My Story ~ 16. A Love Story

australia-china
“Open your heart and the happiness you deserve will arrive.”

Well, it seems that my going abroad was just to follow the fashion, but actually its roots are back in the beautiful dream that I had been pursuing since I was a child and my inner drive to look beyond the place where I was at that time.

After graduation from college, I left my hometown in the Northeast of China for Shenzhen, a modern city developed from a small fishing village. I was following my boyfriend. I spent nine tortured and struggling years there and grew from a teenager to a mature woman. Since I was not so successful in love, I devoted myself to work. I worked as an English teacher at the Shenzhen Polytechnic for the first four and a half years. Later, I was employed by China Office representing Ballarat University for four and a half years as a co-ordinator of a project of Studying Abroad working at Fuzhou University.

I admit that this transition in work triggered my thoughts of going abroad. I was always restless for quite a while every time groups of students were sent abroad. I was young and there should be opportunities for me to go to see the outside world, which is a wonderful prospect. However, what I lacked was education and qualifications, which I made my priority to overcome. I only had a junior college degree at that time so I pursued college education at the South China Normal College and then an MBA class while I was working at the same time. The classes were taught in English for the MBA, this once again inspired my desire to go to English-speaking countries — to have some real feelings toward the atmosphere of foreign classes and to experience life in foreign countries. The dream of going abroad which seems like the desire of a teenager who wants to meet her Mr. Right had become a rational pursuit of a mature woman.

People often say that Fortune always favors the one who is well-prepared. Well, she knocked on my door when I was preparing and the Fortune that guided my course was an old professor from Ballarat University who had been a loving-teacher to me. At that time, the International Department of Ballarat University was looking for a staff member in charge of the project in China and the requirement was knowing about Chinese education, Australian education, having work experience and equipped with a knowledge of education. The old professor thought I was the perfect person with relevant abilities and language advantages and he encouraged me to apply for it. So I flew to Australia for an interview in Jan. 2008. After several hours’ interview, I was accepted and came to work in Australia in March that year. Read more

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我的故事 ~ 16. 一个爱情故事

australia-china
“敞开你的心扉,
就会得到你应有的幸福。

我的出国赴澳看上去像是赶时髦,其实它根植于我的少女时期就怀抱的美丽梦想以及我身上不安于现状的因子。

大学毕业后,为了追随我的男友义无反顾地离开东北的父老家乡来到南方的深圳-这座从小渔村发展起来的现代城市。这里的9年,是锤炼我的9年,我从一个懵懂少女走向成熟的女性。爱情受挫,反倒磨练了我的意志,我全身心投入工作。前4年半在深圳职业技术学院做英语老师,后4年半受聘于巴拉瑞特大学的中国办事处,做福州大学的留学项目负责人。

这次工作的转换,其实可以说是开启我了的出国之心。将一批批学生送出国的时候,我的心里难免泛起涟漪。我还年轻,要是有机会,我当然也想出去见识外面的世界,外面的世界一定更精彩。但是,我还缺乏资本,于是提升学历成为我第一要务。我当时是大专学历,所以就在工作的同时,读了华南师大的本科,然后在2007年又完成了MBA课程。MBA授课是全英文的集中授课形式,更激发了我要去英语国家的想法,一是感受一下真正在国外课堂学习的氛围,二当然是体验一下国外的生活。出国成为我的梦想,这看似一个怀春少女的玫瑰色之梦,其实是一个成熟女子的理性梦想。

人都说幸运之神会光顾有准备的人。当我为出国之梦做着准备的时候,幸运之神真得来敲门了,而引导这个幸运之神的人便是如我恩师般的人物巴拉瑞特大学校长Kellin Goks教授。当时巴拉瑞特大学国际部正在向全球招聘的负责中国项目的市场工作人员,要求要懂中国的教育,懂澳大利亚的教育,而且具有工作经验,还要教育专业方面的知识。Kellin Goks教授非常认同我的工作能力和语言能力,鼓励我去申请。2008年的一月份,我飞赴澳洲面试,面试完几个小时之后,就得到通知被录取了。于是,当年的三月份,我就顺理成章地来到澳洲工作。

所以,我的赴澳优于那些来此从零开始奋斗的人,因为我是受ECU之聘来此上任工作的,所以就免去许多移民或留学生找工作的苦恼。当然,初来乍到,在一个完全陌生或者说以前只是在文字中有所认识的国度,孤独苦闷也是难免的。但是,我认为自己是心理坚强的女性,是善于调适的。刚开始,我的调适方式是醉心于工作,一是为了忘记自身的孤独,更重要的是要做出成绩得到上司和同事的认可,这样才能站稳脚跟。工作中大部分同事都是友善的、乐于助人的,也有些自以为是、喜欢对我的工作指手画脚的同事,我的处理方式是敞开你的心扉,同他们真诚交流,让他们了解你的为人、理解你的想法、你的态度,自然就会得到他们尊重你的回应与合作。在会议上,你要善于表达自己的计划设想,让人信服;在一对一的谈话时,你要真诚对待对方,让人信任。当工作上顺手了,生活安定下来,交了不少好朋友,也认同澳大利亚人将工作同生活分开的人生态度。这个时候,少女时期的梦想就来敲击自己的心灵深处,在中国没有寻到白马王子,在这个风景如画的异国城市能觅到如意郎君吗?有时候,我会望着如蔚蓝海水般的天鹅河出神,河水有节奏地拍打着沙滩,天鹅双双对对悠然嬉戏,海鸥展翅滑翔在蓝天。我的梦想如同蓝天上的白云那样清晰而飘渺。 Read more

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John Fante ~ A Sad Flower In The Sand

Fante was an American novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Italian descent. He is perhaps best known for his work Ask the Dust, a semi-autobiograpical novel about life in and around Los Angeles, California, which was the third in a series of four novels, published between 1938 and 1985, that are now collectively called “The Bandini Quartet”.

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Islamic State & The Artaudian Theatre Of Cruelty

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948)

Abstract
Intrigued by the idea that the Islamic State’s media is performing Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, we questioned in this article whether Islamic State’s use of media does indeed compare to the hellish visions of the notorious French dramaturge, and consequently ask ourselves, if so, how we should interpret and give meaning to the eventual connection between two subjects that seem so far apart, and yet so close to each other: the Theatre of Cruelty and the gruesome religiously inspired videos of Islamic State.[i] The results of our analysis confirm significant parallels between the Theatre of Cruelty and the cruel videos of Islamic State. Considering the fact that the message of cruelty is central to many of their videos, we conclude that ‘Islamic State’s media productions indeed implement the characteristics underlying Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty.’ But what does all this mean? Cruelty and violence are indeed elements of human being’s nature. Humankind has to embody it in one way or the other, and from that perspective, it is much better to incorporate these darker sides of men in the metaphysical sphere. We are deliberately speaking here of humankind, irrespective of religious or ethnic background, because there are Westerners and Easterners that have learnt this dear lesson: acknowledging the dark side of men and expressing it in art.

Key words: # Islamic State # Artaud # Theatre # Propaganda # Cruelty # Hermeneutics # Interpretation

1 Introduction
‘Artaud, a sickly child twisted further by the shock of World War I, wanted his actors to “assault the senses” of the audience, shocking parts of the psyche that other theatrical methods had failed to reach.  Well, IS has read the book. It’s been obvious since September 11 that we’re living in an age of vicious political theatre. That’s what ‘terrorism’ is: the manipulation of large populations by shock and awe and ‘liberating unconscious emotions’’ (to quote Artaud).’[ii]

‘If the attacks on the Twin Towers used the iconography of the Hollywood action blockbuster, the beheadings in the desert evoke drama far more ancient – Old Testament strife, Hellenic legend. [..]It may sound unlikely, but ISIS is carrying out in extremis the program of the ‘Theatre of cruelty’ of the influential French dramaturge­demiurge Antonin Artaud.’[iii]

In the summer of 2014, the geopolitical stage was shaken by the Islamic State videos. Starting off a series of terrifying communiqués with a video of the beheading of journalist James Foley in A message to America, Islamic State quickly set a new standard for extremists’ use of media as a propaganda tool. Now that the extreme display of violence has become the hallmark of Islamic State terror, certain journalists have suggested a link between these brutal videos and dramatist Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) and his ‘Theatre of Cruelty’. We were intrigued by the idea that the correspondence between Islamic State’s media outlets and Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty might actually go beyond the shared predominance of cruelty and have taken the suggestion made by Sakurai as a cue to research whether Islamic State’s use of media does indeed compare to Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty on a more fundamental level. And consequently ask ourselves how, if so, we should interpret and give meaning to the eventual connection between two subjects that seem so far apart, and yet so close to each other: the Theatre of Cruelty and the gruesome religiously inspired videos of Islamic State.

The research done is comparative in nature. By comparing and contrasting the principal underlying ideas, the audience/performance relation, and the performance itself of Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty and Islamic State’s video productions, we hope to arrive at a detailed and nuanced understanding if and if yes, how Islamic State and Artaudian theatre relate to each other. The possible connection between both being eventually confirmed, we will consequently dwell on the meaning of such connection. Read more

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Sinclair Lewis ~ It Can’t Happen Here

First edition 1935

It Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.

Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press.

Called “a message to thinking Americans” by the Springfield Republican when it was published in 1935, It Can’t Happen Here is a shockingly prescient novel that remains as fresh and contemporary as today’s news.

Chapter  I

THE handsome dining room of the Hotel Wessex, with its gilded plaster shields and the mural depicting the Green Mountains, had been reserved for the Ladies’ Night Dinner of the Fort Beulah Rotary Club.

Here in Vermont the affair was not so picturesque as it might have been on the Western prairies. Oh, it had its points: there was a skit in which Medary Cole (grist mill & feed store) and Louis Rotenstern (custom tailoring—pressing & cleaning) announced that they were those historic Vermonters, Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, and with their jokes about imaginary plural wives they got in ever so many funny digs at the ladies present. But the occasion was essentially serious. All of America was serious now, after the seven years of depression since 1929. It was just long enough after the Great War of 1914-18 for the young people who had been born in 1917 to be ready to go to college… or to another war, almost any old war that might be handy.

The features of this night among the Rotarians were nothing funny, at least not obviously funny, for they were the patriotic addresses of Brigadier General Herbert Y. Edgeways, U.S.A. (ret.), who dealt angrily with the topic “Peace through Defense—Millions for Arms but Not One Cent for Tribute,” and of Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch— she who was no more renowned for her gallant anti-suffrage campaigning way back in 1919 than she was for having, during the Great War, kept the American soldiers entirely out of French cafés by the clever trick of sending them ten thousand sets of dominoes.

Nor could any social-minded patriot sneeze at her recent somewhat unappreciated effort to maintain the purity of the American Home by barring from the motion-picture industry all persons, actors or directors or cameramen, who had: (a) ever been divorced; (b) been born in any foreign country—except Great Britain, since Mrs. Gimmitch thought very highly of Queen Mary, or (c) declined to take an oath to revere the Flag, the Constitution, the Bible, and all other peculiarly American institutions.

The Annual Ladies’ Dinner was a most respectable gathering—the flower of Fort Beulah. Most of the ladies and more than half of the gentlemen wore evening clothes, and it was rumored that before the feast the inner circle had had cocktails, privily served in Room 289 of the hotel. The tables, arranged on three sides of a hollow square, were bright with candles, cut-glass dishes of candy and slightly tough almonds, figurines of Mickey Mouse, brass Rotary wheels, and small silk American flags stuck in gilded hard-boiled eggs. On the wall was a banner lettered “Service Before Self,” and the menu—the celery, cream of tomato soup, broiled haddock, chicken croquettes, peas, and tutti-frutti ice-cream—was up to the highest standards of the Hotel Wessex.

They were all listening, agape. General Edgeways was completing his manly yet mystical rhapsody on nationalism:
“… for these U-nited States, a-lone among the great powers, have no desire for foreign conquest. Our highest ambition is to be darned well let alone! Our only gen-uine relationship to Europe is in our arduous task of having to try and educate the crass and ignorant masses that Europe has wished onto us up to something like a semblance of American culture and good manners. But, as I explained to you, we must be prepared to defend our shores against all the alien gangs of international racketeers that call themselves ‘governments,’ and that with such feverish envy are always eyeing our inexhaustible mines, our towering forests, our titanic and luxurious cities, our fair and far-flung fields.

“For the first time in all history, a great nation must go on arming itself more and more, not for conquest—not for jealousy— not for war—but for peace! Pray God it may never be necessary, but if foreign nations don’t sharply heed our warning, there will, as when the proverbial dragon’s teeth were sowed, spring up an armed and fearless warrior upon every square foot of these United States, so arduously cultivated and defended by our pioneer fathers, whose sword-girded images we must be… or we shall perish!”

The applause was cyclonic. “Professor” Emil Staubmeyer, the superintendent of schools, popped up to scream, “Three cheers for the General—hip, hip, hooray!”

Full text: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301001h.html

Note:

Title: It Can’t Happen Here
Author: Sinclair Lewis

* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: 0301001h.html Language: English Date first posted: Jul 2003 Most recent update: Jul 2017
This eBook was produced by Don Lainson and Roy Glashan.

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The Making Of The Statute Of The European System Of Central Banks

September, 2018: The complete book – updated version – will be online soon. See: http://rozenbergquarterly.com/the-making-of-the-statute-of-the-european-system-of-central-banks/

Do you find it difficult to understand why the European Central Bank is restricted in its assistance to EU countries which have difficulty borrowing from financial markets? And do you find it interesting to learn what the tools are of the ECB, compared to the Federal Reserve System, and why the monetary part of the Economic and Monetary Union is so much more successful than its economic leg? These questions are answered in the book The Making of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks, which first appeared as a dissertation in 2004. It describes the economic, political and legal discussions behind every article of the statute of the ESCB, which rules its behaviour and which restrict the options for politicians to intervene in the policy of the ECB. After you have read this, you will find it much easier to understand and predict the behaviour of important actors, like the decision-making body of the ECB and politicians, and the tensions between them.

Checks and balances
The phrase ‘checks and balances’ is most known for its use as a description of the American system of government. The essential feature is that the departments (branches) of government are not just separate from each other (i.e. having their own functional jurisdiction and the absence of personal unions), but also exert limited control over each other, to the extent necessary for preventing departments (branches) from assuming authority in areas for which other branches are responsible. This philosophy was based on the experience that especially the legislature if left to itself could expand its powers in the field of the executive and in extreme cases even taking on judicial powers.

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The Making Of The Statute Of The European System Of Central Banks ~ Contents & Readers’ Guide

Contents

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Introductory Chapter
Zur Thematik
Organization of the book
Methodology and sources
Descriptions of the main documents, committees and historical setting

Chapter 2: Integration Theory, Federalism and Checks and Balances
Integration and transfer of power
Federalism
Checks and balances

PART I
Cluster I (Checks and Balances between the ESCB and the Public Authorities)

Chapter 3: Introduction to Cluster I
Basic Community structure
Independence
Accountability Read more

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The Making Of The Statute Of The European System Of Central Banks ~ Preface

This study explores the genesis of the most important parts of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). This genesis and a comparison with the national central bank laws at the time of the drafting of the ESCB Statute can contribute to a better interpretation of the ESCB Statute and therefore a better understanding of the functioning of the ESCB. This is a first study covering in full detail the genesis of the ESCB Statute.

The study also shows the significant influence which the governors of the central banks have had on the design and formulation of the statute by comparing the texts of the Delors Report (April 1989) up till the final outcome of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) in December 1991. The governors’ text went almost unscathed through the IGC process, especially because the governors had appreciated from the beginning the importance of incorporating checks and balances in the draft ESCB Statute.
The governors knew the European central bank had to be both independent and accountable. This study shows independence and accountability are not opposites, but they are complementary to make for a balanced system of checks and balances. In this sense the study purports to contribute to the increasing amount of literature on central bank independence.
The governors were also careful in designing a balanced internal structure, i.e. they opted for a federal system within which neither the new European Central Bank nor the existing national central banks would be dominant.

To be more specific the study is, like Gaul, divided into three parts: the first covering the ESCB’s external relations, the second covering the intra-system relations between the ECB and the NCBs, and the third covering the internal relations within the Governing Council (i.e. between the Executive Board and the national central bank governors).
The study is based on publicly available documents. Some new material has been made available for research purposes, including the draft versions of the Delors Report. The study is basically an intertextual and chronological comparative analysis. Comparisons with the Federal Reserve System are also included, as the FRS is also a federally structured central bank system and because the Federal Reserve Act is full of checks and balances. Read more

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