Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Et Tu Jackie Chan?

I don't know which one of these is worse!

1. Jackie Chan says: "we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."
2. Jackie Chan says: "You know what the world really needs? A remake of Karate Kid with me as Mister Miyagi!"

OMG! WTF! Say it ain't so, Jackie! You've turned on us! You've turned on me! Despite the fact you've spent your life pursuing life, liberty, and happiness in your own unique way, you now question whether you or anyone has the right to do that? You'd rather just hand the reins of your life and the lives of all Chinese subjects to the rule of your masters? You wound me, Mr. Chan. I'm struck! You might as well have hopped on a plane to Dallas, got in a cab to Oak Cliff, knocked on the door to my home and slapped me in the face.

Perhaps Jackie Chan is under duress. Maybe the Communist regime of China has secretly implanted little doohickeys in all of Jackie Chan's friends, family members, handlers, hair stylists, cooks, massage therapists, and most beloved fans, and if Jackie Chan doesn't do what the Communist regime tells him to do, and say what they tell him to say, some Red China dude will push a button and Jackie Chan's entire entourage of well-wishers and helpers will simultaneously die of mysterious deaths that won't be traced back to the Communist government cuz they control the police force that would normally investigate such things. Boom.

I can't believe a man who co-starred in the Cannonball Run movies would think for a nanosecond that freedom is a bad thing. Okay. Maybe a man who co-starred in the Rush Hour movies would want the power of shutting Christ Tucker's mouth. Who wouldn't? Still, capitalism has done wonders for Jackie Chan's fame and fortune and even his well-being. How could he possibly look at the parts of his life under capitalist rule in comparison to the parts of his life under communist rule and go, "you know what? I like it better when they tell me what to do."

Still, let's try to look at this in context. If there's anyone on this planet who has fully experienced both sides of this coin, it's Jackie Chan. In his dealings over the years with multiple governments in obtaining capital to make his films and obtaining permissions to pull off his stunts for the cameras, Chan is in a most unique position to tell us which way works better for him. However, don't think for a second that he comes from a fair and impartial position, or that he can be objective or fair in his opinion. His opinion is just that; an opinion. Something that everyone in a capitalist society can freely express (provided they understand they're gonna get rebuttals like this one).

Whereas, in a Communist society, you have a right to their opinion.

Chan's point, if you read his entire quote and not just the headlines, is that historically speaking, Chinese people have made mistakes when not under Communist oppression. Sometimes they did the right thing, but sometimes they did the wrong thing, and if one looks at the recent history of the Chinese people, one can look at it as "the glass is half empty" while seeing times the Chinese have been ruled by Communist dictators as "the glass is half full."

I'll grant Jackie Chan that much. I'll go halfway with him there. Provided one accepts that the converse is also true.

When left to our own devices, human beings (not just Chinese people but all kinds of humanoid peoples - even the purple ones) will make mistakes. The real truth is, and don't let them know this cuz they pretend to not know and telling them just pisses them off, but believe it or not Communist regimes make mistakes too. The only difference is, Communist regimes tend to rewrite history as soon as mistakes are made in order to make their past appear flawless. They can do this because they control the historical organizations that would normally keep track of such things.

Capitalist regimes try this too, but since they don't control the media, they don't often get away with it. Case in point; the Bush Administration. The truth will out on that one. Just wait and see. Even Nixon's attempts to convince people he was not a crook soon became a sick twisted joke, and he's the one who helped to open China and US relations in the first place! And Obama's already making mistakes, but contrary to other capitalist run governing, he doesn't seem to be even trying to hide it. So maybe at least Obama's smart enough to know better, or maybe he's just better at hiding the real mistakes by covering them up with smaller more laughable mistakes. Again, the truth will out.

Now, if you let the Communists control everything, and something goes wrong, in theory, you know who to blame. Since they run everything, it's all their fault. However, by the time you give all power over like that, it includes the power to do anything about it. Here in a capitalist state, there's always crazy extremists who are ready to try stuff like seceding from the union or burning things in effigy or protesting on the streets of major cities and interrupting traffic in attempts to orchestrate change.

We have some messy events in American history, but I can't think of anything as scary or bad as Tiananmen Square, which I understand most Chinese children don't learn anything about nowadays. Correct me if I'm wrong. Do those Chinese children learn about Jackie Chan? Now that Chan's publicly prostrated himself before his masters, I'm sure Chinese govt-funded schools will soon require their children to memorize dialogue from Rumble In the Bronx for extra credit.

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