Wednesday, November 19, 2008


So, Foucault talks about the base and the superstructure: the base being the real reason an action is perpetrated, and the superstructure being the advertised rationale (have I discussed this here before?). When the US engaged in war with Iraq, for example, the superstructures of "freedom" and "democracy" and "defense" were waved on blood-soaked banners, held proudly by gray suit-clad CEOs of Exxon and BP.

During dinner with Dallas, I learned that two older teachers at my school, a married couple from Canada, were holding "bible studies" in their apartment for students at our school on Saturday nights. I knew this couple was of the evangelical persuasion and that they were a wee bit...eager about it, but this was shocking news to me.

I'm not angry about the subject matter they're celebrating at these meetings, per se. Had they been reveling in Wiccan, Republican, or anarchist shindigs, I would still be upset at their abuse of power. How could these people take advantage of their positions in such a calculated, back-handed way? "Oh, here, come to our house to practice English. It's King James English, but English nonetheless."

Not only does the Chinese government forbid proselytizing, but its people are more than 70% atheists. In this post-mission world we live in, nearly everyone has access to some sort of organized religion, and the means to explore others IF THEY WANT TO. There are several churches of several denominations in Tianjin; everybody knows about them. How dare you convert your students' eagerness to improve their English into something obscene like this?

I am really churn-y right now.