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The Email You Don't Want To Send Your Kids From Your Laptop In Beijing

Updated on July 31, 2008

At the core of Beijing is the historical Forbidden City, but visitors who will be bringing their laptops with them to the Olympics will find out that moniker applies to all of China's cyberspace.

With just about a week to go until the start of the Beijing Olympics, the hundreds of thousands of Olympic fans from all over the world who will be arriving in Beijing should be aware that over and above the stunning architecture, the magnificent culture, the unbreathable air, and the tasty Peking Duck (Beijing Duck?), one of the major attractions of this wonderful city will be experiencing China's Gulagosphere on your laptop or other PC.

Yes, Olympic enthusiasts, you can be certain that every email that you send home to your family and friends will be scrutinized for forbidden words by a Thought Police Force which judging by the extent of their massive spying must number several times as large as the Chinese Army, which is already the biggest in the world. Just for fun try to sit comfortably in your ridiculously overpriced hotel room in the Crowne Plaza Beijing and write the following email to your kids:

You kids have got to stop spending all your time on that evil Xbox. Videogames are a crime against humanity and a violation of the human rights of parents to interact with their children! Who protects the democratic rights of parents? Videogames are electronic oppression! All these games do is to teach kids how to massacre and become despots, turning you into disciples to genocide. You kids are selling out your country, your ethics and your future! I long for the old days when our parents would teach us truthfulness, compassion and forbearance! Why don't you turn off the Xbox and watch football? There promises to be some great blocking in the Patriots' preseason game! Better yet, why don't you go get a job at McD's? It would wean you from videogames and reeducate you through labor! And the next time your friend Harry Wu comes over to play games, tell him that he promised me he'd wax my Exile Chopper with Shina Clean and never did it. By the way, remember that June 4th is your aunt's birthday and we have to go over to her new house on Epoch Circle in Fort Worth to see her. She was so happy to move out of Falun, Alberta and down to where she doesn't have to shovel snow any more. Yes, I know that since she's dyed her hair you kids call her the Red Terror, but try to be nice to her, ok? I called her from my hotel and she went on for thirty minutes about the latest from Obama and the Democratic "Progressive" Party. It was a half hour of blabbing on and on as the Voice Of America. Anyway I'll give you a short China News Digest: The flight was smooth, except for the time we hit some bad turbulence over the Sino-Russian border. You know your mom is rather talkative, so when we flew over Tibet, talk, talk, talk, so we missed out on seeing the land of the Dalai Lama. We're having a great time here in Beijing, we went to see Yonghegong, which is a Harmony and Peace Hall, then we went to see Tiananmen, Mother's suffered indigestion from some bad Dim Sum, but otherwise, we're all fine. She felt better once she slept with one of her crazy new age crystals over her dharma chakra. I'll fill you in on more aspects of our Unknown Story when we get home. Take care, and don't forget to feed the fish. Love, Dad.

Oh, and remember to leave your Last Will and Testament with your attorney, as there will soon be a knock on your hotel door, and I don't think your kids will ever see you again.


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      China's oppression of any type of even remotely free speech is completely inexcusable in this day and age. Historians will note that China was able to take the upper hand while the Bush Administration was asleep at the switch, and that blatant negligence will likely have very serious repercussions in the future.

    • RandyEadon profile image


      10 years ago

      I couldn't imagine myself writing an email in China without stopping to edit over and over again in order to make it appropriate enough for the Chinese government. I'd just have to temporarily give up all of my email privileges for the duration of my trip...or type in code. Yiikes!

    • allshookup profile image


      10 years ago from The South, United States

      I totally agree. The Olympic committee should have never allowed them to hold the games there. I would have never allowed my child to go there to compete. It's a commie government that is only out for itsself and those who don't believe that can hide and watch what will happen. They are as anti-American as they come. They do not care about their citizens as shown with the little girl who they hid because her teeth were not straight yet. I thought she was a total cutie. I feel very sorry for the citizens of China. We don't realize how good we have it here do we? I'm so thankful to live where I have the freedom that I do. There is such a list of horrible unspeakable things they do to their citizens I won't even begin to type it all here. But I wish that we would cut off our trade with them. Let us make those things here and be our own customers. We need to quit catering to them until they fix the wrongs they are committing daily. That is my piece. Keep up the good work!

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      I'm going to get some heat for this (but what the heck... I've been getting roasted all weekend, so it won't be new)... I believe that China is a totalitarian state that not only cannot be trusted in international affairs, but commits the highest level of human rights violations on Earth today, thus awarding it the Olympics falls into the same category as holding the Olympics in 1936 Berlin. It should not have been done as it bestows legitimacy to a wholly illegitimate government. I also believe that after the Olympics are over, Beijing will drop its facade and settle many scores with Taiwan, Tibet and others that it has avoided so far in order to keep the Olympics from being boycotted. There. I've said my piece.

    • allshookup profile image


      10 years ago from The South, United States

      Sadly, I feel you are right on target with this. A friend of mine went to China for a mission trip. They were totally restricted from talking about anything hardly. No email and when they'd be able to call back here, they had to be so very careful about talking about anything they were doing. I thank God He had me born here. I am thankful and proud to be an American!!! I take alot for granted, then I read things like this or see those tiny little starved Chinese girls in the gymnastics competitions that hasn't seen their parents in 18 months and it reminds me to take stock and count my blessings and go hug my son! Great hub for calling attention to what the Chinese really are!! And reminding us what we have here in the USA! Keep up the good work!

    • MD FREE profile image

      MD FREE 

      10 years ago from OC, California where extra is paid for good weather!

      LOL not really. It is funny in a way that these things are censored but they no longer are communist and have mimicked the US very much in the way of capitolism according to a few articles on

      Civil liberties have been taken away here left and right starting with the terrorist act the patriot acts 1 2 and 3. Try saying something anti "american" (the U.S. because peru and canada are also on America) see what has happened to many true patriots of freedom.

      I thought your post was funny but I don't think the cynical view of China is in any way simpathetic to human rights abuses there or for that matter, here.

      This may be a post that people looked at two weeks ago and it is forgotten now but echoes of ignorant, bias or blind to the need for change minds still linger.

      Oh I forgot to mention some common knowledge you all are forgetting, the Olympics force even worse human rights violations in every country and city it arrives in. So if China was bad before, they only made how many people homeless and jobless like so many other countries do when the Olympics arrive? Next year it will be the Indigenous tribes were you live. Haven't we hurt Indigenous cultures enough?

      Like KRS ONE said " in a Country that promotes only one winner at the end of the day, you will never have peace."

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      Shadesbreath: I wonder how many Beijing desaparecidos there will be? :)

      spryte: As long as you're laughing and you actually don't try that in China, that's fine! :)

      Paraglider: Obama may be the person to truly right the listing ship that is the USA, or he could really sink it. Only time will tell.

      epifanny: Wanna come and bang my falun gong? :)

      privateye2500: The worst part is that they might even end up harvesting your organs! :(

    • privateye2500 profile image


      10 years ago from Canada, USA, London


      It would never make it to your kids and you might just disappear! LOL

    • epifanny profile image


      10 years ago from AU

      lmao this is hillarious.. i agree the internet police would sure be out to get you esp if you happen to utter the words truthfulness, compassion and forebarance.. ;)

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      10 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      It's true that the Internet is heavily censored in China (and in many other countries). It's also true that the regime there is not interested in human rights and supports a number of dubious regimes elsewhere. It also looks after its arms industry with sales into Africa. Canada's record is better, and Norway's, and several other countries. The US is also, in many respects, better than China, but in recent years has killed more non-combattant foreigners than any other nation. Let's hope Obama stops that.

    • spryte profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona, USA

      LOL! The whole censorship thing with the Olympics has been fodder for a lot of DJs locally...but seeing it in a letter form definitely tickled my funny bone. Thank you for the laugh!

    • Shadesbreath profile image


      10 years ago from California

      Pretty funny. An element of the Olympics that never even crossed my mind.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      Personally, I think the real joke is that the IOC allowed Beijing to have the Olympics in the first place. Oh well... they did the same thing in 1936...

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      The real joke is that the IOC is now pretending to be shocked that there is not free access to the internet - the Chinese promised they are whinging!

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      We definitely have a tendency to take our freedom for granted! I wouldn't care if they were going to give me an honorary Olympic gold medal, I would not go to China for any reason. I could not ever find the reason to personally justify the totalitarian tactics of an authoritarian communist dictatorship.

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 

      10 years ago from Western United States

      Funny and a bit scary. Its good to live in the United States, all in all.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      A friend of mine who went to China with a trade mission a few years ago has some interesting tales to tell in this regard.....Unfortunately, even with tongue planted firmly in cheek, Hal, you are not far from the mark.....hmmmm should make for an interesting press room experience for reporters and bloggers during the Olympics.

    • Lilymag profile image


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      That was just too funny!


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