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10.14.03, tuesday morning

I'm a sucker for scary non-horror books like Diet for A New America. Meat and dairy products should not be major food groups, unless you really want to cultivate osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.

Also finished Francesca Lia Block's The Hanged Man and Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men. Frank Chin is a paranoid macho retard. Racial/cultural authenticity, my ass.

. . .

From China Men (300-301):

The brother found some language books in the library. If he learned Chinese better, or if he let on how much he already knew, the Navy would assign him to be a spy or an interrogator. There was only one use the military had for Chinese language - war, the same use it had for raw materials and science. He would be assigned to gouge Viet Cong eyes, cattle-prod their genitals. He would have to hang prisoners from helicopters, drop the dumb-looking ones, and tell the smart remaining ones to talk or else. It wouldn't be Chinese poetry he'd be memorizing but the Pentagon's Vietnam Phrase Book:

Welcome, Sir. Glad to Meet you. How many are with you. Show me your fingers.

Are you afraid of the enemy? Us?

Do you place faith in America? Will the people fight for their freedom? We are here to help them in the struggle with the side of (1) the free world (2) the United States (3) the Allies (4) freedom (5) God.

Would they (1) support (2) join (3) fight on the side of (4) work for (5) sacrifice their lives for U.S. troops?

Your nickname will be ________. My nickname is ___________.

Do you believe in (1) U.S. victory (2) annihilation of Bolshevism?

Open the door or we will force it.

Is he your father? Village leader?

Are you afraid? Why?

If we cannot trust a man, (1) wink your right eye (2) place your left hand on your stomach (3) move your hand to the right, unnoticed, until we note your signal.

The Vietnamese call their parents Ba and Ma; phuoc means 'happiness,' 'contentment,' 'bliss,' the same as Chinese; lan is 'orchid,' the same as his mother's name, Vietnamese puns are like Chinese puns, lettuce, life; they probably also bring heads of lettuce home on holidays. Study, university, love - the important words the same in Chinese and Vietnamese. Talking Chinese and Vietnamese and also French, he'd be a persuasive interrogator-torturer. He would fork the Vietnamese - force a mother to choose between her baby with a gun at its belly and her husband hiding behind the thatch, to which she silently points with her chin.

'No,' he told his Commanding officer. He had been given a choice, and he said No. 'No, thank you.' He would not be like the scientists making plasma bombs and supersonic brain scramblers for want of a better use of their abilities.


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