Unfulfilled Wish List of the Week: Old Luo’s

CDT is expanding its wiki beyond the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon to include short biographies of public intellectuals, cartoonists, human rights activists, and other people pushing for change in China; and to archive and translate sensitive essays. The wiki is a work in progress.

Old Luo’s New Year Wish List

Originally published by Luo Yonghao on his personal blog in March 2006, the English teacher (who has since turned tech entrepreneur) offered a long list of his dreams for the new Year of the Dog. Nearly 11 years later on the eve of the Year of the Rooster, Old Luo may be disappointed on several points.

Luo’s post came when China had just over 100 million internet users nationwide (by the end of 2016, the number had risen well above 700 million). This particular post represents the early days of China’s blogging era, and was among the first overtly political blogposts in China. State censorship policies and technology then coalesced to end China’s political-blogging era and make microblogs the primary platform for political netizen discussion. Similar trends have since muted much of the political discussion on Weibo, leading us into the current WeChat era.

I hope that all good people have a happy new year, I hope all bad people have a miserable new year; I hope all people who are not so good and not so bad can arrange their new year as they wish.

I hope all peace-loving people live in peace; I hope all war-loving people live within two neighboring countries with equal military strength, but with no nuclear weapons.

I hope all ultra-nationalist angry youth will be enlightened, I hope all liberal angry youth will stay angry until there is nothing in this world for them to be angry about. I hope those idiots who lost passion for life too early but think of themselves as mature will not confuse the liberal angry youth with ultra-nationalist angry youth.

I hope political prisoners in all countries will be released. I hope those countries with no political prisoners will not just be satisfied with the fact that their own country has no political prisoners.

I hope Chinese public officials know who pays for their food and clothes. I hope taxpayers do not avoid paying, even if they are not happy about it.

I hope those doctors who save people’s lives (if they still exist) die peaceful deaths [if they have to die,] and I hope those doctors who do not save dying patients will die in the same manner as their patients.

I hope those who do not have much money do not stretch themselves to buy a house, I hope those who have money in hand also do not buy right now, I hope all those being bought off by developers and claiming there is no bubble in the real estate market will buy lots of luxurious houses before the bubble bursts.

I hope all corrupt officials will live in greater fear, I hope those officials who are not corrupt can hold on.

I hope Chinese peasants can migrate freely in their own country, I hope city residents who oppose peasants migrating into cities will one day realize that they have no conscience.

I hope those migrant workers who can not get their wages will find a good lawyer to help them. I hope those who intentionally withhold overdue wages of migrant workers are hit by lightning, no matter how watchful they are.

I hope all websites will not have keyword filtering, and I hope any websites which set up this filtering don’t do so voluntarily.

I hope those who discriminate against homosexuals become objects of public scorn, and I hope of China’s gay couples can marry and also see their wishes fulfilled.

I hope those amiable obliterators of right and wrong who think they’ve grasped the essence of Confucianism will understand that, actually, Confucius isn’t the idiot you take him to be. I hope those principled people who do know right from wrong will understand that, actually, we’re never alone, just a bit lonely.

I hope those adults who always say “shoot the bird that sticks out its neck” and who, in good will, exhort outgoing young people to restrain their talents will one day know this: that there are some birds who come into the world to do what they think is right, not to dodge bullets. I hope those adults who, in ill will, attack those young people will get old a bit faster, and a bit faster still.

I hope the not-bad people don’t run into bad people. I hope all the bad people don’t hear that the not-bad people think they’re bad.

I hope the awesome people get awesomer, and I hope the stupid people will at least not be so stupid.

I hope our generation becomes mature instead of slick and sly. I hope young people stay innocent and honest, but not childish.

I hope all young people can cultivate the ability and habit of independent thought, and that all adults will at least cultivate the ability and habit of letting young people think independently.

I hope that young lovers who burn with desire can find cheap, clean, safe places, and that adults in upscale hotels are as strong as ever.

I hope that the sexually liberated get on happily. I hope the sexually conservative hold themselves back enough so that they have no regrets. I hope people with STDs will be honest for once.

I hope the price of legal software will be reasonable. I hope the users of pirated software will be reasonable.

I hope Apple will come out with a black iPod that’s 120G or bigger. And I hope that before he dies, Steve Jobs will know the insanity, the inhumanity that is a genuine Apple brand 300 yuan iPod USB cord with not one bit of technology inside it. Actually, what I really hope is that his disappointing company can make an MP3 player that’s better than the iPod.

I hope this year there won’t be any stupid commercial movies like Hero, House of Flying Daggers, or The Promise. I hope China gets a sweet commercial movie like King Kong. And I hope even more that there’s a little space for the not-so-commercial movies.

I hope my lawyer friends who give their assistance with such devotion have a very happy new year. In the new year, we’ll very happily sue! I hope that those who have violated our rights and await court are shaking in their boots.

One small, final wish (the least likely to come true): that the next generation of Super Mario isn’t 3D. [Source]

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