May 26th, 2011

On the subject of not mucking in...

I've been venting recently about the fact that China has the most obvious "jobsworths" I've ever seen. I honestly believe that society here seems to be run on the principal that "It's not my job." If they think someone else will do it (or even if they think that someone should do it for whatever dumb-ass reason they select), they will let someone do it.

On that subject, I heard another "good excuse" for not doing something that they really ought to do if they're going to show willing. Apparently someone wasn't able to was or tidy up "drop bottles" (small science containers) because "picking things up will put my back out."

For all China's belief in themselves as a "moralistic society where people look out for each other," I can tell you here and now that's a crock. It might be a fear society where they do stuff for fear of being punished, but do I ever see people stepping up to volunteer? No.

It's put me off socialism for ever.

I saw a commentator once ask "When have you ever seen the Chinese [Government] take the hard option [and deny the state that would be economically beneficial to the state]?" With only a slight modification, that applies to all Chinese I think.

I finished The Tesseract today.

I finished The Tesseract, by Alex Garland, today.

This is a strange book, because it takes 4 sets of characters (an Englishman in Manila, the local "heavy" that he's due to meet, 2 street kids, and a family) and watches what happens in the run up to (and after) the time when these 4 groups collide.

It's a good, but rather, depressing book. It's set in a third world country which has very little evidence of "forward momentum" and you know from how the book's written that no one's going to be happy at the end (unless something startling happens).

In a strange way, it actually reminded me of the last series of A League of Gentlemen (without the laughs) for those who are interested in how it's structured.

Incidentally, one of the closest things I have to a claim to fame is that I actually went to school with Alex Garland, and if you were to read anything by him I'd say that this book was closest to his take on things as a teenager.