Asian-American Forum
Winter 2010 Issue no. 4

On the Concept of Sin

by Christine Wong


In my life, Sin starts out as a quiet whisper, like the stirring of sands before the maelstrum. It is the temptation to temporarily abandon moral standards for the sake of the self...There are all kinds of superior writings one might investigate with regard to this, East and West, whether it is the writings of St. Augustine or Tibetan monks. Before Sin's throne are writhing, restless snakes and green slime--oh wait--in this dimension it's the Monte Carlo where money buys everything.


A descent into the maelstrum these days begins something like this:  


She woke up late and didn't pack her own lunch, so she ate out. At Hizonnors Eateries, there didn't seem to be many options except the meat-packed lunch. Feted and gorged, she is somewhat riled by the lofty but surly attitudes of the queer waiter and the restaurant's overpriced lunch  tab, but of course they both must be generously reimbursed. When she leaves, it is to see that good  fellow standing near the bank machine, the one who knows she knows he really lives in a respectable-looking home, but rides Metro every day just to "do his thang" with the one palm held out. She walks on by, past the fundraisers for Amnesty International, whom she gave twenty-five dollars to last Christmas, after all, to them now was never last Christmas. And then she can't really think of Haiti, afterall, it's such a faraway place. Nor can she think of Catholic Charities, afterall, someone else will give more. In fact, she spends more on her darling Chinese pug, Poochini, than...But her hairdresser effed up her hair last week and she raged all about it on Yelp! awarding them a big starry 1.0...


Not bad, hey? She doesn't figuratively bow before Sin's throne...just kind of creeps in on hands and knees. Lowing, lowering herself to the level of prostrate cattle.


This is what my present fascination with purification consists of: Confession, Falun Gong, Tantric Meditation, chanting, seeking absolution----hoping to rise above it all, to raise the Immortal Child...


But my book, Places, was written all before this quest began. To be honest, the essays were written at the height of my youth, when I was in a career surrounded by stodgy demons, or rather, people whose concerns dwelt within the confines of respectability and mutual admiration. In Places, it is these dregs of the past which hopefully, inspire the reader towards the recognition that there is, must be, a better future than this life's ending.


Here is the link to my first published book:

Here are some recently read and recommended books, if the above won't suffice:


Book Review

The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones: Misnomer for Big Green Bubble?

An Editorial Review

Van Jones has written a book that panders to current crises in ways worthy of the populist with a pulpit agenda which is unquantifiable except in terms of ultimate social costs. Could other worthy titles of this book be: Green Pyramid, Green Dollars and Faces, or Big Green Balloon? One has to try to understand the premises supporting the book. Is it global warming or specific social crises? The powers that be would like to coerce us into subscribing to their doomsday prophesies of inevitable global disaster because they hold convenient stakes in future investments: they stand to benefit from new carbon taxes, mandates, home inspections, and devices which we, the little people will have to buy. Scientists claim they need hundreds of millions of dollars for research when in fact much of the technology already exists for limiting deforestation, conserving water, scrubbing fuel emissions, mandating toxic waste treatments. The trouble is, Bush dismantled EPA's power to enforce corporations to comply with regulatory standards and now the buck is going to make us, the little people pay thrice. Once to clean the air/water corporations pollute, once to help allow them to continue to pollute, and once to enhance their green technology stock portfolios. Van Jones only focuses on how he thinks little people will benefit. The interesting ideas also tend to be overmixed with repetitive social coequity color rave. Nevertheless there are points worth pursuing such as responsible accountable development that does not discriminate based upon socioeconomic poverty; loans for new green manufacturing industries; green technology training programs; and research incentives for large corporations. There are so many pressing global environmental issues that could also have been addressed: overpopulation, restoration projects, water balances, old growth forests, and outdated water/waste treatment methods. I recommend reading all you can about globalization issues, encouraging open debate, and remaining wary that tax dollars are not needlessly wasted in a new Big Green Bubble. Check out Anthropogenic Global Warming - Fact or Hoax by James A. Peden, or read Climate Confusion by climatologist Roy Spencer. The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454 the "green economy bill") will make a difference, but only if it isn't chock full of indiscriminate spending that favors one constituency or population segment over another.

Honoring Black History

Editorial Review of the State of the Union Address:

Here is a link to the source:

Characters and events are fictitious and serve thematic purposes only.

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