29 May 2008

China, Tibet, and Sharon Stone

The fact that celebrities are always hungry for just that, celebrity, it must not be surprising to see Sharon Stone throw herself into the thick of things in the fight for a Free Tibet. Yet, this might come at some cost, personal and professional, to her. However, one might argue that this is in fact karma.

The 12 May earthquake that struck China was devastating in terms of not only the destruction of infrastructure but in human life! The official death toll is now above 68,000 and is expected to continue to rise.

The Sichuan province where this quake occurred has been beset by aftershocks and the biggest current fear is that dams in the area have become unstable and are likely to burst. The Chinese government is currently evacuating people from in and around the most seriously threatened dams. So far some 160,000 people have been moved and that number could swell to more than 1.3 million in the worst case scenario.

The idea that there is 50,000 Olympic sized swimming pools of water that could be released in a catastrophic dam burst is difficult to visualize in terms of the sheer scope of what that would look like.

With more than 45 million people affected by the quake and some 5 million homeless the idea that this is bad karma coming back to level the score is in bad taste. The idea of what goes around comes around in individual cases may be acceptable but when the bad karma to which you claim affects the lives of so many innocents then there are issues of common human decency to be explored.

I think that Tibet should be free of Chinese rule. I think that Tibet should be independent. However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recently been on the record stating that he only wants greater autonomy to be afforded to the people of Tibet rather than independence. Whether he harbors other desires for an independent Tibet he is not saying so publicly at the moment.

Back to Sharon Stone. A brief interview with her where the comment were made has appeared on You Tube where she is claiming that the destructive earthquake that caused such huge loss of life was just a case of bad karma coming back to haunt China for the way that it has mistreated Tibetans.

The response has been swift. Chinese biggest theatre chain has decided to ban her movies from their theatres. This will severely limit the revenue that her films will take in Asia's biggest film market.

I guess though that bad karma is true as the remarks she made have also come back to haunt her as well. I am all for people expressing their personal opinions and beliefs. I am more than happy for Sharon Stone to express her disgust at the treatment of Tibetans by the Chinese government. I am a lot less sympathetic to comments that justify the extent of the human suffering on karma alone.

This in no way belittles the suffering of the Tibetans at the hands of the Chinese. The idea that bad karma comes back to haunt you might logically be applied in reverse, that is maybe the Tibetans have done something to deserve their bad karma.

Thinking before one speaks is always good advice!


GJ said...

See that's the trouble when you try and extend into another area to maintain your position in a different field. The nonsense is seen for what it is "blonde" crap.
The people of Myanmar the cyclone, bad karma, come on, they are ready suffering, Tsumani in Aceh that effected many other areas, bad karma.......no natural disasters.

Maybe there is a reason for political advisors after all. It appears agents ain't that smart!!!

Rob Baiton said...

I really was only looking at it from the point of view of the insensitivity of belittling the suffering of our fellow humans on bad karma.

Bad karma for me is one of those things which we can lump in as a "what goes around comes around" deal.

Advisors and agents are not really the problem...people just need to think before they open the flaps and if after thinking about they still want to say it, then so be it!

GJ said...

See Rob I'm the worlds oldest cynic, I think the subject, Tibet, although very serious to those involved, is deemed to be "sexy/trendy" by some who use it as a platform for self promotion. Especially aging or past starlets.
Opinion only!!


Rob Baiton said...


I do not disagree with you!

Past their prime and aging stars like to get associated with sexy causes to up their exposure...In that sense an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a good photo op for this purpose.

My point only really related to the insensitivity of the comment on bad karma and the irony that a theatre chain then yanked all her movies; bad karma too?

LavanyaLea said...

haha nicely put rob =)

and gj is absolutely right too! seems like Tibet is the new black, it's becoming like a "pop culture" esp when the olympic torch rally was coming to London!