There are many unsung heroes in the world, all those kids and others who pulled off the Jasmine Revolution recently, and those right now facing their oppressors in Syria or Libya and so on.
But somehow it is even more impressive when someone has achieved so much in his field that he has, or could have, everything our materialistic society has to offer and yet choose to risk his life and his capacity to continue his creativity just to tell the truth and record it.
That's something I dedicated my life to when I was a boy and have at times lived up to and taken risks for, even been threatened with death and less terminal forms of violence, but nothing anywhere near the risks this man has taken almost on a daily basis for years, and has now been "disappeared for" with no one knowing for sure what is happening to him.
I only hope that his incarceration (or—let's hope not—worse) coupled with his international reputation can spark the kind of insurrection that will finally bring down the repressive rule of one-party Communist China. To me Ai Wei Wei has the stature of a Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi but coupled with the irreverence and creative savvy of Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor.
Let us all work to free him before it's too late, if it isn't already.
[in case you can't tell
that's Tienanmen Square
& Ai Weiwei's finger]