The bar Alfa was hopping last Friday as actors / patrons gathered for a casting call / fundraiser for indie director Moxie Peng’s newest project, My 17 Gay Friends.
Eighty percent of the night’s collected cover went to support the production.
Attendees had the choice of being a judge or trying out for a role in the film. Judges were given masks to protect their identities and limited to choosing only two candidates. Read more »
By all standards Wang Meng (1934- ) has had a tremendously successful career. Easing out of his problematic role as Cultural Minister in 1989, Wang was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1994 by the Chinese Literary Society. He has published more than 100 books and was listed as the 24th most commercially successful writer in China in 2010 with a net worth of 1.75 million yuan. This past year a village on the border of Kazakhstan opened a museum in his honor. Read more »
Holland Got Talent judge Gordon Heuckeroth made several racist remarks at a Chinese competitor, singer Xiao Wang, last week. You might have already seen it, but if not, check the above. What's interesting, however, is the tepid, almost indifferent response from netizens in China, a study in contrast to the outrage expressed after the now-infamous and actually inoffensive skit by Jimmy Kimmel. Read more »
An entrepreneur in Dallas got in touch with me last month saying he had a product called Political Prisoners of China Playing Cards, asking if I'd like to review them. Chinese political prisoners. Playing cards. Dallas. I live in Beijing. It made no sense. How could I say no? Read more »
Wu'er Kaixi, who fled China following the 1989 student-led protests at Tiananmen, reportedly flew into Hong Kong this morning via Taiwan and is pleading with authorities to extradite him to face trial on the mainland. Read more »
Some Old Time American porch music this week, in anticipation of Friday night's big "Roots Rage" show down at Mako Livehouse. The gentleman on the fiddle is Michael Ismerio, visiting us in Beijing from North Carolina. He's been gigging around town, sitting in with the Yellow Hutong Weasels and others, doing roots music workshops, playing shows, and calling square dances. Serious. He was the caller at last night's square dance at the Home Plate BBQ Sanlitun preview dinner. Goes something like this. Dare to be square, man. Read more »
“Sometimes the mountains faded into the whiteness of the clouds and it was difficult to distinguish what was snow and what was clouds. Yet some days there were no clouds and the mountains seem to float in the air. This caused me to have a good and proper smile.” –Ai Qing, The Poetic Life, 2007, 67 (looking south from his labor camp in Shihezi to the Heavenly Mountains) Read more »
Spain, which recognizes universal justice -- meaning its court magistrates walk eternally with backs bowed under the burden of universal injustice, the weight of sadness -- issued a warrant on Tuesday for the arrest of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and four others "as part of a probe into alleged genocide in Tibet," reports AP and Al Jazeera. Read more »