On Protesting

As I’m reading the news about the Occupy Everything protests going on in the USA, I can’t help but laugh. These people are protesting the system while simultaneously trying to re-elect the leader of the system, President Obama. I don’t think pepper spray is going to help these people wake up or cure them of stupidity.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Chinese newspapers on the Occupy Wall Street movement:

  • The movement has amazing sustainability. Although it has lasted nearly three weeks, protesters have not lost any passion for the movement and are still determined to achieve their pre-set goals. -People’s Daily. [Editors note: what pre-set goals?]
  • However, one puzzling thing ist hat the big shots of Wall Street, who designed the financial crisis of 2008, not only escaped punishment but also have become much greedier. –People’s Daily. [We planned the world economic downturn]
  • Actually, the Untied States has turned into a wrestling arena between Wall Street and common consumers and between the rich and the poor. -People’s Daily. [I ❤ WWE]
Did anyone else notice they called us the “Untied” States?

Here in China, protests are quickly suppressed. There is no right to assemble, peaceably or not. The news sometimes reports of protests complaining about Beijing’s rapid consumer product inflation and housing prices, but nobody ever sees them (in pictures) and they rarely last more than a few hours. Don’t feel bad for them, however. The Chinese really aren’t complainers – they’ve had extremely strong central government for thousands of years and this is just business as usual.

As we celebrated the 100 years since the fall of the Emperor last week and the 62nd birthday of the People’s Republic of China, people came to Beijing from all over for the parades through Tiananmen square. I wasn’t able to make it to the parades because I simply didn’t give a flying fuck. But as my new apartment only has one English-language channel, CCTV English, I got to watch people from all over being interviewed with translations. “We miss Chairman Mao!” or “China is number 1!” or something of the sort. All while at the site of one of the most famous crackdowns on a protest in modern history.

China is in the middle of a capitalist revolution. The people here are obsessed with money and status. It’s commonplace to spend two month’s salary on a cell phone (you should have seen the reaction to Steve Jobs’ death and the new iPhone 4S) and people have cars even though they don’t really need them. Counterfeit clothing is huge because people want to be seen wearing international labels.

Our countries are totally switching philosophies.

 

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