It all happened so fast. When I wrote my satire of David Sedaris three months ago, I didn’t think anyone would read it. When it comes to writing for this blog, that’s usually a safe bet.
But this time something happened. From what I can piece together, Amy, an intern at Sinica, read it and sent it to Kaiser Kuo, who, among other things, writes the back-page column of the Beijinger. Kaiser put out an APB and got my e-mail from his cousin Arvin Chen, who was my TA in film school. Small world. Kaiser, who had been looking to step down as the back-page columnist, asked if I was interested in taking over the column and I almost shat myself before saying yes. After some back and forth with Jonathan White, the managing editor of the Beijinger, I was confirmed as the new back-page columnist on September 22.
I’ve always dreamed of being censored by the Chinese government, to be an outspoken champion of reason and martyred like the philosophers of old. Well, it didn’t turn out that way.
Every time I mention starting a blog, I’m met with a cocked eyebrow and an insinuatory, “You’re starting a blog?”
I can understand why blogs are met with such skepticism. It’s the same reason why I used to roll my eyes when someone said they had a LiveJournal or listened to Linkin Park. It’s a bandwagon thing, and unless you were on the bandwagon before it became a bandwagon, you’re a poser. So I quickly make the distinction that it’s an intellectual blog, and that I’m not the only writer. Although, as you’ll see, this is only marginally true.
“The Hypermodern” refers dually to the style of chess play which David Shenk, in his book The Immortal Game, describes as
“a paradigm-shattering gift to chess… The lesson of the Hypermodern revolution was that anything was still possible… Hypermodernism was not about fear, but about the love of intellectual adventure. It was, in fact, archetypal modernism–the spirit of breaking decisively with past styles in order to make a new aesthetic contribution to the world,”
and to the view of contemporary society described by Gilles Lipovetsky and Sebastien Charles in their book Hypermodern Times as a historical context
“where no ideological discourse makes sense any more, and when the disintegration of society has reached its peak. Of course, society is being reconstituted, but in a way that starts out uniquely from the singular desire of individuals.”
The launch date for this blog is January 1st, 2008. I know, kitschy right? If you’re here before then you were probably referred by me in a desperate attempt to assemble content for said launch date. If this is the case, please register an account by clicking the “Register” link to the right and filling in some shit.