Is Adam back?

Well, sort of, maybe, kinda. The relatively newlywed English teacher has comments turned off and isn’t posting much — and he’s about to leave China for Vietnam. Let’s hope he soon returns to blogging with the same enthusiasm and brashness as in the good old days, when the expat-in-China blogosphere truly rocked.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Hey, cool! I was just thinking about Brainysmurf the other day. Interesting, too, that he seems to be trying to get his students into blogging. I’ll be interested in that if and when it succeeds.

Just out of curiosity, though, Richard, what do you think it was about “the good old days, when the expat-in-China blogosphere truly rocked?” Was it just a temporary convergence/interplay of several interesting personalities in blogspace? Was it because there was more of a sense of community? (Ironically, was it the rise of Living in China that signaled the decline of said community?) Or is it just that there are TOO MANY China blogs now, so that same feeling of community is impossible to recapture?

April 27, 2005 @ 10:46 pm | Comment

Hey, interesting insight! I was just curious about the whole anit-Japan situation and how Chinese people are actually feeling. I’m not Chinese myslef, I’m American but I’m curious about the real side of the story. If you could address these issues, how the Chinese actually feel or elaborate in any way, it would be greatly appreciated. Also, I sympathize with your article about the plight of gays in China. Being gay myself, living in the US, and going through adolescence, I understand the fear and taboo surrounding the whole issue. Even though things are supposed to be soo much better here in the US, it really isn’t that great. Thanks in advance.

April 27, 2005 @ 11:10 pm | Comment

This doesn’t belong in the thread, but just wanted to make a comment without a suitable location.

I saw the German movie Downfall recently, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the last few days. If you haven’t heard of it, I’d seriously recommend it. It’s about the last days in Hitler’s bunker in Berlin … it has been accused of showing too much sympathy to Hitler, and I can see why, but I think that criticism misses the point. Hitler and his Nazi’s weren’t cardboard cutout bad guys … they were bad guys, but they were perfectly capable of being nice to their kids, etc, and being afraid as the Russians rolled into the city. I thought it was about as accurate as they could make it, and if anything was missing, it was the war crimes of the Soviets as they took out their anger and frustration on German civilians and surrendered soldiers. I guess if they’d put that in, it would have made them even more vulnerable to accusations of sympathy with the Nazis.

Anyway … my point for raising it here. I’ve been thinking about it, and thinking about North Korea. Those people in Berlin were fanatical in their support of the Nazis, and ready to die and to suicide rather than face defeat. I’m not just talking about Hitler, but little kids fighting from house to house. Yet, how can we deny today that it was the right thing to do, to roll into Germany with guns blazing, and to root out that evil? And even the German people themselves would mostly say that it had to be done, when they look back on it. Now North Korea … there is a patently evil regime, and I use the word carefully and deliberately. I can’t think of a better word than “evil” to describe Nazis and the North Korean government. Axis of evil? Well, I might find room for argument in the other 2, but in the case of NK? Sure, it’s evil. On the other hand, many North Koreas are fanatically devoted to their leadership and their system. They would put up a fight to the death, and gladly give their lives for the cause … but would it make it wrong to completely destroy that regime by military means? Frankly, if there’s a country in the world where it would be worth the cost to the people being attacked, I would say it would be North Korea.

April 28, 2005 @ 9:11 am | Comment

FSN9, I second your praise for th movie Downfall, the most gripping and well-acted movie I’ve seen in as long time. A true masterpiece that should be seen by everyone. That actress who played Goebbel’s wife, as she killed her own children — unbelieveable performance.

North Korea. Well, all I can say is I’ve seen this issue debated many times, and the consensus is that we can’t do it, simply because of those nasty warheads pointed at South Korea which would create carnage on a scle the world have never before witnessed on such a small geography. Otherwise, I am all for it because he really does have weapons of mass destruction, and life for the Iraqis under Saddam was apicnic compared to live under Kim.

Needless to say, however, the point is moot. Thanks to our own dear leader’s committing our resources to a never-ending war in Iraq, going after Korea is probably out of the question on numerous levels – military, economic and political. The American people are in no mood right now to fight another pre-emptive war when they can’t afford gasoline to get to work.

April 28, 2005 @ 10:19 am | Comment

John, that is a really interesting question, and I think there are some surprisingly simple answers.

Although he was blogging from Hong Kong, Conrad’s Gweilo Diaries exerted more influence on China bloggers than any other site during our heyday in 2003-2004. He was constantly getting into scuffles with Adam and me, and later with Joseph Bosco, generating large flows of traffic for all of us. We were almost always engaged in some very vocal conflict, and Brainysmurf and Peking Duck and Gweilo Diaries were kind of like war zones, with really explosive comments and occasional downright rudeness (of which I was sometimes guilty myself). But it was definitely exciting. In addition, SARS played a catalytic role, bringing in a flood of new readers who turned to Flying Chair, Conrad, BWG, myself and others for information. For months SARS dominated our little group and provided huge fodder for passionate blogging. There were also some other blogs like Prince Roy and Chairman Meow that got involved in these spats, either on their own sites or the comments or on Living in China. And there we have the last big influence that made our blogosphere so vital for a while: Living in China centralized it all, and all of us began to post there, increasing our own trafic and acquainting us with one another. For a while, new stories were being written for LiC every day and it became a real anchor for many of us, and added significantly to the noise.

Now Conrad is gone, Adam is gone, LiC is gone. Prince Roy and Chairman Meow are gone. And look at this fascinating phenomenon: those lat two blogs as well as Adam’s Brainysmurf have never really been replaced with similar blogs. There is a real gap right now. Nearly all of the expat China bloggers have strong gripes with the CCP, and none is complimentary. Whether it is fair or not, the new crop of bloggers is outspokenly critical of China’s government. Now, I want to congratulate these bloggers for getting it right, but I also have to say that it has made our group a little blander and more harmonious than it used to be. Those explosive fights with Conrad and Glutter and Adam and me are history, and that has taken away some of the China blogosphere’s sex appeal, if you will. It may have been stupid and immature at times, but man, it sure brought in the readers. (It’s a shame that when I switched from blogger to MT I lost all my comments from those days — they were often very high in entertainment value, mainly thanks to the outspoken HK lawyer.)

So that’s my opinion in a nutshell. I do kind of miss the old days, and wish Conrad and Adam would get back into the act.

April 28, 2005 @ 11:15 am | Comment

Maybe.

April 28, 2005 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

Nothing like a good squabble to keep things interesting. I try to do my bit. Anything to oblige.

April 28, 2005 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

Well, I’m not gone, it’s just that for obvious reasons I can’t engage in the same kinds of conversations as in the past…

April 30, 2005 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

Thanks for your great and nice site!

June 14, 2005 @ 4:19 pm | Comment

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