Monday, October 01, 2012

Run it up the flagpole - and see who yawns

I am pretty down on nationalism in any form, wherever it may occur. But the idea of devoting the longest public holiday of the year to a celebration of 'nationhood' I find especially discomfiting - particularly in a country whose nationalism is so overblown, so insecure, and so aggressive; and particularly when that nationalism is being stoked up to insane levels by the state propaganda apparatus to try to deflect attention away from the tanking economy and the ongoing leadership handover debacle. (The only work I've had for the past two weeks has been editing hastily cobbled together position papers on China's numerous territorial disputes with its neighbours. Not one of the feeble academics composing these has yet had the guts to say, "We're only sabre-rattling over these issues just now because the Party fears it's losing its grip on the country.")

I wish I could be anywhere but here for the next week. Alas for me, increasingly large numbers of Chinese feel the same way; so, airfares become very inflated around this time of year. And the ENORMOUS holiday crowds everywhere make it extremely unappealing to try to travel anywhere in China. I expect to spend the next 7 days reading and watching DVDs. Oiveh.

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