The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, December 01, 2014, Page Page 6, Image 6

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    OPINION
Page 6 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
December 1, 2014
Volume 24 Number 23
December 1, 2014
ISSN: 1094-9453
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n Wayne Chan
The rush of rabble rousing
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MY TURN
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’ve never been known to be much of a rabble
rouser. I don’t even know where I can find any
rabble that needs rousing. You can say a lot of
things about me, but “troublemaker” has never been
one of them.
I file my taxes on time and don’t take any
ridiculous deductions. I drive a sensible but safe
Honda hatchback. Even
our dog is mild-mannered.
But I must say, every
time I’m in China, I
definitely get a bit peeved
at how they limit my access
to the internet.
It’s not even that I want
to do anything remotely
radical. I’m not trying to
subvert the government. I
don’t
actually
follow
Chinese politics closely enough to have much of an
opinion.
No, what I’d like to do are the mundane things
everyone does online — but can’t do in China.
Since when does the Chinese government care
whether I can find a jet-skiing bulldog on YouTube?
What do they find objectionable about me making
jokes on Facebook about a cheeseburger made out of
two Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns? Just what is
so subversive about my tweet to sell individual
sheets of toilet paper to tourists in China who didn’t
come prepared? What government official is going
to be offended if I do a google search to find out if
former National Basketball Association player Yao
Ming has ever knocked himself out walking through
a low doorframe?
Well folks — there you have it. Apparently, I’ve
found my rabble. I guess it’s time for me to start
rousing.
For the first time, at the suggestion of some
friends, I decided to sign up for a Virtual Private
Network. It’s basically a service that allows me to
bypass China’s censorship. I was actually told that
I
such a network isn’t even illegal in China and that
many people do it.
And while it may be perfectly legal in China
(where I am currently writing this column), I really
do feel like the cat who caught the mouse.
All of a sudden, my newfound freedom from
censorship allows me to do daring things online that
I usually don’t have time
for (or particularly any
interest in) back home.
I just commented on a
post on my Facebook page
my theory about the way
people drive here in China:
Instead of using defensive
driving skills, they seem to
use “the force.” Then I
tweeted about how I spent
$12 on two small bottles of
water to help me wash down $2 worth of dumplings.
And to top it off, I posted a picture on Instagram of
my friend and I doing the “horsey riding move” from
the “Gangnam Style” video while walking along the
Great Wall.
What can I say? I’m a rebel.
Does the Chinese government approve of how I
just uploaded a video on YouTube of my friend
eating traditional Peking Duck wraps along with
some corn chips tucked inside? I doubt it. Would
they condone my watching a hilarious video of a dog
and cat fighting over their pet bed instead of
dutifully watching a particularly dramatic (and
screechy) moment of a Peking Opera? Again,
probably not.
Let me make something perfectly clear. When I’m
back home, I don’t spend a lot of time doing things
like, say, watching old reruns of “Star Trek” on my
laptop. But darn it, if you’re going to try and limit
my access to it, all I can say is, “Beam me up,
Scotty!”
I figure, sometimes you just have to throw caution
to the wind and take a stand.
Opinions expressed in this newspaper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of this publication.
The Asian Reporter is published on the first & third Monday each month.
News page advertising deadlines for our next two issues are:
December 15, 2014 to January 4, 2015 edition:
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