The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Liu Xiaobo, who the New York Times describes as “an impassioned literary critic, political essayist and democracy advocate.” Personally, I haven’t read any of Mr. Xiaobo’s writings, but the anger with which China has reacted to the announcement suggests that he’s probably on the right track. Spokespeople for the country are claiming that this development will strain relations between Norway and China, and that the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Xiaobo runs against the prize’s inherent meaning, because he is “a criminal” serving out an 11-year sentence for “violating Chinese law.” Obviously, the world is a complicated place, and it is certainly true that Liu Xiaobo is in prison, but also he is “an impassioned literary critic, political essayist and democracy advocate.” Right? I’ve read that description a few times, and at no time has it said “impassioned literary critic, political essayist and democracy advocate, murderer, child rapist, and the cause of the BP oil spill.” It just seems like if everyone is on board with the fact that the dude is just a writer who REALLY wants his hometown to be more chill, then you’re kind of going to lose the whole stirring-up-worldwide-outrage thing. You guys, I don’t know as much about the situation as I probably (definitely) should, but China seems like a jerk, to say the least.
The larger point I am trying to make is that things are NOT getting any easier out there. The second largest (and growing) economy in the world puts dudes in jail for writing pamphlets. Pamphlets! We all need to try and find happiness where and when we can, even if that means spending years studying our sword kata while simultaneously taking pole-dancing classes at the local Curves and waiting for our Aeon Flux costume in the mail, and then finally putting it all together.
Yikes. Talk about vagina denthrowingstars! But fair enough! We should all be so lucky as to find something in this world that makes us happy even if that thing threatens to castrate everyone in sight, I guess. (Via BuzzFeed.)