Evan Villarrubia is purportedly in charge of making this project make sense — that is to say he should be trying to somehow use the English language (alongside Andy’s stunning photographs) to condense the enlightenments made during this project into a format conveyable to people who can’t see what’s going on in his head. That is to say, he’ll be doing something akin to trying to squeeze water out of a stone and then making it taste sweet. His only real qualifications for this are that he’s fluent in Chinese, revels in the power of language, and immodestly (and Lord knows to what extent it’s true) believes himself to be more able to understand and write about humanity and goodness, specifically in China, than most others who have undertaken a project on this scale (otherwise, why bother?). Evan hopes more than anything that his writing for this project appeals to both a high level of aesthetics and a sense of hope for humanity in a place where it’s not easy to casually observe.
Also relevant to the project at hand: Evan’s hobbies include long bike treks through China’s hinterland, reading old Chinese texts, and socializing with the extreme poor. Less relevant to the project but also true: Evan is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, graduated in Chinese from Georgetown University, and has experience doing a number of jobs around China ranging from acting to writing to teaching to working with nuclear power plant constructors. If you want to know what crazy mechanisms drive Evan’s thoughts, read the posts on this site.
Evan can be contacted at email@example.com.
In order to better understand some influences on our thoughts, Evan suggests you look into the following.
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – the king gorilla of all philosophical stories surrounding long road trips on 2 wheel vehicles and one of the best books we’ve ever read
- Works of Liang Shuming
- On the Road – we read this during the first part of our trip, and it’s relevant because we like to be plenty crazy when we’re not being serious
- 1984 – honestly it’s amazing how much Orwell was able to predict what modern China would look like, even though he wasn’t even writing about China
- The Geography of Nowhere - Kunstler’s historical description of what happened to make the US the giant mess it is has really gotten me thinking about decisions made in China that manifest themselves in the physical nightmare that we often ride through. Incidentally his working title for the book, “Why is America so F***ing Ugly?” — substituting America for China — is a question that inspires a lot of my thinking about the places we see.