I’ve recently had a pretty stupid message board interaction with someone with a fairly immense ego problem. Stating that I don’t give a damn is the most appropriate sentence, but buried inside the flow of shit talk this person addressed my way, there was a line about this blog that made me think, and I thought I’d like to clarify:
“I’ve checked your blog out. It seems a bit folk and naive, too clean and politically correct, as if Asia was just an enchanted land suspended in time.”
Let me tell you, folks. For the past two years and three months I’ve been eating, sleeping, breathing and fucking Asia. I’ve smelled the best of its juicy sauces and foods, and the worst stink coming out of different kinds of ditches, asses, mouths, armpits, sewers, pussies, animals and people. It’s been an enlightening experience.
Now, I don’t try to be a new messiah of travel blogging, or some other Internet weirdo using its online popularity to draft new views of this sorry lame ass world, but I do have the right to decide which approach I want to take when exploring a problem.
Because many of these Asian countries are a big PROBLEM in terms of so many things, you wouldn’t believe not even if they kicked you in the balls. It’d be easy to write down all of the disgusting things for the joy of the people sitting in front of their computers, in the comfort of their homes, to make them shriek in horror when recollecting some of the good ol’ memories I had of seeing women beaten up in Yunnan, slain dogs for food in Guanxi, homosexuals in Beijing, vomiting pregnant barefoot women in Laos, a dead body at the side of the road in Mongolia, Aboriginal zombies in Australia (and yes, that’s not Asia) and so on.
This just adds and makes the difference of traveling my way. But if I decided to approach the matters with some sort of an higher, more detached style, I think it’d be very clarifying to say now that it’s easier to impress with gorish details or shed a bad light on this part of the world reporting its horrors, rather than trying to get what, TO ME and TO ME ALONE, is my travel and life experience. I’ll take the example of a grindcore band: the ones that usually put blood, guts and rotten pussies on their record cover are the LEAST musically interesting and more conceptually boring… for how much grindcore can be, of course.
And Asia (well, East Asia…too broad of a term to say “Asia” here now) is just a momentarily frame for my world, the Monkeyrockworld. To take it or leave it, brahs and sistas, said in my worst African-black fake accent.
So usually when I read the reports of someone telling me how many grams of cocaine he snorted in Goa, or how many dicks he sucked in Dongzhimen, or how full of blisters and horrible flesh cancers was that beggar woman in Kunming, I usually browse elsewehere because I strongly think nowadays after being involved for more than 10 years in the hardcore punk scene, quality does not lie in extremity. I’ve got so many examples in my eyes that it’s just useless to name, to avoid giving them the smallest hint of recognition. And I’ll always say that Blue Oyster Cult and more meaningful than any Cannibal Corpse. Because they are clean, apparently politically correct, and suspended in the enchanted Land of 70s rock. As I am in this “land of tea, pandas, elephants and ancient rites”.
To put it straight, the time I used to cut my forehead to pour blood at my shows, or grab drunken Belgian smartasses from their hanging dicks to lift them on stage, and then kick them in the ass, it’s gone with my adolescence. A good time, but consider, if Richard Kern would have kept being a junkie, would have he been able to keep up with the load of majestic work he later published? The difference lies in the mindset. Intelligent people grow up, change themselves for better, try new ways.
And yes my friend, Asia is definitely screwed up, but I feel ultimately safer here than in my neighborhood, where any minute I might be stabbed in the lungs by any Romanian immigrant, as it happened to a friend of mine. I therefore decided to glorify its good sides, against a backdrop of misconceptual criticism I have yet poured all over these writings, for the non blind.
But of course, you need a brain to be able to understand it.
‘Nuff said brahs.
Monkey magnificus semper est.