DonCharisma.org, Don Charisma, Chinese Dragon

HarsH ReaLiTY – Enter the dragon, Cross-cultural bonding or Cliché ?

Originally posted at HarsH ReaLiTY blog.

Opinionated Man recently did a post about people asking him to promote their ebooks.

He’s much more tactful than me, however, I’m very much of the same mind as him. Why would I (or he) after spending months building up a blog and giving most of our free time, then start promoting other people’s ebooks so that they can make money. My answer probably more along the lines, pay me first, then I’ll promote your ebook for you. To be blunt about it.

I say this because, Opinionated Man from what I understand a father and a husband, takes care of his family, supports them. And you ebook author want to come and sit at his table, use his resources that he’s built/building for his family’s security, well-being and happiness, literally take the food out his kids mouths, whilst making money for yourself. And then say, oh, thanks for the free lunch, bye’ee. You must be out of your mind.

To the altruists who think everything is free, I say OK fair enough. Then how about this – I’ll send you over my paypal account and you can send me all your money by return, to help poor impoverished me. How many takers from that offer, my guess is exactly NONE.

Come on guys, the HARSH REALITY is that everyone needs money and we need to be doing things that are mutually beneficial for each other, not leeching and giving nothing back, that’s just poor behaviour. Opinionated Man has kindly written an ebook, which tells you how to make a successful blog, so spend your $10, and then go and spend your own 9 months building it. Most people spend at least 9 months on their “baby”, some spend a lifetime, so why can’t you ? Why do you deserve “special treatment”?

Like it says on my blog “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime” (read him and her as interchangeable here)

Personally I enjoy helping other people, but not on commercial ventures where I work for free (or I’m losing money through my own expenses) and they make money. I’ve written plenty about promoting yourself or your book or your website or your company on my blog and will write more. I enjoy teaching people, not so much having to take responsibility for them and do things for them they can perfectly well do themselves.

So, what the hell has this got to do with dragons and cross-cultural bonding ?

DonCharisma.org, Don Charisma, Chinese Dragon
DonCharisma.org Chinese Dragon

Hmmm, yes good question…OPINIONATED MAN DID SAY, that if it had a dragon on the front cover of my ebook he’d promote it for me, well at least that’s how I’m interpreting it. My reply to him, “what kind of dragons do you like?”. No one else replied and asked that question, why not, why can’t people offer to help him, give him what he wants ? And, look, bang, now I’m guest blogging on his blog. It helps both of us and is mutually beneficially.

I’m poor and don’t have much money so can’t afford to pay him. So guess what, my first ebook, if I ever get round to writing it will have a picture of a dragon on it. So, hence …

Enter the Dragon

It’s an interesting movie to watch, Bruce Lee, an icon, it’s probably his finest hour and what he’s most well known for. There are some enlightening Eastern spiritual philosophies that are weaved into the story, and there’s some good fights for the guys (and gals ?).

Bruce Lee (now-deceased) was an Asian guy, American-Asian (Asian-American ?) in fact. The movie was made with US dollars for an American audience.

DonCharisma.org Enter The Dragon
DonCharisma.org Enter The Dragon

So where’s the cross-cultural bonding ?

Well East and West are different in their cultures and mindsets. In order for their to be a relationship or bond between cultures, there needs to be understanding of each other. Movies form a massive part of how one culture understands the other. I’ve lived out in Asia for a while now, and a lot of people here really do think that all Americans (or any white Westerners) are millionaires, live in massive houses, drive Ferraris and don’t have to work. In the movies it’s like that, idyllic paradise. Why would they think any different, most have never been out of their own country. But in real life it’s not like this. UK, Europe and US has a great number of people that are poor, living day-to-day in small cramped conditions, bus to work, food stamps I hear in the US and the only Ferrari they’ll probably ever see is on the TV. They probably actually end up with a lower standard of living and are not as happy as the people I meet in Asia. It’s warmer here and the people are often more relaxed.

Bruce Lee was born in the good old US of A, to 3/4 Chinese parents. Enter the Dragon was made in Hong Kong. Hong Kong used to be owned by the British, and has always been cosmopolitan, therefore there’s a hell of a lot going on for him cross-culturally.

So Bruce was in between at least two cultures. And from what I know about him someone who would have looked for harmony between two cultures not conflict. His ethos would be I think have been about bonding two cultures, and this comes across in his movies and books.

Cliché

However, watching a Peter Sellers movie like “Revenge of the Pink Panther”, one starts to see perhaps irritating stereotypes that are, most would admit, a little cliché. Like the style of background music (Chinese traditional ?), the put on accents, the clothes, the makeup. These kinds of stereotypes that ignore the other culture, maybe be belittling or mocking, can cause outrage and indignation. Others however might find these cross-cultural faux-pas’ endearing, the music amusing, the put on accents heart warming, who can say. Opinionated Man has cross-cultural experience from East and West, so perhaps he’ll share his views on it, I hope he will.

Springing to mind are questions like – Are these ignorant fools that are making a mockery out of our (east or west) beautiful language and culture, OR are they endearing in that the other culture has tried hard to understand and fit in ?

DonCharisma.org, Don Charisma, Hollywood Buddha
DonCharisma.org Hollywood Buddha

A recent movie “Hollywood Buddha” created outrage amongst some Buddhists. A dude sitting atop a Buddha head -that’s an absolute NO-NO in places like Thailand where the head is the most sacred part of the body. A complete utter lack of respect for another culture. Anyway, I digress, a little, but not much, endearing, bonding, cliché or outrageous ?

Fred – the “Scotts-Hong-Kong-ian”

I knew a guy, call him Fred, who used to go on about Enter the Dragon all the time. As a consequence of my knowing him I watched Enter the Dragon, more than once. Fred grew up in Hong Kong, but is actually Scottish from UK parents. He used to go on about “Don’t look at my finger, look what it’s pointing to” in reference to Bruce Lee saying “Don’t think. FEEL. It’s like a finger pointing at the moon. … Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!” in Enter the Dragon. Looking back the guy was a bit of a class ass(hole), but hey that’s life, at least you can choose your friends.

So look, now I’m thinking that Fred used to live in Hong Kong, grew up there. He’s had to be able to connect with two cultures, the East, the Asian and the West, America, Europe, UK. How to do that ? Well a well known movie like Enter the Dragon, that a lot of people have seen, he could use examples from that, get his point across. It’s a way to “be in” cross-cultural conversations. People will understand what he’s talking about, and he appears to understand them, creating rapport. So quite a powerful “bonding” tool.

But overused “finger pointing at the moon” becomes cliché, and less powerful, perhaps just boring. And even worse these kind of connections in ignorance like the Hollywood Buddha, cause divide, perhaps hatred, not bonding.

For me it’s paradoxical, sometimes bonding, sometimes cliché, sometimes outrageous or ignorant, depends on the context at the time. So I couldn’t say for sure whether “Enter the Dragon” is a cross-cultural bond, or just a cliché. For others it depends on their individual perspective. The movie took big money in Hong Kong, so I’d say that it’s probably relatively culturally considerate and that the Asian audience probably liked it. And it’s not a bad watch as movies go.

My personal choice is err’ing to the side of accepting other people “as they are”, having respect for them and their culture. Whilst of course I’m being respected and not harmed, and the same for my friends, family and loved ones.

So, … OK … Opinionated Man, what kind of dragons DO YOU like ? LOL

(Views expressed are my own. Opinionated Man has not told me what to write nor coached me in any way. He said “write you want to write”, and he’ll review before posting)

By Don Charisma



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