Friday, September 24, 2021

Dating Lessons from Red Roulette


The books shown above was strongly recommended to me to my pals on the finance chat groups. However, I initially wanted to restrain myself from reading Desmond Shum’s Red Roulette before presenting my materials on China investing because I was sure that it would bias my thoughts negatively against China.

My suspicion turns out to be right because if I had read this book before I invested in some counters in the Hang Seng Chinese Enterprises index, I would definitely deploy my capital elsewhere. 

This is a wonderful guide for investors who really want to know how the underbelly of Chinese corruption works. It is also a careful illustration of how guanxi really works.  Although the author had an axe to grind against China, he was fully prepared to name names and I’m pretty sure that China will take revenge on him one day. Of the parts that are valuable to the reader, the understanding of factions within the Communist Party is particularly enlightening. It should also answer the question as to whether China is still being led by a reformer. An important considering if you read this article against my Dr Wealth article on China that will see publication pretty soon.

As this blog is where I talk about more leisurely stuff, I feel that the real value of Red Roulette is for single guys to know what kind of woman to avoid in the dating market. As it is a novel where there are no real good guys, I think the character of Whitney Duan is the true star of the show that makes the story shine. Her antics make the book a page turner and the final product reads like Crazy Rich Asians, except that this is a true story and it is 10x worse than any piece of fiction by any Singaporean author. 

Here are some lessons that a single guy can learn from this book:

A) A purely logical and transactional relationship is an epic disaster

Whitney Duan probably had the worse way to get a relationship going. She told her hapless husband that a relationship can be cultivated over time provided that there is a logical basis for the union. Desmond represented the West and had impeccable skills to attract foreign investors and do the sum. Whitney takes the cultivation of Chinese politicians to the level of an art form. She surmises that they can make a lot of money together as a couple and love and grow out of this. 

Folks who read my blog know how logical I am at meeting and dating women. But the bottom line is that I’m still a guy so I’m quite visual and my final decision is no different from what most guys will make. Whitney’s idea makes my blood run cold and I thank the lucky stars I did not meet someone like this in my 20s - I might actually fall for this logic.

B)  Control over money can destroy a relationship

Of course, after courtship, the relationship goes straight to hell. Whitney’s idea of controlling her husband is done by controlling all the money. Even though Desmond plays his part well and is in charge of executing projects, Whitney controls all the money. It got so bad, Whitney formally approves all of Desmond’s expenses. Her strategy for divorce follows the same pattern - she tried to turn Desmond into a pauper and even tried to shift the divorce proceedings to China where she can exert influence over the judge. Desmond had to threaten publication of his story to gain a small settlement.

Fundamentally, Whitney is the kind of woman who was driven by her insecurity. Her idea is that all she can do is to cultivate guanxi and she is worried about becoming a fifth wheel when the operations go international and function in a less corrupt environment. Her desire for control ultimately destroyed the relationship.

C) Lies cannot be the foundation of the relationship

The part which affected me the most was the point of time when Desmond actually found out after years of marriage that Whitney was actually older than him by 2 years. When confronted with this, Whitney reasoned that she cannot afford to have her age affect such a strategic union. So the entire marriage was built on a foundation of lies. Age is something so fundamental that this should be sorted out way before parties sign on the dotted line. 

One funny effect of reading this book is that I ultimately have much more respect for the Chinese Communist Party, women like Whitney Duan needs to be kept under lock and key and never be allowed to endanger the rest of the male gender. 

How can we apply this learning at the street level? My pals have constantly warned me against ENTJ women, ladies with the same MBTI profile as myself. ENTJ is not a bad personality trait for a guy because we take control and can cut through a lot of bullshit to get a lot of stuff done. The problem happens when women are ENTJ and have to live in a patriarchal Asian society that has expectations on them. So these ENTJ women start to scheme and play the queen bee, as they get older they still need men in their lives so they lie and scheme to manipulate everyone around them. Often the biggest victims are the women who end up working with them.

Anyway, I doubt I will lose ENTJ female readership from writing so directly about them on this blog. A true ENTJ woman will read Red Roulette and find better ways to hide their personality profiles.

I really hope Red Roulette becomes a movie one day, it will be a big hit.


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