Message From Richard

Richard says he cannot get into the site – not the front-end or the back-end, so he can neither post nor comment. Hopefully this catastrophe will be fixed soon, but for now Richard has no choice but to be silent. Frustrating beyond words.

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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: 18 Comments

Can he talk to his site designer to set up email-to-blog?

That’s always a handy option to have when you’re having technical difficulties like this or when the nanny decides to block access to your site.

January 24, 2007 @ 9:58 am | Comment

Odd — it’s showing up fine for me here in Beijing, and I’m probably using the same ISP as Richard (China Netcom). Hopefully it’s just random flatulence.

January 24, 2007 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

I even checked the logs – said Richard successfully logged in a few days ago.

Maybe he should try logging in from another computer he knows is safe?

January 24, 2007 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

COMMENT FROM RICHARD

I’ve just gone to two separate Internet cafes, and same thing – the site starts to load and then stops dead. I got on fine a few days ago, after a bit of waiting, but now it won’t work. It seems totally erratic. One day, fopr example, I could get onto Imagethief in a few seconds, now I can’t get on at all. Some sites in the US are fine – even a lot of blogspot blogs that were all banned the last time I lived here. But many other sites refuse to load. This is having serious repercussions for my business. I just got a new laptop from my company but can’t download the Adobe Reader so I’m shut off from many of my clients’ documents. At first I thought it may have to do with the server at my company, where I’ve been doing all my surfing (I still don’t have broadband at my apartment – it gets installed later this week). This trip to the Internet cafes tells me it’s a bigger problem. And last week, at a different Internet cafe, the site came right up. Go figure.

January 25, 2007 @ 1:14 am | Comment

Okay, this is Richard himself, finally! I just had broadband installed in my apartment and the site came right up. I can post again – but only from home. Have to go to work now but am happy to be back.

January 25, 2007 @ 9:49 am | Comment

Richard, do you still think Beijing is such an amazing place? It’s been almost a month now since the earthquake and things are still not back to normal. No one knows what’s going on and there is no word as to whether service will ever be normal again. Welcome back!

January 25, 2007 @ 10:28 am | Comment

Pha, you know what? I still think Beijing is an amazing city. I still like China. Does it face serious infrastructure and environment problems? Sure. Are there lots of fucked-up things here? Sure. But it’s going to take more than a broken telecom cable for me to change my mind and say bad things about Beijing, much as you might want me to. Sorry, but I’m really enjoying it, more and more. I took a different philosophical approach when I moved back. Unlike the first time, when these breakdowns would lead me to despair, I now let them go and try to find solutions. Because if you come to China expecting the level of services and proficieny that you’ll find in Singapore and America, you’re going to go insane. Again, it’ll take a lot more than a slow response to a broken cable line to conclude thatBeijing sucks. Sorry to disappoint,

January 25, 2007 @ 11:25 am | Comment

Pha has a point, though. My internet speed sucks, and I stubbed my toe this morning. Those goddamned Commies ruin everything! Why oh why did I ever leave the US?

January 25, 2007 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

“Again, it’ll take a lot more than a slow response to a broken cable line to conclude that Beijing sucks.”

For the sake of argument only, let’s see if you feel the same way in a year…

January 25, 2007 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

I see I have to perform quite a balancing act to satisfy the different audiences here. Alright, I will try my hardest to dislike China, but right now that won’t be easy, since I’m dealing with so many great people here, am enjoying my work and find things much improved since the SARS days. I’ll still speak out against abuse of power and corruption and tyranny when I see it. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that Beijing is a cool place to be.

January 25, 2007 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

Hey Richard,

Don’t take my comment too seriously. It was just some good natured fun. I’m not telling anyone to hate china. I’m generally in agreement with canrun, I think most people eventually get fed up here. The fact is most foreigners eventually leave Beijing because of all the little things that are broken and dirty. When these things build up over time you get into the cycle of funk (r.i.p. ttc). I just wanted to give you a hard time because you are so excited about coming back. Hehe. I’ve been here since the SARS days and I just made a decision to leave recently. I had a great time, and if everything goes well, I will be married to a Chinese girl sometime late this year and we will be returning to the states. So you see, I don’t hate China, I just hate all the broken and dirty little things. Please don’t try to “satisfy any audiences”, it would be too boring if we all agreed.

Hey Brendan,
I actually have no idea if you are being sarcastic or not.

January 27, 2007 @ 11:16 am | Comment

Brendan was being sarcastic – something he’s quite good at.

Don’t forget, this is my second go-’round. I know all about the dirt and the aggravation. But it really has improved and I really am enjoying it and taking the usual grief (broken ATMs, corn on top of the pizza, inexplicable bureaucratic BS) in stride. Compared to my last experience, this is unbelievably smooth sailing. So far. I know the ship will hit an iceberg or two, but this time I’ll be mentally prepared; after 2002-3, nothing that happens now can surprise me. (Famous last words.)

January 27, 2007 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

Speaking of little broken and dirty things, Thursday’s Washington Post had an article about the “suicide rabbt” cartoons that poke fun at the petty indignities of life in China. With occasional pokes at Taiwan and Japan, but none at official corruption. Are these ‘toons as popular as the WaPo says? Seemed like a cross between Charlie Brown and Calvin and Hobbes. Have you blogged about them?

January 27, 2007 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

Given that my first experience in Beijing was over twenty years ago, it all seems so much easier to me, every time I go. The one thing I’m finding that wears on me though is the traffic and sheer hugeness of the city – that’s definitely kind of overwhelming compared to how it used to be.

January 28, 2007 @ 6:33 am | Comment

Actually, I’m not sure whether I was being sarcastic or not. I find that after having been here for a while, I’ve developed a protective outer layer of fecklessness and bemusement that ensures my continuing detachment from everything that goes on around me.

Bukko — those rabbit cartoons have made the rounds of various Chinese blogs BBS forums, but I haven’t seen anything new in a few months. Then again, I don’t spend much time hanging out on forums. The last time I saw them anywhere was several months ago, on Non-Violent Resistance (which appears now to be as dead as the rabbit).

January 28, 2007 @ 5:25 pm | Comment

OtherLisa — no kidding. A friend of mine was playing a show in the Lido part of town last night, so I went out there for the first time ever since I came to Beijing. Man, talk about the boonies. (Granted, I’m somewhat spoiled, since I live near the Drum Tower and have decided that anything outside the second Ring Road is simply a bridge too far.)

January 28, 2007 @ 5:29 pm | Comment

Oh, I love the Drum Tower – it may be my favorite “historical sight” in Beijing.

What freaked me out was returning to the scene of my personal crime – the Friendship Hotel. It used to be total sticksville – out among the communes – no sidewalks, no nothing. Across the road were fields and a couple of tin-roofed huts selling a small selection of goods, most of which you had to have coupons to purchase.

When I went back there, it was surrounded by high-rises, a store that I can only call “Chinese Best Buy” and an entire electronics district. Talk about “you can’t go home again”!

January 29, 2007 @ 4:30 pm | Comment

That’s a nice neighborhood. We used to live in a little hutong off Jiugulou Dajie, not far from the Drum Tower and where Cafe Sambal is now. Cool area.

January 29, 2007 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

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