lundi, avril 21, 2008

You've Got Mail

I just read today's unfunny drivel from Nora Ephron at HuffPo and before I could get too worked up about her unsubstantiated (if slightly tongue in cheek) thesis that,
"this is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women,"
I was comforted my the sharp and funny critiques in the comment section. My favorite:
Well at least you've managed to create a cringe-inducing blog posting that's embarrassing to read regardless of your gender or race. Congrats!
Read the offending post in its entirety here.

Also, I quite like Andy Borowitz's post, "Democratic Race 'Too Mean,' Say Swift Boat Veterans." The pull quote:
"When you try to destroy a member of another party, that's swiftboating," said Mr. Klugian. "When you do it to a member of your own party, that's cannibalism."
Switching gears, last week Newsweek's Jonathan Alter and Fareed Zakaria both commented on the Beijing Olympic mess. I read the Alter piece and liked it, especially the oh so appropriate idiomatic remix, "I wouldn't bet the subprime mortgage on it." But Zakaria's piece, which I lost interest in a paragraph or so in and didn't finish, makes this very good point,
The vast majority of Chinese have little sympathy for the Tibetan cause. To the extent that we can gauge public opinion in China and among its diaspora, ordinary Chinese are, if anything, critical of the Beijing government for being too easy on the Tibetans. The real struggle here is between a nationalist majority and an ethnic and religious minority looking to secure its rights.
This is entirely anecdotal but a few weeks ago I brought up the Tibetan situation with a mainland Chinese born, partially Hong Kong raised friend of mine, a budding international affairs expert living back east (in the global sense). In our extended Google Chat, she responded by relaying her cousin's disappointing trip to Tibet last year, a trip which left him with negative view of the Tibetan people's mode of life. I followed up with question after question, careful to demonstrate an impartial curiosity. Tired of elaborating at my behest, she finally said of the Tibetan people, "Basically, they are just lazy." I IM'ed back "LOL"* as I was literally laughing out loud, aghast, at first, but upon some thought, unsurprised. Globally, the same orientations/perspectives inform the way many people interact with the disempowered and or the outnumbered.

*I do not know any Tibetans but I am quite confident that they aren't all lazy. I didn't not speak up on this issue in this conversation due to the tragic circumstances (terminal illness of my friend's family member) that precipitated our Google Chat.