Day Wuhan Diary 武汉日记

2020.3.3 The 41st Day of the Wuhan City Closure 中文日记最下



A secondary disaster resulting from our epidemic home confinement has been making my parents and “sick at the sight of one another”. To them, anything I do or say is wrong. I also can’t stand the webchats they get into on their WeChat group of middle-aged and elderly people. They are obsessed with those fanatical, brainwashing stories of how “China is astonishing the world”. We can no longer discuss matters as equals. To their deeply Confucianized selves, my unwillingness to accept their views – no matter whether I do so calmly or in furious opposition – they see as defiance to their authority. “Filial piety, is all about obedience” they say. If I do not agree with their ideas and ways of thinking, then they hit me with the big club of an accusation — that I lack filial piety.

Earlier I thought that since the decisions I make are wise enough, they will come to accept that I am reasonable, mature adult and gradually come around to my way of thinking. Later I discovered that was just my own wishful thinking. Just take this epidemic as an example. I believe that I have handled it fairly well. They however refuse to acknowledge that and avoid discussing the matter altogether. For example, although I have already been working for several years, they still will never forget that I refused to take the civil service examination. To their way of thinking, being a civil servant is the best possible occupation and best possible lifetime career for me. My rejection of that path tells them that I am not mature. We have different standards for what is “reasonable” and what is “mature” so we will never agree.

Recently there has even been nonsensical talk that “the virus came from the United States”. One day my mother suddenly said “Why is it that this virus doesn’t attack Americans but specializes in hurting Chinese people?” So following her line of thought I said, “If China is so good, why was there SARS in 2003 and coronavirus in 2020? Why is it that during that time the United States did not have such a severe epidemic?” Even before the sound of my words had faded away, mother screamed at me in a loud voice, accusing me of not loving China, adding “How could we have ever raised somebody like you?” Its always that way. There is no way that we can have a conversation. There is no thinking going on. There is no understanding There is no way that we can understand one another. I feel smothered.

Perhaps my experience is limited, but I do wonder whether that kind of close-minded, stubborn and cruel middle-aged and elderly people is specific to China or if they are found all over the world.

I have often thought that the thinking and character of my parent’s generation was determined by the special historical period during which they grew up. They were born during the “three years of natural disasters”, they were educated, studied and their world view formed during the Cultural Revolution and the years during which educated youth were sent down to the countryside. They married and started a family under the one-child policy. In the prime of their lives they became unemployed. It is as if this country made a special point of raining disasters down on that generation. I have tried to understand things from their point of view in order to understand their logic and way of thinking. Later I gave up. I just couldn’t do it or perhaps I should say that I wasn’t willing to do it – I wasn’t willing to let myself get dragged into that suffocating whirlpool. I just didn’t have the empathy for that.

I used to think that once my parent’s generation leaves this world, China would become a more generous and vigorous place and would no longer be so oppressive and narrow. Over the past two years I have gradually discovered that my views are too naive. People born in 2000 and thereafter grew up in the Internet age so one might think that they would be more broad-minded than we are and be able to accept new things more readily therefore their thinking should be more advanced and their thinking freer and bolder. I never even considered that they might instead turn out to be a malformed generation.

Among the hot topics on search engines these past few days, “fans of the pop singer Xiao Zhan” has replaced the “Wuhan epidemic”. This happened because the fans of this top-tier pop star are disgusted at the sexual fantasies of Tong Xingwen of the Zijiagege program so they organized a fan support group to make a report to the authorities. That resulted in the blocking of Tong Xingwen’s website. In fact I don’t like novels that contain sexual fantasies about real people, especially the very many authors for who write adults-only content, I believe that violates the rights of the people they write about.

I can’t accept the behavior “I don’t like you so I will report you” so that you will be put in a hopeless situation. I don’t like the evil attitude of being narrowly partisan and of excluding anyone who is not a member of your faction. Moreover, the ones who did things like that such as organizing the star’s“big fans” were just a group of girls in their third year of middle school. Others who have observed this spectacle, the opponents of the star, are now organizing their own group to accuse the corporate brands cooperating with the star of tax evasion. What is really frightening is that both sides use the same logic of raking up the other side’s past to attack them, use the same tactics, and try to absolutely destroy the other side. The spirit of the Cultural Revolution has never left this land.

Today I saw on a WeChat microblog someone saying “Reporting something is a neutral term. Didn’t Dr. Liang Wenliang make a report too?” That one left me speechless. “Reporting” is an individual taking on the cloak of authority to attack another individual. It is a very low act, it is poisonous and it is back-stabbing. The act of a whistle-blower is that of an individual exercising oversight with respect to government power. That citizen oversight should be the right of every citizen. The two are objectively different. Most young people within the Great Chinese Firewall don’t understand that logic, are unable to distinguish truth from falsehoods, lack common sense, and believe that they possess the truth. I don’t see them as being any different from my own parents although that attitude in young people has a more unpleasant odor.

Recently I have been nostalgic for what the Weibo micro-blogs were like a decade ago. Back then there was more tolerance and free discussion. There were many “old friend” whom we now can only see on Twitter. In those days the stars would laugh at the foolishness and stupidity of the little pinkos online. When people encountered others they disagreed with, they would find points of agreement and accept that they had some points of disagreement.

In those days, people still had hope that increased public interest in and participation in public affairs would change China. Now matters are completely different. Now everywhere fandom is neat and well regulated. Everywhere you go in China it is as if locusts have gone through and vampires have massacred everyone in the city.

Naturally this isn’t something that the fans have done on their own. The very idea that Big Brother China, towering in the sky, into the clouds knows all is enough to make people throw up. The best footnote to this would be the “politicization of fandom and the pop-idolization of ruler of the country”.

The saddest thing about all this is the road I have seen taken with my own eyes. The 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the melamine milk powder incident; the 2011 Wenzhou train collision; in 2012 the bringing of false charges against the author of the online novel Ballad of the Desert by some people who didn’t like her novelization of ancient Chinese history; in 2014 the stigmatization of journalists by the head of the Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group appointed by Xi Jinping and the July 9th mass arrest of human rights defender lawyers; in 2015 the Tianjin explosion incident; in 2016 the Changsheng Bio-Technology vaccination scandal; and in 2017 the cruelty to children at a nursery school. In every single one of these incidents I could see the influence that they would have on the future. But I am just an ordinary person, merely a mote of dust in an era and can just be swept along with the winds down to the present until today when I am battered by the onslaught of the pneumonia virus.

Finally, I should memorialize two physicians who died in the line of duty:

Dr. Jiang Xueqing, Chief of Thyroid Gland and Mammary Gland Surgery at the Wuhan Central Hospital who died in the line of duty on the morning of March 1.

Dr. Mei Zhongming, of the Ophthalmology Department of the Wuhan Central Hospital, who died in the line of duty on March 3. Dr. Mei was a colleague in the same department as Dr. Li Wenliang.

An old man who died too because his daughter had become infected with the coronavirus. His wife and granddaughter were also infected. On February 5 he tried to ask for a hospital bed for his granddaughter through the Internet. That day he learned how to post the first microblog of his life “How are you?” That old man named Liu Li has already passed away.



3月3日武汉封城第41天


作为疫情禁足在家的“次生灾害”之一,我跟父母现在已然到了“相看两相厌”的地步了,在他们眼里我做什么、说什么都是错,我也接受不了他们对中老年微信朋友圈里“中国震惊全世界”的那些洗脑故事的狂热。所谓平等沟通根本不存在,对于深受儒教教化的他们来说,我的不接受——不论是温和还是激烈——都是对他们权威的挑衅,“孝顺孝顺,顺就是孝”,只要不顺着他们的观念和想法,“不孝”的大棒轻易就会砸下来。

我以前以为,只要我做出的决定足够理智,让他们相信我是一个理性成熟的成年人,他们就能慢慢接受我的想法,后来才发现,这也是我的一厢情愿。就拿这次疫情来说,我认为我的应对已经足够好了,但是他们拒绝承认避而不谈。又比如,虽然工作几年了,他们仍然念念不忘我拒绝考公务员的历史,在他们的观念里这就是最好的工作、最佳的归宿,我的拒绝就是不成熟。对“理性”和“成熟”的判断标准不同,注定永远无法达成和解。

前些时还没有“病毒是美国传来的”出来搅浑水时,我妈有天突然说“为什么这些病毒都不去搞美国人,专门来害中国人”,我顺着她的思路问“既然中国这么好,为什么03年一次非典、20年一次新冠?为什么这17年里美国没有出现这么严重的疫情呢?”,话音还未落,妈妈就大吼大叫起来,指责我不爱国,“怎么养出你这样的伢!”永远都是这样,无法对话、无法思考、无法理解,令人窒息。

也许是我见识浅薄,我不知道这种思维封闭固执且暴戾的中老年人,是中国特产呢,还是全世界都有?

我以前常想,也许是父母辈这一代人特殊的成长经历决定了他们的思维和性格。出生时是“三年自然灾害”,启蒙、念书、形成世界观的时候遇到文化大革命和上山下乡,结婚生子赶上独生子女政策,正值壮年又遭遇下岗……仿佛是被这个国家的诅咒集中狙击的一代。我曾经试图换位思考,去理解他们的逻辑和想法,后来我放弃了,我做不到——或者说是不愿意,我不愿意被扯进那种令人窒息的漩涡里——所谓的“感同身受”其实并不存在。

过去曾经认为,等我们父母辈离开这个世界了,这个国家也许可以相对宽松、蓬勃,不必如此压抑和逼仄。近两年渐渐发现,我的想法太天真了。00后是伴随网络成长的一代,按理说从小视野比我们更加开阔、对新生事物的接受力更强,那么观念理应更加超前,思维也该更加自由奔放。没想到现在看却成了更加畸形的一代。

最近几天的微博热搜,“肖战粉丝”已经取代了武汉的疫情。起因在于这位顶级流量明星的粉丝看不惯意淫自家哥哥的同人文,于是组织明星后援会的粉丝向官方进行举报,导致登载同人文的网站被墙。其实我也不喜欢意淫真人的小说,尤其很多作者会写限制级的内容,我觉得对本人是一种冒犯。但是我仍然无法接受——我不喜欢你,所以我要举报,要让你万劫不复——这种党同伐异、排除异己的恶毒心态。而做这件事的,比如组织这场举报的明星“大粉”,居然只是一个初中三年级的小女孩。到今天围观到的剧情,这位明星的anti们,现在正在组织举报明星的合作品牌偷税漏税。

多么可怕啊,攻讦的双方都是一样的逻辑、一样的行事手段,互相置对方于死地。文革这个幽灵从来没有离开过这片土地。

今天在微博看到有人说“举报是中性词,李文亮医生不也是举报吗?”,我真是无语极了,“举报”是个人借助公权力打击个人,是最最下作、恶毒、阴损之举,吹哨人的行为则是个人对公权力的“监督”,监督是每个公民应有的权利,两者的客体全然不同。墙内的年轻人,多的是这样逻辑不清、是非不分、缺乏常识又自以为是的人,在他们身上我甚至看不出来跟我的父母有什么区别,年纪轻轻便已腐臭难闻。

最近常常想念十年前的微博,有相对宽容和自由的言论,有很多现在只能在推特上看到的“旧朋友”,那时候的明星会发声嘲笑小粉红的愚蠢弱智,大家对于想法的不同还能求同存异,那时大家还心存希望——“围观改变中国”。现在呢,完全不一样了。处处都是整齐划一的粉丝,所到之处如蝗虫过境、僵尸屠城。当然,这显然不是粉丝的自主行为,横空出世的“阿中哥哥”就能说明一切,真是让人反胃作呕。“粉丝政治化,治国偶像化”就是最好的注脚。

最难过的是什么呢,是这一路亲眼目睹:08年汶川地震、三聚氰胺奶粉事件、11年温州动车事故、12年网络小说《大漠谣》被皇汉举报构陷、14年习任网络安全和信息化小组组长、调查记者的污名化、709事件清洗人权律师、15年天津港爆炸、16年问题疫苗、17年幼儿园虐童、18年长生生物……在每一件事情发生的时候我都能清晰感知到对未来走向的影响,但是作为一个普通人、大时代中的一粒尘埃,却只能被无力裹挟至今,直到迎头撞上肺炎病毒,摔得头破血流。

最后,该要记住两位殉职的医生:

武汉市中心医院甲状腺乳腺外科主任江学庆医生,于3月1日凌晨殉职。

武汉市中心医院眼科梅仲名医生,于3月3日中午殉职。这位梅医生也,是李文亮医生同科室的同事。

还有一位老人,他的女儿因新冠肺炎去世,他和老伴、孙女都被感染。2月5日他试图通过网络求助帮孙女求一个医院床位,那一天他学着发了人生第一条微博“你好”。

这位老人叫刘立,也已经去世。

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