August 2, 2008
Los Angeles, CA

In a recent issue of The New Yorker (July 28) there is an article about the Chinese students who rejects the West. The article starts with a discussion of this 6 minute anti-Western video posted on a Chinese website. The reporter, Evan Osnos then goes on to talk at length with the Chinese student who is the creator of this video clip. The student, Tang Jie describes how him and his friends get around the government blockage of certain western media websites in order to get a sense of the news being reported by the Western Media, he says “because we are in such a system [of media censorship], we are always asking ourselves whether we are brainwashed.”

Wow! I wish American public are as this self-aware of the lies and the biased coverage that we are being fed by the media.

Then Tang Jie added, “but when you are in a so-called free system you never think about whether you are brainwashed.” My thoughts exactly! He is right on the money and I am impressed with such acute level of awareness of the Media’s function as a propaganda machine.

Tang Jie goes on to talk about the recent Tibet violence and how he was disappointed in the coverage by Western Media and how he felt it was inaccurate. “Tang couldn’t’ figure out why foreigners were so agitated about Tibet – an impoverished backwater, as he saw it, that China had tried for decades to civilized.”

Wait, impoverished back water that another has tried to civilize. Is that not the standard justification for any and all acts of unjust war, occupation and conquests? We were just recently in Tibet and I am not sure that the Tibetans are feeling the benefits of China’s effort of “civilization” – who is drink the cool-aid now?

The article progressed onto Tiananmen Square and its 20th Anniversary next year. “The students in 1989 were rebelling against corruption and abuses of power. Now a days, these issues haven’t disappeared but have worsened…however, the current young generation turns a blind eye to it. I’ve never seen them respond to those major domestic issues. Rather, they take a utilitarian, opportunistic approach.”

Wait – is he describing Americans? I guess Communist or Capitalist, we all suffer from apathy.

“The problem is that we didn’t know what a good government would be. So we let the Chinese Communist Party stay in place. The other problem is we didn’t have the power to get them out. They have the Army!”

Do we all simply suffer from the inability to dream of Utopia? Of perfection? We do not know what would be better than George W so that he has stayed. We cannot imagine exactly how to build a better society so we have done nothing as long as gas is cheap and distractions are plenty. But wait, you are afraid of the Army? I have seen the Chinese Arm and Police and I cannot say they strike fear into the heart of men. Yet again I can’t say that I am afraid of Chief Wigum either, yet American military is still feared around the globe.

The article ends with Tang and Evan Osnos waiting along the Olympic torch route, “the crowd’s enthusiasm seemed to brighten Tang’s view of things, reminding him that China’s future belongs to him and to those around him. When I stand here, I can feel deeply, the common emotion of Chinese youth, we are self-confident.”

Are we self-confident? Do we feel like the future belongs to us? Or are we simply too cynical and opportunistic to rally any kind of nationalism and care enough to act on behalf of our future? Communist or Capitalists, the problems of our future seems strikingly similar.