People’s Fries

By electing an anti-intellectual conservative as president, France has mended its relations with the US, but a new crisis is brewing.

While disabled athlete Jin Jing was carried the torch during the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay, wheeled on her wheelchair, several protesters ran around her, and one tried to snatch the torch.

The guys in blue tracksuits are nowhere to be seen, so this must have happened before Jin Jing’s torch was lighted, probably on her way to the relay.

The incident, unheard of in the West, has incited anti-French sentiment in China, and there are grassroots calls for a boycott of Carrefour (a French chain of drugstores and supermarkets with many branches in China) and of French products.

More generally, there has been broad outrage at the coverage of the riots and crackdown in Tibet by Western media. In this CNN interview, for example

one sees images of Tibetan protesters being taken away by uniformed officials, with a clear implication that those are images of the crackdown in Tibet. The uniformed officials, however, look less Chinese than I do, and the images are either from Nepal or India.

The very popular “anti-cnn” website has a number of such occurrences where images from Nepal and India are shown as from Tibet.

While the incompetence of Western media is no news to those who read them regularly, it takes an ominous tone in China, where media distortions are a state policy. An otherwise sane friend of mine has posted on his Facebook page (ostensibly, unironically), this article that argues how the protests along the torch relay were the result of a CIA conspiracy.

In lighter news, the Chinese government demanded an apology from CNN after commentator Jack Cafferty called the Chinese “goons and thugs.”

They “apologized” by explaining that the remark did not apply to all Chinese people, but only to the government. The Chinese government has not accepted the apology.

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3 thoughts on “People’s Fries

  1. I dont think it is fair to consider Nicolas Sarkozy as anti-intellectual.

    He certainly is not in fashion among most of the people that call themselves intellectuals (although many others see him favorably too), but to let believe that he has an aggressive attitude toward them is a very disturbing twist to reality…

  2. Anti-intellectuallism isn’t having an aggressive attitude towards intellectuals, just hostility and mistrust.

    I’ll let Finance Minister Christine Lagarde define anti-intellectualism for me:

    “France is a country that thinks. There is hardly an ideology that we haven’t turned into a theory. We have in our libraries enough to talk about for centuries to come. This is why I would like to tell you: Enough thinking, already. Roll up your sleeves.”

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