Twenty-five years ago today, the Chinese government and military declared a little war on their own people, students demanding reforms and the workers and other citizens who decided to stand with them. The brutal crackdown by the authorities against unarmed demonstrators is echoed in the recent behavior of the governments of Turkey, Russia, and Thailand (among others) towards anyone seriously (yet peacefully) criticizing the powers-that-be.
It's a sad commentary that the Chinese people still aren't allowed to even discuss Tiananmen Square. Their political system doesn't have to be a mirror of ours (which has its own flaws, to be sure), but for the party leadership to brush the protests off as the work of a few demagogues and lawbreakers, to deny that there even is or could be such a thing as a dissident in the country, spells bad things for both the people and the government.
One year ago today, I was getting ready, with my then-fiancée, to meet with a reverend we thought could give us the casual and fun wedding ceremony (in a Biergarten) we were planning. We both ended up liking her a lot and decided to go with her, though, as you may already be aware (spoilers!), Laura broke off the engagement several weeks later.
Three days ago, I finished a Spartan Race (a Spartan Sprint, to be precise) with some current colleagues (and a former one, and her husband); we called ourselves the Eh Team. Aroo!
Funny how things can change in a year... Laura and I had signed up for a Glow Run 5K together last summer, which we ended up missing due to traffic, but she was more interested in running and fitness than I ever was. When I found myself alone again, with a treadmill this time, I decided I should start using it, which led to my thinking out loud about running a 5K myself, which led to my colleague and friend Jenn asking if I'd be interested in doing a Spartan Race with her...
So we did it, and while we didn't do it quickly, and there were moments (particularly during the army crawl through the mud and under barbed wire, where my legs inconveniently decided to start cramping up) when I wasn't sure I could get through it, I'm glad we all finished, mud and sunburn and aches and scrapes and bruises notwithstanding. We've got the Warrior Dash coming up in August, too, and I'll probably be healed enough by then to do it. :-D I still want to run an actual 5K at some point as well, but I've got enough going on over the next two months or so to keep me busy already, and I also need to make some time to get back to the studio with my Greta's Unmentionables bandmates. And to record some of my own tunes, too.
Maybe I need to write a song for the Tank Men of the world, those who stand up in Tiananmen Square, or Taksim Square, or Maidan Square, or Tahrir Square, or Union Square, or the pass of Thermopylae, and say, "Enough is enough!"