the gift of the oppressive
Posted August 3, 2016on:
One of the earliest gifts Viet Nam had given me, was the gift of faithlessness. They said there is no god, but they erected ridiculous cults of personalities that rival any religious cult. And to us children in my corner of the world in those days, even cut off from freedom of the press, freedom of information, we still had our sense of humor that derived from cynicism. We lacked information and knowledge to fight back what were being shoved down our throats, we could only throw it all back up and splash in it to show our distaste. Back in the 80’s, cynical kids were all over Saigon street. Any limerick purposed to praise anything were parodied overnight. Our joy were parodies, our laughers were based on faithlessness. From those early days on, the seeds were planted, and I learned to trust no one, most of all, the government. Trust no first person account, trust no eye witness, trust no literature, no propaganda, no prayer, no God. Not even myself. Most of all, trust nothing that is glossy and encased in golden lights. The more something or someone is broadly praised by the mass, the less i believe in them. Anyone who is referred to as “ngài” “người” v.v..
One day years ago, my professor inadvertently gave me a sentence that sums it all up. As soon as I saw it, I said, voilà, that’s it. “This sentence is false.” was what my hippy professor wrote on the board to start our discussion that day. That is the Vietnamese communist government, what it stands for, what it believes it, what it tells people.