“Was Sex and Shanghai all a hoax?”

[Update: Moving this post up to the top after a flood of comments; want to make sure it gets read.]

Maybe Chinabounder doesn’t exist and is the creation of some performance artists doing research on the Interent’s ability to mobilize the Chinese masses. If so, it makes the whole thing even more bizarre. Make that much more bizarre. And I didn’t think the story could get any more bizarre than it already was.

Meanwhile, a fellow blogger in HK sees the whole thing as a cynical attempt by another HK blogger to present a distorted picture of what’s actually going on in China. (He points to one of Sonagi’s translations as evidence that this is truly “a storm in a teracup.”) My first inclination is to reject that hypothesis,since I’ve seen translations of BBS comments, followed by mainstream news articles, that led me to think the outrage is real and widespread – but that impression could be totally false, distorted and amplified by the noise of the blogosphere.

Which leads to a rather simple question: Are the BBS forums in China really erupting in flames over the dastardly foreigner, or is this a false image that somehow got reported as gospel, and then got blown up out of all proportion by the naive and ignorant lapdog bloggers (like myself)? There’s an answer here somewhere. Anyone who solves the puzzle gets a free Peking Duck T-shirt (if and when the T-shirts come into being).

The Discussion: 111 Comments

Interesting. In the thread below, commenter Chris writes:

everyone i have spoken to (mostly my students), has indicated that no one really cares. if those women wanted to sleep with some creepy foreigner, that’s their problem. no one likes a degenerate brit expat anyway, so this is non-news. everyone back to drinking, and playing majong.

If this is accurate, there’s a good lesson in spin to be learned from this entire exercise.

August 31, 2006 @ 6:44 pm | Comment

Daai Tou Laam’s (to whom you referred as “another HK blogger” in the above post) characterisation of ESWN has articulated some niggling, um, “questions” I’ve had about ESWN for a long time.

Kudos to Daai Tou Laam for that brilliant post.

August 31, 2006 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

My hat off for To Daai Tou Laam Tom, one of my must-read bloggers. I’m glad that someone eventually breaks the code of silence and speaks the truth about ESWN.

August 31, 2006 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

“But you won’t find pitchforks or a lynch mob.”

I have no idea if Chinabounder is a hoax, but lest anyone get the wrong impression, the phenomena of internet “lynch mobs” in China definitely is not.

There was a recent well-known example of a husband who discovered his wife was having an online affair with a college student. The situation got completely out of control. The harrassment by teams of anonymous “citizen investigators” reached such a level that the student had to drop out of college and barricade himself in his home. The New York Times ran the story as “Online Throngs Impose a Stern Morality in China” (http://tinyurl.com/ogfum).

It’s a scary phenomenon.

Whether Chinabounder is a hoax or not, as a male English teacher in Shanghai, I do NOT appreciate using this particular beehive as a publicity pinata.

August 31, 2006 @ 7:54 pm | Comment

Slim, I agree, the Internet lynch mob in China is a matter of fact, not conjecture. The question is, has this episode spawned an Internet lynch mob? If you could give us any insight from Shanghai it would be great.

August 31, 2006 @ 8:06 pm | Comment

Richard,

Thanks for the link and asking the blogger to clarify. I posted a long message and wish to briefly state here that:

1) My Chinese proficiency is only intermediate level. I can understand Zhang’s straightforward entries, but comments full of abbreviated sayings and colloquialisms are much harder for me to understand clearly.

2) Comments being in response to a post are naturally influenced by the content and tone of the OP and earlier comments. As I recall, the comment thread I summarized so briefly came from the research study proposal. I would guess that comments following the posts exposing the Shanghai Bounder, with its salacious excerpts boasting of seductions of Chinese women and taking pot shots at Chinese manhood, would certainly arouse different sentiments than the research study.

The bottom line is that we who post translations are filters. I don’t have an agenda; I just select what’s interesting and translated what I thought others might want to read.

I’m ready to move on from Zhang to someone a little more scholarly. Blog suggestions anyone? I’m looking for someone who posts on domestic and international issues with special attention to China’s neighbors. If I find such a blog, I’d be happy to translate posts of interest to TPD readers.

August 31, 2006 @ 8:08 pm | Comment

I just posted this comment over at Danwei:

My big question would be, if they [the “performance artists”] wanted to use the blog as a study of the Chinese mob mentality, why would they make it a BLOGSPOT blog, since they were banned in China until just a few weeks ago? It’s only due to that fluke – the lifting of the blogspot ban – that this got the attention of the Chinese public. Something doesn’t hold up here….

August 31, 2006 @ 8:10 pm | Comment

I just wanted to add that I just read Tom’s article, and I couldn’t agree more with his view of ESWN.

I stopped reading ESWN some time ago, when questions about his credibility began to mount higher and higher.

For me, the blinders really fell off when Michael Turton (www.michaelturton.blogspot.com) exposed ESWN for using a National Enquirer-like Hong Kong tabloid as a source for Taiwanese news. Although Michael showed that the article ESWN translated and presented as “news” was false, Roland refused to pull it – instead accusing Michael of being “vain”. I thought that was very telling.

I think it’s a good idea to be extra skeptical of blogs that proport to offer news, but don’t allow comments. This is especially important in the case of translations, where many readers are unable to verify the context of the original article, much less guess if it is truly representative of anything other than the translator’s agenda.

I think ESWN has gotten something of a “free pass” from China bloggers and the western press. Personally, I’m over him, his selective news, and his colossal ego.

August 31, 2006 @ 8:18 pm | Comment

Richard, that’s an important clue about blogspot!

Even if it is a hoax, it’s certainly plausible, as we all know there are guys like that in China. But with eight brothels within one block of my apt building, it seems to me that Prof Zhang is overlooking the disease to fixate on a minor symptom.

I’ll ask some of my adult students if they have heard of Chinabounder or Professor Zhang.

August 31, 2006 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

ads: I agree with you on the points you raised with Sonagi about trying to understand Zhang’s behavior of educating Chinese people ourselves rahter than his ridiculous “lynch hunting”. It also brought me some interests about how can you draw a conclusion about the name “Shulan” in such a way it only means “tree otter” in Mandarin Chinese? I suppose you have very good knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, but you should also know the same “pinyin” arrangements can pronounce differently, represent different words with different meanings. it seems pretty weird to me someone of “not Chinese origin” wrote “his” nickname in “pinyin” and it indeed means an uncommon animal with rare usage in Mandarin Chinese rather than the common girls’ name as I initially thought of.

Nausicaa: Where did your knowledge come from to give the judgement “Shulan” is “neither a girl nor Chinese”? Just infering it from words like me?

I suspect whether either of you is “Shulan” yourself as I havent heared any feedback from him/her. Its like an interesting whodunit to me ๐Ÿ˜€

August 31, 2006 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

Chinese man, I’ve gotten some reports from friends of mine that you are a well-known troll in the Asian blogosphere who loves to throw threads off-topic. I hope that isn’t the case. I have low tolerance for trolls.

August 31, 2006 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

Slim, thanks for helping and I hope you can get back to us soon – same for anyone else in China who can report back to us on whether theoutrage is real or imagined.

August 31, 2006 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

>>I think ESWN has gotten something of a “free pass” from China bloggers and the western press. Personally, I’m over him, his selective news, and his colossal ego.

Couldn’t agree more.

August 31, 2006 @ 10:59 pm | Comment

[”
Basic human rights are universal and those that deny them deny human nature.

….

Blah, China has enslaved or murdered millions of its own people following a common thug’s wishes. China continues to occupy Tibet, impose its language on Xinjian and throws its self-perceived weight around the Security Council like a bully. China treats it own citizens like slaves who nothing more than cheap labor who can be replaced at the drop of a hat. I am personally sick of the nationalistic, patriotic arguments attemp to cover up or dodge these issues. They only serve to point out the lack of access to information and the inability to form an accurate world view as a result of a society based upon ignorance and propaganda.

Posted by: Ahmet at August 31, 2006 08:54 AM”]

My apologies if this is off topic, but I think I should address these common talking points concerning the PRC:

I don’t disagree that the PRC is in need of reform and improvements in human rights and freedoms.

“China has enslaved or murdered millions of its own people following a common thug’s wishes.”
— Yes, it is wrong. Huge famines and internal policing resulted in auto-genocide. Some countries express aggression & anger in an ‘extroverted’/outward manner, and some express it in an ‘introverted’/inward manner. There is, however, a big difference in planned genocidal murder of others and/or genocide resulting from rampant greed and expansionism (ie: what happened to Native Americans).

However, the chatter within the American right-wing is that China is a threat to the USA. But this asian bogey man has little support in a historical context.

“Basic human rights are universal and those that deny them deny human nature.”

— I agree with the sentiment, but how one society defines basic human rights could differ from another. Also, the assertion of questionablely or poorly defined absolutes is a common fallacy among those with right-wing foreign policy attitudes.

Again I don’t condone torture or restriction of free speech. But look at what is happening in the US. Torture and police state tactics are being condoned according to the percieved level of threat & fear within the society, and perhaps according to some level of corruption in the leadership.

I agree with the goal of human rights, but international tactics that increase the level of fear and threat within a country could very well be counter-productive.

There are prerequisites for a modern, democratic, healthy nation. Look at the bungled efforts in Iraq. Look at what happened in Russia. Look at what happened in South America.

Democracies just don’t magically happen.
The United States declared itself a democracy in the 18th century, but it had slavery and it did not allow women to vote. — In fact it only allowed landowning white men to participate.

It takes work and it takes time and patience. The groundwork has to be laid. It requires a respect for education, information, and an adequate level of industrialization and economy — among many other things.

And anyway, despite your dismissals, these issues do not excuse the insulting comments of the racist, sexist Shanghai Sexblogger, hoax or not.

Actually, I think that human rights criticisms should continue. But it should not be made into a lame excuse for disrespectful misbehavior and such incorrigible arrogance.

That’s it from me…

August 31, 2006 @ 11:23 pm | Comment

Richard,
This Sex and Shanghai actually hasn’t attracted much attention because of the following 2 reasons:
1> Blogspot is banned in chinese, so not many chinese can read this blog;
2> This blog is writen by english. as i observe, usually those chinese who have good command in english are friendly to foreigners, and they won’t raise this single issue to a level of “compatriot”. they just don’t care about what this foreign guy did.

And, i also have a suspicion that how come that British man can access and write on BLOGSPOT. you know, it is banned.

Does my answer OK for your question, Richard? haha… you give me your PekingDuck T-Shit..

August 31, 2006 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

In one popular chinese BBS(WWW.Tianya.com), this affair has been translated to chinese, but only a few of readers left their comments there. Among them, less than 5 people are unhappy with that British guy. most of them just don’t care it.

September 1, 2006 @ 12:01 am | Comment

blah: Philip Cunningham, is that you?

September 1, 2006 @ 12:27 am | Comment

blah is a series of auto-reply messages generated by the Great Firewall. They pop up at random when the heat is too high. The same software package also generates this non-personality known as Philip Cunningham. That’s why there are similarities. So don’t be fooled.

September 1, 2006 @ 1:05 am | Comment

What? Do you mean all this time, Yang Rui has been getting himself sexually serviced by a “software package?”

September 1, 2006 @ 1:12 am | Comment

Jeffrey, I realy appreciate that feedback. I am beginning to get suspicious. In this post, a very talented blogger writes,

The only hero of the story is the indefatigable Roland Soong, author of the EastSouthWestNorth weblog, who makes it his mission to translate a river of material from the Chinese language press (mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwanese) into English every day. Having worked for a while as a short-notice translator, I can’t begin to understand how he can find the time and energy to translate so much material, let alone provide context and very balanced commentary, but there it is. For anyone who wants to learn more about online culture in China without speaking the language his blog is a superb resource.

Could it be that this is exactly what our hero wanted to hear, and that he engineered it? Now, I’m not saying that as a fact, I’m just askin’….

By the way, the blogspot ban was lifted several weeks ago, so readers in China have had free access to his site – many of them were writing very angry comments there until it was closed.

September 1, 2006 @ 1:20 am | Comment

In response to Blah – Amazing. That really is the best BCPC (Brilliant & Charming Philip Cunningham) imitation I’ve read to date. Deflect all criticism and throw it at the US. Should I bother to pick his argument apart? These drawing of parallels are so weak, and so irrelevant. Let me just say that no one’s ever been arrested in America for writing a blog or making a movie or posting an essay on the Internet (though if they post something inciting people to commit crimes, or depicting child pornography there might be exceptions). Under bush, things have definitely taken a turn for the worse in terms of civil liberties, but we are all free to condemn it and file suits and vote the bastards out. The only incidents of torture that I ever heard made against America were in regard to bush and his BS war on terror – and my blog blasts him even worse than it does the CCP. No excuses, no toleration for torture. In China, torture is a fact of life and meted out freely to members of a religious cult who harmed no one. By the way, I agree with you about disrespectful behavior and I have little sympathy for Chinabounder.

Anyway, sorry to get off-topic.

September 1, 2006 @ 1:33 am | Comment

Could it be that this is exactly what our hero wanted to hear

Our hero has never been subtle about how much he likes to be quoted or mentioned elsewhere. It seems to me that self-gratification IS indeed the main theme of the blog … apart from “Sex in the City” of course.

Now that makes me wonder, how can he have so much time reading blogs, translating, making comments, maintaining a blog and, on top of that, keeping tap of his trophies??

September 1, 2006 @ 1:45 am | Comment

so now you guys start to complain that Roland translated the whole thing that somehow makes you embarrassed?

^-^

September 1, 2006 @ 1:46 am | Comment

if a hen can produce some tasty eggs, even occasionally, why it bothers you how the hen looks like?

September 1, 2006 @ 1:51 am | Comment

Bingfeng, to feel embarrassed by criticism is a very Chinese concept, which is not a sentiment shared by most of us here. We are laowai. Remember.

By the way, why would I have a distinct impression, after postings about blah, that we are going to get bingfeng soon. It’s funny how women’s intuition sometimes is quite reliable.

September 1, 2006 @ 1:57 am | Comment

multiple choice:

you complain Roland because:

1) envious (if you are blogger yourself)

2) somehow relief your embarrassment caused by that “chinabounder” translation

3) he is just a funny guy

4) he still keeps his HK passport

5) he forget to translate the “nationalistic rant” against “chinabounder” by mad chinese men

6) just curious how he works on his blog

September 1, 2006 @ 1:57 am | Comment

“By the way, why would I have a distinct impression, after postings about blah, that we are going to get bingfeng soon. It’s funny how women’s intuition sometimes is quite reliable.”

you think i will use different names to post here (or anywhere online)

perhaps that’s the way you are familiar with and … i don’t know

September 1, 2006 @ 2:00 am | Comment

bingfeng, this has absolutely nothing to do with hens and you know it.

It’s such a typical Communist Chinese reaction to resort to obscurantist farmyard metaphors when confronted with something truly embarassing.

Speaking of which: Isn’t it interesting that after being silent here for a LONG time, bingfeng (Communist Apologist extraordinaire) suddenly resurfaces to defend ESWN/Roland as soon as his purposes are suddenly openly questioned?

Hmmmmm…..

September 1, 2006 @ 2:02 am | Comment

“Bingfeng, to feel embarrassed by criticism is a very Chinese concept, which is not a sentiment shared by most of us here. We are laowai. Remember.”

i don’t think that laowais will be embarrassed by what “chinabounder” did, but judging from what they talked about the issue, it’s a different story.

sorry, i’m disappointed, really

September 1, 2006 @ 2:02 am | Comment

Bingfeng, nice try. Have to try harder though.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:03 am | Comment

bingfeng, how about “7: He’s a Communist Apologist” just like you are. Which (see my above comment) makes your sudden interest in defending him on this blog (after your long absence from commenting regularly here) VERRRRY interesting.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:04 am | Comment

LOL

thank you for the good laugh, ivan

September 1, 2006 @ 2:05 am | Comment

Well before throwing around unsubstantiated claims, can’t this all remain an “unsolved mystery?” for now? The whole thing is better than a tabloid story ๐Ÿ˜‰

Actually, throwing around some unsubstantiated claims makes it even more of a tabloid story. So perhaps I should retract my suggestion ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

September 1, 2006 @ 2:05 am | Comment

sorry i forget to say:

GAN BEI!

September 1, 2006 @ 2:08 am | Comment

Hi Bingfeng – it’s been a long time.

I am certainly jealous of ESWN’s translation capabilities. If you search this blog, you will see I have praised him multiple times, often referring to him as the best site on China.

However, over the past two years I have definitely noticed a trend on his site. Up at the top, the links to his articles of choice often direct readers to posts of little significance but with one common thread – they heap praise on Roland. He always seems to be trying to hype himself. Everytime he’s mentioned in the news, he lets you know it. I have been interviewed by two radio stations and mentioned in more than one newspaper article, but I never talked about that (until now) – who cares? It’s okay to pat yourself on the back sometimes, but it’s become a daily routine, and a boring one.

So no, jealousy isn’t the thing. I’d say it’s more irritation at Roland seeing himself as the man for whom the world’s foreign correspondents must snap to attention. Go read Tom’s post and see the quotes, right out of Roland’s mouth. There’s also his trend to nearly always rally to the Party’s side, as witnessed in his support of Yahoo after the arrest of Shi Tao (and many, many other cases). Still, I make him my first stop everyday because I appreciate his translations even if his constant self-aggrandizement makes me moan. After this episode, however, I will be reading him with a much larger grain of salt than before. After a lot of resistance, I am coming around to Michael Turton’s and Tom’s side of the table. This whole brouhaha seems to have been rigged. And one man seems to have done the rigging. Or at least that’s how it seems to me at the moment.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:16 am | Comment

And it’s even more interesting that bingfeng put so much emphasis on the word “embarrassment”. That makes me wonder if this is a psychological deflection. Yes, I have to admit that Professor Zhang’s response to an internet hoax is a bit embarrassing.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:19 am | Comment

Richard, that’s very nicely said. Thank you.

By the way, don’t worry about bingfeng’s questions. They are addressed to me. But no, he’s not going to get any answers. Again, nice try. But have to try harder.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:25 am | Comment

as i know, Roland did all the service for free, if public consent makes him happy and he wants to show off, so what? if he plans to gain something from his blog in the future, i don’t think any of us has the right to complain, i mean, you can suggest him to remove or downplay the links, but he has the right to do anythig in his blog, doesn’t he?

what do you feel with your everywhere google adsense? what do you feel if somebody complain that and lower the credibility of your blog? does it make sense?

a little more respect and tolerance. that’s it

September 1, 2006 @ 2:28 am | Comment

bingfeng said, “Roland did all the service for free.”

Uh-huh. And just why should everyone take your word for that?

Why should everyone just assume that he receives no financial support from any third party for what he does? (But then, how could there be a “third party” in a one-party state?)

Just asking…

September 1, 2006 @ 2:33 am | Comment

“”There’s also his trend to nearly always rally to the Party’s side, as witnessed in his support of Yahoo after the arrest of Shi Tao (and many, many other cases).””

well, i don’t think roland “always rally to the party’s side”, perhaps that’s only possible in the imaginations of people who “always rally to the anti-ccp side”

humans are teh breed of their cuture and education, and in this regard, roland should be more balanced than you and me

September 1, 2006 @ 2:35 am | Comment

Uh-huh. And just why should everyone take your word for that?

Why should everyone just assume that he receives no financial support from any third party for what he does? (But then, how could there be a “third party” in a one-party state?)

Just asking…

Posted by: Ivan at September 1, 2006 02:33 AM

————–

if that’s the case, the CCP needs to pay a lot of bloggers over the world

when do you start to buy bellevue’s logic? i have always thought that you should be smarter than bellevue

be carefull, roland might sue you for defamation and seek 30 million rmb in damages and freeze your personal assets ^-^

September 1, 2006 @ 2:40 am | Comment

“Nearly always” – big difference. Occasionally he is very critical of the party.

Look, if you want to draw conclusions about my google ads or whatever, go ahead, it’s a free country (well, where i am, anyway). This criticism against eswn is not random or fueled by envy. I’vebeen hearing it from many quarters for a very long time. I was reluctant to join in, especially because on some levels I admire Roland tremendously and have enjoyed sharing emails with him. But when someone is cast as the one source all the foreign correspondents go to for their Chinese news, and that one source shows a disturbing trend to sensationalize (see Michael Turton’s blog for copious examples) and to lobby for his pet causes, we all need to wake up to the fact that he’s not just translating, he is advocating, and his repeated claims to objectivity do not hold up.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:41 am | Comment

Wow, this is the first time I ever saw anyone’s nervous beads of sweat (bingfeng’s) actually condensing on my monitor screen.

The Communist whores have been caught with their pants down. And bingfeng, the more you nervously try to defend this scandal and to deflect scrutiny of it, the more suspicion you’re actually drawing to it.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:43 am | Comment

“advocating”? who is not “advocating”? i see western media are much more “advocating” than ESWN when it comes to report china affairs

if foreign correspondents are not happy with the limitations of ESWN, learn mandarin themselves.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:59 am | Comment

Bingfeng, did you read Tom’s post? I was making a specific reference to Roland’s insistence on his objevctivity, as emphasized in Tom’s post. I love to advocate – all I ever do is advocate. I never say I am objective. I try to be fair and I try to be objective, but I definitely am here to advocate my point of view. I am not here peddling translations that I assure readers time and again reflect my objectivity.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:03 am | Comment

For more education on this topic, Bingfeng, be sure to read this post as well.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Don’t mind Bingfeng, he’s just mad again about “dem damn foreigners” covering stories other than those on People’s Daily.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:15 am | Comment

this is very interesting, while many of you expect ESWN to expose the dark sides of mainland china (or ccp, in your language), some one whines for ESWN exposes the dark sides of taiwan’s democracy

i am confused

September 1, 2006 @ 3:24 am | Comment

I love arguing with bingfeng.

You see, if that’s all you got from Michael’s post, where he exposes in detail how eswn acted as an apologist for a Taiwan sleazoid and how he gets all his bad news about Taiwan from one questionable source, then we’re not going to get very far.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Perhaps your confusion stems from seeing shades of darkness… or more precisely, a color-blindness in which a lighter dark becomes a darker dark, and a darker dark is invisible?

September 1, 2006 @ 3:32 am | Comment

Perhaps your confusion stems from an inability to see shades of darkness… or more precisely, a color-blindness in which a lighter dark becomes a darker dark, and a darker dark is invisible?

September 1, 2006 @ 3:33 am | Comment

(…putting some popcorn in the microwave….)

I just love watching poorly planned intelligence operations fail, consequently making asses out of all concerned parties who then flail around even more and more in a panic like they’re drowning.

(…munch munch….)

September 1, 2006 @ 3:36 am | Comment

Here’s another one bingfeng, that might perhaps help you see where readers are coming from. It starts:

ESWN, which often appears jealous of Taiwan’s freedom and prosperity, and does not appear to like Taiwan very much at all, published an appalling attack on our cozy little island today, in the form of a commentary and article from a local journal. The article ESWN liked so much appeared in Chinese in The Journalist, a local business journal.

In its haste to say anything bad it possibly can about Taiwan, ESWN overlooked critical background that may help readers understand who and what are talking. The Journalist has quite a rep around Taiwan for printing any old scurrilous rumor. For example, it was that rag that circulated a rumor saying that Annette Lu, the Veep, was telling everyone Chen Shui-bian was having an affair with another DPP legislator. The Journalist has long thrived on an anti-government stance, opposing whoever is in power. One should not confuse being anti-government with being right.

Read the rest – if you really want to understand. But unfortunately I don’t think you really do want to understand. You’ll come back with a snarky one-liner the way you usually do.

I thought about this long and hard today. I like Roland. But I felt like i had a revelation today. I went back and read some of the glowing reports about him written by my friends (who I hope won’t hold this against me) and I realized just how much he has journalists and bloggers eating out of his hand. Has he demonstrated that he really deserves this stature? Tell me Bingfeng, since you are in Shanghai, is there really a witch hunt going on, an Internet lynch mob, for the Sex and Shanghai blogger? Or was the story blown out of proportion by eswn (and then by me and other bloggers who take – took? – what Roland writes at face value)?

September 1, 2006 @ 3:40 am | Comment

I’m wondering who (or what) we are going to get after bf.

Save some popcorn for me.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:42 am | Comment

(happily munch munching popcorn, slurping Pepsi through straw….)

September 1, 2006 @ 3:43 am | Comment

richard, don’t you find the piece of quote so familiar, if you replace “taiwan” with “china”, replace “freedom and prosperity” with “growth”, replace “ESWN” with “western media” …….

and i find the whole basis of your arguement is very fragile, people go to read ESWN for MAINLAND CHINA NEWS, not taiwan news, and you told me that foreign correspondents should not rely on ESWN as their CHINA news sources because ESWN is very imbalanced in reporting taiwan?

September 1, 2006 @ 3:55 am | Comment

Well, remember Ivan, eswn feels the crackdown on the Falun Gong was justified. So in bf’s eyes, he can do no wrong.

Seriously, I do hope bingfeng will come back and give us the story from Shanghai, where the streets are no doubt filled with pitchfork-wielding Netizens. And, also in all seriousness, despite his misplaced notions, bingfeng is still one of my favorite Chinese bloggers and it’s good to see him back.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:56 am | Comment

You know the story about the guy who stands on a street corner offering people free ice cream?

After he has been doing it for some time, people get really used to free ice cream. And then they start getting annoyed — “Man, you only ever have chocolate ice cream, I want some f***ing pistachio!”

That is what you guys sound like bitching about ESWN.

Has he ever claimed to be an objective news source? No. Did he ever promise you anything that de did not deliver? No.

Worse than the bitching about ESWN content are the baseless insinuations from this Ivan person suggesting that Bingfeng and ESWN are paid Party shills?

Well Ivan, if you are going to make accusations like that, why are you too scared to use your real name? You are not too different from a BBS nationalist: all fire and fury, from the anonymous safety of your keyboard.

Get a life man.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:58 am | Comment

Just because “four’ner”-bashing and economic development are the only topics that can be discussed in the Chinese media does not mean that they are the only topics the western media can touch.
And you have to be kidding me if you say that China’s economic growth is not reported in the Western media. It’s just not the “opiate of the masses” as it is here.

September 1, 2006 @ 4:00 am | Comment

Wow, not only are they coming out of the woodwork, but now they’re trying to bait us into using our actual names online.

This is all hitting a sensitive nerve with the CCP apologist/disinformation network. They’re really, really in a panic.

(munch munch…hands the popcorn over to FatCat….) ๐Ÿ™‚

September 1, 2006 @ 4:04 am | Comment

ivan,

seriously, you are one of the reasons why peking duck is such a lovely place and i come to here again and agian

gan bei, buddy!

September 1, 2006 @ 4:09 am | Comment

BF, arguing with you is the same as ever. The Taiwan examples were just that – examples…of how our friend often doesn’t tell the whole story and leaves out key information. All blogs have to be subjective (or they wouldn’t be blogs). Advocating and taking a stand are great. Deliberately and consciously misleading readers, however, is duplicitious and, when you have as much power as eswn himself says he does, it can be dangerous if reporters are making his site their one-stop shop for translations.

September 1, 2006 @ 4:10 am | Comment

Grateful freeloader, one question for you: what’s your name?

September 1, 2006 @ 4:11 am | Comment

Ah, Grateful Freeloader, I see by your IP address you are with the media! In Beijing! Come on, a moment ago you said Ivan was too cowardly to share his name. Please, show us what a big man you are. What’s your name?

September 1, 2006 @ 4:14 am | Comment

if taiwan is just example, let’s talk about china news reported by roland, and let’s set a bar to compare with, say, Peking Duck blog, both are influential blogs in china news

September 1, 2006 @ 4:25 am | Comment

” … just that – examples…of how our friend often doesn’t tell the whole story and leaves out key information”

sorry for my rudeness, this is the most stupid and dishonest comment about ESWN blog

September 1, 2006 @ 4:28 am | Comment

If I were to say that the world’s foreign correspondents came to my blog to receive my translations and opinions, then such a comparison would make more sense. I don’t even see ESWN as a blog (posts aren’t time-dated, no comments or interactivity, no blog features). It’s more of a news translations with some commentary web site. The only comparison is we both have things to say about China. But eswn’s site is mainly about translation, mine is more about opinion and exchage of ideas. I have precious little influence. ESWN has lots. No comparison.

September 1, 2006 @ 4:30 am | Comment

And you know they’re really losing the argument when they resort to implied physically violent threats – which is precisely what asking for an anonymous commenter’s name amounts to.

God they’re really in a panic..

(Getting up from cinema seat to buy some
M & Ms….)

September 1, 2006 @ 4:33 am | Comment

i find the whole basis of your arguement is very fragile, people go to read ESWN for MAINLAND CHINA NEWS, not taiwan news, and you told me that foreign correspondents should not rely on ESWN as their CHINA news sources because ESWN is very imbalanced in reporting taiwan?

You are kidding me. You are not seriously suggesting the ESWN is a reliable source for China news, unless you don’t count Hong Kong as a part of China.

Let’s have a look at ESWN’s record of reporting democratic movement in HK, shall we? Take this year’s July 1 march as an example. ESWN’s deliberate attempt to undermine the March was manifested in the way he kept diverting readers’ attention to the declining number of people partcicipating, rather than to the significance of the event. His diversion was so successful that even conscientious and balanced blogs such as the Simon World was misled. Again, thanks to Tom, we are once again reminded of ESWN’s biased view. I hereby quote Tom’s comment from Simon World:

“As an anti-democratic DAB/CCP shill Roland will always diss the pan-democratic leaders. Any and every chance.

Yes, it would be expected that someone (Charles Mok) who didn’t participate in marches since 2003, which was highly focussed not on universal suffrage but on Article 23, might be annoyed at the broad spectrum of issue groups involved in Saturday’s march.

As for the marketing impact of these marches, one need only be reminded of the value of May Day Parades in Red Square in Moscow. In marketing terms, a picture is worth a thousand words.

As for polling data, it cracks me up that within a few weeks, Roland goes from saying that polling data doesn’t matter (on Tamar) to saying that polling data is all that should matter.

Inconsistent when it fits his needs to bash Hong Kong’s pan-democrats. If this is what you see as the best HK’s bloggers can produce, then I’m afraid you’ve condemned HK’s bloggers to irrelevancy.”

Thanks Tom again. You are my hero.

Here is the link: http://simonworld.mu.nu/archives/2006_07.php

You need to scroll down to find the thread titled “Democracy’s new saviour”

September 1, 2006 @ 4:40 am | Comment

I agree with Ivan. This is fabulous! To get not one but at least 2 or 3 ccp shills on this site actually almost attempting to argue the merits of their ideas; wow! And one from a Chinese media source! It’s so rare that they lay their intellectual dishonesty, bankrupt ideology lies and threats out there for all of us to rip into!

Keep it up! Communists argue with threats, intimidation, deception and deflection because the logic of their arguements is so weak. But like all those who are brainwashed, stupid or insane, they continue to believe long after the truth has appeared before them.

September 1, 2006 @ 6:26 am | Comment

For those who missed out on Chinabounder’s post – http://member.palacemoon.com/chinabounder/
It seems to be a working archive version of the blog with the newest post dating August 25.

September 1, 2006 @ 6:40 am | Comment

For those who missed out on Chinabounder’s post – http://member.palacemoon.com/chinabounder/
It seems to be a working archive version of the blog with the newest post dating August 25.

September 1, 2006 @ 6:43 am | Comment

Fat Cat, thanks for the great comment and that link.

I had to leave this thread to go to a KTV party for a couple colleagues leaving my company and I just got home. I felt a little sick about this thread because I am equivocal about Roland. Look, he still has the No. 1 spot on my Asian blogroll and I do visit him first over every other site. And often I am absolutely dazzled at the breadth of his knowledge. I probably link to him more than any other single site. But the self-congratulating and the one-sidedness and the obvious agenda have made me increasingly uncomfortable. I’m also uncomfortable about my uncomfortableness with this thread. It struck me tonight at the party – there’s like an unwritten agreement that we are all supposed to heap praise on eswn. One blogger who takes a drastically different position than he does on Yahoo and Shi Tao is constantly fawning on him, always dancing around his refusal to see what’s really going on. And I worried – like, will I be punished for questioning his holiness? Have I done something wrong? Hard to explain, but I actually considered going home and deleting the entire thread, because criticizing His Holiness is just something we aren’t supposed to do.

Bingfeng, still waiting for ou to come back with reports about the pitchforks, by the way.

September 1, 2006 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Ah, I see why Bingfeng scampered off, tail between his legs: he’s trying to start a blog wqar. No doubt he’ll soon attract the usual suspects, including an English teacher or two.

September 1, 2006 @ 7:54 am | Comment

“And I worried – like, will I be punished for questioning his holiness? Have I done something wrong? Hard to explain, but I actually considered gong home and deleting the entire thread, because criticizing His Holiness is just something we aren’t supposed to do.”

What on earth could he “do” to you? You seem to have got into a position where you’re responding more to your own unease at ESWN than you are to ESWN.

September 1, 2006 @ 9:16 am | Comment

Richard, thanks for the link to bf’s blog. You are definitely correct about his intention. I like the way he selectively highlight certain comments but avoid others. Because of that, I think that you should keep this thread as an evidence of how the discussions have actually taken place. However, I have no objection if you want to close the thread for comment.

September 1, 2006 @ 9:19 am | Comment

What a fuss about a non-issue!

ESWN is entitled to his view. His view is different from yours, because his knowledge and background are different from yours. Your failing to understand his persepctive, and hence his selection, does not mean that he is intentionally biase.

Who is this Tom Legg person to accuse ESWN of hoaxing chinabounder? ESWN only translated a post because he thought you would be interested, and he was proven right counting the number of posts in your site, and other sites. P.S. I agree with Richard’s comment on Danwei that it is not a hoax.

How dare Michael Turton, who is a DPP propagandist (read any of his post, give me evidence he isn’t), question the ‘neutrality’ of ESWN! You just have to compare ESWN’s and MT’s coverage about Taiwan to appreciate what biase and propaganda is.

September 1, 2006 @ 9:29 am | Comment

I’m sorry, but my “Moron Alert” level just went to red from reading the barely intelligible comments in this post.

I keep asking myself why the sinoblogosphere is full of towering idiots and even grander egos (myself included here!)

September 1, 2006 @ 9:46 am | Comment

So….uh.
Anybody here really know whether or not there is an internet lynch mob out for Chinabounder’s head in Shanghai? Because otherwise, we’re all pissing in the dark. Where are the facts? I like facts.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:01 am | Comment

Tonight I asked my favorite class (an evening group of clever and humorous white collars) if they had heard about “Chinabounder” and Professor Zhang.

Most of them had! The first to respond told me she read about it in the Shanghai evening paper.

Another student immediately piped in with “There are good people and bad people everywhere, Chinese and foreigners” which I felt was more or less the attitude of those familiar with the story. They were interested, but didn’t seem outraged, or even angry (some joked about it).

I don’t doubt that a lot of Chinese would be upset about Chinabounder’s “revelations”, after all, the guy is self-professed “scoundrel”, and the topic of sexually predatory foreigners is a hot button in many places. But if tonight’s class is any indication (and I find my students are generally a pretty reliable barometer of public sentiment), then the outrage may not exactly be spilling onto the streets.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:02 am | Comment

I didn’t stop reading ESWN because he isn’t objective and has some opinions I disagree with. I stopped reading his blog because of his pretense of objectivity, his “I report, you decide” mantra that is a false front for his political agenda (which sounds eerily similar to another ‘objective’ news outlet with an obvious political agenda). Richard here isn’t objective, either, but he doesn’t really claim to be. You know where he is coming from.

Roland’s target audience is Western journalists who don’t read Chinese. For them, he wants to be a conduit that can shape their coverage. Those of us who actually do read Chinese, however, can recognize how selective he is in what he culls from the Chinese language media.

Second, his patronizing attitude towards his readers really gets tiring. This whole notion that he is providing a “service” is part of it. We should all be grateful for the “service” he is providing us. If anyone criticizes his blog in any way, they are obviously jealous and don’t appreciate his “service.” If any other blogger made that claim, he would be laughed off the stage — which is not possible in ESWN’s case, since he conveniently doesn’t allow comments on his blog. If you aren’t going to allow comments, you should at least post a healthy portion of email criticism (as Sullivan does, for example). Instead, Roland mostly posts healthy (and daily) portions of praise.

Probably what most Western readers of ESWN don’t catch on to (esp. in the US) is that Roland is approaching China from a hard (European) left/socialist/communist standpoint. Most of his heroes (Sontag, et. al.) are socialists and European communists. There is nothing wrong with that in itself (well, I disagree with most of that perspective, but it is one perspective among many). But to claim that ESWN doesn’t have a political agenda is completely disingenuous.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:04 am | Comment

I’m not sure if anyone noticed this, but do you guys remember Richard’s post alerting us to that Chinadaily editor’s blog? Then a little while longer Richard made a jokey post about how, according to the editor, more people had been redirected to the site by Peking Duck than Danwei?

Roland threw a REAL paddy on ESWN about that. He basically slagged off Peking Duck by saying it was just a copy-and-paste site regurgitating stuff from the New York times.

I’m not sure what his beef was, but it was certainly a bit of snootery on his part.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:18 am | Comment

Well actually there are quite some sites which published Zhang’s article, as Zhang himself points out on his site:
http://blog.phoenixtv.com/user3/zhangjiehai/archives/2006/303234.html

and the tianya forum is now full with comments, (I didn’t have the time to get an impression of the overall oppinion on this matter though):
http://www.tianya.cn/new/publicforum/Content.asp?strItem=free&flag=1&idArticle=780629

so maybe the teapot will be a little to small for the tempest in some time.

Chinese Man: thanks for the Chinese lesson, sorry that I confused you. I don’t know what a tree otter is but my dictionairy says, shulan also means sloth. But to make it absolutely clear from now on I will allways write this shulans real name when comunicating with you. ; )

September 1, 2006 @ 10:24 am | Comment

Probably what most Western readers of ESWN don’t catch on to (esp. in the US) is that Roland is approaching China from a hard (European) left/socialist/communist standpoint.

Naw. That’s what Roland wants you to think. Don’t confuse Roland’s cultural tastes with his politics. More later

September 1, 2006 @ 10:24 am | Comment

Ok, I found the comments in his brief archive.

“My metric of success is how often a Chinese-themed, English-language website leads mainstream/new English-language media on news stories. This means that that recyclying what the New York Times, the Washington Post or The Guardian have to say about China is pointless (because I can read them too) unless you can provide added value. Or, how much has a website added to my knowledge of China that I cannot already get from reading what is written in English? That is my criterion and you don’t have to go with it.”

Someone needs to remove the stick out of his backside, because it’s so far in he couldn’t do it even if he wanted.

Seriously, did he ever stop to consider that a lively community such as Peking Duck also has great worth? ESWN is a great resource, but in some respects it’s a lot like a free translation service. And when Roland says something, it’s only ever his view.

On the other hand, here we get LOTS of people contributing, often coming up with new information. So I think he needs to acknowledge that different blogs offer different things and that just because they don’t follow his format doesn’t mean they’re somehow not as “good” as his is.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:25 am | Comment

One other point. About Roland occasionally criticizing the CCP as proof that he isn’t a CCP shill… His criticism of the CCP is the same as Malkin’s criticism of Bush. He criticizes them for not being hard left enough, for not being communist enough. In this sense, I think you can safely say that he isn’t a shill, but rather a true believer in an ideology that few, even in the PRC, take seriously anymore.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:26 am | Comment

How dare Michael Turton, who is a DPP propagandist (read any of his post, give me evidence he isn’t), question the ‘neutrality’ of ESWN! You just have to compare ESWN’s and MT’s coverage about Taiwan to appreciate what biase and propaganda is.

Yeah, that’s right. I am passionately pro-democracy and pro-Taiwan. I don’t hide my biases behind a bogus facade of coy humility. Everyone who comes to my blog knows what they are, just as you do. How dare I question Roland? It is precisely because I know a lot about Taiwan that it is very easy for me to see what his real politics are. That’s how I “dare.”

And you are absolutely 100% right. You just have to compare Roland’s coverage of Taiwan to mine to uncover the biases.

Michael

September 1, 2006 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Michael makes a fair point. Roland frequently slags off Taiwanese democracy and Taiwan generally. He also is quite negative towards HK democratic politicians.

Is this some peverse way to make China’s political failings ssem less bad?

I don’t understand what’s up with that guy sometimes.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:36 am | Comment

Another student immediately piped in with “There are good people and bad people everywhere, Chinese and foreigners” which I felt was more or less the attitude of those familiar with the story. They were interested, but didn’t seem outraged, or even angry (some joked about it).
Hmm. An example of Chinese people being level-headed and reasonable about a controversial subject. Now that’s something you don’t see in the media!

September 1, 2006 @ 10:39 am | Comment

Ah yes, now I see one of our other resident Communist Whores, Jing, has chimed in with, with what? A total non-sequitur full of garbled false outrage.

“False outrage” is the order of the day on this thread, for the Communist Creepie-Crawlies whose nasty habits have been uncovered and are now verbally flailing around around in a panic. Fascinating. It’s like turning on the light and seeing all the cockroaches suddenly scramble all over the place without knowing where to go or what to do. And some of them rear up their front legs and go, “hisss! hisss!”

September 1, 2006 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Jing and all,

Once again, let me remind TPD readers that I am very willing to supply you with translations of quality Chinese blog stuff, but I need some recommendations.

September 1, 2006 @ 1:56 pm | Comment

I’d only be a resident if I commented at the Duck as frequently as you did, unfortunately right now, I only have time to take pot shots when the idiocy spikes, as it so frequently does.

Dear Ivan, you seem to have mistaken contempt for outrage. This comment thread has half a dozen different mini-conversations all with someone raging against someone else and most only tangential to the actual topic. The only undercurrent being complete and utter inanity and irrelevance. Storm in a teacup indeed.

September 1, 2006 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

Hoax or not, the way the writer(s) started the whole thing has made this distinction rather moot. You cannot make fun of somebody over his race, politics and sexuality and then try to get away with by saying “take it easy. I am just teasing you. I wanted to see how much vitriol you can generously put up with before you flip out”. That will not work, especially when you do this to strangers. The blogger(s) deserve the outrage and the perceived threat to their personal safety.

September 1, 2006 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

I also wonder what the situation is really like. From what Shanghai Slim and Jeffrey has said, it sounds like it’s being treated among the Shanghainese as a non-issue or a novelty news item at best. That wasn’t the picture I got when I read the professor’s blog, but it’s possible that some of the commentaters there are just bullshitters and/or crazies.

September 1, 2006 @ 3:58 pm | Comment

No, I don’t agree that the sex blogger deserves threats to his personal safety, no matter how insulting or offensive the things he has written. But that is probably because of my Western-style upbringing.

In the West there is the belief that speech is a protected category. If someone’s speech offends you, you may only respond with more speech; you can not go and beat them up. People often say all kinds of crazy things on TV, the internet, and the radio, but it’s rare for anyone to be physically attacked for it. Freedom of speech can not truly exist without this idea – who would dare say something unpopular if they feared being beaten up?

For obvious reasons, this belief does not exist in China. Why would it? There historically hasn’t been any freedom of speech. So when the internet allows a small amount of freedom, people think it’s OK to react violently to things they find offensive. I think that’s what’s behind all these internet lynch mobs. People haven’t yet learned restraint.

September 1, 2006 @ 4:33 pm | Comment

Raj thanks for pointing out what Roland wrote about my totally innocuous joke – I somehow missed it. (Link is here, scroll down to #085.) That little snippet speaks volumes.

September 1, 2006 @ 5:34 pm | Comment

Kea, read carefully. I said “perceived threat”, which means the blogger might be thinking there is real threat to his personal safety, so much so that he closed his blog down. When people write “I want to kill the scum”, they usually just want to vent their anger since they feel the due justice is unlikely to be delivered, or they just want to intimidate that guy to make his life miserable. What I said is that he deserves this mental uneasiness, because this is the right price he has to pay for his behavior. If you have any real Chinese experience, you should know that real violence in this case is unlikely, although marginally possible. If it does happen, it is against Chinese criminal law and will be punished according to it.

I seriously doubt the Chinese have more learning to do to be restraint than the Western people. You are just talking about part of the Western society you are familiar with. Try this: Wear a T-Shirt saying “Niggers generally score lower in IQ than white people. No wonder they are losers” and stand for two hours during rush hours in the middle of a black neighborhood of any major US city. You want to try? You are not allowed to say certain things publicly in the West, even though you think there are some shreds of truth about them. Likewise, you have limits to practise your freedom of speech when it comes to things about the Chinese people. Did this come as a surprise to you? Then it is you who needs to learn.

September 1, 2006 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

The following is a comment from shulan that got caught in my spam filter (no idea why). I posted it a while ago, but am repeating it here since many of you might have missed it.
Richard
—————————————————————
Well actually there are quite some sites which published Zhang’s article, as Zhang himself points out on his site:
http://blog.phoenixtv.com/user3/zhangjiehai/archives/2006/303234.html

and the tianya forum is now full with comments, (I didn’t have the time to get an impression of the overall oppinion on this matter though):
http://www.tianya.cn/new/publicforum/Content.asp?strItem=free&flag=1&idArticle=780629

so maybe the teapot will be a little to small for the tempest in some time.

Chinese Man: thanks for the Chinese lesson, sorry that I confused you. I don’t know what a tree otter is but my dictionairy says, shulan also means sloth. But to make it absolutely clear from now on I will allways write this shulans real name when comunicating with you. ; )

September 1, 2006 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

Okay, I’m sorry that I assumed that you were condoning violence.

But how about that man who cheated with someone else’s wife and ended up with a crowd of total strangers trying to beat his door down and harrassing him so much he had to quit college? That kind of stuff doesn’t happen much in the West.

What I’m saying is that people in the West have learned this rather artificial division between personal and public speech. If in the West, some guy wore a T-shirt that said “black people are stupid” in a black neighbourhood, he probably would get beaten up. But on the other hand if a talk show host said “black people are stupid” on the radio, it falls under the category of protected speech because it was in the media. There would be a public outcry, he would be criticized, he would be pressured to give a public apology, his station might even fire him, but crowds of black people are unlikely to stake out his house, follow him down the street, and threaten his safety.

When you think about it, that’s a very unnatural thing to for people to do. But that is how it works. These are the norms they have learned, and I think it probably took a long time for them to learn them.

I’m not saying Chinese people are inferior for not having learned the same thing – just that they have never had any reason to. Why would they have? People have never been allowed to say outrageous things like that in the media. So when that stupid blogger writes things like “Chinese men are stupid, and the women are whores”, people react to him in the same way they would if he had walked up to them on the street and told them “You are an idiot and your wife is a whore.” That professor isn’t just denouncing the blogger. He isn’t just saying “This man is disgusting!” or even “Foreigners suck!” His attack is personal. He’s actively trying to ruin the guy’s career and get him thrown out of China.

September 1, 2006 @ 6:20 pm | Comment

Professor Zhang speaks:

http://news.163.com/06/0831/09/2PRHH2RI00011229.html

September 1, 2006 @ 6:24 pm | Comment

Kea, you’ve been activated for the Duck Pond – nice to meet you.

Sonagi, why didn’t you warn us about the music on that site you just linked to. ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you can help translate some of it, it would be great.

September 1, 2006 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

Incidentally, have you heard of Fred Phelps? Fred Phelps is an American cult leader who preaches that terrorist attacks are God’s punishment because Americans allow gay people to live among them. He and his little cult travel around the country to protest at the funerals of US soldiers who were killed in Iraq, shouting slogans telling the relatives that God killed their family member because their country is too gay.

That is the most disgusting, disgraceful, horrible thing that you can do. But has Phelps ever been beaten up by the families he has so disrespected? Amazingly, no. He is tolerated because political protests are protected speech. Instead, a gang of motorcyclists follow Phelps around and stand near his group and rev their engines to drown out the sounds of his shouting.

September 1, 2006 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

By the time the 15-minute interview was over, I had forgotten about the dramatic opening prelude. There is no way I’m going to write a transcript. He repeated a lot of ideas that I had read in other news reports or on his blog. Below the interview screen is a summary of points made. I will translate and post this weekend.

One thing that stood out was his view that Chinese treat Westerners like VIPs; he wants Chinese to relate to Westerners as equals. He also mentioned something about the large numbers of English teachers in China, Korea, and other countries as evidence that Asians do not value their own cultures enough. Earlier in the interview, he explained why he wants to expel the Shanghai Bounder from China for three reasons:. 1) Shanghai Bounder acted unethically by having sex with his students and bragging about it. 2) He also feels that Shanghai Bounder insulted the Chinese people. 3) He is psychologically abnormal. Remember I’m a non-native speaker who is just making an honest attempt to briefly summarize his ideas here.

The opening title says “Chinese Men Need Self-Confidence.” Professor Zhang explained that his research is aimed at helping Chinese men improve their self-confidence and become more manly. Is Professor Zhang positioning himself to become a guru for Chinese men seeking self-improvement?

September 1, 2006 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Who cares? Considering the odour of slime which has come to reveal itself around the origins of this non-event, wouldn’t the best attitude toward Dr Zhang be just to ignore him?

September 1, 2006 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

I donรฏยฟยฝt get it: if a talk show host can be fired for being politically incorrect, why outraged people cannot seek to end the sex bloggerรฏยฟยฝs career in China. If he is found, people can certainly write to his employer to explain why this licentious teacher is not suitable for the job and it is in the best interest of the school to fire him. This is well within the boundaries of freedom of speech, isnรฏยฟยฝt it?

Are blogs media, or what kind of media are they? Well, I am no expert, so this is left for scholarly debate by experts. But what I am pretty sure is that they are not conventional media, because nobody is there to supervise matters as to what and how to report. Most importantly, bloggers do not get paid by any corporate owners. As a result, say, if one out of every ten people joins the virtual world, it should have a culture much closer to that of the real world than the corporate media.

Are Chinese people inexperienced to deal with the free-wheeling culture of media? You might have a point here, but to say รฏยฟยฝPeople have never been allowed to say outrageous things like that in the mediaรฏยฟยฝ is off the mark. A famous scientist has been reported to say that deaths in Chinaรฏยฟยฝs perilous coal mines are inevitable and this is the reasonable price to buy economic development. That caused an immediate nation-wide outcry, which were several magnitudes more vehement than the current one over the sex blogger. Nobody threatened him physically and he is still well in one piece. Media incidents like that are numerous in todayรฏยฟยฝs China.

September 1, 2006 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

It would be appropriate for people to write to his employer to complain about his unprofessional behaviour. It would be inappropriate for them to make threatening phonecalls to him, pound on his door, or follow him down the street saying they’re going to kick his ass. Not that we know that is what’s happening now, but there have been accounts of people doing such things in the past in response to other internet campaigns.

I am aware that China’s media is now somewhat freer than in the past, but I was not aware about the coal mining media incident. Perhaps you’re right that people in China are getting used to it faster than I thought, but I think that learning curve does exist – and not just in China. You see similar things in places like the Middle East too.

I’m still a little disturbed by the level of vitriol this blog has provoked, though. I’ve encountered several similar blogs written by expatriates here in Hong Kong who like to brag about their sexual conquests with local women. Mostly, people just ignore them. Those guys are just losers, who they have sex with is their own business, nobody’s forcing you to read their blogs, it’s not worth the energy organizing campaigns against them, and they’re probably making it up anyway. Maybe it’s a little bit different because the guy in Shanghai’s a teacher*, but then there’s all that patriotic outrage on display too. I doubt many Hong Kongers feel that their dignity is insulted by the presence of a few idiots. They’re only idiots.

* He’s being unprofessional, but he isn’t sleeping with minors or raping anybody.

September 1, 2006 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

Who cares? Considering the odour of slime which has come to reveal itself around the origins of this non-event, wouldn’t the best attitude toward Dr Zhang be just to ignore him?

I second that. The racial stereotypes spinning out of this saga is turning from bad to ugly. I think it’s about time to give it a rest.

September 1, 2006 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

Chinese man,

I think I saw his/her chinese signature of sloth/tree otter somewhere.

but yes, for a very long time i thought it was a girl or someone impersonated as a girl. that is the natural connection for anyone who reads Chinese.

September 1, 2006 @ 9:56 pm | Comment

I would say his story are mostly true. I am a Chinese American once lived in Taiwan and China. Single white western men, regardless of his appearance, are in high demand by local Chinese women. They can get almost anyone they want, married or not.

So I do not doubt the fundamentals that he described except I am not so sure about his details. Most women in China and Taiwan would do whatever it takes to be with a white male. The Chinese men are offended but this is the reality. On the other hand, the Chinese women will always tell you they are the most conversative but I can tell you that they are the most easy target of all race.

When a white man cannot score in his own backyard, China and Taiwan would be a buffet for him. Most Chinese women are not attrative to the world standard; however, “some” westerners happens to have opposite taste, they will describe dogs as princess. When a westerner who has opposite taste get together with unattractive Chinese girls – sex will happen – I have seen it many times.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:28 pm | Comment

Let’s scroll up two comments, to what Fat Cat said.
It’s time to give this bullshit a rest.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:35 pm | Comment

I’ve been out at class all day. Time to zip up this thread and move on.

September 1, 2006 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

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