The Self-Narrative of a Motorcycle Driver

September 25, 2006 at 4:10 am (China, society)

From my CDT blog

A two-month old blog attracted more than 150,000 clicks and over 3,000 comments. Its daily visitors reached as many as 5,000. This is not a blog about sex or private lives. It’s about social problems, economic reforms and bureaucracy, and it’s written by a motorcycle taxi driver who never went to college, and whose business is illegal in China.

Chen Hong calls himself “Changshao Rogue” in his blog. Living in Changsha, Hunan Province, Chen was laid off ten years ago. He tried everything and ended up driving a motorcycle to make a living.

In one of his blog posts, “a self-narrative of a motorcycle driver,” he said:

For dozens of years all our labor and efforts only ended up helping a group of the social elite… And we end up as elements of disharmony in a “harmonious society”–the illegal motorcycle drivers. I don’t intentionally violate laws. I became a motorcycle driver because I was starving. Some said a harmonious society ensures the right of every member. But to those who lost their jobs and means to earn a living, what else can they do except drive a motorcycle?

Someone identifying themselves as “Guo Feng, a graduate student from People’s University” replied to this post:

I don’t agree with you. The country and the government are not obligated to take care of our generation for our whole lives. We once stood at the same starting point. Some get rich, some get left behind. We should responsibility for ourselves. Motorcycles are not supposed to be used to carry passengers. You put our lives in danger by riding a motorcycle to make money. The society can’t change itself. You must adapt to the society.

The two argued back and forth. Most blog readers stand on Chen’s side. Later on, Chen was even threatened for his post on social inequality.

Click here to read a news story about the debate. See Chen’s post, a self-narrative of a motorcycle driver, and his blog “Changsha Rogue

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