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 »
Chen Kegui, nephew of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, was sentenced to 39 months in jail for his role in fighting back hired thugs and local officials who had broken into his home on April 27. The man slashed three officials — out of a group of about 20 of the most spineless, chicken-livered, piss-poor excuses... Read more »
The flagship CPC newspaper People’s Daily is, well, it’s a bit, you know. It’s rubbish. The design is terrible, the editorials are as pleasant as a shirt of broken glass and Captain Crunch, they have military equipment on their flash home page every day and their non-CPC related stories have the detached insouciance of a disabled child petting a kitten too hard.
The Party Congress is, mercifully, over. For those of us here in Beijing, it feels good, like a massive cold-water colon cleanse. Now with the brown-nosers out of the city, we can reflect.
Now that it’s over, I mourn the loss of the banners.
The propaganda rags had a few different roles to play during the Congress. 1) Don’t report bad news. 2) Make sure everyone loves the Congress. 3) Love our dear leaders. 4) Publish editorial rimjobs about the Party Congress. 5) Convince people that change will happen gradually, after they die. 6) Hate the US and their pussy-ass elections. 7) Bang on about the Party Congress, no matter how boring and un-news-like, until you kill yourself, go on, do it, just kill yourself. Do it. You pansy. Go on. You don’t have the balls, do you? Do it. DO IT!
The Bayi Rockets are the crown franchise of the Chinese Basketball Association, not because they’re good — they won 31 percent of their games last year — or particularly likable — as Jim Yardley wrote in Grantland after Bayi brawled with Georgetown last year, “Anti-Bayi sentiment [at one time] was so deep that rumors began to... Read more »
If there's anyone in China who might understand what it means to parody something -- actually, truly parody, and not just copy or co-opt -- it's Ai Weiwei. He's an artist, you know. Who better than he to skewer China's nouveau riche and be this country's answer to PSY? You think Gangnam, South Korea is a district of gross decadence and put-on fakery?
Protesters occupying Hong Kong’s city plaza have won — sort of. Wall Street Journal reports people are feeling “mixed jubilation and frustration” after the city announced yesterday it will make its controversial National Education curriculum “voluntary.” While it’s too early to unravel all the implications of this decision, a direct result is that those on their hunger... Read more »
In the history of censorship in Chinese media, surely we’ve seen more half-baked decisions and upsetting punishments. But surely, as well, we’ve never seen so many journalists punished for such small beer. Spare me your sermon about Liu Xiang as the face of the country’s athletics program and a national hero, etc.: I’m arguing against... Read more »
In an article published Saturday in the Sydney Morning Herald, South African Cameron van der Burgh admitted to cheating in his world-record-setting swim in the 100-meter breaststroke. Swimmers are only allowed one dolphin kick after entering the water and one kick after the turn, but van der Burgh copped to taking multiple — because “every swimmer does that,” he... Read more »
Journalists are fed a lot of crap by the world. Specifically by public relations flacks and sources, but really, the world at large, because we’re surrounded by crap, by fetid logs of horse and other rancid mammalian shit dripping with stupidity and awfulness. It takes a decent journalist to filter that shit and present it... Read more »
What the hell did we watch? Why didn't someone help Liu Xiang up? Why was he left hopping around on one foot like an inspirational failure?
Liu Xiang was in the sixth heat of the preliminaries in the 110-meter hurdles, and on his first leap his left foot collided with the hurdle, sending him down. He landed awkwardly, tumbled and tumbled, and the CCTV commentators emitted a scream and then went speechless for the next five seconds.
We’re at the point where Ye Shiwen can no longer be found guilty in China, if that makes sense. This issue has become about more than swimming. If it ever does come to light that Ye used a banned substance, I suspect the relevant organs will find a scapegoat who admits that he accidentally put... Read more »
First of all, it’s eight minutes. Say what you want about “Survival,” London’s official Olympics song, but at least Muse had the courtesy to stop at a reasonable five minutes and 20 seconds. For what is essentially an overproduced, commercialized ditty, what couldn’t you possibly do in five minutes that you need eight? Actually, we... Read more »
On June 30, two adults at an auto repair shop in Xiajin county, Shandong province pressed a mechanical air pump agains the anus of a 13-year-old boy and nearly inflated him to popping. Literally. The crime was almost too ghastly to comprehend. But comprehend we did, and in the successive days, it was as if... Read more »
No one would confuse China Daily for a real newspaper — the kind that doesn’t write “A Friend’s Departure” on its front page when North Korea’s leader dies — but the company undoubtedly has real journalists on staff, veteran reporters who quietly toil within China’s noxious media environment to produce respectable work, and it’s those... Read more »
I remember, earlier this week, looking at Reuters’s David Gray’s photos of old Beijing Olympics venues and not thinking twice about them, because the headline on Atlantic Cities, where the pictures appeared, read “Beijing’s Olympic Ruins.” I could guess the nature of the misinformed captions that awaited, the smarmy condescension, the clueless-about-China editor at his... Read more »
After physical and mental trauma, how else can one victimize the defenseless? Go after the family. That’s what appears to have happened to the woman who was forced by local Family Planning officials to abort at seven months. By now surely you’ve seen the photo, and know that authorities have done diddly shit to punish... Read more »
Understated as always, Xinhua reports that the city government that employed the officials who were responsible for forcing 27-year-old Feng Jianmei to abort after seven months have “apologized.” In person, I wonder? Via email? Text message? Fucking assholes. The city government of Ankang on Thursday evening apologized to a woman who underwent a forced abortion at... Read more »