Inspiration is Free

I’ll admit it, I’m on the cutting edge of nothing. I’ve nearly crossed over fully into that demographic that gets too much of its information on current events from prime time “news” magazine shows (save me iGoogle!).

It was Frontline, okay? I was in a hotel room last weekend & hadn’t figured out how to use the DVD player yet, so I turned on PBS and saw a story about Ai Weiwei. As much as I’d like to have known about him years ago, this was my first acquaintance with his brave work. Wow!

As soon as we like someone in China, you know what happens: they get locked up.

Just now, I googled “Free Ai Weiwei” and was flooded with information. Perhaps most alarming to me is this — according to BBC News, “China’s foreign ministry has removed all references to the detained artist Ai Weiwei from an official transcript of a government news conference.”

I suddenly imagined how awful it would be if, somehow, the Chinese government (or anyone) could scour the entire internet of a person.

Incredibly, I had never thought of this before. Please, if this is impossible, write to me, assure me, “Ruth, it’s impossible.” Calming down, of course it’s impossible. WikiLeaks wouldn’t scare people so much if it were possible to “cleanse” information from the internet.

While I’m concerned for Ai Weiwei The Person, I find it interesting that it was his disappearance from my screen that piqued my emotions. It doesn’t take an award winning set theorist (you know the one) to analyze my response here. I’ve got a couple thoughts on the matter I’d love to toss around right now; however, my paying job is demanding attention.

Wouldn’t it figure that the day I finally feel moved to write about something other than missing – he’s not named here is he? – is the day I have six meetings on the schedule?

To be continued. Maybe.

One thought on “Inspiration is Free

  1. It might be possible to eradicate someone from the internet, maybe. But I do not believe China can do it. (And though it seems, at first glance, to be some sort of warm and fuzzy thought that our words (some of them anyway), once chittered out into the fuzzy net of electorns gathered on random servers everywhere (and home computers hard drives of people people we’ve never even met) might always be there, it’s actually less a conmfort to wonder which mistakes of grammar and/or emotional stability will remain after I am myself random electrons and protons and such.) But (and any sentence that long needs a but)…

    It’s not that China cannot eliminate one artist one time from the internet. It’s that no power can eliminate one person anytime from existence. Physicists might indicate, studying time, that every moment that ever was still is. Which is one way to see it. But as a kind of universalist theologian, I prefer to organize that same thought a different way. Nobody ever vanishes from the heart of God. And that might mean Ai Weiwei and all his beautiful art. Or it might mean someone else held dear.

    What’s the heart of God? Well. Hmm. Still searching for that one.

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