Posts Tagged ‘spielberg’

So I’ll avoid talking too much about recent events today and instead post up a few links to translated writings by people within China today. Enjoy!

The Other Chinese Response to Spielberg

This is a pretty funny translation of a Chinese blog on China Digital Times about Spielberg and Zhang Yimou. Just a quick introduction to Mr. Zhang, this is a director who made some pretty good films, like Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, and To Live… as well as some pretty terrible movies like Not One Less, Hero, and Curse of the Golden Flower. Basically, his old movies were pretty good and subtly critical of the state while his later movies were like 1960’s style Communist propaganda or, in the case of Curse of the Golden Flower, just really really bad.

But yeah, the translated entry of that Chinese blog is pretty funny, showing that sarcasm, cynicism, and dissident behavior in Lu Xun’s tradition is still alive. Check it out.

Jailed Dissident’s Letter About the Olympics

Here is a link to The Guardian’s translation of a letter written by Hu Jia, a Chinese dissident currently in prison for ‘subverting state authority’. It’s about the many problems plaguing China these days, mostly things that people talk about in whispers at home or when they’re excessively drunk off baijiu on trains. Here’s a little quote if the article is too long for ya:

“Fang Zheng, an excellent athlete who holds two national records for the discus throw at China’s Special Sport Games, has been deprived of the opportunity to participate in the 2008 Paralympics because he has become a living testimony to the June 4, 1989 massacre. That morning, in Tiananmen Square, his legs were crushed by a tank while he was rescuing a fellow student. In April 2007, the Ministry of Public Security issued an internal document secretly strengthening a political investigation which resulted in forbidding Olympics participation by 43 types of people from 11 different categories, including dissidents, human rights defenders, media workers, and religious participants. The Chinese police never made the document known to either the Chinese public or the international community”

And finally…

Overseas Democracy Advocates All Talk

This is a link to the EastSouthWestNorth blog with a translation of an article by Zhang Heci. First, a little background. The government in Xiamen and a Taiwanese corporation were planning on building a large chemical plant in the city that led to massive protests by the citizens of that city. Surprisingly, the government eventually backed down and decided not to build it. The article criticizes the lack of a reaction to this victory because, as the author asserts, the overseas Chinese dissidents and exiles, foreign civil rights activists, and governments cannot accept that there has been improvements in Chinese society since Opening and Reform in 1978. He goes on to say that those who criticize China are all talk, expecting the Chinese to risk their lives and shed their blood while the activists are all safe in their western suburbs.

Now here’s a bit of my own opinion. I mean while the people in Xiamen have won their victory, the government is still looking for a place to plop down that chemical plant. In fact, there was a pretty violent confrontation between villagers and police over this a couple days ago.

And then the accusation that people who criticize China refuse to acknowledge its advances. Well, Kang Youwei, one of the earlier proposers of reform in China, once criticized everything about Chinese culture and said the only way to modernize is to adopt everything western. When he was later criticized on this, he simply replied that to catch the people’s attention and incite change, they must take to the extremes as those in the middle will just be ignored…

…something to think about.


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Mr. Spielberg has resigned as the cultural adviser for the Beijing Olympics because of China’s refusal to pressure Sudan into ending its genocide. Westerners applaud the move as the director of such known films as E.T. and A.I. has turned down fame and prestige because of his moral obligations as a human being while the Chinese Communist Party is selling their souls and the lives of the Sudanese people in exchange for black gold.

Now I haven’t heard too much about the Chinese reaction to this and I can’t read Chinese bulletin boards, so I have stayed quiet on this issue, but today, I finally got some idea of what is going through the Chinese minds, or at least a small representative of it based on the conversation of two of my coworkers while I was reading a BBC article about Sudan-China relations.

“That’s so stupid, why is Spielberg resigning because of Sudan? What does Sudan have anything to do with being a cultural adviser to the Olympics? He should just leave politics aside for once. Why do Americans love to bring politics into everything?”

An analysis of what this little tidbit would prove that everything they said follows the party line to the very word. According to the CCP, the Olympics is an event for athletic competition, not politics. It is an event that unites all the people of the world as they all have the same dream of winning. All those people who are using the Olympics to criticize China, such as that British athlete who was associated with the Free Tibet movement and all those journalists speaking out about the media restrictions, are denigrating the Olympic spirit.

Then again, if politics weren’t a big deal in the Olympics, then why isn’t Taiwan allowed to be called Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei or whatever the hell they’re called? Or why is there this quota that’s set for how many medals Chinese athletes must win? And most importantly, if the Olympics weren’t political, why is it such a big deal to the Chinese people that Beijing was awarded the Olympics?

International sports competition is all about politics. Ceasefires have been agreed upon because of the World Cup. Africa gets news coverage for some reason other than ethnic cleansing, famine, or disease as their athletes win gold medals. Recently formed countries gain international mass recognition as they march with a couple athletes during the opening ceremonies. And then of course there were the assassinations of the Israeli athletes, the fascist Olympics, and the South American football wars.

There is a huge possibility for positive as well as negative political change through international competition as a result of the huge publicity. I guess that’s what I’ll be watching for during the Olympics this year… that, and women’s beach volleyball…

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