Monday, November 24, 2008

Rebellion is a Trend for Self-Important Bigots


big⋅ot
   /ˈbɪgət/ [big-uht] –noun
a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

Dictionary.com


People today use the term "bigot" to mean anyone who opposes the idea that we can mix all different creeds, beliefs, opinions and heritages in one big melting pot and come up with something workable. Of course, since preserving different things by separating them is tolerance itself, this is a backward usage.

But the word does apply to those who blindly refuse to believe any way but their own is the only way for all people on earth.


Some fans in China relish how the album discomfits the establishment. "Rock 'n' roll, as a weapon, is an invisible bomb," says one.

{ snip }

Democracy is a touchy subject in this country. Elections are limited to votes for selected village-level officials, and senior leaders are all chosen in secret within the Communist Party. Many Chinese wish for greater say in their government. But others -- including some rockers -- think too much democracy too quickly could lead to chaos, and they resent foreign efforts to push the issue.

Mr. Chen, the guitarist, says the "Chinese Democracy" album title suggests "they don't understand China well" and are "just trying to stir up publicity."

{ snip }

The new album's title track, already released as a single, begins with eerie, high-pitched noises that sound vaguely like chattering in Chinese. In the song's three verses, Mr. Rose sings of "missionaries," "visionaries" and "sitting in a Chinese stew."

The overall message is unclear, but his most provocative lines aren't. "Blame it on the Falun Gong. They've seen the end and you can't hold on now," Mr. Rose sings. It is a reference to the spiritual movement that Beijing has outlawed as an "illegal cult" and vowed to crush.

{ snip }

Fresh barriers went up after a Shanghai concert in March by the singer Bjork, who punctuated her song "Declare Independence" with shouts of "Tibet!" Officials thought it sounded like agitation against Beijing's rule of the restive Himalayan region. In new rules issued later, they threatened to hold promoters responsible for performers who violated its laws, "including situations that harm the sovereignty of the country."

WSJ


Rebellion... it's so easy. Blame someone else, like the government, and take your mind off your problems.

Do we understand Tibet here in America, or in Iceland? Do we understand China? We're not Chinese; why are we making moral judgments about them?

Life is better when people mind their own business except when there's a clear threat. Yes, in Tibet there is; here, there is not. We need to fix our own houses before we tell other people what to do. America roils with social unrest, discontent, slackerdom and other signs of a failing empire. China? Tibet?

But they're so easy. Shout "Tibet!" and suddenly you're an individual, not part of the crowd. A rebel. You don't stand for everything that's now, including what's wrong. You'll show them. Be against what is.

It makes you look cool. You're now the ultimate altruist, a Jesus figure concerned with the welfare of the downtrodden, and obviously (obviously!) well informed. Even if you don't know what you stand for, except vague terms like "justice for all" and "peace in our time." No shit, Sherlock; everyone likes those ideas. But what do they mean? The defining, in real world detail, is the hard part that rock star wannabes avoid.

Personally, I think it's kind of a dickhead move to go to some foreign country and start telling them how they're wrong and you're right. They like you for your music... and if your ideas were any good, you'd be famous for those, not the backward logic of getting famous for music and then having people treat you like a guru.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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