Recovery Thread

Tell us how you survived Christmas, or anything else you’d like to discuss.

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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: 45 Comments

Ugh I just wish it was over so this would stop:
http://www.imbermedia.net/users/darintenb/blog/?p=50
But yea, Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year to all of you guys too.

December 25, 2005 @ 12:50 am | Comment

merry xmas

December 25, 2005 @ 1:43 am | Comment

Happy Christmas.
Is this why they ban the BBC here?
“China ‘jails democracy activist’ ”

Protests were sparked by Japan’s approval of controversial textbooks
A Chinese democracy activist has reportedly been jailed for 12 years for helping to organise anti-Japanese protests in China earlier this year.
The wife of Xu Wanping said he had been found guilty of incitement to subvert state power at a closed hearing.
Mr Xu was accused of helping to organise a signature campaign against the school history books.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4558764.stm

December 25, 2005 @ 2:25 am | Comment

Chocolate cake. Mounds of gifts for the kids. Capuccino. A bottle of wine shared with my friends. Home-made spaghetti sauce. 12 straight hours of “24″. An excellent Christmas.

Michael

December 25, 2005 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Merry christmas folks !

Nothing special for christmas, dinner with friends, and a job interview on christmas morning -_-

December 25, 2005 @ 5:09 am | Comment

I am so drunk right now.

December 25, 2005 @ 6:45 am | Comment

Love and friendship given to me in the form of a bottle of ‘Niki de Saint-Phalle’ perfume I love since the early ’80s. A nice prezzie to me.
Merry Christmas ! Violaine

December 25, 2005 @ 2:01 pm | Comment

A wonderful dinner with German friends in a secret restaurant. Out in the dirty, chaotic town of Da Peng, the French workers at the nearby nuclear plant had convinced a 5-star chef they would support the restaurant if he would open it. It’s working, but it’s totally unexpected out there! And long phone calls with the kids. Pretty grand day, overall. Rescued from scrawny roast pigeon by the Germans and French!

December 25, 2005 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

Just got into a head-on crash with a motorcycle on the way to a bike shop. Could have been much worse but now there’s a slight crack in the frame and I need new parts- anyone know where I can get Raleigh parts in China?!?!

December 25, 2005 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

Damn, hope you’re okay, Keir.

By the way everyone, Joey was indeed Madge. That’s a fact. I knew it, and so did several of you.

December 26, 2005 @ 5:30 am | Comment

Lost all running water right in the middle of preparing the feast. Luckily, much had been done in advance. Unluckily, still no running water. I’m thankful for power though.

December 26, 2005 @ 10:25 am | Comment

On Boxing Day morning a Pink Elephant with a white beard came down my chimney and left some Alka-Seltzter in my stocking.

December 26, 2005 @ 1:28 pm | Comment

Ivan, anything else in the stocking?, maybe a bottle of water?

December 26, 2005 @ 4:10 pm | Comment

Santa-Pink-Elephant also gave me a jar of pickles. (Great hangover remedy.)

December 26, 2005 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

Merry Christmas all…

A shaver, a fan, an electric frying pan, a drill, books, sunglasses, too much food …

Off to the US on Friday … unlikely to be around here for very often for a little while ahead.

Happy New Year in advance.

#9

December 26, 2005 @ 4:40 pm | Comment

Thai chili pepper salsa, or southw.am. cowboy soup…not sure what’s in it but I think it must be the same stuff that’s in the thai salsa or your pickles, but I’ve had some russian pickles that have been pretty mild.

December 26, 2005 @ 6:14 pm | Comment

Of course it was MAJ! Who the hell else would go on about Marxism and write in the complete opposite way in every possible manner (except for length and tenacity)?

December 26, 2005 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

I don’t know either, what the active “anti-hangover” ingredient is in pickles. But most home-made Russian pickles (which is what most of them are) are really strong.

Not that I’m an expert on using Russian hangover remedies, of course…. :-)

December 26, 2005 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

In the spirit of Christmas, why not go over to google, type in “baby jesus” and hit “I feel lucky.” (Note, you might not want to do this at work.)

December 27, 2005 @ 1:12 am | Comment

Oy vey!

December 27, 2005 @ 1:20 am | Comment

Using Jesus’ head for a d—- ?

Funnily enough, the idea doesn’t seem terribly offensive to me. I mean, I’ve never objected to any woman who asked to use MY head that way! :-)

December 27, 2005 @ 1:51 am | Comment

And seriously, back in year 30 AD, if somebody told Jesus that some women were using dildos shaped like his head, I really DON’T think he would get bent out of shape about it.

I mean, he hung out with prostitutes (REAL ones, not Communist propagandists) and other nominal scoundrels, and he was executed as a criminal. He didn’t sweat the small stuff….

December 27, 2005 @ 1:59 am | Comment

I have to say, it’s a classic example of goggle bombing. I got the link from Jesus’s General, who writes,

“Certainly,” I thought, “those rotten bastards at Google intentionally designed their algorithms to mock our Lord.” But after thinking and praying about it for awhile, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re seeing God’s hand at work here.

Think about it. If Jesus blesses us by appearing on shower doors and grilled cheese sandwiches, why shouldn’t He place His visage on a butt plug? And shouldn’t we feel blessed that our Savior loves his children so much that he wants to get intimately close to us?

And how many times have you watched someone like Bill O’Reilly defending Our Leader for one of his many non-mistakes, non-lies, or non-criminal acts when suddenly he brings our Lord into the argument? After seeing him do it, haven’t you ever thought, “O’Reilly sure pulled Jesus out of his ass for that one.” Well, maybe that’s exactly what he did.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ordering one of these. It certainly looks a lot less painful than my crucifix.

December 27, 2005 @ 2:03 am | Comment

What I did for Christmas, here.

December 27, 2005 @ 2:45 am | Comment

Tried doing a trick off a ski jump… nearly broke my arm.

Drank hot chocolate bei meine Liebe for the rest of the day.

December 27, 2005 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Joey/MeAgain/MAJ,

I have seen combat, of various kinds, in wartime and otherwise, and I say:

You, MAJ, you are not worth killing.
You are not even worth fighting in any way.

And that is the worst insult I can send to any creature.

December 28, 2005 @ 5:40 am | Comment

Ivan, I deleted his last three comments. He’s making threats now, and it’s really creepy. Can’t he get a life outside of this blog? What to do someone who’s deranged?

December 28, 2005 @ 5:56 am | Comment

Richard, email me about those threats. You know I’m solid when it really matters.

December 28, 2005 @ 6:54 am | Comment

Mark Anthony Jones

You will receive a letter at your most recent Chinese address on record, with a warning. If you continue to threaten, you will be arrested upon your arrival in Australia.

December 28, 2005 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Shen Guofang got dropped.

learned from a source, it could be related to the Rebiya Kadeer release.

very sudden and strange. if anyone knows anything, please shed some light.

December 28, 2005 @ 11:32 am | Comment

As a commemorative post to celebrate the Birthday of Mao Zedong (Dec. 26th). This post would like to introduce a graph I made called : “The Chinese Population Change in the Last 2000 Years”, This graph is as follows:

http://img15.imgspot.com/u/05/361/16/disc21135804724.gif

In this graph, the horizontal axis is time, from 0 BC to 2000 AD. The vertical axis is population in hundreds of million (10^8). More specifically, I labeled the population at year 1949 (the year the Communists took over China). It is not hard to see from the graph that from 1949, the Chinese population grew very fast, all the way until the 1.3 billion at year 2000, which ends the graph.

Now, why am I talking about this graph. Well I believe it is a counter-measure to many demoracy-lover and Rightists’ efforts to paint a picture of “tragedy” and “darkness” in China during Mao’s time. Perhaps this is a very important component in the “ideological overthrow” of the Communist regime that those people love to see. Their methods to paint a black picture is actually very scary and very effective. For example, they may often talk about how poor the people were, how tragic people’s lives were, etc etc. And they will make those stories sound very serious, very professional, very documentary-like.

Now, are they making up those stories? I believe not. In a country of billions, where productive force was not very high, where there was 2000 years of feudal thoughts and traditions, where citizens’ education levels were low, of course it is very very easy to find such tragic stories.

But the problem is, is there an objective standard to define a “tragic society” or a “dark society”? I believe there’s not an objective standard. But if some of you believe there is, you may describe your standard in precise words and let’s see you can apply the same standard to other countries to test their “darkness”.

Ok, so my counter-measure is not to tell stories of “happiness” or “brightness”, because I believe telling stories are rather unexciting and too humanity-major-like. My counter-measure is to draw graphs. Now, I can’t draw any other graphs such as GDP growth, because then those Rightists will accuse me or the Communist government of making up data.

Now, the only graph I have here is this “Population Change” graph. In this graph, you can see that compared to any other period in Chinese history, the growth in population during Mao’s time is absolutely the biggest. According to basic biological principles, given this greatest population growth, I can only conclude that compared to any other period in history, Mao’s period has been experienced the greatest and unprecedented improvement in people’s living conditions. If people’s living conditions were worsened during that period, then we’ll see massive people dying from famine or disease, and we should see a downward sloping graph or at least a flat graph during that period.

But we instead are seeing an tremendously upward sloping graph. So, clearly those famines/diseases are not enough to make up for the unstoppable population growth during that period, and the only reason that many people can live and survive is because of dramatic improvement in living conditions, which must have led to dramatic improvement in life-expectancy.

Many of those “black-painters” employ another method, that is, in addition to painting Mao’s period black, they also paint all periods prior to Mao’s period very very sunny, as to insinuate that the Mao’s period is the worst. So they often claim that there have been many “Golden ages” in Chinese history and try to think back to those ancient golden ages.

Well, according to this graph of Population Change, all the ancient golden ages are not as golden as Mao’s age.

Now, here’s another graph, in this graph, I expanded the horizontal axis to extend to the year 4000. My prediction is that the Chinese population will slowly decline in the next 2000 years, given the strict one-child policy. Therefore, in the following graph, the “extrapolated” population is marked in dotted lines:

http://img15.imgspot.com/u/05/361/16/discontinuity1135804503.gif

Now, in this graph, it is even easier to see the “big jump” in population around Mao’s time (starting 1949). Now, I want to be an academician this time, and I’ll name this jump “Mao Zedong Discontinuity”. This phrase is purely an academic term. So perhaps in the year 4000, an Economics Professor in an American College will say to his students “The final exam will cover the law of demand and supply, utility curves, monetary policies, tariffs, and oh yea, Mao Zedong discontinuity will also be covered.”

In fact, I believe the same graph holds true to any endangered species population to illustrate success in protecting them: at the beginning the species were low in number and not really growing, then the government put in policies to protect those species and improved their habit and the environment, and as a result, there will be a huge jump in the population growth of that particular species.

December 28, 2005 @ 1:28 pm | Comment

mmm, popcorn! This is better than the movies! (Watching and waiting for Madge to be arrested and put into a straitjacket and deported back to Australia…..)

December 28, 2005 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

If Mao’s was the golden age, and started in 1949, then by that line of reasoning per capita income in the PRC should greatly exceed that of present-day Taiwan. Mao certainly may not have been as bad as some emperors, and his intentions may have been as pure as the driven snow, but the developmental model he imposed upon China drove it down to third-world levels. Had this been a uniquely “Chinese” phenomenon, Taiwan would have seen a similar stunted development. Theories are great, but when the results are visibly tangible, they usually die stillborn.

December 28, 2005 @ 7:34 pm | Comment

Sounds like one of those people who give the angry laowai stares – they think theyre in the middle of nowhere China, the only foreigner for miles and miles, then they see you and glare as if to say ‘this is MY china, what the F are you doing here messing it up!’

I prefer a smile and nod much better myself. Or just being ignored … that’s nice too

December 28, 2005 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

Ah, the angry laowai stare.

Actually, when I was living in Shijiazhuang a couple of years ago, which at the time had a foreign population of about fifty, it was SOP to say hello to any foreigner you saw who wasn’t obviously a tourist and check that they knew there *were* others in the town if they felt like going to the pub.

Oh, and anyone know whether this fuss about the blackmailed Japanese diplomat is being reported in China at all?

December 29, 2005 @ 9:31 am | Comment

Quick Terrorist Quiz (see if you can guess the terrorist)

Clues:
1) He was born a spoiled rich boy in oil country.
2) His family is friends to Saudi royalty.
3) He gave up a life of parties and women after finding “god”.
4) He fights for his people in the name of his god and all that is just.
….still can’t get it? – here’s the final clue…
5) He’s killed well over 20,000 innocent civilians in his honorable and just cause.
The answer, of course, is George W. Bush. Osama hasn’t killed nearly that many people yet!

December 29, 2005 @ 1:51 pm | Comment

Here’s the news story on the Japanese envoy:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article335612.ece

China and Japan are locked in a bitter war of words after the Japanese government accused spies from China of being responsible for the suicide of one of its diplomats.

The unnamed official, who was based in Japan’s consulate in Shanghai and committed suicide in May last year, left a series of suicide notes claiming he was being blackmailed by a Chinese intelligence agent over his relationship with a hostess in a karaoke bar. The allegations, first voiced on Wednesday by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, were denounced by Beijing yesterday as “vile” and a “smear” on China.

The furore threatens to plunge Sino-Japanese relations to a new low. Chinese anger over Japan’s failure to apologise for its actions during the Second World War, Japanese fears over China’s increased military spending and a dispute over the ownership of islands rich in natural resources have exacerbated friction between Asia’s two major powers.

Having dismissed reports in the Japanese press about the suicide as “groundless”, Beijing was forced on to the defensive by Japan’s claims. “This is completely out of ulterior motives and we express our strong indignation at the vile behaviour of the Japanese government, which deliberately smears China’s image,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, said.

Tensions between China and Japan came close to breaking point last week after Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Aso accused China of posing a “considerable threat” to north-east Asia. He also claimed that China was spreading fear in the region by increasing spending on its military. Beijing described his remarks as “highly irresponsible”.
According to Japanese reports, the diplomat was responsible for communications in the Shanghai consulate. The highly sensitive post involved encrypting classified information before it was sent to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo. In one suicide note, the diplomat claimed his relationship with a karaoke bar hostess had led to him being pressured by a Chinese agent to reveal details of the flights used to carry classified documents to Tokyo and to pass on information about consulate staff.

“We believe people with the Chinese security authorities conducted regrettable actions,” Japan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yoshinori Katori said on Wednesday. He said the agent’s actions violated the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Japan had lodged four protests with Beijing but had yet to receive a satisfactory response.

In one note, the diplomat said that he could not countenance passing on secrets to China. “If I were to do more, I would have to sell Japan. I cannot sell my own country,” he wrote.

Despite the fact that China and Japan are each other’s biggest trading partners, their relationship has foundered in recent months. Chinese anger over Japan’s failure to apologise for events such as the Rape of Nanjing, in which 300,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered by the Japanese army in 1937, boiled over in April when thousands of Chinese were involved in violent protests against Japanese diplomatic missions and businesses. A poll by the Japanese Cabinet Office in October revealed just 32.4 per cent of respondents felt friendly towards China.

December 29, 2005 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

My interpretation of the Japanese delay:

Perhaps Taro Aso is trying to win some more Japanese support for his hardline views. He is the new Foreign Minister, after all, so pushing something like this from the Foreign Ministry’s archives to the front burner shouldn’t be that hard.

My recommendation as to how to interpret this story (you can skip if you’d like): an exercise of forces which have a stake in China and Japan hating each other–perhaps thats why the CCP is being so heavyhanded in its response.

To paraphrase Rodney King: Why can’t we all just get along??

December 29, 2005 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

I miss Hong and Xing :(

December 30, 2005 @ 7:18 am | Comment

And is miss Mark Anthony Jones too!

December 30, 2005 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

Anyone know where I can find the complete “We must Arm” speech by Churchill of October 16, 1938 online? I can only find quotes by googling; I want to use it as a reference to China.

December 30, 2005 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

NY Times has searing article about Wang Binyu today: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/31/international/asia/31china.html
Anyone know about the case? Unlike what’s in the article here, I heard that in fact he after he couldn’t kill his sub-contractor, he returned to the scene and finished others, including a woman begged him for her life on her knees.

December 31, 2005 @ 3:11 am | Comment

Beijing News journalists on strike. Hope Richard would blog on this unusual move.

December 31, 2005 @ 3:58 am | Comment

LFC, Keir – I’ve been intending to blog both these stories but have been out all day. Working on it.

December 31, 2005 @ 5:43 am | Comment

Zipping up this thread….

December 31, 2005 @ 6:56 am | Comment

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