It’s April Again

Today I smoked a joint and walked around the Gulou area, and thought about many things. People everywhere, great clumps of pollen swirling in a funnel right above my head. Bright sunlight through the little olive leaves onto my face. I thought of my old professor, Moses. He lives in Beijing and so far has […]

Flashlights in the Dark

I have to admit, I haven’t read a single story about foreign journalists with China visa problems. I found them all to smack of the same droll, insular, looping urgency of first world problems. If all of the reporters were white, I would just say “privilege” and dip my face back into the Stream and […]

Caixin is awesome, but the sun is still gonna blow up someday

This article here, Urban Platforms in a Policy Pressure Cooker, is just one example of Caixin Online’s excellent reporting on China’s political and economic landscape. The high-quality English is also extraordinary, as most Chinese media almost never nail the news voice that, for better or for worse, dominates the international media’s idea of what is credible […]

Gibbering again

My vision of myself rarely coincides with the vision others have of me. When people think highly of me, I hear the sniveling thief gibber inside; when people think low of me, I feel the warrior stir. But not just in reaction to what others think. It’s almost as if praise comes exactly then, when […]

A True Belief

Tom from Seeing Red in China pointed out some China Quarterly essays and one of them is the inspiration for this essay … Few of China’s problems seem so intractable as the issue of the Chinese soul and what morals are available to guide it in the 21st century. The whole concept of a soul […]

China-US Cold War and what we can do about it

Can it be denied that the US is actively engaging China’s border nations in an attempt to contain and control China? It seems pretty clear to most observers that such was the case years ago – Kissinger commented on the idea of containment back in 2005 – but with the recent moves in Myanmar and […]

Excerpts from an Interview with Luo Fahui

This is a companion piece to ChengduLiving’s Portrait of a Chengdu Artist: Luo Fa Hui. Here I put together some excerpts from an interview back in October. Stay tuned next week for more Chengdu artist love, both here and at ChengduLiving.com On China’s Future: -有希望。中国朝着良性方向发展,不是以前那样封闭。现在我们很多人,都有机会和权贵坐在一起。这是大趋势,不是一个政党可以控制的,所以这个是个很大的希望。现在慢慢的改变,慢慢开始尊重人权,尊重人的思想,自由度,精神上的,越来越宽。首先是看着这30年的变化,亲身体会,当年是怎么样,现在是怎么样,随便怎么比。 There’s hope. China’s is moving forward in a good direction, […]

Agents of Conformity

Today I read Murong Xuecun’s speech given in Oslo. The things he described in his speech are clearly happening all around us and I have rarely, if ever, met a Chinese who will dispute much of what he said. In fact, most of the conversations that end up dealing with the woes of China are […]

Ai Wei Wei, prepare for martyrdom

It’s hard to watch a good man go down, but that is exactly what I find myself doing everyday now since Ai Wei Wei’s battle with the Chinese government took over the front pages of a lot of the mainstream media and China related blogs. He is a heroic figure and, for Westerners, his return […]

There will be blood

There are basically two camps in the world “battling it out” while the rest of the masses shift and moan and watch it all go down. I use quotation marks because there is often no battle at all. In the Arab countries, there is. In the West, there is not. Two possible representations for the […]

A question of existence

I came across some interesting thoughts the least couple of days. Although I don’t write about current affairs nearly as much as I used to, i still rant about stuff during my lunch break or late at night to bean, who listens politely. I’ve explained a few times already why i don’t write about US […]

Fast, Cheap or Good: You can only have Two

Rumor has it that Tom Waits once said this to Jim Jarmusch over whiskey and pop tarts, but it could have been Ben Franklin. I find it to be a pretty decent appraisal of what is possible in today’s world. In the US, I believe people chose “fast and good” whereas in China people chose […]

The Beijing Consensus

Let’s take a look at the countries that refused to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Venezuela, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Sri Lanka and the Palestinian Authority A collection of enlightened governments, no doubt about it. Standouts include Afghanistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The […]

The Assassination of Julian Assange

I want a show of hands: How many people have kept doing it after the condom broke? How many people out there believe that Julian Assange raped or otherwise sexually assaulted the two women in Sweden who came forward to accuse him? The mainstream media (The Guardian, Der Spiegel and especially the New York Times) […]