Green Star Readers' Submissions December 5th, 2005

Face, Guile And The Commerce Of Living

By Falangdude

Is the local pop culture soul-less? Is Asian interaction more shallow than what we take for granted in the west? Pop culture anywhere is easy to mock, but it's not easy to find anything but pop culture in Asia.

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You can see it in the eyes – the guile. Westerners are guileless. We are unarmed. Over here, what you see is also what you get, but all that you ever see is guile. There is nothing of interest underneath the guile. It seems a fundamentally
materialistic mind space, greed and aversion and apathy the root of all transactions. A smile is a request for interest. A turned head is a snub. No eye contact is a lack of interest, or care. Business of business for business. No one smiles at
panhandlers, panhandlers are professionally pathetic, everything neat and tidy and utterly useless. Hearty cackles and tight black eyes, every penny in the heart pinched. Spent only for gain, among allies. Allies, not friends.

There is no interest in education. That is saying the same thing. Truth holds no value. Same. All movements are commerce, or meaningless. There are few gardens or parks or beautiful buildings, especially here in the Philippines, unless in
large private acreage to show status. The arts are barely alive in Asia, unless you count copying. No live band writes their own material, painters copy from photographs, and there is nearly no literature produced. Philosophy is not here. Never
discussed here. The good, the true, and the beautiful, have no widespread following. There are no recognizable morals of truth and justice – lawyers and police openly frame foreigners and the disadvantaged, as if it was

obviously proper. No recognizable allegiance to any consensual reality, scientific or otherwise. No recognizable living arts. The cultures of Thailand and the Philippines amount to the importation of currently fashionable cell phones. Guile, with nothing
underneath the guile – means without an ends. After the Beemer and the big hair and the long painted nails and the secret phone numbers, then what? It’s got to be lonely in there, wherever there is, and I suspect no one will ever
know, or question, or care. Trappings are wealth here. People get rich in order to be rich, in order to exacerbate their alienation, to drive the stake as deeply as they can into their pain, to commit their insecurities to suicide, to become as
inauthentic as possible, as nonexistent as possible. As untouchable as possible. As rich as possible.

There is nothing to question. Nothing inside, or outside. Just relax, get your titillations, get as much status while you can, and don’t worry about your inevitable meaningless death.

Even love is a business proposition here, a bargain. A temporary bargain.

There is another way. There is a better way. There are reasons to wake up in the morning that are not about gathering or gaining or displaying or cultivating or changing anything about one's place in the scheme of things. Awe, appreciation,
love, require not a millimeter of motion. Guile is too much work for its result. Guile marches, but always backwards. It requires a sick culture to re-enforce in full adults. Asia is sick.

The popular cultural values of SE Asia are so shallow and developmentally impaired as to be plainly diseased.

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Expats who live here eventually refuse to do any business with Asians. People who date here either give up any of their own values as irrelevant, thus denying the possibility of a shared consensual reality with Asians, or don’t expect
much in the way of shared values. Unless the woman is foreign educated or otherwise worldly beyond her culture, she will be myopic beyond all credulity, her only interests relating to boy hunting or family. Her mental skills, developed for those
reasons, or not at all. Nothing outside of that exists.

Delirious with endless visions of gain, SE Asia has gone blind to worth. Human connections seem not so much as grounded in value here, but used for valuable goods and experiences. Boyfriends are commodities. Everything is used for a purpose,
but the purpose seems so obviously a tangent from what is important. Power more important than the love and good uses it seeks. Status more important than the friendships it could open the door to. The goals are tangential to anything truly valuable.
Get married to be married. Pray so that you pray. Empty rituals with no respect for the soul they could foster.

It would be satire, if enough people were in the audience to laugh. Everyone is on stage.

After the rage, should be peace. There is no peace here – the business oriented eyes never shine back, wide and interested and naked and wild and present and without agenda. You could wait forever, all you’d ever see is guile
and all it’s devilish and seductive pretences. Honesty is guile here. Everything for a purpose. It is maddening. Once you see it and see it clearly, see seduction as seduction, see indifference as indifference, see aggression as aggression,
once you see it, it is hopelessly maddening.

It is lonely when you can’t touch anything. There is nothing like that moment of looking into the eyes of a lover in moments of ecstatic love. That is polarly opposite to looking into they eyes of someone while they lie to you, or
while they lie to themselves while they lie to you. The spark isn’t there. It feels different. It’s the opposite of bliss and joy and communion. It hurts. You just want to slap them, or something. Anything but just sit there, knowing
that the situation is totally beyond your control, hopeless. There will be no spark. There will be no reason, no purpose. Yes, I’m fine, and you?

When everything is for advantage, trust relies on treaties and agreements. It has to be chosen, created, then reconciled to. If being trustworthy were as natural as concern, and we were to naturally expect the same from others, what would
that look like? Not at all like guile. Trust is just another weapon here, another handle for manipulation. It has no meaning other than that.

I have a few simple questions for people I wonder about.
1) What kind of boyfriend would you like?
2) What does love feel like, to you?

If the answer to #1 is something like “someone who loves me for who I am”, I know that the person wants love more than someone to love. Why not say instead “someone who will let me love them unconditionally all the time”?

If the answer to #2 is anything about receiving care and attention, I’ll know that the person has little feeling for the giving of love – what it feels like to give love that comes from inside her. There is probably not much
love there, that is why she looks for someone to fill her with it.

So that’s it. Asia is someone that wants to be loved, but doesn’t even know what love really is. Love has nothing to do with fashionable cell phones or big hair. When is Asia going to start giving? The guileful never truly give.

Stickman's thoughts:

Scary, because everything you say is oh so true!

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