Some places hurt. Tienanmen Square in Beijing is one of them.
The concrete cries out with the agonies of of violent death.
Our walk across the city center was a trial of sorts.
It lasted long enough for us to take our picture with Mao (something simply everyone who goes to Beijing must do)(that's him in the very back teetiny as can be) and rush across as though the hounds of hell were nipping at our heels.
While we were in China we saw many wonderful and interesting things and had some fabulous experiences.
We saw three men with two sledgehammers deconstruct a seven story brick building over the course of a year.
We saw people die in bicycle car accidents nearly every week in every city we visited.
We also saw a man paraded through the early morning streets on the back of a truck, his crimes written in red on banners and loudspeakers blaring commanding all to gather at the local sports stadium to witness his very public execution.
We witnessed a man being beaten nearly to death with 2x4's ostensibly because he had skipped out on a restaurant bill.
We saw a woman whose eyes had been put out in childhood to make her more pitiful in her job as beggar and street musician.
We saw wire crates filled to the brim with puppies and kittens, crushed and suffocating, waiting to be purchased for supper.
We saw starving people who couldn't afford a grain of rice.
We saw filth unimaginable.
We saw the extreme disparity between the haves and the have nots.
We came back to the States, quite happy to be living where we do.
But our eyes have been opened.
What we see is a damn shame.
It is a damn shame that our personal liberties are disappearing more and more every day.
It is a damn shame to see people go without health care in what is still one of the richest countries in the world when even the meanest of peasants in China could expect a modicum of health care.
It is a damn shame that our education system is so corrupted that our students can no longer think.
It is a damn shame that our people are so ignorant that they don't even see that there are questions they should be asking.
It is a damn shame that we are living in such an environment of fear.
It is a damn shame that we are being manipulated by fearmongers.
It is a damn shame that the fearmongers are people we trust.
I'll be honest though.
As long as we are healthy and there is food on our plate.
As long as we live this fat life.
We won't think about change for the better.
We are the goddamned frog sitting in the skillet that is slowly getting hotter and hotter, killing us by degrees.
Until it's too late
That we are in one of those...
Places that hurt.
That's all I have to say about that.