mistersandman: How would you feel if you had to put on a really stupid hat? (RAGE)
[personal profile] mistersandman
Life is full of wonderful small surprises, like finding a Chuck-E-Cheese token sitting on a park bench or having a pleasant conversation with a stranger on a bus. And then there are the other surprises.

I reserved Shenzhen: A Travelogue by Gary Delisle from the library. It was one of the few non-fiction books on Shenzhen in the library's collection and I wanted to get to know my future home a little better. When I finally got my hands on it, I was surprised to discover it was a comic book, entirely etched in charcoal.

Intrigued, I read the book in an afternoon between classes. To say the least, it filled me with loathing.

Memoirs and autobiographies make me a little uncomfortable. I'm very bad at opening up about my life in writing, particularly writing that is intended for the public. So I feel guilty judging the authors of these works in the same way that I would judge a fictional or historical character. That said, Gary Delisle is everything that I hate about Americans abroad, with the compounded facetious disdain that I hold for people with the misfortune to be born Canadian. During his stay abroad, he displays no interest in understanding the country or its people, if not outright condescension. Whenever he depicts Chinese people holding a conversation, he uses a random string of meaningless characters:

Yes. That is what counts for humor in Shenzhen. Delisle is supposedly well-known for Pyongyang, a similar travelogue on North Korea, but I can't imagine how it became popular if the political commentary came across in the same condescending tone:

Delisle never hesitates to tell the reader how miserable he was during his three months in China. But how could he not be miserable? He goes to the same restaurants and eats the same dish every day. His total lack of imagination or any semblance of a sense of adventure is simply appalling.

He can't be bothered to learn the name of his favorite dish or get to know his translator of three months for longer than 30 minutes, but he relishes in depicting Chinese people who attempt to communicate with him in English as annoying and simple-minded.

Christ, what an asshole.
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


mistersandman: (Default)
Three Little Birds

August 2011

 12 3456

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 03:47 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios