City Journal Winter 2014

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Winter 2014
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Stefan Kanfer
Charlie Chan Captured « Back to Story

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When flipping through the channels, I always stop for Charlie Chan.
Most of the Charlie Chan Movies were very entertaining. The ones with #1 or #2 son in particular. Today it's impossible to see one on regular TV or Cable because of the PC Police. Glad that most are still available on DVD.
A wonderful review, and a great pleasure to read, not least because of Mr. Kanfer's ego-less use of quotation. (Especially that last one!) In the future I'll watch for Charlie Chan movies on TCM. Many thanks.
"This was a time when the phrase “a Chinaman’s chance” meant “hopeless,” and when Abercrombie & Fitch offered a tee shirt with the legend “Wong Brothers Laundry Service. Two Wongs Can Make It White.”

The Abercrombie & Fitch incident was only a few years ago, so "Campus agitators and benighted sociologists " seem justified in their anger at these t-shirts.
Only someone like Yunte Huang, with his background as an overseas Chinese, could have written this book. He has an entirely different experience of Charlie Chan than American born Chinese. Huang truly loves puns and even "Chanisms", and puts his own skill of wordplay in his poetry book, "Cribs," (2005)
True story: Thirty years ago,a four year old boy was being introduced to the family's pastor in his office. He was asked, And what can you do, young man? I can speak Chinese, he replied. Oh, well may I hear some? The boy assumed a serious mien and said; Ah so! That had to be pure Charlie Chan.
Time to put those wonderful old detective movies on to TV. Charlie Chan and Mr Moto were both great.