08/08/08. Plus an Eclipse on a Leap Year. Propitious Omens for Olympics?

“An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star.”
(Lear Act I scene II)

China has unblocked internet access to human rights sites such as Amnesty; and also the BBC and other western news agencies. Which raises the question; If now, why not a long time ago? Why now?
But that only raises the further question: ‘What are the Beijing Olympics for?’. And when they are over and have done their job, will this new liberalism end? With that surely in mind, how many Chinese will be prepared to be one of the thousand flowers prepared to bloom? Given that they know that the purpose of Mao’s famous dictum was not a poetic version of Glasnost, but a simple trap for unwary and over-exhibitionist dissenters.
On the day of its total solar eclipse, China unblocks the BBC, Amnesty and other western news agencies. Which raises the question, if now, why not before? The theory is that this is due to something called ‘Olympic pressure’. On the day of its total solar eclipse, China un-eclipses the internet, which is another alignment for the mystics to chew on. Will this event be as passing as the cosmic one? Will the ‘light’ of information be as brief as the darkness of the eclipse? The policy wonks in the Beijing Ministry of Truth will be laughing at the cruelty of this joke at the expense of hope and freedom.
The current Chinese dynasty are wearing all their astrological belts and braces. The time, date, the year, and they would have known about the eclipse. So how does this primitive superstition marry with the doctrine of dialectical materialism which, as professed communists, they are bound to with hoops of steel . The truth is that the P.R.C. is merely a modern incarnation of the feudal oligarchies which have ruled it for thousands of years, with all the primitive baggage of that system, and just as far from socialism as any of the other super-powers.

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