Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Never having to say you're sorry

While we may be skeptical of how sincere politicians are when they publicly apologize for their wrong-doings, we don't generally tend to question the origin of their words. We tend to assume that even if the politician sounds insincere reciting a contrived speech, the politician's words are at least his own insincere, contrived musings. But now, thanks to a disgraced (or, as you'll soon see, twice-disgraced) official in China, we can't even trust that our politicians' speeches of apology are their own words (or their speechwriters' own words).

Zhang Shaocang, a Chinese official, was on trial for corruption and seemed so heartily sorry as he read a lengthy letter aplogizing for his wrongs that he wept. His tears, however, veiled the fact that his apology letter was a nearly perfect duplicate of one previously written by another disgraced official, Zhu Fuzhong. So in addition to the wrong-doing that led to his corruption trial, he added insult to injury by then stealing another person's apology letter and passing it off as his own expression of remorse.

China already has a rather shoddy record when it comes to copyright infringement issues, so this isn't necessarily rosy news for the nation. It's bad enough that officials make insincere public apologies; copying someone else's apology just doubles the insincerity and calls the person's integrity seriously into question.

In cases like this, insincerity means never having to say you're sorry. Please.


Anonymous said...

Other Famous Insincere apologies from leaders to the public.

- "Sorry about Dresden" - FDR

- "what tapes?" - Nixon

- "Go Fuck yourself" - VP Cheney

- anything out of Bush's mouth

I could go on.

love ya!

Jeremy said...

Does a book's status of being out of print affect personal use copying (in that it is no longer available published for purchase--the one I'd like to read is 500 pages and the cheapest on Amazon, 1 used copy, is $200+!)? Thanks, you're blog was really helpful.