Sunday, June 12, 2005

A Columnist's Progress: Mark Steyn was roundly criticised by some-including Jonathan Mirsky- for an article implying that China was a good place to go to live and work. In fact, to summarise, he said that 'China’s the land of opportunity'. Oh, they said, it was a terrible abuser of human rights and the gist was that he must be ignorant or dishonest to try to argue against the EU, for one, using the example of China.

I wonder what those same people will make of this article, which include the delightfully wide-ranging lines:

'And what is the likelihood of China advancing to a functioning modern stand-alone business culture if it's unable to discuss anything except within its feudal political straitjackets? Its speech code is a sign not of control but of weakness; its internet protective blocks are not the armour but the, er, chink.'

It's another great article, satisfying that golden rule for artists everywhere by including something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. As usual Steyn does something which virtually no one else does so clearly: he works from a framework of thought. Delightfully surprising though is the way that he breaks new stories at the same time, or rather, he gives current stories eg. internet censorship in China, intellectual piracy in the Far East, new authority. In doing so he confounds his critics. Hurrah.

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