Aug 15

Upon Summary Dismissal from the Faculty of a Tenth-Rate “University” in the Frozen Industrial Manchurian Wastes

by Tom Bradley

Dear Dean Dung:

Short of injuring my large person, there’s nothing bad China can do to me. Your country is impotent in terms of psychological retribution.

You probably think that, as a result of this deportation you’ve so shiftily arranged for me, I’ll have to go home in shame to ostracism and face-loss. But face counts for less than nothing in an isolate place like America, in what your propagandist “philosophers” used to call a social-Darwinist society.

And ostracized from whom? Nobody, with a capital N, is the work unit Americans like me belong to. Even if I brought home the highest Chi-com accolades and a vita plumper than Mao’s hemorrhoids, I’d wind up working a shit-job at Seven-Eleven. For I’m a mere male Anglo Saxon, and therefore have nothing to offer, of course. Lumpen intelligentsia all the way, and proud of it!

We Americans are, in your Confucian context, sociopaths; and, though our society and culture are finished, we are the only free people on earth, for we are sublimely faceless. We’re shameless. That, and not all the milk and beef we gorge on, is what makes us so huge and mean and hairy. So watch your skinny, inhibited, glabrous ass.

China–all of this, the forty-year-old smog, the four-thousand-year-old street–it’s just been a cheap, irrelevant vacation for me: a way of forestalling adulthood another couple years; a financially neutral expenditure of dead time; busywork to prepare me for the true man’s labor of placing pickles and cheese on a sesame seed bun and nickels in a cash register, eight hours a day.

You and your most-ancient-of-all-civilizations and your one-in every-four-faces-on-earth have been a way to kill time, nothing more. China, the world’s biggest post-graduate school.

I exit with pectorals puffed and a liberated swagger.