly ones I don’t know, and for a while I contemplated keeping my unexpected weight loss to myself. But unattracted to the idea of chewing on one side of my mouth for the rest of my life, I decided to come clean. Today friend/medical rep Xiao Mi and I made a day trip to the local dentist. This is our story…. (Fade out)
- Sunday Morning Music
At extra long last I’ve made the transition from analog to digital music man. For the past year my record collection has been collecting dust in a storage locker near the Rotterdam docks, effectively shutting down my second life as DJ Expensive Jewelry.
That is with the exception of one alienated evening playing classic house for a crowd full of drunken businessmen and prostitutes in Donguan, as seen this this little clip (shout to my co-DJ Charlie aka DJ Koolie for the camera work):
Feel the energy??
But thanks to a work-free weekend and the open-source music application Audacity I’m getting back at it – this time as the type of MP3-only DJ that a younger me would probably not respect.
I made my first mix yesterday. I’m still getting used to this weird, non-physical style of mixing, so it’s a little rough, but the songs are good, so I thought why not put it up. It’s called Sunday Morning, and is made up of some of my favorite down tempo hip hop songs. The vibe suits my mood these days, so it probably speaks better for me than I do….
It’s blended into one track, but here are the songs:
Common – Misunderstood
Outkast & Ceelo – In due time
Ceelo – Die Tryin
Immortal Technique – You never know
Da Backwudz – Feelin lonely
DTP – Growing pains
De la soul – Trying people
Devin tha dude – Briar patch
UGK – One day you’re here, then you’re gone
Nas – Project windows (original)
Biggie – You’re nobody til somebody kills you
J Dilla – Bye
You can download it here. Right click, save as….