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Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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What is red for you?


Many thanks to Kerstin Klein for featuring my photography work on her site: What is Red for you?

Kerstin is a graphic designer, movie lover, and Moleskine aficionado in Berlin.

Have a look-see and send her your Red inspirations, your visually articulate Red creativity.

People should talk less and draw more. 



mr. funny money 


Mr. Money talked in the market. He's 30 give or take a day, well fed and garrulous.

When I saw him he was standing near a shop holding a big pile of 500 real notes. 500 real is worth 25 cents. I am rich, he said waving the pile of money at me. I am the President, I said.

He came over. He sat down in a red plastic chair. He put the money on the table. See, he said, I have a lot of money. All the red notes were old and faded. Yes, I said, You do. Where did you get it?

I collect the money from the shopkeepers. It is their daily cleaning fee, he said. But, I am a poor man. I only make $50 a month. Food is cheap. I have two wives and two kids. Wife number 1 is mad at me. Why, I asked. She saw me with wife number 2. I screwed wife number 1 one day and then I went over to see wife number 2. Wife number 1 saw me and now she's angry. He laughed.

I have lots of energy. I can screw three times a day. Do you want to go with me to a nightclub? I can show you around. There are many girls there looking for some action. Their boyfriends are poor at sex. The girls are poor and need money, he said. Interesting, I said, Not today.

It's easy, he said, I know everybody. He waved his arms around the market. People were slurping noodles, negotiating fruit prices, haggling, chopping vegetables, stoking cooking fires with kindling, manhandling blazing woks, wiping counters, sewing cloth, selling gold, trimming nails, cleaning oranges, and hungry eaters were stuffing their faces. Their eyes were either buried in their bowls or scanning faces in a life of distractions.

An old woman wearing white sat alone on the cracked pavement with her silver begging bowl waiting for someone to express their kindness.

Yes, I'm sure you know everybody, I said. Are you really the President, he asked. Yes, I am, I said. He laughed, I think the president is a joke. Many people would agree with you, I said, It's a lonely boring job being responsible for the entire human race. Yeah, he said, Well I gotta go make some collections. See you later.




No education, no chance


Editor’s note: this entry contains material which may not be suitable for children under 100.

It is 6:00 a.m. It is raining. Rain is not part of this short tale. It’s only purpose is to clean the air, turn dusty red rutted ragged roads into quagmires and provide essential moisture to roots.

It is important, gentle reader to understand the context. I have written extensively about the reality here on the ground the last eight months. Unpleasant facts are more plentiful than health care, education or clean drinking water. See Travel Tales for material.

Some Cambodian people, like other people on planet Earth are cunning, devious and scheming. They, like others, have little or no formal education for various reasons. 

For many impoverished adults on Earth educating their children 

wastes time and m-o-n-e-y.

Food is their daily priority.

This means many mill around, stare, interrupt others, are rude, do not LISTEN and demonstrate behavior and attitudes similar to simians with a very limited vocabulary.

Their daily existence involves searching, finding, preparing and eating food. It involves searching, finding and having sex. It involves sleeping. Sleeping is popular before, during and after food. 

Sex is popular whenever the male, the ALPHA animal in the tribe demands it. This is Natural Selection. People live on Earth for two main reasons: to breed and to work. Read and write? No, breed and work. 

Female members are Passive. They are conditioned through DNA genetics and environment and family education and expectations to be Passive. 

If they refuse to submit to the male they are beaten. If they talk about it they are beaten. If they enjoy it they are beaten. If they run away they are captured and beaten. If they suffer humiliation they are beaten. If they are beaten they are beaten. If they live to tell the tale they are beaten. If they die while being beaten their corpse is beaten. They are beat.

In Afghanistan they are stoned to death by members of their Taliban community. 

She was 19. He was 25.

However, females display acts of aggression when they perceive their offspring (and they have 100’s) are in danger. The longer she breeds the longer she lives, the longer she works the longer she lives. In theory.

Their main task in life is to breed and work. Then they are slaughtered. Life is a bitch.

Across the rural street from my little space behind a green garden I am a witness. I extrapolate, illuminate, illustrate, and desiccate. A family has moved into a long shack across the street where they live. They set up a food joint. They sell steamed corn and fast fried foods.

There is a mother, two older boys 17 & 20 and two girls, the youngest is about 13. The girls may belong to the mother or, as is common, they're from poor areas needing domestic work. They are highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

No papa. He is history in the tragic family tale, one of millions throughout the Magic Kingdom. Long gone in the long now. 

Incest Is Best, a boy about 17, touches one girl’s rear while mom is at the market. He’s wearing his towel-sarong. She’s setting up a glass display case on a wooden counter with her back toward him. He slides up behind her and presses his crotch against her. 

She freezes. He imitates sexual movement. He whispers to her, Little ‘sister,’ this is what happens to you. I have a little red rooster. Do you like it? 

She is powerless. She has to stand there and take it. She is silent. She feels like crying.

Rule #1. Boys and men run the show. They pay lip service to girls and women. It’s the old breed and work paradigm. 

Sexual harassment by immature boys and older men (with money, power and control) and a high level of testosterone, IS a game. Simple sex. No education. No responsibility. No morals. No ethics. No education. 

This explains why millions of girls have babies and the guy runs away. Zero responsibility. 

Girls and women tolerate it because:

it’s an unpleasant hard, cold cruel fact of life

they are told to submit to males
they live in Fear 
they are considered stupid and second class citizens
they have no human rights
it’s an unpleasant reality here
it’s the LAW of the jungle
it’s expected
they have no Voice, no way out
they don’t have the power to say or do anything to stop it
mother is not sympathetic. it happened to her. that’s life

(Translated by Rain)








early dawn streaks orange skies. two barefoot mendicants are walking down the cambodian broken dirt road. one looks well fed. he wears simple tattered white cotton clothing. a red and white checkered kroma scarf is knotted around his head. 

he carries their possessions in three white rice bags on a simple bamboo pole balanced on his shoulder. he is followed on the dirt trail by his friend, a tall gaunt man. they are talking.

man #1. these bags are heavy. i am tired of carrying them. you carry them. 

he drops the bags and stick on the ground. they crash on the dirt. startled birds leave leaves. a river changes direction. he walks over to a large cistern filled with water. he splashes his face. he drinks deep. 

his friend stoops over, adjusts bamboo through twine and hoists the stick and bags onto his shoulder.

man #2. where are we going?

man #1 (muttering to his feet in red dust) down this road.




working blues


sunday song 

cambodia is a funny place. ha, ha, ha.

what do you see? i see a man carrying one red brick. he’s looking for a place to put it down. he is confused. he had no idea his day would involve carrying a brick AND making a decision. 

he needs a woman to tell him what do. this is rare because men, in his culture, are the boss and tell women what to do. usually men tell them to lie down and get ready for the big thing. 

he is confused about loss. his wife wears the pants. she is the now.

i see an exuberant extraordinary solid particle cow patty land-mine in the middle of sunday’s broken pot holed road. it’s a steaming green mountain. it smells like an art project. 

it will be discovered by a speeding SUV leaving a trace of aroma past sweeping weeping women. it will spread itself over the entire olfactory landscape.

it will create new tomorrows. 

* welcome to a new reality game show. it’s called “Watch Women Work.” OR evolution of the species and social organization (+-) 

log on, log in, log the forest. yeah, yeah. i am mr. monosyllable, your creme filled hostess cupcake for this week’s exciting program. yeah, yeah.

contestant #1. a housewife in a rural village. her task is sweeping dust into piles of dust outside her bamboo shack. she has all day to complete this arduous task. repeat.

dust to dust. dawn to dusk. (poetic ramifications in the theatre of the absurd)

contestant #2. a housewife. she has a house. she is a wife. she has 10 children. having children is her DUTY. sex for her is nothing but a DUTY. she is a duty free outlet. her price tag has expired. everything must go.

many children gives her mother and extended family someone to love and play with and yell at. yelling at kids here is abNORMAL and healthy. it nurtures their self-esteem and neurotic adolescence with punctuation marks.

her husband is sleeping. he loves sleeping, eating and making babies, because he doesn’t have to carry them around for nine months and experience hormonal feelings. he sleeps forever dreaming of a hammock in a bamboo forest.

her, his, their children are naked. they play with trash. they set fire to the forest.

fire is their great fun and games besides Yelling and Whining. they play, I whine, you whine, we whine.

contestant #3. a housewife. she is milling around. she has no focus, plan or direction. she is a teacher. she teaches by example. she hopes the lazy boys and men understand. she’s knows many won’t and don’t. 

she pounds things like metal. all day. she is a tool. she is a worker. she is a tool of production on life’s assembly factory. she is a simple person. she spits out many children. this is her duty.

contestant #4. a housewife. she works. her lazy adult son watches her. he is bored watching her. he wants to stare at the long and winding dirt road. he wants to feast his small beady rat eyes on dirt. his eyes are dirt. pure clean red dirt. she sweeps him into the river. swim, little fish. bye-bye baby, bye-bye. he floats away.

contestant #5. a housewife. she has a diamond in her mind. she is calm and focused. she exhales beauty, truth and love. she sings all day long.

pick one to emulate. find one with incentive and initiative and win BIG prizes.

what’s the prize? a broom, a brick, an SUV smashing a green cow patty and a monster home shaped like a wedding cake surrounded by a moat, high walls, silver barb wire and iridescent colored candles. 

anything else?

a year’s subscription to your favorite illustrated color glossy advertising magazine:

“Dreams, Lies, Wishes, Hopes, and Great Expectations While Driving a Blue Dismal Diesel Dump Truck Needing an Overhaul Loaded with Charcoal.”

cool prizes. let’s play. what’s the first question? said, Socrates.

meanwhile: destiny’s child disguised as a black and vermillion butterfly nurtured red and orange exploding flowers above a cool brown flowing river. see you next week on WWW.