There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune



Soapbox: Into the belly of the beast


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Tomorrow, we fly to Tibet.

More accurately, tomorrow we fly to a Tibet which is presently occupied by the Red Chinese. As this is my last travelblog from a free realm, I will use the opportunity to get a few things off my chest.

The People's Republic, in invading the country last century, managed to summarily upheave and destroy vast swaths of what used to be Tibet in a matter of thirty odd years. Chairman Mao, on his way to killing an estimated 70 million of his own people, found time to murder 1.2 million Tibetans. Those that were not victims of his purges or camps died of starvation due to policies of collectivization and central planning which led to brilliant ideas such as planting wheat at an elevation where it would not survive.

Heinrich Harrer, in his brilliant Seven Years In Tibet, notes how religion was intimately woven through every facet of life in this former theocracy. The Reds, of course, had no use for "the opiate of the masses", and so, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution they destroyed 99% of the 6000 monasteries in the country, purged the aristocracy and the religious order, banned all traditions and cultures which evoked spirituality and burned or used as toilet paper countless priceless historical records. Lastly, they pursued a policy of heightened immigration of Han Chinese, in order to supplant the native Tibetan ethnic group.

Now, I don't subscribe to the lefty-hippy shibboleth that societies exist in a kind of static equilibrium where any change is undesirable or somehow "synthetic" in the pejorative sense. But a centrally-planned policy (1) from a government that does not meet even basic enlightenment criteria of sovereignty (2) which results in genocide (3) and an absence of rule of law (4) gives me a number of reasons to cry foul.

It is not often that the editorial standards of "Taken At The Flood" descend to polemic, but it's worth remembering that in China, our friends at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Hines Properties, et. al. are dealing with and subject to a government which continues to be run by murderers, brigands and tyrants who, in terms of scale at least, make Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler and Saddam look like mere schoolyard bullies.


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About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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