Friday, October 15, 2010

The Rescue of the 33

  • I can see there being a movie about the Chilean rescue.  Perhaps, they will call it "33".
  • I heard that the coverage of the rescue was wall-to-wall.  I am glad I wasn't able to see it.  From what I heard on my podcasts, the reporters were gushing annoyingly.
  • I haven't thought to get the students' reaction to the rescue.  In China, there always seen to be trapped or dead miners, so they might have some extra insight to provide me.

As I understand from a Chinese friend, Xiaobo's great value within China is as a voice expounding, often quite subtly, the relation between "Aesthetics and Human Freedom" (the translated title of one of his most famous essays). He confronts directly what other critics of Chinese totalitarianism avoid: the apparent "economic miracle" -- the outward gleaming success expressed in skyscrapers and multiplying consumer goods. 

He identifies this with the life of pigs. He finds the evil of the regime not only in direct acts of political repression, but also in the vileness of this consumer spectacle. In doing so, he addresses himself not only to the Politburo that cannot feel safe while men like Xiaobo are free to walk the streets. He also addresses his countrymen, who agree to accept a pig's rewards. 

  • There is something horribly materialistic about this country. 

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