Saphan Loy’s Summer Reading List: The Collected Works of Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng

The summer has been a great time to relax, unwind, and lounge by the swimming pool with Lek who dutifully ensures that my ice and alcohol are always freshened in this dubious cocktail I am now holding and considering in the hot summer sun. But summer is also a time for reading, and Saphan Loy’s reading list is extensive and varied. When I am not reading Stickman’s up-to-date and often astonishing accounts of what is happening in the Thai red light districts, I may tuck into a good novel by Dostoevsky, or a narrative history of the Javanese, or even the latest copy of Foreign Affairs.

But this summer, we tried something quite different, and quite revealing at the same time. I dispatched Lek to the local library to conduct a bit of research. Namely, we wanted to consult the corpus of economic writings by Big Baby Kenny Ng, and to see how his views in these journal articles and book reviews (for he has yet to write a monograph) complement his thoughts and feelings on the pay for play sex scene in Thailand.

Granted, this may not be productive summer reading, but it was nonetheless worth doing. Lek and I are no experts on economic history, but we know a thing or two about Thailand and its sexpat culture, so the comparison actually proved quite fruitful. However, Lek was a bit peeved that she had to give up her Thai lakorn consumption for an afternoon or two while she toiled away in the library, but it certainly forced her to practice her English with the exasperated reference librarian. Plus, she was amply rewarded upon her return with a fifty dollar bill and the directive to go and buy herself some new lingerie.

Professor Big Baby Ng has not produced many articles at all, relative to his career as a professor of economics. From the years 1988 to 2003, Lek found evidence of but one paper that was authored solely by him called “Free Banking Laws and Barriers to Entry in Banking, 1838-1860” which was published in the Journal of Economic History in 1988. It appears that the Big Baby Kenny Ng preferred, rather, to publish works with co-authors, likely assigning the lion’s share of the work to them. In addition, his academic output seems to have disappeared altogether in 2003 likely coinciding with his increased interest in the red light districts of Asia.

For example, Ng and Dennis Halcoussis published “Determinants of the Level of Public School Discrimination, 1885-1930” in 2003 in the Journal of Education Finance. In 1993 he and Nancy Virts, his colleague at California State University at Northridge, published “The Black-White Income Gap in 1880” in Agricultural History. Ng and Virts also had earlier published “The Value of Freedom” together in the Journal of Economic History in 1989.

Given Ng’s impoverishment of analytic skills when it comes to the people, religion, culture, and prostitutes of Thailand, it is not surprising that he required a co-author for these relatively short journal articles. One can only imagine the amount of work that Professor Virts had to shoulder as she labored away at the typewriter while Kenny played poker or visited Los Angeles massage parlors.

At any rate, Lek found evidence for no less than four book reviews by Big Baby Kenny Ng. These are interesting for a variety of reasons, chief among them the fact that he generally cares for none of the books he has been tasked with reviewing. He especially took aim at one book The Causes of the 1929 Stock Market Crash: A Speculative Orgy or a New Era? by Harold Bierman Jr. by wondering what constitutes a “speculative orgy.” While Bierman blames a “speculative orgy” for the 1929 Stock Market Crash, Ng sees it differently. He believes there is no difference between market dynamics in the stock market, and a “speculative orgy.”

Saphan Loy believes that Ng really just wanted an opportunity to use the word “orgy” several times.

Professor Big Baby uses the word “orgy” five times in his book review.

Which brings us to the final book review that Saphan Loy and Lek found most insightful. In his review of The Wealth of Races: The Present Value of Benefits from Past Injustices. Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies edited by Richard America, and which Ng reviewed in the Journal of Southern History in 1994, Big Baby Kenny Ng takes on what must have been the rather contentious issue of reparations to blacks for the injustice of slavery.

His position regarding reparations (i.e., retro-payment for the ancestors of former slaves): Let them eat cake. He asks,

What peculiar notion of social justice is served by taxing recent immigrants from Korea, Hong Kong, or Vietnam, whose ancestors had no role in creating, maintaining, or ending slavery to compensate living blacks for the enslavement of their dead great-great-great-great-great grandfathers?

Later, Ng oddly brings up the Jews. He says, oh, leaping ahead to 1969 for the sake of argument that:

In 1969 Jewish family income was 172 percent of the national average. In the same year, Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Italian, and German income was 132 percent, 115 percent, 112 percent, and 107 percent of family income respectively. Does this mean that Jews are responsible for the lower incomes of Japanese families, Polish families responsible for Chinese income, and on and on?

That Kenny. Always using his crazy figures to make an outrageous and ill-conceived point. He further goes on to say in effect that a lot of white Americans died in the Civil War. In a particularly morbid calculation, Big Baby Kenny states that one white Union soldier was killed for every six freed slaves. Furthermore, he maintains and that in the reconstruction period in the South, “freed blacks experienced enormous economic benefits — enough to provide each black family in 1986 with an annual annuity of $43,000 to $74,000.”

Whoa! That be like hittin’ the lottery, mofo!

Ng has a fondness for the gratuitous use of figures that rarely add up (remember his estimate that there are nearly 7 million transgender male-to-females in Thailand alone?) Then again, Ng has a thing for slaves and money. He in fact compared Thai office girls to “slaves making the middle passage” in this gem where he observes them:

…packed like slaves making the middle passage bus ride to their 3000 THB/ month room with no toilet on the outskirts of Bangkok after grinding out 10 hours a day six days a week for barely enough money to pay rent, eat cheap street food, and the monthly treat of KFC and a movie and wish you had a way to scoop a couple of juicy ones out of the stream just like the grizzly paws out some prime salmon for his daily feast.

It may be concluded that Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng objects to historical reparations for slavery if only because such a payment should logically come in exchange for the sexual gratification of his genitals. All this talk of slaves and money has raised one important question that Ng has yet to answer. What about reparations for a sex slave? Were she not fitted with a ball gag, perhaps we could ask Elana.

Sex slaves deserve recompense too.

The View from Above

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2 Responses to “Saphan Loy’s Summer Reading List: The Collected Works of Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng”

  1. Bill Wade Says:

    Your resiliency in wading through the dullness of Kenny Ng should be commended.

  2. Ngii Ngaow Says:

    He missed a percentage or included one too many ethnic groups in his review:

    In the same year, Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Italian, and German income was 132 percent, 115 percent, 112 percent, and 107 percent of family income respectively.

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