Once upon a time, the Japanese serenely, if painfully, slit their bellies . . . if they happened to drop a dish, or gaze cross-eyed at someone Above them.
While the Chinese were untroubled, as they further refined, building upon experience of some 5000 years, the most extreme and painful of tortures, while meanwhile routinely confining the feet of their women into monstrously deformed gnarled clumps, smaller even than baseballs.
Then: came the white people.
The white people demanded the Chinese and the Japanese wear suits and ties, and fellate capitalism.
This, the Japanese obediently did. Then they ran completely amok, and attempted to violently ant-crawl over the entire Pacific. Americans, armed, barely beat them back; the Japanese, retrenching, then shifted to swallowing all and every through electronics.
The Chinese, introduced to capitalism, first ate each other like hyenas; then, once one tong secured a place above all others, that tong determined to continue to torture and kill anything and everything that got in its way, while meanwhile making more money than anyone.
Now, the Chinese, they are abolishing mountains.
What the fuck. The things—mountains—don’t turn a profit. So off and out with them, then.
The Chinese are ripping down mountains to make flat places where Chinese can live.
They don’t engage in any balderdash like environmental studies, they just rip the shit down.
Several Chinese, who no one will pay attention to, submitted a paper to Nature saying maybe this isn’t a good idea.
Moving mountains is a complicated and dangerous business, even when people know what they’re doing. But smoothing out the landscape without having a game plan first? That’s a whole other story.
Already, these projects have caused erosion, landslides and dust storms. Rivers have been entirely blocked or polluted, and forests, farmland and wildlife habitats have been lost. And that’s just the leveling part of this equation. A whole new set of problems emerges once building on the new land starts. In Yan’an, much of the soil being excavated from the mountains to fill in the valley is loess, a fine silty soil that doesn’t hold up well when wet. Building on that? Not the best choice.
This is stupidity beyond even folly. And it is already over.
We say everything comes back. And you cannot divert the river from the riverbed. We say every act has its consequences. That this place has been shaped by the river, and that the shape of this place tells the river where to go.
We say every act comes back on itself. There are consequences. You cannot cut the trees from the mountainside without a flood. That if the trees grew on that hillside there would be no flood. And you cannot divert this river. We say look how the water flows from this place and returns to us as rainfall, everything returns, we say, and one thing follows another, there are limits, we say, on what can be done and everything moves. We are all a part of this motion, we say, and the way of the river is sacred, and this grove of trees is sacred, and we ourselves, we tell you, are sacred.