Sep. 8th, 2008

noblwish: (Default)

I almost missed this assignment!  Gotta pay more attention to ALL the fine print!  My comments were based on the following links:

From the erotic domain, an aerobic trend in China

Morning exercise

Chinese Athletes Struggle

China sentences 2 women to 're-education' for seeking to protest

4 more foreign activists detained in China

After glow of Games, what next for China?

US disappointed Olympics didn't open China more

============================================


Chinese Pole Dancing:
I shouldn't be surprised to hear such primitive views about women expressed by the Chinese, but it did startle me some.  I forget how little the Chinese culture respects women.  I'm glad to see changes taking place among the young Chinese women.  Meanwhile... where can I join one of those classes?


Morning Exercises:
I love the idea of early morning exercises!  I think that would be a good habit for Americans to take up, especially if they were the kind of exercises featured here -- low impact and fun.  The Chinese yo-yo was especially fascinating, as were the dances with the fans and... were those brooms?


Chinese Athletes Struggle:
I hate to sound so incredibly judgmental, but China is just SO backwards in so many ways!  I was reading earlier about the plight of the children left orphaned by the earthquake in China earlier this year.  They've made it almost impossible for these kids to find homes.  Now, I hear how they treat their athletes and I wonder why their economy and government hasn't crumbled to the ground by now.


Protests:
Reading this makes me grateful for the necessary evil that is American lawyers.

Overall, it will be interesting (and, yes, I do mean that as in the old Chinese curse) to see how China evolves from the Olympic experience.  Will the Chinese demand better treatment from the government?  We'll see!

Albania

Sep. 8th, 2008 10:04 pm
noblwish: (Default)

My comments in response to the following links:

Sworn to virginity and living as men in Albania

Tradition of blood feuds isolates Albanian men

======================================================

I'd never before heard of Albania until my husband forced me to watch "Tune In Tomorrow..." in which Peter Falk's character comically insults and incites Albanians over a radio broadcast.  My next exposure was during an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" when an Albanian mobster kidnaps a family and rapes the 13-year-old girl -- I stopped watching "Law & Order" after that and the very mention of Albanians has made me shiver ever since.  Research into the accuracy of their portrayal only made my reaction worse.

Reading these two articles cemented my opinion that Albania is not a place I'd ever want to visit -- but it also shed some light on why Albanians have such a gothic reputation.  I was fascinated, and saddened, by the concept of women becoming sworn virgins.  On one hand, the ill treatment and lack of respect for women is grievous, indeed.  On the other hand, the fact that there WAS a solution, granted, one that required a huge sacrifice, is oddly uplifting.  The source of this solution, and of the rules regulating blood feuds, is enlightening.  A medieval code that has yet to be laid to rest explains a great deal about the Albanian culture.  A part of me is curious to learn more about this code -- but I fear my curiosity is similar to that which won't let you look away from a bloody car wreck.

I realize America isn't perfect, but reading stories like these makes me wonder if the world wouldn't be a better place if we'd just borrow a page from "Mother England," invade these backwards countries and take over for 99 years, then leave them be once a couple of generations are accustomed to doing things our way.  Extreme, true... but would it save lives?  Would it eventually breed Peace?

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