02 February 2018


If you are one of the three people who regularly follow this blog you may know I live in China. It is long and convoluted tale and I will skip the dreary details other than to note that I was here before the big Internet crackdown began back in like 2007 or so, the period leading up to the 2008 Olympics. When I first got here back in 2004 all the sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter and on and on were not yet blocked. I opened my first Facebook account here in China as well as began my first of many blog experiments here on Blogger and at Wordpress during that golden period. That all change quickly and over time the situation has only gotten worse and worse. I was able to figure out ways to get around what is called The Great Fire Wall of China by using various type of proxies and later VPNs. Over the last couple years all of that has gotten harder and harder to manage and it seems that China is on the verge of shutting down the actual ports that VPNs (and most all Internet traffic) use to get in and out of China. If you are in America where the Internet is not blocked you may not even know what a proxy or VPN is, or what port 8080, 80 or 443 are. You don't need to. The only reason people in the US use VPNs is to cover there IP address for some reason, but not in order to access the actual Internet and open their email account or to update here cheesy little horror movie blog. Already my VPN service (I pay for one from outside China) is struggling to get and maintain a stable connection. The only analogy I can think of if you have a large highway and want to prevent all red and green cars from traveling on it. Rather than trying to stop every red and car, and allowing a few to slip past in the process, you simply shut down the entire highway and allow no cars at all. What cars do get through are allowed to pass through a special highway and they have received special clearance in advance. Jeesh. 

One can always make the vapid argument that you do not need to be online and read all the useless information on the Internet. It is better for you to not go online with all the negativity that abounds here in the cyber world. And you read stuff like this all the time... on the fucking Internet! But it is one thing to say "I give up the Internet" and quite another to have it taken from you. The former can be seen as a triumph, a victory, while the latter is nothing short of a humiliating defeat. To detail the struggles I have gone through to maintain this blog and other projects and to just check on something on Facebook or Youtube would just take too long. It would turn into simply the longest post I have ever written. In the end I have become worn down and even a little paranoid. Right now typing this post into my Blogger (Google) blog I am using my VPN. Without it I could not even open this page. It is utterly impossible to explain to people who have never experienced constant censorship. So long as my Internet can connect even now and then for some sort of update I will continue to post a few things. Suddenly now I regret all the periods where I forsook the blog out of bitterness over a lack of comments or traffic. Now I realize the blog was something else entirely than all of that. It was important to me and now with the threat (Maybe by March 1st) of not being able to do anything or even having the use of a VPN service become a crime (it may happen) I have to just sit here and in a way accept defeat. Real defeat. Not the half-ass sort of defeat wherein still lies a glimmer of hope. Despite all of China's wonderful rhetoric about globalization and openness and welcoming this and that the truth is it has not advanced too far from ta true Cold War mentality and distrust of anything from the outside. And that is truly saddening to me.

I will continue with the blog and there is some chance I can still update now and then even after march 1st, or maybe not if those crucial Internet ports become shut down on the mainland and controlled by the government owned telecommunication companies here. If using VPNs to do something dastardly like watching Amazon jungle documentaries on Youtube become a crime punishable by jail and deportation then that is that. It would seem that China's goals with its "Internet Sovereignty" goals is to creates the world's largest and most tightly controlled Intranet. And in such a hostile, predatory world the innocuous little Uranium Cafe and its creator have little hope of resistance and survival. Lets hope the situation is not yet terminal and the plug cna be left in a while longer.

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