Monday, December 13, 2010

Bad Santa(s)

I gather this Saturday's Beijing SantaCon was subdued ever so slightly by the hyper-anxious policing we've suffered in Beijing lately.  Many of the participants were deterred or prevented from joining the mass meet-up on Tiananmen Square by repeated demands to see passports and search bags, etc. from the goon squads patrolling the perimeter.

I'm amazed - relieved, but genuinely a little surprised - that any of them made it on to the Square.  Indeed, I'm surprised and relieved that none of them got themselves arrested.

But Santa Clauses are a disappointingly harmless and apolitical bunch, aren't they?  There wasn't much chance they were going to try to leave an empty chair on the Square, or break into a mass chorus of Free Nelson Mandela!  [I would have!  That's why I didn't go...]

That's the original version of the song by The Special AKA. I've just discovered a cover by Amy Winehouse, from an AIDS benefit concert in London in 2008 - great stuff!

God, I really hope somebody does a Chinese-language version of this for LXB. Though I think singing the original gets the point across quite well - but just obliquely enough to spare you from beating or imprisonment?

1 comment:

Froog said...

I gather from my friend Ruby, who was one of the whippers-in for the event, that just about everyone did make it on to T Square eventually - there was one underpass that wasn't being so obstructively policed. Indeed, it seems there was even one police officer on hand who spoke really good English and seemed to be aware of what was going on - a remarkable breakthrough for Beijing policing! Not so much the having a policeman behave in a friendly and reasonable manner (though it's not that common), but the being aware of a public event and planning for it.... WOW.