Story 25 - The Hydrology of Poyang Hu.
Story 25 - The Hydrology of Poyang Hu.
Our guest for the grand celebration was Fred's Chinese
counterpart. Fred introduced him as, Jacky Kwan. He came across as a gentle, quiet
man. I had expected someone big and imposing, according to his position on
government. I also expected an elderly man, someone with decades of
experience. It turned out that Jacky was actually younger than anyone of
us, not by much, but he was younger.
Fred told us that he and Jacky had worked together in the
past, and that it was Jacky who had invited us to come to China. He said that
Jacky had suggested this before he could even ask the question. Apparently he
knew that we were in trouble before even Fred did.
Jacky had come all the
way from Beijing for the occasion of our celebration, officially to present us a gift for the launching of Lu Rose. He had arrived late
during the previous night. Still, he had been up with us when the first beams of the morning sun hit the upper deck. He had even helped us that morning to get the upper deck set up for breakfast.
Since the celebration was to be a grand affair, the
ship's portable tables had been moved to the upper deck. It was there, in the bright morning sunshine, that Jacky presented to us his gift, a glass sculpture of a dragon
poised in front of a giant lotus blossom that was rendered by the artist in
such a manner that it also symbolizes the rising sun. Jacky explained that the
dragon represents the restrained power of China. Then he blushed and shook
hands with Fred, and said that he regarded us as China's rising sun.
Jacky told us a story that he said was also connected with the design, that was located far back in time in Chinese mythology.
I had assumed that this would be the opening line of a long speech. But there was no speech given. Some small talk followed the presentation of the gift, interrupted by
a lot of jokes. Jacky enjoyed himself. He spoke in English, and was proud to show off his mastery of the language, although the jokes didn't stand up well in translation. The only subject that he seemed to avoid like the plaque, was politics, as if he were afraid to get into this subject at the dock side. This changed, however,
once we were far out on the lake and the music of the symphony had ended.
When the grand choral ending still echoed in my mind, Steve stopped the ship,
right in the middle of the great lake Poyang Hu, and asked everyone to gather on the upper deck, where he said that Jacky had something important to say to us.
This time, he had everyone's attention. He stood up and began to talk about the lake at first, about things that we already knew. He talked about the rivers that were flowing into the lake, that kept the lake fresh and productive so that it became an important resource for
harvestable fish that the entire region benefited from. He talked about how
the waters of Poyang Hu flow into the Yangtze and eventually into the oceans
of the world. Then he compared the lake Poyang Hu to a nation that is fed by the achievements of its scientific and cultural pioneers, and all the historic achievements of mankind. He talked about the rich traditions of humanist developments in art, literature, music, scientific discoveries, technological accomplishments, all of which greatly enrich a nation. "When these rivers flow strong, a nation prospers," he said.
"But what happens," he asked, "if the rivers become poisoned?" He said that the lake becomes lifeless, then. It dies. It becomes a stinking mess that threatens to poison everything that
is touched by its waters. Jacky added quietly, "This is the state of America, today. America is dying."
He said that America's rivers have been poisoned
for several decades already, with a utopian ideology that is far worse than the old Hobbestian
type of ideology that had once been at the center of eighty years of warfare in Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century, in which a large percentage of the population of Europe perished. He said that the Thirty Years War was a part of that madness that
had unleashed the most horrible military escapade in human history prior to the Twentieth Century.
"This same cycle is unfolding again," said Jacky softly as if he shouldn't say it at all.
"America is dying," said Jacky quietly. "The beautiful pearl has been destroyed that once saved humanity from the fascist empire of Adolf Hitler. That pearl exists no more. America has become fascist itself."
Jacky explained that America was in the process of setting itself up to become a fascist global empire, an empire to be ruled with the brutality of a fascism that supersedes Hitler's, backed by
an unequalled military might and the world's largest arsenal of Nuclear Weapons for Mass Destruction.