Transcript: Show 25 - Jan Wong | Apr 16, 2000

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue. With Jan Wong, Author.”

Then, Richard Ouzounian appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a black suit, gray shirt, and dark gray tie.

He says WELCOME TO
DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
IF MY NEXT GUEST WAS IN A
1950 PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA,
WE MIGHT CALL IT THE
THREE FACES OF JAN,
BECAUSE INDEED THERE
ARE THREE OF HER.
THERE IS THE
POLITICAL COLUMNIST
FOR
THE GLOBE AND MAIL.
THE AUTHOR OF ENLIGHTENING,
AND VERY WONDERFUL BOOKS
LIKE
JAN WONG'S CHINA...

He briefly shows a book and continues
AND
THEN THE LADY WHO ALSO IN
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
HAS
MADE THE THREE MOST
DREADED WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE: LET'S DO LUNCH.
THIS
DIALOGUE
IS
WITH JAN WONG.

Jan is in her thirties, with short straight black hair. She’s wearing rounded glasses, a collared green sweatshirt, and a flowery silk neckerchief.

Richard continues JAN, WELCOME TO
THE PROGRAM.

Jan says THANK YOU.

Richard says I GUESS THESE THREE
JANS AREN'T NECESSARILY
CONTRADICTORY, BUT IF
YOU HAD TO ZERO IN ON
ONE OF THEM, WHICH ONE WOULD
YOU LIKE TO BE THE MOST?

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Jan Wong, Author.”

Jan says WELL, I DON'T KNOW.
IT'S HARD.
I DO ENJOY THEM ALL,
AND I THINK THEY
AREN'T CONTRADICTORY.
IT SEEMS LIKE THEY
ARE, BUT THEY AREN'T.
I DO LIKE DOING LUNCH,
THOUGH, IT'S FUN.
BUT I LOVED
BEING IN CHINA, TOO.
SO, I DON'T KNOW.

Richard says LET'S BEGIN WITH CHINA,
BECAUSE I GUESS A LOT OF US
FIRST BECAME
ACQUAINTED WITH YOU AS
BEIJING CORRESPONDENT
FOR
THE GLOBE AND MAIL,
AND THEN WITH YOUR FIRST
BOOK,
RED CHINA BLUES,
AND THEN WITH
JAN WONG'S CHINA.
YOU STEP BACK FROM
THE EXPERIENCE NOW,
I'D LIKE YOU TO GO BACK TO
WHEN YOU WERE FIRST THERE.
WAS THERE EVER A POINT
WHEN YOU SAID, AH,
I THINK I'M GOING TO
GET A LOT OF WRITING
DONE ABOUT THIS?
DID IT EVER
OCCUR TO YOU?

Jan says FROM THE VERY
MOMENT I STEPPED IN,
I THOUGHT I WAS GOING
TO WRITE ABOUT CHINA,
AND THAT'S 1972 IN JUNE
WHEN I'M 19 YEARS OLD.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says AND I KEPT A DIARY AND
THANK GOODNESS I NEVER WROTE
A BOOK UNTIL I WAS MUCH
OLDER AND MUCH WISER,
BUT I ALWAYS FELT
THAT I WOULD WRITE,
BECAUSE WHEN I WENT IN
1972, THERE WERE VERY FEW
FOREIGNERS IN CHINA AND I
FELT LIKE I WAS A WITNESS
TO ALL THESE EVENTS THAT
NO ONE ELSE COULD SEE.
SO I TOOK A LOT
OF PICTURES.
I HAD ALMOST NONE OF MYSELF,
WHICH I REGRETTED LATER
'CAUSE I NEEDED
THEM FOR THE BOOKS.
BUT I FELT I WAS RECORDING
HISTORY, SO I TOOK PICTURES,
AND I KEPT A DIARY,
AND I KEPT NOTEBOOKS,
AND I HAD NO
JUDGMENT, THOUGH,
AND I HAD NO
PERSPECTIVE.
SO THE MOST I WROTE WERE
SOME MAGAZINE ARTICLES.
I REMEMBER ACTUALLY WRITING
TO
THE NEW YORK TIMES
AT THAT POINT WHEN I
WAS IN CHINA SAYING,
LOOK, I'M HERE; DO YOU
WANT ANY ARTICLES?
AND THEY SENT ME
BACK A NOTE SAYING,
WELL, WE HAVE NO
IDEA IF YOU'RE BEING
BRAINWASHED OR
THOUGHT CONTROL,
AND I WAS SO OFFENDED, BUT
IN FACT THEY WERE RIGHT.
AND IT TOOK UNTIL AFTER I
LEFT BEIJING AS
THE GLOBE'S
CORRESPONDENT FOR
ME TO SETTLE DOWN
AND WRITE THE BOOK.
BUT THROUGHOUT I ALWAYS
FELT I WOULD WRITE.
IT JUST TOOK ME A
LONG TIME TO DO IT.

Richard says WHEN YOU SAID YOU
HAD NO JUDGMENT,
DID YOU MEAN YOU WERE MAKING
WRONG DECISIONS OR YOU WERE
MAKING NO DECISIONS ABOUT
THE MATERIAL YOU FACED?

Jan says I WAS MAKING
WRONG DECISIONS.
I HAD GONE TO CHINA IN 1972
AS AN IDEALISTIC COLLEGE
STUDENT, AND I HAD BEEN
TAUGHT BY MY PROFESSORS
AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY THAT
THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
WAS A WONDERFUL THING,
THAT THEY WERE DESTROYING
ALL THE OLD FEUDAL CULTURE
THAT HELD PEOPLE BACK,
THAT MADE WOMEN UNEQUAL,
AND THEY WERE CREATING
A BRAND NEW WORLD.
SO I WENT THERE WITH THAT
MINDSET, AND OF COURSE,
CHINA WAS A VERY CLOSED
COUNTRY IN THOSE DAYS,
AND THE PEOPLE THAT I HAD
CONTACT WITH WERE NOT FREE
TO TALK THEIR
TRUE THOUGHTS.
SO I WAS GETTING THIS
ENTIRE POTEMKIN VILLAGE
AND I BOUGHT IT.
GRADUALLY I BEGAN TO SEE
PROBLEMS, BUT EVEN SO,
I WAS SO IDEOLOGICALLY
COMMITTED TO MAOISM
AS A GOOD THING, THAT
IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME
TO ACTUALLY MAKE
THE BREAK.
IT TOOK A LOT OF
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
AND DISAPPOINTMENTS TO SEE.

Richard says I KNOW, GOING BACK
THROUGH
RED CHINA BLUES,
THE PROCESS SEEMS VERY
GRADUAL AS YOU GO THROUGH
IT AND ALL THE EVENTS YOU
HAD, BUT I'M CURIOUS,
BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK
BACK ON IT YOURSELF,
IS THERE A MOMENT YOU
KIND OF PICK AND GO,
YES, THAT'S WHEN I
PARTED COMPANY?

Jan says THERE WERE A FEW MOMENTS,
BUT THE PERSONAL MOMENT
FOR ME, I THINK, WAS WHEN
THEY TRIED TO KICK ME OUT.

[laughing]

Richard says THAT WOULD DO IT.

Jan says THEY TRIED TO EXPEL
ME THE FIRST TIME.
IT'S A LONG,
COMPLICATED STORY.
I HAD GONE TO THE
SOVIET EMBASSY AS JUST
A STUPID THING I DID.
I WAS GOING WITH SOMEBODY
ELSE WHO NEEDED A VISA.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT THEY
WERE REALLY SERIOUS
ABOUT THE SINO-SOVIET
CONFLICT.

Richard says RIGHT.
[laughing]

Jan says SO TOOK THIS AS A
VERY HOSTILE ACT
AND THEY TRIED
TO EXPEL ME.
I SAY THEY TRIED TO BECAUSE
THEY CAME TO ME AND
SAID YOUR STUDIES ARE UP.
AND I SAID, THEY'RE UP?
AND THEY SAID -
IT WAS FEBRUARY.
AND I SAID, I
CAN'T GO BACK.
I MEAN, I'M NOT
READY TO GO BACK.
MCGILL WON'T TAKE ME IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE TERM.
THEY SAID, NO, NO,
YOU ALWAYS WANTED
TO STUDY UNTIL FEBRUARY.
AND SO I CALLED
MY PARENTS, HELP,
I NEED MONEY FOR
A PLANE TICKET.
AND THEY STARTED THE
WHEELS IN MOTION.
THEY GOT A PROFESSOR
AT MCGILL TO HELP.
THEY WENT TO THE CHINESE
EMBASSY IN OTTAWA
AND THE ORDER
WAS RESCINDED.
AND WHAT HAPPENED WAS,
THEN THE CHINESE OFFICIALS
AT BEIJING UNIVERSITY
CAME TO ME AND SAID,
OH, WELL, IT'S
ALL OVER.
YOU'RE STAYING.
AND EVERYBODY PRETENDED
IT HAD NEVER HAPPENED,
EXCEPT THAT I KNEW
IT HAD BECAUSE
I HAD ALREADY SOLD MY
BIKE AND MY LAMP.
BUT THAT WAS THE
MOMENT WHEN I FELT,
EVERYBODY IN CHINA JUST SAYS
WHAT THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO SAY.
NOBODY TELLS THE TRUTH, THAT
THEY'RE REALLY EXPELLING ME
AND NOW YOUR NOT
EXPELLING ME ANYMORE,
BUT EVERYBODY PRETENDS
IT NEVER HAPPENED.
AND THAT WAS THE
MOST ODDEST - WELL,
IT WAS THE ODDEST THING TO
ME TO LIVE THROUGH THAT
AND REALIZE, EVERYBODY
GOES THROUGH THIS.
IF THE GOVERNMENT SAYS
IT'S BLACK, IT'S BLACK,
EVEN IF IT'S WHITE.
EVERYBODY WILL TELL
YOU, IT'S BLACK.

Richard says AND THAT MADE YOU SUDDENLY
START TO GO BACK
AND LOOK AT EVERYTHING.

Jan says AND THEN I BEGAN TO LOOK
AT THINGS A LITTLE
MORE SKEPTICALLY, BUT I
WAS STILL PRETTY DUMB.
I STILL DIDN'T
SEE EVERYTHING,
BUT THAT WAS THE PERSONAL
MOMENT I THINK FOR ME.
I STILL WANTED TO STAY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says BECAUSE PART OF ME REALLY
WANTED TO BE CHINESE.
I FELT THAT I WAS CHINESE,
THAT I REALLY WASN'T CANADIAN.
AND THAT I WANTED TO
SEE THIS REVOLUTION.
IT WASN'T REALLY A
REVOLUTION, THOUGH.

Richard says WHAT WAS IT?

Jan says IT WAS A COUNTRY IN WHICH
A DICTATOR WAS IN COMPLETE
CONTROL OF EVERY ASPECT OF
LIFE AND NOBODY DARED
SAY ANYTHING
TO CROSS HIM.
AND SO, THE ENTIRE
COUNTRY WOULD GO ALONG
WITH POLITICAL STRUGGLES
AND POLITICAL MOVEMENTS,
AND NOBODY WOULD
DARE SPEAK UP.
AND IT WAS A COUNTRY
IN WHICH PEOPLE WERE
TURNING IN THEIR PARENTS,
AND THEIR FRIENDS,
AND THEIR NEIGHBOURS,
AND THEIR COLLEAGUES,
AND IT JUST WAS GOING
ON AND ON AND ON.
AND IT DIDN'T
STOP UNTIL 1976,
AT THE END OF THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION,
AND BY THE WAY, I
WAS STILL THERE.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says I WAS STILL IN CHINA.
I HAD COME BACK AND
GRADUATED FROM MCGILL,
BUT I COULDN'T
CUT THAT PULL.
CHINA EXERTS AN INFLUENCE ON
YOU ONCE YOU'VE BEEN THERE,
AND IT JUST SUCKS YOU IN.
IT'S JUST SUCH A
FASCINATING COUNTRY.
BECAUSE THEY DO THESE
VAST EXPERIMENTS,
BECAUSE IS SO BIG, BECAUSE
THEY HAVE THIS THOUSANDS
OF YEAR OLD CULTURE, AND
BECAUSE IT'S CHANGING SO FAST.

Richard says WHEN YOU WERE A
YOUNG GIRL IN CANADA,
WHY DID THIS IMAGE OF CHINA
GET INSTILLED IN YOU?
WERE YOUR PARENTS TRYING
TO BE GOOD CANADIANS
OR TRYING TO RESIST IT?

Jan says I THINK MY PARENTS GREW UP
DURING A VERY DISCRIMINATORY
PERIOD IN CANADIAN HISTORY.
MY PARENTS ARE BORN IN
CANADA BUT THEY WERE NOT
ALLOWED TO VOTE BECAUSE
OF THE EXCLUSION ACT
AND VARIOUS OTHER PROBLEMS.
SO THEY ALWAYS TOLD
ME, YOU'RE CHINESE.
NEVER FORGET,
YOU'RE CHINESE,
AND THERE WAS PRESSURE LIKE,
YOU BETTER NOT SCREW
UP IN SCHOOL BECAUSE
YOU'RE CHINESE.
BUT I KNEW I WASN'T BECAUSE
I WASN'T GOOD IN MATH.

[laughing]

Richard says JAN, AN ETHNIC STEREOTYPE, NO!

Jan says BUT I DID GET THIS
BRAINWASHING AT HOME,
YOU'RE CHINESE,
YOU'RE CHINESE,
WHICH IS WHY I FELT I SHOULD
GO AND FIGURE OUT MY ROOTS.
I SHOULD GO AND LEARN
CHINESE IF I AM CHINESE.
AND THEN THERE WAS THE
ADDED THING IN THE LATE '60s
OF THE RADICAL POLITICS,
WHICH IS WHY
I DIDN'T GO TO TAIWAN.
I WENT TO BEIJING TO STUDY.
BUT I THINK I HAD A VERY
CANADIAN UPBRINGING IN MANY
WAYS, AND I THINK MANY
SECOND GENERATION CANADIANS
RAISE THEIR CHILDREN TO
THINK THAT THEY ARE, WHAT,
IRANIAN, OR PAKISTANI, WHEN
IN FACT THEY'RE ACTUALLY
CANADIANS, BUT IT'S
SOMETHING THAT A SECOND
GENERATION CANADIAN HAS TO
WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH.

Richard says FROM YOUR OWN PERSONAL
POINT OF VIEW,
AS THE YEARS WENT BY AND
YOU HAD SUBSEQUENT VISITS
AND SAW THE WORLD
CHANGING, HAVE YOU
BECOME EVER CYNICAL
ABOUT CHINA?

Jan says NO, BUT I'M MUCH TOUGHER
ON CHINA, I THINK.
IT'S A LOVE-HATE
RELATIONSHIP.
I DON'T THINK I'M CYNICAL
BECAUSE I ALWAYS HOPE.
IN FACT, IN BOTH
OF MY BOOKS,
I TALK ABOUT
THE FUTURE.
AND I DO THINK CHINA
HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE.
I THINK IT'S A COUNTRY
OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE,
HARD WORKING, WHO HAVE
MANAGED TO SURVIVE THROUGH
SUCH TERRIBLE HARDSHIPS,
AND I THINK, AS YOU KNOW,
MOST OF THE THINGS WE
CAN BUY IN CANADA NOW
ARE MADE IN CHINA.
SO I THINK THIS COUNTRY
HAS A LOT OF POTENTIAL,
AND IF THEY CAN JUST GET
PAST THESE NEXT FEW YEARS
OF VERY UNSTABLE
ECONOMIC PROBLEMS,
THEY MIGHT BE
ABLE TO MAKE IT.
THEY MIGHT BE ABLE
TO LEAP INTO THIS
NEW MILLENNIUM SAFELY.
BUT I THINK CHINA
IS SO UNSTABLE,
SO PRECARIOUS BECAUSE
OF THE GOVERNMENT,
THE GOVERNMENT'S SO
UNPOPULAR BECAUSE OF
THE CORRUPTION AND BECAUSE
THEY'RE SWITCHING
FROM A STATE CONTROLLED
SYSTEM TO PRIVATE,
AND THERE'S GOING TO BE
SO MUCH DISLOCATION AND
UNEMPLOYMENT, AND AS I SAID,
CHINA IS SUCH A HUGE COUNTRY
THAT WE'RE TALKING
TREMENDOUS NUMBERS.

Richard says WHAT ABOUT A RECENT EVENT
LIKE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC.
I WAS INVITED TO A VERY
LARGE BANQUET HERE
IN TORONTO AND SAT THERE.

Jan says OH, I WASN'T.

Richard says TVO WATCHING EVERYTHING
GOING ON AND THE HUGE SCREENS,
WITH ALL THE EVENTS
AND DEMONSTRATIONS,
AND I WATCHED EVERYONE
BEING SO EXCITED BY IT,
AND I ACTUALLY ASKED
MYSELF AT ONE POINT,
WHY IS EVERYBODY POLITICALLY
GETTING SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS?
WHY WOULD THEY BE SO EXCITED
ABOUT IT IF WE ARE PAST IT?

Jan says ARE YOU TALKING
ABOUT CANADIANS
GETTING EXCITED
OR CHINESE?

Richard says CHINESE.
CHINESE CANADIANS.

Jan says WELL, THERE IS THIS FEELING
AMONGST CHINESE CANADIANS
OF PRIDE THAT CHINA USED TO
BE THE SICK MAN OF ASIA
AND NOW EVERYBODY HAS TO
GO HAT IN HAND HOPING
TO DO A LITTLE BUSINESS.
SO I THINK THAT MANY,
MANY CHINESE CANADIANS
THINK THIS IS JUST GREAT.
I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THAT.
I WAS WATCHING IT ALSO ON
TELEVISION AND I FELT,
THE PARADE, FOR
INSTANCE, WAS SO RETRO.
IT WAS ALL THE
GOOSE-STEPPING AND LOOK
AT OUR TANKS AND LOOK
AT OUR MISSILES.
AREN'T WE GREAT?

Richard says I FELT I HAD GONE BACK IN TIME.

Jan says EXACTLY.
AND THAT TO ME WAS JUST
ANOTHER MANIFESTATION
OF HOW MUCH THE GOVERNMENT IS
OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE.
YOU KNOW THAT THEY
WOULDN'T LET THE ORDINARY
PEOPLE LIKE WATCH.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says THEY HAD TO WATCH
ON TELEVISION.
THEY SHUT DOWN THE STREETS.
SO HERE YOU HAVE THIS
HAPPY, HAPPY DISPLAY
FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY.
LOTS OF MILITARY
WEAPONS, BUT OF COURSE
THE PEOPLE AREN'T INVITED.
AND THAT'S THE FUNDAMENTAL
CONTRADICTION IN CHINA.

Richard says IF YOU COME BACK AND YOU
READ THE STORIES THAT OCCUR
IN YOUR BOOKS, IT'S
THE LOSS OF FREEDOM
FOR THE INDIVIDUAL KEEPS
COMING BACK AS PEOPLE
WHO ARE INDIVIDUALLY
BEING OPPRESSED,
INDIVIDUALLY BEING PUT DOWN,
AND THAT SEEMS TO ALMOST
FRIGHTEN YOU WHEN
YOU DEAL WITH IT.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
THE DESTRUCTION
OF THE INDIVIDUAL THAT
SEEMS TO BE SO CRUCIAL
TO THAT GOVERNMENT?

Jan says WELL THEY'RE AFRAID
BECAUSE THEY NEED CONTROL,
AND AS SOON AS YOU HAVE A
BUNCH OF INDIVIDUALS RUNNING
AROUND AND PEOPLE
THINKING FOR THEMSELVES,
THEY LOSE CONTROL.
AND THE REASON I FIND IT SO
IMPORTANT IS BECAUSE
I SAW THE OLD CHINA WHERE NOBODY
SAID THEIR OWN OPINION,
WHERE EVERYBODY WAS
AFRAID TO SPEAK,
WHERE PEOPLE DID
WHAT THEY WERE TOLD,
KNOWING THAT IT WAS
THE WRONG THING TO DO.
SO I HAVE EXPERIENCED
THAT AND I UNDERSTAND
THE TERRIBLE PRICE THAT PEOPLE
PAY WHEN THEY DON'T THINK
FOR THEMSELVES, AND THAT'S
WHY WHEN I FEEL VERY STRONGLY
NOW ABOUT HUMAN
RIGHTS AND ABOUT
THE GOVERNMENT IN CHINA.
I FEEL THAT AS A PERSON, AS
A CANADIAN IN THE WORLD,
WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT
THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.
FOR ONE THING, WHEN
CHINA HAS TROUBLE,
THE CHINESE ARE GOING TO END
UP SPILLING ONTO OUR SHORES,
SO JUST OUT OF PURE
SELF-INTEREST FOR WATCHING
OUR OWN BACKYARD, WE SHOULD
CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY IN CHINA.
BUT FROM A UNIVERSAL
HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE,
I HAVE THOUGHT LONG AND
HARD ABOUT FREEDOMS
AND WHETHER PEOPLE SHOULD
HAVE THESE UNIVERSAL RIGHTS,
AND I ACTUALLY
BELIEVE THEY SHOULD.
I DON'T AGREE WITH PEOPLE
WHO SAY CHINESE CULTURE
IS NOT SUITED TO
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,
ET CETERA, ET CETERA,
I DON'T AGREE.
I THINK THEY WANT IT JUST
AS MUCH AS WE WANT IT,
AND THEY SHOULD
HAVE IT, TOO.

Richard says GO BACK TO, I GUESS,
FOR MOST WESTERNERS,
ESPECIALLY THE DEFINING
EVENT OF THE LAST 25 YEARS
OR SO, TIANANMEN SQUARE.
WAS IT, TO YOU, SOMETHING
LOGICAL THAT HAD TO HAPPEN?
WAS IT AN ABERRATION?
WAS IT A DEFINING
MOMENT?

Jan says IT WAS A DEFINING
MOMENT.
FOR ME IT WAS THE MOMENT
WHEN THE COMMUNIST PARTY
LOST THE LAST VESTIGE OF
SUPPORT FROM THE PEOPLE.
I DID NOT EXPECT IT.
I WAS THERE FOR
THE GLOBE
AND WAS REPORTING ON IT,
AND THE CHINESE DIDN'T
EXPECT IT EITHER.
PEOPLE WENT DOWN TO THE
SQUARE WITH TISSUE PAPER
IN THEIR POCKETS THINKING THAT
THE WORST THAT WOULD HAPPEN
WOULD BE TEAR GAS.
BECAUSE THEY HAD JUST USED
TEAR GAS THE DAY BEFORE.
THAT WAS THE WORST
THAT HAD HAPPENED.
AND NOBODY EXPECTED THE
SOLDIERS TO START FIRING
MILITARY WEAPONS
AND SMALL TANK GUNS
IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE CAPITAL.
THE CROWDS WERE SO DENSE
THAT JUST FIRING THAT,
YOU WOULD SHOOT A LOT OF
PEOPLE WITH ONE BULLET.
THOSE BULLETS WENT THROUGH
MORE THAN ONE PERSON
BECAUSE THEY'RE
BATTLEFIELD WEAPONS.
THEY'RE NOT LIKE
A POLICE GUN.
THEY'RE BIG BULLETS,
THE SIZE OF MY THUMB,
AND THEY GO THROUGH
10-KILOMETRE RANGE.
SO IF YOU'RE 50 FEET AWAY,
THEY'RE REALLY GOING
TO BLAST THROUGH
YOU, AND THEY DID.
AND SO A LOT OF PEOPLE
DIED AND I WAS AFRAID,
AND I LEFT THE SQUARE
JUST AS I THOUGHT -
I WAS INTERVIEWING PEOPLE
AND THEN I THOUGHT,
I GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE.
I'M NOT A TV REPORTER.
I DON'T NEED PICTURES.
SO I LEFT AND I WENT TO A
HOTEL WHERE I HAD RENTED
A ROOM WITH A BALCONY AND I
WATCHED THIS WHOLE THING
ALL NIGHT UNFOLDING, AND
I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.
BECAUSE I HAD SPENT SO
MANY YEARS IN CHINA
AND MY FRIENDS
WERE SOLDIERS.
I JUST COULDN'T BELIEVE IT
AND I THINK THE PEOPLE
FELT THE SAME.
THEY COULDN'T BELIEVE IT, SO
THE NEXT DAY THEY GOT UP.
PEOPLE WHO HADN'T STAYED
IN THEIR HOMES THAT NIGHT,
THEY GOT UP, THEY
WERE SPITTING MAD.
THEY WENT DOWN TO THE CORNER
AND THEY STARTED SCREAMING
AT THE SOLDIERS, AND THESE
WERE GUYS WITH GUNS.
AND THEY WERE SHOT, AND
THEY DIDN'T GO HOME.
THEY STOOD THERE
SCREAMING SOME MORE,
AND IT TOOK ALL DAY BEFORE
PEOPLE FINALLY GOT
IT THROUGH THEIR HEADS THAT
IT WASN'T A GOOD IDEA
TO SCREAM AT A SOLDIER WITH
AN AK47 SEMI-AUTOMATIC GUN.
BUT THAT WAS CHINA.
IT WAS SUCH A HUGE
DRAMATIC SWITCH.

Richard says WHAT DID IT DO TO YOU?

Jan says IT MADE ME REALLY STUBBORN
AND PIG-HEADED ABOUT
GETTING STORIES AND
REPORTING AND TAKING RISKS,
BECAUSE I FELT, IF PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO - ESPECIALLY
DISSIDENTS, IF THEY WANTED
TO TALK TO ME UNDER SUCH
SCARY CONDITIONS, I HAD TO
GO AND MEET THEM HALFWAY.
NOT THAT I'M BRAVE.
I DON'T MEAN BRAVE.
I MEANT THAT IF THEY GOT
ARRESTED TALKING TO ME,
I WOULD BE - PEOPLE WOULD
SAY, OH, SHE'S SO TERRIBLE.
ALL SHE WANTS IS THE STORY
AND SHE'S RISKING THESE PEOPLE.
I'M WILLING TO TAKE
THAT CRITICISM
BECAUSE I THINK
IT'S MY JOB.
MY DUTY.
I GOT REALLY RIGHTEOUS ABOUT
MY JOB, AND I STILL AM.
I STILL THINK
IT'S IMPORTANT.
IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING
TO DIE FOR THIS,
JOURNALISTS SHOULD BE
WILLING TO GO AND MEET THEM
HALFWAY AND GET THE STORY.

Richard says BUT IF YOU MEET SOME OF
THESE PEOPLE, I MEAN,
I REMEMBER READING, I
BELIEVE IT WAS -
READING OR HEARING AN
INTERVIEW WITH YOU.
YOU TALKED ABOUT A
PROSTITUTE WHO HAD
ACTUALLY SPOKEN TO YOU.

Jan says YEAH.

Richard says AND WOUND UP GETTING
REMOVED BECAUSE OF IT.

Jan says RIGHT.

Richard says ISN'T SHE MEETING
YOU MORE THAN HALFWAY?

Jan says YES, AND I WAS WITH
ANOTHER REPORTER FROM
THE WASHINGTON POST
AND WE MADE A MISTAKE.
WE WANTED TO INTERVIEW
A PROSTITUTE.
THEY WERE ALL OVER
OUR HOTEL DINING ROOM.
BUT IT WASN'T SAFE TO
INTERVIEW IN THE DINING ROOM,
SO WE BROUGHT
HER UP TO OUR ROOM.
THE MISTAKE WE MADE WAS THAT
THERE ARE SECURITY CAMERAS
IN EVERY HALLWAY AND
WE FORGOT ABOUT THAT,
AND THE SECOND MISTAKE
I MADE WAS TO SAY,
ARE YOU HUNGRY?
DO YOU WANT
ROOM SERVICE?
SHE LOOKED SO THIN.
AND WE WERE PAYING
HER FOR HER TIME.
I ASKED HER WHAT
HER HOURLY RATE WAS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says BUT I FELT I SHOULD
FEED HER, TOO.
I JUST HAVE THIS - I
JUST WANTED TO FEED HER.
AND THE MISTAKE WAS WHEN
THE WAITRESS BROUGHT UP
THE FOOD, SHE SAW HER
AND I REALIZED
THAT WAS REALLY STUPID.
I SHOULD NEVER
HAVE DONE THAT.

Richard says I HAVE TO TELL YOU, I
THOUGHT OF THAT MOMENT.
HAVE YOU SEEN
THE INSIDER?

Jan says YES.

Richard says THE SCENE WHERE IT'S THE
ROOM SERVICE WAITER BLOWS
THE WHISTLE ON HIM IN HIS
FIRST MEETING WITH
AL PACINO, RUSSELL CROWE.

Jan says OH, THAT WAS IT.
I DIDN'T GET IT
AT THE TIME.

Richard says I FLASH BACKED TO THAT
STORY ABOUT THE ROOM SERVICE
WAITER TURNING -

Jan says ABSOLUTELY,
AL PACINO,
SEE, HE'S NO
SMARTER THAN I AM.
BUT YES, THAT'S RIGHT,
AND I SAW THE MOVIE
AND IT DIDN'T CLICK.
I DIDN'T KNOW HOW THE
TOBACCO COMPANY FIGURED OUT
THAT HE WAS TALKING.

Richard says WELL BACK AGAIN, THE ROOM
SERVICE WAITERS CLOCKS WHO
THE GUY IS AND THAT'S -
I THOUGHT THE SAME THING
HAPPENED, AND I
THOUGHT, MY GOODNESS,
THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY IS NOT
THAT MUCH DIFFERENT
FROM COMMUNIST CHINA
AT THAT POINT.

Jan says NO, IT ISN'T.
ACTUALLY MOST OF
CORPORATE AMERICA IS NOT
VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE
COMMUNIST PARTY.

Richard says I WANT TO ASK YOU ONE MORE
CHINA QUESTION BEFORE
WE RETURN TO CANADA.
YOU SAID THAT YOU DIDN'T SEE
TIANANMEN SQUARE COMING.
DO YOU FEEL THAT WAS A
LAPSE ON YOU AS A REPORTER?
IF YOU HAD LOOKED
MORE CLOSELY,
COULD YOU HAVE KNOWN?
COULD YOU HAVE GUESSED?
NOT THAT YOU COULD
HAVE STOPPED IT, BUT?

Jan says WELL, I THINK IT WAS A
SHOCK TO EVERYBODY IN CHINA.
I HAD A BET WITH OTHER
REPORTERS THAT THE ARMY
WOULD GET IN AND
THEY WOULD COME IN.
WHAT I DID NOT EXPECT WAS
THAT THEY WOULD SHOOT PEOPLE.
I THINK, SHOULD
I HAVE KNOWN?
I DON'T KNOW.
I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE
THEY DID THAT.
IT WAS JUST THE
STUPIDEST THING TO DO.
SO, NO, I DON'T KNOW.
MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE.
I DON'T THINK VERY
MANY PEOPLE DID.
IN FACT, A LOT OF REPORTERS
WENT ON VACATION THAT WEEKEND.

Richard says THINKING IT WOULD BE NOTHING.

Jan says WELL, IT WAS SO
CALM IN BEIJING,
AND PEOPLE WERE
VERY TIRED.
THE DEMONSTRATIONS HAD
GONE ON IN TIANANMEN
AND I REMEMBER MY
COMPETITORS WERE GONE.
IF I WAS A REALLY GOOD
REPORTER, YES, YOU'RE RIGHT.
I SHOULD HAVE PREDICTED
IT, BUT I DIDN'T.

Richard says SO YOU'RE BACK IN CANADA.
YOU REFLECT ON ALL THE
EVENTS YOU'VE HAD IN CHINA
AND WRITE ABOUT THEM, BUT
YOU ALSO NOW ARE WRITING
FOR THE GLOBE IN CANADA.
OKAY, HAVING BEEN THROUGH
ALL OF THAT SOCIAL UPHEAVAL,
WHAT KIND OF MINDSET ARE
YOU IN WHEN YOU START
WRITING HERE AND STARTING
ADDRESS SOCIAL ISSUES IN CANADA?
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Jan says WELL, I PROBABLY AM MORE
OPINIONATED THAN THE AVERAGE
PERSON WHO HASN'T SEEN -
LIVED IN THE THIRD WORLD,
LIVED IN A
TOTALITARIAN COUNTRY.
SO I'M PROBABLY
TOUGHER ON PEOPLE.
I'M MUCH LESS
FORGIVING.
I THINK THAT'S THE
BASIC MINDSET.

Richard says WHAT DON'T YOU FORGIVE IN PEOPLE?

Jan says I DON'T FORGIVE SO
MUCH SELFISHNESS
AND SELF-CENTEREDNESS.
I FIND THAT A LOT.
I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD
DO THE RIGHT THING.
I THINK THAT WHEN
PEOPLE MAKE EXCUSES,
I DON'T ACCEPT THEM.
I'M NOT AS NICE
AS YOU ARE.
[laughing]

Richard says ONE OF YOUR COLUMNS
STUCK IN MY MIND.
WHEN
STAR WARS
CAME OUT AND
YOU TOOK YOUR KIDS TO IT
AND YOU REFLECTED ON, TO YOU,
THE RATHER SHOCKING RACIAL
ETHNIC STEREOTYPES THAT WERE
PERPETRATED IN THE MOVIE.
NOW, I FOUND THAT
INTERESTING BECAUSE I GUESS
WHEN I WAS WATCHING IT, THE
CORNER OF MY MIND WAS GOING,
YEAH, THIS ISN'T ACCEPTABLE,
BUT I DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING
AND NO ONE I KNEW
SAID ANYTHING,
AND THEN YOU
CAME OUT WITH IT.
WHAT KIND OF REACTION
DID YOU GET ABOUT THAT?

Jan says I REMEMBER A LADY CAME
OVER TO ME IN SOME WASHROOM
SOMEWHERE AT SOME CONCERT
AND SAID, YOU WERE RIGHT.
YOU WERE RIGHT.
I FELT THAT WAY.
I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAD YOUR FEELING,
LIKE IT WAS IN THE
BACK OF THEIR MIND,
BUT I DIDN'T
GET ANY ATTACKS.
I GET A LOT OF HATE MAIL BUT
I DIDN'T GET ANY ON THAT.
I THINK PEOPLE FELT I
ARTICULATED SOMETHING THAT
WAS BUGGING THEM BUT THEY DIDN'T
REALLY SEE IT AT THE TIME.

Richard says WHAT GENERATES A
STANDARD JAN WONG COLUMN?
ARE YOU GOING THROUGH THE
WORLD LOOKING AT IT AND -
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT KIND
OF BLEEPS ON YOUR RADAR
AND GOES, OH, GOING
TO GET THAT?

Jan says WELL, I JUST WENT TO THE
STAR WARS
BECAUSE MY KIDS -
I DON'T TAKE THEM TO MANY
MOVIES SO I FINALLY
WAS TAKING THEM
TO A MOVIE.
AND I JUST REMEMBER TRYING
NOT TO FALL ASLEEP
AND I'D NEVER SEEN A
STAR WARS
MOVIE BEFORE.
I HAVE THIS HUGE GAP IN
MY CULTURE BECAUSE
I WAS IN CHINA ALL
THOSE YEARS.

Richard says YOU WERE LIVING IT.
YOU DIDN'T HAVE
TO SEE IT.

Jan says SO I SUDDENLY WENT, WAIT
A MINUTE, WHAT IS THIS?
WHAT IS THIS?
AND SO IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE MOVIE
I WAS TRYING TO
TAKE NOTES.
I DIDN'T HAVE ANY
PAPER WITH ME.
I HAD SOME SCRAP OF SOME
GARBAGE PAPER IN MY PACK
AND I COULD HARDLY
READ IT.
I DON'T KNOW HOW
MOVIE CRITICS DO IT,
BECAUSE I COULD HARDLY READ
MY WRITING AFTERWARDS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says SO IT'S THAT SUDDENLY SENSE
OF OUTRAGE THAT I FEEL
SOMETIMES WHEN
SOMETHING HAPPENS,
OR I CAN JUST BE TALKING
TO SOMEBODY AT WORK.
NOT A REPORTER USUALLY.
BUT A SECRETARY,
THE LIBRARIAN,
AND THEY'LL SAY
SOMETHING AND IT JUST,
A BELL GOES OFF IN MY HEAD
AND GO, THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S WHAT ORDINARY
PEOPLE THINK AND
I SHOULD WRITE
ABOUT THAT.

Richard says OKAY.
THE AREA YOU'VE BECOME MOST
INFAMOUS FOR IN RECENT YEARS
IS THE LUNCH WITH JAN
WONG COLUMN WHERE -

Jan says I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO
SAY ADRIENNE CLARKSON.

Richard says NO, I FIGURE BY NOW YOU'VE
TALKED ABOUT ADRIENNE TO DEATH.

Jan says ENOUGH, IT'S OVER.

Richard says BUT THE SAME THEMES
WILL TIE TOGETHER HERE,
YOU'LL NOTICE.
PEOPLE, USUALLY FAMOUS,
BUT NOT ALWAYS FAMOUS,
HAVE A MEAL WITH YOU, AND
MORE OFTEN THAN NOT THEY
WIND UP KIND OF EVISCERATED
AND LYING ON THE FLOOR,
USUALLY BY THEIR
OWN MOUTHS.
THE FIRST QUESTION IS,
HOW DO YOU PICK WHO
YOU'RE GOING TO
HAVE LUNCH WITH?

Jan says I TRY FOR SOMEBODY
WHO'S KNOWN,
BUT OFTEN I DON'T GET
PEOPLE WHO ARE KNOWN.

Richard says GEE, WHY?
[laughing]
OKAY, WHAT'S YOUR
RELATIONSHIP OF
NOES TO YESES NOW?

Jan says OH, ACTUALLY VERY FEW NOES.

Richard says REALLY?

Jan says I GET NOES FROM PEOPLE LIKE
GARTH DRABINSKY WHO WON'T
TALK TO ANYONE WHEN HE'S
IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS BIG CRISIS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says I GET NOES FROM
MARTHA STEWART,
WHO ARE VERY MUCH - HER
PEOPLE ARE VERY MUCH IN
CONTROL AND SO THEY
ACTUALLY KNOW WHO I AM.
MOST OF THE TIME PEOPLE
DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHO I AM,
SO THAT'S GREAT.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says BUT MOST OF THE TIME I'M
GETTING PEOPLE CALLING ME.
THAT'S THE SORDID LITTLE
INSIDE STORY OF PUBLICITY.
THEY DON'T CARE, SO I STILL
GET TONS AND TONS OF PEOPLE
CALLING ME, AND
MY CRITERIA IS,
THE PERSON HAS TO BE
INTERESTING THEMSELVES.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT, I END UP
GETTING A LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE ON THEIR WAY DOWN.

Richard says MM-HMM.

Jan says BUT THOSE ARE EVEN MORE
INTERESTING THAN THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE AT THE TOP, 'CAUSE
THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED FAILURE.
IT'S MUCH MORE INTERESTING
TO TALK TO SOMEBODY
WHO HASN'T HAD A
SMOOTH PATH.
FOR INSTANCE, KENNY
ROGERS, IT WILL APPEAR
BY THE TIME THIS APPEARS,
THIS SHOW APPEARS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says IT HASN'T APPEARED YET.
BUT AS I'M WRITING
IT, I'M REALIZING,
HE REALLY IS DOWN, BUT HOW
DOES HE COPE WITH THAT?
WELL, HE'S BEEN SELLING
OFF HIS RESTAURANT,
KENNY ROGERS ROASTERS.
HE SOLD OFF HIS
BIG FARM.
HE SOLD OFF HIS PLANES, AND
I FIND THAT INTERESTING.
HE'S ON HIS FIFTH MARRIAGE
AND HE SURVIVED
A PHONE SEX SCANDAL.
AND HE'S JUST IN THERE
PLAYING IN STADIUMS
IN BARRIE AND NORTH
BAY AND KITCHENER.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says SO HE'S STILL IN THERE, AND
I SORT OF ADMIRE HIM FOR THAT.
BUT I LOOK FOR THAT.
I LOOK FOR TEXTURE.
I LOOK FOR THE
ESSENCE OF THE PERSON.

Richard says SO WHEN WE READ,
FOR EXAMPLE,
THE KENNY ROGERS' PIECE,
YOU WOULD LIKE US TO SAY,
KENNY ROGERS HAS BEEN
THROUGH A LOT AND SURVIVED?
OR KENNY ROGERS HAD A
PRETTY SLEAZY, BUMMY LIFE?

Jan says KENNY ROGERS HAD SO
MUCH SUCCESS AND MONEY,
AND NOW HE
DOESN'T HAVE MUCH,
SO HE'S PLAYING IN THE
SMALL TOWNS OF ONTARIO,
AND HE STILL IS
TRYING TO WORK HARD.
AND HE'S PHILOSOPHICAL
ABOUT IT.
HE SAYS THAT TASTES
CHANGE AND I WAS LUCKY
TO HAVE IT
WHEN I HAD IT.
SO I THINK THAT'S
INTERESTING.
IT'S THE
THOUGHTFUL PERSON.
THE SLEAZY STUFF, I MEAN,
YOU'D HAVE TO THINK
THE GUY'S CRAZY.
[laughing]
I MEAN, THERE'S SOMETHING
MISSING IN HIS JUDGMENT
TO HAVE CALLED UP STRANGE
WOMEN, REPEATEDLY, NOT ONCE,
BECAUSE THE FIRST TIME YOU
GET AWAY WITHOUT GETTING
TAPED, YOU DON'T GET AWAY
WITH IT AFTER THE FIRST TIME.
SO OF COURSE
THESE WOMEN TAPED.
OF COURSE THEY
TRIED TO SUE HIM.
THEY WEREN'T THE
WORLD'S NICEST PEOPLE.

Richard says DOES HE DEAL WITH THAT
HONESTLY WHEN HE SPEAKS TO YOU?

Jan says WELL, HE DIDN'T LIKE IT
WHEN I BROUGHT IT UP.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says I DO A LOT OF RESEARCH, AND
SO I READ A LOT OF ARTICLES
AND I FIND I HAVE TO READ
THEM ALL BECAUSE EVERY
NOW AND THEN ONE ARTICLE WILL
HAVE SOMETHING THAT NONE
OF THE OTHERS HAVE, AND
THAT'S WHEN I CAME ACROSS
THE PHONE SEX STUFF.
NONE OF THE OTHERS
EVEN MENTIONED IT.
HE HAD A BIG LAW SUIT AND
IT GOT THROWN OUT OF COURT,
BUT HE HAD TO FIGHT IT.

Richard says DO YOU EVER GO INTO ONE
THINKING YOU'RE GOING
TO DISLIKE SOMEONE?

Jan says YES.

Richard says LET ME SUGGEST ONE I
SUSPECT: SUZANNE SOMERS.

Jan says WELL, NO.
I WENT INTO IT THINKING
SHE'S PROBABLY NOT BAD
BECAUSE SHE WAS THE ONE WHO,
SHE LOST HER SHOW BECAUSE
SHE TRIED TO DEMAND
SALARY EQUAL TO MEN.
I THOUGHT THAT
WAS GREAT.
GOOD FOR HER.
BUT THEN I GO TO THE
LUNCH AND IT'S LIKE,
YOU KNOW, THIGH
MASTER, NECK MASTER,
SHE SELLS THIS STUFF,
AND IT WAS HER HUSBAND
THAT REALLY TURNED ME OFF.

Richard says ALAN HAMEL, YUP.

Jan says YES.
HE WAS ACTING LIKE HORDES
OF TORONTONIANS ARE GOING TO
RUSH OUR TABLE AND
ASK FOR AN AUTOGRAPH.
IT'S SO PRETENTIOUS.

Richard says I THINK THAT PIECE ENDED
WITH THE WAITER SAYING,
WHO WAS SHE?

Jan says YEAH, LIKE NOBODY CAME.
NOBODY.
IN TORONTO, NOBODY
BOTHERS YOU.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says THEY JUST LOOK
AND THEY SMILE.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BOTHER
YOU WHEN YOU'RE EATING LUNCH.
I HAVE TAKEN LOTS OF
CELEBRITIES TO LUNCH AND
MAYBE A COUPLE OF TIMES
SOMEBODY HAS BOTHERED YOU,
I MEAN, THE PERSON
I'M INTERVIEWING.

Richard says IS THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS
THING YOU EVER DID AT LUNCH,
TAKING A TAPE MEASURE TO
MEASURE ALLAN FOTHERINGHAM'S
HEIGHT TO MAKE SURE HE
WASN'T LYING ABOUT IT?

Jan says WELL, THAT, HE
REALLY DIDN'T LIKE.

Richard says OH, I'M SURE.
BUT HE HADN'T LIED
ABOUT IT, HAD HE?

Jan says NO, BUT I THOUGHT HE
COULDN'T BE 5'7.”
BECAUSE HE LOOKED SHORT.
SO THAT'S WHY I DID IT.
I DIDN'T DO IT TO HUMILIATE
HIM OR MAKE HIM MAD AT ME,
BUT I JUST DIDN'T
BELIEVE HIM,
AND HE OFFERED TO SHOW
ME HIS DRIVER'S LICENCE,
AND I SAID, YOU FILL
IN THE FORM YOURSELF.
THAT'S NOT EVIDENCE.

Richard says RIGHT.

Jan says SO, HE DIDN'T LIKE
IT, BUT IT WAS GOOD.
IT WAS A FUN LUNCH AND HE
GAVE AS GOOD AS HE GOT,
AND IT WAS FINE.

Richard says THAT ONE WAS A DRAW.
DO YOU EVER REGRET ANY?

Jan says UNFORTUNATELY, I DON'T.
[laughing]
I HAVE NO REGRETS.

Richard says YOU AND EDITH
PIAF, YOU SAY NO.

Jan says I DON'T.
I ENJOY IT.
I ACTUALLY THINK THERE'S A
SOCIALLY REDEEMING FACTOR
IN IT WHICH GOES BACK
TO MY MAOIST DAYS.
I THINK THAT I'M THE CONSUMER
REPORTS OF CELEBRITIES.
IT'S A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR
BUSINESS AND
THE GLOBE
READERS ARE BUYING ALL THIS
STUFF AND THEY SHOULD KNOW.
THEY SHOULD KNOW WHAT
THESE PEOPLE ARE LIKE.
SO THAT'S WHY I APPROACH
IT THE WAY I DO.
I TRY TO GET
UNDER THE SURFACE.

Richard says WHEN YOU COME AWAY
FROM AN INTERVIEW,
IF SOMEONE IS BETTER THAN
YOU THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING
TO BE, OR WORSE THAN THEY
THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING
TO BE, WHICH ONE MAKES YOU
HAPPIER AS A JOURNALIST?

Jan says OH, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
I JUST LIKE A GOOD
CONTRADICTION.
IT DOESN'T MATTER.

Richard says THAT'S MAOIST, TOO.

Jan says CHAIRMAN MAO WROTE
ON CONTRADICTION,
THAT'S WHAT I LIKE.
I LIKE A GOOD
CONTRADICTION.
NO, IT DOESN'T MATTER, AND
ACTUALLY, I'M NOT VERY MEAN.
IF YOU GO THROUGH
MY LUNCHES,
MOST OF THEM ARE
ACTUALLY QUITE NICE.
ONLY EVERY NOW AND THEN.

Richard says I GUESS IT'S
THE MEAN ONES.
IF JAN WONG TOOK
JAN WONG TO LUNCH,
WHAT WOULDN'T SHE
WANT HER TO KNOW?

Jan says WHAT WOULDN'T I
WANT ME TO KNOW.
MY BRA SIZE.
[laughing]

Richard says WHICH IS?

Jan says WELL, USUALLY I
DON'T WEAR ONE.
THAT'S MY ANSWER.
[laughing]
BECAUSE I
DON'T NEED TO!
AND WHAT ELSE DON'T
I WANT THEM TO KNOW?
WELL, I WOULDN'T WANT YOU
TO KNOW THAT I ACTUALLY
PULL OUT MY GREY
HAIRS BECAUSE
I'M GETTING REALLY
OLD; I'M 47.
AND I DON'T THINK
I'M A GOOD MOTHER.
ALL I DO IS WORK.
AND I YELL AT MY KIDS.

Richard says WELL, THAT'S A WHOLE
OTHER INTERVIEW,
BUT WE'LL SAVE THAT
FOR ANOTHER TIME.
I GOT ALL THAT OUT OF YOU
WITH JUST A GLASS OF WATER.
TRY STARVATION.

Jan says AND I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ANY.

Richard says AS A MAOIST, IT
WOULD WORK.
JAN, THANK YOU FOR
BEING HERE TODAY,
AND THANK YOU FOR
TALKING TO US.

Jan says THANK YOU.

Richard faces the screen and concludes
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Dialogue.”

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show 25 - Jan Wong