Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tigris Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life

"To conform to a sick society is to become ill. To succeed in a sick society is to cultivate one's sickness, to improve upon it, to weaponize it. Success, therefore, has nothing to do we being 'well-adjustment' or 'well-being.' Success is a syndrome caused by socially advantageous pathologies." - Amy Chua & Jed Rubenfeld, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, Introduction

"I think it's courageous that this fine couple is addressing the Elephant in the Room. It's in the Blood, if you can't see that, then get back to work." - Thomas Friedman

"Just as Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds makes the point that it's okay to be a Nazi if you're a Jew, my new book makes the point that it's okay to be Charles Murray if you're an Asian woman." - Amy Chua

"I think I came off as a compassionate loser in the last book. Now I'm with my baby on the Team. Someone has to step up and tell these other ethnics that they're just no damn good." - Jed Rubenfeld Chua

"Why does every fucking article about these people involve dinner parties?" - Malcolm Gladwell

"I can't believe people think I'm awful, I mean, I'm not awful!" - Amy Chua or Georgina Bloomberg or Queen Rania or fans of Girls or Marie Antoinette, any of them really

"In cultivating the pathological sense of insecurity that is essential to the Tiger Triple Threat, it may be useful to regard oneself or one's People as oppressed by society. However, a delicate balance must be struck. The Tiger's self-serving woundedness must not lead to such a sense of shared humanity as would make oppressing others difficult." - from Chapter 3: Crawling Over the Grasping Masses in the Game of Life

"What about organized crime?!" - outraged Italians, Irish, and Mexicans

"I think what Ms. Chua's book shows is that separate development is a reality." - F. W. de Klerk in a comment later retracted

"Our method was, you know, we looked at our own lives and wondered, Why did it work out so well for us? Are we just lucky? Was it just that our parents did a decent job raising us in the circumstances given to them? No, something more has to be at work. Our lives are so great, we are so great, we refuse to accept that we are anything other than the living embodiment of the historical destiny of our races and that our union is the final form of human achievement." - Amy Chua, on Sieg Heil with April Gaede, WROT public television, Leith, ND

"It's like Black Skin, White Masks for the Elect." - a Financial Times book reviewer huffing freshly printed dollar bills

"Americans may think that it is by hard work and self-denial and a feeling of Destiny, rather than by the material forces of history, that the Chinese People get ahead. They may believe that these Traits are ahistorical cultural values, rather than the psychological expressions of a spectacularly cruel and violent state-organized campaign to ruthlessly exploit the largest labor market that has ever been mobilized. They may think all this, and an American academic with Chinese blood and a Chinese face may profit off fanning the flames of their delusions. And all of them will be dreaming the Chinese Dream." - Xi Jinping

"This Indian tiger lacks the traits necessary for success that we see in African and Mormon tigers." - Amy Chua, her husband nodding in agreement, on the Bengal tiger that has killed 10 people in northern India in the past six weeks

"Dear Time Traveling Overbeck: I am glad to hear that animal metaphors are still used to discuss racial superiority in the 21st Century and that the Greeks still worship Dionysus. Yours sincerely, Nietzche"

"I agree with that drunk doctor, it's all narcissism. I mean, Yale? It's over." - a sauced Lawrence Summers waving in the direction of Tagg Romney at the Harvard Club Sherry Bar

"Why be an academic when you could be the high brow equivalent of morning television? Wait, never mind." - Amy Chua

"Don't think of me as your Leader only, think of me as your Tiger Mom, traumatizing you into better things, or at least a good university." - Bashar al-Assad, Syrian State TV

"You know, I used to want to be an actor, I even went to Julliard. Now I just write mystery novels. I don't always want to be a Triple Package. Sometimes I just want to be Elliot Gould in The Long Goodbye." - Jed 

"Can you believe that I actually made my scholarly reputation on a book that argued that Empire's agenda of spreading free market democracy to every corner of the earth had increased global conflict and instability, and would continue to do so, as, on the one hand, marketization increased inequality and resentment between economically-dominant ethnic/tribal/national minorities and less dominant majorities, and, on the other hand, democratization created the conditions for the politicization of ethnicity and the mobilization of state violence to settle ethnic scores, leading ultimately to the rise of reactionary ethnonationalist populist regimes, widespread ethnic cleansing, genocides, and endless cycles of atrocity and retribution? But no one listened to me, and, having come to accept that the apocalyptic trajectory of history cannot be altered, I have devoted myself to ensuring that my seed will always triumph." - Amy Chua

The secret Fourth Trait... 

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