Angry Doctor

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Selfish Reasons

angry doc apologises for not posting as often as he should, but he has been busy trying (but has so far failed) to get himself on a quake-relief mission to China... for entirely selfish reasons, of course; much like these two characters mentioned in a news article today:

Sharon Stone’s bad ‘karma’

Actress Sharon Stone has sparked a storm of criticism in China after suggesting the earthquake that killed at least 68,000 was bad “karma” due to Beijing’s policy on Tibet. Stone, 50, made the remarks at the Cannes Film Festival last week.

“I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else,” Stone said in Cannes. “And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma ­– when you’re not nice and bad things happen to you?”

The Beijing Times yesterday quoted Mr Ng See Yuen, founder of the UME Cineplex chain, as saying that from now on, no film featuring Stone would be shown in any UME cinema in Hong Kong or the mainland. UME is one of China’s biggest cinema chains.

Meanwhile, Chinese online activists have criticised Stone for her remarks, using YouTube among other forums to spread their message.

“I want her to say sorry. It’s not for me. It’s for the dead people,” said a young man, who described himself as a Chinese called Adam, on his YouTube video. “I hope this video is useful for people to get together and help each other and make Sharon Stone say sorry.”

angry doc doesn't know if Ms. Stone meant to have herself quoted, or whether it was just a slip of tongue on her part. Either way, there is no way she, or anyone for that matter, can know whether or not the quake was the karmic result of China's actions in Tibet, or her lack of action in what happened in Myanmar or is happening in Darfur. What we do know, however, is that earthquakes occur because of tectonic movements.

Perhaps Ms. Stone sought to make use of the widely known doctrine of karma to bring the issue of Tibet back into the limelight, or perhaps she wanted to believe that karma was at work because it was easier for her to accept that bad things happen to people because of the bad actions of some people, and not because of the rather amoral movements of rocks.

Whichever the case, angry doc believes that Ms. Stone said what she said because she wanted to give meaning to a natural phenomenon in a way that would make her feel better about herself.

In the same vein, 'Adam' has no way of knowing whether those who have died will know or care about what Ms. Stone has said, which makes his demand for an apology 'for the dead people' rather suspect. In fact, if 'Adam' believed that the soul survived in some form after our bodily death, a concept shared by (and indeed a precondition to) the doctrine of karma, how can he be so sure that Ms. Stone was not in fact right and thus did not owe the dead an apology?

angry doc suspects that like Ms. Stone, 'Adam' too is making use of a superstition, in this case to give meaning to his feeling of displeasure at an insensitive remark made at a time of tragedy: the idea that the dead could hear us and be offended by what we say gave him both a justification for his unhappiness, and a 'victim' for him to fight for.

angry doc doesn't think speculation on how karma is applied or the feelings of the dead are helpful to survivors of the earthquake; he would rather try to help by applying some medical science - that is if he is given a chance to. He is keeping his fingers crossed, and you might want to wish him good luck too.



  • Good luck and have a safe trip!

    By Blogger Lim Leng Hiong, At May 30, 2008 3:42 pm  

  • It has been heartening to see the response whether Chinese or foreign towards this tragedy. We have all been trying to play our part, however small it may be, to help the survivors.
    It is unfortunate that Ms Stone chose to use the earthquake to express her views on the Tibet issue, & in such an insensitive way. Who knows, maybe she really does believe in Karma, if one wants to give her the benefit of doubt. Someone should have asked her if she feels the same way about the cyclone in Myanmar or Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami that happened in Asia a few years ago.

    By Blogger aliendoc, At May 31, 2008 9:12 pm  

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