I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

The coward Fan

As can be expected from China, newspapers over there have been under some pressure – mostly subtle – to give priority to post-earthquake news that glorify bravery and heroism. Swimming, some say inexplicably, against the tide is Fan Meizhong.

Fan tells the story of how he ran from his classroom, leaving his students behind, as the earthquake started. He has since gained the gloriously unimaginative nickname “Runner Fan.” As you can prolly imagine, he’s not the most popular guy nowadays.

But his actions – and his subsequent admission – raise a real question: Is it morally reprehensible to refuse to lay your life down for someone else?


Filed under: musings, , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Incredulous says:

    I have to tell you, this story sounds really bogus to me. Who, in Communist China, which has a fondness for killing people accused of minor infractions, would publically admit to being so selfish and unconcerned with the lives of other people’s children which he’s been entrusted with? Who would make such blatant statements about himself. I think it’s phoney. What it really sounds like is some official(s) is/are trying to divert attention away from the poor state of building regulations in the country and they are using this guy as a scapegoat.

  2. cvj says:

    Assuming the story is not bogus, it took courage to admit his act of cowardice, or maybe he’s wracked with guilt and has some sort of death wish.

  3. Jeg says:

    Well done, Fan!!

    He has just given the kids a valuable lesson: Do not trust those who claim to know how you should act, or think, or behave. Do not trust people who have power over you. The default position for authority figures should be one of skepticism.

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