If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

No, not if you live in Beijing. Here it is, May 12, and it feels like March 12. Winter here is semi-permanent; you get a couple days of sandstorms to tell you spring is here, and then summer crashes down like a hammer (though it’s late this year). Then you get a couple of impossibly short weeks of incredibly beautiful autumn weather, followed by a lethal frost on or around October 15 and the whole cycle starts over. And I do like it here. It’s just that weather-wise, Beijing is not the world’s most hospitable place. Any reason why they can’t move the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square et. al. to Kunming, the way they moved the huge Dortmund steel plant?

______________

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: 65 Comments

Richard, if it makes you feel any better, the weather isn’t much better here in Indiana. Then again, we’re pretty much on the same parallel – minus the sand storms from the Gobi Desert.

As for moving Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, be careful what you ask for. You know how much the Chinese government loves to undertake the grandest of projects. It has been said before that if Beijing is unable to stop the desertification they may very well have to move the Capital city.

May 12, 2008 @ 11:09 am | Comment

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion…de-820381.html

Christina Patterson: Why the Chinese have reason to feel pride

Watching people in Tiananmen Square, I saw something I’d rarely seen in my life
Saturday, 3 May 2008

Last week in Tiananmen Square, I was moved to tears. It was not, I’m afraid, the thought of the thousand or so protesters massacred there 19 years ago that had me wiping away the tiny droplet of salt water unexpectedly trickling down my nose. It was the sight of thousands of people standing in silence to watch the lowering of their national flag.

I had expected tourists and tourist tat. Tourists there were, in abundance ?groups of giggling teenagers, young couples, families on a day out and coach parties in red baseball caps, some waving little red flags. But if China’s vast manufacturing industry extends to Tiananmen Square snowstorms or T- shirts, there was no sign of it here. You couldn’t even get a postcard. You couldn’t even get a bottle of water.

Instead, in this vast space, where Mao held rallies and where people come to do t’ai chi and fly kites, tourists, nearly all Chinese, took photos of each other, and of me, and lined up to watch skinny young soldiers with wasp waists march around a flagpole and take a flag away. Many were smiling. If they weren’t on holiday, they were out for an evening stroll. And watching them, and watching them watch me, I saw something I’d rarely seen in my life ?a relaxed expression of national pride.
The pride is evident from the moment you arrive at Beijing airport’s new international terminal. Like Tiananmen Square, like the Forbidden City, like the Great Wall, and like China itself, it is gargantuan, a glittering symbol of the new China, teeming with elegantly uniformed staff, all eager to please. Even the immigration desk had a sign saying “You are welcome to comment on my performance” above a buzzer that you could press for the options, from smiley face to frown.

In Wangfujing Road, Beijing’s Oxford Street, among the traditional tea shops and the pharmacies selling dried sea horses and knobbly roots, and the McDonald’s and KFCs and Morgans, there are numerous shops bearing the proud slogan,”Beijing 2008 Official Licensed Product Centre” and, everywhere, the mantra “One World, One Dream”. And in front of the vast Wangfujing Bookshop, boasting entire sections devoted to “application for job”, “how to be an eloquent speaker” and “succeed psychology”, as well, of course, as “Party history and party building”, there are display boards with pictures of the Olympic torch, including carefully cropped photos of Konnie Huq and Gordon Brown.

On CNN in my hotel bedroom, I saw reports of the tortuous progress of the torch, from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta, as closely guarded as residents of Guantanamo, but in the China Daily I got with my breakfast the headlines were “Torchbearer invited to visit again” and “Olympic flame burns bright in the rain”. So when the main editorial declared that “the hysterical protests” of the “anti-China agitators” was unleashing a tidal wave of patriotism, I dismissed it as evil propaganda from a newspaper ?like all newspapers in China ?in hock to the party machine.
That, however, was before I went to Tiananmen Square, before I went to the galleries in Beijing’s hip arts quarters, 798 and Caochangdi, and before I talked to some of Beijing’s educated elite. “We’re quite supportive of the government right now,” said Sun Ning, director of Platform China, a gallery that opened last year. “We can see people starting to have a good life. When I was a child in the 1970s,” she added, “to eat a banana was the most exciting thing I could imagine.”

It’s hard to imagine now. Today in China you can eat anything. You can buy Nike and Rolex and Chanel. (The Chanel concession at my hotel, when it opened, was the highest grossing in the world.) You can watch skylines spring out of paddy fields. You can watch a giant bird’s nest grow before your eyes.

And you are damned if you’re going to let countries whose economies are collapsing, countries whose poor people are getting poorer, countries that plundered and doped you in the past, and which are now gagging for your trade, spoil the party. “We tried Communism to equalise,” says an email now circulating among Chinese worldwide. “You hated us for being Communists./ Now we embrace free trade and privatize,/ You berate us for being Mercantilist,/ HALT! You demanded: a billion-three who eat well will destroy the planet!/ So we tried birth control, then You blasted us for human rights abuse.”

Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has lifted 350 million people out of poverty. It has overseen the mass metamorphosis of peasants into the world’s biggest middle class. It has performed the world’s biggest economic miracle. You can sort of see the reason for the pride.

Of course it’s wrong to oppress the people of Tibet. Of course it’s wrong to imprison people who speak out. Of course it’s wrong to control the press (wrong in Italy, and wrong in China). And of course it’s right to say so.

But sometimes if you want to wag your finger, you have to take it out of the pie.
c.patterson@independent.co.uk

May 12, 2008 @ 11:47 am | Comment

Who is this Christina Patterson? She must be a Xinhua news writer posing with a Western name to spread CCP propaganda in western media. The nerves of the CCP.

May 12, 2008 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

HongXing wrote:

“Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has lifted 350 million people out of poverty.”

One needs to be wary of the lifting-people-out-of-poverty statistical game. The statistical dividing line between proverty and out-of-poverty is whether one makes more than 1 US dollar a day. So if the US dollar depreciates, then people can be lifted out of poverty all else being equal. Also, if one’s income goes from 90 cents to one dollar 5 cents, then one is suddenly well-off by this statisical measure notwithstanding that the price of oil and the price of food has gone through the roof.

It’s bullshit.

May 12, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Comment

yessiree BOB,

Based on current US dollar depreciations, since the 1990s, the Chinese government has lifted 349.95 million people out of poverty, instead of the 350 million people when the US dollar is still worth something.

May 12, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

So if a peasant sells his daughter to a criminal syndicate and earns a few bucks, then the family is suddenly hoisted out of poverty?

Doesn’t make any sense….

May 12, 2008 @ 4:04 pm | Comment

@HongXing

Third time I post same link in Pekingduck.

But I keep finding it very appropriate.

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2008/05/video-hung-huang-on-nationalism/

And yes. I understand what you feel.

May 12, 2008 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

@richard

In Madrid we use to say we only have two seasons

Winter and Hell

With just a very brief reprieve in between….

May 12, 2008 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

Christine should take a great leap forward and go back swimming in her limited gene pool.
The CCP can better spend it’s time reforming the systemic corruption within it’s rank rather than posing as a slack jawed shill.

May 13, 2008 @ 3:00 am | Comment

Hey, hope everyone and their families are alright after the horrible earthquake…

May 13, 2008 @ 4:17 am | Comment

The earthquake, the worst since the Tangshan earthquake, is a sign from Heaven. Or, at least, many Chinese will see it that way.

May 13, 2008 @ 5:24 am | Comment

First, the horrible cyclone in Burma.

Now, the terrible earthquake in China on the Buddha’s birthday.

Don’t fxxxck with the Buddha!

May 13, 2008 @ 5:43 am | Comment

To Richard and friends:
We started receiving news of the earthquake this morning, US time. We are saddened to see how it has destroyed much of the area and killed thousands. Our best wishes and thoughts are with you and your families during this difficult time. If possible, please keep us posted on how recovery efforts are progressing. We hope and pray you are safe.

May 13, 2008 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Yes, the news we are getting here is really disturbing. Please keep us posted if you can. I echo Donna’s sentiments.

May 13, 2008 @ 7:01 am | Comment

Don’t fxxxck with the Buddha!

Don’t celebrate just yet, maggot. It hit a 34% Qiang and 18% Tibetan prefecture so nanhe and his friends will have to feign sadness.

May 13, 2008 @ 7:06 am | Comment

Umm isn’t Richard in/near Beijing?

@BOB
Most educated Chinese won’t see it that way, what with atheism and all that. Most uneducated Chinese, if they hear of it, may see it that way. But I can imagine all sorts of fanatically religious/political people around the world seeing it that way. And I don’t even need to imagine some of them being sickly happy about it–some comments I’ve read online makes you wonder whether they qualify as h-u-m-a-n.

May 13, 2008 @ 7:12 am | Comment

@ferin
I don’t think anyone who’s a regular on this blog, regardless of how little they like various aspects of China, would sink to such lows. The discussions here usually require some minimal amount of humanity/self-respect.

May 13, 2008 @ 7:21 am | Comment

Sadly that’s not really true, some like nanhe would consider it part of the “Final Solution to the Chinese Problem” and Ivan will inevitably find some way to work Christian/European “moral superiority” into it.

May 13, 2008 @ 8:05 am | Comment

I gather they felt the quake in Beijing and Shanghai, but Richard has friends in a lot of parts of China.

Chengdu is a really nice city too. And there are blog readers who have relatives there, I know for a fact.

Credit to Wen Jiabao, who seems to have a good handle on how to act in a crisis.

May 13, 2008 @ 8:30 am | Comment

Credit to Wen Jiabao

otherlisa, do you have any conscience left? How can you praise a communist dictator? Please be a good citizen of the free world, and do not ever make inappropriate comments like this.

May 13, 2008 @ 9:09 am | Comment

Well, now I’m confused. Was that snark?

Oh well.

May 13, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Comment

Besides, Hu Jintao would be the dictator.

/snark

(that’s how it’s done)

May 13, 2008 @ 9:31 am | Comment

I find it hard to believe that the majority of educated Chinese are atheists, as implied. Nor, to my understanding, are the majority of Chinese Buddhists. I was under the mistaken (apparently) impression that the majority fo Chinese held a combination of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist beliefs. Perhaps my experience with overseas Chinese has coloured my views. In any event, it is a tragedy, and that the anniversary was the “historical” (i.e., Gautama Sakyamuni) Buddha’s birthday hardly renders it “the judgement of Heaven”. (OK, perhaps I took that remark too seriously). In any event, unlike the Burmese military, the PLA is well trained to react to such disasters, whatever their record on internal security operations.

May 13, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Comment

Terrible news indeed coming from China.

It is a sad time.

May 13, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

ferin must have found a fly in his fried rice and went on a tear.

An earthquake is an impossible force to stop, but many of the victims were living in antiquated buildings. Hopefully this spurs the government to really start hammering nationwide regulation enforcement in everything.

lead toys = embarrassing
fake baby formula = terrible
defective buildings = no excuse

But it is good to see the PLA mobilized for something positive, unlike the bums in Myanmar…estimated death toll now at 35,000 with another 50,000 missing.

May 13, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Comment

Living in California, I can say with confidence that construction standards make a huge difference in earthquakes. That said, even with stringent building codes, the Northridge Quake in ’93 was found to have cracked structural steel beams in downtown high-rises that were supposedly built to code – and this was a 6.8 magnitude quake, nowhere close to the 7.9 in Sichuan. Depending on where the fault breaks and how far underground it is and what the ground is like, two earthquakes of the same magnitude can have far different effects. IIRC, the Northridge quake was more destructive than the 6.8 would indicate because there was a lot more vertical movement than in some other quakes. I could be remembering this wrong though.

But, yeah. The way things are built makes a huge difference. The Northridge quake was powerful enough to collapse a freeway but the death toll was under 100 people. That it happened at 4 AM helped too.

May 13, 2008 @ 3:19 pm | Comment

Gah. Excuse me. Northridge Quake was 94. I can only remember the year by what I was doing when it happened.

May 13, 2008 @ 3:30 pm | Comment

hopefully this will be a spur for improving building quality in china, but i cannot imagine that many buildings, however brilliantly made, could withstand 7.8. is sichuan known as a quake zone? it is also good to see the pla mobilised quickly, it has to be said that they do everything they can in such situations and risk their lives. a stark contrast to the “bums in burma” as nanhe points out. surely their inaction could be considered a crime against humanity by now.

@ferin

i can understand your anger, but anyone who genuinely takes joy out of what has happened is sick in the head and probably deserves your pity. regardless of ideological differences no-one deserves what has happened. my thoughts are with the chinese people, i wish them all the best in the rescue efforts and recovery

May 13, 2008 @ 4:41 pm | Comment

“Sadly that’s not really true…” – ferin

You’re right. I seem to remember a discussion in the old PD forum based on an online chat between Chinese students at MIT who were having a good laugh about 9/11. Nice.

May 13, 2008 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

hongxing, regardless what you said – too long, can’t follow it sorry

May 13, 2008 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

This is the WILL OF HEAVEN.

Don’t Fxxxck with the Buddha!

“The epicenter was in part of what is called the Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. The small town of Aba within the prefecture in particular has been a hotbed of unrest with Buddhist monks marching against Chinese rule since mid-March.”

May 14, 2008 @ 12:27 am | Comment

@Si
“hopefully this will be a spur for improving building quality in china,”

Not only construction standards would be necessary.

City planing, redundancy and duplication of infrastructures: transportation, telecomunication, power generation and distribution, medical facilities, supplies depots, etc would also be necessary.

Good planing will prevent that a city or regions accesses and resources will be knocked out by a major natural disaster event.

Also training and education of local civil defense personnel and population helps to reduce casualties significantly: correct behavior, evacuation procedures, first help basic knowledge, etc.

I also know that in Japan they have systems to measure tensions accumulated of seismic faults.
This system is not designed to foresee exact date of earthquakes, that is not possible with current knowledge, but it gives a measurable degree of seismic risk of affected areas which is used to take decisions on city planing, construction standards and infrastructure design.

May 14, 2008 @ 12:34 am | Comment

Si, exactly. 7.9 is a monstrous quake. Strengthening construction standards would help but this would still be a very destructive event, no matter what.

May 14, 2008 @ 1:17 am | Comment

On Buddha’s Birthday, in western Sichuan, 88 days before the Olympics? Not suprised this earthquake is leading to such crazy rumour-mongering and conspiracy theories.

May 14, 2008 @ 12:36 pm | Comment

That Buddha wants to kill Tibetan children?

May 14, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

online chat between Chinese students at MIT who were having a good laugh about 9/11. Nice.

Chinese people are less likely to do something like that than Americans, and if you deny this you’re an idiot.

May 14, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | Comment

Maybe it is somewhat far fetched, but the behaviour of prime minister Wen Jiabao and public display, specially during the last natural disasters this year in CH, look each day more similar to that of an elected or willing to be elected politician.

I do not remember seeing such closeness to people in CH leaders, and will to face crude and critical situations.

It is something slowly moving deep in the hidden counsels of CH power structure?

May 14, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Comment

ferin, I am sorry to say that there were Chinese students who celebrated 9/11. I have faith that they were not the majority of students.

I cannot say for a fact that no Americans celebrated this event (there are always idiots who do such things), but here in Los Angeles and in the media, I have heard nothing but sympathy and sorrow expressed for the victims of the Sichuan quake – particularly here in California, where we have some experience with earthquakes. The fact that so many children were killed is the kind of tragedy that transcends irrational nationalist sentiments, for the most part.

Ecodelta, one of the reasons Zhou Enlai was so popular in China is that he made frequent appearances during natural disasters – I do think that Wen Jiabao is acting more like a modern, willing to be elected politician (and good for him) but I think there are some historical precedents for what he’s doing.

May 14, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

See how bad it is:
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080513_1.htm

May 14, 2008 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

If you are in the US, Oxfam has a donation drive & relief effort for the China quake.

They are a well-regarded organization and do good work.

May 14, 2008 @ 3:44 pm | Comment

Very positive article on Chinese relief effort in Times , especially as how it contrasts to Burma.

In general the coverage in the American press has been very positive about the Chinese government’s relief efforts. The above is from the UK but I haven’t been reading a lot of their coverage so would not want to generalize.

May 14, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Comment

The conspiracy theories are well under way, looks like local officials may have dropped the ball again…and again.

http://tinyurl.com/4bc49x

May 14, 2008 @ 4:20 pm | Comment

@LG

One thing that surprises me from the photos is the lack of teams equipped with dogs trained to locate survivors buried under the ruble.

These trained dogs are very effective in locating patches of survivors even when they are unable to move or make any sounds to help rescue efforts.
Teams with dogs first locate areas where possible survivors are buried, digging teams follow suit.
One dog is left behind to help diggers locating survivors while they remove the ruble, the rest of team move forward to next area.

Several foreign countries have offered such teams to be send to CH, some of those teams are even still in standby, but it takes time to deploy them from so far away and integrate them effectively with local teams.

It would be more effective to send as help trainers and dogs to start forming and train local team personnel and dogs.
Too late for current victims but maybe not for the next ones.

CH send pandas, we send trained dogs ;-)

May 14, 2008 @ 4:50 pm | Comment

ferin, I am sorry to say that there were Chinese students who celebrated 9/11. I have faith that they were not the majority of students.

Some people celebrated 9/11 in the U.S even, some Americans even joined the freaking Taliban.

stuart using this is to defend all the jeering goons is typical behavior for him.

China doesn’t do crap like that as much for the same reason they commit fewer murders, beat fewer minorities to death, etc etc.

May 14, 2008 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

ferin, I don’t know what to say to you sometimes. Yeah, people say really stupid hateful things. But you respond by saying really stupid hateful things. I know you are a thoughtful person and have a lot to contribute. I wish you would do more of that.

Ecodelta, I have been thinking the same thing all day. Seriously. We have a lot of experience with earthquakes in CA and we have great search and rescue teams with dogs in the US. I realize that too many rescue workers would be a mistake right now in China – the manpower is obviously there already – but I keep wishing that the US would offer/China would request (who knows what’s been going on behind the scene?) some of our really crack rescue teams.

Well, I kicked in some rapidly declining dollars to Oxfam anyway.

May 14, 2008 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

@other lisa
“but I keep wishing that the US would offer/China would request (who knows what’s been going on behind the scene?) some of our really crack rescue teams.”
Regrettably the survival window for people buried under the ruble is very sort. Three days I think at the most, maybe more in some exceptional cases.
Without locally deployed and integrated teams it is very difficult to mount rescue operation in such sort time.
Getting the training in preparation for the future will be more useful.

What could really help now would be campaign hospitals and technical personnel.

CH has more than enough manpower, but that is not enough, technical and medical teams would be required.
CH may have also those teams, but it could be a PR plus to engage foreign engineering corps and help personnel
Units like the marine corps Seabees in US and similar units from other countries could help to put back communication infrastructure back into operation.
Civil Defence teams for mouting campaign hospitals in remote areas or where destroyed infrastructure has isolated the place, even in cities with suffered heave damages.
Emergency Maintenance team from Power Utilities, telecommunications, etc could also be used.

If well orchestrated it could be a PR plus for CH, and CH Government. It would also help to reduce some of the strain built up during the last OG, TB and TR crisis.

Good preparation for this summer OG.
One World, one Spirit, etc, etc ;-)

May 14, 2008 @ 6:21 pm | Comment

Mom seems to take Wen’s actions and timeliness for granted. I think this generation’s leaders are known to be closer to the common people than previous leaders (it’s funny to see people talk about them with pet names as if they were little kids), but it also seems that it is expected/traditional for the top leaders in China to behave this way. After all, the biggest differentiating factor between the CCP and previous governments in China, advertisement-wise, is something like “from the people, serve the people.” That’s how they got wide support in the first place. What did seem to improve drastically this time compared to previous disasters, though, is the speed with which they opened up to us and told the world what was going on, which could explain why many of us found it impressive.
Given any country, I’m sure any sane leader would behave pretty much the same way. After all, it is *their* people. Crazy dictators and idiotic Bushes are the exceptions, as they should be. People who smirk at disasters and claim heavenly justice are also the exceptions, as they should be. If enough people ignore them, then hopefully they will eventually either grow up, go extinct, or self-destruct in fits of impotent rage.

May 15, 2008 @ 3:50 am | Comment

@.@

What you said.

May 15, 2008 @ 4:02 am | Comment

“but I keep wishing that the US would offer/China would request (who knows what’s been going on behind the scene?) some of our really crack rescue teams.”

Bush publicly offered assistance if Beijing wanted it.

Ferin loves to hate the US and also loves to live there.

May 15, 2008 @ 5:07 am | Comment

Regardless of the weather in Beijing and elsewhere, I really hope the weather conditions improve in the quake areas. It’s heartbreaking to see kids die just because rescuers couldn’t get to them 5 min earlier due to weather/road conditions.

And after this is all over, for those who are guilty of making blood money, may they either be caught and sentenced to life long imprisonment, or not be caught and doomed to life long nightmares and guilt.

Nanhe, unlike you, ferin doesn’t appear to profess to have a passionate hatred for an entire nation/race/people. When hate is all you can give, you should expect to get some in return, if not pity. I see ferin as someone with a lot of cynicism toward some people, and I hope that cynicism could give way to genuine appreciation of genuine concern and sympathy from genuine people, but I am really not quite sure what to say to you.

May 15, 2008 @ 6:26 am | Comment

@ @.@:

Ah, yes ferin does. He just has the sense to let us know about it on plus4chan /n/ rather than here on the Duck where his opinions would get him permab&.

May 15, 2008 @ 6:38 am | Comment

“Nanhe, unlike you, ferin doesn’t appear to profess to have a passionate hatred for an entire nation/race/people.”

You haven’t been reading this blog for too long, have you? Ferin hates Americans (although he is one himself)/”Western” people (whatever that means)/women (especially those who are engaged in what he considers inappropriate mixed relationships).

“When hate is all you can give, you should expect to get some in return, if not pity.”

You should tell Ferin!

“I see ferin as someone with a lot of cynicism toward some people, and I hope that cynicism could give way to genuine appreciation of genuine concern and sympathy from genuine people, but I am really not quite sure what to say to you.”

I am not quite sure what to say about this sentence, because I don’t really understand it. Please enlighten me!

May 15, 2008 @ 6:42 am | Comment

@PB

Ah. I don’t know how to access that stuff, but if that’s true, then my bad. But how would that work? Nanhe is obviously not living in China. Wouldn’t ferin have trouble getting along with his neighbors/classmates/co-workers, then? It just doesn’t seem quite possible to love living somewhere if you really hate the people, unless you love living in the middle of nowhere and away from human civilization. You sure he’s not just focusing on certain people like nanhe and Bush?

May 15, 2008 @ 7:03 am | Comment

@mor

How did you guess? Learning more as I read, as you probably did yourself. Hey, I didn’t think nanhe was all that bad, either.

Um…that last sentence, is basically because I see ferin taking jabs at a few people when so many others genuinely care and are sympathizing with those suffering from the earthquake. There are times for harsh words and arguments and fighting, but when people give good will, then good will should be at least noted and appreciated, if not returned. Otherwise conversations don’t really flow too well. I’m just saying that it would be nice if he could tone down the cynicism a bit.

May 15, 2008 @ 7:16 am | Comment

Ferin loves to hate the US and also loves to live there.

nanhe loves to hate China and also loves to earn China’s money.

You haven’t been reading this blog for too long, have you? Ferin hates Americans (although he is one himself)/”Western” people (whatever that means)/women (especially those who are engaged in what he considers inappropriate mixed relationships).

I don’t hate women. Hoes that marry for money don’t really count, they’re the female equivalent of Chinese men who chase their genitals into Southeast Asia and bring back diseases. People like you really aren’t much different from people who abort female fetuses from China’s perspective.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:41 am | Comment

The funny thing is is that “ferin” is one of 30 or 40 something handles I have and nanhe is well-established (or least he’d like to think so) so by provoking him I drag his already crappy name through the mud and make him look like a raving lunatic moron.

That’s what’s nice about copying other people’s screennames from different forums and using them as alt handles.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:42 am | Comment

@Ferin

To what point and purpose would you a)act like an idiot b)engage idiots c)respond in kind?

I must say you had me in stitches with the “theta male” call recently.

Nonetheless, why do it? Stick to logic, knowledge, brains and occasional wit. It can’t lose.

By the way, lots of donations are being made in china for victims etc. Everyone keep chipping in. Now, does anyone really know what HFMD is?

May 16, 2008 @ 6:44 am | Comment

@HFMD

Hand, foot and Mouth disease

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HFMD

May 16, 2008 @ 8:10 am | Comment

@rich

Ooops. Wrong name in last post

May 16, 2008 @ 8:11 am | Comment

“I don’t hate women. Hoes that marry for money don’t really count, they’re the female equivalent of Chinese men who chase their genitals into Southeast Asia and bring back diseases. People like you really aren’t much different from people who abort female fetuses from China’s perspective.”

“The funny thing is is that “ferin” is one of 30 or 40 something handles I have and nanhe is well-established (or least he’d like to think so) so by provoking him I drag his already crappy name through the mud and make him look like a raving lunatic moron.

That’s what’s nice about copying other people’s screennames from different forums and using them as alt handles.”

No offense meant, Lisa, but what were you talking about, when you called Ferin a “thoughtful person” who has “a lot to contribute”?

May 16, 2008 @ 4:21 pm | Comment

Mor, believe it or not, I’ve seen a different side to Ferin that supports my characterization.

Stuff like this, what can I say? He’s making me look bad. Problem is, I can’t even figure out what half of it is about (the same thing applies to some other posters here), so my brain just glazes over and I don’t even try to parse it.

Check out the top thread if you want more examples of utter incoherence by various posters. Apparently the quake is God’s will. Or something. Making God evil and silly and a pedophile (that was the response to the “God’s will” argument).

Whatever. Thank god I’m not a religious person.

I just try to follow Richard’s guidelines, which are that comments should only be censored in the most extreme cases.

Compared to the nonsense on some of the Tibet threads, all this is fairly mild, IMO.

May 17, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

“Mor, believe it or not, I’ve seen a different side to Ferin that supports my characterization.”

Like what? I really would like to see examples.

“Stuff like this, what can I say? He’s making me look bad. Problem is, I can’t even figure out what half of it is about (the same thing applies to some other posters here), so my brain just glazes over and I don’t even try to parse it.”

He doesn’t make you look bad, but he’s taking advantage of your lenience. I’m not asking you to ban him or delete his comments or “to parse it”. I just want to know what makes you and others (you’re not the only one) think that this guy is THOUGHTFUL AND HAS A LOT TO CONTRIBUTE?

“Check out the top thread if you want more examples of utter incoherence by various posters. Apparently the quake is God’s will. Or something. Making God evil and silly and a pedophile (that was the response to the “God’s will” argument).”

Correct me, if I’m wrong, but I think it was Ferin who called God a “pedophile”.

“Whatever. Thank god I’m not a religious person.”

Whatever. Thank God Ferin is a very thoughtful guy who has a lot to contribute like:

“Don’t celebrate just yet, maggot. It hit a 34% Qiang and 18% Tibetan prefecture so nanhe and his friends will have to feign sadness.”

“I just try to follow Richard’s guidelines, which are that comments should only be censored in the most extreme cases.”

This is what Ferin wrote:

“Sadly that’s not really true, some like nanhe would consider it part of the ‘Final Solution to the Chinese Problem’ and Ivan will inevitably find some way to work Christian/European ‘moral superiority’ into it.”

Slandering other commenters and associating them with the holocaust is not an extreme case then, I guess.

“Compared to the nonsense on some of the Tibet threads, all this is fairly mild, IMO.”

Whatever Ferin says is always fairly mild, but if nanhe crosses the border (and he has several times, no discussion about that) you will cry foul immediately. I hate to say this, we’ve been there before, but yes, there is a double standard.

May 17, 2008 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

mor, as I’ve said before, it is really up to Richard. Both ferin and nanhe have been banned at various times. They are both posting again.

As for the Tibet thread, I was not referring to any specific commenter. The rage and bile there came from all quarters. The stupid comments on these earthquake threads pale in comparison. Which is not to say that they aren’t stupid.

I have a lot more I could say about all of this but I’m late for class as usual.

May 18, 2008 @ 3:02 am | Comment

Sorry, I’ve been gone for weeks. Ferin’s comments, like Nanhe, are often pretty smart. When they are vile and offensive, I’ll delete them as soon as I see them. I don’t happen to think the “final solution” comment you pointed to, mor, was that bad, and certainly not cause for deletion. Stupid maybe, wrong, unfair. But not meriting censorship. I let nanhe slander an entire country, because I think he often has something to contribute, and readers know how to deal with his excesses as most know how to do with Ferin’s.

May 18, 2008 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

There’s a new Chinese Blog at http://transparent.com/chinese/, written by an American in Beijing.

It contains some interesting, thoughtful posts on Chinese language and culture, as well as sample vocabulary and online flashcard vocabulary practice, including native speakers pronouncing the words you’re learning. You can subscribe to it through an RSS feed.

Everyone is welcome to leave comments in the comment area of the blog, too!

May 24, 2008 @ 12:42 am | Comment

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