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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Beijing sting

August 10, 2008

Exposed: A top-secret government memorandum, obtained this past week
by the Phoenix, gives the games away
The Boston Phoenix
August 6, 2008

FROM General Administration of Press and Publication, Communist Party
of the People's Republic of China

TO All organs of the National Press

Greetings, faithful steward of information!

On this auspicious day, this day of mighty augury, replete with the
promise of the lucky number "8," we commence the noble proceedings
that will most certainly not be remembered by all the world as the
Clusterfuck Olympics, Worst Idea Ever, Historic
Environmental/Sporting Disaster, etc.

Beijing is ready! The air sparkles with asbestos crystals, mighty
industrial hoses are sluicing the public toilets, and in the Olympic
Village, the apartment buildings that fell down last night have
already been rebuilt. All dissent has now been neutralized! Four
million pollution-producing vehicles have been impounded. The embargo
against hair-dryer use continues to be energetically enforced. And
the People's Internet remains secure — the glorious firewall whose
protective coils encircle our Republic like those of the celestial
dragon Tianlong will never be breached, never!

What, you ask, can you do? What is your part in this magnificent
popular effort? Read this handout carefully, comrade. Read it again,
even more carefully. As the "eyes of the world" turn upon China, you
have an important role to play! "No news is good news," says the
American. He is incorrect. All news is good news, and the Republic
looks to you, as a state-approved news propagator, to draw the
attention of our international guests to the famous "silver lining."

No doubt by now it has not rained upon the opening ceremonies,
drowning the occasion in sulphurous yellow-dog precipitation that
raises a strange foam upon the scalp. Thanks to the preventive
actions of our farseeing Weather Modification Program, whose stirring
and masculine arsenal of silver-iodide rockets already will have been
fired into the looming clouds to "empty" them, such an eventuality
will assuredly have been avoided!

But if not, it will be your job as a journalist/news outlet to
emphasize the distinctively Chinese character of the ensuing downpour
— its plum-scented richness and softness, and its hygienic
properties! The choreographed appearance of 80,000 government-issue
umbrellas will also be splendid beyond imagining. All press officers
have been issued with a copy of "Rain," by our great seventh-century
poet To Fu: "Bright drops descend/Lacing with jewels my lonely
pomegranate bush./ Generous heavens,/ Send this old man a bride, will
you? Damn!" For your convenience, the poem has been translated into
47 languages.

Certainly, too, there will have been no interference or disruption
from enemies of the people. No one, for example, will have unfurled
an enormous illegal banner protesting the PRC's benign and fatherly
policy in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Not a single member of the
execrated sex cult Falun Gong will have flung himself imploringly at
a visiting dignitary, nor will the smallest bomb have been detonated
by the Muslim fanatics currently making their last stand in our
Western provinces. Should a disturbance of this nature occur,
however, it should be ascribed to "high spirits." In the West,
sporting events are regularly brought to a halt by frivolous persons
with no clothes on, or by outbreaks of nationalistic song — make
mention of this!

A word or two about foreign journalists. The Westerner is
suggestible, sensation-based, without discipline: his mind is a
rider-less horse. But do not think that he can be easily manipulated!
For he is also suspicious, like a beast. He lacks the Chinese
citizen's suave and pragmatic attitude toward misinformation —
regarding it indeed not as an adjunct to effective government, but
rather as a trespass upon his right to have an opinion about
everything. You are advised therefore against excessive "spin." Much
better is diversion: do not deny the journalist his petty ration of
fact, but immediately draw his attention to something else, something
that reflects more properly the glory of our Republic!

If, for example, he asks what will happen when the locusts currently
ravaging the grasslands of Inner Mongolia run out of grass and start
moving toward Beijing, point out in an unflustered manner that every
cab driver in the city now speaks perfect English and can, moreover,
recite the entire King James Bible from memory! Or again, should he
press you upon the rumor that a single portion of our succulent
factory-farmed chicken is enough to make an athlete fail his steroids
test, remark casually that Beijing's new anti-spitting ordinance has
produced a dramatic reduction in noise pollution. You will discover
how quickly the Western mind is paralyzed by a non sequitur!

A final note: in the event of total systemic, cultural, and
ecological breakdown (you will hear the sirens), you are invited to
the newly reinforced Tower of Table Tennis in the Fangzhuang
district. Light refreshment will be served on the 73rd floor, where
our sleek and amphibious Olympic water-polo team will perform scenes
from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro while beneath us the city smothers
in pollution, burns with insurrection, and suffers the predation of
insects. Only the strong will survive — and we have their medals prepared!

Our best wishes, esteemed news-bearer. Good luck. Obey. Show
initiative only where appropriate. And don't miss your deadlines.

James Parker, who once pole-vaulted the Great Wall, can be reached
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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