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Peace, tranquility and disembowelment

Posted by on 03/26/08 (Commentary)

UPDATE: An interesting critique of Parenti’s article — and his oft-cited sources — can be found on Dissident Voice: A Lie Repeated: The Far Left’s Flawed History of Tibet

With all the news these days about protests in Tibet, China’s crackdown, and talk of Olympic boycotts, it’s worth remembering that — more often than not — the heroes and villains portrayed in the mainstream media are in reality villains and heroes. That is to say: we are presented an inverse view of reality. The world isn’t so black and white of course, but it should be a reminder to dig a little deeper.

In the case of China and Tibet — and the ubiquitous cry of solidarity with the cause of Tibet and the Dalai Lama — it’s worth digging into this article by Michael Parenti which was sent on to me by my friend Pierre. By no means a defense of China, it’s a rarely-heard and sobering analysis of the history the Tibet-China relationship.

To denounce the Chinese occupation does not mean we have to romanticize the former feudal régime. Tibetans deserve to be perceived as actual people, not perfected spiritualists or innocent political symbols. “To idealize them,” notes Ma Jian, a dissident Chinese traveler to Tibet (now living in Britain), “is to deny them their humanity.”

It’ll also be interesting to see how much international outcry there will be as we approach the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. (located in Salish territory, which was never ceded to the Government of Canada.) If only the First Nations of Canada had a charismatic leader with celebrity endorsements and CIA backing!

18 fragments of dialogue thus far ...

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  • Comment by bits on March 29th, 2008 at 12:13 pm:

    goo article. I remember hearing stories from tibetan women about watching women being raped by knives. I hope the time has come for them to gain autonomy.

    for someone from propagandhi –
    my two cents – i see that znet has asked you guys to pretty much headline a new music section. that’s amazing! but adding things like a “who do you have a crush on?” type application is, for lack of a better and more pc word, retarded. I feel if you guys think it debases the whole thing (leave that shit to facebook) it would be awesome to let em know as you seem to have a bit o leverage (I let them know but im no punk rock god. haha).
    unless you like that kind of crap, of course.

  • Comment by bits on March 29th, 2008 at 12:14 pm:

    haha I meant “good article”.
    but you already figured that out, smarty pants.

  • Comment by ben on March 30th, 2008 at 8:05 pm:

    Good to see a new perspective. As a buddhist, its a good wake-up call to see that traditional Buddhist societies are not any more immune to violence and coercion than other deeply religious societies that get most criticism.

    Of course, the article was not exactly even-handed either. But i guess that wasn’t the point, it was just to show that Tibet has a dark side as well.

    Speaking of traditionally Buddhist countries with a dark past, welcome to Japan, Propagandhi! All that wartime nonsense and any type of progessive voice it may have given birth to has been buried under tons of pink hello kitty cellphone accessories.

    I will be following you skids like the Grateful Dead while you are here.

  • Comment by diddee on April 1st, 2008 at 10:42 am:

    Had something i wanted to say relevent to this topic, but i can’t even remember what it was after reading G7’s announcement today…

    This better be an April Fools..

  • Comment by muva2003 on April 1st, 2008 at 11:19 am:

    Diddee: Yeah. After I read that, a little piece of me died. Then I saw the calendar.

    My peen is still dead, howevers.

  • Comment by DickShit on April 1st, 2008 at 11:41 am:

    Yeah, I remember the time I thought they were joking about not doing anymore podcasts – I thought that was kind of funny until I passed out from holding my breath waiting for the next one, came to and the hair on my hole still hung lower than my derek hogue.

    The point of my comment is that I’m not funny and neither are you.

    You’re lucky you’re releasing a new Jamaica Plain, ’cause I’m definitely in the third stage of accepting that project.

    That new song is amazing too.


  • Comment by Sebast on April 2nd, 2008 at 5:39 am:

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the good (¡and terrible!) shit.

    Peace out ma brotha’s.

  • Comment by adam on April 2nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm:

    Being April 1st, I truly hope you guys are joking but I never can quite tell some times.

    But if so…so long and thanks for all the snooze.

  • Comment by tom on April 2nd, 2008 at 2:15 pm:

    maybe the media will portray the native peoples who call the land home as noble, defeated warriors who in good spirit gave up their land, so the friendly Canadians, and peoples of Colony States from all around the world (including winnipeg) can watch a hockey. ill bet 75 cents and 10 copies of Take Penicilin Now that a certain hockey fan member of g7 wont be able to boycott olympic hockey. any takers? haha im nub. at least the leafs made the playoffs though…oh wait…

  • Comment by tom on April 2nd, 2008 at 2:16 pm:



  • Comment by saoirse on April 4th, 2008 at 1:30 am:

    *sniffle* Sad news indeed, in a probably-kinda-wise sorta way. Not enjoying it anymore is about the best reason I can think of to stop.

    I’m not sure if it says something about G7, or about me, that this is pretty much the only label I’ve ever taken an interest in. At least now I can give up any pretense of actually being young and start smoking a pipe!

    OT till the end, oh yeaaaah!

    So long, and thanks for all the fish. :)

  • Comment by Sebast on April 4th, 2008 at 9:58 am:

    […]As an April Fools’ joke in 2008, it was announced on the G7 website that the company was no more.[…]

    This must be the malevolent workings and twisted thinkings of one Glenn Lambert.
    And i swear i thought synth-pop was the joke. ¡Foiled again!

  • Comment by English Tony on April 4th, 2008 at 12:49 pm:

    I read in the Guardian that G7 isnt actually ending, its just being bought out by Dr Dre, and he plans to slow down some of Jords drum tracks and have 50 Cent rap over them on his next LP titled “Less Talk More Gat”

    Go Jordy, its ya birthday, gonna sip Bacardi like, its ya birthday…

  • Comment by ben on April 7th, 2008 at 6:43 pm:

    “…his writing on Tibet is essentially argumentative. He is not writing in order to give an unbiased history of a nation, he is writing in order to prove a point.”

    Same with anyone. Both articles give a good balance. But from my seat in the peanut gallery, it looks like Parenti got…


  • Comment by pierre on April 9th, 2008 at 3:41 pm:

    Enjoyed the Parenti article (but my bias is that I really like a lot of Parenti’s work), and self-admittedly didn’t know a terrible lot about China and Tibet until doing a bunch of readings recently.

    But I didn’t appreciate a lot of Schrei’s piece, although it’s a great beginning to instigate more dialogue. For starters, he attacks Parenti for being an apologist for China, which is a straw man that he sets up, because that is not Parenti’s argument. Can we accuse Josh of being an apologist for feudalism? And if we want to be throwing stones about historical accuracy, the opening quote that Schrei attributes to Chairman Mao is wrong: “A lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth.” That was actually from Joseph Goebbels, the minister in charge of all Nazi Propaganda and Hitler’s successor as the Chancellor of Germany.

  • Comment by DickShit on April 21st, 2008 at 1:55 am:

    Keeping on topic here…

    hope everybody had a happy 4:20 day today! Hahaha. Anyway, I just watched a film that I think is worth checking out, SHARKWATER. I think sharkwater puts a lot of things into perspective and has some really amazing footage. With what’s going on around the world with climate change, our factory farm/ slaughter house/ speciest diets, the Canadian seal hunt etc. I feel this film is something one should take a few minutes out of their day to see.

    Website: http://www.sharkwater.com

    Petition: http://www.sharkwater.com/savesharks.php

    Have a good one, ya silly stoners!

  • Comment by scotty on April 21st, 2008 at 6:30 am:

    I’m currently in Japan and thinking about heading over to China this summer. I’m getting all mixed up over this shit. Should I go to Beijing? Head to Shanghai? Stop buying Chinese made goods? So what do you guys think is worse? Supporting China by going there and spending my money in China or supporting China by purchasing goods made in China?

    Fuck it, I’m going to Malaysia.

  • Comment by tom on April 28th, 2008 at 1:05 pm:

    i remember having an argument on this hole about wether boycotting whole countries or states is effective. i think i decided no. still not sure what to make of this conflict, its messy in my head. it would be nearly impossible to boycott China anyways. the economy there is a very brutal form of capitalism, no labour regulations etc… though ive heard of some positive changes, huge amounts of companies from rich industrialized nations are moving their means of operations to China for this reason alone. i mean, i must own 50 million things that were made in China, right? i think umm…the obvious answer is to stop eating chinese food of course, peace on earth.

    april 20th is hitler’s birthday, isnt it Hairshit? Dickhole? my penis is small.

Dialogue has ended on this post.