Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Moments--Kaung--my sketches made at Getty Center


Xi + covid--

‘It was all for nothing’: Chinese count cost of Xi’s snap decision to let Covid rip


One strong man cannot make policy for 1 b=1 m dead.

You can get new enhanced vaccination if your most recent one is more than  2 months ago.




Monday, January 23, 2023

Renee Fleming sang Danny Boy at Senator John McCain;s Funeral--Washington DC

National Cathedral.

The daughter of the Hero in my novel is about to get her Masters in Music.

So I am looking at what a lyric soprano such as Renee Fleming might sing.

--sad about another gun tragedy in CA.



Sunday, January 15, 2023

Quote from Inge Sargent's Twilight over Burma--

Bo Setkya and U Khant come to tell Sao Thusandi, Mahadevi of Hsipaw that her husband Sao Kya Seng is dead.

U Khant was elder brother of then UN Sec. Gen. U Thant.




Another bereavement in the larger Burmese democracy community overseas--Tad Sargent

  Another bereavement in larger Burma democracy community overseas.

Sun, Jan 15 at 9:00 AM


Tad Sargent, husband of Inge Sargent, former Mahadevi (Queen) of Hsipaw in Shan States in Burma, passed away.




I don't know exactly when or other details.  I just found out today from mutual friends. 


I stayed with her a total of 4 times while attending conferences in CO.


3 were talking about Burma and reading poetry at annual Conferences on World Affairs in Boulder, and one was while attending a conference on Trafficking of Women in Denver.


Interviewed her 2 times--


1.  about her memoir Twilight over Burma


2. When Aung San Suu Kyi's husband Dr Michael Aris died.


I will write more about these 2 interviews.


Both times she told me:  


"I am a Buddhist now.   My mind is calmer."


She told me this in Burmese and her Burmese was still good.


"seik tway aye thwa pyee --all those thoughts are all calmed," she said.


I painstakingly took out all the silent gaps when she was searching for the right Burmese word (after nearly 40 years not speaking it on a regular basis)  so the interview was at normal speed.


The jerk Burmese section head Nga Xoe Dinn (slightly changed name) made me cut portions saying the suspected perpetrator who killed her first husband Hsipaw Sawbwa Sao Kya Seng, Col. KM still alive in MD and


"would sue RFA."


My view was The Victim also has Rights.


Tad Sargent was a good person who loved his wife.


I last saw them both in 2004 and 2016.


More later.


Need to spend some time crying and praying and writing.














Portrait I painted and gave her--it's a little pink, but she liked it.  I painted it at night as I was to catch a flight the next morning.  It dried fast as it was acrylic.

    Copyright Kaung--portrait of Mrs Inge Sargent--original gifted to her 2016


    Copyright Kaung--portrait of George Orwell, based on Orwell site 2016




Saturday, January 14, 2023

June-Rose Bellamy--a k a Princess Yadana Nat Me of Burma.

Like that other redoubtable Burmese woman who lived mostly overseas, Daw (Ms) Than E-Fend,

I was very privileged to know her.

I met her via email but never in person, when a lawyer at the Foundry Gallery whose wife had taken her cooking class in Florence gave me her address.  That lawyer and I were both artist members of the Foundry Gallery.

Like Aunty Dora, she also never spoke of her private life.

Nevertheless, she was a role model in reinventing herself and her life in exile.

Also,and this is very important I think, she's the only woman who told that eff-ing dictator to eff-off.

I saw her in the chauffeured car driving N to the airport, sitting alone in the backseat, recognizing her by her distinctive hair style, the day she left him for good.

Our Inst of Ecos. bordered on Prome Road, and I was driving myself to work.

I don't remember if it was this time or another time when I pulled to a stop beside the road, and the MI (Military Intel) stuck his head out and shouted at me, "Don't stop, keep driving slowly."

Ah, those times in the mid-1970s.

I also remember this photo above.

She must be cooking Florentine food in the afterlife.

She was a gutsy woman.

Not like the others that he married.  As for him--




Al Jazeera,myanmar site


Burma, Resistance amps up, jail kitchen sham food, sham election-- etc


New startup, another alternative to Twitter gets over $1m from "angels"

I'm still looking into setting up Mastodon acct.

Twitter is finished under Musk--

Tesla lowered prices.

Tighten belts as much as possible.




Friday, January 13, 2023

From Wikipedia--Mastodon--the alternative to Twitter.

Functionality and features

Mastodon servers run social networking software that is capable of communicating using W3C's ActivityPub standard, which has been implemented since version 1.6.[13] A Mastodon user can therefore interact with users on any other server in the Fediverse that supports ActivityPub.

Since version 2.9.0 Mastodon has offered a single column mode for new users by default.[14] In advanced mode Mastodon approximates the microblogging user experience of TweetDeck. Users post short-form status messages, historically known as "toots", for others to see. On a standard Mastodon instance, these messages can include up to 500 text-based characters, greater than Twitter's 280 character limit,[15][16] although numerous Mastodon servers have forked the source code to allow a larger character limit.

Users join a specific Mastodon server, rather than a single centralized website or application. The servers are connected as nodes in a network, and each server can administrate its own rules, account privileges, and whether to share messages to and from other servers. Many servers have a theme based on a specific interest. It is also common for servers to be based around a particular locality, region, or country.[17][18][19]

Mastodon includes a number of specific privacy features. Each message has a variety of privacy options available, and users can choose whether the message is public or private. Public messages display on a global feed, known as a timeline, and private messages are only shared on the timelines of the user's followers. Messages can also be marked as unlisted from timelines or direct between users. Users can also mark their accounts as completely private. In the timeline, messages can display with an optional content warning feature, which requires readers to click on the hidden main body of the message to reveal it. Mastodon servers have used this feature to hide spoilers, trigger warnings, and not safe for work (NSFW) content, though some accounts use the feature to hide links and thoughts others might not want to read.[7][17]

Mastodon aggregates messages in local and federated timelines in real-time. The local timeline shows messages from users on a singular server, while the federated timeline shows messages across all participating Mastodon servers. Users can communicate across connected Mastodon servers with usernames similar in format to full email addresses.[16][17]

Content moderation

In early 2017, journalists like Sarah Jeong[20] distinguished Mastodon from Twitter for its approach to combatting harassment.[17] Mastodon uses community-based moderation, in which each server can limit or filter out undesirable types of content. For example, mastodon.social and several other servers ban content that is illegal in Germany or France, including Nazi symbolism, Holocaust denial, and incitement of violence against Jews. Servers can also choose to limit or filter out messages with disparaging content. The main author of the Mastodon software, Eugen Rochko, believes that small, closely related communities deal with unwanted behaviour more effectively than a large company's small safety team.[21] Users can also block and report others to administrators, much like on Twitter.[17][22]

Administrators of servers can block other servers from interacting with their own, an action called "defederation".


Thursday, January 12, 2023

All the bad news in Burma (Myanmar)


Why we should support legitimate causes, even if we think they will fail.

It's worth the effort.

Burma had abt 10 years of even a limited democracy to 2010.

We shld not label anyone "losers"

The 4 nails of the coffin are not yet driven.

The last chapter is not yet written.

-- Autocrats ultimately fail.

Alexander the Great's army almost mutinied once they reached India.

He then made the bad decision to return to Babylon (Baghdad) via the seacoast, where many of his soldiers died.

In Babylon he died, some say of West Nile Fever.

He was traumatized by all the killing.  They were all alcoholics.

He burned Persepolis and killed Black Clietus while drunk.  B C was son of his wet nurse.

Qin Shi Huangdi descended into madness, maybe due to mercury poisoning.

As for Hitler, Mussolini, NW, Ceausescu, Pinochet, Pol Pot, we know their stories already.

The demonstrations, which reached Bucharest, became known as the Romanian Revolution—the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the course of the Revolutions of 1989.[4] Ceaușescu and his wife Elena fled the capital in a helicopter, but they were captured by the military after the armed forces defected. After being tried and convicted of economic sabotage and genocide,[5] both were sentenced to death, and they were immediately executed by firing squad on 25 December.[6]


If you wish to support the Burmese Resistance directly, e.g. Sagaing, I have found a trusted contact--

email me if you are interested.

I think we shld support the Truth, in whatever way we can.

"Don't stand by and do nothing."



Fleeing villagers eating meai in jungle
Depayin villagers fleeing junta attack

 Remains of villagers burned alive by junta forces.  from Myanmar Now 2021

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Heirloom Seal of the Realm--

This is in Seal Script created during Qin ShiHuangdi's reign.


18th century portrait of Tang Dynasty female emperor Wu Zetian --c 600 AD.

Tang Dynasty tombs in Shanxi, China

My Chinese surname on my mother's side, therefore not really my surname is Teoh, equivalent to Tang, a China expert told me.

This mausoleum and attendant murals and portrait sculptures show how international the Tang were. e.g.murals of foreign diplomats.

I was researching only female emperor Wu Zetian who was married to 3 successive emperors. 


Wish I could go but maybe one of you have been already.  If so pl let me know.

I research mostly to write fiction.

KM Kaung


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

C-drama review of The King’s Woman set in (fictional) Qin Dynasty.


I totally agree with this reviewer.




This series can't decide whether it wants to be


a romance


a kung fu flick


a psycho drama --


a murder mystery


an alpha-female story.


and it flung out all these names off stage/off screen which we are supposed to know already.  I just watched the documentary and the Qin Dynasty Epic and I still had trouble recalling who they all were.


I think it's depending on Dilraba's star power,


but no happy ending either.


Too modernized, I think.


Yes, too many cliches and the usual tropes, too much kung fu,


appealing enough romantic leads


but I wish the bodyguard Han Shen got to live.  He was the only cool character who addressed emperor by his first name and looked him in the eye--now that's not possible even in Burma in the 19th century.


Convoluted plot and yes, severed deer head straight out of Godfather.


But I liked Ying Zheng's mother going crazy and himself on a murderous killing spree on a Handan Street where he had been bullied as a hostage prince, as a child.


He then ends up slumped against a column surrounded by corpses.


The rest is all concubines and harem intrigue, but for that you would do better watching


Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace--very depressing.


I can understand why the movie-makers had minority princess/concubine in plot


or maybe it was in the original novel, as a show-piece role for Dilraba.


However, why not then make it just some usual "old China piece"


if not going to include any of Qin Shi Huang Di's major achievements, then why not just make it a generic historical/kung fu plot?


I think by trying to make it so many different things, the story-line gets confused.


I'm considering if I should watch this to the end.


K. M.  Kaung

















My archive at IISH, Amsterdam--