01 June 2008

Rant: Sharon Stone, The China Earthquake, And YouTube.

Just got through watching some thirty(!!!!)videos about Sharon Stone's comments at the Cannes Film Festival that I'd down-loaded from YouTube over the past several days, and it is amazing to me the levels of passion that some off-the-cuff remarks from one of Hollywood's leading bubble-heads can inspire, including within myself.

Most of the comments I saw came from quite understandably upset, outraged and angry young Chinese who were revolted by the sheer callousness of Ms. Stone's remarks, but there were also a few European Americans, one African American, and a Canadian gentleman of European descent who also expressed their outrage at her comments in various forms.

Additionally, there were also some YouTube video programmes, like The Young Turks and What The Buck, hosted by one Michael Buckley, as well as some clips from Fox News, Celeb TV, Hollyscoop.com and a Hong Kong television channel to whose reporter at Cannes Ms. Stone made her remarks, that I viewed, as well as a few videos lauding Ms. Stone posted by pro-Tibetan YouTube members like mayyoubekind, which mainly consisted of the same collection of Fox News, BBC, and other Western news sources' article clips about the negative publicity that China has received in the Western media in the past several months.

I also saw quite a few text comments accompanying these videos, most of which were anti-Stone and pro-Chinese, or at least outraged by Ms. Stone's comments, as well as a smaller number of pro-Tibetan and anti-Chinese comments posted by YouTube contributors like mayyoubekind, whose YouTube nom de guerre needs a bit of a change, because his or her comments certainly weren't kind at all.

So, what's the up-shot of all this, you ask??? Good question.

Here's the answer: aside from one young Chinese gentleman, who identified himself as "Adam" and whose two YouTube videos on the subject can be seen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=2pesCrT1d9c&feature=related and at http://youtube.com/watch?v=7EAUZr8WTrY, and who only wanted Ms. Stone to apologise for her remarks without indulging himself in personal attacks upon her in any way, the other responses were very angry, with some of the male respondents describing her as a "whore", "bitch" etc.

BTW, when and if you do watch Adam's videos, you will see, as I just did, some comments mocking his poor grasp of English grammar and pronunciation. I will say that both need a lot of work, but that is, I believe, a minor point compared to what he has to say on the subject.

I had to go into my bookmarks(now, you know my dirty little secret when it comes to writing these articles)a few minutes ago to find the web page addresses to display here, and, when I came on the link to the first video by Adam, I saw a loathsome little comment made by a YouTube member named NewEnglandPatChic, a 31 year-old American, which I will now reproduce in full-"China needs to deal with the fact that we are a FREE Country and we do have Freedom of Speech. She shouldn't have to appologize for speaking her mind. She didn't hurt you physically. My Mother always said "If it doesn't apply let it fly" So grow up, put on your big boy panties, slap a pad on take your midol and stop whining!
Bad things do happen to bad people...Your people are barbaric dog, cat and baby murders. All those kids that died would turn out the same way, so was it really a loss??".

I don't know if this contributor is either male or female, though, from the two comments I saw posted on his or her Channels page, I think that NewEnglandPatChic is a woman.

Either way, the comments made by this person are sickeningly callous, rude, mean-spirited and downright racist, and I am sorely tempted to go back to that video, and make the meanest-spirited, nastiest and most vicious reply I can to this.... "person".

On the other hand, I probably won't, out of the self-centred desire not to soil myself and whatever reputation I may have by letting this twit utterly have it, and but good.

This brings me to a point that have been trying to get to for some time now, and that is remarks like Ms. Stone's, NewEnglandPatChic's, mayyoubekind's and some of the other Tibet-supporters, or at least China-bashers do their causes no God-Damned good whatsoever, and, worse still for them, make themselves look like the mean, vicious, callous, hypocritical sons-of-bitches they are.

I don't know much about the Dalai Lama, but, I can only say that, if I were in his place, I would be furious with Ms. Stone, and I would let her know that in the kind of language that Hollywood production executives and drill instructors are infamous for using.

Why??? Because, for one, controversies like this tend to take the main focus off of the central topic in all this, China's occupation of Tibet, two, it makes the Tibetan cause and its supporters look like a bunch of marble-headed ninnies and dunderheads, who talk a great game of being loving and forgiving souls, but who are really hypocritical, mean-souled little shits with brains of suet and hearts of purest tin, and, three, they can create the kind of public back-lash against one's cause within the space of a heartbeat, or maybe just a little longer than that.

Most importantly, it's the kind of, as one YouTube respondent critical of Ms. Stone's remarks put it, " a kind of Westboro Baptist Church" interpretation of karma(The Westboro Baptist Church, for those of you out there who mayn't have heard of it, is a rabidly anti-homosexual church led by the Reverend Fred Phelps, who, along with his congregation, pickets the funerals of both dead gays and US service personnel, because it's the "Reverend's" contention that, since God hates fags, and America tolerates them, he also hates America), or, as I like to think of it, the World War Two-era Wehrmacht or Imperial Japanese Army version of that same belief, in which an entire nation, people, etc, can and should be held accountable for their government's crimes and mis-deeds.

In short, it's the idea of karma as collective punishment(So, if you can imagine the Amida Buddha, or some other incarnation of the Buddha dressed up as, and possessing the manners of, a stereotypical World War Two movie Wehrmacht general, you might hear him or her say something to the effect of, "Zo, you haff been fery nasty to mein gut friends, ze Tibetans. Vell, remember dat, for efery vun Tibetan you kill, I vill haff a hundred Chineze shot vithin vun half-hour").

Great, just what the world needs, the Gautama Buddha as played by Erich Von Stroheim or Conrad Veidt.

If that's the case, what we, the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Russians, Japanese, Germans and Israelis, among others, have coming to us will make 11th September look like a walk in the park by comparison.

That is, if you either believe in that interpretation of karmic destiny, or even believe in karma at all.

As for me, well, I know so little about the differences between dharma and karma, it isn't funny, so am not about to even attempt any sort of discourse on that topic.

What I will say is that I believe that shifting tectonic plates underneath the Earth's crust cause earthquakes, not dharma, karma, or any other sort of divine judgement or punishment.

You may choose, of course, to disagree with me on that subject, as is your right.

I'm neither God nor the Pope, and my estimation and judgment are far from infallible on so many topics, it makes my head swim just thinking about it.

But, I do believe that there are very real issues of life, death and survival at stake for both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples in this issue, and that comments like Ms. Stone's, her on-line and off-line detractors, and either pro-Tibetan, or at least anti-Chinese, knuckleheads like NewEnglandPatChic's trivialise them by bringing the discussion level down to, as one of The Young Turks' co-hosts described some of Ms. Stone's remarks, "a second-grade level."

With that, I most wholeheartedly agree, though you may not.

Either way, here endeth the rant, and, as always, be seeing you.

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