The Second Great Leap Forward Pamphlet #14: Queuing
Thursday, February 22, 2007
While preparations for next year's Beijing Summer Olympics may have wrought incredible changes to the physical landscape of the host city, there has also been an effort to end what officials deemed to be anti-social behaviors in public spaces.
For instance, we learn from BBC News that “China has launched a campaign to try to eradicate queue-jumping.” On the 11th day of every month “volunteers wearing red sashes set up stages in squares and on street corners in more than a dozen districts of the city” where they will choreograph a sort of performance art piece of disconnected, institutional linearity slithering across the urban landscape: millions of people standing in the cold, waiting for buses and trains, and all the while supressing any and all urges to jump in line.
And what's a mass campaign to recondition (or westernized?) the public civility of an entire populace without a slogan: “It's civilised to queue, it's glorious to be polite.” Of course, the French may have something to say about that.
Previous Pamphlets: Spitting, Littering, Farting, Staring, Eating, Slurping, Belching, Sneezing, Cursing, et al.