Spotlight on Shanghai International Literary Fest | March 2009

March 22, 2009

Chinalyst & FeedBlitz are syndication services to which I subscribe. Both carry online publications on and from China in English, and I get an e-mail several times a week with a digest of new articles from both. You can subscribe to St. Louis Chinese Corner, this online publication, by e-mail by clicking on the FeedBlitz “chicklet” in the sidebar at the bottom right of  any Chinese Corner page, and then setting up a free account on FeedBlitz.

tristamarie, author

tristamarie, author

Today I saw a link on one of the digests to a live report from one of the events at the Shanghai International Literacy Fest written by tristamarie. Here is a link to it for you. It’s things like this report that will give us “outsiders” to China some insight into the current thinking of the educated population there, who will, obviously, be the future leaders.


Highly literate Saint Louis woman!

Highly literate Saint Louis woman!

I always like to draw parallels between the people and cultures of China and the USA, and one thing I can add here is that in December 2008 Imaginova’s published a list of the Top 10 Most Literate Cities in the USA, and Saint Louis, Missouri, came in at a most respectable #9. The list is generated by Jack Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University.


bookworm wrote, “Once again, bookworms in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest have beaten out Yankee types to reach the very top of a researcher’s list of the most literate American cities … .”

While calls the central USA the “Midwest,” I prefer the term, “Heartland,” but the point of the article and the pride in the recognition is not diminished for me with that slight difference of terminology.*

Here is a link to the list and online story.

*Editor’s note: My issue with the term “Midwest” is that it’s used to describe pretty much everything in the vast central landmass of the USA that’s not on the east coast, west coast or deep south. In addition, no two maps outlining the “Mid-West” include the same states. It’s a poorly distinguished area, and an undistinguished identification. States in the so-called “Midwest” often are dismissed as uninteresting by the media centers in New York and Los Angeles and seen as part of the “great fly-over,” implying that there’s nothing and nobody worth stopping in to visit here, between the east and west coats.

map-us-regionsThe so-called “Midwest” defined by the dozens of states lumped together in them this way misses the important point that the states and regions and people within those boundaries are as different from each other as the east coast is from the west coast.

The map here shows a “Central” region and a “Mountain” region, but as often as not a map will show both of those lumped into a vast “Midwest” region. Sometimes Texas is included in it, and sometimes it’s part of the “West” or “South West.” Obviously, whether Texas is included or not, all of the states in the Mountain and Central regions have tremendous variety in terms of ecosystems and local cultures.

If the majority of the USA is going to be lumped together as a single region, I prefer to hear it referred to as the HEARTLAND, which is not a mis-appropriated geographic designation, but rather is a description of the very genuine people who inhabit the area and their impressive cities, charming towns, lush countrysides and the hundreds of sub-cultures and traditions that exist within them. Actually, it’s quite interesting and beautiful in the Heartland.

PS  According to the Media Kit, Stephen Colbert is a fan.

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert

He writes, “When I’m driving home late at night folks, I like to read on my laptop computer because I know I won’t fall asleep at the wheel if I’m enraged. Evidently, scientists have found that chimps are more evolved than humans.”

-Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

[Stephen, “Wrist Strong,” man.]

"I heart Stephen Colbert."

"I heart Stephen Colbert."


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