Nothing to Say – The reading club hits a snag

There’s nothing to discuss this week about Ai Weiwei. The essays which Tom recommended we read — Aftershocks, Idiocy on a sunny day, and A world without honor — are absent from my Chinese version of the book. Yes, the book was bought in mainland China, where they use not only simplified characters to write, but simplified books to read. It’s so simple, in fact, that there’s nothing to read, and even better, nothing to think about.

Not to be disappointed, faithful followers, for soon Tom will post on these pieces by Ai, since he purchased the version that was actually complete. In the meantime, the best we can do is surmise about Ai and what he might have said in these essays — maybe post a few tweets on Weibo, get the rumor mill going. If we can’t read truth, and we can’t discuss truth, then we’ll just have to create new truths. We’ll post them again and again until all surmisings become truths, and the truths stamp out the non-truths. And then we’ll inspire a grand new law to be ushered into the People’s Republic, one that forbids the tweeting of harmful non-truths. And when all the non-truths are stripped from Weibo, and the Rightful Truth reigns — why, we won’t even need that messy internet platform anymore! We’ll have no books, no discussions, and no writing. No ears, no mouths, no hands. That’s what it is to be patriotic, you know?

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