Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Subverting the Big Brain

June 4th (or as the renegades refer to it, May 35th, in order to undermine the search filters of the "Great Firewall") came and went with little incident throughout the country. Hong Kong-ers were, of course, allowed to protest freely, but in the Mainland, where any type of demonstrating is illegal, Tiananmen square was filled with uniformed police as well as undercover police. Apparently, though, the plain clothes officers all decided to wear the exact same outfit, so they weren't exactly incognito. They also dispatched special police units armed with umbrellas all over the square who would attack your view if you tried to snap any photos. Overall sounds pretty goofy.

Some of our teachers, who had been university students during the "accident," as it is referred to here, actually had really interesting conversations about the rather taboo topic. Overall they seemed disheartened by the actions of those higher above, but entirely optimistic as to the future of the country as a whole. They seem to really believe that the leadership is getting much better and less corrupt and that these qualities will filter down throughout the entire republic.

What is really odd is that the gov goes through all the difficulties of blocking all of youtube, twitter, blogger, flickr, and wikipedia, but as long as I use google.com over google.cn any information about tiananmen i could ever want loads up quickly and easily. If i was the government, I think i would be blocking the sites like the ny times that are running several stories trying to find the truth behind the incident, rather than block zillions of videos of people's cats falling off things, or fat people singing pop covers on their webcams.

Anyway, I am able to get a few posts in, but it is a pretty big pain, so hopefully the ban will be lifted sometime soon. Here (hopefully) are some of the things the country really doesn't want you to see, i guess: Super fun, tourist-inducing, vacation photos of beautiful beaches! These were some of the last photos taken with my old camera before it got fixed and then stolen, so you can see the weird blurriness it was doing to things. If none of the photos work, you can go to:


and check out our pictures there.

These shots are from our return journey to Tai Long Wan (big wave beach) that we had visited last october. First we stopped off to check out the floating fish market made by boats pulling right up to the sidewalk peir.



People were wrestling with big live octopi and selling made-to-order cracked open starfish.


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