Great Hall of the People, VI

Weekend thread time.

The Discussion: 91 Comments

I am reposting from the loonnggg thread below, since I have been such a tardy correspondent…

Hi All!

Maryn, yeah, I’ve been kind of busy, and with some threads, what can I say, I’m, what’s the typing equivalent of “speechless”?

Lin, I’m glad you caught the LA Times story. It is incredibly moving and a real testament to the bravery and kindness of so-called “ordinary” people.

August 5, 2005 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

Lisa, I too thought it was a great post. Please alert me to these things, as I haven’t had time recently to visit all the sites I mean to.

August 5, 2005 @ 4:56 pm | Comment

If we don’t get more comments I will suffer a major loss of face. Come on!

(Just kidding. It’s the weekend, when things slow down dramatically. And I could use a slowdown after the last thread.)

August 5, 2005 @ 10:06 pm | Comment

Yeah, presumably SOME people are out doing happy social things right now…me, by the time I get to Friday night, I just want to stay home!

August 5, 2005 @ 10:26 pm | Comment

today is no-tv/dvd/blog day at my home, we postpone our visit to shanghai book fair till next monday due to the terrible typhoon, will stay at home and do some reading (a privated book about british empire, forgive me)

August 5, 2005 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

a privated book about british empire, forgive me)

correction: a pirated book

August 5, 2005 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

Stay dry, Bingfeng!

August 5, 2005 @ 10:47 pm | Comment

I wrote this late on another thread so I’m repeating it here in case people missed it: does anyone know the story about a chinese poet imprisoned after publishing a poem about a tree dying? this was quite a few years ago I think.

August 5, 2005 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

Check out this Salon article – “Letter from An Iraqi Vet” – Salon is subscription only but they provide day passes for most of the premium content…

August 6, 2005 @ 2:06 am | Comment

Classic. Pretension. Other Lisa.Go have another Whine Flight.

August 6, 2005 @ 9:25 am | Comment

Arlo, didn’t your mum tell you not to drink and post. See what happened to Ivan.

August 6, 2005 @ 9:43 am | Comment

What, exactly happened to Ivan? Did he get (Gasp) shunned? Who cares?Isn’t that the WHOLE point? I’m a bit surprised by your herd mentality. Shame on your Iggy record’s!

August 6, 2005 @ 10:05 am | Comment

I’m listening to the Pixies!They smell like who fuckin cares what YOU think.The best attitude to have in these times.

August 6, 2005 @ 10:15 am | Comment

Ivan started to kiss Bingfeng all over virtualy after he had some 1000 gramms of vodka. Not that nice to watch.
Sorry for the herd mentaliy just what they teach us in school here. I’ll better. Promise.

August 6, 2005 @ 11:00 am | Comment


August 6, 2005 @ 11:43 am | Comment


I hope you don’t consider this spam, being the great hall of the people and all. ๐Ÿ™‚ The latest Carnival of Chinese Blogs is up and your blog is a part of it. Check it out at:

August 6, 2005 @ 11:56 am | Comment

Gee Arlo, not sure what I did to merit that little snipe. Are you just bored or something?

August 6, 2005 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

Bing is there. Bing wants a Chinese adventure. Bing is needy.

August 6, 2005 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

Never mind. It’s AM’s evil twin or something.

August 6, 2005 @ 12:18 pm | Comment

Arlo, what the f*ck are you going on about? Drink too much baijiu or something?

August 6, 2005 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

I just posted this in the other thread (about Phelps):

Arlo, are you by any chance American Man? Your IP address is telling me
strange things.

August 6, 2005 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Hello AM

August 6, 2005 @ 12:28 pm | Comment

Next time, use some proxy servers

August 6, 2005 @ 12:29 pm | Comment

Just had a Japanese adventure, The Breaking Jewel

August 6, 2005 @ 12:29 pm | Comment

BBC World Service

August 6, 2005 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Robin Cook died. Blair must be grinning.

August 6, 2005 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

Blair is always grinning.It’s that Bush loaf.

August 6, 2005 @ 12:36 pm | Comment

I don’t like lattes, personally. Just a regular cup of coffee, like I’m drinking now. Peet’s, actually.

August 6, 2005 @ 1:23 pm | Comment

Hey, Martyn, I’LL come and drink with you, next time I’m in Guangzhou…I think crack’s more Arlo’s style…

August 6, 2005 @ 1:26 pm | Comment

I’m a girl, Arlo. I don’t have to be “street.”

August 6, 2005 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Okay Arlo, you have seriously crossed the line. Two days ago, Will over at Imagthief had to ban a troll, and now I am forced to do the same thing. Sorry about that – MATE.

August 6, 2005 @ 1:40 pm | Comment

I’m Geordie for life.

August 6, 2005 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

So Arlo is not AM?

August 6, 2005 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

Arlo…if you’re really “Arlo”…look, whatever is going on with you is obviously pretty major. I’m sorry you’re having these problems, whatever they are. But you’re just lashing out and not making very much sense and it’s strange and sad.

August 6, 2005 @ 2:04 pm | Comment

Yes Shulan, he is. Or was.

August 6, 2005 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

Am I missing something?

August 6, 2005 @ 2:15 pm | Comment

AM is missing something

August 6, 2005 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

There are some losers in my town with nothing to do, keeping an eye out for nude black people walking down the street. They might get their wish, as suprisingly, some blacks have come out in favor of a “nude negro law”. They say it is one of the ways they can get back to their african roots. Assholes come in all races and creeds.

August 6, 2005 @ 2:44 pm | Comment


Is it a full moon or something? Mercury’s in retrograde, maybe?

August 6, 2005 @ 2:51 pm | Comment

This seems to be the night for strange commenters to come our of the woodwork to plague my site.

Is allowing a comment like Al’s an issue of “free speech,” or do I just consider it junk, like spam?

August 6, 2005 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

What the hell is going on? Did a whole bunch of Arlo’s posts get deleted? It seems like a lot of people got insulted, but it doesn’t seem like Arlo said more than two offensive things – and people seem to be responding to stuff that I can’t find…

Anyway, Bing, big props for commemorating Hiroshima. Never forget, never again!

August 6, 2005 @ 2:57 pm | Comment

Laowai, there was an issue here. Email me.

August 6, 2005 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

No fullmoon here. Seems there is some kind of communication problem going on. But I remember there was an issue about a new law here recently which could have something to do with Al’s comment.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

For those who havent read my previous post, some klansman are trying to pass a “nude negro law” in my town. They say all blacks should be nude when out in public, and that this will cut down on the crime rate. Yeah I know it sounds crazy to me too.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:20 pm | Comment

Where is this town, Al? I’d like to read further about this. Has it been reported in the news?

August 6, 2005 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

Ahhh..Klansmen? *click* That’s the sound of my brain switching off. So what about the other 99.9% of the country apart from “Klansmen”?

August 6, 2005 @ 3:30 pm | Comment

Richard, there is an obvious error in your website. The duck-image shows a female Chinese Merganser. It is an endangered species. It is not a Peking duck.

Sometimes, I pity the westerners who have so many wrong ideas exposed in their blogs.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:32 pm | Comment

Oh my god, it IS Halloween tonight. I must be the victim of some terrible time-warp or something. I could have sworn it was August when I went to bed last night.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:36 pm | Comment

Ignore the trolls.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:37 pm | Comment

Westerners! You mean non-ornithologists.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:39 pm | Comment

Bing said:
Robin Cook died. Blair must be grinning.
KLS says:
what a stupid thing to say.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:01 pm | Comment


August 6, 2005 @ 4:04 pm | Comment

An advice to Maytn:

To know that you do not know is the best.

To angrily ignore what you do not know is a disease.

Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.

The wise are free of disease,
because they recognize the disease as a disease.
Therefore they are free of disease.

Bring to you by LaoTzi’s DaoDeJing

August 6, 2005 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

See that’s the nice thing about democracy. You don’t need enemies, you got opponents.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

So trolls = disease?

Works for me.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

Matyn says: dear me how pet.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

yes but with respect to Laozi, that’s nonsense.
disease isn’t just a state of mind, not is it something which with a little counter-intuitive thinking you can turn into a good or a neutral thing.
similarly trolls occupy part of the page and you have to scroll through them, whatever else you think.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:13 pm | Comment

does martyn say that on a blimp!!!
hope you didn’t mind my little joke yesterday martyn?

August 6, 2005 @ 4:14 pm | Comment

I love blimps. Really. I think there should be more of the.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

Matyn says: If I was still speaking to you KLS, I’d reply to your question.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:18 pm | Comment

Thank Ghod, Martyn finally has a closed-mouth to match his closed-mind.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:20 pm | Comment

“them.” In fact, I would like to see fleets of large airships. They are great for transporting big cargo into hard to reach areas that lack infrastructure, and wonderful for luxury cruises.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:20 pm | Comment

martyn has 500 or so, heehee.

anyway, about from this mystery arlo, something else confusing me is why a couple of people apart from me are giving martyn a bit of stick at the moment — what’s he been saying and where?

August 6, 2005 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

Arlo = AM, and Martyn hasn’t done anything to provoke these weird attacks, as far as I can tell.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:41 pm | Comment

As for Arlo, he just seems to be going through a bad time right now and is saying all kinds of weird stuff.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

Lisa, can you please tell KLS that I’d also love to know just what I’ve been saying. I haven’t said much lately.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

Lisa, if you happen to be talking to Martyn some time, could you ask him why he hasn’t been posting that much recently? And perhaps you could also find out how things are going for him with zang hui mei, wang fei and li wen?

August 6, 2005 @ 4:47 pm | Comment

Why do I suddenly feel like a marriage counselor?

August 6, 2005 @ 4:51 pm | Comment

he started it.

August 6, 2005 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

Okay, this is officially bizarre.

I’m going to the gym. And afterwards, I will NOT have a latte…

August 6, 2005 @ 5:01 pm | Comment

When did Laozi say that? Don’t think I recall that one.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:07 pm | Comment

No idea what you’re on about mate, also thought your comments last night were about as funny as a broken leg.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:09 pm | Comment

stanza 13

August 6, 2005 @ 5:11 pm | Comment

oops, maybe not 13.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

oops again, did I piss you off for real martyn? sorry, didn’t mean to.
& goodnight all, I have the dubious pleasure of British Summer Time to contend with and the conclusion of a historic test match to watch tomorrow morning.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:17 pm | Comment

postscript: it’s 71, laowai.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:20 pm | Comment

To anyone being obnoxious, keeping people informed about obscure news is not a troll. Lets just say I live in a very red state and the local news media has totally ignored this nude negro issue. Its being blown off as a lunatic fringe thing not worth their time. I beg to differ. The fact that it even comes up in this day and age makes you ask whats going on here.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:36 pm | Comment

I would be interested in seeing a link on this, Al. Has it been covered in the local media at all?

August 6, 2005 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

Just woke up from a brief nap. Lisa, are you sure you want me to keep these open threads going?

And Martyn, “Jan” was posting earlier as “social stress” – I would take anything he says with a giant grain of sea salt, or a heaping tablespoon of soy sauce.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Well, Richard, the open threads are indeed a mixed bag! I like them in principle. How they come out in reality is another story. Your call…

I was either going to take a nap or go to the gym and instead I’m sitting here on the couch listening to a baseball game…so much for productivity.

August 6, 2005 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

My handy Ancient Chinese to Modern Chinese Scholar, Wei Guanglai, says: In knowing that one still does not know (everything), a man achieves virtue, but not knowing and mistaking oneself to know makes a man sick (in the head). Because admitting this sickness is a sickness, therefore one is not afflicted by it. The sage is not sick, because he admits this sickness is a sickness, therefore he is not afflicted.

the “angrily ignoring bit” threw me, as did the disease bit… okay so I just didn’t read it carefully… arg.

Thanks KLS

August 6, 2005 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

It’s the perfect religious texts. It’s obscure, and can mean anything you want it to mean. In other words, it’s utterly worthless. Beats me why so many people are so stupid that they think that something must be profound, merely because it’s obscure.

August 7, 2005 @ 1:56 am | Comment

Like the US Constitution, no?

August 7, 2005 @ 2:20 am | Comment

I disagree. I don’t think it can mean whatever you want it to mean. At least, that’s my working hypothesis at the moment.

If you take stanzas out of context then perhaps you can twist the words quite a lot, but within context I think the meaning is pretty fixed.

I think Laozi’s sort of acetism and detachment is one of the reasons why Daoism turned into a bunch of superstitions. Because you can’t really get many people to follow in his example. People don’t want to not want. Buddhism is easier for the masses because there is reincarnation and kindness and giving. Laozi’s Daoism is a cold, cold religion – no rebirth and you aren’t really exhorted to help the suffering. Who is that going to motivate?

August 7, 2005 @ 6:25 am | Comment

You guys sound like you’ve been smoking some serious stuff. Ignore this at your own peril. One day they might pass a “nude chink law”, then what you gonna do. You aint got the eqipment of the blacks to withstand that. I had to be blunt because there’s a touch of hostility directed at my posts.

August 7, 2005 @ 8:23 am | Comment

When I first logged on, I thought Laowai’s comments on the Laozi and Buddhism were quite interesting and I meant to respond. But after reading some bazzaire comments posted earlier, I decided not to waste my breathe. I don’t think that I will get any genuine discussions tonight.

August 7, 2005 @ 9:19 am | Comment

I agree with the Fat Cat. THe other thread was good, but too long.

Richard, I beg you to open up a BBS server.

August 7, 2005 @ 10:13 am | Comment

Al, do you know that you are identical with the โ€œnegroโ€s genetically?

August 7, 2005 @ 10:20 am | Comment

Filthy Stinking No.9,

Well, if you have any ability to read ancient Chinese text, then you will realize DaoDeJing is nothing obscure. The reason it sounds obscure in English translations is due to the inability of the translators.

The ultimate difference between Chinese philosophy texts from the radical Christian Bible is that the Chinese books do not claim to be sacred. You can read it while agreeing or disagreeing. DaoDeJing is not necessarily a religious text.

The problem of Christianity is that you are only allowed to agree. Westerners rush to dismiss anything remotely threatening their Christian faith. People like Filthy labels Tao De Ching worthless without any attempt to understand it โ€“ a typical Christian behavior. The Christian behavior only creates arrogant ignorant.

The only book that is truly worthless is the Christian Bible. The Christian Bible is a vicious fairy tale, a worthless piece of trash!

August 7, 2005 @ 10:36 am | Comment

This thread is over. And if I see one like it again I’m going to do away with the open threads altogether.

Johnny and Fat Cat, I appreciate your comments. Please send me an email if you can elaborating on your suggestion for a BBS server and what you’d envision it to be. Thanks a lot.

A new thread has been opened, for now.

August 7, 2005 @ 11:19 am | Comment

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