Field of Dreams

Build an open thread and the commenters will come. Don’t prove me wrong.

The Discussion: 60 Comments

I’ll start this one then! I posted this on the other thread, but just sos ya knows: I’ve fiddled around with audio downloads on my site now, so anyone who was interested in getting hold of those recordings of my students shouldn’t have any problem.

June 23, 2005 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

taking a break from work to say that I’m here too! with nothing much to say, alas…oh, I posted another update to the Shalan school tragedy.

June 23, 2005 @ 7:34 pm | Comment

much appreciated, rw. will check it out soon.
that’s two in one day, and one wasn’t even a real request, more a notification. wouldn’t it be cool if it worked on the higher levels…hey, would you mind terribly not being corrupt? you wouldn’t? outstanding, thank you.

there are some neat cigs with elephants on the package and a funny name, only found em once but my they were nice.

June 23, 2005 @ 8:18 pm | Comment

A reader request:

Just wondering if you or anyone else on the wire knows about CoCo Lee’s album ‘Exposed’ being banned in China? I’ve read that it has
been banned, that it hasn’t, that certain songs are, that her film
clips are, etc. Any help would be appreciated – I’m researching for an
article about her for a local music mag here in Brisbane, Australia.

Can anyone help?

June 23, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

Re Coco Lee, I caught something in one of the HK newspapers (Oriental Times I think) a few weeks back saying Exposed had been banned in China.

I just pasted the below from but I think the best sources for confirmation of a story like this would be the HK media/Coco’s own websites which report interviews with lady herself.

“Coco Lee’s long awaited second English album “Exposed” is finally released. Three tracks from the album (“So Good,” “Touch,” and “No Doubt.”) are banned in China because of sexual lyrical contents. In addition, music video for “So Good” will not be played in Taiwan. The Hong Kong audiences are the lucky ones, since they can hear all the tracks from the album and see the hot and forbidden “So Good” MV!”

June 23, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

and I expect you can pick up the CD in just about any shop in Beijing…

June 23, 2005 @ 9:45 pm | Comment

Of course, I think the artists have long since given up any hope of making money from album sales in the mainland.

I remember thinking, why bother banning anything like this in China? It was probably readily available right across the country long before the censors mused over whether to ban it or not.

Must keep up appearances I suppose.

June 24, 2005 @ 12:31 am | Comment

what got me was how blatantly a lot of “banned” stuff was displayed – I’m not talking about the guy with DVDs on top of a blanket, but very nicely set-up DVD stores, stuff sitting on the top rack – “Blind Shaft,” “Beijing Bicycle,” “Guize Laile,” etc. I imagine the “yellow” material is a little less overt.

BTW, Bingfeng has a cool post about buying b@nned books over at his site.

June 24, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

Exactly, just one of the many China contradictions. But, hell, at least this one benefits the people living here!

Thanks for the tip about bingfeng’s post about books.

Still haven’t read Paper Tiger today, havng problems staying online of all things. Something with my connection I think.

June 24, 2005 @ 2:24 am | Comment

Its interesting that CoCo had to go English before she got banned. As far as I can tell, her Mando-pop career has been pretty uncontroversial.

June 24, 2005 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Hey, new to the site, a friend sent me, lotsa good reads!

June 24, 2005 @ 3:09 am | Comment

“Coco Lee’s long awaited second English album “Exposed” is finally released. Three tracks from the album (“So Good,” “Touch,” and “No Doubt.”) are banned in China because of sexual lyrical contents.”

Anybody know what the lyrics actually are?

June 24, 2005 @ 4:06 am | Comment

Coco Lee is enjoyable only with the sound turned off.

June 24, 2005 @ 6:20 am | Comment

Who is Coco Lee? Are there any global musicians banned (e.g. Madonna-surely her lyrics are not the cleanest!)

June 24, 2005 @ 9:28 am | Comment

Thanks Echo… “Touch” isn’t too racy, the farthest it goes is “Can’t wait ’till we’re skin on skin. / Face to face and heartbeats racing. / Subway, taxi, airplane or limousine. / Pick one oh anyone.”

“So Good” is definitely the most explicit, with lines like “Big Daddy close the door. / What are you waiting for? / I’m crawling on the fours. / Come join me on the floor. / I want this rug to burn.” and “I wanna pass out – with you in it /
Don’t stop – baby take it / Deeper – till you break it / Open – cause I need it. /
Harder, harder, harder, harder” and of course “Think I’m gonna ride you all night long / Cause this feel so, so, so, good…So, so, so, good… / Oh –
I know you feel that.”

Wow, that oughta get her album banned from Walmart too. Is Coco trying to be Lil’ Kim? In “No Doubt”, she actually uses the word “crunk”. How many mainlanders do you think understand “crunk”? How do you translate “crunk”?

June 24, 2005 @ 9:43 am | Comment

Oh and Orla, some internationally recognized stars have been censored. The Rolling Stones played Beijing a year ago and they couldn’t play four songs, which were also removed from the legit (but not the pirated) China release of their greatest hits double cd “Forty Licks” by the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

The four songs in question? ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Beast Of Burden’ and ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’.

June 24, 2005 @ 9:56 am | Comment

don’t thank me, thank google. I don’t even know who she is ; )

anyone needing a laugh should really check out the top three posts on craigslist shanghai rant n rave if you haven’t already. read in chronological order, mostly cause the top one’s the most amusing

June 24, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Comment

OMG! The American guy writing about his walk to work gives the Rude Pundit a run for his money.

June 24, 2005 @ 10:21 am | Comment

OL, Where’s that at?

June 24, 2005 @ 10:33 am | Comment

See echo’s link, above, for the craigslist postings. Quite hilarious.

June 24, 2005 @ 10:34 am | Comment

Yeah, I bought that new Coco Lee CD when it came out. It sounds like she is having sex in some of the songs. I was surprised. I think the Chinese version is coming out soon, if it hasn’t already.

June 24, 2005 @ 11:02 am | Comment

The lovely Coco, wode xingren….
surprised that people assume the English cd is aimed at China — have you not heard that she is an INTERNATIONAL pop star???????

June 24, 2005 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

Forgive me, father, it has been one week since my last…

oops, wrong apology.

Big news on the business side this week is CNOOC’s bid for Unocal. I blog on it not as the “financial yellow peril” or “now they’re coming for our oil”. I call it the pinstripe peril, Wall Street’s slick attempt to get perk up Wall Street with some of that Chinese M&A mojo.

Apropos anti-Japanese patriotism, when viewed in the context of China’s determination to wrest Asian leadership from the hands of Japan, a vigorous effort to denigrate the moral legitimacy of Japan and exalt Chinese victimhood is not unexpected. I wonder what Iris Chang would have said?

June 24, 2005 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

Richard, apologies if this has been highlighted elsewhere but Laowai19780204’s blog links to an excellent piece by someone who knew Chen Yonglin. wonder if it’s true…

June 24, 2005 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

Who is mark anthony jones and how come people all know him? Is he a former commenter or something?

June 24, 2005 @ 3:15 pm | Comment

big midriff fan

June 24, 2005 @ 3:17 pm | Comment

Peter, yes he is a former commenter. It’s good to see him back. Now, if only he can shorten his comments so we can read them all in a single evening….

June 24, 2005 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

I just noticed that Adam Morris has a good post on the new hot topic, “the new Left.” I think he’s got it right.

June 24, 2005 @ 3:34 pm | Comment

Sinosplice has been down all day. Do you think it got zapped by the Nanny?

June 24, 2005 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

To my delight, I have found a very different warning on each pack of cigarettes.Mine says Warning:”Smoking can cause fetal damage or premature birth”.Screw it! I’ve found my brand! Just don’t get the ones that say lung cancer. Shop around. Bill Hicks

June 24, 2005 @ 6:09 pm | Comment

Thanks for that KLS. I’ll follow that link now.

Any other good posts about today?

June 25, 2005 @ 1:30 am | Comment

Richard Willmsen from The Three T’s just posted his last post in China. I think he flies back to London today.

It’s sad to see him go as I only just started reading his site. Still, he says in his post that he intends to keep The Three T’s going, he just won’t be in China that’s all.

See-ya Richard W.

June 25, 2005 @ 1:47 am | Comment

I’m keeping Richard W on my china blogroll, that’s for sure!

Haven’t read anything that really stands out tonight. But apropos of…I dunno, blogging…I just discovered the world of hit counters and site tracking. Blog city gives you your hits, which I’ve really found interesting, but you can’t really edit their template unless you upgrade to premium (unless I’m missing something – any blog city users want to educate me?). The nice thing about Blogger is that you can add all kinds of cool things to the template (I’ve got this great Chinese characters link, a google search engine, etc., on my blogspot blog. Though I love blog city’s easy add and sort bookmarks).

so tonight I went in search of site trackers for blogspot and found this really cool service that tells you where the hits are coming from and all kinds of great stuff. Japan! Hong Kong! who are these people? I have no idea. And my blog is not all that heavily trafficked. But it’s “google spidered” – if you search google, you’ll find it. I really don’t know how that works.

Anyway, I continue to be fascinated by these virtual communities (as big a cliche as that is) and the way that we are forming our own networks, across so many borders, based on our common interests.

June 25, 2005 @ 2:12 am | Comment

Oh, Martyn, I do have a recommend – if you haven’t checked out, you should. He finds the coolest Chinese articles and translates them for the rest of us. Really interesting stuff.

June 25, 2005 @ 2:20 am | Comment

And one more…if you can get to it through a proxy server, visit: – this is a friend of mine who just started blogging, is chinese who lived in the US for many years and returned to Beijing last year. If you can’t, let me know and I’ll send the latest post (second of two) – it’s just great.

June 25, 2005 @ 2:34 am | Comment

Thanks as always Lisa.

I haven’t been able to access Blogspot even via proxy for ages. But I would certainly like to read your friend’s posts.

Lived in US for years then went back to China? Sounds like they’ll have a unique point of view.

I know I’m biased because I live here but I always wonder why people pick blogspot to blog about China when there are loads of other blog-servers? Blogspot has been banned in China for years now.

June 25, 2005 @ 2:59 am | Comment

I found a couple of good articles this afternoon people. The first about China’s energy poilicy in Latin America–always seen as America’s oil backyard and the other about who owns Chinese farmland, and what rights the peasants have if it is requisitioned, it mentions Shengyou as has recently been featured on this site.
China’s land disputes

June 25, 2005 @ 4:36 am | Comment

Richard, if you can put up an Amazon sponsor link to “Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire And Betrayal,
by Ethan Gutmann “
on your blog, I promise to buy one copy from your link. It would also enrich your China resources list.

June 25, 2005 @ 5:28 am | Comment

Thanks for those two articles martyn, both very interesting. I’ve never heard of the Jamestown foundation before. It has some great veteran China writers I see like Willy Lam of the scmp.

Also, Kevin in Pudong, I’m really enjoying your new site with all it’s translations of Chinese articles.

There are few expat China-bloggers that are as skillful at Chinese-English translation as you so I hope you carry on with your translations of Chinese articles. As Lisa says above, really good stuff.

June 25, 2005 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Martyn, I’ll send you that post. you’ll like it.

June 25, 2005 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

Bellevue, I added the book, but I messed up the html a bit. I hope you’ll consider writing a review…

June 25, 2005 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

I just followed the amazon link for that book (thanks bellvue). It looks good.

By the way Richard, where do all these book reviews you’re requesting actually go? Are you working on TPD seperate book theads or one big book thread of what?

June 26, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

What a dope I am. I’ve read Gutmann’s book, read it a couple of years ago.

I liked it, apart from the final chapter which details Beijing’s dark sexual underbelly as well as the author’s sexual encounters and those of his friend. This chapter appears to be tacked onto the end of the book for reasons that are not totally clear to me and it has little or no relevance to the rest of the book. Therefore, “bizarre” doesn’t only apply to sex!

The American author, a PR guy, spends 2-3 years in Beijing’s expat community and details the trials and tribulations of his own business dealings and the goings on of other US firms. There’s some very shocking relvelations in the book and names are named! Good for me as I actually know of couple of Amcham guys mentioned.

Gutmann goes over the Chinese penchant for deception/lack of scruples when dealing with both foreign companies and the west in general and finally takes the conservative view of a revenge-filled and brooding China desperate to right historical wrongs and usurp US hegemony by any means necessary.

IMO, the authors views are credible but slightly one-sided in a many of his final conclusions. For this reason, I think readers will either love or hate the book depending on where your own opinions lie.

I also had a slight problem with Gutmann as he appeared to have a rather shallow and superficial understanding of China. I.e. his China observations were accurate but he was unable to put these into any sort of historical and/or cultural context or perspective.

This book is in the same sub-genre as Studwell’s the China Dream and Clissold’s Mr. China. However, both these works show a lot more depth of thought in their application towards modern China and are more comprehensive by far than Gutmann’s somewhat limited perspective.

If you had to buy only one book it should be China Dream. However, I would still recommend Gutmann’s book as the description of Beijing’s scandalous expat business is fascinating. Also, the way a lot of foreigners just keep on making those same China mistakes over and over again in addition to the ever-increasing ruthlessness and almost complete lack of morality amongst many Chinese businessmen, media people and politicians remains utterly fascinating.

Oh dear, I think you just got your first book review Richard.

June 26, 2005 @ 1:25 am | Comment

A shallow PR guy who lived in China – sounds like me! Thanks for the review, Martyn.

June 26, 2005 @ 1:34 am | Comment

About where the book reviews will go – I want to have a special Books page with ads and then links for the respective reviews, which will just pop up when clicked.

By the way, I reviewed Jasper Becker’s The Chinese about a year and a half ago.

June 26, 2005 @ 1:38 am | Comment

That sounds ‘neat’ (as you Americans say). So you’ll have the regular Peking Duck frontpage as it was before but with a book link on the sidebar?

Click onto that and you’ll open a whole page dedicated to books? With Amazon ads and a list of threads for all listed books?

That sounds wild. I can’t wait.

So if someone writes a new review of an unlisted book, you’ll start a new thread?

As cool as you like. Love it.

June 26, 2005 @ 2:17 am | Comment

The next big challenge is getting around to it.

June 26, 2005 @ 2:19 am | Comment

Martyn, you gotta watch Blind Shaft. I’m just saying…

June 26, 2005 @ 3:10 am | Comment

I’ll keep an eye out for it, thanks.

Thanks also for sending your mates blog post over. It’s great, I’m glad you sent it. I just saw it now when I looked at the email.

I see, oh well, everyone’s different. If you see yourself living the majority of your life in the UK then that’s how it is. I’m th eopposite. Haven’t been back for years. I always alternate my holidays between Thailand and Taiwan (The Two T’s?). However, last Xmas in Khao Lak didn’t go exactly to plan like.

June 26, 2005 @ 9:13 am | Comment

By the way Richard, I reckon you should stop posting such provocative articles like that Guardian UK one, as there’s a danger that they could pull comments away from the Open Threads.
Thanks!! Ha ha.

June 26, 2005 @ 9:57 am | Comment

ha! good point Martyn…

as for the UK, well perhaps I’m just too cautious. But I couldn’t get a decent job in China I don’t think, which doesn’t matter in itself too much but might five years down the line when I was trying to come back to the UK.

June 26, 2005 @ 10:08 am | Comment

Yeah. I’m pretty ensconced in my job here in LA. It’s a decent job, I bought a little cottage in Venice, all that. I’m in the film industry so it’s a little hard for me to figure what I might do in China. I do have one extremely weird possibility but I’ll hold off on discussing that till if/when it materializes.

June 26, 2005 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

Martyn, glad you liked the post. I think it’s great. The part about the lama citing Bill Gates was priceless.

June 26, 2005 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

Lisa,Is Mao’s Cafe still open in Venice?It was across from the youth hostel I think.Have a brew for me at the SIDEWALK Cafe!

June 26, 2005 @ 6:46 pm | Comment

AM, let’s move over to the new open thread, okay? Thanks!!

June 26, 2005 @ 6:47 pm | Comment

Richard, Are you being Anti-American.You hurt my feeling.

June 26, 2005 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

AM, you’ll get over the pain – you seem like an exceptionally resilient guy. Now let’s move to the new thread. Thanks!

June 26, 2005 @ 8:51 pm | Comment

Thanks Richard. Despite Martyn’s review, to which I’m also thankful, I still want to get a copy, partly because I heard he disclosed a CISCO inside memo there, and I’m pretty curious.

I’ll do the shopping shortly. Thanks Richard.

June 29, 2005 @ 6:32 am | Comment

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