Breaking Bourgeois Brains (starring Jack Stearns, PhD)

Jack Stearns is an English teacher in China, waging a one-man crusade against Americans, capitalists, and Christians, which are one and the same in his eyes. This is FICTION. Any resemblance to actual people is simply coincidence.

Class was over but not the day, so for Jack Stearns it was time to play.

He had taught this to his students. Yes, he had taught it. . .now if they had understood it or not. . .

They hadn’t, of course. That’s what you got when the bourgeoisie was allowed to control education. Students only interested in passing tests and what’s worse, teachers only interested in the same thing, that fat payday which all A’s brought. Oh well, at least it wasn’t Wuhan University. His experiences at that Jesuit stronghold had been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Governor of Hubei had invited him to give lectures on Critical Thinking. Knowing as he did how the Jesuits had taken over, he dedicated his lectures to disproving the existence of God. At first, attendance had been high, but slowly, people stopped showing up; at his last lecture, his words only reached a few brave students, who were standing in the doorway, calling out “Hello!” and snapping cellphone pictures. The Jesuits had run him off. Oh Grandpa Mao, if only you could see what has happened to your China!

Jack had written a new chapter today, concerning his university experience. No, not the one at Wu Da—this happened in the UK when he was earning his degree. In a European History course, they had a discussion about England’s greatest Prime Minister. Point: what made a Prime Minister “great”? One student—a young bourgeoisie man, though Jack’s brain had yet to receive the Chinese upgrade so he hadn’t been able to articulate it, still his powers of intuitive reasoning had always been rather strong—had said that despite the hatred she’d got at the time, despite some rather conservative policies, Margaret Thatcher would go down as the greatest Prime Minister in history for the impact she had, not to mention the barriers she’d broke for women. Jack’s hand immediately shot up. “I would rather see her riding up on a cross than the wall of any hollowed building,” he said. Everyone had laughed. So Jack had gone on. He didn’t remember what about, but it did involve his time as a bodyguard for women, especially this stunner who he would have followed, for free or otherwise.

“You followed women around?” someone said.

“Let’s move on,” the teacher started, but Jack overrode her.

“I provided protection for plenty of women, even ones I didn’t know.” Some snickering met this. Such was the attitude among hopeless bourgeois cases. “In fact. . .” and when he got done telling them of the people he had beaten up and killed back when he’d owned his own multimillion pound international law firm, including of how he’d once hidden in the backseat of one client’s car who’d neglected to pay him and that morning “persuaded” him to cough up the money. “Among other things,” Jack added, winking at a young Asian lady in the front row. After that class, the teacher had taken him aside and told him the discussion section wasn’t mandatory.

“It’s only for the students who need extra help.” She cleared her throat. “Which you clearly don’t.”

I broke her bourgeois brain, Jack thought and resolved to remember that line for his writing as he pounded up the stairs to the netbar.

The girls behind the main desk avoided all eye contact with him. Shy as usual. So typical, so so typical. Jack gave them a wide smile anyways. One girl moaned and buried her head in her hands. Oh Grandpa Mao!

He stalked around the computers. He had no one spot; just a right one and the right spot could change from day to day. And indeed it did, though he didn’t remember exactly what the variations were. Today that computer by the window called to him. Good too, for what he was working on he had best to avoid any eavesdroppers. Anyone who might steal his magnum opus and make a killing off the brutal truths and caustic arguments and stirring philosophy found within. No, that would not do at all. Any money made off his wisdom rightfully belonged to him.

He already had a rather wonderful topic. Just yesterday, he had seen the cutest sight. Two little Chinese girls were skating along, when one fell and her skate came loose. The other stopped what she was doing and helped her put it back on. Such concern, and shyness too; when Jack came rumbling over, they both ran away screaming.

He had the idea. He had to write.

He spotted a laowai.

Who was he? Jack knew he was $American$, he just didn’t know the yank’s name. He was on the phone. His masterpiece forgotten for the moment, Jack now wanted to play a few rounds of Warcraft 3 against someone. The Chinese being far too shy to play with him, he defaulted to this guy. . .this. . .$American$. However, he could not simply stand there and wait for him to stop yapping. That was too boring. He needed to occupy his great mind with something—otherwise, he’d go mad. So he squatted through pain and creaks and reached over his enormous belly and untied his shoes. Slowly, slowly, he started threading them back together.

Read more about Jack Stearns.

Also, check out Jack at McDonald’s.

New Lost Laowai / A message to my visitors

To the three people and the cat who visit this site:

First off, thanks. I’ll give you people some beers, and as for the cat, how does a bowl of warm milk sound?

I’ve written a new article for Lost Laowai entitled A Few Signs your MA in TESOL Program is a Bad Choice, but on a macro level, it’s about grad school — specifically, who should pay.

I’ve given some thought to doing an MA in TESOL. After all, I taught it in China, liked it, so why not earn 5,000 RMB a month instead of a mere 4800?

All I need is a golden ticket.

Luckily, I found one, via a Google ad on a message board.

Read the rest here.

As for why I never update this site, two good reasons. I don’t like talking about every minute detail of my life. And besides, my life sucks. Who wants to hear about that? I once read a blog, written by a girl I knew. She accidentally dropped her cellphone in the toilet, and went on for over five pages about how horrible she has it. It has since been my goal in life not to be anything like her. So, no bitching about any “problems” I have.

The better, and truer reason is that I am working on a lot of stuff. Any leftover energy I have goes to articles for Lost Laowai or other expat sites (i.e. sites that have an audience). While I do hope this changes, for now, I have very little energy to devote to this place.

None of which of course means you should not visit each and every day. :)

Swahili Puzzle

From here, Problem 2:

You are given words in Swahili: mtu, mbuzi, jito, mgeni, jitu and kibuzi. Their translations in a different order are: giant, little goat, guest, goat, person and large river. Make the correspondence.


mtu – person

jitu – giant

jito – large river

mbuzi – goat

kibuzi – little goat

mgeni – guest


With ‘tu’ being the word (root word?) for all things humanlike, buzi for goat.

TMQ is a douche

Some people think that writers who refer to themselves in the third person cannot write anything worth reading.

Gregg Easterbrook, “the Tuesday Morning Quarterback”, has done little to prove them wrong:

“The Dark Knight” — TMQ’s nominee for the worst motion picture ever made — used Chicago for its location shots of Gotham City. The 2012 sequel, “The Dark Knight Rises” — I am guessing Warner Brothers won’t invite me to a preview — uses Pittsburgh and New York to stand in for Gotham. Two American cities couldn’t be more different physically than pancake-flat Manhattan and hilly Pittsburgh. But hey, it’s a movie.

You’re right, it is a movie. What the hell do you think? Stop production — Pittsburgh and Manhattan look different! Now they have to go back, pick one and shoot the entire movie there. Thanks Gregg, you’ve saved Warner Bros. millions of dollars with your brilliance. Not to mention embarrassment when savvy moviegoers like yourself point out that in different shots, THE CITY LOOKS DIFFERENT!

Look dipshit, if they were truly going for realism, they’d build a fucking city and call it Gotham. What a douche.

Variety is the spice of life

Over the last month, we’ve had mine, my wife’s, and my sister’s birthdays, all about a week apart from each other. Here’s what we’ve eaten for each one:


My 26th:


My wife’s birthday:

And my sister’s birthday:

As they say, variety is the spice of life.