Friday, January 13, 2012

Is JR Smith gonna have to choke a bitch?

But no one likes intercultural violence. Well, except maybe JR Smith's sister, pictured above. [Deadspin]

(I'm just paraphrasing Wayne Brady in the title; you can put down the pitchforks, Chinese friends.)

Here's what happens when you criticize someone very high up in the Party: your story disappears. And here's what happens when you try to disappear a story in the age of Internet: people like the good folk at China Media Project rescue it from the brink. The rescued article was from China Youth Daily, but here's how CMP begins its post: "On January 9, the Social Development Task Group of the Sociology Department at Tsinghua University released its 2011 'Research Report Series on Social Progress,' in which it warned that 'powerful vested interests' in China were now 'holding reforms hostage.'" Gee, I wonder what about that phrase could have possibly upset the authorities.

Corollary: this gem from the China Youth Daily article: "The fourth symptom is an overcautious mentality and policies oriented toward 'stability preservation,' which is rooted in misjudgment over social tensions and conflicts."

The things they carried. Prepare to see a spate of Spring Festival Last-Train-Home-type stories now that the travel rush is upon us. This one from Annie Lee over at China Hush: "From our last post about going home for the Spring Festival, it seems that a lot of our readers are curious as for why these long distance home-goers are carrying so many bags despite all the difficulties during the journey. A reporter asked 4 passengers to open their bags to reveal the treasure inside."

A nice piece on Hong Kong and China, aside from the regrettable Quebec reference. "It’s not that Hong Kong people don’t feel 'Chinese'; in fact, there are some who claim Hong Kong is more Chinese than the Mainland, because it was spared Mao and his destructive Cultural Revolution..." [Zhongnanhai]

Possibly the best transition from lead-to-nut-graf you'll see in a while. "Begging in human society, however, is not just a question of self-esteem. Baudelaire seemed to have reduced the elimination of panhandling to a few punches. It is both too peculiar and too simple. Nonetheless, it isn’t just the poet who tries to solve complicated social issues with simple-minded approaches. // A few days back, the Ministry of Public Security cracked down on two child trafficking gangs across 10 provinces, arresting 608 suspects and rescuing 178 children." [Worldcrunch]

If you still haven't gotten over the fact that the air here is sometimes dirty, this article is for you. Rejoice at the "huge" and "terrific" news that Beijing will be monitoring PM2.5. Now let's wait to see how they "monitor" it, really. [livefrombeijing]

NON-CHINA READ OF THE WEEK: A poem from Pyongyang, via Adam Cathcart and the Sino-NK blog... here are the first three stanzas (it goes on [and on, and on] in much the same vein):

Fellow Countrymen, 
General Kim Jong Un Is With Us

Hearts are rending,
Never have we imagined
The snow-sweeping sky
The land frozen by biting cold
Would melt by bitter tears.

Hearts are tearing
Never have we predicted
This land would be frozen hard
With the tears of millions of people
Wailing over their dead father
Never, never have we imagined
There’d be so sad a day in our life

To the welkin and to the earth we are asking;
Is it really possible
That our Kim Jong Il has passed away
Leaving behind his people he loved so warmly
Leaving behind the country he was attached to so much?
Every December was warm to us
With the memory of our beloved Mother Kim Jong Suk,
Every year December came to us
With beautiful flowers in the streets and villages
With songs of celebration loud all over
On the anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s supreme

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