China’s White Paper Revolution

Somewhere in China. Blank Generation. Nov. 27, 2022. Photo: Anonymous.

On Nov. 27, 2022, I saw the surreal photo of a young man somewhere in China. He was standing on the street at night, and held a blank sheet of paper in his hands as if it was a sign in a demonstration.

He wore a Covid mask over his eyes as a blindfold; it was a low-quality image taken furtively by an anonymous photographer.

The young man was with the newly formed White Paper Revolutionaries. Because the state forbids them from speaking freely—they hold blank white sheets of paper as a protest.

The White Paper Revolution started in Xinjiang province on Nov. 24, 2022, when a deadly fire broke out in a high-rise apartment building in the regional capital of Urumqi (uu-RUUM-chee).

The province is officially known as the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, home to the Muslim-minority Uyghur. At least 10 people died in the fire; some say there were up to 40 dead. Many Chinese are blaming the deaths on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leader Xi Jinping.

Xi and the CCP have pushed a draconian “Zero-Covid” policy that has kept the Chinese people under severe Covid lockdowns, using all the surveillance and police power the totalitarian state can muster. Xinjiang has been hit especially hard by these brutal policies, which have also devastated the Chinese economy.

Somewhere in China. Communist authorities weld iron bar in place to prevent door from being opened. Photo: Anonymous. Source, Twitter.

Since they don’t want people coming in contact with one another because of Covid, the communist authorities developed a policy of gating-off communities by closing streets with locked security fences and check points. They began to lock and chain-up entryways to homes and buildings, welding iron bars over doors to prevent opening them.

The doors in the Urumqi high-rise were locked and wired shut; when a fire broke out the apartment became a death trap. Think about that for a moment. What led authorities to lock-up all occupants of a high-rise apartment like it was a prison? They locked it up because the apartment was a prison, and the People’s Republic of China is indeed a prison nation.

Tragic fires in America’s past brought stringent fire codes to the nation. Buildings in the US today must have access to clearly marked, escape routes that are never locked. Despite those who want to “defund the police,” Americans can’t imagine police officers locking them up in their homes at night… not yet anyway. But in the “worker’s paradise” of China the CCP can lock you up in your home and if you object… well then, it’s off to jail with you.

Somewhere in China. Doors are wired shut. Photo: Anonymous. Source, Twitter.

The people of China are outraged by the avoidable Urumqi apartment fire, and they have lost all fear of the regime. It’s a historic moment, one that is almost unimaginable; thousands of people have hit the streets shouting slogans like: “Step down Xi Jinping! Step down Communist Party!” “Don’t want dictatorship, want democracy!” “We don’t want Covid tests, we want freedom!” and “Give me freedom or give me death!”

These are words that ordinarily get you a long jail sentence in China. It’s not an exaggeration to say China’s pro-democracy dissidents are risking their lives for liberty. Almost immediately blank sheets of paper were utilized as a means of protest. If anyone knows who came up with the idea they ain’t talking, and for obvious reasons. In today’s world A4 is a standard paper size used to print documents, letters, and forms; its something accessible to all Chinese people living in cities and towns. To make a commonplace thing subversive is a stroke of genius.

The Chinese defying the communist cabal say they carry blank sheets of paper to protest censorship and fight defamatory propaganda. The bitterly ironic idea of using blank paper to mock the regime instantly became known as the “A4 Revolution,” or “White Paper Revolution.” This classic expression of Chinese wisdom brought new meaning to the 1977 punk idiom, Blank Generation.

Meanwhile, videos from the central city of Wuhan show hundreds of protestors demolishing metal barricades and security checkpoints, tearing down Covid testing tents, and calling for an end to lockdowns and the reign of Xi Jinping. Don’t forget, Wuhan is where Covid first appeared.

Shanghai, China, Nov. 27, 2022. Two professors from Fudan University try to stop police from arresting their students by blocking their advance. Photo: Anonymous

A4 protestors have been singing Red China’s National Anthem in the streets as part of their ongoing protests; here are the words to the very first line of the song: “Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves.” So, the revolutionary song of the Chinese communists has come full circle—the CCP has become the slave drivers and the people refuse bondage. It’s a certainty that pro-Democracy stalwarts are singing the last stanza of the anthem: “Brave the enemy’s gunfire, March on!”

As I write this on Nov. 28, 2022, Chinese dissidents are reporting that communist authorities are implementing a major crackdown. Armored cars and tanks have been spotted along with armed security personnel. Police are stopping people to check if their phones have photos showing the protests, or have apps like Telegram, Twitter, or Instagram that can be used to share information with the outside world. If so, police force the phone owner to delete materials on pain of arrest.

On June 4, 1989 the CCP ordered the People’s Liberation Army to crush the million strong pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. The army fired indiscriminately into the crowd, killing anywhere from 300 to thousands; we’ll never know since the PLA confiscated the bodies. Some 10,000 protesters were arrested; the people deemed the onslaught, the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Today the CCP again fights for its life, and its nemesis is none other than the Chinese people. The White Paper revolt has torn the mask from the tyrant’s face.

Repressing the A4 revolt. Artist unknown. Nov. 27, 2022

A Chinese cartoon now circulates online; it’s a parody of the photo showing the man who stood in front of People’s Liberation Army tanks in 1989, blocking them from reaching Tiananmen Square. In popular history the brave fellow is known as “Tank Man.” The present-day cartoon shows a man blocking three squads of riot cops wearing white Covid protective suits and blue Covid face masks—the very uniforms police units wear while repressing the A4 revolt. In the cartoon the lead officer in each squad carries a handheld tear gas cannon approximating a tank barrel. It would be funny if the situation was not so serious.

Nov. 27, 2022 in Neijiang, China, a man used blank white sheets of paper to spell out in Chinese the characters for “Freedom.” Heads up to @jenniferzeng97 for the anonymous photo.

And speaking of Xi Jinping’s “Zero-Covid” policies hammering the economy. Thousands of workers at FoxConn, the world’s largest iPhone plant located in Zhengzhou, China, stopped working to protest the harsh lockdowns. Riot police wearing white Covid protective suits and blue Covid face masks, beat, kicked, and arrested the workers, who valiantly fought back. There’s video coming out of China showing FoxConn workers fighting the CCP police, and making them run.

“Think Same.” Artist unknown. Nov. 27, 2022.

It’s nice to learn that Apple produces its much desired iPhone in the brutal, one party dictatorship of the People’s Republic of China.

It’s also good to know that Apple stopped advertising on Twitter to make clear their dislike of the new owner Elon Musk. Apple threatens to remove Twitter from its App Store. Yet, Apple doesn’t mind collaborating with the dictatorial Chinese Communist Party and profiting from slave labor at FoxConn. Hey Apple, thanks for providing a perfect encapsulation of your old advertising slogan of “Think Different.”

Know this. During the Nov. 2022 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic forum held in Bangkok, Thailand, Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chair of the World Economic Forum, sat for an interview with Chinese state media CGTN, one of many CCP mouthpieces. Schwab said he respected China’s “tremendous” achievements in modernizing its economy; saying “I think it’s a role model for many countries (….) The Chinese model is certainly a very attractive model for quite a number of countries.”

China is a land where people have never been allowed to vote, a place where freedom of speech and dissent is punished, religion is forbidden, and the religious minded are routinely victimized. A million Uyghur Muslims have been thrown into concentration camps where they are tortured and pressed into forced labor. But Mr. Schwab thinks this “a very attractive model.” Needless to say, the Biden administration agrees with Schwab, and will do nothing to relieve the suffering of the Chinese people, who yearn to be free.

Xi Jinping and his red mandarins may subdue the White Paper Revolution, but they’ll never defeat it, it’s too late for that. The wise, powerful, and kindly Chinese dragon has given flight… and he will never be caged.

_________________________

Below: Wandering minstrels in Kunming, Yunnan Province. Nov. 27, 2022. With blank sheets of paper pinned to them, they perform “Do You Hear The People Sing?” from the 1980 musical Les Misérables. Credit: 李啥啥

Happy Thanksgiving Gobble Gobble

Hey, put down that drumstick! Celebrate Thanksgiving with this 10 hour video of wild turkeys!

Eco-Extremists Shut Down Beethoven Concert

On Nov. 23, 2022, thousands of Germans gathered to hear the Saxon State Orchestra Dresden perform the music of Ludwig van Beethoven at the Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall) in Hamburg, Germany.

Before the orchestra could begin the performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, two members of Germany’s eco-extremist group known as Letzte Generation (Last Generation), seized the stage. Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well. To what do we owe the extreme pleasure of this surprising visit?

Letzte Generation seize conductor’s podium at Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg. Photo: Last Generation.

The man and woman dressed in Day-Glow safety vests, immediately glued their hands to the conductor’s podium and began haranguing the audience about “climate collapse,” reportedly there were audible groans from the audience. Horrorshow is right, friend. A real show of horrors.

A gent in the orchestra seating area grumbled out loud: “What’s all this about  eh? Using Ludwig Van like that. He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!” A young man in the mezzanine stood up and shouted at the Last Generation goons: “Well, if it isn’t fat stinking billy goats in poison! How art thou, thou globby bottles of cheap, stinking chip oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarbles, you eunuchs jelly thou!” A lad stood in the balcony section and yelled: “Stop! Stop, you grahzny disgusting sods. It’s a sin, that’s what it is, a filthy unforgivable sin, you bratchnies!”

In her rant the Last Generation woman outraged the audience with the following:

“I am here today because we collectively suppress the climate catastrophe and thus take away our children’s lives in security and peace! Just like there is only a violin concerto by Beethoven, we only have this one planet, the limits of which we disregard so much that climate-related disasters become more common and more deadly.

We all have to take action now and resist the criminal advancement of our rulers! There will be no more Elbphilharmonie to enjoy Beethoven when Hamburg is under water. The crisis is escalating now, before our eyes!”

Ludwig Van just wrote music!

No sooner had the words left the mouth of Last Generation, the two eco-extremists were arrested by police after solvent was used to unglue them from the podium.

Then the music coming up from the floor was our friend Ludwig Van.

Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under the seats, and the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through our guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders.

And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk round my seat. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers!

Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Ludwig Van!

Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry would like quieten Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized. Civilized my syphilised yarbles. But this does not apply to the climate cult gloopy ones. To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create for them!

In Gold für die Kunst (Gold for Art), the annual listing of the “100 most influencial people in the art world” issued by the dims of the postmodern German art magazine MONOPOL, Letzte Generation was listed in the 19th position! Supposedly because the eco-vandals “emphasize the value of art for society.”

Ah my droogies, we can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

And so farewell from your little droog. And to all others in this story profound shooms of lip-music brrrrr. And they can kiss my sharries. But you, O my brothers, remember sometimes thy little Vallen that was. Amen. And all that.

______

Apologies to Anthony Burgess and his A Clockwork Orange.

No apologies to the gloopy Letzte Generation.

Tweedle-Dee & Tweedle-Dumber. Last Generation members at the Elbe Philharmonic Hall. Photographer unknown.

UPDATE: On Nov. 24, 2022, the German newspaper Junge Freiheit reported that the audience reaction to the Last Generation members disrupting the concert was intense. Catcalls of “Get out!” and “No!” were so loud the woman reciting the climate collapse speech had to stop because she couldn’t be heard.

In a separate report filed by a German Twitter user, the two eco-zealots had glued their hands to a detachable hand-rail that was part of the composer’s podium. When it was decided to remove the two from the stage, an orchestra attendant disconnected the rail from the podium, and with the disrupters still glued to the rail, used the rail as a leash to walk the culprits off stage. I include the photo of the two still glued to their leash after being ejected from the stage.

But it doesn’t stop there. Junge Freiheit went on to report that once the disrupters were kicked out of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, Last Generation members video-taped the woman in a quiet room reading her speech in full. When the eco-zealot group released their video of the concert disruption, the vid was only 12 seconds long. That’s because the group edited-out the negative audience reaction, and replaced it with the speech made off-site.

Last Generation attacks Andy Warhol BMW

On Nov. 18, 2022, eleven members of the Italian eco-extremist group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation), invaded the Fabbrica del Vapore (Factory of Steam) art center in Milan, Italy to disrupt the exhibition Andy Warhol: The Advertising of Form. In particular, the vandals attacked a BMW M1 race car that Warhol painted in 1979.

Last Generation vandals dump flour on Warhol BMW, as art center guard in black attempts to stop them. Photo: Ultima Generazione.

The eco-vandals outnumbered and overtook the museum guards, and dumped 17 pounds of flour on the BMW. They also threw paint-filled balloons on the museum floor, after which a number of them sat down around the BMW to harangue art lovers with apocalyptic rants about the end of the world.

Unbelievably, after covering the car, floor, museum staff and art lovers in thick clouds of white flour, the fools of Last Generation attempted to glue their hands to the BMW as well as the concrete floor; an impossible task considering everything was covered with finely milled powder.

Sheesh, talk about incompetence—and these are the people who think they’re going to save the world. Museum guards literally dragged the blockheads out of the gallery and turned five of them over to the police. The authorities identified the culprits, but at the time of this writing there was no word on charges. The assault on Fabbrica del Vapore was the third vandalism attack mounted by Last Generation against an art institution.

Art center guard drags off vandal wearing “858 days left” T-shirt. Photo: Ultima Generazione.

One of the vandals dragged out of the gallery wore a T-shirt reading: “Ultima Generazione, We Have 858 Days Left.” That number of doom comes from environmental “studies” that assert we only have 858 days left to reduce “carbon emissions,” otherwise there will be planetary climate collapse.

Some readers of this blog may be too young to remember the legions of fanatics that prophesized the world would come to an end on Jan. 1, 2000, or what was popularly known as Y2K (Year 2000). It would be lights out for civilization—planes would fall from the sky, electricity and water systems would fail along with banking and food delivery. Except the end never came. Last Generation and all the other eco-zealot fundamentalists, are just the latest crop of doomsayers.

Proud of their temper tantrum, Last Generation zealots hold a “sit-in” around the vandalized BMW. Photo: Ultima Generazione.

The producer of the show, Stefano Lacagnina, said the vandals paid for entrance tickets, and had smuggled the bags of all-purpose flour into the museum by hiding them in their clothes. He commented on the vandalized car: “It is an important piece, which for the first time was exhibited and has great value—about 10 million. Now we don’t know what to do.” The exhibition closed temporarily in order to clean up the tremendous mess. The Ultima Generazione goons released a statement that in part read:

“8Kg of flour on the BMW painted by Andy Warhol. Works of art have been targeted in order to highlight the hypocrisy of our society’s values: do we really get outraged at the simulation of damage to works of art while the ongoing objective destruction of works of nature, ecosystems and our own lives leaves us indifferent?”

The Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, condemned the vandals of Ultima Generazione; he said on Twitter: “Let them pay the damages and spend some time where they deserve.” The cultural engagement department of the German car manufacturer Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), also released a statement:

“Art is as priceless as it is untouchable. It belongs to all of humanity and reflects the great achievements of which each of us is capable. Andy Warhol’s 1979 Art Car is a unique masterpiece and we have no sympathy for a violent attack on the artist’s work defaced for many decades.”

In 1975 BMW worked with French race car driver Hervé Poulain in starting The BMW Art Car Project. That year Alexander Calder painted the first car for Poulain; who drove it in the 24 Hours of Le MansGrand Prix of Speed and Endurance race in Le Mans, France. Since then 20 artists have been commissioned to paint BMWs, including Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Ernst Fuchs, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, and Jeff Koons. Artists picked for the BMW Art Car Project are selected by a panel of international judges. Andy Warhol would paint his BMW in 1979.

Most of the artists associated with the BMW Art Car Project are not my cup of tea, save for Ernst Fuchs (1930-2015), a Viennese artist who founded the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. I insist that his brand of neo-surrealism was a precursor to the psychedelic aesthetic of the mid-1960s. As for Jeff Koons, he should be made to paint car bodies for the rest of life. But my liking or disliking an artist is not pertinent here, what is relevant is that barbarians can’t be allowed to rampage through museums and vandalize artworks.

BMW M1 Race Car. Painted by Andy Warhol in 1979.

Warhol used 13 pounds of paint to cover his BMW canvas; he supposedly painted the vehicle in 28 minutes. The Warhol car participated in the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race, after which it was placed in a museum. BMW maintains a website exhibit of their BMW canvases titled: Wild at Art: The History of the BMV Art Cars. Thomas Girst, who has directed the Art Cars project since 2004, made a statement about the project:

“In the beginning the cars were raced. There wasn’t much of a public relations effort around them. Since then, some of the Art Cars have been used in advertisements to show that BMW is a player in the arts. With the Eliason work, part of what we are doing is raising awareness of alternative and renewable energy sources.”

Oh sure… I’m certain Ultima Generazione will be so impressed.

There’s no doubt the luddites of Ultima Generazione targeted Warhol’s BMW because they see it as an evil symbol of car culture and the wicked petroleum industry they revile. What’s puzzling about this particular infantile “protest” was their dumping flour on the car. Since eco-vandals kvetch about “climate collapse” being the cause of starvation and mass death, you’d think they might have concluded that baking loaves of bread would be a more productive endeavor.