Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Everyone fears Beijing

'Everyone fears Beijing': Police fire tear gas, rubber bullets at protesters

Thousands of students rally outside Hong Kong's Legislative Council as Carrie Lam's government delays debate on its controversial extradition law.

DENNIS ARGALL. Tiananmen in context

There has been feverish interest in the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen incident, in Australia with some focus on repression in China, fuelling antagonism towards China. In this essay I want to provide context that is lacking: in the evolution of economic reform and liberalism in China, in the evolution of Sino-Soviet relations and regional strategy and China’s united front with the US (and Australia) against Vietnam and the Soviet Union.

JOCELYN CHEY Hongkongers deserve support.

Sunday’s march on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council brought an estimated million people onto the streets, which if true would make it the largest demonstration in the history of the Special Administrative Region. The reason for the demonstration was the proposed Extradition Treaty, which will be debated on Tuesday 11thJune. Legislators will do well to listen to the voice of the people and the rest of the world has one last chance to put their concerns.

Ivan Golunov: Russian police drop charges against journalist

Alan Taylor has put together a selection of photos taken in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986. You may have seen some of these scenes recreated in HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries.
Liquidators clean the roof of the No. 3 reactor. At first, workers tried clearing the radioactive debris from the roof using West German, Japanese, and Russian robots, but the machines could not cope with the extreme radiation levels so authorities decided to use humans. In some areas, workers could not stay any longer than 40 seconds before the radiation they received reached the maximum authorized dose a human being should receive in his entire life.

Many years ago, Christen O’Brien had a massive pulmonary embolism and it almost killed her. In a Medium post from January, she shared her personal experience about what it felt like to almost die.

Realizing that I was dying was like being pushed into a pool. You have no thought but to hold your breath and start swimming. It was the most out of control I’d ever been in my life, yet the only option was to succumb peacefully. I could hear the percussion of my heart beating wildly, recklessly. My breath only reached my trachea now, its pathway closing in rapidly. My palms spread open to the sky, just as my dog moved to stand over me. I am here with you, I am here to protect you.
 She is an angel, I thought with that same clear certainty.
She moved her body next to me, and I looked up to the sky in what I thought would be my final moments.
The clouds.
The clouds.
The clouds.

Recently, she wrote a follow-up called How It Felt to Come Back to Life.

Coming back from death showed me that the journey of life is not what we often believe. On the surface, it appears as a journey outward — toward things, people, organizations, achievements. But in truth, it is a journey inward — toward the soul. Toward becoming who you actually are, no matter how far outward you may have to travel in order to discover that all the answers are within you, where you belong.
It would be easy to misread this post as a celebration of near-death, but that’s not O’Brien’s intent. Don’t get it twisted: almost dying is not a stable way of experiencing bliss or contentment or soul-closeness (and YMMV anyway). Her point is more that in this modern world we do not know ourselves well enough to live fully and completely. But as she says, “coming back to life is not something that requires a close brush with death” — it’s something we can all do.