Would Hu Jintao ever consider allowing his daughter and/or wife to film an Internet group sex video with Charlie Sheen, “Snooki” from Jersey Shore, and half a dozen rabid chimps if it meant a guaranteed six months of ‘harmony and stability’?
I say no, but I’m willing to bet Captain Dye Job would have to think about it for a second before giving his final answer.
We just returned from two weeks in the “Free Internet Zone” known as New Hampshire to find that things online in China are as bad, or maybe worse, than ever.
The latest variation seems to be the “punish the IP address” approach.
It works like this:
- I use a VPN too much to access materials that the man-purse brigade who run things around here finds objectionable. This could be anything from “Wen Jiabao in a Poodle Skirt” to accessing overseas libraries and journals on Chinese history.
- After a period of time, VPN stops working. Upon turning off the VPN, I find that while Chinese sites load normally, ALL foreign websites – no matter how benign – are now blocked.
- After a short “time-out,” things get back to normal and I can then view overseas sites and use the VPN again.
- Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
Never mind that even in the best of times overseas websites load at about 10% of the speed of domestic sites as packets of data are funneled through a few specific Internet choke points so that recently minted graduates of Fan Binxing’s Hogwart’s School for Censorship and Disinformation (Read: Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications) can zap anything too lurid, like, say, a history of Tibet written by actual Tibetans or a sex video with Hu Jintao’s wife and a gaggle of rabid chimps.
For me personally, this is all more annoying than anything else. Eventually the VPN kicks in and I’m able to get work done. It might take a little longer, but it is what it is.
But this obsessive need to control information also speaks to a larger truth: No matter how well China is doing or how satisfied people are with their lives, the Chinese government consistently acts like the once-cuckolded husband who can neither forgive his wife nor forget her fling…even after 22 years of relatively good times.