OPINION: Laying down the law with anime

Nikki Jagerman

Anime police officers don’t intimidate me. However, they must be terrifying to Internet users in China, especially the ‘hactivists.’ Police in Beijing have decided to employ two cute little anime police officers to remind Internet users to beware of any website that might promote political deviance.

The digital police officers, named Jingjing and Chacha, can walk, ride bikes, and even drive on your computer screen. Not that intimidating. If I was trying to really instill fear into my nation’s people, I’d employ Godzilla. A dino-beast bombarding my computer while I’m trying to be sneaky and look at banned materials? That’s how you teach them a lesson they won’t soon forget. Not only is Godzilla’s name way more fierce, but he is a monster reptile that destroys everything in his path. The terror factor is at nine; that’s like Code Orange alert. Take notes, Jingjing and Chacha.

Unlike the nightly news in America warning parents and kids against the evils of Tila Tequila and Forbidden of MySpace, the Chinese government has bigger threats on their mind. Chinese Internet monitoring has been going on for years in an attempt to leave its population unexposed to what the government considers to be unsuitable material. For example, just a few of the banned sites include anything with the keywords “democracy,” “equality,” and “revolution.” We’re afraid of online predators; they’re afraid of freedom. Every half hour cartoon justice rears its glorious head onto the top Internet portals, regardless of what is being searched or who it’s being searched by.

Saddleback librarians don’t like to see students using the Internet accessible computers to go on Facebook. Luckily for us, our librarians aren’t communists so we don’t get animated Gauchos waving lassos as they gallop onto our computer screens. But it would be funny if the librarians dressed up as rhinestone cowboys and hog-tied you in your wheely chair as you checked your wall.

Mock-able authority figures, for me, turn forbidden fruit into a giant magnet. Nothing compels me to do something like being told not to do it. If I had a pair of adorable police officers making those crazy anime faces at me every half hour, it would only remind me to check up on all those banned sites. Just as rhinestone cowboy librarians would make the Saddleback library a prime place to read Vice Magazine online or look up how to make homemade bombs or whatever it is that they consider to be corrupting our society. It becomes a sport.

China would hate me. They’d build a Great Wall for me. Luckily for them, and me for that matter, I will never be subjected to the wrath of Jingjing and Chacha.

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