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led astray

January 2013

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led astray

China; part yi (1)

The first thing I noticed about China was that it wasn't there.  When we were descending into Beijing Intl. I couldn't see anything through the airplane windows.  Grey.  But no clouds.  No rain.  Low humidity.  The air over Beijing is just dirty.  The mad dash to modernize leaves a trail of smog many miles wide.  I had hoped that at least they were learning from the mistakes of other countries' industrial revolutions.  But no.  China has to make its own mistakes.  And plenty of them.  I hope the mistakes of a nation aren't relative to size or population.  We'll all be doomed.

Anyway, the people.  Ok, so The Communist Party is mostly just what the government is called.  It isn't a party in the sense of Republican or Democrat.  They don't vote.  You don't use the Party, the Party uses you.  But not much worse than America does.  The average Beijinger thinks...well, similarly to your average New Yorker.  There is really no average.  The people are as diverse in profession, speech, oppinion, style, and attitude as any American city.  There are no word police and Big Brother is not watching you.  Big Brother is more interested in the economy.  The only things really censored are govt. workers and publishers.  Govt. employees have to maintain the party line.  I get that.  And books are censored.  Oh, and internet porn sites.  You CAN access MySpace in China.  Don't believe the hype.  I saw it.  People can say whatever they want.  The only people who gaves us Party line were officials.  And they were as truthful as they could be within their bounds (I believe).  I could see in their faces sometimes the desire to say something, and the effort to try to reveal it within standards.  Most of us could tell.  We would leave a lecture murmuring about how s/he was full of it.

Huge generatio gap.  The 35+ have very different ideas about life and culture than the 34- crowd.  The impact of the Cultural Revolution is still in the eyes of the older generation.  And the young are modernizing, which means Westernizing, which means Americanizing.  An interesting note; I saw at least a dozen young Chinese people, mostly male, wearing Che Guavera tee shirts.  Made me do doubletakes.  The current revolution is industrial and market-based.  The past doesn't have to worry about being hated, but forgotten.  

There is more.  Starting to get distracted.  Gonna go look at pretty pictures.  Oh, I have some photos and vids up on myspace.  Look up angry duckling.

Comments

Cool - thanks for the update :)
Though-provoking insights to say the least. I'm glad you got a chance to go. (And the fan is so pretty. :-) Yay!)

Did you load your pics onto the computer, or can we hook up your camera to the TV and have a slide show? If you showed everyone else in the house already, I was at work and missed them. Wanna see the pretty pictures. *pout* ;-)
They're on the computer, but I didn't erase them from the card. Eric has seen them.