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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
Timothy M. Leonard's books on Goodreads
A Century Is Nothing A Century Is Nothing
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Welcome to earth - TLC 9

Dreams and nightmares snarled on nationalistic winds. Hot air swept north from Cambodian jungles in snow taxis playing cello solos.

Calm, sad, neglected women do, did, done all the work.

Their universal mantra: I work. I breed. I get slaughtered.

Welcome to Earth. Babies of sweet sixteen having more babies were busy sexing, texting, birthing, cooking, washing, sweeping, cleaning, and crying.

Tibetan tears melted Himalayan glaciers. Waterworks flooded rivers and deltas in Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia.  

Global media bought people. Media created and sold exaggerated disasters and fear marinated with the gloom and doom of catastrophic dramatic human foibles.

Sixty million drowning SE Asian farmers and fishing people struggled for higher ground after greedy governments constructed twelve dams on the Mekong in Laos. Thailand purchased the electricity for red light districts. They recycled it back to Laos at amperes profit. Dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Eye captain.

Idle boy/men raced oil-soaked 125cc engines in Asian motorcycle cultures. Bored, they played board games shuffling global play money in offshore top-secret laundering scams. Millions needing a lucky break milled around with hands buried in empty pockets Waiting For Godot.

No one showed up. Nothing happened.

Fate, destiny and death watched with humorous disinterest.


Richard, The Language Company director in Istanbul called Lucky in Fujian, China for an interview. “Why Turkey?”

“I’ve never been there.”

He laughed. “Good enough for me. How’s Ankara sound? We have a big center there. See you when you get here.”

“Ankara’s fine. Thanks for the opportunity. It’s my lucky day.”

He gifted Leo and Chinese teachers plants, bamboo mats, the I Ching Book of Changes and The Diamond Sutra, the worlds oldest printed book circa 868.

Non-attachment illusions of freedom were gift-wrapped.

Winging away as Winter Hawk he exhaled on western winds.


Copper boy Ulus, Turkey.


real eyes realize real lies

i am a fake person
selling a fake reality
to fake people
where the sound of speech
has no alphabet

creativity has no rules
sang a Yangon crow
the end of the world
is down a long labyrinth

without a center 
filled with staring voices
a blind man on a train
clicking clacking to Pan Yar Lan

uses a bamboo staff
carries a cup
staff signals pressure
walk slow
trembling through life

Yangon primary students.


Eat fast or starve - TLC 8

Leo and Lucky sharpened sticks on stones. They carved paleo-Leo-lithic paintings on soft clay walls. Leo edged circles, rectangles, triangles, curves, lines and dots. He carved his name inside out for historians and archeologists to get the EOL gist, or, as an unemployed academic financial analyst on Wall Street would, could, should declare, English On Line.

They connected dots forward.

Salvaged garbage mired in mud created a recycled art project on the canyon bottom. They assembled a statue using sticks, soggy faded purple underwear, a filtered worker’s mask with a broken elastic strap, beer bottles, soda cans, green string, cigarette packages, feathers, needled pine cones, coral blue seashells, orange peels, melted candles, used condoms, fractured leaves, bird songs and Lung-Tao prayer flags from Lhasa.

Dirt play was a welcome respite from class tomb drudgery. They practiced meditative Zen mindfulness.

A voice was missing. Dozing, it concealed inherent pixel images of sad-eyed curious Chinese children trapped behind educational gates near women struggling behind plows and oxen or bent over Butterfly sewing machines threading conversations and manufacturing tongues in Maija village shoe factories years away from wealthy cities and Ankara dummies in display windows.

Lucky nurtured an indoor jungle in his university apartment and watered playful artistic English growth with two kids, Bob Dylan Thomas, 10, and Isabella the Queen of Spain, 12, from Human Province.

Interior. Their parents operated a popular student restaurant featuring boiled noodles. Slurping eaters' glazed befuddlement observed the three geniuses speaking and laughing, ho, ho, ho, ha, ha, ha.

Laughter is perfect survival therapy.

After a dinner of steamed fish, rice and fresh spinach he introduced chess tactics/strategies to freshman every Friday night in a cafe overlooking student street near new campus. It was a mishmash of seventy-five restaurants, shops, beauty salons, karaoke night clubs and fruit and vegetable stalls amid rancid street garbage filled with malnourished savage scavenging dogs competing with humans foraging for sustenance outside high cement walls, rusty guard gates, cement dormitories, miles of flapping laundry and blue lakes leading to a Buddhist temple on a green mountain reflecting a yellow sunset.

“You've noticed,” said a waif castling early, “how the majority of Asiatic eaters drop their faces into the bowl to eat. Very few raise the food to their mouth. It's not about taste and camaraderie. It's about finishing it.”

“Eat fast or you starve. You’re either fast or last,” said Lucky, developing the Queen’s pawn.




Chinese history teacher goes home - TLC 7

Leo’s history teacher wrote in her journal - Ah, what a marvelous summer. I don’t make much money you understand so I use it wisely. Family is everything. To avoid relationship clashes of dynastic proportions I shelled out $200, a third of my salary for a round-trip train ticket home. After paying the university an exorbitant rental fee for my drab, cold apartment plus electricity and water, I had enough left for soggy onions, fresh spinach, tofu, rice and oranges.

Home is where the heart is. Well let me share a little advice about that. Singing the blues life's way of talking, I lugged my broken suitcase, guilt, shame and duty home to hearth and kin. Whew.

I am overwhelmed by the heavy burden of my family's expectations. After fulfilling my academic responsibilities meaning pass everyone or face dire consequences as ordered by university authorities whom or who will, for the sake of Social Stability and Harmonious Educational Reform Committees remain faceless, nameless and totally obscure, I escaped my prison sanctuary.

Train stations along the way were packed with migrants, laborers and prostitutes without a wing, hope or prayer. Mothers and fathers formed concentric protective circles around solitary children to prevent thieves. Stolen kids are a huge underground economy. People pay $3,500 or more for a boy. Princelings. They have high value in our new economy. Stealing, shilling, selling, buying children is how life works. Life is cheap here.

Accelerate baby production comrades, exclaim Stalinist loudspeakers.

It took twenty-two long, tedious hours sitting in hard seat with three transfers before I reached my province bordering North Korea where, across Time’s river, twenty-four million free starving people ate grass as liberated women scrubbing sidewalks with toothbrushes sang:

Hail our Great Leader!

Speaking of work, I need to run. My past is chasing me. I must help mother with cleaning, shopping and timeless chores. If I don’t perform my filial duties she may threaten to sell me to a marriage broker. I live in perpetual fear. I’ll return to my artificially inseminated alter-ego teacher existence next week. After reporting back for duty I will file another illuminating report. Thank you for your attention.

The Language Company


Democracy & Happy Meals

Immediately after 9/11 Spanish children scrambled through dust pawing soil looking for energy cells. Emergency air raid sirens exploded. Everyone scrambled into bombed out buildings.

"Hey, check this out," said a hungry refugee, "I found a case of Democracy. The Republican label says it spreads easily."

"Is it crunchy or plain?"

"How do I know? It’s just plain old Democracy."

"I hope it’s better than that old rancid Freedom Sauce. Let’s give it a go. Democracy is a good idea, in theory."

They opened the box, took out a jar, unscrewed the top, grabbed sharp knives, broke bread and slathered on Democracy.

"Wow! This is yummy."

"Yeah, well I got some stuck in my throat. It tastes like sand."

"It’s protein."

World tribes collected their Democracy.

"We need more energy," someone said. "We need music, news, a weather forecast. We need to know what’s happened."

"Need a clue? Take a look around you," said an illiterate person. Twin Towers, Iraqi and Syrian villages, and Afghan mountains smoldered on the immediate horizon.

"It looks desperate," said one.

"Eye, it does," said another. "It’s always darker before the dawn."

Sirens stopped and they emerged from darkness.

"We need shelter," said a family gathering rushes from the World Bank. Third world immigrants and internally displaced people pounded rocks and carried them on their backs toward unknown futures. They sang, “Give me shelter. Shelter from the storm.”

"Beware those who live on dreams," said a rationalist.

"We need a committee," said a company man. "We need order."

"May I take your order?" requested a disembodied voice from a black box in a drive-thru combat zone.

"One happy meal to go," cried a distraught family trapped in a massive traffic jam. It was bumper to bumper on the highway of death between the airport and Baghdad. Where the rubber met the road. Their digestive systems were backed up for miles with sugar, fat, grease and carbohydrates.

"Consider the essentials will you," pleaded a small voice from the back seat trying to get a dial tone, trying to get through, trying to find a rhythm inside swirling chaos. It threatened to swallow everyone and spit humans into a black hole sucking everything into a parallel universe. 

A Century is Nothing