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Beyond the Wings, March 2023
What I've been up to this month
As of March 28th, I am one-hundred days sober. Although I miss drinking sometimes, mornings are so much better now that I don’t have to spend part of them racking through memories of possible social sins.
As I mentioned in an interview with Got Musical Talent, ‘Romance Tonight’ is probably my archetypal song.
This month’s miscellaneous cover is the soundtrack to ‘Top Gun’.
I put another intermediate Chinese reading lesson online. And staying in the field of languages, I reached a 365-day streak on Duolingo. At some point this year, I will upload on E.P of Spanish-language songs to have something to show for all this time studying it.
Having finished the Beyond the Wings essay series on Substack, I have started a new one called Film Focus. It will discuss some of the most important movies ever made and what they still mean.
Officials in eleven countries are now banned from using TikTok on government-issued phones. At the same time, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has been interrogated by the United States congress.
Even compared to other social networks, it is ‘intellectually enfeebling’ and prone to reducing complex issues into glib memes. Of course, the main reason why it is so feared is that it is Chinese.
I moved to China in 2007, when the country was shrouded in economic optimism. The following year, it had its coming-out party in the form of the Beijing Olympics, and the year after that, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were all blocked by the Chinese government.
Historian Niall Ferguson pointed out in 2009 that there was a striking similarity between Sino-American relations and Anglo-German relations during the first decade of the twentieth century.
There is a sad sense of inevitability about China and America growing more hostile. In blocking websites that it doesn’t like, America is imitating its rival and losing a small amount of the moral high-ground. I always hated this about China and considered this to be one thing that made the West superior, but the West is more an idea than a place.