It seems like by now everything in this crazy world of ours is more or less back to normal, but to borrow the immortal words of Marvin "what's going on?" Let's review. The 2008 torch relay began and for whatever reason the government thought the torch would be greeted with great joy or perhaps basically get ignored, but instead thousands took to the streets in London, Paris, and San Francisco. After what happened in march, what was the government seriously expecting? At the same time, while the protests were an overwhelming statement of free speech, how many of those rallying for the cause of Tibet could actually point it out on a map? The fact that so many people went as far as getting arrested for a place they have never visited and probably know next to nothing about boggles the mind.
Then Paris, we'll always have Paris, right? The craziness of a torch relay where the torch doesn't stay lit and must ride on buses and the defining moment of the torch relay, when the Paralympic athlete in a wheelchair, Jin Jing, battled a frog and "bravely" protected the torch. I have to wonder about the sanity of a man who attacks a disabled girl for the cameras of the world. The Chinese backlash against all things french was immediate, Carrefour suffering the most and yet I still bet the lines will be long during the may holiday.
Back to the subject of Jin Jing, at first the articles barely even referred to her, but once Xinhua realized it had a pr coup on its hands, she was front and center. Netizens talked up her bravery and were calling her a beautiful angel. Maybe its the cynic in me, but the sudden publicity she's getting is disingenuous. She's a former Paralympic champion, but most Chinese have never heard her name before. After a week or two, this beautiful angel will go back to being ignored and jobless, but that's what happens if you're disabled in China. Unfortunately, her brief fame hasn't been used to shine a light on how she's treated in China, that would kill the instant patriotism.
Then there's CNN, that great bastion of American news, reporting to the world twenty four hours a day. One of its commentators made some idiotic, off the cuff comments about china and suddenly the whole country is up in arms. It is one thing for ordinary citizens to be pissed off, its another thing when the government starts attacking this individual. So you want to be a superpower but you can't take a little criticism from one lowly commentator? CNN should have immediately fired Cafferty (or for face, suspended him), but the government should be a little less preoccupied with the opinions of one relatively meaningless individual and a little more thick skinned. Finally, the lawsuit against CNN for 1.3 billion dollars, what can I say? Having worked for a federal judge, I thought I'd seen every possible desperate and/or laughable lawsuit there could be, but this one might take the cake. I'd love to read the brief if anyone has it, I'm sure it would be great for laughs. I can see it now, the moment the judge sj'd this thing out of court, Chinese netizens will once again rise up in indignation.
The world's done gone and lost its damn mind!