Endless Culture War, by Linh Dinh

Dec 28, 2018 by

Linh Dinh –

In Bangkok for Miss Universe 2018, Miss Cambodia and Miss Vietnam made international news when they were idiotically mocked by Miss USA for not knowing English. The Vietnamese beauty, H’Hen Nie, is a Rade from Dak Lak, a province well-known to many American Vietnam War vets, but otherwise not often seen by foreigners. Its waterfalls and elephants don’t attract too many tourists, who prefer to crowd the beaches in Nha Trang, one province over.

Typing this, I’m lying on the floor, with mouse droppings inches from my laptop, in Dak Lak. It has been raining, often fiercely, for more than 24 hours. Outside my brownish steel doors are huge nylon sacks of plastic trash, or just trash. I’m working as a foreman at my brother-in-law’s plastic recycling plant, and living in the back of it. Tripping towards old age, I must make minimal provisions. It’s really cascading outside.


We have 30 employees, 23 women and seven men. The women’s main tasks are sorting the plastic pieces according to types and colors, and making sure no metal is left in them before they’re fed into the pelletizing machine. To remove metal, these small but tough women use a hammer or meat cleaver, mostly, but sometimes a screw driver or plier. Banging away for hours is grueling work, obviously.


Men load and unload heavy bags from trucks, operate the pelletizing machine. When men work together, even the smallest and weakest must suck it up and hump as much and as long as the rest, for to quit would be too humiliating. Sport teams, construction crews and armies all operate on this principle. Our hardiest male employee is also the shortest and scrawniest.

Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

Continue: Endless Culture War, by Linh Dinh – The Unz Review

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