18 May 2009

Angels and Demons

We went to see Angels and Demons last night, but I won't give away anything about it. I liked the movie. So this isn't a movie review, but I want to talk about a motif in Angel and Demons that always triggers a profound affective response from me -- the interregnum.

When I was a boy, I watched with many others as various segments of society began to bring food, pray and rally at Camp Crame. The whole world was watching and provided a reference point for modern peaceful revolutions. When I think about those fateful days in February, 1986, I still get goose bumps and chills down my spine. I own a copy of Dangerous Lives. It is still disturbing that most people my age have no or very little recollection of that moment in history!

Then the unthinkable. I remember the first picture above. Former PRC Premier and General Secretary of the CCP Zhao Ziyang warned students and workers in Tiananmen Square to disperse for the sake of their own lives. I remember it so clearly. I had such great hope that the Chinese pro-democracy students would be able to peacefully transform the Chinese government.

But that is not how that story ended. Zhao was arrested and the students and workers that had amassed in Tiananmen Square were mowed down and slaughtered and a new period of repression followed throughout the country.

In August of the same year, Estonias, Latvians and Lithuanians formed a human chain of 2 million people, 600 kilometer long, through the three countries protesting Soviet occupation. Shortly thereafter each country declared independence which was subsequently recognized by the Soviets.

The interregnum is such a powerful moment where the shift to the new paradigm is in a precarious position. One false move and the revolution will be lost. Imperceptible change is the revolutionary spirit. When it becomes perceptible, the revolution is afoot.

Love is the agent of revolution.

1 comment:

  1. "Love is the agent of revolution. " i like that.

    sometimes we lose sight of the things our people fought for... what with globalization and everything, the lines between countries are starting to blur. sometimes i wonder if that blood was shed in vain. oh well. i wasn't even born yet when edsa happened so what right do i have to question its relevance?