Friday, February 12, 2010
tiring emotional ethics questions
In the middle of a bunch of other unremembered story lines last night, I was approached by an older Chinese guy. I wasn't sure what he wanted, and didn't really want to talk to him because it seemed like he just wanted to hit me up for money. He was persistent, though, and started telling me his story. Apparently he had made a fortune very rapidly with some kind of business venture. This story was accompanied by images of wild, extravagant parties held at his house, with some really interesting details that I can't remember now. His fortune had reversed and he was now destitute, which was why he had approached me in the first place. This provoked wildly mixed feelings in me. I had been annoyed at the imposition (I'm always bothered in real life by a random person trying to sell me something or request something). Now I was a little repentant at having been annoyed, and a little impressed with his story, which was pretty poignant. At the same time, I was mad at myself because I was pretty sure there was an element of bourgeois wannabe awe: that now, knowing that he had been insanely rich and well-connected, I wanted to be connected with him and wished I could back-pedal to react more positively.