The fourth Beijing International Film Festival opened on Wednesday, and it looks like it's already less boring than last year's. For that we have the Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone to thank, who on Thursday in a panel discussion spoke provocatively on Mao Zedong and urged the Chinese to confront their history. As The Hollywood Reporter reports:
Forget human rights, which will not, I promise you, get the man on the 5F dancefloor to lose his groove. Forget censorship, because who cares about cultural emasculation? Forget Zhou Yongkang, school stabbings, Diaoyu Islands, corruption, Sichuan earthquakes, shoddy construction. Take a lesson from the New York Times when it wants to link-bait: head over to the US embassy's Beijing air Twitter account and report the latest AQI, because nothing -- absolutely nothing -- unites the English-reading populace of China quite like bad air.
An episode of The Colbert Report last Wednesday used the words "ching-chong ding-dong" in an attempt to satirize / skewer Washington dunderhead Dan Synder. When the show's Twitter account tweeted the joke the next day without context -- “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” -- a bit of hell broke loose on social media, resulting in Korean-American Twitter activist Suey Park starting the hashtag #CancelColbert. It reeked of so much faux outrage and willful ignorance
When it comes to toadying up to authority, you can’t beat foreign business. While smog comes and goes like a dissident in the night, its legacy lives on -- for example, in the missive below from Savills, the London-based real estate agency, which wins our coveted Beijing Cream Corporate Whore of the Month Award with “Twelve tricks to protect you from haze.”
China is officially (politically, that is) an enthusiastic supporter of the Sochi Games, which is why Chinese athletes walked out at the opening ceremony waving both Chinese and Russian flags. To no one's surprise, then, the pro-government media here is peeved by all the negative coverage in "Western media." Speaking for them all, Global Times has just published an editorial headlined, "Booing Sochi only shows West's bigotry."
Louis CK was in Beijing in June 2012 to film the (wonderful) finale of (the wonderful) third season of his show Louie, and apparently he got enough material to tell stories for years. He was recently on David Letterman, where -- for whatever reason -- he was prompted to relive his experience.
"The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city's natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises..."
-- lied The Daily Mail in an article last week
Jimmy Kimmel held a "kid's table" a couple of weeks ago and asked blah blah blah, and it was all pretty boring until some young'un said we should "kill everyone in China." If you're interested in the context, read up on it here. "Kill everyone in China" isn't the best joke, even out of the mouth of a young child -- it's certainly not the best thing* Kimmel's done with kids -- but whatever, it's Jimmy Kimmel, it's late-night comedy, who really cares?
The Telegraph, reporting from across the pond on a senseless tragedy, i.e. yet another mass shooting in the US, has apparently thought it worthwhile to use the first 12 paragraphs of an 18-paragraph story describing how Aaron Alexis -- the Navy Yard gunman who killed 12 people on Monday in Washington DC -- had a "string of failed relationships with Asian women." That's in the headline of this "exclusive," by the way: "Aaron Alexis: Washington Navy yard gunman had string of failed relationships with Asian women."
"Mr. Kim Jong Un! Channel 4 News, UK!” yelled the journalist at the back of Kim Jong Un’s head.
The Great Marshall stopped. He slowly turned and smiled, his visage a million shining suns. The room, which had been full of raucous cheers, came to a hush. In perfect English he replied, “Yes? How may I help you?”
Just kidding. That last part didn’t happen.
Today, barbarians of the unruly and unruled Internet are less dangerous. Today, your sleep will be sounder, your dreams more colorful, your future freer. For today, Britain, you are one step closer to achieving China's harmony-promoting, children-protecting Net filtration system, which we lovingly refer to as the Great Firewall. And how great it is: no porn, because it can be eradicated like rats; no discussion of historical events, so as not to offend the sensibilities of certain mothers who would prefer to forget those things ever happened; no YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, New York Times, or Bloomberg, because screw 'em; and no dissent (and why would there be dissent?). Hadrian's Firewall, we'll call it. You'll love it, as we do.
On Tuesday, Tsinghua University law professor Yi Yanyou wrote on his Sina Weibo, “Raping a chaste woman is more harmful than raping a bar girl, a dancing girl, a sanpeinu or a prostitute." Because you know, in this world, some people just have it better than others, and deserve to be treated better because of it.
That Yi's statement was in relation to the Li Tianyi gang rape case quickly became lost in the outcry and massively loud sighs against Yi. How could a law professor -- at one of China's most prestigious universities, no less -- say such a dimwitted thing?
This fuckface. This fucking piece of shit is the new frog-eyed creepy rapist avatar for every foreign English teacher in China. I fucking hate him. As a reformed Catholic, I reserve vast reservoirs of contempt and genuine vitriol for authority figures who abuse their power at the expense of children. With all of my private and... Read more »
A mere two days after 21 were killed in violent attacks in Bachu county, Kashgar, including six police and six ethnic Uighurs, Beijing has politicized the incident, using it to call out the United States for failing to condemn the attacks as "terrorism." Reuters:
But the U.S. State Department on Wednesday merely expressed regret at the loss of life and urged China to "provide all Chinese citizens, including Uighurs, the due process protections to which they're entitled."
Just about anyone not holding a select diplomatic or South Korean passport can travel to North Korea. All it takes is money, which you give to a tour agency. They’ll even take you to the countryside if that’s what you’re after. It’s only the hucksters who try to dress up their North Korean trip as... Read more »
Anne Ishii, writer/translator in New York, writing in Slate: Martin Luther King Jr. said… Please stop. …we should be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin, but no one said anything about what’s in our pants. Oh fuck. There is an unspeakable fallacy that all Asian-American men must decide... Read more »
The State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television is a yawning cunt of beigest ninnies and bacillus. It’s written right there in its mission statement: Our function is to research and promote the insipid, hackneyed humdrum of popular media while bowdlerizing, inside the abysmal recess of our cave of stupefaction, all that is good, interesting, real,... Read more »
In a December interview on a Phoenix TV talk show, Jackie Chan made comments that Western media have recently described as "anti-American" -- ...really? I think his comments regarding America are immature, but they're not without reason. What a lot of reporting has ignored is that Chan was speaking in Chinese on a Chinese television channel, and the message he was delivering to a Chinese audience was this: “Yes, China has flaws, but if you talk about our country's shortcomings with foreigners, they'll misinterpret the message.”
More than a few journalists and observers have averred the significance of the Southern Weekly "incident," but the actual story has appeared to fall short of their expectations. As I wrote two days ago, "But is this really a watershed moment for media rights in China, as some hope... or will we return to our jobs soon and let the more vested parties enter negotiations on the future of both Tuo Zhen and Southern Weekly?" There's nothing wrong with hoping, but as Zhongnanhai points out, sometimes we would do well to step back to view the story in its proper context.
Bad articles deserve to die a silent, lonely death. Really bad articles, however, deserve to be thrown into the public stocks and ridiculed. This one from Daily Mail belongs with the latter. It begins: Ravaged by hunger and desperate for food, these are the sad pictures which show just how needy families in China are. Oh... Read more »