Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, China Style

I have been waiting for weeks to hear reports emanating out of China that there have been public gatherings inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. I have also been wondering just how the Chinese government might react to such mass gatherings. Below are excerpts of some reporting by Asia Times Online that touches on both of these issues. Click here for the full story, which has been covered by other outlets as well.

As the Occupy Wall Street protests targeting corporate greed and political corruption spread from coast to coast in the United States, China's new leftists - socialist critics of the country's capitalist-style economic reforms - are beginning to lend support, declaring the demonstrations as a "great revolution" that sounds the death-knell for capitalism throughout the world.

Supporters of the new leftists have staged street protests in at least two cities of Henan province, Luoyang and Zhengzhou, in the past few days to show their "firm support" for the "Great Wall Street Revolution".

Participants put up a big picture of Mao and displayed a huge banner with the slogan "To Staunchly Support American People's Great 'Wall Street' Revolution!" The wording of the slogan reminds people of Mao's "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution".

Participants in the Luoyang and Zhengzhou gatherings were mostly aged in their 50s or older. People in that age group are more nostalgic for Mao and his era of greater social equality, particularly as gaps in society widen today.

Chinese authorities seem to have closed their eyes to unauthorized public gatherings in Henan.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bucket List Entry Checked Off

[Editor's note: With the North Carolina State Fair kicking off today in Raleigh, here is a post that Desi penned after last year's road trip. It's one of the ones that got away. And a good one at that.]

Ever since I was a kid, I imagined myself shooting the red star out of one of those cards you see on the midways of fairs and amusement parks. I even planned it in my mind...I'll shoot around the border of the star itself, slowly and deliberately, lining up the shots on each edge.

Did I ever ask my folks for the five bucks it would cost to try it? No, never. It just seemed like too much of a splurge...Even though the prizes always looked so good.

This time, though, I wouldn't be denied, so I nudged Z and told him to join me over at the "Machine Gun" stand. "Really?" he asked. "Actually," I said, "go and ask Daddy for some cash first." (I try not to carry a purse at the fair if I don't have to!)

So with six dollars in hand (three for each of us...a bargain in my mind!), Z and I headed over and wielded our weaponry.

Suffice it to say that it was not as easy as I had imagined. Not by a long "shot." I should have known when the guy behind the counter ducked...just kidding! Seriously though (well, as serious as you can be about a game), it was nothing like I thought. The paper kept blowing backwards as I shot at it. As you can see by the photo, not only did I not shoot out the red star...I didn't even get one shot through the red star! Unfortunately my showing here was not quite as good as our shooting contest a couple of years ago in Texas when I took on all the Ballas and emerged victorious.

While there was no reward in it for me this time (Steve was probably relieved that we didn't have to cart a life-size cheetah back to Maryland anyway!), the real prize was sharing that moment with Z. He wasn't expecting it, which made it all the better!