China: American-style revenge

It was very easy to find teenagers suspected setting the fire at the Internet cafe in a Beijing University district; to make them confess turned out to be even easier. It turned out that the teenagers set the Internet cafe ablaze after a dispute with workers there two weeks ago. The boys decided to teach them a lesson. As a result of their revenge, 24 people were killed and 13 were seriously injured, which even higher than the average rating of Palestinian suicide terrorists in Israel.

The recent accident is not the only recurrence of irrational revenge in China. At the end of 2001, an "accident" occurred in the province of Sichuan: a farmer went to the surgeon who had operated on his eye, as the operation was not a success. The farmer brought a self-made bomb and decided to seek revenge. As a result of the explosion, the man, the surgeon, and three innocent patients died.

Several months before the tragic event, China was shocked with the dramatic events in Shijiazhuang, where a certain Jin Ruchao, a social outcast with destructive inclinations blew up four five-storey building. He himself lived in one of the houses close to the neighbors he hated so much, his ex-wife with her new husband lived in the second house, his step-mother lived in the third house, and in the forth, his sister, who had come into a bigger fortune than the he did after their mother died. As a result, 108 people died under the debris of the houses.

Probably, such accidents are questions for psychiatrists, not prosecutors. As for the drama at the Internet cafe, I think that sociologists should pay great attention to it. Indeed, in this connection, the very name of the cafe Lanjisu Cyber Cafe seems vague and senseless. One of 2,400 unlicensed Internet cafes of Beijing worked under this name. Such Internet cafes are usually badly equipped; they often have no fire-prevention facilities at all. Teenagers sometimes stay in the cafes for the whole night playing imported PC games. Probably, the detained teenagers at the age of 13 and 14 learned about kinds of revenge from these games. As it is well-known, the majority of the plots in Hollywood films are revenge, fires, and explosions, and revenge are also abundant in computer games.

American culture is strongly penetrating China by means of movies, TV programs, and computer games, and gradually makes Chinese youth callous and unsympathetic with other people’s sorrows. Hollywood’s horrors force the realities of the life out of young people’s souls and seduce them with ideas of video games.

Andrey Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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