“Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass!” – Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being ~
"It's not just children who like it. The core value of the rubber duck is to bring back childlike innocence to all of us, especially weary adults." – Zeng Hui, head of the Beijing Design Week Organizing Committee
The above picture, according to a tweet from the official Twitter account of Justin Bieber's Believe Tour, shows the boy prince himself being hoisted on an invisible palanquin up the Great Wall. (PS, Justin Bieber is in Beijing. It appears he was at Spark last night.)
Every year, millions of Chinese and foreign tourists swarm the country's national symbol, the Gate of Heavenly Peace -- Tiananmen. But few know that the current gate is actually an imitation that was only built 43 years ago.
Sunday was World Car Free Day, striving to remind people of the earth that cars pollute and are actually less necessary than you think (unless you live in Suburbia, USA). More than 150 Chinese cities observed World Car Free Day, according to Xinhua, though it was apparent that some cities observed it much better than others.
At a recent Beijing Improv show, Tomas was called up on stage as a volunteer and asked if he knew anyone in the crowd that could join him in a little game. He picked his girlfriend, Jenia. The two stood on opposite sides of the stage, acting as the ends of a telephone line, with their words transmitted from one to the other via two Improv performers.
This week's podcast was recorded at the Bookworm on Wednesday for the Literary Death Match, hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga, featuring the four readers/competitors Leslie Ann Murray, Tom Carter, Stanley Chan, and Anthony Tao, and the judges Alice Xin Liu, Vicky Mohieddeen, and Sherwin Jiang.
After a handful of English-language publications declared that authorities had "shut down" the Beijing Independent Film Festival (BIFF), many people likely dusted their hands of the matter, thinking censorship had once again triumphed over artistic expression. But as James Hsu discovered more than a week after the festival’s supposed cancellation, BIFF held a successful, albeit quiet, closing ceremony following a full program of screenings and panels.
So what happened? A few days after the closing, I met with artistic director Dong Bingfeng to ask him about that and other issues on censorship, film in China, and independent festivals in the future.
Therese Mendez (Amy's roommate!) speaks to John Artman and Amy Daml about teaching young -- very young -- children in China, getting peed on, biking under the influence (BUI), and getting mugged. She also talks about her culture shock after arriving from Boulder, Colorado in 2009 -- her first time out of the country -- and takes us inside a women's locker room in Beijing. The shower orgasm story is at the 27:30 mark.
Yesterday night around 9:16 pm, a white Lamborghini was found in flames on the side of East Fourth Ring Road near Dongfeng Bridge. The Jiuxianqiao fire department rushed onto the scene with three trucks, but the flames weren't quenched until they completely and utterly destroyed this poor, precious vehicle.
In an interesting turn of events, the Beijing Independent Film Festival concluded on Saturday without further interference from local authorities. Despite opening-day warnings that suggested cancellation was a distinct possibility, the festival continued to screen films every day at the Li Xianting Film Fund's office courtyard in Songzhuang Art District.