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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
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"What can you do. You get a name, and it stays that way for the rest of your life. And if at some point you go for a walk in the woods, and someone takes a photo of you, then for the next eighty years you're always walking in the woods. There's nothing you can do about it."

 - Thomas Bernhard  Read more…



dance alive

It never occurred to Matt to buy indigenous cultural music while traveling.
Martha his girl friend considered it essential.
Music made her edgy and alive.
When she heard music she danced.
She returned to her primitive self.

She danced naked.
Ballet. Flamingo. Tango. Cha-cha. Lambada. Waltz.
He wrote naked verbs. They loved naked. Naked cherished syllable skin music.
They wrote, danced and lived like they were dead.
One day they would be. 
They were free. It's the way to be.

Culture is what you are. Nature is what you can be.
People are nature's tools.
Children are parent’s tools.

Passing through Body Sat Quiet in Asia on a three week, “Look, don't think” holiday from frozen Europe they happened into an 8th century tourist town music repository. They smelled music before they saw it. Seeing music is an art form. Synesthesia. In music like life, the end of the composition is not the point.

A music boy handed Matt an orange book. Write your melodic request here. Matt opened the book. A Cambodian orphan popped out of blank pages: I am sorry. Goodbye and good luck to you and your family. These are our famous words. Big vocabulary. Tongues speak. Small life. Big chance. Yeah. Yeah.

Hunger Angel watched 24/7 in the big leagues.


O world

"O World, strangled and collapsed, where are the strong white teeth?

O World, sinking with the silver balls and corks and life preservers, where are the rosy scalps?

O glab and glairy, O glabrous world now chewed to a frazzle, under what dead moon do you lie cold and gleaming?"

- from The Fourteenth Ward by Henry Miller.


one night

don't go to sleep
this night
one night is worth
a hundred thousand souls

the night is generous
it can give you
a gift of the full moon
it can bless your soul
with endless treasure
 - Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi

translated by Nader Khalili
from Ghazal 947
Fountain of Fire


a jungle story

Once upon a time in the long now there was a continent, a landmass floating on water. White people called it Asia on dusty maps. Deep inside Asia were vast lands, rivers and mountains.

Overtime, a historical bandit with a reputation for laughter, magic, fear, superstition, and insatiable appetites for diverse languages, customs and cultures lived in jungles and forests.

OTHER preferred living on distant and remote mountains. 

Jingle, jangle, jungle. Using natural materials they created musical instruments, simple weapons, homes, fish traps, snares and looms. The women had babies, wove cloth and prepared food while the men fished, planted crops, domesticated animals. Children played and learned life lessons from nature with extended families. 

One day a boat filled with white men sailed down the river to a village deep in the jungle. They wore shiny clothing, spoke a language the people could not understand and carried weapons that made a lot of noise and scared everyone. They pretended to be friendly by offering gifts. The leader of the village welcomed them. They had a party.

Every day more white people came down the river on boats named Destiny. They were on a quest for gold and slaves. Owning, using and discarding slaves had proven to be an essential part of their historical evolution on other continents.

Their mantra was: cheap labor, cheap raw materials, cheap goods, cheap markets and much profit.

White people said, we are civilized and you are savages. We have religion. It is called Wealth.

It is Greed.

We are on a mission from the great chief. We control fire. We control time. We control people. We control nature. We have machines. We take what we want.

The village gave them hospitality, shelter and friendship. The white men were greedy. They took control of the village, the people and the jungle. 

Every day the white men marched their slaves deep into the jungle singing, We control Nature. We shall overcome.

They spread diseases. They planted fear. They planted envy and jealousy. They manipulated villages against villages. They divided people against people. Divide and conquer against each other. History taught them well.

They harvested wealth in the form of people, precious stones, rubber and every raw material of economic value. They were never satisfied. Their appetite grew and grew.

If we want to survive we must move to a new jungle forest far away, said the village shaman. This is the story they told people one night below stars singing with their light.