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Friday Monkey-God Blogging

By Matthew Yglesias

"Friday Monkey-God Blogging"

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Bethlehem Shoals observes: “Duncan’s deviousness has been obscured because his game is all old-school fundamentals, causing the media to inaccurately label Duncan the individual as stoic and wholesome. Indeed, his Chinese fans call him the ‘Stone Buddha’. In reality, Duncan is more similar to Sun Wukong, the Chinese Monkey King, who liked to play pranks and acheived greatness through craftiness.” Indeed. Which seems like as good a time as any to mention Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book which, unfortunately, I was first assigned to read as part of a tedious “let’s read books by minority authors” course and toward which I therefore adopted the knee-jerk hostile attitude of the 19 year-old white dude.

In fact, it’s a great book that, yes, is about the perplexities of Chinese-American identity but also so much more. The motif of Sun Wukong the Monkey God-King is, suffice it to say, important to the narrative. As is Vertigo. Googling around I see that there’s a website with the funny name: “Tripmaster Monkey: Home of Yellow Journalism.” It’s a “cheeky news site for the Asia-savvy” and I’m not sure I really qualify as Asia-savvy.

UPDATE: That’s Brown Recluse I’m quoting, not Shoals. Apologies for the error.

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