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Thursday, June 3, 2010
I was at Tiananmen a year before the event, the "June 4th Incident," that China pretends didn't happen.
There are these guys stationed around about the square now, still as statues.
Today, Mao's Mausoleum, in the middle of the square, is flanked by two huge HDTV screens which show, lovely really, PSA images of China by CCTV and other commercial sponsors--images of tea culture, tai chi practice, calligraphy, wildlife and mountains. I watched for a while, sitting on the base of a lamppost in the rain next to an old guy who kindly shared his umbrella with me. There really aren't places to sit in the square. I imagine I had a privileged seat a democracy protester might have enjoyed in 1989.
There was no sense of this being the site of anything unusual (except for those guards.) At night, the Forbidden City, at one end of the square, looks like Disneyland.
TAO 61: A great nation flows downward into intercourse with the world. The female of the world always prevails over the male by stillness. Because stillness is considered lower, by lowering itself to a small nation a great nation takes a small nation; by being lower than a great nation a small nation takes a great nation. So one takes by lowering itself, another takes place by being lower. A great nation wants no more than to include and nurture people; a small nation wants no more than to admit and serve people. Both get what they want, so the great should be below. translated from the Tao Te Ching, Thomas CLeary