Is every White guy in Asia a loser?

I’ve been checking out the YouTubeiverse, mostly checking out Jvloggers in Japan. It’s pretty cool how many voices are out there. When I hear them talk about Japan, I recognize truth in lots of their remarks about cultural differences. It’s interesting stuff. It’s particularly interesting to hear from jvloggers who have spent years in Japan and have decided to live there permanently. I always wondered what life would be like if I stayed. There was no YouTube when I lived in Japan, so I didn’t get the benefit of hearing all this.

All kinds of unfortunate craziness

Let me start by saying that this used to be a discussion/current events blog. But if you look at my tagline, it says “common sense,” and as I’m sure you all know, no one is listening. These days, I don’t see the point in trying to communicate common sense. I was going to blog about the terrible killing of Alton Sterling, followed by Philando Castile, but now four cops have been murdered in retaliation. Michael Brown’s mother has aa op-ed piece about the murders in the NY Times, although I don’t know why they would give her that space. Her “good boy” Michael was killed while attempting to violently murder a police officer–quite a different situation from Alton Sterling’s. But emotions are ruling the day. Since this is a common sense blog, feel free to share your views on any of these killings below.

Brexit

Photo credit: Andrew Testa for the New York Times

Photo credit: Andrew Testa for the New York Times

I’m in shock. I think it’s hard to fathom exactly how bad Brexit will be, not just for Britain, but for all of Europe and the rest of the world. From what I’ve read, I have to agree with the experts that xenophobia was the driving force behind this. Tribalism has run amok, both on the Far Right and the Far Left. It’s invaded our own country with the Trump campaign, and it’s showing no signs of abating. This is going to be terrible for the world economy.

Studying Japanese

Happy Father’s Day! I think this blog is deader (is that a word? It should be) than it’s ever been, but I’m assuming it’s because all of us have lives. Plus, I think most of us are moderates, and most of us probably are tired of seeing voices of moderation drowned out by the Trumpkins and Bernie Bros. We’re all sad that the only choice that makes sense is the least of the three evils who might put a private server in the White House bathroom. I’m guessing that most of you are probably like me, waiting for all the ridiculousness of the fringies to wear itself out. Hopefully the voices of reason will eventually come back.

China facing a sperm shortage

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There’s a funny article today about China facing a sperm shortage. According to the article, there’s a cultural barrier:

For one thing, Chinese traditional medicine has long associated high levels of semen with vitality, making some men reluctant to give any away. In addition, despite rising rates of infertility, many families are uncomfortable with using an unrelated man’s sperm to father children, arguing that it goes against Confucian values.

Why is Bernie still in the race?

Why is Bernie still in the race? The math is clear: he can’t win. Shouldn’t he do the right thing and drop out? It’s like playing chess and being down a queen in an otherwise equal position against a grandmaster. You know he’s going to trade off everything and mate you with the queen, so why push it? It’s honorable to resign. In Bernie’s case, why doesn’t he congratulate his opponent on making history? By stepping down, he could help the party unite.

“Textbook definition of a racist comment”

Paul Ryan’s condemnation of Donald Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel is as strong as it could have been. He said:

Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable.

But Paul Ryan is still not withdrawing his endorsement of Trump. He says it’s because Hillary is not the answer and that he has a better chance of getting his ideas into law with Trump. While that may be true, Ryan seems to be missing the bigger picture. With this racist attack against a Hispanic judge, Trump is undermining the entire government. What good are laws if the commander-in-chief is working to undermine them?

Muhammad Ali, Rest in Peace

From Laila Ali's Twitter, pic of Muhammad Ali and his granddaughter

From Laila Ali’s Twitter, pic of Muhammad Ali and his granddaughter

Muhammad Ali…I’m not sure what words there are to say. He really was the greatest, not just because of what he accomplished in the ring, but because of how his accomplishments in the ring combined with his political activism transcended the entire sport. He was one of a kind. Muhammad Ali, rest in peace.

Martial Arts Always Evolve

brucelee

Absorb what is useful, discard what is not. –Bruce Lee

The most common dispute in traditional martial arts is the dispute over lineage. People in TMA like to identify their styles by the names of their teachers or teachers’ teachers. In Wing Chun, for example, most practitioners today trace their lineage to Yip Man. But after Yip Man, the lineage divides into several branches of Wing Chun led by Yip Man’s disciples. Wing Chun practitioners today identify one another by who their teachers are/were. They have differences in history, but they also have differences in art. Different teachers, even within the same style, teach different techniques and have different methods of practice. For much of the modern age, students of Asian martial arts have prided themselves on how genuine their arts are. If people study Yip Man’s Wing Chun, many hope to learn it exactly as Yip Man practiced it, even two or three generations later. People view change as a bad thing.

The Pro Wrestling Ethos

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

This NY Times article explains the political world today: Is everything wrestling?.

This is partly because the rest of the world has caught up to wrestling’s ethos. With each passing year, more and more facets of popular culture become something like wrestling: a stage-managed “reality” in which scripted stories bleed freely into real events, with the blurry line between truth and untruth seeming to heighten, not lessen, the audience’s addiction to the melodrama.