October 25, 2011

"Gold mountain" is the mythical name given to the United States by the Chinese to symbolize familial aspirations for wealth, freedom and happiness. In a playful exchange in Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men (1989), the rubric "Gold Mountain" becomes detached from the aura of myth, owing to the pressure of painful, dehumanizing experiences undergone by generations of sojourners and settlers from the 1860’s onward. It becomes what it is - a floating signifier, a charisma-laden mana, lulling the traveler to wherever his imagination or ethos or adventurous Utopian drive take him. mail order brides As I write this, there is an intense debate in the United States over whether to include a “public option” in health care reform. While not arguing for or against the merits of a “public option,” the debate provides an excellent illustration of why the process of conflict resolution is easy (surprised by this example given the current debate?). Outbursts in Congress, cursing on the tennis courts, and grabbing the mic from a young award winner; everyone is lamenting our loss of civility as more and more public figures continue to behave badly. To quote my grandmother, “I think someone has forgotten their manners.” It would be easy to go off on a rant about the disrespectful Congressman, the angry athlete or the scene-stealing rapper, but these people are not acting in a cultural vacuum. mail order brides As I write this, there is an intense debate in the United States over whether to include a “public option” in health care reform. While not arguing for or against the merits of a “public option,” the debate provides an excellent illustration of why the process of conflict resolution is easy (surprised by this example given the current debate?).

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