Stage 55387

Marie Jost

"American politicians don’t dare say outright that only the wealthy should have political rights — at least not yet. But if you follow the currents of thought now prevalent on the political right to their logical conclusion, that’s where you end up.

The truth is that a lot of what’s going on in American politics is, at root, a fight between democracy and plutocracy. And it’s by no means clear which side will win."

I can just hear the travel agents promoting tours to HK during the demonstrations: go to HK and see something you will never see in China, Chinese people engaged in massive peaceful civil disobedience and opposition to the government. Visit the protest sites, see the banners, talk to protesters, take pictures of the barricades, tents, banners, rallies. See the protesters' socialist collective at Admiralty This is the experience of a lifetime, not to be missed! Tours available for a limited time only.

China must be nervous that these HK celebrities are having an impact on China, otherwise why would they aim so much vitriol at them? The more that Beijing attacks those supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, the more frightened they show themselves to be!

There are many factors in addition to language (spoken Cantonese, written formal Chinese, and informal written Cantonese) that make covering the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong so difficult. First there is a general unfamiliarity with the history and culture of the SAR by Westerners. Then there is the intentional blocking and distorting of information by the pro-government forces (in both Hong Kong and China) combined with the heavy reliance on social media as the major form of communication by the protesters. Add to this a very volatile situation with 3 distinct sites, each with its own characteristics, great difficulty in distinguishing facts from rumors, unintentional misinformation from intentional misinformation, and any truth from out-right bold-faced lies. The reluctance of people "in the know" both on the government and pro-democracy side from wanting to speak "on the record" makes verifying any information difficult. I think perhaps the smartest approach is to take pretty much everything with a grain of salt and concentrate less on the details and more on the big picture and larger trends. Besides, misinformation is a major tactic being employed by the government and that, in and of itself, is having some impact on how the story is unfolding locally and in the international press. Maybe every news story should have a notice at the top: Warning: this story is about the current situation in Hong Kong. It is virtually impossible to verify any and all statements for their factual veracity.

Fabulous interview.

“I don’t think the student leaders have any say about how this movement will end. If the goods are not delivered, this movement is not going to end. These kids are fighting for their own future.”

“I’ve been working in the media for so long, so I’m supposed to understand the people. But I tell you, I don’t. I don’t understand them. Their potential power and fighting spirit is something I’ve just discovered. It’s amazing.”

When Lai asked his son why he and his Western university educated friends joined the street occupation in Mongkok, his answer was simple: ‘for us it’s very simple. We only have one choice: either we fight until the last breath we have, and keep this place our home, or we emigrate.’”

“These kids …” he said, trailing off.

“They were born with Western values, grew up with Western values, and act and understand the world through Western values,” Lai said. “They’re not answering to any leader, but the desperation in their hearts.”

He added that their values—freedom of speech and thought, open government, transparent dealings—could just as well be called universal values.

“The mainland values, mainland controls, political mechanisms—they can’t accept that political system. They can’t accept the mainland value system. They can’t accept the way that things function in the mainland. They just can’t.”

“All the momentum and power rests with these students. A lot of people think that after a while it will peter out and thin down, but the reverse is true: the more we fight, the more people understand the ideas and get affected and moved by it, and see the possibility.”

The central role spoken (and written) Cantonese plays in Hong Kong identity and the struggle for greater democracy. Excellent article.

"With current CE Leung Chun-ying seen as a Beijing lackey, a legislature controlled by Establishment figures and an economy dominated by tycoons, ordinary citizens have little choice but to turn to the streets to be heard.

China’s rulers and their Hong Kong proxies should listen, if only out of self-interest. Democracy is no panacea, but it makes those in power more accountable to the citizenry. To the argument that China would not allow more freedom in Hong Kong because it would create a precedent for the Chinese mainland and threaten the ruling Communist Party, the right response is that it’s about time Beijing understands the aspirations of some of its people."

According to China, I am now an "official foreign meddler for my support of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Rarely has something meant as condemnation made me so proud!

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:...he key to China's soft power hinges on modernizing Chinese culture instead of marketing its ancient heritage.

Such cultural modernization includes not only more appealing cultural products and business innovations, but also fundamental reforms in the Chinese body politic.

To paraphrase the wise words of Confucius, perhaps Chinese leaders should worry less about having little soft power abroad and more about building up a prosperous, free, and just society at home."

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Marie Jost

Dancer, Author


In Memoriam Leslie Cheung 1956-2003 Our Leslie, beautiful like a flower. I love you today and always-- a part of my heart beats for you alone, tonight a ...Read more

Languages Spoken english, french, spanish
Location United States
English Name Marie Jost
City Other North Carolina

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