This week marked the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. On the morning of 5 June 1989, this man blocked a row of tanks headed toward student demonstrators. He was armed with nothing more than two shopping bags.
Speaking of Greek tragedies, here's my review of an oldie but goodie. Sophocles wrote his plays 2500 years ago and still his tales retain relevance for us today. Here's my review of his three tragedies - Antigone, Oedipus Rex and Electra - bundled together in Sacrificial Acts.
Images of Tank Man have been circulating the ether this week. Those images have included original footage like this iconic photo shot by Jeff Widener for Associated Press as well as re-enactments from around the world. Check out the hashtag #TankMan on your favorite social media platform.
But don't try this in China. The student protests that led up to the massacre are known on the mainland as the June 4th Incident. Hence the ban on the Chinese hashtag #六四 and all other combinations of the numbers 6 and 4. Yet, there are still brave people out there like Tammy Ho-lai Ming in Hong Kong who commemorate the date regardless of the personal risk. As Tammy says:
"Because we cannot forget, and because we can still openly remember it. Remember it in your own way. If possible, make a small gesture—insignificant, perhaps—but we collectively say: this is our right to remember, and shame on the Chinese government for its denial. #六四29周年"
So here's my insignificant gesture. We all know about the gulag, that Stalin era institution that sent millions to hard labor for the sake of the State. Did you also know that Mao copied that idea and applied to his own people? This was no cut-and-paste action. Mao made improvements of his own. You can read about that in this week's blog post: Gulag with Chinese Characteristics.