The ultimate torture

Three things making me angry today:
1. Myself
2. Cable modems
3. Falun Gong

Let me explain:
1. Not in public
2. I just wrote this blog and clicked “Post & Publish” when my cable was acting up, losing everything. I need a T1.
3. For non-MI people, there’s this big art fair in town creatively dubbed the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Anyways, the Falun Gong apparently took this golden opportunity to put up a little poster montage espousing the virtues of their art and the evils of the Chinese gov’t. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I’m serious. To add to that, they had the audacity to set up camp on the Diag, which is tread upon by approximately half the population of the United States. Daily.

So, I’m walking along with two friends, henceforth denoted as Friend A and Friend B.

Upon seeing the line of posters and people milling around in bright yellow shirts, I thought they might have been biohazard cleanup crews on strike. To that, I would have said “meh”. But nooooo. Fate was not kind. In big letters, on the rightmost poster, was printed “Falun Dafa”, which is code talk for “We give the finger to China.” So, instead of “meh”, my initial reaction sounded suspiciously similar to “buckin’ May”. Friend A is Chinese, and not an ABC, so she had a good laugh from that. Naturally, being the inquisitive and cynical person that I am, I walked up to the display for a closer look. Apparently, their aim was to help gain sanity or amnesty (I think both) for a fellow practitioner who was wanted by the Chinese government, and was imprisoned for 3 years for a crime (legitimate arrest). This Dr. Chang Li had a few things which I didn’t respect:

1. He was a Falun Gong practitioner.
2. He was hiding out in the Land of the Free because he was too afraid of justice
3. He was a Falun Gong practitioner.

The next few posters showed color pictures of injuries of supposed Falun Gong practitioners supposedly inflicted by the Chinese government. Now, Friend A saw these pictures in several privately owned Chinese newspapers described as self-inflicted injuries. Funny that.We’re looking at people with posters with a vested interest in such matters, and people in newspapers who don’t have such a concern for such things. Hmmm. I believe there’s a word for what’s on the posters: LIBEL.

Now, Friend B is American, but culturally Japanese (yeah, weird). So at first, upon gazing at the pictures, she was like “Aww. So sad.” Of course, being friends with two rational Chinese people transformed that, within exactly 37 seconds, into “Ugh. Falun Gong.”

Upon seeing my absorbed interest and animated debate about matters of Falun Gong, the requisite wrinkly old lady sauntered up to me and began talking about the virtues of her “art.” After the requisite “Do you speak Chinese?”, “Where in CHina were you born?”, and “Your flip-flops are untied.”, we began really talking… well, sorta (translated and Americanized from Chinese):
Old Lady: “Have you heard of Falun Gong before?”
Me: “Yeah, a bit.”
Old Lady: “What the Chinese government is saying is not true. We practice an art that emphasizes peace and harmony.”
Me: “Oh… cool. Yeah.”
Old Lady: “I have some VCDs about Falun Gong. They show you what we’re all about and how you can get started.”
Me: “Oh. Sweet.”
*Old Lady hands me a VCD*
Old Lady: “Yeah, show it to your family and friends. We welcome all to Falun Gong.”
Me: “Thanks.”

A few minutes and twenty paces later, I snapped the CD.
Friend A was mildly amused.
Friend B was silent.

Of course, if they hadn’t been there (the old lady should thank them), the conversation would have went something like this:

Old Lady: “Have you heard of Falun Gong before?”
Me: “Yeah, a bit.”
Old Lady: “What the Chinese government is saying is not true. We practice an art that emphasizes peace and harmony.”
Me: “Oh really. So my friend’s grandma left her family and revoked her world to find her inner peace and harmony. I see. That’s interesting.”
Old Lady: “Falun Gong doesn’t do that. That is simply not true. We believe in living a life of peace. Here are some VCDs that can show you what Falun Gong is really about.”
Me: “Oh okay. Can I have the whole stack?”
Old Lady: “Of course.”
Me: “Hey, do you have a lighter?”
Old Lady: “No, why?”
Me: “So I can burn the posters.”
Old Lady: “Yeah, f— you, too.”

I’d be snapping CDs all the way to the art fair.
I’m not making up the grandma thing.
It was tenth grade. We were in NSL Government, and the talk somehow wound its way to Falun Gong.
I made a joke, being the impeccably witty yet horribly timed person that I am.

This friend just gave me this look and said…
Friend: “Don’t ever say anything like that again.”
Me: “It was just a joke.”
Friend: “My grandma does Falun Gong. After she started, she left her family, left her business, left her livelihood to go start a new life of Falun Gong.It was horrible.”
Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
Friend: “I wish I could get my hands on the people who started this. God, if only.”

This is entirely out of character, as anyone who knows me can attest to, but I just wish the people who thought this up would just drop dead. Even better, die long and painful deaths. Even better…

1. Erase their current memories
2. Make them experience losing a loved one to Falun Gong. Let them feel the pain.
3. Restore their memories.

That’d be the ultimate torture.

 

Advertisements