Friday, June 03, 2005

Living in Interesting Times

Sixteen years. That's how long it has been since Tianaman Square. They never tell you how uncomfortable it can be witnessing history. I was in grad school then. Lots of mainland Chinese grad students in my field. They knew the details that I was only getting in dribs and drabs from the media (so pre-blog!). I heard about the students massing, about the Spirit of Freedom statue, the hope that there would be change, real change.

We got tanks, bloody, mangled bicycles, and the students weren't there anymore. Weren't anywhere anymore. Even the Chinese government couldn't hide that.

And I still remember my Chinese friend, shouting into the phone at the US editor of the Chinese government newspaper. I don't understand a word of Chinese, but I understood exactly what he was saying. He would read an excerpt of the official party line of what had happened in a voice that dripped with scorn, then change to undisguised anger as he gave his opinion of that version of events.

You can't go back when you say things like that. We gave them all asylum, you know. All the Chinese students, if they wished, could remain. Maybe I'd still be in science if they hadn't been allowed to stay. Looked at one way, they were competition. But more importantly, they were friends and colleagues. I supported the asylum then, and still do. So my friend would not be run over by a tank.


Blogger Snarkatron said...

Dear Anonymous,
Posting your email on a blog automatically tells the entire world, so I removed your post for security concerns. If you have questions feel free to post them.

3:32 PM, November 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for removing that! I found out to late what I had done. Do you know exactly where the person that was standing in front of the tanks is now? How did you feel out there in battle? Did you ever think that you would die? Did anyone you know die?

2:57 PM, November 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the same person that put up the last blog. But me and my mom think that it was cruel what they did to you that day, and please know that people care.
P.S- My friends are right behind me and they agree 100%

3:07 PM, November 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Somebody,
Hello, I am a person that is twelve and am doing a project for school. This is a project that I am doing on my own time. If you could put down anything extra that you know then it would be appreciated.

12:26 PM, November 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear MISTER Snarkatron,
I think that, according to a lot of facts and taking a lot of time looking up, that you are none other then the tank man. Is your name Mr. Weilin, Wang Weillin to be exact. Do you have any comments on THIS!!?

10:43 AM, December 07, 2005  
Blogger Snarkatron said...

Dear Anonymous;
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am female and American and have been both all my life. Never been to China and have never done anything as brave as the man who stood in front of those tanks. If you care to read some of the other entries here you might get a better sense of my identity. Please believe I had no intention of misleading you or taking credit I do not deserve.

10:53 AM, December 07, 2005  

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