Like a concerned parent, the People’s Republic of China cares about what its citizens are looking at on the Internet. This is obviously a good thing. We all know that information can be a dangerous – hence the coining of the phrase “TMI.” China’s Golden Shield Project was put into place to stop this, by blocking harmful websites, including such menaces as Facebook, YouTube, and WordPress.
Yes, that’s correct – you are now reading subversive, highly sensitive material. It feels good, doesn’t it, a little naughty, like the first time you looked at an adult website or found your ex-girlfriend’s new address online and then parked your car outside her apartment for two days (not that I’ve done that numerous times or anything). I know, this blog doesn’t seem like something that would have to be smuggled through a super firewall, but, alas, it is. Just by writing this, I’m putting myself in danger, bringing you material that’s not supposed to be available to the public, sort of like the founder of WikiLeaks or Perez Hilton.
Ah, I jest. It’s true, though, that I had to email this to my girlfriend and she had to put it up; even with a proxy, China rejected this post like it was a basketball and the PRC was Dikembe Mutombo. It’s also true that The Golden Shield causes me slight paranoia, as if a future post entitled “8 Things About China that Bug Me” might provoke the authorities to lock me away in a prison cell or soy-sauce-board me, which is like waterboarding with an Asian twist (be on the lookout for my next post, “8 Things I Absolutely Love About Wonderful Fantastic China”).
On the other hand, having to smuggle posts through a firewall makes me feel kind of cool. I’ve always wanted to smuggle something. Every time I go through customs at the airport, I get nervous that they’ll search my luggage, locating the “I Love Bangkok” t-shirt I didn’t declare on the form, like I’m in a spy movie, sneaking microfilm across the border. I get all sweaty and nod to the customs guy, then laugh nervously as I hand him the little card. That’s right, I’m declaring nothing. It’s similar to the end of Argo, except instead of American diplomats, I’m sneaking out shot glasses and refrigerator magnets.
I’ve also fantasized about smuggling drugs from one place to another. Not that I’d ever do that, but it’s fun to try and come up with the perfect plan. I think that if I was going to smuggle cocaine or something, and I had to get past a K-9 Unit, I’d get my own dog and hide the drugs in his rectum. Then, when the K-9 dog sniffs his butt and starts going crazy, I’d coolly explain the situation to the police. “My dog is clean,” I’d say. “He just has difficulty making friends.”
Say that explanation somehow didn’t fly. No worries. I’d only have to throw my pet under the bus to avoid punishment (not literally, although that might work too). “Listen,” I would say, shaking my head, “I had no idea that he’d gotten involved in this. It’s the Snausages – he’ll do anything for them. In fact, I’ve noticed him hanging out with some Chihuahuas lately…who knows what cartel those freaky little bastards run with. Anyways, I think it’s pretty clear to all of us that the dog is acting independently.”
So, my point is, this whole Internet censorship thing, to some extent, satisfies my smuggling fantasy. Nothing, not even Operation Golden Shower or whatever it’s called, can stop this blog from lumbering on. I’m really happy to be in China, and although the Internet censorship will probably be a bit irritating, it’s nothing more than another obstacle for a blogger to overcome, not much different from having to proofread your own work or the nightmare of posting through a slow Internet connection.
And, um, just in case anyone from China’s government happens to be reading this, I would like you to know that I’m planning on having an awesome time here. So don’t be worried. I’ve always supported China. In fact, I’ve been buying products made here for ages.