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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  December 7, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm EST

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♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. charlie: fareed zakaria is here, he's a columnist for the "washington post" and hosts the cnn program, freed jets -- gps.d zakaria he has the special on barack obama that premieres december 7 on cnn. barack obama's america was born with hope. >> people work crying in the streets. fareed: with history and with crisis.
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and it.l >> we were hanging on the edge of panic. fareed: health care hysteria. wars. mass shootings. -- gunman opened fire fareed: racial violence. >> this guy is a racist. but barack obama made some big bets that paid off. troops came home. gase got married. s got married. enemies were vanquished. millions on health care. sometimes tragedy gave birth
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to hope. he sang "amazing grace" he channeled that as president and it was a profoundly important moment. fareed: but as a new era begins. mr. trump: your moment of liberation is at hand. saide black guy smiled and -- that president smiled and said i'm a black guy named barack hussein obama and i'm president of the united states. fareed: what is the legacy of barack obama. charlie: he also wrote an essay dedicated to the power of populism called "populism on the march: why the west is in trouble." i'm pleased to have you back on this program. fareed: a pleasure as always. charlie: let's begin with barack obama. what is his legacy? fareed: as an individual, he's tried to be the most sinceuential president
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lyndon johnson. if you look at the ambition of obama's agenda, the reshaping of health care policy, the reshaping of health care policy, regulation of the health care sector, the rescue of the economy, the bailout of the auto industry, the shift in american foreign-policy, which is more than just a tactical one, it was a strategic one. the question is, he pushed for all those things as president, but to have a truly lasting legacy, you also need to build a political coalition under you. if you look at the two really consequential presidents, lyndon johnson and fdr, and reagan to a certain extent, they ended up with congressional majorities that lasted, particularly in johnson and fdr's case. that.was not able to do what happened over obama's watch , the democratic party lost heavily at almost every level. did he cause that
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or how responsible was he? fareed: a very good question. some people say it's because he was not skilled as a politician in the way lyndon johnson was. johnson had a way to extend his power through congress. i think there is probably some of that. he was personally a charismatic politician but the bigger issue has changed a lot in the last 15 years and has changed in ways that have been propelled by globalization, immigration and multiculturalism. there was a backlash and the democrats have paid a price. they been on the receiving end of that backlash and that force, that backlash was very strong and it was a backlash, let's be honest, to an african american president. across see this backlash the western world. it makes me think that force was too strong for anyone president trulyak, but for a
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consequential legacy that would last, you probably needed that base. was america in terms of its relationship to the world and the role of wants to play? fareed: i think under obama, it was actually clear but people disagreed. he said at the start that he thought the united states was over invested in the middle east , a crisis prone area where investments would not pay off in over invested militarily trying to in some way nation build in those areas or settle ancient disputes between the sunnis and shia's. so he wants to draw down from the middle east, pivot to the part of the world where the united states has a strategic -- charlie: can he do that with what is the nature of the relationship with the -- with china today? in, thereen he came
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were 200,000 american troops in afghanistan and iraq. been a massive scaling back. while we have been able to doingte al qaeda and are it to isis -- people are -- that is the world we are in. small groups of people can do big damage. on asia, what they have done has been quite wise, a strategic relationship and dialogue with china. and if you alliances are member, 10 years ago, the big debate in japan was should we ask the americans to leave? now they're asking us to build up. south korea, the philippines which has had a setback recently, but has been loathing in the right direction. the bigger question we now faces down of the paring
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american internationalist role, but still very engaged. think of the climate change accord which could not have happened without american leadership. with trump, we have for the first time since the fdr and harry truman world, somebody who fundamentally seems to dissent from america as the upholder of the liberal some international order the united states created in 1945. a guy who says our allies rip us off. why are we engage with this, why doesn't japan just get nuclear weapons and defend itself? but do we know that is where he is in his own head because people are beginning to talk to him. there is the impression that was partly disruptive campaign rhetoric. mindd: with trump, we are
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reading. he doesn't have considered views , so you are trying to judge on the basis of instinct where he will go but the instinct seems to have been pretty consistent in this regard. to the 1980's, he was taking out full-page ads in the new york times arguing the japanese are ripping us off. he has a very jacksonian impulse, which is the world's ripping us off. i think the american created order has been great for america. world population, we dominate the world economically, militarily and culturally. for most of the rest of the world, they look at the extraordinary imbalance in power america has. trump sees and thinks we're getting ripped off. faire else pays their share and that feeling seems to run pretty deep. but he may change his mind.
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his statements to date constitute the most significant coherence would be jacksonian is him. charlie: america first? fareed: our allies try to rip us off. if anyone tries to mess with us, we will bomb the hell out of them. we don't want to occupy any place. we want to stay in our fortress and bomb the hell out of somebody and come back. charlie: that brings me back to populism on the margins. a piece called why the west is in trouble, not just the united states. fareed: if you try to understand this phenomenon, it's happening across the western world. you ask yourself what is it and lot of folks say it's about economics. but it is happening in suite mark -- in sweden, denmark and
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holland which are doing well economically. it's happening in germany which has maintained a strong manufacturing sector. people say it's because we abandon them. the french provided enormous protections for their workers. the one common thing you notice in these countries is immigration and the backlash and response to it. one counterfactual to look at is the one country you'd do not see populism, which is an advanced industrial country going through tough and dust -- tough economic times is japan. what is the one thing japan doesn't have? no immigrants. if you go through tough times economically, if you feel you therel in it together, if is some coherence, it works. once you see the globalization of people, they look different, sound different and worship different gods, that creates unease. charlie: let's talk about that
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in terms of europe. in the far right in europe, in germany, france, it is rising now and all of those countries. in some cases, it has been a presence there for a while. the central idea was a kind of far right nationalism, a rejection of all things foreign. that has been combined with a connection with the loss of jobs , globalization, with all of those factors that have come together to represent one single grievance. fareed: in a sense, it is a backlash against globalization. i point out in the article that it has gone through four phases. yet the globalization's of goods , services and capital. this is the fourth wave of globalization of people. we were able to digest that are or worse and it's difficult to
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blame somebody. but then you get the globalization of people and now you have someone to blame. the genius of donald trump was he realized the republican voters out there and many democrats were not that republicanin the party's core ideology of tax cuts and entitlement reform. they wanted to hear about mexicans, muslims and chinese people. the mexicans were taking their jobs and the muslims were in danger in their security. on those issues, he was consistent. once you have someone you can blame, the ideology gets a certain charge it hasn't before. outlie: how will this play in a trump administration? fareed: we will have to see how serious he is on those elements. we all know donald trump is
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going to build a large enough wall that he can do a beautiful photo op in front of it. so there is a sense that down the road there will be wall fareed:? the question is will he deport millions of people. if he does that, the agriculture sector will go into recession. if you do -- charlie: let's take one small simple thing -- torture. here's a guy who talked about waterboarding and worse. he has one conversation with his new secretary of defense who tells them you will get more out of people with a pack of then with and candy all the torture i can recommend. all of a sudden he says i listen to this and rethought it. so look at somebody who has begun to understand the significance of where he is in the power he has.
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obama had a conversation and said he is pragmatic was the central point. going to look at the problem he faces and be a different person than he was as a candidate? although it has some credibility makehis base, he's got to sure he communicates to them why he's doing it and hasn't forgotten his promise. the only honest answer i can give you is i hope so. i don't think any of us really know. there's a debate among people whose starchy -- you staunchly opposed donald trump. my view is very much you have to hope he will flip-flop on these issues, and he will be educated by people and learn more about whether it's climate change or the realities of immigration because we don't want him to fail. if he fails, the united states
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fails. you don't want to run some kind of experiment of having him do these terrible things only to realize their wrong. deport 11e to try to million people, it would be a disaster. perhaps the result is he would become unpopular and learn through that example, but you would have screwed up 11 million people's lives and the economy of the united states. that's a more expensive experiment that i'm willing to pay. i would rather he flip-flop on the issue. charlie: henry kissinger thinks he thinks of himself as a unique person with a unique capacity. i think obama has a healthy ego. i think he thinks he smart but i think henry overstates it. interacting,obama i'm struck by obama is always asking questions.
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he's always asking questions he genuinely wants to hear the answer to. you've probably noticed this -- most politicians, when they ask you a question, they are simply waiting for you to stop talking and they will provide the answer. obama doesn't do that. questions that are genuinely designed to elicit information. i think he's very confident. maybe even cocky, maybe even healthy, but he has a appreciation for other people's intelligence and talent. where he seems to have a problem is he always feels like he knows what the best deal is for you and me. so he offers it -- charlie: i'm reminded of the fact that he also said don't do stupid stuff.
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that was one of the cardinal expressions he lived by as a leader of the united states. he understood you can cause huge repercussions if you mess up. his first obligation was to not screw it up. fareed: he thinks it takes a lot of discipline to say no. when people come and say we have this incredible military, let's send it off to do this. the ability to be disciplined -- i think it is partly -- remember presidents always react to the president they succeeded. so they look at bush and i think he saw in bush someone who could to cheney and rumsfeld. you can overdo it militarily. there is always a year and then yang. that the united states can elect barack obama and then
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donald trump, there cannot be too greater opposites. charlie: your special is on tomorrow night. at what time. fareed: 9:00. i'm sure you will be riveted. we spent a lot of time with obama, valerie jarrett, tim geithner, everyone involved in the administration to have them re-create that feeling, particularly when it started. we were in the worst economic crisis than at any point since the great depression. hislie: and i think that is single achievement -- even though he looks at obamacare and bringing the troops home, when the country was tottering there when he took power in 2009 come of the crisis had been in 2008. in terms of rescuing the system, that single idea failed. months, they had
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to make a series of hugely consequential decisions. compared tonow others, the united states has created more jobs than the entire oecd put together. pluss europe plus japan south korea. i know it doesn't feel like that for some americans, but when you compare us to the rest of the -- d, what is striking charlie: the u.s. economy is healthy compared to rest of the world. watch fareed zakaria on cnn tomorrow at 9 p.m. eastern. ♪
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is here.brendan iribe he's the ceo of oculus. he founded the virtual reality company in 2012. it was acquired by facebook in 2014 for $2 billion. team build hardware and software with the intent to let people experience anything, anywhere with anyone. on tuesday, they choose their latest offering, the touch and controller. it follows the launch of the oculus rift headset in march. i'm pleased to have brendan iribe at the table for the first time. tell me about virtual reality. when did it begin to get some sense of significance?
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we have been dreaming about vr for decades. it has been in science fiction and movies. a lot of people think of "the matrix" or the star trek holiday. we've been imagining this world but it never really has worked until the last few years. we finally got it to a place where it works. charlie: what happened to make it work? is it the quality of software? it actually is the hardware. to put on a headset, to put on avr device and have your brain tract to have that switch flipped where you believe you are there and you go from imagining being in a virtual world to your brain believing you are there, that took a lot of work, a lot of complex technology and for the first time, they came together for
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years ago. charlie: and it can make you believe you are in precarious situations and you can feel the fear of falling climbing around him. you can feel the sense of climbing it, but knowing if you look down, you don't want to let go. brendan: your brain kicks in and instead of trying to imagine you are somewhere, imagine we can step into that movie and your brain is saying we are on this cliff. we are this high up and you need to be careful. you are telling your brain, don't worry, we are just in the yard. what were you doing when you decided to create oculus? brendan: i was at other company and we were working on streaming technology. we were in the midst of being acquired and i got the chance to meet palmer lucky. when i saw the early prototype he was working on, we quickly
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came together to found oculus. charlie: why the name oculus? brendan: palmer had picked the name oculus and he was excited about that name and the name wrist for the first product we were working on. we decided let's go out and create a kickstarter. kickstarter was brand-new at the time and it was a crowdfunding site to evangelize and get vr out to the mass market. it had never worked before. charlie: many people believe virtual-reality is the next big that form. has suggested it has that possibility. do you agree? brendan: absolutely. when we first started, we were focused on gaming and it was all about stepping into the game. when we were marching along and making the technology better, we realized it was going to be for a lot more than gaming.
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we would be able to teleport people to any destination honors and put people face-to-face. whatever the game is connie sit in front of your screen and are able to do things and make wings move and there's a game to it. with a virtual you are on the playing field. brendan: you are first person. you feel like you have stepped through the game and it's all around you, 360 degrees. you look down and see your hands, so you really feel like you are fully immersed in that videogame. tell me what you mean by touch -- how your hands to be the capacity to manipulate within the field you are in. these are our touch controllers and they are fully tracked in six degrees of freedom.
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as you are moving these round, your hands are showing up in the virtual experience. you see your hands where they should be. makean pick them up and gestures to people. charlie: where could this go to have a huge impact in terms of possible utilization of virtual reality? of the next great frontiers we look at is virtual teleportation -- being able to teleport to other places around the globe. to scan in the earth and scan and popular places, important places like museums and the mayan ruins, different temples. for the first time, he will have people who can put on goggles and teleport in there. charlie: in terms of medicine, we were talking about this this morning. can give you the capacity , to putgeon, i assume
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you within a larger environment where you are doing microscopic stuff. correct me if i'm wrong. brendan: you are absolutely right. you can go down and shrink into someone's surgical procedure and get in there at a microscopic level and feel like you are in their with the cells and organisms and you can identify things. you can for education, for training surgery, imagine medical students in their dorm rooms, if they could put on a pair of glasses and do simulated surgery again and again, all night long, they could run through dozens of procedures and continue to get better just in the dorm room. this will allow us to advance so much faster. charlie: if you talk to surgeons, they will tell you there's nothing like doing it and doing it. it makes you a great surgeon.
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here, you can simulate the experience in part. someone said this -- it's an important step forward. it's not just a headset, not just about tricking your eyes. the more parts of your body you can for simultaneously, the closer you get to having those wonderful, immersive experiences. and feelingperience true presence. will this develop exponentially in terms of the velocity of change? brendan: i think we are right at the beginning. i call it the apple ii moment of vr. if you think about where we went from apple to a keyboard and big monitor on your desk and now we have a super and everybody's hand all day long every day, it's many times smaller, house and the times faster. if you look at where we are with vr, we will advance quickly and
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take a number of huge leaps to get down to just a pair of glasses that should be no bigger and weigh no more than regular glasses. it will just become part of everyday life. it's going to take a while to get there. you soldand the fact the company to facebook. what does facebook give you? facebook supercharged our investment into vr. they also have the biggest social network. if you think about the ultimate goal for vr, we want to make the world more connected. what's more connected than classes that can bring everyone together face to face just like this? what will determine the winner? i'm not sure there's going to be one winner in the way we have four or five huge technology companies from google to apple
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to amazon to facebook. will there be a winner? this is another development -- hands. firstn: this is the generation of vr -- charlie: everybody wants to be part of the next platform. brendan: a lot of people do believe this is the next platform, especially mark and facebook. acrosoft is leaning in and lot of big companies are starting to invest in vr because we all have this vision that it we are on the path to becoming this computing platform. win?s going to we think we have a great shot at creating a great platform and creating the dominant operating systems. be winners inwill
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each generation. we are in the first generation of the are and as the hardware is disrupted, if you think of where we started with cell phones, every time the cell phone leaped in hardware, where it got much smaller or when you went from the keypad to the keyboard,to the full that moment where blackberry suddenly one. everybody said blackberries got this. out of nowhere came the all-in-one touchscreen. ios andre's iphone and it looks like they are going to win and here comes android. we are in this first generation and there will be winners as we march along at some point, the hardware will mature and we will get to the place where it doesn't advance. computers haven't changed for a long time now. a screen, a keyboard, a mouse. but we the first leap,
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are far from maturity. we will see several leaps before we get to a place where we get to a place where we say the hardware is done. is kind of it's not changing. there are two winners, ios and android. , it was windows and mac. when the hardware finishes, there will be two dominant operating systems in vr. haveie: and once you dominating systems, there will be a rush to create applications. brendan: there is already a rush. someone will show you how to use it in surgery, almost every human endeavor. brendan: this should affect every industry over the next few decades. it will start in gaming and entertainment. there will be smaller uses, medical, architecture, but
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quickly this will affect every industry. i should take note of the fact that you gave a bunch of money to the university of maryland, your alma mater. the computer science center, this is the building for students to come and learn innovation. that is something i'm really passionate about. fostering early education in computer science, not just bringingng, but together hardware and software and this convergence of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and great software engineering. that is what made oculus possible. this was a team of hardware engineers that had to build the fiscal device and crack the code and we had to crack the hardware on how to make the display in optics. it was the combination of both
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of these coming together. it's going to bring together all these disciplines into one place and have this open lab. it's like bringing silicon valley to maryland. that's the goal. charlie: it's great to see you. congratulations. brendan: thank you so much. ♪
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'sarlie: viet thanh nguyen
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ear. his debut novel, "the sympathizer" won the pulitzer prize for fiction. it examines the vietnam war through the eyes of its narrator. pastbeen critical of depictions of the war and has called hollywood the efficient -- the unofficial ministry of propaganda. "the guardian" described it as a bold imagining of the vietnam war. companion nonfiction was also a finalist for the national book award. i'm pleased to have this author for the first time on this program. welcome. viet: thank you so much for having me. charlie: tell me how you came to write this. viet: it's because i grew up in the united states as a refugee. i came here when i was four and grew up well aware of how americans thought about their vietnam war.
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and what that meant for me as a vietnamese person was the american side of this excluded the vietnamese experience. i grew up with people always talking about the war. charlie: and they all felt like there since of how it impacted and change their life was not in fact did in the -- not reflected in the american experience. viet: the vietnamese refugees in the united states and fled. they knew their stories were going to be erased in vietnam and then they saw americans were not interested at all in with the south vietnamese had gone through. that was the environment i grew up in. charlie: there are many answers to this question but in essence, what was it about their lives? was it the totality of their lives was not there or was it one part of their lives? viet: i think he was the totality. many of them lost family
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members, identities, prestige, all of that was wrapped up in what it meant to be a refugees and then witness our children be americanized and growing up in a way that was radically different from any way they imagine their lives to be. all of that became centralized around the fact that the particular story of the it not more was being told differently than how they experienced it. charlie: it's also your story. viet: it's not autobiographical but it is part of my story. both the vietnamese experiences and the american experience is because i grew up with both. i wanted the novel to be an intervention into how the vietnamese and americans were remembering this history. did writing come easily or was it a hard-earned craft? viet: a very hard-earned craft. but before years, that, i spent 15 years struggling with a short story collection and that was a really
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horrible experience for the most part. charlie: but out of that suffering comes ability. viet: and i didn't know that. 15 years of hanging my head against the wall and then when it came to the novel, i felt free and liberated, as if this was the right form for me after all this time. novel, ther of the protagonist is a man who sees every issue from both sides. he's a communist spy in the south vietnamese army and was educated in the united states. he was able to sympathize with everybody. as a communist, he's potentially labeled as a sympathizer. so that word has two meanings for the narrator. what it means to not only sympathize with the people we love and care for, but to sympathize with our enemies, that's what he struggles with throughout our entire story. charlie: i'm going to read this
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spook, aspy, sleeper, man of two faces. perhaps not surprisingly, i'm a man of two minds. i'm not so misunderstood mutant from a comic the core horror movie, although some have treated me as such. i'm simply able to see any issue from both sides. sometimes i flatter myself this is a talent. though it is one of the minor nature, it's also probably the sole talent i possess. at other times i reflect on how whatnot help, i wonder if i have should even be called talent. how long did you struggle for that line? viet: that took about three months. i knew the novel would be driven by the voice of this narrator because it was all from his perspective. it would be crucial to nail down that oh . when i found that line, i knew
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this was going to be the voice for the novel. charlie: why the sympathizer? viet: this war deeply divided people. people were not able to sympathize with the people they disagreed with, whether it was americans versus americans, whether it was communist the enemies are anti-communist the enemies, there was a lack of sympathy on all sides. you need sympathy -- you need a lack of sympathy to fight wars. my narrators talent and tragedy as he can sympathize with the enemies he is spying with. that allows him to be a great spy but sets them up for a great tragedy. surprised atyou all by how vietnam has turned out? .iet: i think yes we've seen the alternative path in cuba. charlie: i just returned from there into -- two days ago. viet: in cuba, they had a
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charismatic leader who stayed alive. ho chi minh was a very charismatic leader but was dead in 1968. charlie: here is what is interesting -- clearly there is a line that ho chi minh came to the united states for help in his national war and his war of nationalism. his war was about nationalism. rather than being a communist war. viet: it's going to be one of the great mysteries we will never figure out. charlie: if the united states had been receptive to him. communist, a nationalist and a pragmatist. the people who succeeded him were hard line. the irony is those hard-line communist turned the country into a capitalist country. that is what you see when you go to vietnam today. theyie: and because realize that was a superior economic model? viet: they tried to implement
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the soviet and chinese model and it was a disaster. so they had no choice. and they were following china. china was already going in that direction. that's one of the great ironies and surprises of history. it's now a sort of state run capitalism in these countries. having just been in havana after fidel's death, there are two questions -- what might have been. where it might go now, after role is going to leave in two years, so there will be no castro's of power, but there are people who say they will uphold castro. will cuba go the way of vietnam? viet: i think it would be very hard for them not to. there are economic and local relationships with the united states and this is what happened in the at nam. established relationships in
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1994 and 1995 and after that, it was over. that's how the united states won this conflict. they were able to capitalism and dollar investment and tourism. if cuba opens its doors in that direction, those influences will be transformative on cuban society. charlie: what is it you don't like about vietnam today? viet: the weather. it's very hot and humid. i don't like traveling there for that reason. whatever a countries undergoing transition, some great things happen like people are less in poverty than they were 20 or 30 years ago, but bad things happen. there's a class of climbers and strivers, there's the kind of problems that happen with excessive profit. that's happening in vietnam and it's a politically restrictive country. there's no free speech, there's limited freedom of religion.
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charlie: you've chosen economics to focus on, not politics. viet: they've chosen not to focus on political transformation. we are very moderate in clinical change. the debates are should we be hard-line communist -- charlie: china's more their enemy than anyone. viet: they are terrified of china. it's a long and complicated history, a thousand year history of colonization. they know they have to placate china. at the same time, they don't want to give too much away. they are big, huge, rich and powerful. viet: they want to maintain good relations with china but it depends on how far china wants to push its dominance over the region. charlie: what do you think the vietnam war did to us? americans?
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i think it was a larger part of transformation in society. you had the emerging black power movement and the vietnam war just lou up all of these tensions. not only did you have pro-war and antiwar americans, it all exploded, the fabric and identity of what america was supposed to be, all wrapped in not just with racial conflict, but how disastrous. in termsif you think of what we've just seen in terms of a plutko election, it's about jobs, the establishment, a protest because there's a sense that there's no place for me or i'm losing my place and things are worse rather than that her. evolution change in terms of the anomaly cultural revolution of the 60's? viet: that's a 20th century view
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of what is happening today. changesges, the social undergoing in american society, vietnam was very visible. now the right has been trying to reestablish the order the order vietnam disrupted. the "new york times" called the war a very literary war. does it offer so much material? last civil war did it, the revolutionary war did it. syria is doing it. writers need time. politics,h, sex, betrayal, manhood rituals, all of this is wrapped up in what happens in a war. it takes writers time to process it.
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we are enough time with iraq and afghanistan to start writing about that as well. charlie: it is true. it takes a while and then you see a series of books humming out with different people and different experiences. me two decades, three decades to figure out what was happening. charlie: you talk about the industry of memory. what is that? viet: we like to think our memories are all equal, but in actuality, certain groups memories dominate over other groups and those are the groups that have control. hollywood is one example. publishing is an example. even though the united states lost the war in the at nam, it won the war in memory because it controls the industries like hollywood that the vietnamese don't control. people thinken about the vietnam war, they think about hollywood. charlie: are there great books
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and movies written about the vietnam war in the anon? books which, by any degree, a great ward awful, people don't know about it. people don't know about it because the publishing industry in vietnam doesn't have the same reach. charlie: how about movies? there are a lot of movies made. a lot of them are not that great. that's one of the ironies. , thendustry of memory military power of the u.s. is matched by its power to make movies. the anon cannot make movies like "apocalypse now." charlie: we've just seen in last five years the chinese making a huge investment in hollywood. not only because it gives them an opportunity as an
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entrepreneurial effort, but also because of the power of movies and they have a huge market in china. viet: it is soft power. the u.s. exports a certain image of itself all over the world and china recognizes that. it has been an enormous influence all over the world. even in vietnam. vietnam, theyin have seen "apocalypse now" also. in terms of the people ofvietnam today, how much their curiosity is about culture from the west? viet: a lot of it, but it is primarily driven by economics. the young people want to make a living.
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they can see through these all the industries riches and wealth of china and the west and they want a part of it. as you is a part of it want to wear the right fashion and drive the right car, but it's driven by economics. they are the generation that came after the generation that suffered horrible things. they don't want to deal with that. they want to catch up to the rest of the world. now."e: "apocalypse viet: i brought it up myself. boy, it when i was a young 10 or 11 and it made a huge impact on me in a negative way because it's a powerful work of art. but it is powerful partially because it silences the vietnamese people. as a young boy growing up, i was american and vietnamese and i was split into by my experience of watching that movie.
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as an american, i see it through american eyes and i'm rooting for the american soldiers and then they kill vietnamese people. at that moment, i think mi american or am i vietnamese? am i the one i'm supposed to identify with or on my the one being killed? that has driven me partly to write "the sympathizer." is one more example of how hollywood has defined our sense of history. vietnam warh a class. they are all born in the 80's or 90's at this point. it's so shocking. but their history, the war is defined through stereotypes and one or two movies they might've seen. even if everyone knows hollywood shouldn't be taking -- taken seriously, everyone takes it seriously is as what they have access to. charlie: macau many people write about politics and because culture is -- their references
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are basically from movies. viet: that provides us with a common language. even in an age of social media, we still go to movies. we think about world war ii and its defined by the greatest generation. charlie: you were very much influenced by "the land at the end of the world." viet: not a lot of people know that. some people think it should have one the nobel prize. it's about the portuguese war in angola and i was influenced by the style. it made it possible for me to come up with the opening line. charlie: do you think of yourself primarily as a writer? viet: i do. write fiction, nonfiction, scholarship and to me, all of these are related. i don't compartmentalize them but each of these things inform the other.
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charlie: they clearly do. viet: "the sympathizer" is fiction and hopefully it is entertaining but it is informed by all the scholarship i have done as well. charlie: everything your character thinks is a product of his own observations. viet: and he himself is a writer. two thirds of the way through the book that he's writing a confession to a communist interrogator. even though he's on the side of communism, they're forcing him to write the story. as a tortured writer, literally. what is the next book? viet: it's a short story collection coming out in february. this is the one i was writing for 15 years. those are the stories about the lives of the attorneys refugees. charlie: the book is called "the
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sympathizer" by viet thanh nguyen. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
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>> disappointing data. japan's economy did expand in the third quarter but far less than expected. >> daytime asian-pacific stocks take their cue from wall street. jumping to fresh records. >> the ecb is not seen altering strategy but qe is -- qe extension may be announced. >> china's foreign exchange reserves held to a low amid efforts to shore up the slumping unit. >> this is the second hour of "daybreak asia."


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