|[主页]->[独立中文作家笔会]->[黄翔文集]->[The Power of a Red Rose— a poetic speech —]|
3:50pm, November 22, 2003. For the Republic of Georgia, this is a sacred moment, a moment of beginning. For starting from this moment, history alters its course in Georgia. Following the footsteps of Belgrade, Indonesia, Beirut, Argentina--following the peaceful uprisings of these states, Georgia too has just completed a bloodless revolution! I am amazed! I am enthralled! For I witness the universal awakening of democratic consciousness in the twenty-first century; I witness another amazing success story of democratic reform! Within this significant historical event that has taken place in this tiny remote state, I, with awe and wonder, discover the latent power, and its irrepressible eruption, of individual lives, which I have long worshipped; a radical re-ordering as well as qualitative transformation of existential values; a cosmic explosion of life and inexhaustible energy, contained in a red rose…
On this day, in Georgia, at Liberty Square in Tbilisi,
Under the wintry sun, as if out of nowhere, came many, many people,
Heads like lily pads spreading across the surface of water, undulating.
Against the background of the floating green, all of sudden, a flash of red—
That is a rose, a red rose, a lonely red rose!
It is predestined to appear at this moment, appear in one hand,
It is predestined, at the same moment, to be raised above one’s head.
The man with the rose, holding his red rose high, like a banner
Was the first to charge into the lobby of the Town Hall,
Toward President Shevardnadze, who was delivering a speech
To his newly founded Congress.
In the name of the red rose, the man declared to the President:
Please resign! Please step down! Please step aside!
For the People do not need you!
An explosion of cries of joy; crowds surging around him like tidal waves—
Lifting him up, raising the red rose higher and higher!
In no time, the masses of men, like flood, filled the hall,
Submerging the President, as well as the man with the rose!
Then a huge iron hammer is brought up to the podium and smashes down--
The voting machine is flying in pieces; so is the power machine of the State!
In shrieks and screams tumbles down the Congress—
Papers floating in the air like snow flakes,
Shevardnadze, protected by bodyguards, is spirited out the back door!
Once again, the People regain their right to support, and their right to oppose!
They demolish what they want to demolish, and vote for what they really want to vote for!
The President is forced to resign, give up power;
Everything henceforth changes in Georgia—
Without shedding blood, the People succeed in a revolution!
A revolution of red roses!
A red rose is a Liu Di, a Du Daobing!
A Huang Qi, an An Jun, a Yang Zili, a Tao Haidong, a Li Dawei, a Zhao Changqing!
An Ouyang Rui, a Yan Jun, a Luo Yongzhong, a Zheng Enchong, a He Depu!
A Ren Bumei, a Yu Jie, a Liao Yiwu, a Yu Shicun, a Wang Yi, a Fan Baihua!
A Donghai Yixiao, a Yang Chunguang, a Liu Xiaobo, a Mo Lihua!...*
One red rose calls for hundreds and thousands of red roses! One red rose represents
Millions of acute and silent Chinese men and women!
A red rose is a bomb, a grenade, a machine gun, a vote ticket, a pen,
A torch of enlightenment and self-awakening!
A spaceship cruising through outer space!
A power dormant in the masses called Mankind—
A power not to be conquered but to conquer!
A red rose is enough to block the Siberian cold front!
A red rose is enough to declare the spring of Georgia!
If a dictator dares to trample the people under his foot—
And allow the people only to look up to him,
The People, as one body, will rise and tower above him!
If a dictator dares to shoot one bullet,
The People, under the authority of all, will put him on trial!
Raise the red rose! Raise the red rose! Raise the red rose!
This world does not answer to one man’s call, but to the call of all!
This world does not allow any one to dictate the People,
But the People, made up of individuals, can return him a gigantic “No!”
Everybody has the right and equal opportunity to compete and vote,
Everybody is subject to the same conditions and rules of power.
The people can give you power, and can also strip you of the power!
The people can put you in office, and can also put you out of office!
This world listens to everybody, the will of all combined!
But not to bullies, bandits, hoodlums, rascals, variegated forms of human scum,
Or violent thugs in the name of “revolution”! Nor to those “public servants,”
Half-naked, baring their hairy chest, spitting to the faces of thousands!
The people want democracy, not oligarchy!
The people worship life, and self!
Not some idol, or violence, or a dead body!
In the name of red rose, I declare:
Take the corpse out of the Square! Throw it out of the artificial shrine!
Tian’anmen Square is China’s Liberty Square,
Not somebody’s morgue!
Nor a crime center for trampling human flesh and spirit,
Nor a slaughter house for Liberty!
Take the holy portrait off the wall of bricks and souls!
Everybody is a god for himself!
If somebody sees himself a god for all,
The People have every reason to pee on his head!
Let’s scrape clean our memory of those shameful memorabilia, those little red books,
And those thunderous noise of praise and worship!
The People have chosen not to live on in the historical repetition and vicious cycles,
Not to be trapped in the Cultural Revolution and Mao Zedong’s shadow;
The People have chosen liberty, and sunlight!
Raise your red rose, Chinese people of the twenty-first century—
Those who are forced to leave their jobs, or abandon their houses!
Those who worship in home churches! Who are sick in bed with AIDS!
Those who are forced to have abortion—
Their own flesh and blood being devoured by others as nutritious food!
Those who have narrowly escaped death in floods and collapsing coal mines,
Those who are mysteriously lost in the internet, never to be seen again!
Those who have been deprived of their right to freely associate and form parties--
As well as their right to freely express themselves in public;
Those who have been molested and persecuted
When they try to have their voice heard outside the State-run media!
Those who have been spied on for no reason, and pursued as if by blood hounds!
Those who have been put on the black list, condemned to a life-time sentence!
Those who, for their independent nature, suffer atrocities in prison and
Even after being released, have to live confined lives,
In perpetual incarceration…
Raise your red rose! Raise your red rose! Raise your red rose!
One person is a red rose!
A free petal opening up under the blue sky!
An independent petal! A democratic petal!
Raise the red rose on Tian’anmen Square! On Tian’anmen Tower!
On the vast landscape of China, raise your red rose!
Let’s turn the thousand years’ ocean of blood into an ocean of flowers,
Into a heaving and howling ocean of sunlight!
A red rose is one kind of power!
A thousand red roses are a thousand choices for a thousand living men and women!
Chinese people! Raise the red rose of your life! For as long as you have the courage,
Totalitarian rule will be weakened, tyranny will wither, darkness will pale and retreat!
As long as you have the faith, this world will not take lying down—
The dictator’s bayonets and lies!
Nothing in this world can impose itself upon millions of lives!
If you give your consent, however, believing it is the biggest dick ever,
All you can do is to lower your pants and wait to be raped!
No word in this world should be the only Word!
If you are willingly being gagged, however, you shall be drowned in spittle!
Why is there dictatorship in this world?
Because you consent to it and become its accomplice;
Why is there totalitarianism in this world?
Because you recognize it and become its assistant;
When you should step up, you look around;
When you should roar, you murmur;
When you should charge, you cringe;
You are a broken-legged sparrow, a befuddled chicken, never to be a swooping eagle!
Your body lack blood, your bones lack calcium, your penis does not rise—
You are nothing but a myopic, muddle-headed, lethargic, apathetic cynic!
Your father left you with a disgraceful death and some scattered bones;
You inherited from him a living corpse of total submission and abject slavery!
O how strange! Upon the vast land of China,
There is not a single red rose, the red rose of life!
The red rose that dares being upheld high!
The red rose that dares being smashed into pieces—
Under the trampling wheel and squeezed into the mud!
The red rose that dare thrust forward and assert its prickly self!
The red rose that dare burn itself in liberty, letting its soul of freedom—
Shine forth in splendor!
Raise the red rose! Raise the red rose! Raise the red rose!
While living, let’s live in the spirit of the red rose!
Please bow to the red rose! Please pay our homage to the red rose!
Whoever comes close to the red rose comes the closest to God!
Whoever believes in the red rose believes in love and kindness!
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