RUBBER DUCK DOWN

Rubber duck sinks
The 16.5-meter inflatable duck in Hong Kong's Victoria Bay remains entertaining. Look at the above. Just look at it. It was due to air leakage, says Sina. It lasted 12 days, as of yesterday. Pity the duck. Pity us all. Read more »

Hainan Principal And Public Servant Investigated For “Child Rape,” But Not Really [UPDATE]

Child rape in China
The disturbing story surfaced yesterday: six girls from a Hainan province elementary school went missing on May 8, with four found on the 9th and the other two found a day later. "They seemed dazed, some girls have bruise on hand and neck," reported Free More News, which is generally a reliable source even though it never cites where it gets its info. "Doctors found lower body injury on all six students. From surveillance video, police found out a school principal and a government employee took students to a hotel on the evening of 8th." Read more »

Django Unchained Opens In China, Does Worse Than “So Young,” “The Croods,” Etc.

Django Unchained and SARFT
What does a false start and a censor's curse get you? An opening that is kind of terrible. Django Unchained, after its premiere was unceremoniously pulled and indefinitely delayed last month, returned to mainland theaters on Sunday, five days after it was supposed to. It earned 3.7 million yuan. Not US dollars... yuan. Read more »

The 2nd Annual Beijing Cream Bar And Club Awards, Where (Almost) No One Is Spared

Beijing Cream's 2nd Annual Bar and Club Awards
Beijing expats may as well have been brought up in a magnificent castle, driven thence into this wonderland of partying and booze. Like all who emerge from relative privilege into physical decadence and spiritual morass, we are a self-centered lot, and so it is that we need a bar and club awards to tell us what we really want to know: where can we hang out with the kind who share our patois? what should we avoid due to the old sots and risk of disfigurement? where to get laid? Yes, it's awards season time, when the city's very best are honored via reader vote, alongside the pretty good and the somewhat bad and all the rest. In that spirit, the 2nd annual Beijing Cream Bar and Club Awards honors 108 bar/club nominees (we've combined Punk/Mesh, Mix/Vics, and GT/Coco Banana) across 20 categories split into four groups. Read more »

Senior Chinese Pornography Censor Watches A Lot Of Porn, Hates It

Senior porn official, 70, hates his censorship job
We talk about censors as if they weren't real, but SCMP serves us this useful reminder that the people deleting your videos, expurgating articles, handcuffing artists, destroying the TV and entertainment industry, and -- the of course of "of courses" -- blocking porn, are made of flesh and blood, with intellectual capacities, however stunted, and human desires. Well, some used to have human desires, before they were forced to watch porn all day. Desensitized, sex is but gymnastics with bad theatrics, something to pass the time, like a run on the treadmill. Read more »

Police Release Edited Security Footage Of Jingwen Death That Sparked Beijing Protest

Beijing Jingwen suicide
Surveillance footage has surfaced purportedly showing 22-year-old Yuan Liya entering Jingwen Mall in south Beijing on the night of May 2. She would fall to her death several hours later -- not seen on tape -- in what police have ruled was a suicide. Authorities reportedly blocked Yuan's family from seeing this footage last week, which was one of the reasons cited for an unusually large protest in front of Jingwen on May 8 that caused gridlock and an increased police and paramilitary presence through the city center. Read more »

Anatomy Of A Chinese Airport Rumble

Fight at Beijing airport
It’s 8:40 pm on a Friday. We’re lined up at the China Eastern Airlines counter a full ninety minutes before takeoff, and I have everything I need for a great, just-quit-work weekend: passport, check; cleats, check; Frisbee, check; baijiu-Fanta mix, check. But just then, China decides to remind me where I am. Ahead of us in line, an argument begins to stew, froth, and bubble. The verbal combatants are an elderly couple, possibly from the countryside, and two overdressed, overly made-up, and apparently overconfident young women. The initial dispute is over whether a luggage cart bumped into an ankle, but it gets ugly fast: one of the girls taunts the old man's ability to speak standard Mandarin Chinese. Airline employees break up the verbal sparring as quickly as they can, but the tone for the evening has been set. At the counter, a friendly but frazzled attendant tells me my flight doesn't yet have a gate, and I already have an idea of what I'm in for. Read more »

Ai Weiwei Uploaded Video Of A Huge Brawl In Beijing’s Guijie, Purportedly Between Tibetan Peddlers And Han Chinese

Huge brawl at Beijing Guijie, video uploaded by Ai Weiwei featured image
Guijie, the prominent dining street on Dongzhimen Inner Street in Beijing, was the scene of a terrifying brawl on Sunday around 5:30 pm, according to the description on the above video, recently uploaded by Ai Weiwei. There are scant details, but the description also says the fight was between Han Chinese and Tibetan street peddlers/stall-keepers. There are lots of projectiles. Read more »

Three Shots With… Nestor Santana

Three Shots With Nestor Santana
Welcome to Three Shots with Beijing Cream, where local personalities get drunk with us for some reason. Produced and directed by Gabriel Clermont and Anthony Tao. Our guest this week is the loquacious and smoky-eyed Nestor Santana, a longtime expat with the expat's trove of stories -- many of them we can't tell here. It doesn't mean we can't ask about them though. Nestor is the Asia manager for an ad and marketing company and has lived in Beijing for eight years. You'll have to catch him at one of the city's bars, of which he is a habitué, for fuller scoops. Read more »

Friday Night Musical Outro: LMT Connection, Soul Funk Satisfaction

BB King and friends featured image
Damn, it's nice outside today, eh? So happy to be stuck at a computer writing this! Anyways, so this sick, turbo awesome funk soul band called LMT Connection snuck into Temple bar last night to kick off their China tour -- it's the "Great Wall of Funk Tour," of course -- and the three-piece is traveling back and forth between Beijing and Shanghai and a few outlying neighboring cities spreading the word. The word of the funk, son. Bopping people with their bop guns. They were pretty incredible. They are pretty incredible. Read more »

I Got A Haircut From Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei cutting my hair
On top of everything else, Ai Weiwei is a barber. A good one? Hm. Maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's start here: exactly what kind of haircuts does he give? “The kind that will make you want to cry," he said. “Just don’t make it boring,” I told him. “It won’t be boring.” ~ We were sitting on outdoor benches on Wednesday evening at the restaurant Fodder Factory in Caochangdi, a tiny urban enclave whose intimacy and absence of pretension has attracted some of the city's more self-motivated and independent artists, filmmakers and celebrities, Ai Weiwei included... Read more »