Monday, April 21, 2008

The Torch of Flaming

The world has seen a whirlpool of uncertainties engulfing it in recent times.

Oil prices have risen to a historical high, the Earth's land surface temperature for March has recorded a warmest mark, with the overall (land and ocean) surface tempreatures taking a second spot in the 129-year record book, and food prices rocketing to worrying peaks.
These are issues far from us, yet affecting our very thread of senses and lives, in every single moment passed.

In the midst of all these, humans have joined in the ranks of protesting or supporting the relay of the Olympic torch, which is passed from country to country, continent to continent.

It is suppose to be a celebrative event which unites humanity for the single goal of embracing each other for the pursuit of solidarity and unity, exchange and interaction, understanding and cooperating.However, as all worldly events are, there would be some inflitration of political, social or personal emotional elements, injected by either deliberate or unintentional acts. Complications will arise and sub-episodes will unfold; as the participants of these events come to be carried away, they can no longer see that they are no further from where they have begun - the primal objective and desire have totally been lost in the forested fanaticism and incited excitement.

China has always been in this unique, if not queer, position. From the time of Qing dynasty, the last empire before the formation of the people's government, the world had seized its timely chance in correcting and educating this fragmented country. It is a stance adopted almost with the shadowy hint of a strict parent peering down and lecturing a misbehaved child.

To certain extent, China has discarded what were originally placed on her shoulders - the responsibilities of securing peace and prosperity for her common people. In between every page of China's history, countless innocent lives were lost in the abyssal tides of political instability, social upheaveals and judicial downfalls. Those were the times when bodies were trampled on and lives disposed off, in the most easy and unimaginable way. It was, in a word partially, if not fully, responsible for what had befallen on it in the later half of the dynasty - the invasion of foreign powers in the name of liberation from its own domestic unrests.

While times have progressed and tides have ebbed, memories are evidently imprinted in one's mind and impressions branded in one's heart. What China was once is still largely remembered as unchanged to many. The sins and wrongdoings of the past are brought forward onto today's soil, and before they take root and sprout, poisoning the land and polluting the air and water, the inherent sense of justice brewing in the lives of many springs up to respond to the call of fighting the evil. It is with such audacious fervency that the torch of Olympic has come to scorch the sentiments of the protesters - China is simply unqualified to host a internationally human-centred event when the human-rights records have reflected otherwise.

In the wake of the torch relay, the call for freeing Tibet has never been louder. Flamed by the Western media, the fires of anger and violence rose to a higher height. Where the torch is symbolically regarded as flame of hope and signified as the fire of passion, and the torchbearers as representatives of human solidarity, crossing borders and transcending barriers, the media have seized the opportunity in relaying a wholly different message altogether. What is supposed to be an entirely sporting event has seen political and social interests infiltrating it. The struggles of the torchbearers in passing on the torch undisturbed and unhindered are consequently and significantly shadowed by the fights between the supporters and protesters of the event.

On a hindsight, and true to reality, both parties have mistaken their abilities in shaping the world: torch-relaying can never truly establish barrier-transcendental understanding; likewise, media-flaming can neither come close to altering the political terrain of a country. In a single moment of fixated scene, these two groups of excited and agitated humans can be seen representing two totally different ideologies but sharing one single torch of passionate yet misled belief.

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