November 22, 2008

"The Dalai Lama's so-called 'middle way' is a naked expression of 'Tibet independence' aimed at nakedly spreading..."

"... the despicable plot of opposing the tide of history."

That's AP translation of an editorial that appeared in the Chinese Tibet Daily. Strange the way "naked" appears twice. Not strange, but chilling is the notion that history has a tide and it's despicable to oppose it.

From a story in the NYT about the decision by a Tibetan exiles -- convening in Dharamsala, India -- not to seek independence from China but to continue with the Dalai Lama's "middle way."

ADDED: Want to swim naked in the tide of history?
Mao Zedong loved to swim. In his youth, he advocated swimming as a way of strengthening the bodies of Chinese citizens... But especially after 1955, when he was in his early 60s and at the height of his political power as leader of the Chinese People's Republic, swimming became a central part of his life. He swam so often in the large pool constructed for the top party leaders in their closely guarded compound that the others eventually left him as the pool's sole user. He swam in the often stormy ocean off the north China coast, when the Communist Party leadership gathered there for its annual conferences. And, despite the pleadings of his security guards and his physician, he swam in the heavily polluted rivers of south China, drifting miles downstream with the current, head back, stomach in the air, hands and legs barely moving, unfazed by the globs of human waste gliding gently past. "Maybe you're afraid of sinking," he would chide his companions if they began to panic in the water. "Don't think about it. If you don't think about it, you won't sink. If you do, you will."

33 comments:

Trooper York said...

Chinese people like naked. Why do you think there are so many Chinese?

Lem said...

China as the true naked aggressors are trying on some sheep's clothing.

Meade said...

I say we all get naked... as an expression of solidarity with the Tibetan tide opposers.

jayne_cobb said...

I try and avoid the tide of history altogether, going neither with it nor standing against it.

I've found that it's generally a lot healthier.

EDH said...

I say we should send the Obama Civilian National Security Force to Tibet to stabilize the situation.

Everybody loves us now, so what problem could there be in helping these people come together as one?

TMink said...

"but chilling is the notion that history has a tide and it's despicable to oppose it."

I am not sure about the tide of history, but Communism as a system sees itself as the inevitable path of human governence. From that perspective, I would understand how one might say "Resistance is futile" but not where the reds would get "Resistance is immoral."

Trey

Seneca the Younger said...

I'm guessing that was a horrible translation accident, actually. You can translate "naked" as 赤身裸体, "chi shen luo ti" "nakedly" as 赤裸裸 "chi luo luo". Since Chinese doesn't have near as many words as English, and actually uses that kind of repetition to be emphatic, it can sound a little weird if the translator isn't sensitive to the English sound of things.

Ann Althouse said...

Seneca, thanks.

If I understand you correctly, the original would have used repetition in an elegant or poetic way, but the translation is inane and clunky.

Michael McNeil said...

Reminds me of when Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, on one of his frequent appearances these days on PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer, argued (pre-surge) that history itself acted against us in the war in Iraq (because it was a “colonialist war,” don’t’cha know, out of it’s time), and thus victory was impossible.

EDH said...

On second thought, maybe something was lost in the AP translation, especially the word naked?

Michael McNeil said...

How fitting recalling that on this day, which has been declared V-I day.

Chip Ahoy said...

I animated Mao's restless mole. The idea could have been conveyed simply but once started I got carried away. Eventually it took well over a hundred frames, if I recall, and the stacked transparencies covered his entire face and neck so I had to put his wandering mole into an html table with a Mao background. That was fun, mess'n with Mao.

EDH said...

"unfazed by the globs of human waste gliding gently past."

It's no big deal.

Chip Ahoy said...

Also gave Mao the Joe Biden Makeover.

Chip Ahoy said...

What, no yellow running dogs?

EDH said...

"So, I jump ship in Hong Kong, and I make my way over to Tibet...

You know what the [Dalai] Lama says?"

"Gunga Galunga."

William said...

Theodore White was Time's correspondent in China. I remember reading his memoir. He was on the side of the Communists and against the Nationalists. He argued with Henry Luce on this point. Henry Luce had grown up in China as the son of missionaries. Theodore White had studied China at Harvard. What could Henry Luce possibly know? I remember that White praised Chou En Lai as one of the greatest leaders he had ever met. (Chou was Speer to Mao's Hitler.) White blamed the excesses of the Maoists on the fact that the US had not been sufficiently supportive of their revolution......It is now more than fifty years later. Taiwan under Nationalist direction evolved into a prosperous democracy whose standard of living is some ten times greater than that of the mainland. China, after many self inflicted massacres and famines, is still struggling to find its center of gravity.....The moral that I would draw is that Harvard intellectuals don't know everything there is to know about their area of expertise.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Not strange, but chilling is the notion that history has a tide and it's despicable to oppose it."

The "progress" in "progressive" politics is the march towards a socialist atheistic non-white utopia. This is the Change that Obama represents. Sarah Palin's supposed atavism is the reason she was so viciously attacked; the left honestly believe that she represents the forces of conservatism that want to put blacks in back in shackles and women back in the kitchen.

The irony is that the same people who so fervently believe in the pefectability of human nature also believe in Rousseau's Noble Savage. I suppose it makes sense given that the Democratic Party seems to be an alliance of the richest and the poorest united in their contempt for the middle class...

TMink said...

Jef, you go. Wish I had typed that myself.

Trey

nansealinks said...

Nearly 6 out of 10 African-American and Hispanic children are unable to swim, nearly twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts, a concern often highlighted by U.S. Olympian Cullen Jones, who is African-American and swam the third leg of the winning men’s relay.


Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death among children.

nansealinks said...

and #1 is not choking on feces.


#1 cause of accidental car accidents.

As for my opinion on water and waste:

You swim in Lake Michigan in very cold temperatures, you swallow the water (yuck). You go home and sit on the toilet for a couple days. Then you wipe your arse and move on.

You think marathon runners have to be tough? I'll tell you this. When you are running in a marathon, you can sit down and rest if you feel like you can't go on. Then pick up the pace again. You swim in an open swim race? You just have to keep swimming. Or you have to stop and tread water and raise your hand and a life guard in a boat will get to you. But you better raise your hand before it's too late. Cause there is no stopping. Your hands start to tingle and feel numb. Your body starts to shiver. You accidently swallow that gulp of water and choke down a cough or two, but you motivate yourself to kick-pull, kick pull (if you are silly enough to do breast stroke which no one hardly does in open water. It's slow. Many are interested in times. But for me breast stroke is a survival stroke. It's quite an endurance event. It is in my lifetime, my greatest athletic accomplishment ever.

dbp said...

Having done a fair amount of open-water swimming, I have got to say it can be pretty addictive. Swimming across a place like Walden Pond, gives a whole different view of the place: On the land you are confined to a few narrow paths, in the water you can go wherever you like.

I would never swim in gross, polluted water though--at least not for fun.

Kirby Olson said...

The Dalai Lama now says he doesn't think the Chinese government is really being honest with him. Maybe soon the Tibetans will throw yak butter pudding at their oppressors. It's high time.

Obama certainly won't do anything when the Tibetans are then mercilessly crushed, and brought to total extinction.

There are alternative views of history to that of the Marxist elite.

David Landes' The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (Norton, 1998) is that of a Harvard economic historian who argues that religious movements are the driving force in history.

He's all for the Protestant Reformation, and doesn't have anything good at all to say about Marxists. It's quite a charming book!

rhhardin said...

There's two kinds of Tibetan music
Traditional Tibetan
and
Traditional Tibetan songs according to the Chinese, leaving Tibetans confused, they hope.

This one is thoroughly Chinese in orchestration; it's very nice as music but not Tibetan.

rcocean said...

Between having sex with young Red Guards and swimming Mao barely had time to kill more than a couple million people.

Moral: exercise can be additive - so do it in moderation.

JAL said...

Chip must have run out of parrots.

nansealinks said...

Are you sure walden Pond is immaculate?

lake michigan isn't that polluted. it's just that you swim on saturday morning and all those boats are harbored there and you know a couple drunks had to be throwing up over the deck.

I just wonder, though, cause ann promotes learning, reading, art, and spirituality on her site(i guess saying something about the dalai llama is spirituality)

i think ann needs to be photographed being active in her tennis shoes. I mean quit flaunting an iPhone or a macBook Air or a Nikon camera just for the case of flaunting it, If you notice when Steve flaunts his products they are usually action shots of people doing something, or the iPod that can be a trainer.

You need to get more realistic in your MOOOOOOOVEMENT. not just this casual sauntering. Surely you wii or something?

I've taken up tribal belly dancing. You might try it, too. You gotta isolate three sections of your spine, chest, midriff, hips and learn to move them in figure eights or rotations in Euler angles. (in case you forgot your trigonometry or geometry that would be pitch, bank, and heading)

Revenant said...

Does it really matter? China's not going to voluntarily give Tibet any kind of freedom and nobody's going to force them to do so against their will.

The idea of Tibetan independence is dead on arrival.

Kirby Olson said...

The only hope for Tibet is that China gets more democratic and stops being such a one-party state.

Perhaps that will ultimately happen if they get a Gorbachev?

Ann Althouse said...

Who's Steve?

nansealinks said...

You own a macbook air?

Well not that i like to link any man or woman tightly to a company. The person outside his work is so much more interesting than the man tightly fit inside it.

I guess that would kinda like being labeled, "Nick's mom." Did you know in some central eurasia countries a woman is known as the mother of her eldest son. I am guessing lot's wife did not have a name because she had no sons. She was thus only lot's wife, no name of her own.

Thank goodness for my three sons. they have at least guranteed my being a somebody since I am not married.

jdeeripper said...

Ann Althouse said...Who's Steve?

Mock turtlenecks, used to have good hair, tall and thin, optimistic.

nansealinks said...

i'm glad althouse didn't ask

"who's Euler?" in light of the recent Larry Summer discussion. that's a relief.