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 »

New York Times: “Woman Is Arrested In Rape Rumor That Ignited Beijing Protest”

Girl from Anhui whose death at Jingwen sparked Beijing protest
The headline says it all, but here's the story: The Beijing police say they have arrested a woman for spreading online rumors in connection with the death of a migrant worker that touched off a rare protest in the Chinese capital on Wednesday. A 28-year-old Beijing woman surnamed Ma was arrested Thursday for writing on Sina Weibo, China’s largest Twitter-like microblog service, that the dead woman had been raped by seven security guards at a clothing market and then jumped from the building. This Beijing protest on Wednesday. Read more »

Chinagog: What’s The Value Of Native-Speaking TEFL Educators?

Chinagog - Value Added
Most of my students are studying at an English training school with the intention of enrolling in a Master's program, or at least attaining a Bachelor's degree from an American university. During my time here I've had a soul-enriching load of students accomplish just that, as they've gotten their IELTS scores (a British-Australian test to measure English language proficiency in both general and academic English) and entered various BA, BS, MA and MA programs across the country. But while some of their success can be attributed to my instruction, most of my best students came in (and exited) my class with amazing study skills and positive attitudes toward learning. Read more »

Beijing Slice Ep12: The Stars Come Out At The Beijing International Film Festival

Beijing Slice Ep12 The Stars Come Out featured image v2
Ed's note: The Good Doctor and I attended the 3rd annual Beijing International Film Festival on April 23 at the China National Convention Center. You can read my write-up here. The following is The Good Doctor's work. Jay Chou performs at the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Film Festival. I was lucky enough to be able to film, though I wasn't very close to the stage. Enjoy the spectacle as Hollywood collides with the Chinese Film and Television industry. Read more »

PEN International Launches Full Assault On Chinese Censorship

The Pen Report on Chinese censorship
Do you share our disdain for censorship? If so, it's not too late to check out last week's PEN International report on Chinese censorship, "Creativity and Constraint in Today's China." Launched on World Press Freedom Day as a culmination of five years of work, "the report is a frank assessment of the climate of freedom of expression in the world’s most populous state," featuring firsthand accounts and essays from 10 Chinese dissident writers. Read more »

In The Eye Of The (Relatively Calm) Jingwen Protest In Beijing [UPDATE]

Jingwen Shopping Mall protest in Beijing 7
At the start of this POV video taken at Wednesday's protest near Jingwen Shopping Mall in Beijing's Fengtai District, the people chant kangyi, "protest." As a collective they rock back and forth, like a wave. It surges in fits and starts, apparently toward uniformed officers. There is safety in numbers -- civilians outnumber cops -- so individuals feel little hesitancy to shout whatever they please. But there is also a kind of muted chaos. Read more »

South Beijing Teeming With Police In Response To Massive Protest After Death Of Allegedly Gang-Raped Girl [UPDATE]

Yongdingmen2 3
A massive police and paramilitary presence has descended upon Fengtai District around Jingwen Clothing and Apparel Shopping Mall, the scene of either a suicide or murder last Friday. On May 3, a young woman from Anhui province fell to her death from the Jingwen building after allegedly being gang-raped. Police hastily ruled her death a suicide and refused her family's request to see the surveillance footage. This afternoon, thousands (edit: possibly only "hundreds") of people -- many who are migrant workers from Anhui -- gathered in a planned protest between Jingwen and Yongdingmen, a gate just south of the Temple of Heaven on Second Ring Road (a few kilometers north of Jingwen). Hundreds of police have shown up in turn, many in riot gear. Traffic is reportedly backed up for miles. Read more »

Chinese Media Uses Daily Show Clip To Jab Obama On Guantanamo

Chinese news, Jon Stewart The Daily Show and Guantanamo Bay detention camp
As Barack Obama's failure to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp continues to anger his liberal base, interested observers outside the US are beginning to take their potshots at the reeling POTUS. The Chinese news media, for instance, has decided to lightly prod the American president with a little humor -- not with its own humor, mind you, but with The Daily Show's. Read more »

Dennis Rodman And Kim Jong-un’s Friendship Put To The Test Over American Detainee

Dennis Rodman
Kenneth Bae, a Korean American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for crimes against the state, will not be used as a bargaining chip, says the DPRK. “Some media of the U.S. said that the DPRK tried to use Bae’s case as a political bargaining chip. This is ridiculous and [a] wrong guess,” Korean Central News Agency reported, via Washington Post. But would the regime, you know, release him, just because, pretty please, if Dennis Rodman asked? Read more »

Beijing Midi Music Festival 2013: Verdant Hills, Trash Everywhere, Marijuana, And Inexplicable Headwear

Midi by Gabe Clermont 13
Last week I got an invite to roll with some musician buddies up at Midi Festival and decided it’d be a great opportunity to grab a camera and capture the people and fashions that only “the biggest rock festival” in China can provide. Undeterred by the lack of a fucking functional website, the promise of awe-inspiring traffic, and the threat of hours of shitty metal, I took a whiskey-soaked ride up to the Beijing Yuyang International Ski Resort and brought back photos from the Pulp Fiction/Sid and Nancy/The Last Waltz/skate video some kids from Ohio would make/Betty Boop/Hot Topic Lookbook fever dream that was Midi Festival 2013. Read more »