There are a few things that I do on a regular basis. Blogging is obviously not one of them. But I've promised myself many times to do at least a post per week. There were times when I wouldn't have anything to say and it's better I didn't update with a empty post that reads like a Facebook comment. And there were times when I was tightly occupied that I just wanted to close my eyes when I had a free minute. And I don't want too many quote-posts punctuating my page making my blog a link festival. (I thought I'll move them to Twitter but I haven't been active there. I tried podcasting and after an edition the stars aren't aligned to favor the next one).
The fact is that after a few busy weeks, where I didn't have an opportunity to post, when my calendar eventually started giving me blank stares I had eased myself very well into a non-blogging state that I was okay with sitcoms, documentaries and reading. I don't treat writing lightly. In fact it's one of my means of thinking. Even if I'm reading Wired, to be not able to express my ideas and reactions to the article is to wallow in lethargy - because when I sit down to write my ability to critique is put on spotlight; whereas if I don't write (or get into a discussion) I'm just a passive consumer of news & opinions. Here, allow me to smash my slump.
China is the new bully in the block. We have G7, the UN Security Council, BRIC, etc. But the two countries that mean a lot - both economically and militarily are the U.S and China. And China's behavior these days, either in Copenhagen on climate talks or arms sales to Taiwan or Obama meeting the Dalai Lama or refusing to revalue their currency to cushion trade imbalances or addressing human rights in their own back yard - is to give a symbolic middle finger to the U.S.
China's huge surpluses are contributed by the manufacturing sector, not the knowledge processing industry. There are many well thought out arguments on the web about how curtailing the power of web to their citizens could be disastrous for China's ambitions to become an economic giant. Well, this can be treated as a domestic affair. But its business deals with countries that aren't stable or repressive or politically against the U.S or all of these is worrisome: China's arms deal with Sri Lanka in their recent war on LTTE (should I say Tamils?), oil deal with Venezuela thereby propping the ridiculous Hugo Chavez, oil deal in Sudan filling Khartoum's coffers to kill more Darfuri women, not imposing sanctions on Iran as a member of UN council fearing a spike in oil prices.. going back to their reactionary help to Pakistan with nuclear technology in order to maintain their geopolitical supremacy.
For all its high-rises and solar-powered technologies and bullet trains and great malls there's not much to life if there isn't freedom. In spite of all its shortcomings India has a sense of humor, the press is free, they talk about politicians and the politicians talk back (sometimes with a stick), there are riots against the government, guys watch porn in the comfort of their room and some couples have 4 kids. When it comes to freedom the U.S is even better - I'll just say that late night comedians poke at presidents all the time and one fine day they step into the comedian's studio as a guest for a chat and a jab. Can you imagine the Chinese Premier sitting down for a cup of tea with a Chinese Leno?