NOTE: Any quotes or comments surrounding Jimmy Fallon in this piece are fictitious. They were inserted for purely comedic purposes.
The world owes a lot to China.
They keep the nation’s youth amused and mineral-rich with their wide assortment of poisonous toys.
They demolish and denigrate their own cultural landmarks, saving western tourism the time and effort.
They keep the Tibetans from flying off the handle, because lord knows those people would be stockpiling bio-weapons if given half a chance.
And who can forget the time the terra cotta warriors of Qin saved civilization from the infamous stucco barbarians of the Western Steppe? Many a coffee mug was kilned that day, let me tell you.
And lately, perhaps no one owes more to China than the industrious American investor.
The New York Times reported last week that China Security and Surveillance, the largest contributor to China’s growing public surveillance industry, has been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
And why not? With growth projections in the tens of billions, American hedge funds have already poured money into the leading Chinese watchdog companies.
With that spot on the stock exchange pending, asserting an Orwellian death grip over the Chinese proletariat has never been more profitable.
Ask Yahoo. While many companies have compromised what moral integrity they’re presumed to have in order to grab a chunk of the Chinese marketplace, Yahoo garnered major brownie points with the Chinese government by granting police agencies full access to their users’ account information.
Sure, it’s resulted in dozens of political activists and journalists getting arrested, but it’s less repellent if you think of it as a customer service feature. It’s just like the Best Buy Geek Squad coming over to your house, only uninvited, and with guns.
All this insanely lucrative investment just wouldn’t be interesting, though, without a little bang for our blood-buck. This time next year, we’ll also have the 2008 Beijing Olympics to thank China for.
It will be an event marked with the usual summer Olympic spectacle: unchecked hubris masquerading as high-level athletic competition, the inevitable steroid/HGH/she’s-actually-a-dude scandals and the absolute trouncing of impoverished nations that, frankly, could’ve used the morale.
But rote traditions aside, this Olympics may prove the most harmonious in the games’ history.
Why? Well, as Ross Terrill discussed in an earlier Times piece, the whole world will be watching Beijing, and the party is pulling out all the stops in order to leave a good impression.
And by “stops” I mean problematic individuals, and by “pulling out” I mean banishing. Which comes as a surprise to those of us who thought industrialized nations were over the whole banishment thing.
I mean, I’ve never been sup’ed with ducats and sent to a neighboring fiefdom – have you?
Those being thrown out are thought to be disruptive to the city’s aesthetic and social tranquility, and range from political dissidents to Falun Gong members to disabled people (because apparently nothing denigrates your nation in the eyes of the world quite like a kid with palsy).
“It’s unconscionable,” Jimmy Fallon said, former SNL cast member and leader of the Falun Gong. “They’re displacing people so they can propagate a fantasy version of what the country is like to the rest of the world. Not only is it a lie, it’s usually an incredible financial burden on those being removed.”
Fallon then cracked up for the third time in five minutes, danced in a Pepsi commercial and vanished off the face of the earth.
It’s not to say all of this isn’t terribly unfortunate.
Being a freedom-loving people, we cherish the principles and ideals of a fair, democratic society.
When we see the plight of the everyday Chinese citizen, we can’t help but feel plum sorry for bankrolling their invasive, dystopian government and making millions off of their suffering.
The best course of action would be to christen a yacht in their honor, so that their sacrifices do not go unremembered.
Ryan Nowell is a junior English major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com