Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bjork on Tibet

Relatively old news now, in the world of news and blogs, but a few weeks ago while giving a concert in China Bjork started screaming out the name "Tibet" over and over again during one of her more political songs.

Which of course backfired on here to some extent, and which will have lasting repercussions for two main reasons:

1. Fans go to a concert to hear you and your music not for you to insult their government. And if I was at that concert I would have felt insulted on behalf of the Chinese.

I remember at a football match here in Sweden about 3 years ago, a club (with a large Assyrian following and players) wanted a standing minute's silence in commemoration of Turkey's atrocities in their country 90 years ago..NINETY YEARS AGO! What? Come on, the Second World War only finished 63 years ago!
This backfired heavily on the club, who were fined for permitting an unlawful political manifestation during a match, which severely angered the visiting club and most of its supporters. And made most of the rest of the footballing community in Sweden hate the club even more than they already did, because it wasn't a popular club to start with - due to constant ethnic toned statements like the one they were fined for.


2. If the words and emotions of your music alone can't lead to political change (if that's what you want) then don't start orating from the stage. Alternatively ditch music and take up politics full time.

On the Tibet issue itself, nowadays it's just an old middle class, trendy-lefty, hippy cause that's not even trendy anymore. China owns Tibet, has done for over 50 years now, get used to it. And if anyone in the world is naive enough to think that any form of words or action (i.e. sanctions or boycotting the Olympics) can influence the world's largest economy to do anything other than they want to do or to give up Tibet, then they are profoundly misguided!

The frightening thing is that the undemocratic rule of China will continue unchallegned because: a, it has such a powerful economy: b, the US and China have reached an understanding - based of course largely on pacific rim political economics; and c, Russia doesn't have the clout the old USSR had, so china doesn't see Russia as a threat.

And if anyone thinks that boycotting electrical goods or shoes or toys or tools or clothing made in China in any was has any affect on the Chinese economy then they really haven't got a clue about global economics.

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