Well, gentle readers, I have returned from my extended vacation and am excited to be blogging once again. In the past few weeks, I have been following the Japan news, as opposed to our own events, but as the campaign season picks up steam and becomes nastier, I expect there to be great opportunities for those of us who do not rely on the Drive-By Media for our news.
Japan has been following the Olympic torch's progress obsessively, and they are documenting the progress and the protests that have accompanied it throughout the world. One of the most fascinating moments came as they showed the North Korean progress, and compared it with the scene in japan. It merely reinforces how totalitarian nations, such as China and North Korea, can control and stage-manage their populations, as in North Korea, the torch was almost entirely unescorted, and the people cheered. In most other nations, on the other hand, groups opposed to China's heavy-handed aggression, such as their decades-long occupation of Tibet, and their threatening posture towards Taiwan have managed to stage large and often violent protests as the torch passed through.
I think that China may have made a mistake with their pursuit of the Olympics. They were expecting to be able to stage-manage the Olympics to present their desired picture, just as Hitler did in 1936. However, the world is not possible to control as they might wish, and they may be discovering that sometimes being in the public eye is not as pleasant as it is when one controls the media as they do in their own country. A free media is a two-edged sword, and despite the world media's tendency to give China a pass most of the time, they may be forced to actually see some of the Chinese state's less savory factors as the Olympics bring the society into focus. At least we can hope so.
I'll be keeping an eye on this as it develops. In the meantime, I hope that all of my readers are enjoying the onset of May as summer approaches. It's good to be back!