This just in from my old friend, known as Mystery Business Woman. She travels to the far East quite often and shares her experiences seen through the lens of global geopolitcs:
THE DREAM IS OVER
March 20, 2005
This morning as I pack my bags to leave Shanghai, CNN reports that “stars” including Paul McCartney’s wife and the lead singer of Yes, are protesting the Chinese slaughter of dogs to make fur coats. CNN shows scenes from a film made surreptitiously. I glance up from my packing to see a grainy shot of the strained hind legs of a black dog. “The images are too gruesome to show on television,” the announcer says. Voiceover discussion ensues with the filmmaker: “The dogs are skinned alive. The sound of their cries is unimaginable.” Here dogs are a delicacy.
On my flight, I read the Shanghai Times. Over objections from the U.S., the EU has agreed to ship weapons to China. Germany and France are spearheading the initiative, stating that the reasons for the arms embargo, dating back to Tiananmen (SP.) Square are no longer valid. Sale of “high tech” weapons will be avoided, they claim. The article explains that the Europeans hope their newfound flexibility will lead to the sale of European cars and other goods to the People’s Republic. Bend over.
At the airport in Hong Kong, the idea for this blog takes shape as I read Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran. Explaining The Great Gatsby to her students, she writes, “We in ancient countries have our past – we obsess over the past. They, the Americans, have a dream: they feel nostalgia about the promise of the future.” I suddenly realize that I am witnessing the demise of that promise. China is the future. For Americans, though they may not realize it, the dream is dead.