Category Archives: china

Excited Delirium Chapter 67: Aftershocks: China Scene of Devastation

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Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 67 of the my online book “Excited Delirium”. Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index.

It was late in the evening, Beijing time, when the first murmurs of life started to show in what was once a great city.

Before the Olympics were set to start in August, the estimated population was 17 million, but that official number barely accounted for the 2-4 million people that inhabited the hutong, or mazes of alleyways, that surrounded the city.  That number was, thankfully, depleted significantly due a government edict that “encouraged” people to leave for holidays and to rent properties to incoming tourists and sports enthusiasts.  That, and the actual brutal program of shoving a vast majority of unwanted people out of the city so that it would be clean and presentable for the onslaught of the visitors.

These guesses and figures are important, because to this day, there is still a significant amount of disagreement concerning the number of people that were killed in the Great ’08 and most now acknowledge that we will never know how many people paid with their lives for the ambitions of a select few in North America.

Final official statements were that more than two million either died or were classified as missing (and never found) during and after the Quake.  The majority of these people were unsuspecting tourists.

In the past, China had kept the door shut on any interference from international bodies when disaster struck, be it natural or man-made, and in the hours and days that followed, the response was no different, but for reasons that many would not have expected.

The largest government in the world resides in Beijing where the President of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) chairs the National People’s Congress, a party that consists of nearly 3,000 elected seats.  These elected officials are supported by tens of thousands of bureaucrats.  Few survived the Great ’08 as few were prepared for the fierceness of this seemingly natural attack on their nation.  They were preparing to show the world how great China was and they paid with their lives as others sought to bring about a cataclysmic shock.

The original plan for Garamond, Hadlock and a long line of others that wanted China wiped from the map was to marginalize its government.  Without an official government, China would wander and fail to respond to desperate pleas from the international community as people arrived at their doors with open hands and buckets of cash.

Most officials of China were now crushed under a tomb of angry steel fingers that squeezed the life out of them when the “Bird’s Nest” – the official Olympic Ceremonies Stadium built specifically for the Olympics – collapsed after the 9.8 Richter scale earthquake and smaller, yet still significant, ripples shocked through the city.  The building was crushed as easily as a collection of toy cars get thrown when a child shakes out a small rug.

A headless state, regardless of where it’s located, results in two things:  the loss of a lot of blood and the appearance of heroes who try to squelch the pandemonium.

If there was sufficient leadership and guidance, particularly with the intent of digging into the rubble and pulling out a satisfactory status quo, the crisis in China would not have drawn as much attention as it did.

Problems would have been solved, people might have been saved and countless millions might still be with us.  Or so we in the West were lead to believe as out politicians descended on the state and began seeking ways to interject private companies and public charities on the will of the Chinese.

By Monday morning, reps from all of the divisions of the OMNINet, along with many other companies, sat in emergency boats and container ships in the Bay of Bo Hai, which is the closest body of water near Beijing.  They sat in media rooms and press galleries around the world, waiting to press the ‘enter’ button that would flood the market with stories about how evil the Chinese Empire is and how it needs to be changed.  They sat in the offices of Congressmen, EU officials and in Asian foreign affairs departments, patiently waiting for the command to proceed with plans.

All the eager personnel needed to begin their commercial and mission-like invasion of the unsuspecting and living inhabitants was the nod from OMNINet management.

For those people who were there, none will ever forget the events that transpired within just 72 hours of the worst disaster in modern history.

[Author’s Note: I conceived of this plot component in 2006 and wrote most of these chapters into the story of ‘Excited Delirium’ during the course of 2007. I was stunned like the rest of the world when a tragic earthquake struck the province of Sichuan on May 12, 2008. Please believe me that I do not want to ‘profit’ from the suffering that the hundreds of thousands in this quake experienced. I remind all readers that this is a work of fiction and that my goals are to speak to the symbolic reference that’s used in the numerology along with the viewpoint of one fictional cult concerning the fate of the Chinese.]

(Note: “Excited Delirium” is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 68

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)

Creative Commons License
Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .

 

Excited Delirium Book: Chapter 63 (Sasha’s Funeral)

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Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 63 of the my online book “Excited Delirium”. Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index. Enjoy.

Sasha Pigeon would have taken great pleasure in knowing that his wake was the same day as the start of the Olympics in China.  Unfortunately, this day would also live in the memories of billions around the globe as a day of horror, a day of shock and the day on which the world changed forever.

August 8, 2008 would live in the genetic history of humankind forever, like the Kennedy assassination or the intentional destruction of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Centre.

Sasha Pigeon had always loved the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  The euphoric sense of celebration.  The repetition of the ‘peace and love’ message that permeated the conflicting sense of competition.  The elaborate over-the-top staging and drama that was designed to outdo the previous activity.  The open ceremonies seemed to him like a few hours of watching a live version of ‘Fantasia’.

He had actually gone to see the 1984 opening in Las Angeles and the 2004 opening in Greece, and he would have gone to Beijing to be a spectator with the entire Olympic games, had it not been for his sickness and poverty.

He would have loved to have been there in person because this year’s opening would be unique.  For years, the Chinese government was promising something completely original.  For many in China, when the number ‘eight’ is spoken in Mandarin it sounds very much like the Mandarin word for ‘luck’.  It could also be interpreted as the word for ‘good fortune’ or ‘prosperity’.

It’s this superstitious belief in the power of specific numbers that have lead to a mania of sorts with things as simple as phone numbers.  It’s said that a Hong Kong businessman once paid several hundred thousand dollars for a phone number that was 888-8888.

In Beijing, the ceremonies were scheduled to start at 8:08 PM, Beijing time.  Because of the time change, this translated to 8:08AM on Friday, August 8 in New York.

Sasha’s wake was scheduled for 6AM, more than two hours before the intended start.  The planners argued that it should be early, mainly so that visitors could still make their way to work, but also so that they could get to the party mode as the Olympic festivities began.

That didn’t include Eddie, Kite, Chaos and Hummus.  They all went early to the wake, arriving at Finnegan’s, Sasha Pigeon’s favourite gay bar in New York, at around 6AM.  None of them had slept the previous night, discussing what to do or how to prevent the planned disaster from happening.  They had been frantic contacting the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Chinese Embassy and a few newspapers and TV shows, but all of their complaints had fallen on deaf ears.  Or voice mail boxes.  It seemed everyone in the world was covering the opening ceremonies, but few were around to heed their warnings.  They posted an announcement on YouTube, but few people in North America were awake to watch it.

They stumbled into Finnegan`s, exhausted from the previous night and ready to hope that all that they had heard from Garamond and others and his mysterious files would all be an elaborate hoax.

It wasn’t.

Shortly after they arrived, the bar owner switched on the TV to the news to get the coverage they were seeking.  Forest Samson was there, with dozens of others from the community, all of them already well primed for a celebration that would have been appreciated by their late friend.

“Eddie!” Forest yelled above the music.  Forest and his band had just finished a small set of songs, the last being “Turn up the Sun” by Oasis.

Kite and the others couldn’t resist.  They started teasing him and saying his name in a voice and manner that only 14-year olds in the school yard can do when teasing their friends.  They were careful to be quiet enough so that Forest wouldn’t hear them.

He managed to smile briefly, and then reminded himself why they were all here.  He put on a stoic face and flew over to Forest to embrace him.  The hug was a little too long for everyone’s comfort, and then they realized that Eddie was crying, weeping into the shoulders of this other man.  They could see him shudder a few times, and they awoke to the idea that Eddie was currently riding a roller-coaster ride of emotions, all of which were revealing themselves to him.  All of which had been repressed for some time because of his ambitions with the OMNINet.

He pushed himself away from Forest and apologized for blubbering like an oaf, his words inaudible to his other friends, simply because of the tuning of the band in the background.

“We’re going to play a couple of tunes in a few minutes,” Forest said in Eddie’s ear.  You’re sticking around for that, right?”

“Most definitely, I will.  It’ll be great to see you guys playing again,” Eddie said keenly.  Friends of Forest, or FOF, were an old standby when Eddie was in his party days with Sasha and the gang.  They were very good, did mostly alt, 80s and 90s British stuff like Oasis, the Charlatans and the odd Black Grape song.

“Most of the songs that we sing are by bands from a lovely little English village called Manchester, named after our friend over here.  Tonight, however, we’re playing something from a small band from Oxfordshire, a small band known as Radiohead,” Forest announced as he played the acoustic solo version of True Love Waits:

I’ll drown my beliefs

To have you be in peace …

“Oh crap …” Eddie sighed.  Kite and the others surrounded him to hear Forest and watch their friend.

“Sasha used to sing this song to me all the time.  I hated Radiohead, but this was one of the only songs of theirs that I kinda liked.”

… And true love waits

in haunted attics …

I’ll drown my beliefs

To have you be in peace …

“Hey Eddie,” Hummus started to ask, “how did Forest know that this was ‘your song’ with Sasha?”

“I didn’t think he did.  Maybe he made an arrangement with Forest before he died?  I don’t know,” Eddie said, shaking his head in amazement of the playing of the song and the emotion that it cast off.

… Just lonely, lonely

Just lonely, lonely …

“Uh … is it me, or do the rest of you feel a little awkward right now?” Chaos asked.

“Just a bit.  I guess he’s trying to tell me something,” Eddie pushed back, annoyed.  “Anyways, back off, or I’ll have to break you.”

“Sorry man,” Chaos said, realizing it was time to ease up on the teasing.

“No problem,” Eddie said, as he cooled off.  “I feel a little tense these days.  My business life is done.  My personal life is for shit.  And I’m at the wake for my ex.  My employer is trying to destroy the world – or at least half of it.  Yay.  Fun times.”

“No kidding.  We worked all night last night trying to get some things organized, trying to get people to listen, but we had no luck, man.”

“I know.  Our efforts might still come in handy, but there’s no way anyone was listening to us.  What a fucking joke,” Eddie announced with a huge sense of shame and embarrassment.  He had joined up with the biggest frauds and crooks on the planet and he felt he had nothing to show for it.

“Eddie, I hate to be an arse, but we shouldn’t hang around too long,” Kite interrupted.  “If we can still get access to your files, or maybe get some more stories out to the public, we can save more folks.”

“All right, all right, I’ll talk to Forest once he’s done and we’ll get moving on.”

Forest was almost finished, playing the last few chords of the short song about doing just about anything that a loved one asks, so the four of them stood and stared.

“OK everyone, sound check over,” Forest said into the mike and then leapt down  to meet Eddie and his friends.  “I’m sorry about using your song, but I know that Sash loved it.  He told me a dozen times that I had to play it at his wake and he also wanted you hear.  What do you think?”

“I think we need to talk later,” Eddie said as he embraced Forest.  “I have to take care of some business right now.”

Just as he let go, they all caught the few keywords that they feared most that morning:  “Beijing Crushed by 8.2 Earthquake.  Details Unknown.”

They all looked at each other in horror and then each one reached for a different seat at the same time.  As they sat, they all wondered aloud at the same time:  “They fucking did it.  They created the quake.”

As they spoke, Kite, Chaos and Hummus all went to the entertainment centre and switched on the news.  They switched to the International News Centre, or INC, a media conglomerate owned by the OMNINet.  A reporter was dictating a standard load of introductory commentary, all designed to transport watchers into the spirit of the games, but the reporter also kept alluding to several ideas that seemed a little odd:  this launch will not be without its controversies, the Chinese government is currently at an economic standstill with Western governments, China may be actively supporting terrorism in Iran and other countries, challenges with Tibet and the need to liberate that country, and so on.

They were all a little confused because the reporting seemed so jaded.

And then it happened.

As the reporter stood outside what is referred to as the ‘Bird’s Nest’, the elaborate steel and glass stadium in central Beijing that would house the starting ceremonies, it collapsed in the background.

Within moments, absolute pandemonium erupted.

The Great 08 – the quake that would bring Beijing to its knees – had begun, just as Garamond had planned.

(Note: “Excited Delirium” is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 64

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)

Creative Commons License
Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .

The Financial Crisis: Why Current Actions Won’t Work

I put a couple of articles on the back-burner, waiting for a chance to read both before commenting on them.  As it happens, this most recent article reminded me a little of this one so I thought it was time to explore them a little further.

Ultimately, the conclusion that both seem to have is that we’re going to run out of taxpayers.  And the problem with the financial crisis is that it’s nuclear:  we might be able to bail out a few banks now, but we’ll have toxic debt issues related to the bailouts for generations to come.

The solutions offered were mixed.  The Reality Sandwich article is really only in ‘Part I’ of a series, but towards the end, they seem to speak fondly of nationalization of the money creation process.  This would marginalize the demands placed on all capitalist countries by the financial community to borrow as they print money.  Instead, they would simply print money.  As someone who warns against the ills of abusing those things that come for free, this solution might create more ill than good.  It’s called inflation.

However, inflation only comes when people expect more from their economies.  Perhaps if we tuned ourselves to think in terms of zero growth (zero growth of money supply (unless under economic ‘duress’), zero growth of economies, zero growth of wages, etc), it might actually be feasible.

Good luck with that, though.

Enter the Socialist Project, with another lengthy and more current article, focusing mainly on the use of Keynesian philosophy and who’s doing it better.  They argue that China and other countries are better positioned to jump-start their economic bodies because they have a healthier attitude towards Keynesianism, but again, I’m concerned that we’ve really missed the point: we no longer have the luxury of infinite growth .

All of these policies, be they monetarist or Keynesian or whatever, simply don’t account for the notion that it’s irresponsible to fashion economies around the principles of endless consumption.  At some point, the party has to end.  We’ve already talked about the impact that demographics will have on our current situation , but the truth is that we don’t think anyone is listening.  There are too many special interests at risk (big banks, big unions, big government, etc etc etc).

What are your thoughts on this situation?  What do you think our governments should do to pull us away from financial ruin while trying to also encourage people to have a positive attitude about their futures?  Post your thoughts below.

Excited Delirium: Chapter Index

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Chapter 1 Prelude

Chapter 1: Kite Intro

Chapter 2: An OMNINet Employee

Chapter 3: They Call Me Mr. Kite

Chapter 4: Greyrock (Protect the Oil)

Chapter 5: Introduction to Griffith Garamond

Chapter 6: Kite Resignation Letter

Chapter 7: The OMNINet: From Good Intentions …

Chapter 8: Kite Meets an Employment Counselor

Chapter 9: The Garamond Guy

Chapter 10: Made In China

Chapter 11: Introducing the MOMYS

Chapter 12: Diversify Greyrock

Chapter 13: China – Actions in the Strait of Hormuz

Chapter 14: Kite’s Love Life

Chapter 15: INC Story – The Univists

Chapter 16: Mr. Kite – Between Assignments

Chapter 17: Greyrock, Part II

Chapter 18: MOMYS II

Chapter 19: The Death of Garamond’s Wife

Chapter 20: Kite’s New Gig

Chapter 21: MOMYS III

Chapter 22: Greyrock III

Chapter 23: China Sells Weapons to Taliban

Chapter 24: Kite: Introducing Chaos & Hummus

Chapter 25: MOMYS IV

Chapter 26: OMNINet Home Care

Chapter 27: China News (Poison Found in Kids Clothing

Chapter 28: Kite Thoughts on Religion

Chapter 29: MOMYS V – More Context

Chapter 30: MOMYS VI – Heather’s Going

Chapter 31: Kite & Eddie Meet Again

Chapter 31: Kite & Eddie Meet Again, Part II

Chapter 33: China News (SCO Grows Stronger)

Chapter 34: Kite’s Team Regroups

Chapter 35: Kite Meets Pigeon

Chapter 36: OMNINet (Greyrock IV)

Chapter 37: Heather’s Gone

Chapter 38: FAB (Female and Barren)

Chapter 39: OMNINet (Efforts with the FCC)

Chapter 40: Kite Listens In

Chapter 41: Garamond and his marvelous house

Chapter 42: Greyrock (Afghan Mission)

Chapter 43: OMNINet TRI-X IPO

Chapter 44: China News – The Dragon is Buying

Chapter 45: Kite Infiltrates the OMNINet

Chapter 46: OMNINet’s Big Meeting

Chapter 47: Kite Infiltrates the OMNINet, Part II

Chapter 48: OMNINet (Big Meeting, Big Plans)

Chapter 49: Kite Reports Back

Chapter 50: Kite’s Recording of Garamond

Chapter 51: Kite Enlists Eddie

Chapter 52: Eddie Works out the Pieces

Chapter 53: Greyrock – Bringin’ it Home

Chapter 54: Eddie Works out the Pieces, II

Chapter 55: Greyrock – Bringin’ it Home, II

Chapter 56: Eddie Confronts Kite

Chapter 57: Eddie Gets Info Too Late

Chapter 58: Garamond Meets with Daniels

Chapter 59: Diana’s Next Steps

Chapter 60: Eddie Brings Files Back to Kite

Chapter 61: Garamond on 888

Chapter 62: 888 Tremors

Chapter 63: Sasha Pigeon’s Funeral

Chapter 63: Sasha Pigeon’s Funeral

Chapter 64: The Great 08 Quake

A lump of coal is looking good for the holidays

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This report from NPR identifies that one out of every three toys could cause permanent toxic damage to your child.

Merry F*%&in Christmas!!

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