Announcing: Beijing Cream’s Flash Fiction For Charity At Great Leap Brewing

Flash Fiction for Charity
Attention, writers of Beijing: we're holding a flash fiction reading on Sunday, July 13 at Great Leap Brewing's Original No. 6 location (Doujiao Hutong No. 6). Space is limited, so we're asking those interested to register by emailing us -- spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is 50 RMB, which includes a select GLB beer, with all proceeds going to the charity Educating Girls of Rural China. Also, importantly: we're seeking readers!

At Least 31 Dead, More Than 90 Injured In Urumqi Terrorist Attack

Urumqi terrorist attack kills 31b
Two vehicles rammed into pedestrians in an open market at 7:50 this morning on Gongyuanbei Street in Urumqi, Xinjiang, killing at least 31 people and injuring more than 90, according to Chinese state media. AP reports that "the Xinjiang regional government said in a statement that the early morning attack was 'a serious violent terrorist incident of a particularly vile nature.'"

Dispatches From Xinjiang: So You Think Uyghurs Can Dance

So You Think Uyghurs Can Dance
With so much attention on the violence emanating from Xinjiang, many of you may have missed the parade of Uyghur dancers who have recently taken the stage on the Chinese version of “So You Think You Can Dance” (Zhongguo Hao Wudao). Not only do we have the child-star-turned-adult-tap-dancer Yusupjan, the nine-year-old break-dancer Surat Taxpolat (who goes by the stage name “Little Meatball”), and the teenage break dancer Umid Tursun, but we also have the model family of Gulmira Memet, a young dance instructor from the Xinjiang Art Institute in Ürümchi.

Look How State Media Is Spinning The Failure Of China’s Latest Anti-Porn Crackdown

China's latest anti-porn campaign
China's anti-porn crackdown -- its latest, I mean, in a long line of many -- isn't going as well as planned, because apparently porn is hard to block and everyone watches it, so the propaganda spinners have gone into overdrive to frame the story in a new light. If you want to see Chinese state media at its best / worst, these are the moments you cherish, when it completely jumps the shark.

Dispatches From Xinjiang: A Poetic Recording As Popular As Song

Dispatches from Xinjiang cassette tape featured image
As in many Islamic societies around the world, Uyghurs listen to cassettes and MP3s of sermons, poetry, and essays as a way to tune in to the sensibilities of the rapidly changing social world and to find their place within larger communities. Those who listen to these forms of media are ordinary Uyghurs, people who work as farmers and seamstresses, small-scale traders, and handymen. They send their children to schools with red scarves tied around their necks and worry that their kids won’t be able to find their way in the new world. Many of the most popular recordings focus on ethical action, on living right, and on what the world “out there” is like. They are both entertaining and instructive.

How Long Until “Game Of Thrones” Is Banned In China?

Game of Thrones on CCTV
HBO's Game of Thrones arrived in China last week, but the fit-for-CCTV broadcast was so rigorously edited to conform to some "public morality" that one netizen hilariously called it "a medieval European castle documentary." But amid all the articles about this development, we may have lost sight of a more amazing fact: Game of Thrones -- a show about political wrangling, skulduggery, sabotage, dissolution, sex, etc. -- was allowed to air on Chinese TV. It took two whole days before we got this Ishaan Tharoor post on the Washington Post, titled:

6 Injured In Guangzhou Railway Station Knife Attack [UPDATE]

Guangzhou Railway attack
Six people were injured by knife-wielding attackers around 11:30 am today on the plaza in front of Guangzhou Railway Station. They've been sent to the hospital, but their conditions are unknown. A People's Daily tweet from 12:54 pm claims there were four attackers. State media reports that police fired shots at the attackers, hitting at least one of them.

Latest Chinese Beach Craze Is Full-Assed [UPDATE]

Nude sun bathing Sanya Beach Hainan
There really isn't much to say about these pictures, which were taken on May 3 on a beach in Sanya, Hainan province and tweeted out by China Daily Show just now ("Who says China lacks innovation?"). Excerpt, perhaps, "Why?" A couple more pictures follow. They might not be appropriate for office gawking.

The Creamcast, Ep.14: Writers And Rum

BJC The Creamcast logo 250x250
On April 16, Alec Ash of the Anthill gathered eight writers (technically nine) to read stories at Cu Ju, a rum bar in the hutongs owned by the somewhat legendary Badr Benjelloun, who paired each writer with a rum. The result was glorious. Alec graciously allowed us to record the entirety of that event, which we now present to you as an episode of The Creamcast.

Dispatches From Xinjiang: Uyghurs And The Fog Of Drugs

Abdulla Abdurihim - Sirliq tuman
Although the use of hashish has been a part of the Uyghur pharmacopeia for centuries, drugs appear to have become a widespread problem for Uyghurs in the early 1990s. It was only then that young men in their twenties began dying of overdoses and needle-borne disease. As Ilham Tohti mentioned in 2011, in the intervening decades drugs, along with theft, pickpocketing, trafficking, and prostitution, “have gotten so bad that our entire ethnic group is suddenly perceived as a crime-prone community.” These are issues which Uyghurs discuss among themselves and feel embarrassed about when they are raised among outsiders.

These Are Probably The Most Frightening Panda Pictures Ever

Creepy panda by Ami Vitale featured image
The Guardian recently published a series of photos by Ami Vitale, who was given exclusive access to the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Chengdu to photograph the giant panda, a creature that you and I and the general public knows as comely and cute. Vitale, however, reveals a darker, sinister side, a world of paraphilia, cages, and kinkplay in which China's national symbol is transformed into an object of flesh that -- willingly or unwillingly -- engages in deviant sex and/or some sort of atavistic fetishism. Prepare to never look at pandas the same way -- or the bipeds who love them.

People’s Daily Seeks “Immediate Rectification” From Parody Account @RelevantOrgans

People's Daily vs Relevant Organs
People's Daily, the gift that keeps on giving, did a most glorious thing at 1:39 am today by "publicly condemn[ing]" a parody Twitter account, The Relevant Organs. "We have noticed that a Twitter account has been misleading people by stealing People's Daily 's web address and National emblem of China to make false impression that the account is related to China officials or People's Daily," reads PD's tweeted statement.

Dispatches From Xinjiang: Traffic Lights And Uyghur Black Humor

Uyghur funeral procession featured image
On April 13, 2014, Abdulbasit Ablimit, a 17-year-old from a small town near Aqsu, was shot twice. It appears he had run a red light on an electric scooter and, rather than stop and pay a fine, he had fled. According to his friends, he was gunned down three kilometers later. The official state narrative, posted a few days after the incident, says he attacked the police officers with stones, tried to grab their guns, and so on. Regardless of how, Abdulbasit died within hours. His body was given to his family for burial. But he was not buried.

One Beijing Summer: A Tale Of Status, Sex, And A Chinese Pop Star

One Beijing Summer by Hannah Lincoln
On a crisp September 1st morning in Beijing, I stood before a locked iron door. On the other side was a hutong that led to the streets and eventually my university dorm. On my side was a scruffy courtyard home, a room with no couch and only one big bed – on which slept my Chinese boyfriend. It was dawn, and the hutong roofs were limned by a light morning mist, releasing the heat of the night into a new day. Inside, I was trapped, faced with an undesirable decision: to take a hammer to the door, or to return to the bed and have sex with a person I no longer respected.

Oliver Stone Rails Against Chinese Film Industry “Platitudes,” Coddling Of Mao

2014 Beijing International Film Festival - Director Oliver Stone Interview
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: