Yunnan rooftop thread

yunnan.jpg
More sumptuous new photos of Yunnan province here.

The Discussion: 121 Comments

I feel characters in the Japanese animation “My Neighbor Totoro” live in that village…..

February 14, 2006 @ 2:51 am | Comment

From the previous open threat:

Japan and Korea sent many officials to China to learn about Chinese langauge and calligraphy and poems and scripts! They worshipped China! China treated them very well, like its own sons! And protected them under its arms! But did Japan thank China? No! It invaded China and killed 3 million people in Nanjing!

Is a sense of absurdity avoidable here?

This as if a Greek said: You fucking Germans! We gave you Socrates, Platon and Pytagoras, we brought the light of civilisation to your caves, but did you thank us for that? No! You invaded our country in WW II. and buchered our people!

While the events of WW II. are condemnable, what is their relation with things that happened and people that lived hundrets or thousands of years before?

February 14, 2006 @ 4:08 am | Comment

All of those exclamation points are beginning to remind me of Daffy Duck.

February 14, 2006 @ 4:35 am | Comment

Hey, I was right! He really IS Daffy Duck! Or an Orwellian Duck.

From Orwell’s “Principles of Newspeak” in “1984”:

“Eas reduction was a gain, since the smaller the area of choice, the smaller the temptation to take thought….This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word, ‘duckspeak’, meaning, ‘to quack like a duck.’ Like various other words in the ‘B’ vocabulary, ‘duckspeak’ was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when CCTV (oops, sorry, actually it says, “The Times”) referred to one of the orators of the Party as a ‘doubleplusgood duckspeaker’ it was paying a warm and valued compliment.”

February 14, 2006 @ 4:43 am | Comment

Guys,

I will be hunting ducks in Arkansas this coming weekend. Would anyone care to join me? It will be a blast.

Dick Cheney,
Vice President of the United States of America and member, NRA

February 14, 2006 @ 6:19 am | Comment

We are living in strange times.
After the mohammed cartoons another cartoon-crisis is evolving.
A German cartoonist published a picture were he depicted the Iranian national football team with bomb-belts and soldiers of the German army next to them. The reaction was harsh. The Iranian embassy in Germany asked for an apollogy by the newspaper (not the German government this time) and the cartoonist recieved death threats. He went into hiding.
The point is that his purpose was not to depict the Iranian footballplayers as terrorist but wanted to show the absurdity of a debate right now going on in Germany, which is about if or not the German army should be used to secure the football worldchampionship. This is prohibited by law still as we had bad experiences here with the army intervening in civil affairs. The point of the cartoonist was that as much it is absurd to see the Iranian footballplayers as terrorists it is also stupid to use soldiers to protect football arenas.
But in an atmosphere as tense as now it seems one has to think thrice what to draw and what not.

here is the url for the cartoon:
http://tinyurl.com/a7nhu
On the top ist says: Why during the FWC the Bundeswehr necessarily has to come into operation.

February 14, 2006 @ 6:26 am | Comment

Looks like the NY Times is finally saying the right things:

Japan’s Offensive Foreign Minister

People everywhere wish they could be proud of every bit of their countries’ histories. But honest people understand that’s impossible, and wise people appreciate the positive value of acknowledging and learning from painful truths about past misdeeds. Then there is Japan’s new foreign minister, Taro Aso, who has been neither honest nor wise in the inflammatory statements he has been making about Japan’s disastrous era of militarism, colonialism and war crimes that culminated in the Second World War.

Besides offending neighboring countries that Japan needs as allies and trading partners, he is disserving the people he has been pandering to. World War II ended before most of today’s Japanese were born. Yet public discourse in Japan and modern history lessons in its schools have never properly come to terms with the country’s responsibility for such terrible events as the mass kidnapping and sexual enslavement of Korean young women, the biological warfare experiments carried out on Chinese cities and helpless prisoners of war, and the sadistic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians in the city of Nanjing.

That is why so many Asians have been angered by a string of appalling remarks Mr. Aso has made since being named foreign minister last fall. Two of the most recent were his suggestion that Japan’s emperor ought to visit the militaristic Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese war criminals are among those honored, and his claim that Taiwan owes its high educational standards to enlightened Japanese policies during the 50-year occupation that began when Tokyo grabbed the island as war booty from China in 1895. Mr. Aso’s later lame efforts to clarify his words left their effect unchanged.

Mr. Aso has also been going out of his way to inflame Japan’s already difficult relations with Beijing by characterizing China’s long-term military buildup as a “considerable threat” to Japan. China has no recent record of threatening Japan. As the rest of the world knows, it was the other way around. Mr. Aso’s sense of diplomacy is as odd as his sense of history.

February 14, 2006 @ 1:29 pm | Comment

What wrong things was the New York Times saying before? Its prevention of information to its people? Its censorship? Its phenomenal execution rate? Its astonishing destruction of the envirnoment? All those stories about police being sent to shoot villagers whose land is being taken from them? Its sabrerattling over Taiwan? Its occupation of Tibet? That article that said the gov’t is spending over $2 million to teach Beijingers not to spend everywhere during the Olympics? All such articles I found doing a random search in the Times over a week’s period.
Compare that with “Chinese authorities” mentioned in yesterday’s paper who claim the controls it places on Web sites and Internet service providers in mainland China do not differ much from those employed by the United States and European countries.
Chinese sources, NY Times. Which would you trust?

February 14, 2006 @ 3:37 pm | Comment

Oh, but if it says nasty things about OTHER countries (specifically Japan) it joins the righteous. Stick to comic books.

February 14, 2006 @ 3:39 pm | Comment

Keir, are you in a bad mood today or something? I quoted a NYT article and you went into a rant about stuff that has nothing to do with it. Go get a glass of water and take a deep breath…..

February 14, 2006 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

That picture of Yunnan is surreal. It reminds me of Totoro, yes, and also villages from RPG and adventure video games I used to play as a kid (and that some of us still play as adults ๐Ÿ˜‰

But what Yunnan rooftops have to do with the fact that Japan and China can’t learn to get along after thousands of years of knowing each other is beyond me.

February 14, 2006 @ 4:48 pm | Comment

Chinahand:
Your very first sentence: “Looks like the NY Times is finally saying the right things”
Remember now? Obviously you’re just trying to stir the pot and then, playing the sneak as always, feigning mock outrage.

February 14, 2006 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

And yes, I am in a bad mood this morning… neighbour’s allowed to have his dog below my flat yelp all night, I live on the 21st floor and only one of the two lifts is operating this morning because the teenage slave-girl whose expertise is needed to press the button for locals has slept in, again I nearly get killed on my way to school by maniacs allowed to drive, the school adminstration of my international school is entirely Chinese so it can be as incompetent as it wants while us laowei have to add its workload to ours…
Funny that. The authorities spend such effort preventing their citizens from getting information but show a cavalier disregard for enforcing laws of the road.

February 14, 2006 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

Did all of you see the Zhang Dan/Zhang Hao skating video at Winter Olympics?! It was unbelievable! They slipped down but started again, and won silver! The song they played at the skate was \”Sons of the Dragon!\”. Even the NBC Amelikan announcers admitted that they were amazing!! The woman announcer even almost cried in her voice! I also almost cried and watched it 6 times. The world will remember Chinese!

I called my mom last night after I watched it, and I cried on the phone! This is too emotional! Chinese, great!

February 14, 2006 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Gotta See This:
A Birdshot Pellet Has Migrated to The Heart of The Man Shot by Dick Cheney

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,184846,00.html

February 14, 2006 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

Example of fake WESTERN news from the Guardian today:
“The propaganda we pass off as news around the world
A British government-funded fake TV news service allows mild criticism of the US – all the better to support it ”

I love how it describes ‘news articles’ glowing in praise for the Empire:
‘In an extraordinary apologia for the British occupation of Iraq in 1920, the “suggested intro” reads: “This year is not the first time an outside power has sought to construct a modern, democratic, liberal state in Iraq. Britain tried to do the same in the 1920s”. The benevolence of the US and the UK is simply assumed: “Today’s USled coalition, like the imperial occupiers of 80 years ago, are trying to free Iraq’s government and security services from corruption and abuse.”‘
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1709950,00.html

February 14, 2006 @ 5:57 pm | Comment

Keir, that is a superb article. Thanks. Our leaders would really like to manipulate the media the way China does. Thank God we have a free press that can run stories like this exposing them.

February 14, 2006 @ 6:08 pm | Comment

Thank God we have a free press that can run stories like this exposing them.

This sentence was very unnecessary.

February 14, 2006 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

Because you can’t say the same about China, no? It’s an absolutely necessary saentence – if we don’t ike the policies of the wrongdoers, we can vote them out of office. Jealous?

February 14, 2006 @ 6:34 pm | Comment

What’s the matter, HX? Run out of exclamation points? Here, I’ll float you ’til you get back on your feet: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I thought Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao were cool too, but “The world will remember Chinese”? What, you thought everybody forgot?

And as for the free press, PRC elder statesmen sent a letter condemning the shutdown of Bing Dian:

“At the turning point in our history from a totalitarian to a constitutional system, depriving the public freedom of speech will bring disaster for our social and political transition and give rise to group confrontation and social unrest,” the letter said. “Experience has proved that allowing a free flow of ideas can improve stability and alleviate social problems.”

Alot of these guys are from the 80s… I think I’ll dust off my old Cui Jian tapes.

February 14, 2006 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

It’s not up to any individual to decide what is a necessary sentence. The Communist Party will tell you what is necessary, and what is not.

Correct your thoughts! Enjoy your happy life under the Correct Leadership of the Communist Party and Maozedong thought! Obey and show no negligence!

February 14, 2006 @ 7:01 pm | Comment

Do you! Remember! The East German! Skater! Katerina Witt!

She won the Gold Medal for East Germany in 1988! She was amazing!
Because of her, the world will remember East Germany! All East Germans are proud of her fore….

…oh wait, East Germany no longer exists. Never mind.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:09 pm | Comment

In all of his emotion, Honxing seems to have missed the greatest triumph behind Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao – that belongs to their coach, Yao Bin.

I remembered reading a most unfortunate story about him several years ago and then I was reminded again last night as I watched his pupils skating.

In 1979 at the Munich games, Yao Bin and his partner were the only ones to represent China in the ice skating events. They had only begun to learn 4 months before the games and since there was nobody to learn from, they only instructions they had to go from were newspaper photographs.

Yao Bin dropped his partner and both of them fell several times and they were laughed off the ice by the watching crowd.

Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao didn’t win the Gold yesterday, but they took silver while Zhang Hongbo and Shen Xue took the Bronze.

I thought it was a stellar performance by both couples and now it is Yao Bin who has the last laugh.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:19 pm | Comment

And yes, I am in a bad mood this morning… neighbour’s allowed to have his dog below my flat yelp all night, I live on the 21st floor and only one of the two lifts is operating this morning because the teenage slave-girl whose expertise is needed to press the button for locals has slept in, again I nearly get killed on my way to school by maniacs allowed to drive, the school adminstration of my international school is entirely Chinese so it can be as incompetent as it wants while us laowei have to add its workload to ours…

Hopefully this is not your typical day in China, otherwise it’s best for you if you got out of the country…

All I said was “the NYT was finally saying the right things”, about Japanese gov’t’s attitude towards the Yasukuni issue of course. But you somehow linked it to the execution rate and destruction of environment in China.. How are those relevant?

Did all of you see the Zhang Dan/Zhang Hao skating video at Winter Olympics?! It was unbelievable! They slipped down but started again, and won silver! The song they played at the skate was \”Sons of the Dragon!\”. Even the NBC Amelikan announcers admitted that they were amazing!! The woman announcer even almost cried in her voice! I also almost cried and watched it 6 times. The world will remember Chinese!

I did see it later on msnbc. This was indeed a great moment in this year’s Olympics. It was a testament to the resolve and spirit of an athlete.

Media:

The courage of a 20-year-old grips Games

Silver-Winning Chinese Exhibit Courage

Skating: After a fall, Chinese pair shines
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/14/sports/OLYSKATE.php

And as for the free press, PRC elder statesmen sent a letter condemning the shutdown of Bing Dian:

Yes I am aware of this incident. My prediction is that Hu Jintao will bow to down the letter and reinstate the magazine. Or at least have the editor be spared of any political punishment…

February 14, 2006 @ 7:20 pm | Comment

The world will never forget that the people of my motherland, the U.S. of f-in’ A. truly excel in curling: “After Salt Lake City, curling showed a surge in popularity both in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S. new clubs formed in places as unlikely as Texas, Arizona, and Tennessee. The U.S. Curling Association membership grew by about 15%.”
I’m in tears. Now all I want to know is how many square meters the U.S. Curling Assocation’s offices occupy!
U.S. curling team, don’t let us down. Bring home the gold!

February 14, 2006 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

TINYURL, China Hand! TINY URL!

February 14, 2006 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

Ivan, I’m sure glad i wasn’t drinking coffee when i read that last comment.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

“Now all I want to know is how many square meters the U.S. Curling Assocation’s offices occupy!”

ROFL!

February 14, 2006 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

kevin, Hong Xing was simply expressing his genuine feelings of pride for his nation’s achievements at the Olympics. You may think it’s excessive, and you wouldn’t react the same way. But he was genuine wasn’t he? Why insult and trivialiaze the dignity of another person? He said and did nothing to insult you.

Please have some respect and decency

February 14, 2006 @ 7:38 pm | Comment

Great point about Yao Bin, Gordon. That’s a good Olympic story.

And Ivan, point taken, but to be fair to HX, he said “Chinese” will be proud, not “PRC”. That said, I think the “remember Chinese” point is more telling. People should and will remember the individual athletes more than the nation. That’s kinda the point of the Olympics – individual achievement over national identity. As the founder of the Modern Olympics Pierre de Coubertin said:

“The Games were created for the glorification of the individual champion.”

“Racial distinctions should not play a role in sport.”

The whole point of the Olympic Charter is to transcend nationalism and use sport to celebrate human achievement.

China Hand said it right: “This was indeed a great moment in this year’s Olympics. It was a testament to the resolve and spirit of an athlete.”

An athlete. Period.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

By the same token, I might add, things like the US hockey victory over the Soviet Union were hollow – athleticism should have trumped ideology, but unfortunately it didn’t.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

“Looks like I hit a nerve,” China_hand… I’d say that I elevated the discussion more than HX does. After all, I never said he wasn’t human…?

February 14, 2006 @ 7:46 pm | Comment

The whole point of the Olympic Charter is to transcend nationalism and use sport to celebrate human achievement.

That’s a nice ideal. Except no one follows it. If people did follow it, Yahoo Sports would not have a table of medals tallied by country. There would not be all kinds of analysis on nbc sports about which event is the most hopeful for the US. The opening ceremony would not have athletes appear by country. The national anthem and flag of a country would not be sung and shown during medal ceremonies….

The Olympics is a contest of national dignity and and also a profit venue for advertisers. Nothing more, nothing less.

But I suspect you know of all those. But only when you talk to me or other “Chinese nationalists” that you adopt a moral highground and act as if you are a saint and see the world through a much higher vision.

Hypocritical bullshit…

February 14, 2006 @ 7:50 pm | Comment

Looks like I hit a nerve,” China_hand… I’d say that I elevated the discussion more than HX does. After all, I never said he wasn’t human…?

WTF are you talking about? I never said “looks like I hit a nerve”

February 14, 2006 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

Once again, I cringe whenever I contemplate the potential for riots and other kinds of ugliness and violence in Beijing in 2008, whenever the Chinese lose or believe/imagine that they were cheated out of winning whatever event.

Especially if they’re defeated by Japan in any contest.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

Good thing it will be the Summer rather the Winter Olympics. I can’t imagine the ugliness that may occur if they got their ass whipped in curling.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:02 pm | Comment

“But I suspect you know of all those. But only when you talk to me or other “Chinese nationalists” that you adopt a moral highground and act as if you are a saint and see the world through a much higher vision.

Hypocritical bullshit…”

Um, who brought up the US/Soviet rivalry as a failure to meet these ideals? Oh right… ME.

Yeah, listing medals by country doesn’t really match those ideals. But I think most of the athletes embrace and follow the Olympic ideals. And unlike HX, I don’t think its amazing that the NBC announcers were impressed by Zhang Dan. I think they appreciated her athleticism and determination more than her nationality.

Coubertin thought nationalism would bring nations to the Olympics, and then sports would get them past that nationalism. Of course it doesn’t often work that way – an ideal is something you strive for. That’s why it’s called *an ideal*. You can cynically dismiss it, but then you’re not striving, are you? It’s a struggle to put our common humanity first; either you join the struggle, or you give up to narrow sectarianism.

Besides, life is no fun without ideals.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:10 pm | Comment

I wonder how Taiwan will be forced to present themselves during 2008?

I remember watching the games during the 2004 olympics and you would have thought China was the only country competing in the damn event.

I get irked at the way Western announcers pronounce Chinese names, but at least they show ALL the events on TV in America and not just the ones they are competing in.

I guess that’s kind of like the Huston Rockets…you’d think they were the only team in the NBA.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

So you agree that most nations do not meet that ideal, then why use that as a tool to attack people who genuinely feel proud of their country? This is nothing but a form of intellectual discrimination. You are allowed to adopt a certain mentality, but when the other side adopts it, you immediately bring out some idealistic 2000 year old Greek idea and say “What you said is against that idea! Therefore it is proof you are inferior and I’m superior!”

February 14, 2006 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

I have never given a rat’s ass about the Olympics. The first time I watched it was here, because, well, you can’t really avoid watching it (on in restaurants, on in cafeterias, on just about every channel, on the news, on reruns). If my country wins a medal, I really don’t care. If it doesn’t win, I really don’t care.
This is not the case for most people here in China. It was only after I got to China that I learned that the U.S. tends to win the most gold medals at the Olympics.
Really, go ahead and watch the Olympics and have a fun time. But don’t say things like “I was crying, it was so beautiful,” because I really find attempts to link the Olympics with national pride to be, frankly, dumb.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

I remember watching the games during the 2004 olympics and you would have thought China was the only country competing in the damn event.

I get irked at the way Western announcers pronounce Chinese names, but at least they show ALL the events on TV in America and not just the ones they are competing in.

Are you f**** kidding me? US broadcasters (NBC Sports) are infamous in showing only those events with American participation while completely ignoring non-American ones. CCTV is much more inclusive in its coverage of events, and over 40% of the events covered had little to no Chinese athletes.

This is true during regular sports programming as well. In China, I can watch Italian, German and British soccer matches. I can watch boxing between two American boxers. I can watch NBA games (no, not just the ones with the Rockets). They even carried the Super Bowl live a few years back (don’t know if they still do it now)!

In the US, what sports do you get other than the NBA/NFL/MLB?

February 14, 2006 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

China Hand, your arguement just took a tank in the toilet.

I’ve been watching the olympics every night since they first started and they have covered all of the participants regardless of what nation they were representing. Umm..how else could I have watched Zhang, Zhang, Zhang and Shen. (haha)

International soccer is often shown on ESPN and I usually tune in to watch rugby matches on the weekend.

The nightly news usually only reports on US athletetes, but the stations that have been carrying the Olympics, have been covering everybody. I’m in the US now, how about you?

CCTV isn’t even close to being inclusive. They would report the medal count, but they usually only showed events China was participating in.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:29 pm | Comment

I’ve been watching the olympics every night since they first started and they have covered all of the participants regardless of what nation they were representing. Umm..how else could I have watched Zhang, Zhang, Zhang and Shen. (haha)

That’s because there are American particpates in that event, despite their poor showing and early exit. Also, Michelle Kwan generated a lot of publicity and has a large following. So even when she withdrew, the figure skating event naturally has a lot of American interests.

During the summer Olympics. Did NBC show Table Tennis, Badmington, how about the final match for the volleyball women’s game between China and Russia? CCTV showed all soccer matches for the Olympics (live or tape delayed) even though China did not even qualify. CCTV showed most of the men’s swimming events, even though China had like 1 person swimming in one or two events.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

“you immediately bring out some idealistic 2000 year old Greek idea and say “What you said is against that idea! Therefore it is proof you are inferior and I’m superior!””

Uh, Coubertin was 20th century. I didn’t say anything about the Greeks.

“So you agree that most nations do not meet that ideal, then why use that as a tool to attack people who genuinely feel proud of their country? This is nothing but a form of intellectual discrimination. You are allowed to adopt a certain mentality, but when the other side adopts it…”

Because Hong Xing is not a nation and neither am I. We’re individuals. I didn’t adopt a mentality of national pride, I adopted the opposite – pride in human achievement regardless of nation. I fail to see what mentality I allowed myself that I didn’t allow Hong Xing.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

China had a swimmer? I didn’t know anyone there could swim.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

Your replies to the Chinese skater\’s win are so disgusting! There\’s a famous saying in China that says when a fox cannot get a grape, he says the grape is sour! This is your psychology! Go home and cry in your beds!

February 14, 2006 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

China had a swimmer? I didn’t know anyone there could swim.

Need I say more?

Your replies to the Chinese skater\’s win are so disgusting! There\’s a famous saying in China that says when a fox cannot get a grape, he says the grape is sour! This is your psychology! Go home and cry in your beds!

I think the sour grapes tale is from Easop.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

Look China Hand, you can either choose to celebrate the achievements of humanity, or you can choose to celebrate the achievements of the nation. One is inclusive, the other is divisive. I don’t subscribe to these arbitrary divisions, whether its in the name of American triumphalism over the Soviets or Chinese triumphalism over perceived grievances with other nations (Japan, the U.S., whoever).

As for US coverage of the Olympics, its guided by ratings. Unfortunately many Americans have nationalist and ideological tendencies about the Olympics, which I disagree with. But its not the same as CCTV, where the government decides what to show not based on ratings, but based on its own motives. NBCs coverage reflects what the public wants, for better or worse, while CCTVs coverage reflects what the Propaganda Bureau wants. Mencken said “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Conversely, state-controlled media has the theory that the State tells the people what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

Here’s the video link for Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao.

This is the version with English commentators:

“>Here.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:48 pm | Comment

Ok! I will leave my office now and lie in bed! And eat sour grapes! Hold on, what I am talking about(?)! What grapes did I not get(?)! I am not following your analogy! Could you please explain!
Probably not!

February 14, 2006 @ 8:48 pm | Comment

I have a feeling I am going to be getting reruns of Chinese Olympic victories “good and hard” for the next few months.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:50 pm | Comment

CHINA HAND:

Tiny URL

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:51 pm | Comment

Kevin, they can’t even follow simple requests like the millions Richard has made about using TINY URL.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

“I think the sour grapes tale is from Easop.”
All of the nations of the world recognize that Aesop is Chinese. This is an indisputable fact. In recent years, splittist tendencies have become apparent, in which certain black hands have tried to separate Aesop from China. However, the descendants of Aesop will never accept such developments, and will take it as their holy mission to return Aesop and all of his fables to his motherland.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

As for US coverage of the Olympics, its guided by ratings. Unfortunately many Americans have nationalist and ideological tendencies about the Olympics, which I disagree with. But its not the same as CCTV, where the government decides what to show not based on ratings, but based on its own motives. NBCs coverage reflects what the public wants, for better or worse, while CCTVs coverage reflects what the Propaganda Bureau wants. Mencken said “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Conversely, state-controlled media has the theory that the State tells the people what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Hahahha. This was a discussion on the coverage of Olympics between two TV stations NBC and CCTV. Yet you turned into a lecture on Democracy. You don’t waste time do you? What’s next, we would be talking about apples in the US and China. And you’d launch into a sermon about how apples in China are dictatorial apples and are not as tasty as democratic apples in the US?

February 14, 2006 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Hey Gordon, what “they”? China Hand is the only guy on this thread who’s not using it, and I assume its because he never heard of it before. And don’t lump him in with Hong Xing. One is speaking reasonably, the other speaks in exclamation points and bizarre culturally-appropriated proverbs.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

China Hand, do you dispute that one reflects popular interest and the other reflects government interests? If you think that’s not true, by all means, show me how.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

And you still haven’t explained what double standard I was using.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

Sorry! Dave! point! noted!

February 14, 2006 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

China Hand, do you dispute that one reflects popular interest and the other reflects government interests? If you think that’s not true, by all means, show me how.

CCTV is in fierce competition with local TV stations, both in News and Entertainment. CCTV was totally trounced by Hunan TV when Hunan TV had their “Supergirls” last year. CCTV’s official website had a few editorials back then running negative reviews of the show. On the news front, CCTV’s many documentary series are competing neck to neck with Phoenix TV, and the public widely agrees that Phoenix TV has a lot more depth than CCTV. The idea that CCTV does care about ratings is utter bullshit.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:02 pm | Comment

heh… ah, well, no one ever mistook you for a diplomat Gordon.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:04 pm | Comment

Yeah, but CCTV is still a government apparatus. If you want to compare it to US Olympic coverage, then compare it to VOA Olympic coverage. Or compare Phoenix TV Olympic coverage to NBC Olympic coverage. But in comparing CCTV and NBC, you have to take into account that they are businesses run on fundamentally different principles. NBC has a bottom line to meet; CCTV can always count on government money to keep it flush.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:06 pm | Comment

I would object to Phoenix being compared to NBC. It was founded by a former PLA guy, and is less than open in its own reporting. Although, I guess anything could be more open that CCTV.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:10 pm | Comment

Also, with Supergirl: CCTV’s response was what you said – negative reviews and suggestions of canceling the show for its “worldliness”, which CCTV technically has the power to do. That’s hardly reflecting the opinion of the public – that’s condemning the opinion of the public! Talk about sour grapes.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

In! 1994! The skater! Oskana! Baiyul! Made me! Ashamed! When she won! The Gold medal! For Ukraine! And beat! Nancy Kerrigan! But! I still! Think Oksana! Has a great ass!

February 14, 2006 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

Well, it’s closer to a private media company than CCTV Kevin. But TV in China is never really private. Like I just said, CCTV has editorial power over all the other TV networks in China, so it all goes back to the State in the end.

And don’t anyone dare compare it to the FCC.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:14 pm | Comment

“In! 1994! The skater! Oskana! Baiyul! Made me! Ashamed! When she won! The Gold medal! For Ukraine! And beat! Nancy Kerrigan! But! I still! Think Oksana! Has a great ass!”

See? Celebrating universal human achievement over petty nationalism: Oksana Baiyul’s ass. Ivan, you’re such a cosmopolitan.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Yeah, but CCTV is still a government apparatus. If you want to compare it to US Olympic coverage, then compare it to VOA Olympic coverage. Or compare Phoenix TV Olympic coverage to NBC Olympic coverage. But in comparing CCTV and NBC, you have to take into account that they are businesses run on fundamentally different principles. NBC has a bottom line to meet; CCTV can always count on government money to keep it flush.

You raised the point that CCTV can carry whatever program it wants and does not care about ratings. I just proved you wrong. End of story.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:19 pm | Comment

Yeah, it’s much more private than CCTV, that’s for sure. Didn’t mean to jump on that: it’s just that one of my “missions in life” is to spread the news that Phoenix really isn’t an “independent” satellite station, and that it certainly is not representative of the Hong Kong media, of which it claims to be a part. It’s like CCTV, except without all the “today XXX met XXX” on the news.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

China Hand, I totally missed the part where you “proved” Dave wrong goes you please highlight it and demonstrate why it is a proof and not just some examples that happen to dovetail with your personal beliefs

February 14, 2006 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

China Hand, I fail to see how you proved me wrong. One is a state-run monopoly, whose existence is beholden to the state. The other is a media conglomerate whose existence is beholden to its ability to attract viewers. CCTV may be jealous of Supergirls ratings, but no matter how much their ratings suck CCTV will still have editorial authority over their competitors content and reflect the views of the State. Advertisers have little choice but to play by CCTVs rules since they run the entire industry, and viewers have few other choices. The Supergirl success only proves this by embarassing CCTV.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:31 pm | Comment

And you still haven’t explained what double standard I used when comparing my emphasis on human achievement to Hongxing’s nationalism. And I’m going to nag you about it until you do.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

This is “>the version with English commentators:

I have watched this version as well! It is from Canada! The Canadian announcers are more friendly than NBC ones! The lady cried at the end!

This song that played was called Long De Chuan Ren. The climax is at the middle, when he tossed her up! This is the best moment. Her rotation and her red clothes seem like a red flame that burned everyone\’s hearts!

[Note from Richard: If you keep posting long URLs instead of using HTML or tinyurl.com, I’m going to delete the comments instead of correcting them for you. Please stop causing me extra work.]

February 14, 2006 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

If anything, you proved my point, now that I look it over.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

HX said: “The Canadian announcers are more friendly than NBC ones! The lady cried at the end!”

Did the crying make her more friendly, or are these two separate and distinct things?

February 14, 2006 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

dave,

Thanks for seeing exactly the point I was trying to make.

Irina Slutskaya’s pretty hot too.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:42 pm | Comment

China Hand, I fail to see how you proved me wrong. One is a state-run monopoly, whose existence is beholden to the state. The other is a media conglomerate whose existence is beholden to its ability to attract viewers. CCTV may be jealous of Supergirls ratings, but no matter how much their ratings suck CCTV will still have editorial authority over their competitors content and reflect the views of the State. Advertisers have little choice but to play by CCTVs rules since they run the entire industry, and viewers have few other choices. The Supergirl success only proves this by embarassing CCTV.

How does any of that dispute what I said? CCTV has to care about the quality of its programming and the tastes of viewers if it does not want to be beaten in ratings. This includes its tv drama series, its documentaries, its music channels, its games shows, etc etc etc. On this, it is exactly like how NBC competes with ABC. The only place where CCTV does not have to worry about competition is its nightly news casts, as it is the sole proprieter of this format. But even that is not safe, because people can opt to browse sina.com to get their news rather than watch CCTV. That is why CCTV has changed the format, presentation, length, content, anchors of its news cast many times in the past several years. Back to the original topic of sports. CCTV has to care very very much what sports to carry. Last year, CCTV decided to show an NBC playoffs game live (not the rockets) instead of a Chinese national soccer game, because no one in China gives a shit about Chinese men’s soccer, and CCTV knows that.

February 14, 2006 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

“CTV has to care about the quality of its programming and the tastes of viewers if it does not want to be beaten in ratings. ”

Now you’re just not reading what I wrote.

CCTV is the State. NBC is not. Olympic coverage on CCTV will be determined by the Government. NBC Olympic coverage will be determined by ratings and ad revenue. CCTV can and does censor its rivals. Its part of the Propaganda Bureau which also has editorial power over sina.com and all the other media outlets. NBC lives or dies on ratings. CCTV does not. NBC is not controlled by a central government propaganda authority. CCTV is.

So when it comes to promoting the Olympics as either about national achievement or human achievement, national achievement is government achievement and CCTV has a vested interest in promoting the Olympics as a nationalistic event as opposed to a cosmopolitan one. NBC, on the other hand, can go either way, but it doesn’t have a vested interest in promoting the state like CCTV because it IS NOT PART OF THE STATE.

Does CCTV care about ratings? Yes, to some degree. Does that disprove my point? Not at all. Try to follow the argument.

Still waiting for the explanation of my “double standard”.

February 14, 2006 @ 10:04 pm | Comment


Olympic coverage on CCTV will be determined by the Government. NBC Olympic coverage will be determined by ratings and ad revenue.

Bullshit. Any coverage with the exception of Hu Jintao’s speech by CCTV is determined by ratings and ad revenue in the exact same fashion as NBC.

The rest of what you said is nullified.

CCTV is part of the state in the sense that officials from the Propaganda dept can tell it to do things, as they can tell any organization in China. But they rarely intervene in CCTV’s programming, except for, as I said, coverage of Hu Jintao’s speech during a Party Congress. This is when propaganda officials fully run CCTV. At any other time, CCTV is run by business minded executives just like NBC, ABC, and CBS are. If CCTV can censor others like you said, it would’ve shut down Hunan TV and Phoenix TV, as those regularly beat CCTV in several fronts

February 14, 2006 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

Hypothetically, if CCTV does complain to the propaganda dept, “Hunan TV is beating us in ratings! Can’t you find something in their Supergirls show and ban it?”

Propaganda officials, “Nope. You are supposed to be freely compete with local channels. That’s the intention. Don’t expect us to protect you.”

February 14, 2006 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

Ah, so THAT’S why CCTV-9 has such a HUGE, dedicated audience of Anglophones who watch it every day for their morning coffee, to stimulate their minds and get them thinking critically about world events. It’s because CCTV is so sensitive to market forces!

CCTV-9 is like it is, because the market demands it!

Now I understand. Screw “60 Minutes”, bring on Dialogue and Philip Cunningham!

February 14, 2006 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

“Bullshit. Any coverage with the exception of Hu Jintao’s speech by CCTV is determined by ratings and ad revenue in the exact same fashion as NBC.”

Yeah, right China Hand. And there’s no lists of banned topics handed to CCTV news. There’s no government hand involved in what topics programs can cover or not. CCTV didn’t threaten to cancel Supergirl in an official statement. At this point I don’t see how we can get anywhere talking about this, since you’re apparently delusional about the meaning of the words “state run monopoly”.

February 14, 2006 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

Still waiting for an explanation of the double standard China Hand.

February 14, 2006 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

I think there would be a pretty big market for “Dialogue in the Nude.”

February 14, 2006 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

Ivan, you’ve seen Philip Cunningham on CCTV? Is he still around, criticizing the US and praising the Party? (Which isn’t to say he’s not brilliant; he certainly is. But the way he sucks up to those CCTV interviewers, and pretends like it’s a real interview….)

February 14, 2006 @ 11:09 pm | Comment

Hmm. I’ve been blocked out by a boycott on Shenzhen URL’s. So, after bursting at the seams to make a comment for weeks, finally I want to say;

You boys certainly find a lot of silly shit to quibble about.

February 14, 2006 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Richard, I last saw him (ponytailed and all) a few weeks ago, doing his same old routine.

Kevin, “Dialogue in the Nude” – it’s a great idea, but I fear the censors would only choose senior Party members to appear in the nude – and then they would lie about their personal statistics of course, while they say, “it’s growing! Growing by ten percent!”

February 14, 2006 @ 11:16 pm | Comment

Also, I wouldn’t say Cunningham is brilliant, but among all the intellectual whores I’ve ever met/heard (and their name is Legion) I’d put him in the top half. Which is not to say that he’s on top when he’s whoring for CCTV.

February 14, 2006 @ 11:26 pm | Comment

Yeah, I see his ponytailed ass pretty often too. I think last time I saw him they were talking about Taiwan and the U.S. (I guess they probably talk about that every day, unless they happen to be talking about Japan). You can only imagine how insightful our “foreign friend” and that handsome devil Yang Rui were.
I just always think: that guy Phil Cummingham must be getting laid a whole lot in China to say some of the things he says.

February 14, 2006 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

Tremendous article that opens with how a “group of retired senior officials and academics, including Mao Zedong’s former secretary, yesterday called for more openness, warning China’s propaganda department that the media crackdown ‘could sow the seeds of disaster for political and social transition’.”
Striking analysis of the clash between the LIBERAL OLD GUARD vs. the FASCIST RULING REGIME.
Talk about irony! (or sad state of affairs). If anything, the article closes on a note of hope…
http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,1710025,00.html

February 15, 2006 @ 1:06 am | Comment

Olympics are just boring. I’m allways happy when it’s over and I can have my usual TV-diet of detective-stories again. That’s when I start crying and phone my mum, telling her how reliefed I am that eventually the cops catched the serial killer.

February 15, 2006 @ 1:59 am | Comment

Yeah, shulan, I always get the same feeling whenever Bugs Bunny twists the gun around and it blows up in Elmer Fudd’s face. Then I call my mother – and I fight back the tears when I tell her, “Bugs got Elmer again!”

February 15, 2006 @ 2:13 am | Comment

Ivan, I very much appreciate it that you revealed your genuine feelings about Bugs Bunny here in public (Applaus everybody!). It is a rare thing that a man has the courage to admit he was crying in fornt of the TV-screen, altough we both know that it happens much more often then everybody dares to admit.

February 15, 2006 @ 3:11 am | Comment

A: What should be done about Iran’s nuclear ambitions?

B: I don’t know … But I hope it doesn’t involve cartoons.

February 15, 2006 @ 3:38 am | Comment

Wednesday PR blog: Relax – China is simply adhering to "world norms"

Imagethief begs –begs!– the Chinese government to contact his
firm for professional PR help before…

February 15, 2006 @ 5:17 am | Comment

Shulan, don’t even get me started about my unrequited love for Betty Rubble of the Flintstones – or about what I want to do to Betty Boop on the side.

February 15, 2006 @ 8:01 am | Comment

Not to mention Jessica Rabbit, of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

Eddie Valiant the detective: “What do you see in Roger Rabbit?”

Jessica: “He makes me laugh!”

February 15, 2006 @ 8:07 am | Comment

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4715044.stm

China defends internet regulation

He also said that only a “very few” foreign websites were blocked, and that was mostly because they contained pornography or terrorist information.

February 15, 2006 @ 9:32 am | Comment

Only a few?

So what’s the excuse for banning Blog-City?

I nor Michael Anti post pornography to our blogs (well, no more than Xinhua).

February 15, 2006 @ 11:08 am | Comment

The BBC News website is full of porn and terrorist info? Lol, what is this guy smoking?! ๐Ÿ˜€

February 15, 2006 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

When governments can lie to blatantly to the outside community, how can you trust anythingit says or claims?

February 15, 2006 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

That filthy Communist way of conflating “pornography” with “any news which embarasses the Communist Party” is a fallacy of distraction. The two things have nothing to do with each other.

“Aren’t you against pornography and any news which embarasses the Communist Party?” It’s like asking,
“Don’t you love your Mother and Adolf Hitler?” It’s a slick trick, to mix two entirely unrelated concepts together.

Communists. That’s why they disgust me so much. They fill the world with lies, it’s all they know how to do, they just lie, and lie, and lie…

February 15, 2006 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

Yeah, I loved: “No one in China has been arrested simply because he or she said something on the internet.”
and “After studying internet legislation in the west, we basically have identical legislative objectives and principles.”
haha, i think this guy must be the son of the army guy who claimed on a trip to the US that “no one died” in a certain square…
really, how low can you go? they shouldn’t assume that the entire world is as dumb as some of their fenqing supporters…

February 15, 2006 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

deleted

February 15, 2006 @ 8:39 pm | Comment

[deleted]

February 15, 2006 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

Yes, I’ll “clean up this site” so that Madge will come back. That’s my goal. We wouldn’t want to offend him.

I do hope you’re joking. You are, right?

February 15, 2006 @ 8:45 pm | Comment

Ivan, you are an animated epic lover!

;^)

February 15, 2006 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

Don’t forget Mrs. Captain Caveman, Ivan.

February 15, 2006 @ 9:39 pm | Comment

Well, just don’t call me an animal lover. It’s against the law in all 50 states, you know.

February 15, 2006 @ 10:10 pm | Comment

Except if you are in Taiwan, then you MUST love pandas!

February 15, 2006 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

Dear Richard,

Of course I’m joking! And I am Mark Anthony Jones, in case you didn’t figure that one out. [The rest has been deleted]

February 15, 2006 @ 11:24 pm | Comment

bye-bye Madge [comment edited]

February 16, 2006 @ 12:10 am | Comment

As an after thought: perhaps the romantic appeal (I mean romantic in the broad sdense of the word of course) of being the outsider lies in a certain self-masochism, in the pleasure one gains from being abused. It’s why I am able to relate so strongly to Jesus Christ, despite being a total athiest. I enjoy being sacrificed for being an outcast.

[Note to Madge: I’ll let this comment stand, as it tells readers what kind of a loon we’re dealing with.]

February 16, 2006 @ 12:16 am | Comment

Your Australian IP address made me wonder. Sorry, Madge, but I have to delete your comments in a minute. Rules are rules.

February 16, 2006 @ 12:27 am | Comment

Observer,
Ennis and Jack are fictional characters who didn’t think they were gays in love. The “Fab Five” are real gay men who have a blasting good time every week fixing up a straight guy needing professional image make-over. Brokeback Mt. is a lyrical love story. Queer Eye is a light-hearted haha funny TV show. They meant no gay liberation politics, and that’s kind of cool.

February 16, 2006 @ 12:33 am | Comment

Sorry Chester, but it’s time to say goodbye to Observer.

February 16, 2006 @ 12:43 am | Comment

“Observer” is probably cleaning the goo off of his monitor after that last bit of stalking.

February 16, 2006 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Ummm….
….Observer/Madge said, above:

“It’s why I am able to relate so strongly to Jesus Christ….”

Hey, no lack of humility there, eh? No paranoid schizophrenia there, eh?

This is what straitjackets were made for.

February 16, 2006 @ 1:43 am | Comment

Oh and then I can just imagine Jesus Christ being an apologist for the government on China Daily. Or on “Pontius Pilate’s Dialogue” show.

February 16, 2006 @ 1:56 am | Comment

Time for new thread, I think.

February 16, 2006 @ 2:30 am | Comment

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