Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bjork pisses off China or: the new Pravda

Bjork, the elfin Icelandic singer, recently performed her song Declare Independence at a concert in Shanghai. At the end she shouted "Tibet! Tibet!". Of course, the official news organs never mentioned this but now the video is on YouTube and causing quite a stir. The comments under the video have somehow become a childish india vs china flame war (definition time for people who don't spend hours "researching" on the internet via ipowerweb: An argument or ongoing sequence of hostile communications between two or more people in a public forum on the Internet).

Many chinese get upset about Tibet because their history books tell them that Tibet has always been part of China. Last month, the
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said "Tibet has been an inseparable part of Chinese territories since ancient times, which is universally recognized by the international community." If by inseparable part, you mean consistently kicking China's ass since ancient times. That's the truth every historian knows.

The government effort to change the past has a striking similarity to the work of Stalin. That's one thing (of many) that scares me about China: the brainwashing of Soviet Russia combined with the power of the free market makes for a dangerous animal. By the way, they just announced 20% of their budget will go to defense spending (still not america's 50%) and that's just what gets reported. The military spending has been high for ten straight years. They maintain they need a large army to pacify Taiwan, the tiny island that keeps almost declaring complete independence. Give me a tiger, a really big catapult and 4 amazon warrior princesses and I could pacify Taiwan. It worries me.

Here's the video of the song and a link to the Guardian article (via BoingBoing)

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