“Sci-fi writers are very perceptive and they’re conscious of the influence of globalisation and modernisation. They ponder where Chinese people stand in this process and what our responsibilities are,” Wang says. “We are not copying how other countries develop. We are finding our own way and considering alternatives to modernisation.”
It was written mostly in all lower case. It would have been easy to miss the random letters he capitalized throughout the tweet: L-I-B-E-R-T-A-D.
The problem is not that the cartoon’s critics don’t understand the distinction between racism and satire; it’s that Knight and his editors have yet to grasp the distinction between satire and cliche. When you uncritically, and ostensibly unwittingly, recycle a centuries-old image that both demeans and degrades, you do not practise satire – you peddle cliche. As such, the cartoon fails on its own terms and the ultimate tantrum is theirs. For having vocally exercised their right to be offensive, they now take umbrage at the inevitable and predictable outcome: the right of others to be offended.
So as this Northern hemisphere summer turns into winter, spare a thought for the poor climate scientists who are going to have to explain the falling temperatures to smug relatives and disingenuous politicians. But more importantly, remember the fires and heat waves and droughts of this angry summer. They’re a sign of things to come.