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Gao [Oct. 30th, 2004|06:25 pm]
[Current Music |Beth Orton - Sugar Boy]

I started reading "Soul Mountain" by Gao Xingjian.

I hope it will give me some insight into China. I have such a (undoubtedly distorted) vision of China as a place swarming with anonymous people eating rice and soup from bowls with chopsticks while making awful lapping noises.

I don't have the same a-priori at all for other Asian countries. I love India and Indians for example. But China... I guess I picture a mix between an East European country of the communist era and Asian folks and traditions. Not pretty. Industrial. Depressed.

I have to re-evaluate all that. Gao is perfect; after all, he now lives in France. He will be my initiator into the spirit of the modern Chinese. I hope I will get out of it with less reflexive distaste for Chinese people.

After all, I would probably have despised Japanese people if I lived 50 years ago, when they were pictured a bit like the Chinese now. But I saw so many Japanese movies and the Japanese dress so much better and their culture has been marketed so well that I don't have the same vision of them at all.

I think Africa also suffers a lot from how it is pictured in the media. Unlike for China, I do know Africa (well, a small bit of it), so I don't fall for the scorn with which those countries and their governments are treated. I have lots of esteem for Africans (well, those I lived with). I guess I should go in China and live there for a while. I have never been to a country without ending up admiring its people.

Oh well, oh well.

In other news, I am really happy France hosts Arafat and is going to treat him. I hope he recovers fast. I really like the fact we are able to do that kind of thing without fearing reprisal. This is France in the great tradition of humaneness.

I listened to some bits of Ben Laden's speech. I agree with some bits of what he says, but I guess that this is what he meant to do: appeal to some parts of the world opinion by using their words and ideas and try to justify his actions that way. But his methods are unjustifiable, no matter what. And I don't think his words are true to what he really thinks. While I found his analogy between the US and Arab regimes well pointed, I don't think he really cares about tyranny in the US. And while I agree that the US is guilty of war crimes in Iraq, I don't think this justifies killing its people indiscriminately. While I do think like him that the Americans have their destiny in their own hand, I think they are like any of us the victims of forces that are far beyond their control. So it is not productive to threaten them. People don't learn that way. And we all are responsible anyway. Ben Laden as much as any. I wish he would realize that.

Peace love and cheerios.

[User Picture]From: ministry_victim
2004-10-30 04:25 pm (UTC)
I feel safe offering my opinion in this forum, whereas in any other I can think of, I wouldn't be, because you seem to be looking at Bin Laden from an objective standpoint, and they don't. Here goes.

In the case of 9/11, i'm curious if Bin Laden may not think that the ends do indeed justify the means. Look where the world power, and influence are centred: the countries designated as the enemy. When the enemy is holding all the cards, you need to sometimes stoop to some pretty nasty means to justify your ends.

I suppose the only person who really knows for sure why Bin Laden attacked America is Osama Bin Laden.
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[User Picture]From: saravana
2004-10-31 01:56 am (UTC)
When the enemy is holding all the cards, you need to sometimes stoop to some pretty nasty means to justify your ends.

Eh, first use of the new LJ quote button feature.

I don't think you can justify ends with means. You probably meant When the enemy is holding all the cards, you need to sometimes stoop to some pretty nasty means to attain your ends.

Anyway, by using the means he used, Ben Laden proves through his acts that he does indeed think that his ends justify his means. You cannnot have a situation where somebody thinks its actions are not justified and still do them. Doing them shows you think they are justified.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ministry_victim
2004-10-31 02:04 am (UTC)
Yes. That's exactly what I meant. That's what I get for trying to put together an intelligent thought with a massive work-related headache.
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