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The Epoch Times is a teensy bit obsessed with people holding hands — especially if they’re dead

Am I doing this meme right?

By David Futrelle

The Epoch Times is a weirdo right-wing newspaper that loves Donald Trump nearly as much as it loves running stories about UFOs and past lives. It’s run by Falun Gong, a genuinely oppressed Chinese religious group that might also be just a bit on the culty side. Naturally, it’s huge on Facebook.

I went to the Epoch Times website today to see if this august publication had any hot takes on feminism, men’s rights. or any of the other regular topics of this here blog. But I never got to the feminism, as I was quickly distracted by the site’s ongoing coverage of the burning issue of … people holding hands.

I should say its ongoing CREEPY AS FUCK coverage of people holding hands, mainly because their stories tend to involve newborn babies. And dead people, Lots of dead people. Take a look at the stories on the site’s dedicated HOLDING HANDS page and I think you’ll see what I mean.

HOLDING HANDS
Elderly Couple Passes Away 90 Minutes Apart Hand-in-Hand on Their Deathbeds
Elderly Couple Passes Away 90 Minutes Apart Hand-in-Hand on Their Deathbeds
Some say that marriage between a husband and wife is predestined and meant to be. This is so true for this elderly couple, who loved and cherished each other in ...
SEPTEMBER 4, 2019BY DAKSHA DEVNANI
Video of Twin Babies Holding Hands at Birth Goes Viral
Video of Twin Babies Holding Hands at Birth Goes Viral
A video of Southern Californian newborn twins has gone viral because they appeared to hold hands straight after birth. ...
SEPTEMBER 3, 2019BY RICHARD SZABO
Mono-Mono Twins Were Born Holding Hands in 2014, Here’s How They Look Now
Mono-Mono Twins Were Born Holding Hands in 2014, Here’s How They Look Now
A would-be mother was diagnosed with a rare risky pregnancy, in which her twins only had a 50 ...
AUGUST 25, 2019BY LI YEN
Elderly Couple Dies Holding Hands After 56 Years of Blissful Marriage
Elderly Couple Dies Holding Hands After 56 Years of Blissful Marriage
"We all have this long line of love we just treasure," said the Webbs' bereaved daughter Ann. "No ...
MARCH 15, 2019BY LOUISE BEVAN
Michigan Couple Die Holding Hands After 56 Years of Marriage
Michigan Couple Die Holding Hands After 56 Years of Marriage
Will and Judy Webb got married in 1963 and spent 56 years together until several months ago when ...
MARCH 12, 2019BY TOM OZIMEK

Oh, it gets creepier.

AIRASIA DISASTER
AirAsia Flight 8501 Victims Appeared to Be Holding Hands
BY CINDY DRUKIER, EPOCH TIMES

I don’t even want to know how they know that.

If you enjoy stories of recently deceased people holding hands, you’ll probably love this story about centuries-old dead people holding hands. It even features some very evocative “conceptual art” to help you visualize what the once happy, now extremely dead, couple might have looked like in their prime.

ARCHAEOLOGY
2 Ancient Skeletons Found Holding Hands in Medieval Chapel

The Epoch Times is not what you’d call a big fan of the Chinese government, what with the religious oppression and all, so it’s not altogether surprised to see the site’s handhoding coverage get political. Though I am a bit shocked that the handholders in this story are neither babies nor dead people.

CHINA
Chinese High School Bans Boys and Girls Holding Hands on Campus
BY LU CHEN, EPOCH TIMES

I’m going to have to reconsider my own take on handholding, which up until now I’ve seen largely as a good thing, if sometimes also a little sweaty. But after seeing all these headlines I’m not sure I want to hold a hand ever again — even if it’s attached to a living human being..

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Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

I understand that the dead people holding hands is a little creepy, but I’m not sure what’s so creepy about the story about the kid holding hands with an autistic child. That one just seemed sweet.
Though I do think this newspaper seems a bit obsessed with the hand holding business.

epronovost
epronovost
1 year ago

Don’t worry David, Falun Ging is just as sexist as any other of the major world religion and pretty much in the same way. Sexual liberation (which includes feminism), homosexuality, democracy, abandonment of tradition are four of the ten great evil of the world in their faith the others also include science, hostility, violence, gambling and drinking, gangsterism and greed. Their leader also has a long history of incredible racism and racialism, especially toward black people.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@epronovost

So basically, another of those cases where we’re left going “I know I’ve got to support you against the horrific oppression you’re subject to, but dang I wish I’d left myself a loophole. Please don’t think this means I actually like you.”

epronovost
epronovost
1 year ago

@Rabid Rabbit

In my opinion it’s more a case of a failed facist movement that’s being suppressed with great brutality by another authoritarian regime. The worst part is for the “suckers” who believe wholly into the Falun Gong propaganda and lies and get imprisonned and percecuted by the Chinese government. These people are probably not all that reprehensible on their own and they are the first ones to suffer.

epitome of incomprehensibility

For me, none of those stories seem that weird on their own (maybe sentimental, but not super strange). Buuuut then you see there’s a whole page on the topic of holding hands and it is a little weird?

The idea of a cult mentality reminded me of a Cracked article criticizing 9/11 conspiracy theories & theorists. Maybe I just thought of that because of today’s date? Anyway, the article is good, but its ableist language annoys me.

Yes, my thinking is in line with this site’s policy, so I’m preaching to the choir here, but being stupid or narrow-minded about something doesn’t equate with having a disability; that just doesn’t make sense.

(True, language doesn’t always make sense, and people exaggerate to be expressive. But it’s better not to be insulting! especially for no reason!)

On a very unrelated note, I’m currently involved in 1) near full-time work, because one of the staff left and they haven’t hired someone to replace her yet; 2) two university classes as an independent student, Intro to Linguistics and Sociolinguistics; and 3) volunteer work on an artisan club committee – there are two meetings this week & another next week – and we’re gearing up for a show in November.

So if I haven’t been here much or if I’m tired and incoherent, that is why 🙂

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

One of the stories was by Lu Chen? Not the figure skater I hope?

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

Who doesn’t love a story about people holding hands.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

OT

More Men Are Speaking Up About Being Sexually Assaulted in the Military

According to Pentagon statistics quoted by the Times, 10,000 men—largely young and thus with less institutional power and more vulnerable to abuse—are sexually assaulted in the military every year. And while women are seven times more likely to be sexually assaulted while in the military, due to the much higher numbers of men in the armed forces, a roughly equal number of men as women are assaulted annually.

https://jezebel.com/more-men-are-speaking-up-about-being-sexually-assaulted-1838035200

The survivors are speaking up. But when is the manosphere going to speak up about male servicemembers being sexually assaulted by other male servicemembers? Spoiler: never, because the perpetrators are men.

The manosphere: separating men from their money since — oh hell, I don’t know — and doing not one thing for them.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ epronovost & rabid rabbit

suppressed

Yeah; I don’t think we’d regard action against, say, Christian Identity, as ‘oppression’; even if it was the GOP doing it.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

I tried to post about this earlier but it didn’t go through, so apologizes if a similar post appears later:
If you decide to go back, there is also a lot of rather bizarre antifeminist stuff to critique. The strangest is probably an article claiming that Teen Vogue is communist propaganda.

Katamount
1 year ago

Damn, why am I getting Rick Santorum flashbacks?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTvwaE0L6lg

So this Falun Gong hand-holding thing? Is this like Bokononism but without the irony?

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 year ago

From what I’ve read, the Epoch Times has a big presence on Facebook. I wouldn’t know about that since I don’t look at FB much, but I am getting sick of their ads on YouTube. The ads are all of a smug-faced, James O’Keefe look-alike that I “skip” as soon as humanly possible. And downvote whenever the chance presents itself.

Richard Smith
Richard Smith
1 year ago

A little appropriate classic levity…

I Hold Your Hand in Mine
– Tom Lehrer

I hold your hand in mine dear
I press it to my lips
I take a healthy bite from
Your dainty fingertips

My joy would be complete dear
If you were only here
But still I keep your hand as
A precious souvenir

The night you died I cut it off
I really don’t know why
for now each time I kiss it
I get blood stains on my tie

I’m sorry now I killed you
For our love was something fine
Until they come to get me, I
Shall hold your hand in mine

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

I don’t know if this was referenced in the article; but a dilemma for Falun Gong.

They’re holding hands; but they’re both men. Dun dun dun!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/12/lovers-of-modena-skeletons-holding-hands-were-both-men-study

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
1 year ago

This paper was in free boxes here so I would occasionally pick one up and other than their obvious dislike of the “Communist”* government in China it seemed otherwise unremarkable. Then I started noticing pro-Hamberdler stuff on their front page and ugh, no. It wasn’t until recently that I found out about the Falun Gong connection, and while I was put off Falun Gong stuff a while ago (damn it, Shen Yun looked like it would be great to see), it was at when I learned about the newspaper connection that I learned how Scientology-like Falun Gong is.

The Chinese government is still a human rights nightmare and what they’re doing to the Uyghurs needs a much brighter spotlight, but this is a case of no good guys on either side.

* I used the quotes around “Communist” because they are not communists and have not been for a long time, if ever.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Tabby Lavalamp
I didn’t really know much about Falun Gong other than that they were getting persecuted by the Chinese government and their organs were being harvested. Now, I’m still not sure how to feel about them for the reasons you outlined. Should I feel sympathetic about their persecution, or should I be angry for their bigotry and cultiness? Or a mix of both?

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

I was approached in a shopping centre by a pleasant Chinese woman promoting Shen Yun. She wanted to talk about “5000 years of Chinese culture”. I mostly just nodded and made polite noises. The whole thing seemed a little “off”, somehow, so I wasn’t surprised to find it was a Falun Gong operation.

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
1 year ago

@Naglfar:

How would you feel if California started jailing Scientologists, torturing them to recant, and donating organs from those who die in custody (murdered or otherwise) to seriously ill patients without consent from the dead (obtained before death) or the family of the dead or even the patients, who might not want an organ obtained in that way (admittedly a small chance, if you’re dying, but it still seems like a topic on which one should have a chance to grant or deny consent)?

Yes, they’re a cult. Sure, they’re probably abusive in various ways like cults are. But the government still shouldn’t be treating anyone this way…

…so just compare them to a cult you’re more familiar with and a government you’re more familiar with and you’ll have a good place to start with figuring out what you feel about the whole thing.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Crip Dyke
If that’s the situation, I oppose the persecution, but I will not defend their ideology. I recognize their right to not be persecuted, and I feel that they should be allowed to exist, but I still do not agree with them ideologically.

The Chinese government is also very awful toward other groups like Uyghurs, and I oppose the genocidal actions undertaken by the regime. As Tabby Lavalamp already mentioned, it is not communist but more fascist totalitarian.

Thanks for the comparison.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

Falun Gong leaders are all like, “stop persecuting our followers! That’s our job!”

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
1 year ago

OFFTOPIC:

South Park creators, and notorious libertarians, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are whinning about “Cancel Culture” in the midst of the renewal of their 26th season.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/as-south-park-gets-renewed-2022-matt-stone-trey-parker-have-new-movie-ideas-1238778?fbclid=IwAR034voWQgU6WWubjYgjXgyJSOKATXKFjDVJKv0GCbGIQ6jWoDg5-h0YBdw

Anybody here care to share their thoughts on that? Because I find it “amuzing”, to say the least, that the same kind of fuckers that spent the better part of the past 20 years railing against “government sponsored censorship” and deliberately quoting Robert Nozick as an alternative, are now getting pissy about boycotts and the very solutions they explicitly suggested to deal with bigotry.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Diego
It’s amusing, for sure. I never liked South Park so I have no qualms about calling it out. The only people who complain about so-called “cancel culture” are the people who are basically admitting that they’re in the wrong.
And you’d think a libertarian would respect someone’s right to boycott a brand and let the “invisible hand” speak. After all, they love free markets.

Betrayer
Betrayer
1 year ago

@Diego

They said we should have free market solutions rather than government action, but now they whine about protests. It’s almost as if they don’t want to actually deal with bigotry at all, and in fact support it.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

Oh, and that image macro was used in a very accurate tweet I saw the other day (via N.K. Jemisin)

https://mobile.twitter.com/MikeDrucker/status/1169783560905142272

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Since we’re doing a lot of off topic, I’ll share this thing I came across today. There’s a shelter in Orlando that labels dogs by Hogwart inspired houses instead of breed to encourage adoption by personality and discourage breed discrimination.

They call it Pawgwarts. The houses are Gryffindog, Slobberin, Hufflefluff and Ravenpaw. There’s a quiz to sort your own dog. Mine’s a Ravenpaw because she’s smart and trainable. This makes me happy because I’m a Ravenclaw!

https://petallianceorlando.org/pawgwarts/

Anyway, it’s super adorable.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@WWTH
Just took the quiz. My husky is a hufflefluff.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

I’d have gone with Dogwarts; but that’s still ever so cute.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

Speaking of house sorting…

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

My friend and I decided that cats are all Slytherin.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@weirwoodtreehugger – aww, that’s adorable!

Also, your last comment made me think: what’s if snakes could be sorted into Harry Potter houses…and none of them went to Slytherin? 🙂

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 year ago

@WWTH & Naglfar:
my Heinz 57 is also a Hufflefluff, but I prefer to call her my Hobbit dog.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

@Hambeast:

I am getting sick of their ads on YouTube

You get ads on YouTube?

Hie thee to thy nearest extension repository and get uBlock Origin! They will then pester you no more.

@Naglfar:

The Chinese government is also very awful toward other groups like Uyghurs, and I oppose the genocidal actions undertaken by the regime. As Tabby Lavalamp already mentioned, it is not communist but more fascist totalitarian.

There has never yet been a true Communist government on earth. For true Communism requires that the people own (control, and derive the dividends from) the means of production. If the government owns the means of production (as in all so-called “state communism” governments thus far), but is not representative or answerable to the people in any way, then the people don’t really own the means of production, do they? Did Soviet steelworkers, even collectively, have any more voice in how their factories were run than American ones? Less, I suspect, than American ones working for a union shop, and certainly less say in their government. So if anything the Soviet Union was less communist than America, as are any latter-day imitators (particularly North Korea).

The closest analogue I can find to Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Jong-Un’s systems is actually a kind of neofeudalism, with some degree of socialism within (and confined within) the ruling class while for the peasants they might as well be living under any of the assorted kings, barons, dukes, earls, and emperors of old.

No surprise at how easily these systems can turn into oligarchic capitalism, as under Putin and Jinping. That just requires the ruling class to stop sharing the wealth internally among themselves, and that just requires what feudalism does best: feuds.

Actually, oligarchic capitalism is clearly something of an attractor state. The only fascist state to survive WW II, Franco’s Spain, turned into a generic Putin-style illiberal oligarchy, and the United States went from non-oligarchic capitalism to oligarchic capitalism twice, in the late 1800s under the railroad tycoons and again in the 1970s under a more varied assortment of monopolists, mostly in banking, tech, defense, oil, and telco (with the recent addition of more troubling and dubious relations of defense: surveillance, mercenaries, and prison corporations — consider Booz Allen-Hamilton, where Snowden worked, Blackwater and Halliburton, and GEO Group, respectively).

Also @Naglfar:

And you’d think a libertarian would respect someone’s right to boycott a brand and let the “invisible hand” speak. After all, they love free markets.

Libertarians: we should be free to collude within our industry!

(workers start talking unionization, while consumers organize a boycott)

Also libertarians: Waaaah, no fair ganging up on us!

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Surplus

Libertarians: we should be free to collude within our industry!

(workers start talking unionization, while consumers organize a boycott)

Also libertarians: Waaaah, no fair ganging up on us!

That’s been the general attitude of every libertarian I’ve ever met: loves having no rules for themselves, throws a fit whenever anyone else has any sort of freedom.

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 year ago

Surplus – Thanks! I shall look into it.