Dalai "Clique" Scores Major Date To Chinese Party!

Illustration for article titled Dalai Clique Scores Major Date To Chinese Party!

Here's a ray of sunshine to anyone who ever wondered if their massive personal reserves of good karma were never going to amount to anything: the Dalai Lama just scored a meeting with the government that excommunicated him in 1959! Oh sure, and the cops who killed that nice unarmed electrician the day before his wedding got acquitted, Mugabe is doing everything in his power to undermine the will of his electorate and McCain wants to cut taxes, but sometimes you just gotta ignore the haters and say to yourself, "It's Friday, y'all! And guess who's going to China? The DALAI FUCKIN LAMA." Megan and I discuss what the Dalai Lama was like in high school, and the accuracy of the Hillary as Tracy Flick meme, ATJ.

MEGAN: Hey, it's Friday. Do we care about anything today or are we just too fucking apathetic?
MOE: Let's play hooky like the Obama kids!
MOE: Anna IMed me like "yeah I was going to send you some links but I figured you had seen them all already."
MEGAN: I never played hooky until college, and rarely then.
MEGAN: Mostly I just skipped my computer science class, which taught me such epic things like how to use MS Paint.
MOE: Oh, my god. i was really good at skipping class.
MOE: In college it doesn't count because if you skip class you are wasting a lot more money
MOE: If you skip class you're a tool.
MOE: In high school I used to skip class to drive to Georgetown and sit in on other classes.
MEGAN: Well, I overloaded to take that required class, so it was like skipping something extra I wasn't paying for. Plus, MS Paint? I think we can all agree I probably didn't need to learn that.
MOE: Oh god. The slayerverse. Will you explain to me what the fuck that means? Never mind, I'll ask Don "Man is the bastard" Malkemes.

MEGAN: It wasn't my idea, I just executed it.
MEGAN: Oh, well, we could talk about what kind of high school kid the candidates are.
MOE: Whoa did you read about McCain's new clueless misguided war on poverty? Oh no you're right we should def talk about high school.
MEGAN: Because, of course, we will never escape high school. Fuck high school.
MEGAN: I left my town to escape high school only to find out that DC is like a really big high school, only slightly more incestuous. Here, it's like Lord of the Flies for nerds all trying to make up for nerdiness in their youth by being the top of some weird social heap.
MEGAN: Anyway, so, Hillary is apparently Tracy Flick according to everyone in the universe, so we need to come up with some other cultural touchstone to start calling her because she's played out. I'm suggesting Elizabeth from the Sweet Valley High books, but I'm open to suggestions.
MOE: I hated high school so much I actually repressed most of the memories as to why I hated it. I've noticed, though, that the alcohol I drink now is better than that of my youth.
9:10 AM
MEGAN: I was so focused on getting the fuck out of Scotia and my parents' house that I didn't hate it as much as I could have. I just kept looking down the hall the whole time. And I never drank or did drugs or anything because there was no fucking way I was getting stuck at SUNY Albany (where my dad works).
MOE: Obviously I'm not too concerned with finding new less fraught cultural touchstones through which to view Hillary. HowEVER. Have you watched the high school newspaper show? The main kid in that, the ed-in-chief, is kinda Hillary.
MEGAN: I mean, is that why so many Jezebelles seem to (ahem) slightly overly identify with her on a personal level? Because she's us? I'm not going to say I wasn't like that. I ran an elderly volunteer program, worked for another, was President of SADD and the German Club, was in drama club, on the school newspaper briefly and took ballet, tap and jazz lessons.
MOE: Oh man, high school was so miserable I completely lost all sense that there was a world outside it. So yes, I drank and did drugs. It was kind of awesome. I love days like this when I remember how awesome it was to wear the kilt with birkenstocks.
MEGAN: I went to public school. I went through kind of a hippie bell bottom phase.
MEGAN: Ok, or we could talk about McCain's Katrina speech, which is totally part of his insane poor people tour.


MOE: Yeah I touched on that in yesterday's news roundup. And then I went out for about six hours of drinking —it's just like a juice fast if you stick to beer! — during which the food crisis was clumsily discussed. And I promised I would find out whether the United States, like China, has formidable reserves of food.
MEGAN: I don't think we have a food reserve like we do an oil reserve.

MEGAN: But we also don't have $1 billion+ people and haven't had a widespread famine.
MEGAN: By the way, the cops in NY that shot up that groom in Queens a couple years ago all just got acquitted. Hunter Walker, who's blogging on my other sofa, thinks that's kind of bullshit.

MEGAN: Oh, hey, so the Zimbabwe police have raided the offices of independent election observers and the locked down the offices of the opposition party. Guess those Chinese weapons actually weren't all that necessary after all.
MOE: Right Anna just emailed me about this. Damn. Decisions like this are so weird. I can never tell if they're just indicative of a total ignorance about the nature of police misconduct or ... plain racism or whatever.


MEGAN: Well, as they just discussed on MSNBC, two of the officers involved were themselves African-American. Hunter, who feels much more strongly about this, has seen video from the JFK Air Train of the security officers up there hitting the ground because the officers were firing so many shots and so wildly. Also, the commentator (who sided with the cops) said the reason that they fired was that the undercover guy at the strip club supposedly heard one guy tell another to get his gun, but white pro-cop lady said they said "Yo, go get my gun" and we think it's a little fucked up she threw in the "Yo".
MOE: Yeah, it is a little fucked up. Undermining an entire national referendum on your corrupt multidecade tenure in the autocracy fucked up, not quite. But fucked up. That said, I add a few too many superfluous "Yo"s to my conversation at times. I blame Philly, where the features section of the first newspaper I worked for was called the "Yo! Section"

MEGAN: To skip back to Zimbabwe, this picture accompanied the article I linked to but in case they change it, I wanted people to see it.
MOE: Oh thanks! What an eye-pleasing range of color!
MEGAN: The little girl breaks my heart as much as all the men in the picture do my looking so nonchalant about pointing that big ass gun at a little girl.
MOE: hahaha she doesn't look scared though.
MEGAN: Yeah, just sort of annoyed and uncomfortable, which is so much worse. I practically crap my pants when I see the dudes at the airport or on the subway with the submachine guns.
MOE: See, to me that picture is the classic "everyone hanging out with guns" kinda picture you'll get in places where there's some sort of military rule. And also: don't go to Israel then. Or maybe that would have been an ideal natural cure for the constipation I suffered there.
MOE: Okay I know other shit happened last night. LIke seriously breaking developments that will affect the outcome of the election or the future of the global commodities markets or something. But I can't for the life of me find any decent links.
MEGAN: Yeah, well, I go to Germany and they have the machine guns, too, and are sort of scary about it even to me. I think it's just, like, now it's here and that's what I don't like.
MEGAN: Wait, I didn't think the Abercrombie boys calling into Larry King was that important.
MOE: Wait they called into Larry King? Link please. I totally missed it. I'm too busy getting whatever my new substitute for "mad" is at Chuck Krauthammer. I would also point out that in their most recent polls Obama wins a McCain matchup by 1.9% and HIllary wins by 0.4% so seriously UTSHAY THE UCKFAY UPHAY about electability kthanks.
MEGAN: Also, can we just sort of admit that "electability" is all "poor white folk won't vote for the black man" and that polls like this are a non-racist, non-elitist way to say that? That would be cool.
MOE: Oh and just as I'm like "nothing's fucking going onnnnnnn" the Dalai Lama scores a meeting with China.
MEGAN: Speaking of people you worry about and hope won't be assassinated, that's kind of fucking epic.

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Let me preface everything I'm about to say by saying:

A) I'm Han Chinese, born in Beijing, lived there until 13, now an American.

B) I'm one of the few ethnic Chinese who honestly don't care if Tibet becomes independent.

Actually China did give Tibet special autonomous status during the 50's. The Dalai Lama was very young and naive, he thought Mao was this great man, and there are lots of records of him following Mao around, praising Mao. When the advisers around him convinced him to flee, the central government decided to take over completely.

That's when the illiterate serfs - over 90% of Tibetan population, were finally freed. Growing up in the 70's, I remember the popular slogan "great emancipation of one million peasant slaves". The monks - religious elite who, ironically, spent their days contemplating answers to man's spiritual salvation, now got driven from their high places as slave masters. The serfs were happy, in fact, not having completely adjusted to their new status free man, they started calling Mao 'the greater living God'. Most of the smashing of temples occurred later during the Cultural Revolution, by the Red Guards. What the western press didn't bother to notice is that these Red Guards are Tibetans (until recently, it was very hard for outsiders to travel and live in Tibet). You would smash the temple too if people lived there enslaved you and your ancestors for thousands of years.

Then in the 80's, the central government start to relax things, and start rebuilding the temples and let monks practice their religion. That's when the unrest started. The monks start telling people, 'hey, these golden temples, these scriptures we spent our entire lives copying (but not necessarily studying), our religious beliefs, these are the essences/treasuries of our culture. The Chinese are destroying that, we need to stand up against that."

I've never been to Tibet. So I don't know outside that religious class, how many people who live in Tibet, who were previous part of slave class, want to go back to the way things were. But I can see how they would be upset if the Han Chinese are the ones getting most of the benefits from the new developments. That's definitely not right.

I was born in a country that is mostly agnostic/atheists, so I don't believe in "living god" (or infallibility of any human being), a country where Buddhism has a long been used as a tool for oppression - "peasants, your life is hard because you were sinners in previous life, so the thing to do is not trying to overthrow us who are ruling you, just keep your head down and do your work, don't make things any worse...". So I'm somewhat immune to the charms of someone like Dalai Lama. But in the West people seem to think Buddhism and Buddhists are special, somehow immune to human corruption that plagued western religious organizations throughout history.

The fact that Tibet was so backward doesn't justify them being ruled by outsiders of course. That's why I honest don't care if Tibet become independent, even if that means China will be 20 - 25% smaller. But I do care that people in the west should see Tibet for what it was, not how they want to see it - Tibet is not Shangri-La, not some special place where the gentle people are immune from the evil side of human nature. That in fact, up until the moment Dalai Lama fled it, it was amongst the worst in terms of human rights (small group of religious fundamentalist ruling over poor, illiterate peasant slaves, using torture, killing, and mind control...).