29 March 2008

Tibet, China, Xinhua News Agency and the Ministry of Truth

I notice it’s been a while since I’ve gotten all ranty. I’ve been busy with other things; mostly trying to keep from losing my mind because of my university. But the violence in Tibet is bringing out the finger-wagging in me – and not just wagging, but pointing and reviling and j’accuse-ing too!

Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, is publishing such total bullcrap with regards to the situation! It literally makes me livid with rage when I read the complete nonsense they come out with, trying every possible attempt to spin this public relations disaster. Then, I get even more raging when I remember that for the average person living in China, the only source of information they have is this brainwash 1984 Newspeak!

“Some monks even deliberately maimed each other, and then took photographs in order to make a sensation in the world.” ¹

“Throughout the incident, Lhasa police officers exercised great restraint. They remained patient, professional and were instructed not to use force. In humanitarian spirit, they even rescued the malicious monks who attempted sensation through hurting themselves.”²

“Lian said of the Dalai Lama: "He appears as a follower of non-violence. As for whether he is a terrorist, we mainly see he is involved in terrorist activities."”³

Or, if that wasn’t nauseating enough, there are some further examples here and here of the complete rubbish that Chinese people have to put up with every day.

For the last 30 or so years the Dalai Lama has being trying to find a way for Tibetan culture to be allowed to continue under Chinese rule. He has stated on numerous occasions that Tibet is a part of China. Xinhua just doesn’t want to listen. They endlessly repeat over and over that the Dalai Lama and his “splittest cliques” are trying to “carve Tibet out of the motherland” and hold the Olympic Games hostage. — Going on the time I lived in China, I think most people are conscious of the fact that the Chinese press is pure propaganda — but just like that whole Richard Gere – gerbil thing, there is only so many times you can hear something before you have to begin to wonder. —Xinhua News Agency, spreader of mis- and dis-information, Communist party mouthpiece and sorry excuse for journalism: You are dead to me!

Young Tibetans are pissed because the Dalai Lama’s nicey-nice has gotten them nowhere, the Chinese government is just as heavy-handed as ever, and their way of life is threatened by large-scale migration of ethnic Han Chinese to Tibet.

I, for one, am glad that the situation is continuing and spreading — particularly to Xinjiang, another ethnic minority area forcibly integrated into China by the Communist Party in the 1950s. I can only hope the ongoing unrest will force Western governments to stop thinking with their pocketbooks about the huge Chinese market, stop turning a blind eye to all of the country’s flagrant human rights abuses, and finally start pressuring the Chinese Communist Party to behave like an honest member of the international community.

14 March 2008

Polish in Paris

I've been working like a crazy person, trying to translate a copyright agreement for a friend of a friend. So totally in over my head, looking up basically every single word of the document, every day until three in the morning. Yikes! But it was $$$, and, uh, I guess good practice too. I've turned off my brain to recuperate for the next few days, but in the mean time, here is a photoblog I meant to put up a long time ago, but never got around to it. Please enjoy this retrospective of the many Parisian sights and monuments Polish asked me to take his picture in front of.


Cathédral Notre-Dame

Hôtel des Invalides

Place St-Michel

Place de la Concorde - 3am New Year's

Tombe de Napoléon

Jardin de Luxembourg

Palais Chaillot

Place de la Varsovie - Warsaw Square

05 March 2008

I'm (mildly) famous!

Of course you already all knew that, but now travel website Gadling.com has taken up my cause against Lonely Planet guidebooks to Burma.

Check out their story here.

04 March 2008

French humour

Two cats have to swim across the English Channel. One is called "Undeuxtrois", and the other "Onetwothree". Which one wins?

Onetwothree, because the Undeuxtrois cat sank.

01 March 2008

All day, All day

Still no decisions vis-à-vis my homecoming, but maybe some sizzling-hot Puerto Ricans will take your mind off it.

You know Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe just sat around thinking of video concepts where they would need to, um, "cast" swarthy young guys to take their shirts off and frolic about in the surf. Dirty old scoundrels! I loves it!

Pet Shop Boys
"Domino Dancing"

My favourite part is at the begining, when she's walking past the construction worker who's so hot, she just chucks her bicycle into the street. Loves it!