receptionoise, fragmentstatic, signalaowai

The Synhaptic Connexions of 8.8.8 (and ∞)

The singular heavy-handedness of the oppressive red regime of communist China is a highly fallible idea, not because it is by any means 'democratic', liberal and free, but because it evades singularity altogether. There is no one way of anything in this country, whether it be national policy, cultural identity or simply just getting by. The laowais here have to learn that fast if they want to keep playing the game, and if they blindly stick to the what’s on the cover, well, they are no different than any other well-indoctrinated mass (Elaine Ho). … Business Visa (F-Visa): Business Visas are issued to applicants who are invited to China for business, research, lecture, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges, or to applicants who intend to visit China for a short-term study course (Consulate-General Of The People's Republic Of China in Toronto). … But perhaps the bigger obstacle is that only a few obscure academics and Chinese bid committee members even think about the question: will China change Olympism? For the rest of the world, caught up in the modernist Olympic paradigm, it is not even a question. For them, because modernization is a one-way street, the only valid question is: will Olympism change China? In discussing the Beijing Olympics, Western observers so readily express a desire to change China. Why are we so concerned about changing China, and not concerned about China changing us (Susan Brownell)? … Anti-malaria medication is not recommended if you are travelling only to the Olympic venues. If you plan on travelling beyond these sites in China, consult your health care provider to assess your risk of malaria (Public Health Agency of Canada). … Yao represents the spectral presence of Chinese capital within America. He is, precisely because of his complicated ideological heritage, the most profound threat to American empire (Grant Farred). … Bargaining is an exhilarating national sport in China and the only real rule (if you want to win) is to be polite. If you're worried about cheating the vendor out of a fair price, don't be — it's nearly impossible. These guys are much better at this game than you. The first price you're offered will be at least double the going rate. Look 'em straight in the eye and cut that number in half. You'll likely end up with something in between. If not, walk away and see what that does to the price (Eilis Quinn). … But this is Baudrillard’s WW4, remember. Terror demands an opportunity for symbolic exchange, and it is in this respect that we must view the threat to Beijing in 2008: as an opportunity to disrupt key infrastructure, to be sure, but more importantly, as the critical moment at which the monopoly on symbolic exchange created by the re-established superpower binary may be destabilized. In other words, the Beijing Olympics provide the perfect opportunity for Terror to make it evident that no such binary actually exists. We are always best prepared to fight the war just past (Sean Smith).

(Thank you, Ying Cui, for the gift of the knot given so many years ago. The Eights are finally here!)

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