February 27, 2014
This clip, recently shot in Beijing is set to the playback of eminent American pop-music producer/performer, Pharrell Williams.
It shows the Beijing that I very much saw, when I was there for 10 days in November 2011, with my mother and brother. My mother has had a successful private jewelry business, from which she sources most of her materials and which has had manufactured in Beijing.
The surging prices there, may now have obviated her business model – but we were blessed to see Beijing as it really is, because, really the only Chinese people that I’d mostly seen were escapees from Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” and their offspring – who manifested a very demure and almost invisible presence, due, I’m sure to the horrible shock of that era.
What I found in Beijing more recently, was a bustling city, where people are in active conversations and joking with one another on the streets – very physically engaged, whether at dawn, doing Tai Chi or ceaselessly, joshing each other, physically, laughing – and very at ease and at peace.
What I was most shocked to see in Beijing was the actual manifestation of what I’ve heard about what America used to feel like, after the depression, according to my family – where EVERYTHING seemed possible…
As to the smog in Beijing, I did not find it to be any worse than the unbreathable air of Los Angeles.
First of all, Beijing lies at the edge of the Gobi Desert and has always had that dusty, yellow fog, if you read books from hundreds of years ago, you will see this.
Similarly, LA is nearby the Mojave Desert and it also similarly experiences low precipitation, like Beijing – which makes for crappy air, which is why I prefer the rainy places (with the least amount of radionuclide/chemtrails fallout, thank you very much).
The US, by exporting industries and jobs to China, has also exported its former pollution, which I remember well, as a small child in New York and Chicago. My father talks of going to school in a white shirt during WWII in Pittsburgh and coming home with a grey shirt, due to all of the steel production and the resulting fumes, which were spewed into Pittsburgh’s skies, producing steel to make tanks, etc. for the War Effort.
This is the price you pay to become a manufacturing giant…do you still want to be one, America?
I’m not saying that China is by any means perfect – most definitely, the people who inhabit Beijing have won every kind of lottery imaginable, to get to live in this ebullient city – and life in its hinterlands is probably nowhere near as fun…today’s Chinese government admits as much – saying that the rest of China needs to have its basic standards of living raised.
If I were young, I would figure out what to sell to this gigantically-growing Chinese domestic market, who want to explore the things of the world from they have been barred, for so long…
Some choose to hate, we chose to love. Pollution reached hazardous levels over the weekend of filming Beijing’s rendition of “Happy”. This is how Beijingers reacted to the smog.
Director, Video-editor & Production: Stephy Chung www.stephychung.com
Camera & Production: Em Jaay
Coordinator & Production: Sarah E. Weber