Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Horror: No Barefoot Lawyer in Worship--so far!

(Alert readers will probably have NO problem guessing some good reasons RantWoman's ruminations on themes in this post did not make it out of her mouth during worship.)

Yes, RantWoman acknowledges that sending 6 sugary skulls as a token that someone fleeing the local police is alive is weird symbolism. In Chen Guang Cheng's "The Barefoot Lawyer" it was actually six packages of dried noodles. RantWoman thinks the skulls are more ironic.

The send six of something communications symbolism was the culmination of a long career as a human rights activist, a spell in prison and then incredibly intrusive house arrest, but back up a few steps.

Six sugary Day of the Dead Skulls
RantWoman is also schlepping around in the brave new world of paying for images. RantWoman has not read the terms of the promo. If the six sugary skulls go poof after some interval, RantWoman begs readers' indulgence and will try to be more attuned to copyright in the future. RantWoman hopes that the images will just stay with the option of downloading.

(RantWoman means also to find the link to Chen's speech at the 2015 American Council of the Blind convention but so far....

Chen was born in rural China in 1971, about the time the Rant children were making the transition from black and white to color television. He was the youngest of 5 boys born after a sister died in infancy. The family was very poor. As an infant, Chen developed some kind of very high fever that lasted 3 days and took his vision. Chen did not go to school at first AND his family had to pay extra taxes and penalties for having a disabled child. Eventually Chen made his way to school and then later to a program at Nanking University.

This was before the onset of China's one-child policy; Chen writes of how many of his family members of his generation were affected by that policy in their childbearing years.

The house arrest was basically full employment for the entire region: Chen, his wife and young daughter were guarded by at least a dozen people at a time, 2 shifts a day. The family kept getting new cellphones, amking videos, shipping the videos out, hiding the cellphones. The secret police kept coming to search. Chen and his wife would quote the Chinese constitution about the police not having a right to search. The police would search anyway, but when the accompanying beatings reached a terrifying level, Chen decided he had to flee.

Chen fled and eventually made it to the US embassy. His case became the subject of an especially vigorous flurry of international negotiations because Chen reached the US embassy just as Secretary of State Clinton was arriving for a summit. Saying anymore would be a spoiler; besides, people should read the whole book to understand the force of Chen's activism.

In general, RantWoman seems presently to excel in NOT go to sleep bedtime reading.

RantWoman downloads something interesting from BARD. RantWoman sticks the USB drive in the cute, Cute, CUTE Talking Book player and cranks the volume and reading speed to desired levels. 
Usually at bedtime RantWoman hits the sleep button twice,  "sleep 15 minutes." "Sleep 30 minutes."  15 minutes is long enough to fall asleep sometimes but not to stay asleep when the reading stops. 30 minutes is sometimes long enough to fall asleep, stay asleep and then have to backtrack the next night. to get what one slept through. Sometimes though the "sleep 30 minutes" option is enough to get RantWoman completely hooked, to remind her that she really should sleep and to force her to admit that she will not be able to sleep and therefore should just prees the "Sleep" button a couple more times. And then a couple more times. And then....

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