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Parasols of Beijing

Friday, 5 June, 2009

Several foreign journalists are noting the presence of men with umbrellas or parasols conspicuously blocking, often while giggling, all cameras in the vicinity of Tienanmen Square today. This is expected to continue for some time. No one is admitting anything.

It was the BBC version that shook me a little. For one thing, a fellow who I presume was a mere uniformed Beijing police officer, as opposed to someone more highly placed, spoke American-sitcom English. These tactics seem silly and crude, yet tempered with laughter. At least the “Chicoms” and the Westerners can laugh together at how ridiculous the situation is. I am left to wonder if the younger officers, who presumably are the ones with the parasols while the more experienced officers are off fighting the white menace, are aware of the object of the exercise?

Also, the speed limit along the road on which Tienanmen Square has found itself is 70 kph (about 45 mph). That is a bit of information I neither expected nor intended to ever know.

I am reminded by comments on those pinko blogs I read that a similar situation in “The West” would not be handled as graciously, or with laughter by the persons holding the parasols. Very likely parasols would not be involved at all. Perhaps China is changing. Perhaps this should be considered, begrudgingly, genuine progress toward humanitarianism. They have given Westerners something to think about.

It just occured to me that with the last couple of entries, may be subjected to the “Great Firewall of China”. That seems something of an honor. I wonder if they’d let me in if I were to show up?


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