Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where it's all hapenning

Since the 11th of June I am traveling in China, the country where blogging is impossible if you use Blogger, Wordpress or other big names in the field. But I have my own domain name, so I am able to keep a travel blog updated quite often! However this present blog, Enigmatic Worthlessness, is highly suffering from the Great Firewall...
So until I reach Hong Kong in the end of august I won't able to post anything. I could use a proxy, like right now, but I prefer to write scandalous things about China once I'm out...

In the meantime, my journey can be followed at

Monday, June 1, 2009

More on Trafigura, and how it goes under-reported in the media...

Trafigura, or how can people be that evil toward their own kind. After looking for some time I found more material to read on Trafigura and it's shameful action in Ivory Cost about 3 years ago.

In a previous post I related the great documentary produced by Al Jazeera, but I just found out that BBC had also produced another report, which is just as good.
Or I should rather say 'devastating' instead of 'great', as the topic is absolutely horrible. It is even hard to conceive that such evilness can be so easily done to men. Well I guess we tend to forget rather too rapidly the many examples that spot our history, from Hitler to Rwanda and Cambodia and Armenia and Guantanamo and Darfour and Palestine and Northen Uganda and ... The list goes on.

Coming back to Trafigura, I was quite glad to see that Al Jazeera wasn't the sole media to report this case.
But this was before discovering this article from The Guardian in which we learn that Trafigura is doing it's best to shut down any report made on them. Apparently they are trying to sue BBC for showing this documentary which is supposedly alleging false claims about Trafigura's abuses.
In the same time there is a huge PR campaign going on to make the company look better, while many journalists are being threatened not to write about the scandal.

But here and there some stories are being published. Of interest is one from the Financial Time on the question of the US Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 which allows anyone to sue any company in the world against alleged human rights crimes in a US court - or at least it is being interpreted that way.
Apparently it is becoming more and more common to see huge multinational corporations being held accountable for their abuses of the international laws' loopholes. It has notably been used in the case of the Ogoni people in Nigeria against the Royal Dutch Shell Company, and the trial is taking place right as I speak.

(photos: NYTimes)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Praising the Large Hearted Boy

I just found this MP3 blog. Although it doesn't have much to do with Enigmatic Worthlessness I still wanted to mention it because the guy has a great musical taste. Browse the page and look for the yearly best of lists and you'll find great music - that you can download for free and legally!

Congratulation, largehearted boy...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When The Pirate Bay Goes Politicalistic...

When The Pirate Bay - the biggest and best torrent website - goes political I applaud! This is the image that appears when going on The Pirate Bay, and it is great. It's a kind of remake of the First World War British and American propaganda posters urging the masses to enroll in the Army and go to the Front...

May us European all vote between the 4th and 7th of June 2009! Viva la democracia! So for all of those who claim that the EU is an autocratic administrative supra-state big thingy, stop complaining and vote then!
Jalla jalla!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Enigmatic Worthlessness of Justice?

I just found out about a new case of justice's worthlessness... This is a documentary from Al Jazeera on the case of Trafigura, the world's third largest oil trading company. According to Wikipedia - I'm not [yet] an academic - Trafigura last year had a turnover of US$73bn, or more than the double of Côte d'Ivoire's GDP last year (US$34bn), which gives an indication on what we are talking about.

The documentary is about the trial case between the people in Abidjan and Trafigura in which the oil trading company dumped toxic wastes next to villages all around Abidjan, resulting in sicknesses and deaths.

Apparently Martyn Day, the British lawyer defending the Côte d'Ivoire people, is fairly confident on the outcome of the trail that's gonna take place in October 2009. Yet I liked very much what he pointed out:
"But what I think has not worked quite well is the strong desire within Abidjan to see trafiquers itself in the dock in which it would have to defend the charges about what it did."
Yet I hope people in Abidjan win and finally get some proper compensations to deal with their legacy of sicknesses from Trafigura... And thant you Al Jazeera and Juliana Ruhfus for this documentary.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This is Enigmatic Worthlessness!

Yes, this is enigmatic worthlessness at a high degree. But ain't worthlessness so good? Today, my father, my brother and myself went to meet "the guys": a troop of semi-retired people who go have a cup of coffee almost each morning and discuss literature sessions, theater projects and the Cannes Festival. Very nice. I hope I when I retire - if it happens and that I'm still alive, and also if the global warming hasn't become too warm, or the pig flu too pandemic or mutated to horse flu - I can also be a cool hanging around guy talking about my last piece of genius writing or my last travel to Uzbekistan or whatever... Yes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

After the Pope: Obama

After the Pope voiced the Vatican's support for a Palestinian State, the Obama administration finally assumed the stance that the US ought to have taken many years ago. In this interview from Al Jazeera the US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, is confirming what have been said between Obama and Netanyahu. That is that the US is
"committed to a two-state solution ... And therefore nothing should be done to undermine the potential resolution of the peace effort that could prevent such a two-state solution from taking hold"

And this is really a good thing. But now the questions on future borders remain highly uncertain. The Al Jazeera journalist asked Hilary if the borders from 1967 would be used but the questions remained unanswered. And as she said, the Obama administration is only pushing for a halt on further Jewish settlements project on Palestinian land, but what about all the existing ones that makes the West Bank look like a piece of Swiss cheese: full of holes!

Even if a Palestinian state is created, I still don't understand how it is gonna work since the territory agreed upon will consist of scattered pieces of Palestinian land between which Israeli check points will exist... A big masquerade.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jala Jala, Pope Calls for Palestinian Homeland

Today I heard the voice of the benevolent Pope for the first time in his address to Palestinian's right for a sovereign land. It was an absolutely wonderful experience.

Still I was happy to hear that this Pope of ours is calling for reconciliation in the Middle East, although it's not like his voice will change anything. But the more it is talked about the better.

But then as Sabrina and I were reading different news websites we realized something quite striking.

Among the biggest US news broadcaster only CNN had a story on the Pope's call for Palestinian Homeland! But one would have to look hard to find it, and the story is just about a call for reconciliation but nothing is said about any Palestinian State... FoxNews has absolutely nothing of course, and neither do the Washington Post.

Even worse, in FoxNews the only covered subject is about the Pope's link with Hitler Youth Camps and Israeli's irritation. While I also doubt the Pope absolute benevolence (just look at his face on this AP picture on the left...), his speech should have been reported because it still is a call for hope. The Pope' s Hope.

But while we all know about the substantial quality of FoxNews' news, I was even more surprised to see that the New York Times' only story was about "Christians in Mideast Loosing Numbers and Influence"! Weewow! So the NYTimes just ignores a call for a Palestinian State from one of the most conservative person in the world and instead fuels the American's fear of global Muslim domination... This is incredible.

There is nothing either on the various Canadian press I checked on, that is, Globe and Mail, and La Presse (in Quebec).

On the other hand all European media I checked had their main story on the Pope's call for a Palestinian State. The Guardian, BBC, Le Monde, El Pais, and of course on Al Jazeera (maybe the best media I know).

This says a lot about the state of mind that prevails in North America, and it maybe also explains why the "road for peace" in the Middle East is full of scattered obstacles when the main actor, the USA, is apparently more concerned on the loosing numbers of Christians in Middle East...

(photos: the Guardian and AP)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The First Step

That’s it, things are getting started; I finally got out of Montreal, took my first couple of planes and in the end arrived in Oslo, Norway. While this is maybe not as exciting as travelling along the Silk Road, it is still something in itself. This is my second experience with Norway and I am just as amazed as the first time about people speaking Norwegian everywhere. It may not sound that peculiar to hear people speaking Norwegian in Norway but it is still quite something; maybe it’s because the only Norwegian people I know live in Canada and speak English all the time (unlike French who often refuse to speak anything else than French all around the world…). Or maybe it is because of my exceptional ability to be eternally amazed at… things.

But still, Norway brings me one step closer to Xinjiang, and the steps are starting to follow each other faster and faster. I still haven’t finished my website, and time is running fast! I also have to do quite a lot of research on the history of the places where I’ll be going to, and there are a lot of them! And I need to improve my photography skill; but it’s all under way. I am actually editing on Dreamweaver right now, in the café lounge of Oslo’s hospital while Sabrina is visiting her grandfather. And if I need a break I can contemplate the big Norwegian flag on the entrance of the building… Ja, vi elsker dette landet!

(picture: just behind Sabrina's father's house... the forest is never too far in Oslo!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Garage Sale

Che Martin and Wonder Julie at the garage sale on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flying pigs, saucisson and flu

Bless you.
Yes it is certainly not the time to sneeze in public! The swine flu is swining, and the world is going crazy...
But is it really? When watching the different major media broadcasters the last couple of days, I have been fairly surprised at the discrepancies between the different views on the flu. Pandemic, not pandemic, a mere spring flu? Where is the fine line?

I have looked at the big guys like Financial Times or BBC or even Bloomberg, and after feeling a bit scared of this pandemikeria I actually understood that things weren't that bad in fact. The WHO is trying to prevent countries to close their borders and impose travel restrictions, for it would be no help anyways.

But the Nile ain't just a river, as one would say! I was looking at this editorial from the Asia Times by Chan Akya, and his view is quite interesting. I was actually wondering about the same thing just before reading his article, that is the link between the current economic crisis and flying pigs. As the markets struggle to go on, government and most of the major news agencies have produced a rainfall of good looking new in the past couple of months,with slogans such as "the worst is over" and such. But as I was writing in a previous post, the worst ain't over! And a pandemic certainly wouldn't make things easier.

Is that why the WHO headmaster, Mr Fukuda, repeatedly said that there was no risk of pandemikeria? How can there be no risk when now 7 countries around the world have confirmed cases, and out of over 2000 people infected in Mexico 150 have died. That's a pretty bad rate! Yesterday (2th of April) on Al Jazeera, however, the interview of the head of the medical research council based in London clearly stated that
"it is clearly serious because we are dealing here with a flu virus that has picked up some of the genetic material from pig flu viruses but it is embedded in essence of human virus that can spread rapidly from man to man and that sets up all the potential for a pandemic."

A bigger picture of the flying infected pigs...
But who knows? Maybe a good pandemic is what we need to realize that something must be done. I had hopes that with the economic crisis there would be a change in the wind, but no such change happened. There are indeed signs that in a few remote corners of the financial world some are trying to bring a fairer world, but "cold warriors" from Washington and their bastions of neo-liberals are fighting hard. And they are strong.
So as I said, maybe the good pandemic could actually bring the world in such a bad shape that a new order could emerge from it? Lets dream...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A glimpse of hope for the IMF?

The International Monetary Found, what a great thing. Some rightly wondered if its sole purpose was really to assert the North's supremacy on the South, nothing more. It might be true but it also might not. Let's not let our vision be troubled by the dark cloud of world conspiracy theories.

At least the recent developments of the economic crisis and etc are suggesting some sparkles of hope for change!
The last G20 meeting in London ended with big promises of renewed funds to the IMF and the World Bank of a total of $500 billions. This money is then supposed to be "given" to countries all around the world to help them struggle in these tough economic times.
Well, we'll see about that.

But in the meantime the major contributors are quite reticent to hand in the billions of dollars. Apparently, the Obama is trying to get the Congress to pledge $100 billions, the EU has promised another $100 billions, China $40 billions, and etc... But it still falls short of over $200 billions. Countries like Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and other are thus being asked a contribution.

And while this is not entirely unseemly, what is new is that these new donors are expecting something back! Brazil, among others, have already voiced its demand for reforms on the weighting voting system of the IMF. Many [most] have been unhappy with the IMF for a long time, but never the South have had a proper bargaining tool. I guess we will soon see what comes out of the IMF and the World Bank's early spring meeting on Monday in Washington...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A parliamentarian day in Ottawa...

Yes, that was something. A wonderful parliamentarian experience with Aurelia, Thomas, and Sabrina of course.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rough path...

It seems indeed a rough path when looking at the DJ index of the past months... But it also seems that we have already gone through the worst. And yet The Economist was saying today that the road ahead is long and dark. Indeed most numbers apparently suggest that the worst is over only in the sense that the path down to recession has slowed down. But it's still going down.

I liked these simple numbers, that quietly calm down the optimists:
Between 1929 and 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared by more than 20% four times, only to fall back below its previous lows. Today’s crisis has seen five separate rallies in which share prices rose more than 10% only to subside again.
Well well, we'll see. In the meantime we shall bury our head in the ground as ostriches wisely do. Because although the global economy might get a brighter look by the end of this year, for what matters to the actual people (we, the people) unemployment is still rising, big times. GM just announced that it might close it's factories for 9 weeks this summer, while it has until June to decide what part of the production will be shut down for real so GM can get a new bailout for its healthy half. It won't be fun for American workers this summer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jesus Sucks at Le Cagibi

On Sunday Sabrina and I went to her favorite cafe, Le Cagibi, to have some kind of lunch and study...

So I brought my laptop, and of course I connected myself to the wireless, and this is what I found.
Click on the image to get it bigger and you'll see the network called "jesus sucks"...

Pretty funny. It always makes me happy to see some kind of rebellion against any dogma....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pain au Chocolat.

Breakfast plate, pain au chocolat, good coffee, everything. And the Obliterated Pigeon. Last week Sabrina dragged me to the Ceramic Cafe to make a plate, but I was terribly hangover. Here is the result.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh Kim!

From The Economist.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Great Little Woman!

What a great little woman. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, spoke at the Montreal Millennium Summit, and I was relieved to finally hear something concrete from someone. As all speakers recalled long and large their own stories, she was the first and only one to actually have an idea of a solution.

Shirin Ebadi took the opportunity to have as audience the vice-Secretary of the United Nation (and me of course) to make the following proposal: to bring in front of the General Assembly a resolution (and pass it) that would limit development aid only to countries that have a educational and healthcare budget at least equal to their military expanditures. And this is a good point: why give money to country that spend it in army stuff, while they could cut the military budget and pour more money in health and education instead. Costa Rica manage quite well without military...

A good point.

I assisted today the Montreal Millennium Summit. First I was appalled by the [ridiculous] performance of Quebecois singer Ima, the pompous speech given by Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean, which was further followed by the Quebec Education Minister Michelle Courchesne's own. But then I finally heard some really interesting facts. Indeed as the Vice Secretary General of the United Nation Asha-Rose Migiro was recalling, it seems ridiculous that in times of economic crisis countries from the OECD use the lame excuse that they are too short of money to continue giving aid to poorer countries. And as we speak the amount of given aid is plummeting dramatically.

But then at the recent G20 meeting in London over one trillion dollars was suddenly found, overnight. And the annual amount of total aid given to developing countries barely goes over 100 billion dollars! And they say there ain't no money? Hum... In the last 8 months, over 3 trillions US$ was injected in the biggest banks owned by the richest people on earth, and another 3 trillions US$ was also spend in army stuff in 2008... And there ain't no money for developing countries?

Because it's actually there that the lack of money will be most felt, of course. How about the millions people's life depending on aid? As Mia was saying, if people in darfur don't start receiving food again soon maybe one millions people might die!

And finally Salil Shetty, the director of the UN millennium development goal, the great Canada, which sponsored the goal of 0.7% of countries' income to be given as development aid as early as 1969 only gives 0.32% in 2009! We are going backward instead of forward! Let the rich go richer and the poor be bamboozled!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Follow the Wind!

There we go. Sometimes priorities are priorities, and what must be done must be done.
That said, I just wanted to inform that Enigmatic Worthlessness will from now on be entirely dedicated to what the title embraces: enigmatic worthlessness. Indeed no more fuss with travel stories and pictures everywhere. Travel stories will be posted on The Ubiquitous Traveller, while picturesque pictures will be displayed on Picturesque Reality. This is of course does not include The which is my project under development where travel information, as well as a photography section on Central Asia will soon be available.

Priorities are priorities!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2+2 = 4?

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follow." (Orwell, 1949).
In Orwell's 1984 Big Brother has become so big that two plus two makes four is not granted anymore; and Winston, the protagonist, when writing the above quote in his diary thinks he's being a lunatic, as the whole world surrounding him seems to believe the contrary.

Compare and contrast. This seems quite far from the world in which Fyodor Dostoyevsky was writing Notes from Underground, in which his underground man is shouting out and loud that two and two makes five is just as nice as two and two makes four. It seems that the road has been long since the rationality brought by the booming industrial revolution was perceived as a threat to human condition. In this time it was the underground man who was the lunatic when being irrational.

The critics of rationality went unheard by the mainstream ideology prevailing throughout most of the 18th and 19th century. Industrialization went on, international trade boomed, and standards of living increased dramatically when a wave of romanticism and illusory peace finally flooded the beginning of the 20th century. Yet as Norman Angell's Great Illusion became the Great Disillusion with the outbreak of the First World War, as in the east a bloody civil war ended up with the victory of the Red Army, and as further time of uncertainty came with the Great Depression George Orwell wrote 1984 in which two plus two makes four seemed inattainable.

And now where are we? In the past twenty years everyone witnessed and acknowledged an increase in the phenomenum of globalization. In the 80s the world catched up with the rate of globalization that prevailed on the eve of the First World War - and with the rate of rationalization - but since then numbers have sky rocketed any previous figures. Thomas Friedman, the famous collumnist of the New York Times, described globalization as embracing the rationalization process, hence we can now safely assume that two plus two makes four.

But is that a good thing? Has the wheel turned enough so that Dostoyevsky's wanderings are once again relevant? Michael Veseth wrote an answer to Thomas Friedman in his book Globaloney. Quote: "The more globalization proceeds, the more we have and the less it means to us. Existential questions inevitably arise." (Veseth, 2005, p.141). Indeed as globalization proceeds people loose identity and their reaction can be violent sometimes, as the rise of fundamentalism often denotes.

So where will that lead us once we recover from the actual economic crisis? Who knows? The wheel will probably turn again. I will finish this post with a quote from captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean 3: "It's not the world that's smaller, there's just less stuff in it".

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A long year around the world.

Good news! The Concordia International office just announced to Sabrina and me that we were accepted for the study exchange program next year. And what is great is that we can go together! But we were accepted only for half a year in Cairo, so they gave us some options to consider, and in the end we decided to go to Hong Kong first and Cairo second. Hong Kong then! Who would have known?

So next year is going to be a long year around the world. It will start in May in Norway, where I will visit my step family and the vikings, then I will drop by France to visit my own family, and then I will go to China in the beginning of June. There I will travel around the Kashgar region on the silk road for a good 2 months. That should give me plenty of time to discover the area [relatively] in depth. I now daydream about Kashgar and its surroundings, the mighty Pamir mountains, the Himalayas, the desert, the half buried 1000 years old fortresses where the caravans on the silk road would take refuge for the night, and the wild camels! And the Chinese government allowing I might get a glimpse at the Tibetan region of Qinghai, and maybe even Xiahe, which was closed last year.

And when I'll be tired of moving around I'll go to Hong Kong for a couple of months. Then it'll be Christmas time and the 6 weeks vacations that comes with it, thus traveling again. And then the American University of Cairo for a semester, and finally back to Montreal July 2010... In short it is going to be similar to my first sabbatical year - 2005-2006 - when I traveled for a year in Latin America and New Zealand.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


O Mexico! My love for the Caribe has just reached new heights. In every aspects the contrast with winter frozen Montreal is obvious, enormous and tremendous. The 19th of February I finally got out of this country and flew to Cancun, the spring break paradise for American teenagers. After few rhetoric problems with Veronica Holmes, the Continental Airways customer service witch, Kristina, Sabrina and me finally managed to get to the promised land with [only] one day late. We then had to find a car to rent, which took us some more hours, and off we went to meet Thomas in Merida!

Merida was astonishingly beautiful. The small streets, the single storey houses with their pastel colors, the backyards, the Volkswagen Beattles, the Carnaval, the warm weather, the smily faces; it was the perfect accumulation of goodness! Life is just good there. And for us it was the perfect vacation we wanted. Our hostel -La Casa del Tio Dach- was gorgeous, the owner really kind and helpful. The vacation was starting fairly well, let aside Sabrina's magic eye and the Continental Airways situation.

We then moved to Tulum and Punta Allen to find a beach with white sand, turquoise Caribbean water, Cabanas and coconuts. To fit with the "couple's vacation" typical image we tried to catch the sunrise [almost] every morning and stroll on the beach in the daybreak's soft light. It was the perfect vacation like grown up usually picture it.

And then we entered the second stage of this vacation when we met my step familly in Playa del Carmen. With them we went to Chichen Itza in an enormous Chevrolet Suburban, FBI like car in which we eight people all easily fitted. To finalyze our perfect spring break we got a touch of luxury as we stayed at the hotel next to the ruins. And then after a last day at the beach snorkelling and swimming with turtles, baracudas and sting rays we finally made our way back home, and the 1st of March we were all sadly back to Montreal, its snow and its grey weather.
Why am I not living in Mexico?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Discovering Yakub Beg's "Kingdom of the Six Cities"

The adventurer Yakub Beg ended up founding his own short lived Kingdom of Kashgaria in 1867, liberating the country from the Chinese Qing Empire and reestablishing Islam in the region. Kashgar became the capital of his new Kingdom and Robert Shawn, a British adventurer, visited him in 1968, and I will do the same.

Not that expect to find Yakub Beg still wandering around Kashgar; but I hope to make my own discovery of my own Kashgar and its fantastic history. Halfway between the Tibetan plateau and the heart of Central Asia, Kashgar has historically been a mix of civilizations where Islam and Buddhism met in its own way, almost always under the Chinese governance. What is there left? I hope many treasures... though maybe not what people usually understand by this word.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So be it; Kashgar I am coming,

So be it! CST game me my money, so I can go play at being reporter for National Geographic this summer in Kashgar, China... Though my plans for traveling with a motorcycle seems to fluster away, as I found out that it is forbidden to own any vehicle in China (unless living there or being Chinese, which I am not). So I won't ride. But I can still travel! And my wishes came true, I got the money, I got the time, I got everything I could wish for, so it's just to do it!
Now the harder will be to stay focused on my studies until the damn semester finishes! And then what? A stopover in Norway to visit Sabrina's family, and then China. I will have 2 months or so, enough time to find interesting travel stories to write about I guess!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A hunt for discrepancies

What I wanna do? Am I really going to be journalist? Me? Am I any good at it? Let send this letter to the gods, who are probably playing pétanque if I guess right. Is that what I really dream of? Maybe. I think so, a least. It would be really cool. Really cool. So let's make a move for it, let's go wholeheartedly, without concerns, full time, and at once. But what should I do first? Maybe look on Wikipedia on “how do I become an awesome journalist?”. I should give it a try. Right now.
Ok, maybe not then. First thing I saw was “bad news: media companies around the world are cutting the number of foreign correspondents”. Ok, so it won't be easy.
But what the heck! What is there to loose, except a dream? Well I believe in the Alchemist's story, even though many would say I'm stupid. “If you set yourself a goal and make your best to achieve it, life's gonna help you...” Doesn't it sound familiar? It's nice to hear. It gives hope. It gives me hope. And that's the only thing I need, hope, and will.
If I get money from CST I'll go to China this summer and write about my travel. 要是CST送给我前,很多前,我就回到中国去录性和些报上。 So if CST gives me money should I consider it a kick in the ass from Life? I'll put my faith in that for now, and we'll see. Hopefully I won't have to wait for too long...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Milk'n Melamine: Unpalatable truths in China's food safety

I found this article from Asia Time Online where the author Kent Ewing report some news from the New Zealand Herald, which are quite interesting in the light of the recent trial of Tian Wenhua, the ex-boss of Sanlu (one of the company found guilty of adding melanine to the milk).

Indeed last month (I think...) Tian Wenhua was jugded on a big show case trial and reportedly pleaded guilty to the "charges of producing and selling fake products and endangering public safety and could be sentenced to death". However, a spokeperson from the New Zealand branch (Fonterra) of the milk company reported that Tian Wenhua never said anything the like.
Now who's saying the truth? Along Tian Wenhua, 3 other top executives were also charged and 17 other random people. In total the China Daily report that over 40 000 people are being investigated... Who said big show? Maybe the Fonterra's spokeperson just tried a public relation move in order to save the Kiwi branch's face. Yet this whole situation is peculiarly similar to what Julia Strauss describe; the public accusation and mass denunciation sessions where random people were found guilty of the horrible crime of being a "rightist opportunist", and the accused were blamed of everyone's problem...
But 60 years have passed since the "golden age" of the CCP, as Julia Strauss wrote, and technology now allow people to comunicate and exchange their ideas. The CCP has to play carefully with its public media apparatus on the one hand, and discrete arrests on the other hand. As Kent Ewing reported, last month some of the victim's families tried to reach Beijing to voice their discontent, but they were quietly arrested on the way... The big shows from the CCP aren't finished yet!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Eve song...

Yes, it was beautiful, poetic, epic and terrific. All of this. This is even beyond words, beyond comments.