“Plinky plunk, A Chinese Elopmement” sheet music from 1930s USA

The “Oriental Theme”

Sun Ra the black liberationist, spaceman and jazz musician in¬†“Overtones Of China”(1957) ¬†unconsciously perhaps, repeats the old tradition of exotic stereotyping in defining musical Chineseness as wood blocks, gongs and pentatonic piano stabs. In essence the piece is an evolved jazz version of the ‘Oriental Theme’ that serves to evoke Orientalism¬†in the western imagination. The tune, a nine note phrase, is found throughout modern popular music most famously in the introduction to Carl Douglas’s ‘Kung fu fighting‘ , The Vapour’s ‘Turning Japanese’, and David Bowie’s “China Girl”:

Oriental Theme MIDI File

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Is the BNP Racist?

February 13, 2008

bnp1Is the pope Catholic?, do bears…? etc. Not a rhetorical question apparently but a live and highly intellectual debate on the BNP’s ( a UK based far right/fascist organisation) website. Sarah, my partner is crime, is the director of Dimsum, a British- Chinese community organisation which has made the BNP’s ‘Racist Organisations’ list (coming in at number 23!). How so? you may ask, well, the BNP’s logic goes that if the BNP is racist for supporting the rights of the downtrodden ‘indigenous british population’ then organisations that support other minority communities are also racist.

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