‘Such a dynasty’s days are numbered’
|November 17, 2012|
From Words Without Borders:
A dynasty that is so degenerate that it massacres children and tortures the truth—such a dynasty’s days are numbered. Yet the shrewd tyrant Deng Xiaoping resorted to a trick: in the spring of 1992, he made a historical trip to Shenzhen in the South, where he announced the opening of China to foreign investment and the global market in order to save his party from a political crisis. The suffering grew ever worse and the people ever more desensitized, while the Chinese economy increasingly flourished.
Throughout the world, people are convinced that China’s economic boom will necessarily bring with it political reforms, turning a dictatorship into a democracy. As a result, the countries that once imposed sanctions on China because of the Tiananmen massacre now want to be the first to shake hands and make deals with the executioners. Even though these very executioners are still detaining and killing people, new bloodstains are still being added to the old ones, and new atrocities are still being committed that make the old ones pale in comparison. In the process, simple people, who must live their lives between blood and atrocity, lose what little is left of decency.
Under the guise of free trade, Western consortia make common cause with the executioners, piling up more and more dirt. The influence of this value system of dirt, which places profit ahead of everything else, is getting out of hand around the world. Those in China with money and connections simply leave behind their battered and poisoned country and go abroad to savor the sun, liberty, equality, and fraternity in a clean environment. Perhaps they even join a church, to ask Jesus—nailed to the cross by other dictators in history—to forgive them for their sins.
More and more Chinese people will discover that there is neither justice nor equality even in the democratic West; and that there, too, greedy functionaries and other profiteers act shamelessly, in keeping with the motto “to the victor go the spoils.” And it won’t be long before they will all be following this example and, in a not too distant future, every corner of the world will be full of Chinese swindlers eager to leave their homeland at any cost.
This empire’s value system has long since collapsed in on itself, and the only thing still holding it together is the profit incentive. At the same time, these vile chains of profit are so far-reaching and intertwined that the free world of economic globalization is bound to become hopelessly entangled in them.
The Black Dog
W. H. C. Pynchon
In a corner of our country not far removed from two of its great cities, there is a low range of mountains, the hoary evidences of ancient volcanic action. Countless years have elapsed since the great tide of molten lava rolled over the region. Years fewer, but still countless, have passed during which the shattered and tilted remnants of the lava sheets have watched over the land.
Merleau-Ponty’s Child Psychology
As much as death signals the end of the self, birth is just as mysterious. Both extend out to infinity and signal the brevity and contingency of our lives. As mysterious are those first few years of life that one does not have access to as an adult, I know I existed before my earliest memories. I know I interacted with others, I learned to walk and talk. I was willful from my parent’s tales.
William Pope.L: Reader Friendly
William Pope.L is famous for (among other things) carrying a business card that identifies him as “The Friendliest Black Artist in America.” It’s a clever gag because it makes itself true, in a way, every time it draws people closer. The card must be especially useful when Pope.L does business with people who dread Black men or Black artists.
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