In the latest of wacky-Chinese-oppression news, it appears that a man was recently arrested due to a joke he made on Twitter. The joke, which was decidedly not very funny, made reference to the next installment of the Final Destination movie franchise being about the Great Hall of the People collapsing on government officials. Chinese authorities then tracked the man down and arrested him for “spreading terrorist information.”
The whole thing would be hilariously funny if it weren’t for the fact that these people are serious. It proves that the government is so paranoid about people saying anything against them that they don’t even comprehend the nature of humor. Or maybe they were actually so gullible as to think this was indeed some sort of terrorist threat?
In addition to the arrest, they also cleared out any and all who had complaints about the government that they wanted to be addressed, rounded them up and sending them from the city. All this to demonstrate the great new changes that a fresh set of government recruits will bring to China?
This is, quite obviously, a horrible way to go about things. Not just because of the human rights issues involved, but also due to the simple fact that if a government is seen as humorless, they’re not seen as human by their citizen population. If they’re not human, they will be considered less than the citizenry and thus not the leaders that the people desire.
It also shows them as unwilling to address the complaints that people have and, essentially, makes them out to be a useless body. And in the international community, it marks government officials as over reactive and somewhat incompetent. After all, do you really respect the person who takes a simple joke so seriously as to arrest people over it? Or do you roll your eyes and just think of them as a perhaps a little bit slow in the head?
So, the new Chinese officials are already starting off looking like fools in the eyes of the public. If China doesn’t get away from this sort of juvenile behavior, they risk creating more serious problems for the future. Some have organized an online petition to have the “joker” released, and what the Chinese government chooses to do now may very well affect them for some time to come as well as defining the role they see for themselves in the progress of the country. Are they actually going to try to change China for the better, or just stick to the paranoia that has often characterized the past?