Posted by: patenttranslator | April 1, 2020

Living in a Scary World of Bad and Boring Science-Fiction Movies

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows
I took the blows
And did it my way

Yes, it was my way (Paul Anka)

So how do you like living in this new world of scary, bad, interminable science-fiction movies?

I hope it’s not too bad where you are. It’s not bad here.

Personally, I don’t like it at all, of course, although I don’t really mind the forced isolation that much either. But that’s because I am 67 years old, and given that I am (or was) a translator most of my adult life, my life has been pretty boring anyway and a big chunk of it was spent in unavoidable, self-forced isolation as it was. Being chained to my desk and computer for most of the last 30 years in order to crank out as many words per day as possible, I did not really get to go out too much anyway. Just kidding!

(Or maybe not).

Except, of course, that I did not have to wear a mask up until now. Had I been wearing one a couple of months ago, police would probably stop me because I would look like a burglar. If I don’t wear it now, the police will definitely stop me and give me a fine, because a mask-less person is no somebody with no conscience who is recklessly endangering the lives of fellow citizens.

So I do wear one in this new Fantasy World of Scary Science-Fiction Movies that the whole world is reluctantly inhabiting right now, and may have to be inhabiting for a long time. There may be still a few spots without the plague somewhere in Africa, but maybe not even there. Antarctica is still virus-free, but it is too cold there!

My brother sent me a terminally funny cartoon: It shows a big brown bear peeking out behind a tree with a bewildered look on his face, (I mean around his snout), saying: “One falls asleep for a little while, wakes up and everything around him has changed …. Why do all those people wear masks on their snouts?”

All of a sudden, it’s a crazy world everywhere you go, and not only for big brown bears.

Well, we’ll get through it. We just have to remember that it is important to have fun despite everything.

Some people are much worse off than I am now. What would I do if this pandemic happened 20 years earlier when I had two small children? Work would probably stop appearing in my email, but the bills would still keep coming, because they always do. Which is what many, perhaps most people must deal with right now, unlike those of us who are retired and whose children are adults.

This is just one of the blows that we have to take as Paul Anka says in the lyrics to the song that was made famous by Frank Sinatra.

We’ll take the blow, and do it our way. At least I hope that’s what the record will ultimately show.


  1. No, Steve, we are not living in scary and boring science fiction. We are acared like some Austrians and Tschekos during 1938~1939.

    If you wish, I can explain the situation we Taiwanese are facing later.


  2. Please do, when you have some time, Wenjer

    Your Ame-Tcheko


    • We have Afro-Americans, Latin-Americans, Anglo-Saxo-Americans, etc., but we don’t have American-Tschekos. We do have Tscheko-Americans and Sino-Americans. So, my friend, you are not Ame-Tscheko at all. For me, you are Tscheko-Tscheko and I am glad that you finally made the move to come back to Bohemia or Sudetenland, what ever. It was also homeland of Franz Kafka, right?

      It takes time to explain to Westerners what happened with China and Taiwan. And I don’t have the time right now. Let me come back later.


      • Actually, I am a Czech-American, whether you believe it, or not. Because I spent almost my entire adult life in America, I am more American than Czech (about 60/40, I would say), although the longer I live here, the more I am becoming Czech again.
        But I don’t think it really matters too much.

        I saw a program Deutsche Welle TV about how Taiwan is dealing with the pandemic, so I have a pretty good idea already.

        Stay safe, Amigo!



    • Ha, ha, is Arnold Schwarzenegger an Autro-American or an Amero-Ausrian? Or even an Afro-American? I do believe that you are Czeck-American and the longer you stay in your homeland you turn over to be more Czeck than American.

      Actually, our problem with China is not the pandemic, but somethihng else which must be found in the history of Japanese occuapation and even further back to Chinese started migrations to Taiwan. Most Westerners believe that we are Chinese, but we are not at all Chinese. We are partly migrants and partly refugees from China and other countries in the South Pacific Ocean, plus later Japanese and Chinese Refugees at arms with Generalissimo Chang Kai-Sheck. We cannot identify ourselves as Chinese, while China maintain that Taiwan is part of Chinese Territory, such as they believed Sudetenland was part of German Territory. So, this is our real problem with China. And it is too difficult to explain all the factors why we are no Chinese to Gringos, Gaijins, foreigners.

      Let me explain in a simple way: We are no Chinese, because we elect our leaders by the people, not as China, where the leaders are appointed by the CCP and the people d#o not have a say at all. The CCP calls China the People’s Republic of China, but it is neither of the people, nor by the people, neither for the people. And it is actually not a republlc, either!

      When the Nazis marched into Austria, they said, “ein Volk, eine Nation, ein Führer”. Was it a German Republic? No! Was it really one people? Not at all. There wer Germans in Sudetenland, but they live peacefully with Czecks. Why should the Nazis invade Czeckioslovakia? Just because Sudetenland was a long while Austria?

      Taiwan was not included in China before 1945. What right the Chinese has to maintain that Taiwan is part of China?

      The simple differendce of Taiwan from China as I explained must be enough for people who are not interested in histories. A real Republic vs. a false name of Republic, a system of, by and for the people vs.a one-party system., etc., you must understand Taiwan is no China and Taiwanese want to independent from China. It can be like Austria after 1955, a German nation different from Germany. In short, we don´t want to be Chinese ruled by the once partz CCP.


  3. We re ok in Portugal for now. I have small children and I am tired. But ok. Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You know that if you need to put something in the official title of your country, the words you put in there are always, always a damn lie: There was nothing democratic about the so-called German Democratic Republic, there is nothing democratic about the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the People’s Republic of Korea the people are slaves, etc.

    And the same is true about the People’s Republic of China. The title is such an obvious lie that nobody really uses the words anyway, it’s just PRC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let us be honest, why didn’t Austria resist when the Nazis marched in on the 19th of March, 1938? And why did Chamberlain signed the so-called Munich Agreement by the end of September the same year?

      We have the same problem in Taiwan. Everybody knows about the truth and facts in PRC, but nobody would lend us a helping hand, not even our own people in or out of Taiwan. Bohemia is still Sudetenland till today. It is Sudetenland shared with the Tschekos.

      Please, Steve. don’t put me wrong. I understand both how the Sudetendeutschen and the Bohemian Czecks feel — just about how we Taiwanese and Taiwan-Chinese or China-Taiwanese feel. However, we cannot do anything about it just as the Czeck Republic couldn’t dp anything about it.

      I met two Sudetendeutschen in South America and a Czek-Jew there. All of them have their stories. That was why I didn’t want to commnet on the Chinese presence in the Czeck Republic some time ago at your on blog post. With the COVID-19, we are aware that we are Tawianese, not Chinese, and this is at least what I can stress on right now. Pity that I cannot write in details why we want to be in distance from China.

      Take care, Steve, we are over 60 and pretty much endangered by the pandemic.


    • Well, Steve. how about the attributes used in CCCP? I have been wondering why they need so many adjectives.


  5. What I find scary, besides the disease itself, is how quickly people come out of the woodworks whose first concern is to turn in their neighbors. One woman in an online neighborhood forum posted a question last week asking where she could report people who were violating the (voluntary!) stay at home order. Fortunately a police officer on the forum told her to calm down and that the police was not about to send an officer out for that. I understand her fears about health, but still. I guess human nature is the same whether you live in a totalitarian state or a democracy…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, and literally one minute after I post my comment above I read about the mayor of LA saying this: “You know the old expression about snitches,” Garcetti said this week. “Well, in this case, snitches get rewards.” He added: “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.” ….. !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snitches always were and always will be getting rewards, that’s why they they are snitching. The rewards don’t necessarily have to be monetary, although those are best, of course.

      Just getting somebody into trouble is a reward in itself for some people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I guess there is a kind of self-righteous satisfaction about seeing others get caught for doing wrong. And getting paid for being self-righteous is even better of course :-/

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw on BBC, I think, a clip about a Russian guy who was turned in by his neighbor in Russia for not wearing a mask. He was just dumping his garbage into a garbage bin in front of his apartment house when the police came to punish the offender of … what is it that we live in now, sounds like corona virus martial law 2020 to me. A lot of people will try to keep the new regulations on the books even when “herd immunity” is finally reached, I think.

    A blogger that I follow started using the term “rhona” to avoid being censored by Youtube which apparently happens if you simply used certain words. They either “demonetize” your post, or maybe they even erase it, I’m not sure.

    I have to admit,I am now wearing a mask when I am dumping my garbage in front of my apartment house.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah I can’t blame you! Martial law, censorship and snitching neighbors; lovely. I hope this virus peaks soon

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, Steve, I want to recommand you a blog from my German friend who is the son of a German Diplomat in Spain during the Franco period. He was her in Taiwan for quite a long time and knows about the problem between Taiwan and China. He happened to serve as an employee at the consulate affairs office of Argentine in Taipei where I met him over fifteen years ago.

    So,. my friend, enjoy his blog:


  10. Steve, I really hope that the world does know that Taiwan is not China and that we Taiwanese are no Chinese.


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