"Young Fool, only now, at the end, do you understand ..."
Yesterday I arrived back home from Dujiangyan and there was a small crowd of my neighbors laughing and gathering near my yard. I walked up and saw that the Local Party Secretary and his tall, thin greasy crony were present. I heard them talking about improving the lives of the local residents ... I went up and gave the secretary a cigarette. Everyone was laughing and rocking babies. One of the women said all the houses were going to be torn down in ten days. I laughed and said we can have a demolition party. Everyone laughed. I told the secretary to put up some internet so I dont have to keep rolling into town. More laughter. I then asked the crony if it was true that they were going to bulldoze the place. He matter of factly said yes. When i asked if he was joking, they said no. They then got into their car and left. The neighbors gathered around for a bit and discussed the compensation they were likely to receive. I went upstairs and sat in shock for a bit.
The peasants said: our Luo Secretary would never lie to us. I noticed the laughter was nervous. They didn't dare ask too many questions. They accepted being thrown out of homes they had lived in for 30 years, as long as the money came through.
All these years I have been writing about China's corrupt government, and only now, at the end, do I understand. In Germany we learn that when the Nazis came, they went after the Reds first. Then the intellectuals. Then the doctors and other rich semi-liberals. They broadened the attack against the privileged by lumping them together under Jewry. Then they came for the regular dude.
So here I am, preparing a speech for tomorrow's meeting between the developers, the government and the peasants of Wang Fu Si Dui, where I live. The peasants are interested only in compensation. They have to sign a document allowing the developer to go forward and they intend to hold out for the best deal.
The lessons I learned here are piling up and swirling through my brain, right up until the very last day.
Things are spinning through a vortex and i am unsure where or more specifically when I am.
I have written and preached about China and the US and liberty and revolution and hefted many a stained cup and crackling spliff in defense and support of anti-establishment activities.
When i was younger, I stole stuff and sold drugs. As I got older, I skipped classes at the University of Minnesota and rolled in to take the tests. I held parties and was chased by campus police. Actually, I have been harassed and chased by Smurfs (half-cops) many times, in Germany and in the US. I spoke loud at authority, when they had their backs turned, and encouraged others to drink heavily and destroy stuff.
I took off to China. I haven't paid taxes since I dont even know when. What a rebel.
My lifestyle is my rebellion. my observations are my acts of terrorism. I roll with outcasts and hobos, and together we ridicule the closely-cropped and clipped of speech. I slip through cracks and hide in the bushes, or behind doors, when the proverbial smurf sniffs in my direction. I talk my way out of things and offer cigarettes to my enemies.
When i give my speech tomorrow, if I am able to give it, I hope to take my naughty rebellions of the past and hurl them into myself, like admantium molecules, to prepare my bones for the real rebellions of the future.