That awkward moment when every surface in the world suddenly becomes a taste receptor connected directly to your brain, and you at once fully understand the terrifying hugeness and variety of the earth leaving you cripplingly agoraphobic and unable to move
The Chinese Jasmine Revolution (or CJR) has been going on for a few months now, having started in late February. A simple post at the social media produsage platform (SMPP) <Boxun.com> proposed a ‘Chinese Jasmine Revolution’ together with about a dozen protest sites throughout China and a slogan-chanting strategy that was to be put into action at these sites every Sunday. That same day, Boxun was effectively disabled via denial-of-service ‘cyber attacks’ (DoS attacks) and Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a need for “improved management of the ‘virtual society’ and a better guidance of public opinions on the Internet”. (The latter has no clear connection to the Boxun post, but does help contextualize it and also the DoS attacks.) At least until March 13, Boxun continued to be consistently subjected to DoS attacks that were almost certainly enacted by the government.
The proposed Sunday protests have been perceived by much of the transnational and non-China-based mass media as unfulfilled possibilities: there have only been a handful of individuals who have marked themselves as protesters by chanting or through some other acts, so it is difficult to distinguish those who are there to protest from everybody else in the site areas. Yet although the proposed protests did not take the same form as was initially proposed and did not resemble the kind of protests that had recently taken place in Tunisia and Egypt (among other places in Western Asia and Northern Africa), they were still events with clear effects (and perhaps other effects that are not clear as of yet). After all, in addition to the DoS attacks on Boxun, the Chinese police has made a sustained, massive effort to discourage any potential protesters and to violently discipline any who are perceived to be protesters. For instance, the police have regularly swarmed the protest sites each Sunday with the dual intention of standing guard in case any attempt to protest and attempting to incite those people who are thinking of protesting to regulate themselves- that is, to exercise ‘self-control’ (in the sense of ‘controlling the self’) by acting like a ‘normal’ person traveling through a given protest site so as to avoid police discipline.