Quick survey – do any
of you wishing to know more about China want to read short essays about the place anymore? If so, count yourselves among a demographic resembling Catholics who still want to hear their mass in Latin. Time to come to grips with the fact that we live in a post-literate age. An age of Net-inflicted ADD. Enough with the vocab words and paragraph transitions. 140 characters max, please. Or how about a slide show, high res pics visible even behind the smidgeon of accompanying text. A quick video, optimally.
In the harsh light of new media reality, China Expat shall hereby and forthwith put the articles on hiatus. No requiem necessary, the entire archive is still right here, and searchable. No need to reiterate our focus on the facets of China seldom in the spotlight – history, art, lesser-visited reaches – written in diverse tones, from wry to dry, lightly sarcastic to searingly caustic.
Instead, an absolution, in the “I”, not the “we”. I never wrote an article for the literal ‘China Expat’. In the beginning, I pictured a reader well out of youth and nonsense, well-traveled enough to realize that China just couldn’t be as monolithic as the western mainstream media claims. As time rolled on and the articles rolled out, vocal, erudite commenters like the Mighty Ozymandias looked on from a high jury’s bench as I bowed my head for topics, for angles and closings. On the judge’s bench sat the right honorable Chris Devonshire Ellis, patron of China Expat, whose depth and insight on all things Asia brooks few rivals’. This should answer any future China Expat editor going through the archives and musing, “Why didn’t the bastard ever write about current events China, sensational China?”
“Someone had to go through the storerooms and dust off the Chinese tchotchkes, you mug!” I respond, pre factum.
Eventually the drummer succumbs to forty shots of vodka, or the singer lets his girlfriend break up the band, and the music lulls. But China Expat’s song will remain the same – Chinese cultural observations from the western perspective. You can expect those observations in different formats, and from different voices. But from this writer’s voice, a coda of deepest appreciation and gratitude to all who’ve read, and to the aforementioned Chris Devonshire Ellis, who funds this site out of pocket, yet still somehow under the protest of his wretched bean counters, whom he keeps rattling around in his South China commercial space.
That’s the show, folks! I love you all! Yeah! Drive safely!
Veritas consistit in sola contemplatione,