Monday, May 26, 2008


Any comparison I can make between the way the government of China and the government of George Bush handle national disasters must be suspect, since I can't really know the whole picture, but I don't recall any surge of national pride and unity after Hurricane Katrina waterboarded the Gulf Coast. "As Chinese we must be united," was a comment made by a student in Tienanmen square to CNN. "We Chinese can do it!" It seems they can. Video reports seem to show well organized refugee camps and a large military and government presence.

Of course and as I said, I can't make a fair comparison, but I certainly remember only bitterness, recriminations, depression and the idea that we can't, and our government can't do a damned thing to help ourselves after Katrina. Some argued that New Orleans should be left to rot; some argued from parsimony, others from racism. Some insisted it was the fault of the Democrats, others the Republicans. Others railed about God's wrath against homosexuals and against those who tolerate them; who tolerate free thought and secular government, but I don't recall any optimism or pride or expressions of unity: only bitch, bitch, bitch.

The students whose parents' generation held out against the government in that vast, dusty square 19 years ago are immensely proud of China's accomplishments and they have a sense of progress and a sense that progress is good. They are on the other side of the world in more than one way.



But then again, there is Burma. Let us bitch !

Capt. Fogg said...

I don't know what to say about Burma - I don't even know where to begin.

8_mile_pilgrim said...

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Capt. Fogg said...

Thank you