Birthday Thread

For those of you in the Wild, Wild East, it’s already July 1 — Canada Day, Princess Diana’s birthday, and my own. Discuss. (Discussion not limited to my birthday; that would get lethally dull fast.)

The Discussion: 59 Comments

happy birthday! turning 25 again are we? 😛

June 30, 2005 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

happy b-day…. I’ve been reading for some time, but I guess I should say hi there.
Enjoy your posts!!

I miss Arizona, but not the summer heat. 🙂

June 30, 2005 @ 5:54 pm | Comment

At the risk of lethal dullness, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

June 30, 2005 @ 5:57 pm | Comment

it’s also the birthday of CCP today

at first glance, a sudden surprise to see richard say happy birthday to ccp

June 30, 2005 @ 6:05 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, if I had known I’d have changed my birthday! 🙂

June 30, 2005 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

And on a very different note, I just noticed Gordon’s got another hilarious rant you will not want to miss. Even if it’s not in the birthday spirit.

June 30, 2005 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

And how ancient are we today?

June 30, 2005 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

25. Every year, 25.

June 30, 2005 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

Nothing so ugly as someone over the hill trying to convince themselves they are still young. Hope you lost the mullet, at least.

June 30, 2005 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

I’m going to change the echo in here just a bit and say 生日快乐!

What a rebel I am 😛

June 30, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

Hi Richard. I’m sorry it has taken me so long this morning to getting around to wishing you a “happy birthday”, but I felt more compelled to write up my response to both Lirelou and Conrad first.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I can proceed onto my next task for the day, which is to pass on to you my congratulatory wishes. So here goes:

“Happy birthday Richard!”

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

June 30, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Happy birthday, old boy. Enjoy.

June 30, 2005 @ 9:14 pm | Comment

Happy B Day! Glad you were born!
(Thought the CCP b-day was on National Day in October).

Enjoy the day! Cherish life.

June 30, 2005 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

Dear Richard,

I shall, as you request, drop the subect discussed in the other thread, but please, just one last word on the matter: I’m sorry if you interpret what I have said as a taunt – but I can assure you that my comments were most definitely not written in the spirit of taunting, or nastiness. I was only tryring to offer you some constructive criticism, and in the spirit of friendliness.

You are, if you don’t mind me saying so, as little too sensitive sometimes, and often tend to read too much into my comments.

Best regards, and once again, I hope you have a nice birthday.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

June 30, 2005 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

Oh I feel the weight of the years bearing down on me already. I’m not even 25 yet and I hope I never will be :). It’s amusing that when I was in my teens I wanted to be grown up, and now that I’m a little older, I’m already have an early mid-life crisis.

Anyways Happy Birthday Richard, congratulations on turning 25 😉

p.s. Ellen Today is the 84th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai by Chen Duxiu. October 1, national day, celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic when Mao declared victory over the Nationalists in Beijing.

June 30, 2005 @ 10:05 pm | Comment

Happy birthday! And remember, age need be no impediment to pleasure … hence one of my favorite poems.

Ancient person, for whom I
All the flattering youth defy,
Long be it ere thou grow old,
Aching, shaking, crazy cold;
But still continue as thou art,
Ancient person of my heart.

On thy withered lips and dry,
Which like barren furrows lie,
Brooding kisses I will pour,
Shall thy youthful heart restore,
Such kind showers in autumn fall,
And a second spring recall;
Nor from thee will ever part,
Ancient person of my heart.

Thy nobler parts, which but to name
In our sex would be counted shame,
By age’s frozen grasp possessed,
From their ice shall be released,
And, soothed by my reviving hand,
In former warmth and vigour stand.
All a lover’s wish can reach,
For thy joy my love shall teach;
And for thy pleasure shall improve
All that art can add to love.
Yet still I love thee without art,
Ancient person of my heart.

June 30, 2005 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

Opening a bottle of vodka for you.
I mean on your behalf. What’s inside is for me, but I’ll drink it all on your behalf. 🙂
You must have been a smart embryo because you dodged sharing GW Bush’s birthday by just a few days!

June 30, 2005 @ 11:22 pm | Comment

of course don’t forget that today is also the eighth anniversary of hong kong’s return to the motherland’s loving embrace.
rock and roll dude!

July 1, 2005 @ 12:01 am | Comment

Happy happy Birthday! I didn’t get a chance to post on the threads about your job-related stress the other day, but you sound like me in 1999 – stuck in Dublin fixing people’s computers, stressed out and hating every minute of it. Little did I suspect how much a change of country would make my life infinitely better. Here’s to next year’s birthday being spent somewhere you’re much happier!

July 1, 2005 @ 12:16 am | Comment

On a non-birthday related note, Martyn sent me another update on the Shalan School tragedy, which I just published, you know where to look.

July 1, 2005 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Hi Lisa, I’ve got 26 minutes left so I’ll go and take a look!

Richard, it’s not much of a birthday present but there are some stunning pictures from the Pary archives at

July 1, 2005 @ 12:32 am | Comment

Richard W., what happens in 26 minutes???

By the way, you can look at the blogspot version now, which I think is a little easier on the eyes (

July 1, 2005 @ 12:40 am | Comment

Filthy Stinking No.9,

Where are you these days? Still in robust health, I hope. I have been expecting you to throw in your own two cents into the debate that I am currently engaged in with Conrad, down in the “Bush’s pseudo-speech…” thread. I don’t expect you will probably agree with most of my views, but I have been looking forward to reading your commentary nevertheless.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 1, 2005 @ 12:41 am | Comment

My mate in Beijing just sent me a mail saying that
is now blocked. I just tried in Guangzhou and I can’t download the site either. It wasn’t blocked the other day as I checked to see if it had been updated.

Does anyone have any ideas?

July 1, 2005 @ 12:53 am | Comment

Haha, if anyone hasn’t seen The Horse’s Mouth today then they should go and have a look. Gordon’s frustrations in China rant is a classic. We’ve all been there before.

July 1, 2005 @ 1:07 am | Comment

I just received a mail from running-dog and they do know about the block and have posted about it.

China bods can access running-dog via the below link. Everyone may want to change their Firefox Bookmarks accordingly. Thanks.

July 1, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

boy, that really sucks that the Nanny is going after individual sites like Running Dog. I wonder how long blog city and the Duck will be safe?

July 1, 2005 @ 1:27 am | Comment

Yeah, exactly. Running Dog just said in their email that it had to happen sooner of later. Still, once we’ve changed our bookmarks to include a proxy then it’s pretty much business as usual. It’s just a question of making sure all China residents know about how to use proxies, it’s amazing how many people I meet have no idea what proxies are.

By the way Lisa, when I was in Pacific Coffee in Hong Kong the other day, I had a quick flick of the “original” Paper Tiger. Nice layout, very professional looking and great colours. Plenty of cats.

July 1, 2005 @ 1:34 am | Comment

Thanks Martyn. And that’s pretty much just a standard blogspot template. It’s just nicer, is all! When I have some time I’ll try and play with blog city a bit, but I wish I could just use blogspot and be done with it.

Everyone should go read Richard W.’s latest post at the Three T’s.

July 1, 2005 @ 1:38 am | Comment

Bloody hell I’m a silly nutter sometimes. I just posted this in the wrong bloody comment box a minute ago. So I had to copy and paste it into here.

Gidday anyhow! I’m a long time friend and colleague of MAJs, visiting him here in Shenzhen today – just ducked over to here from Hong Kong in fact.

I’ve just been reading the exchange he’s been having with Conrad on one the threads below, the one about Bush’s speech. What a bloody bizarre conversation those two have been having! I mean, as I said, MAJ is an old friend of mine from way back, and as much as I reckon he’s a pretty fair dinkum bloke and all (he’s a bloody generous guy with his money – always happy to shout a round of drinks and all), but he does, I have to say, have a few bloody bizarre ideas hey! I mean, what’s all this stuff about bloody sexual metaphors used by Bush in his speech and all? And why is Conrad talking about his own penis, as if it was his best mate?

The both of them are bloody good arguers that’s for sure, and they’re both bloody bizarre too I reckon. Conrad and MAJ. I bet Conrad’s one of them bloody Sagittarians too. MAJ is one them bloody archers too you know, always firing off shots with his bloody mouth.

Still, they’re good for a bit of a laugh, hey?

Better go quick now, before MAJ gets back from the loo.

Steve L.

July 1, 2005 @ 2:10 am | Comment

Dear All,

My sincere apologies for the posting above. When well enebriated, as he is now, Steve can be quite a prankster I’m afraid.

Mark Anthony Jones

July 1, 2005 @ 2:23 am | Comment

Just a note to my fellow China Residents concerning proxies:

I have the following two proxies saved in my Firefox Bookmarks:

Both sites usually allow access to blocked sites.

Chinese internet restrictions vary from region to region but I access the blocked and, (no doubt evil and anti-China) BBC News via this link:

If it doesn’t work for you then you’ll have to experiment, sometimes going through search engines to your desired site. Still, it’s worth it as, once you find a link that will get you to where you want to go, then you can save it on your Bookmarks. Of course, it’s more slow to download etc., but thems the breaks. Nice to be able to stick a finger up to the Cyber-Nanny.


July 1, 2005 @ 2:49 am | Comment

Simon at simonworld has another great post today:
“Asia’s ambivalence to Hitler

A group of school kids in Singapore were taking part in a music camp. They were divided into teams and told to choose a team name and leadership idol. One of the teams chose the name ‘Hitler’.”

“The teachers at the camp have not been reprimanded, nor did they question the students’ choice at the time.”
As we’ve been talking about Chinese history and the learning of Chinese history in China on Peking Duck recently, it’s good to remind ourselves about the terrible lack of understanding towards non-Chinese history here in China.

Everyone must go to simonworld to read this as he mentions that Hong Kong shop that decided to bring out a new line of clothes ALL WITH A NAZI THEME.

What shocks me is that these designs went through the design, production and marketing processes without anyone stooping to think that maybe, just perhaps, it isn’t such a good idea. Amazing.

Imagine what a hoo-har China would make if a US/European fashoin outlet decided on an “allied soldiers buring down the Summer Palace” theme or “The Opium Wars” theme.

July 1, 2005 @ 3:28 am | Comment

What? MAJ is a Sagittarian? It’s hard for me to imagine a Sagittarian Marxist, unless he has some afflictions in Aquarius or from Uranus.
Richard, I’ll do a quick astrological chart for you if you want – for your birthday – but I cannot do it based on your putative age of 25. I need a real year. 🙂

July 1, 2005 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Nice try Ivan. You’ll be asking him which TV programmes he used to watch as a kid next…….

July 1, 2005 @ 3:46 am | Comment

Um, Martyn, come on, why must you insult a sincere friendly gesture?
I’ve studied astrology for over 20 years, traditional astrology like William Lilly and Al Biruni (Medieval Arabic scholar) etc etc
I just happen to have a skill – I know how to do traditional astrological charts (not as easy as you might think) and offered one for Richard for his birthday. Please don’t take the piss unless you understand that I meant it as a sincere gift – never mind what Richard or anyone else here thinks about astrology, it was simply a offered gift from me.
Come on man, lighten up! 🙂

July 1, 2005 @ 4:50 am | Comment

I’ve got Uranus right here, buddy!

Happy birthday, R, did you get fired? It would be auspicious.

Mark, you should let your mates on the computer more often. They’re hilarious.

P.S. is it wise to put all the @n0nym1ser information here? I worry that the Bastards of Beijing will eventually figure out how to disable them.

July 1, 2005 @ 4:55 am | Comment

I was joking you ninny! It’s not my style to insult people over the Internet, I think it’s pretty pathetic to do so.

Anyway, Richard’s quite evasive about his age I’ve noticed, hence the joke. Still, I didn’t know you were that much into astology. Interesting stuff Ivan.

You might want to email him if you’re serious about the astrology chart gift. It would be a great gift, especially since he’s perhaps going to make some major changes in his life.

Apologies that you thought I was having a dig, sorry Ivan mate, furthest thing from my mind.

July 1, 2005 @ 4:57 am | Comment

If they do disable the above sites Sam_S, then we can simply change to new ones as there are hundreds out there.

July 1, 2005 @ 4:58 am | Comment

Hey Martyn,
What, you call me a “Ninny?”
HAHAHAHA! 🙂 Giggling here. I take it as a compliment!
Thanks mate. Maybe I’ll email Richard privately to offer to do his astrology – even if he doesn’t believe in it, I think he’ll like the gift. 🙂
Three Cheers for Richard! And I suggest, all of us should offer him all of the most wonderfully weird gifts we can give! Because I think, Richard has a special gift of bringing extraordinary people (like us) together and cultivating friendships among all sorts of people like us…

July 1, 2005 @ 6:12 am | Comment

happy birthday Richard, and you don’t need to change your birthday – CCP was born on July 23, 1921. They celebrate on July 1 only because Mao didn’t keep a diary.

July 1, 2005 @ 6:40 am | Comment

Symbolically the chart of July 1 1921 works better for the CCP. Partile conjunction of sun and mars and pluto in Cancer (militant peasants) and Mercury Rx in Cancer (reticent about saying anything directly or clearly, and a habit of saying “oops” long after the fact)

July 1, 2005 @ 6:53 am | Comment

Happy birthday Richard … all the best.

July 1, 2005 @ 7:01 am | Comment


FYI, the convergence of ‘China rising’ and Nazism becomes more apparent: just look at the untra-nationalist site, which features a quote of Adolf Hitler on the first page:

“War is the father of everything. Each generation should go to its own war.”

It makes the site more akin to a neo-Nazi site than a supposedly communist site.

July 1, 2005 @ 7:45 am | Comment

Oh, and I officially know that my PhD has been approved, as of today.

Let me quote one of the examiner’s reports (which I’ve just got to see):

“This is the sort of thesis whose conclusions are so obviously right that it makes one wonder why it wasn’t done years ago. In fact FSN9’s citations eminent scholars, who even very recently have been naively [saying stuff] … demonstrate the imporance of his approach. This thesis will change the way that historians read one of our most significant sources for early China. [Sima Qian’s Shiji].”

Another examiner:
“He makes an important contribution to our understanding of early Chinese history and history-writing, and he challenges a great many wide-spread presumptions. His work is important and should be published, and he certainly deserves his degree.”

And there’s more.

As you can imagine, I’m pretty massively happy. Trying to get my nose out of the air, but it just won’t come down. Haha.

July 1, 2005 @ 7:48 am | Comment

Bell … interesting. Thanks for the FYI.

July 1, 2005 @ 7:49 am | Comment

I managed to link with running-dog. Thanks Gordon. SM

July 1, 2005 @ 8:06 am | Comment

You’re da man, duckie rich! 祝你年年有今日,岁岁有今朝。I will pray that the East treats you better.

July 1, 2005 @ 8:16 am | Comment

Ivan, you’re an astrologer? My aunt is an astrologer.

I thought the actual birth of the CCP was 1920. Mao wasn’t there. Or so Jung Chang tells me. (The book gets better after the first chapter… better segues.)

July 1, 2005 @ 8:18 am | Comment

Happy birthday from the Sulan too, Richard.

And congratulations FSN9,
hope I will finish my master’s thesis also one day.


July 1, 2005 @ 8:29 am | Comment

Congratulations FSN9, very well deserved I’m sure. It’s always nice to hear good news.

July 1, 2005 @ 9:40 am | Comment

O’Connor is retiring from the Supreme Court. What a birthday present, eh Richard?

Maybe you can sell your house to her.

July 1, 2005 @ 10:04 am | Comment

Not such a good birthday present; she’s a lot better than anyone shrub is going to nominate to replace her. She cast the deciding vote in 1992 to basically preserve Roe vs. Wade. How much do you want to bet Bush’s new judge will be less open minded?

Per one of your comments in an earlier thread…I’m sorry for not writing up the recent gay marriage victories abroad. I look forward to watching the sanctity of marriage disintegrate in Spain and Canada, leading us an age of lawlessness and godlessness. Seriously, I see it as incredibly great news, but it’s a topic I steer clear of because I feel at this point in America it’s no use talking about it. The GOP just uses it to victimize us even more. I am on my partner’s health insurance, and if an initiative passes in Arizona, spwned by the spectre of gay marriage, I’m at risk. I’m between a rock and a hard place — I have stifle my belief because to express it exacerbates the situation and creates reaction that can directly hurt me. Tough one. I am for it, but I feel it’s got to be a little later down the road, when politics is a little less demagogical.

July 1, 2005 @ 10:19 am | Comment

Oy Vey, so begins the holy war against heathens. Maybe I’ll try to avoid living in the US until 2009. Not sure how to do that though… anyone want to fund me? 🙂

July 1, 2005 @ 11:21 am | Comment

Richard, Laowai, if you or any other bloggers are interested in joining an “end torture and close down guantanamo” campaign, check out this link.

July 1, 2005 @ 11:42 am | Comment

Happy Birthday Richard!

I can vouche for Richard that he NEVER had a mullet! =-)

July 1, 2005 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

Thanks Cathy.

July 1, 2005 @ 6:27 pm | Comment

Happy Birthday, as is said on the cards, belatedly.

I will post about Qingdao on tmore current open thread.

Sam_S that was a beautiful one-liner above.

July 2, 2005 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

“It makes the site more akin to a neo-Nazi site than a supposedly communist site”
yea~that’s right
am a Nazi

am the webmaster of

July 6, 2005 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

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