On the plane home from San Francisco, I was sitting among a bunch of Tibetans who’d been down from Vancouver for the big protests around the Olympic Torch relay. I was honoured to be with them. The day before, I’d been following the action mostly on Twitter: check out @teamtibet, where they were helping organize the protests. Twitter, it’s an activist’s dream. But I couldn’t find online video or photos of Majora Carter carrying the torch and the Tibetan flag. Oh, and China, here’s a reality we honkies internalized way back when: Imperialism, it can do wonders for your commercial position and in distracting the citizens from the regime’s domestic failings. But on the other hand, the bad PR is just never gonna go away. So, you want the upside, you just gotta suck it up and deal with the image damage. Public whining ill-suits a wannabe imperial power.



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From: David Megginson (Apr 11 2008, at 04:33)

China has had empires for thousands of years -- I suspect that they're the ones who could teach us honkies a bit about imperialism, especially when you consider that my germanic and celtic ancestors were still living in small tribes as recently as 1,500 years ago.

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From: Len Bullard (Apr 11 2008, at 06:51)

HONKIES???

I protest. You are defaming my Caucasian DNA with your racial slurs!!

:-) Want fries with that, MooseHead?

BTW: "honky" is a slur but a reference to the sound of voices given narrow sinus cavities. We use it pretty regularly in church choir every time we try to sing gospel and can't get the sopranos to count on 2 and 4. We have a mixed congregation and we have a good time together. Ah, but we're Methodists and you know what radicals they are.

We'll never have a conversation of any quality that is one sided, victim-laden, or where either side demonizes the other in advance. It's time to lay down the past, desensitize and start discussing how we can provide better education, better jobs, health care and secure borders. It's time to talk about our air, our water and our individual rights.

"Lay down. Lay it down. Lay it all down. Let your white bird smile up at the ones who stand and frown."

Free Tibet.

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From: Dong Liu (Apr 11 2008, at 10:55)

Empires rise and fall. Those in Europe, in Asia, and maybe the one in North America. It is good to be free, and free to post a message here, or free to talk about politics here, but that free is given by you, the owner of this blog.

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From: Hnery (Apr 12 2008, at 06:36)

Oh, where is Tibet?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=twHzXN3kNTs

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From: John Hardy (Apr 13 2008, at 16:38)

Honky? Hey, that's the first time I learned that Tim was a native of Hong Kong at least according to Malaysian slang.

Seriously though, I agree with the sentiment. China quit with the whining, stand up and act like a mature superpower like, for instance...wait for it...the United States.

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From: Victor (Apr 14 2008, at 00:05)

Not too sure who is right and wrong.

Tim, it seems like a lot of westerners think Tibet monks did the right thing. just wonder have u ever been to china?

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From: Chris Cranley (Apr 17 2008, at 12:18)

Hi Tim -

A new mobile video blogging website, http://www.qik.com had some videos of the protest. Most of these were sane, but I did see some pushing and shoving between the different groups represented near the start line.

I attended the start of the torch relay, but quickly realized the best seat in the house was at home with live TV, qik, and Twitter streams concurrently going on about the torch progress. I made the correct call given all of the tricks played that day. [That's a sad statement in itself when your really think of what I just wrote - especially the fact that to be the most "connected" with this event, I needed to be a "tech captive" at home]..

Anyway, I am dissapointed that the closing ceremony was not held on Alcatraz. I am sucker for sympolism. :)

Regards,

Chris

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