BY AMY Z. QUINN
Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it?s a two-man job. That?s right ? these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. Hey, we know how it is ? so many words to read, so little time to surf for free porn. That?s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you, freeing up valuable nanoseconds that can now be better spent ?roughing up the suspect? over at Suicide Girls or what have you. Every week we pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey caramel center of each edition. Why? Because we like you.
ON THE COVER
CITY PAPER: I’m not sure I buy the logic that says the upcoming Beijing Olympics are a good vehicle through which to expose that country’s ongoing tyranny against its own people, but it certainly is a handy one. Personally I’m more a fan of a complete boycott, especially of Olympics-related consumer goods; nothing connected to this event is free of the stink of Chinese oppression — even the building of the athletic stadiums themselves are to blame for the uprooting of thousands of Chinese and we highly doubt they received fair market value for their homes. But the all the righteous indignation in the world won’t stop the Olympic entertainsport machine, so groups like Falun Gong are hoping they can at least bring some truth to the proceedings by going public against the harvesting of organs from executed Chinese “criminals” such as political dissidents.
Today, due to extensive anti-Falun Gong propaganda in China, many Chinese are suspicious of the group and its purported political agenda. Allegations of torture and organ harvesting from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners, however, have overshadowed concerns about the group’s politics.In April 2003, Canadian human-rights lawyer David Matas and ex-member of parliament David Kilgour released a report on organ-harvesting allegations titled “Bloody Harvest.” It concluded that China engages in “large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.”
Last November, China admitted that it had been using organs from executed prisoners for transplants since 1984. (While the Chinese government does not release the number of prisoners executed annually, Amnesty International calculated that at least 1,010 people were executed during 2006, a number that does not fulfill the increasing demand for organs.) Governed by a 1984 document titled “Rules Concerning the Utilization of Corpses or Organs from the Corpses of Executed Prisoners,” these organs fuel a lucrative transplant economy that supports underfunded hospitals.
Suffice to say, some of these unethically harvested organs are finding their way into the bodies of unsuspecting Americans who are shocked, shocked to find out the organs they purchased from the most oppressed country in the world may not have been freely shared.
“Some people ask me, ‘How could you go?'” Kline says. “The doctors assured me that the prisoners gave consent; they produced a consent form in Chinese. Maybe the prisoners give consent because they give money to their families. … If I knew that prisoners were being executed for their organs, I would never have done it.”
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Let’s be honest here. Between the Fringe Festival and the Fall Guides, is anyone not sick of theme issues yet? To put it another way, when I’m agreeing with Steven Wells (who called it “a touchy-feely-preachy green issue”) you know there’s something wrong. Still, annoying but useful gets PW off the hook this week, since the cover package, by Jeffrey Barg and Sara Kelly, isn’t exactly calling for folks to toss out all their synthetic clothing, grow their own food and install windmills on the roof to power the teevee. And issue-wide, there’s a there’s a nice mix of practical vs. high-concept approaches to everyday conservation, Cassidy Hartmann’s look at area businesses trying to bring “green” into new home construction and a look at how PhillyCareShare is trying to sell itself to the “young and fly.”
INSIDE THE BOOK:
CP: Happy Birthday Fork ! Will there be cake? A nurse from Collegeville goes from “demonstrator to activist” by getting arrested at the Capitol (you go girl); ballet is bustin’ out all over Philly.
WINNER: Me Slacking = Everybody Gets A Pass This Week