I still choke up every time I read about the kids that died in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.
I’ll remember the pictures of a girl impaled on rebar as screaming parents reached up to her … one of them balanced on crumbling concrete trying to reach her before she faded out. I’ll see the blood drip hot down on their faces and just bust out crying.
I’ll remember the picture in Shifan of the little girl whose body was crushed between two floors of her school … her torso was stretched unnaturally and her shoes just missed touching the rubble below.
Or I’ll remember a picture of a father cradling his daughter — one of the survivors — mouth open in a silent scream as he contemplated what could have been.
I’ll picture a fucking pig official. Driving around in an unmarked black sedan. Threatening parents red eyed, inconsolable, hearts ripped out but still beating … i’ll see his fuckin fat pink hoof clutching cash and handing it out, muttering about what will happen if the old man doesn’t take it. I see the father’s stunned face. No reaction tells the pig that he’ll get off. again.
I’ll look at a picture Julia Zimmerman took while we were near Mianyang, of the Running Boy … and I’ll think of my son and the fury the rage the sorrow the pain of some other parent comes flooding up into me and i just sit in front of my computer, powerlessly shaking and sobbing.
Its one of the only things in the world that can make me sob … thoughts of that time. Those lil guys and sweet lil meimeis … and the fuckin pigs man. No amount of typing can make it go away.
I didn’t lose anything really … I got a nick on my neck from a razor and paraded it around my blog. I went up two days afterward, when it was safe, and danced and joked till the kids laughed. I watched them dig for bodies in Hanwang. A tourist really.
When it hit, I was impressed with how the Chinese handled it … I was willing to believe a lot … because when the shit goes down you kinda pull together first right? But as the days and weeks wore on and we realized that the gov’t was going to beat, intimidate and pay off parents instead of beat, intimidate and hang the pigs … well … i guess i changed my mind.
I have to admit that to myself and to the world. It helps to hold back my feelings, if I try and make myself and you believe that my feelings are in fact … fake … guilt and not pure sorrow and rage.
But I know the difference between the sobs that hit me when I read that one poem that floated around for a while … and the fake sobs of those fuckin pigs … on their knees begging the parents not to tell on them.
Not to tell the world about all the whores and liquor and gold and new houses they bought with the cash embezzled from those funds meant for the school. FOR THE SCHOOL you reptile. I can see their smoke-tanned faces, their beady eyes, smell the baijiu and pig fat and the reek of One Who Has No Soul.
These pigs exist. Not only do they exist, but they rule.
So every sob is laced with impotent fury. If I didn’t have a little guy and a little woman depending on me to stay alive, I might just get all Islam on some pigs. What else can the raging powerless do.
Can the raging powerless do?
I want you to think about that as the government slaps itself on the back for a job well done. As they list off the shit they built and solemnly intone the dead, I want you to remember that these pigs got fat off of dead kids.
lace your sobs with rage. If you got sobs to lace that is …
Update: 9:58am 5/18
3 thoughts on “What the Wenchuan Quake makes me think of”
Sounds like you have the China Blues!
Living in an authoritarian idealogical dictatorship has its hardships, that’s for sure.
hahaha only when i think too hard.