12 April 2016

LETTER FROM THE (TEXT) EDITOR 3: ON FOLDING AND CHANGING


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not quite the usual appearance of the chink. not the head accessory

In folds, I’ve approached the shaping of the blog. As seen through the personas on display in this blog, various layers, or various barriers and filters add a level of inaccessibility to the writing. These folds of sorts clothe the blog in its own seasons of which three stand out, maybe four with this present series. The teleological drive works towards a unified body of work that may partitions itself into separate frames of reference to date posts better than meta-tags or textual titles. The end product for the reader, I intend, is, again with the idea, “the mind in the act of finding what will suffice.” The dated folds become phases that clarify the progress and continued honing of the central issue of finding what is enough for a chink to be a chink for himself and not others.

I. DRAFTING AN ARCHIVE

It seems appropriate I breakdown the various phases of the blog in a series of Roman numerals, as was first favoured style of the blog. I’ll call it the first fold. Instead of the later self-effacing and bifurcated voice, the earlier posts lacked a distinct voice and erred towards a sort of food blog as identity politics rant space. I am not Eddie Huang and really don’t care about reviewing food. This we can attribute to a problem highlighted by Poorhomiewei—“Fitting in won’t ‘cost you more opportunities’”—The front of a food blog undoubtedly aimed to create a respectable and relatively interesting form that would maybe have the potential to appear on a CV. Again, holding no interest for me, the act is disgusting. But, for the sake of self-reflection, I will discuss what created the first fold and prominently features.

For one, as was the common theme of the early half of the blog, I often eat out. On 春节, again an auspicious marker, Holden, of “SHAANBEI CHINK IN CHINA(CANTO)TOWN” notoriety (the first post to crack a hundred views and the first to really launch the blog’s popularity), suggested I write a food review blog acting as a mouthpiece for my chinkdentity thoughts. It took me three or four weeks, but in the end it did happen and the first piece was the strange and weak “ORANGE ROUGE / YELLOW WHITE” post calling out a restaurant for making Chink food marketed to whitebois in Chinatown. The argument is fine and still stands: white people shouldn’t be trying to pimp out an area where Chinese people live and exploit it as an exotic getaway, as it does not benefit Chinese people at all—no chinks were in the restaurant save for me and the lesser chink (a figure we’ll get to later). This, the first post was in essence the only post in the first fold to speak of the chink problem.

Next came a post on late night / early morning drinking in ATMs on St. Laurent with the infamous (stupid) Labranda Mirash, named “NORTH KOREA, ATMS, OUZO, THE MAIN.” Again nothing important, but as Labranda featured, it’s important to note as Labranda is both dedicated fan and voyeur to the chink question. An entirely regrettable and wholly pointless post follows, “THE JOYS OF READING ON MALL SOFAS” which was written to fill the initial post per day output. Not very noteworthy.

The First Fold entirely lacks the polemical Poorhomiewei and the agreeable 党唯予, yet it still features various perversions of whiteman scripture, castigations of whiteman’s use of chink food, and initial attempts at crafting a voice. The most notable draw is then the relative proximity of the voice in these posts and the voice of the author. For any autobiographical readings, the first fold may be the best choice, but as it is the first fold, maybe it isn’t the best way to go about reading. As there are more folds, the first phase then stands as a draft stage without any real substance, but rather existing for personal archival interest. The first fold is potentially the weakest section of writing. I contemplated deleting it, but that seemed like too much work and altogether meaningless.

II. FORM WITHOUT CONTENT

I made the second fold as I probably realized after reading the “joys of reading” post that the blog needed to have a voice. Without one, Country Chink Broadsides (yes, it is in italics now) would be no more than a shock value title. On an aside, and for the benefit of explaining the second fold, the original title of the blog came from McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City—Country Chink, Big City. Notice the parallel position of ‘bright lights’ and ‘country chink.’ For whatever reason, it made sense to write an entire blogpost revolving around rap lyrics with various interjections in Chinese. I guess the second fold is the pastiche phase of CCB and continues the preemptive archival store of the blog’s components. This first post, “CAFÉ CRAWL IN LA CITÉ” still remains a favorite. Young Thug, Ezra Pound, Kanye West, Travis Scott, and the opium wars feature.

The next, and extremely important “ON EATING TACOS WITH GRINGOS” speaks to the issue of abusing other ethnicities’ food by eating it as a white idiot. The example is Labranda who ate a taco like a peanut butter sandwich mixed with a burrito. First using a butter knife to coat a tortilla with mild salsa, Labranda proceeded to drop three to four pieces of barbacoa on a tortilla of a three-inch diameter. Labranda then folded the tortilla inwards from the sides to produce a perverse white privilege burrito thing. I cannot let this go. I will never again bring white people who I don’t really like to a restaurant that isn’t run by a pasty faced ghost.

 COOKING DUMPLINGS AT 2AM AFTER CHOSEN FASTING (AND SHIT)” set the foundation for important parts of the poorhomiewei persona:
·      Disregard for grammar or conventional language
·      Aversion to all white people
·      Polyvocality in four languages
·      VENERATION OF KANYE

The second fold offers, unlike the first fold further interest in terms of allusions and intertexts, but, providing a link with the first, lacks wholly in honed language or ideas. The content does not have inherent value, but the form found in this second fold is the foundational tools of that further pleat Country Chink Broadsides.

Fold two was very much an ornament, or a game.

Also of note, the end of this fold marked the opening up of CCB to the public.

III. ODD SATIRE

The third fold overlaps with the fourth and features two poems of sorts that continue the formal play of the second fold and express a dissatisfaction at the bland style of distressed jeans + stan smith + jungle fever / rap loving blend of people at McGill.

First off is “FIVE VIEWS OF MCGILL’S MCLENNAN PREMIERE MOISSON CAFETERIA,” a quintet of prose form petrarchan sonnets that describe the boring fashion sense of white people, annoying FOBs who hold strange birthday parties in the library, and the general lack of hygiene of people who use the McLennan cafeteria. Somewhat fun, very niche.

Its sequel “IN THE STATION OF THE (MCGILL, AUS, LEACOCK) SNAX,” faux vegans, Kendrick lamar blaring white girls, and white people being weird are on display. Twelve variations on “In the Station of the Metro.”

This was a strange fold that luckily was kept to two posts. Yet, still enjoyed and appreciated. Shout out to Clhurlurleley. pat on the head. [yellow rain jacket]

IV. IMAGES?

Here, CCB took off. With the double post of “HAIL TO THE CHEEF: KEEF AND THE END OF READING WEEK” and “SHAANBEI CHINK IN CHINA(CANTO)TOWN,” CCB started using the x-large setting of blogspot pictures to give the posts some more aesthetic appeal. First picture, of course, was a nice picture of Chief Keef, wholly unrelated to anything discussed on the blog. If for anything else, Chief Keef’s appearance on the blog signals the entry of a militant pessimism of poorhomiewei, a character partly modelled on Keef. The images also follow a similar editing process. Yellow and red tones are highlighted as the images are generally put in hazier focus. This needs no explanation.

These two posts mark the beginning of a concrete poorhomiewei voice with the anger of the keef post and the aggressive pride and overly aggressive tone of the Chinatown post. The writing style from the Chinatown post onwards features heavy formal stylizing and abrasive Chinese pride, but this is still in the same developing phase as the previous posts.

The fourth fold added much needed color to the blog and changed the aesthetic through-line of the text for a much more traditional and appealing look. I do very much enjoy the pictures now.

V. CAFES AND SHIT

The ensuing café series marks random musings and a journal like approach to the blog. The chink themes seem to have been abated during this period as I tried to expand the range of the blog. The fifth fold also seems to have went further into formal experimentation to try and entrench the blog in an interesting literary tradition marked by the syllabic verse used in “BASEMENT COFFEE, COSMETIC BITCHES,” the Joyce Carol Oatesian stream of fragments in “WHOLE WORLD GOING BRAZY: WHITE KIDS, STRANGE CAFES AND YG,” and yet another Oatesian technique of breaking a post into its structural fragments in “FERLUCCI FERLUCCI BISCOTTI IN MY WHOLE LIKE I’M a chink?” The recurrent use of women’s writer techniques is an odd byproduct of Miranda Hickman. Shout out there.

Especially of note are the names Joyce Carol Oates and Caroline Shaw. These form the basis for the majority of the next few folds, primarily Oates. There is no Country Chink Broadsides without Oates—an ironic statement considering she is generally considered a racist, out of touch white woman. Sadly, as much as I love JCO, she will always represent the exact type of person I resent. But, her stylizing is transcendent, and I do love her writing above almost any. So there’s that. Also theres this…

Joyce Carol Oates ‎@JoyceCarolOates

Misunderstood
for writing funnily of food
Dear Calvin Trillin
has been grill-ed.

10:26 AM - 8 Apr 2016

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
at least caroline shaw uses ts eliot quotes that help a chink write and doesn’t agree with racist honk man trillin. and it goes on

None of the components of this fold really show anything interesting about the chink voice, but as experiments in form, they establish a good contrast with the sixth fold and beyond. Only with this layer do the next three have the same poignancy.

VI. MANIFESTOS

Here we finally see the content matured. Well, at least to the extent of cohesion and appeal. Whereas the earlier folds were met with confusion, these two (and a liminal auxiliary) manifestoes mark the first real spike in readership of the blog.

In the seminal “ON THE CHINK VOICE AND ESTEEM,” the formal experimentation and polyvocality come together and create the blog’s manifesto. The introduction of the epic anaphora/catalogue also appears here. For any new readers, this should be the first post to read. “Chink” also marks the first post with any real poignancy. I accept and will argue that all previous posts, maybe not “Shaanbei Chink,” are rather indulgent, but “Chink” stands as the most important contribution to date, at the time of its publishing.

The next “ON WHITES REVIEWING CHINKFOOD.” is quite honestly shallow in terms of nuance, and in all honesty, meant as a joke post. But, it nearly has a thousand views, so there’s that. The general gist is that a chink lectures a whiteman on trying to REVIEW chink food and fold those standards inside out to please white palates. Not very good. I do abide by the idea that chink food, for me, AS THE TEXT CREATOR AND THE ONLY PERSON THIS IS (ACTUALLY) WRITTEN FOR, represents too much of a nostalgic soft spot to allow white people to bastardize. Criticize me, but I won’t waver on this opinion. I don’t want to tell a white man how to be a privileged whore, so he shouldn’t tell me how to eat peasant food. A chink gon leave it at that.

The final, anecdotal post of this fold blends together the new voice of the blog and tries to keep together the food through line, “PROSTRATION AND NOSTALGIA.” The post features allusions to Milton, Eliot, Pound, Confucius, Shaanbei chink peasants and whiteboi Simon friend of the blog. Maybe a bit of wordsworth? Whatever he’s just another one of those whitemen. From this point on, the dominant form of the posts is in regular prose, for better or worst.

Yet, this fold and its relatively orthodox style opens a further approach to reconfiguring style that the next fold represents. The vatic voice of these posts does not last, and for good reason, as the sixth fold marks the end of a collective voice and the real emergence of poorhomiewei and dwy

VIII. CENSORSHIP, EPISTLES AND REFERENTIAL CONFUSION

And now into the present stage.

The first post effectively erases all the pretense at being a food blog with the title, “CENSORED CHINK AT MCGILL, A SUPPOSED HOME FOR FREE SPEECH (THOUGH FREE SPEECH ONLY IMPLIES TERRORIST-EXTREMIST FEMINIST EXPLICIT HEADHUNTS) (NON-FOOD RELATED).” The first white character vilified is the mcgill tribune, a disappointingly stick-up-the-ass organization of censorious idiots. Somehow mcgil tribune allowed an article about “race and rent” to be published with very little discussion of chink representation in drama when a chink is the primary interviewer. A chink felt real disrespected when the article turned into a handjob featuring a discussion into how great the mcgill theatre program is. mcgill tribune then shot down an article on chris brown and his and the general public’s OK at indifferent chink jokes. We’ll let that sit for a bit. Also, I got called anti-black and too bold. Well, it’s not my newspaper.

Unfortunately, this happens again with “CENSORED CHINK AT MCGILL 2—A CHINK ONLY GONNA TAKE SO MUCH (EMAILS IN RESPONSE TO EMAILS RESPONDING TO EMAILS)” in which a chink is told by what to be offended. Lets just leave it at that.

In this process, the personas of Poorhomiewei and 党唯予 emerge. (but that’s for another post).

Regarding the local development of the blog, this introduced the epistle genre and subsequent posts exclusively featured letters. This is not quite the right post to discuss the Poorhomiewei and 党唯予 dynamic, so we’ll let that sit for a while.


The seventh fold ultimately relies heavily on the matured formal mechanics that have created these two voices and allowed experimentation in the epistle genre, somehow, again, JCO returns to take over me.

delay my publishing by six days like / i have to fold for a class on whitebois?
something something something unfolding, / trying to write my them before twenty?

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