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Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

October 3rd, 2011 | 0 comments | Posted by jasmine

DISCRIMINASIAN alert! A karaoke bar in LA’s Koreatown is looking for hostesses, and only “FRAGILE” lady candidates need apply. How do you say “This is some tall bullshit!” in Korean? [Jezebel]

Occupy Wall Street: now with more zombies! [AJC]

You down with OFC? A restaurant called “Obama Fried Chicken” has been spotted in Beijing. [Shanghaiist]

The next designer to collaborate with Target is Jason Wu (hurray!). The collection of clothing and accessories will be available next February, leaving plenty of time for Target to figure out how to avoid the shit show that happened with their Missoni collection. [New York Magazine]

Margaret Cho writes candidly (and humorously, of course) about her queer identity. [HuffPo]

Mindy Kaling’s awesome blog is back! [The Concerns Of Mindy Kaling]

Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney were able to “Come Together” (requisite Beatles reference!) for a friendly photo at the premiere of George Harrison: Living in the Material World. [HuffPo]

What’s the bigger scandal concerning Kim Jong-Il’s grandson’s Facebook profile? That there’s a photo with him with a cute girl who may or may not be his girlfriend, or that he’s apparently a fan of democracy? [Gawker]

Rachel Lee, leader of the “bling ring” that stole jewelry and luxury goods from Hollywood celebrities like Brian Austin Green, Paris Hilton, and Audrina Partridge, pleads “no contest.” [LAT]

[Photo via NYDN]

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Ai Weiwei’s Pseudo-Sentence Of Silence

June 24th, 2011 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana



Renowned satirical artist and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, who disappeared in early April and has been detained under shaky allusions to “economic crimes” by the Chinese government for over two months, has finally been released. After admitting to tax evasian, promising to pay fines, and showing a good attitude in detainment, the outspoken trailblazer is FREE AT LAST.

Free to move freely around Beijing, that is, as long as he notifies authorities every time he leaves the house.

Free, despite the fact that he can’t give interviews, make a peep on social media outlets (with 90k followers, Twitter was a major tool for Ai, who tweeted about disappearing activists, human rights violations, etc. prior to his detainment), or step outside of the city without permission. Though he cheerfully emerged to say hello to reporters and the International community this week, Ai has made it clear that he cannot speak publicly about his investigation or life situation, for “at least a year,” intimating a gag order that authorities won’t confirm.

An activist without a voice? That’s a prison unto itself. Let’s not pretend Ai Weiwei is free when he isn’t.

[via TDB]
[CBS News: Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei free, but silenced]

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Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

December 13th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by jasmine




Northwestern University student Lawrence Dai either loves French food or painfully bad movies–he’s watching Julie & Julia every day for a year, and (Surprise!) blogging about it. [The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project]

According to his OKCupid profile, Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has “Asian teengirl stalkers.” Can we just say: definitely, definitely NOT IT. [Gawker]

In related news, someone on Quora wants to know: “Why do some Asian girls like white guys?” [8 Asians]

Chinese architect Dai Fei created this very “Mork” egg home intended to be an inexpensive alternative to Beijing’s high cost of housing. Nanu nanu! [China Daily]

One step forward… Doctors Nat and Kat are the first all-woman team to win The Amazing Race. [AP]

Two steps back… Hooters opens their first restaurant in Tokyo. [Slate]

Euna Lee recently spoke to the Academy of Art about her captivity in North Korea with fellow journalist Laura Ling. Lee’s new book about her experience, The World is Bigger Now: An American Journalist’s Release from Captivity in North Korea, is out now. [AcademyArt.edu] Thanks, Henson!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Liu “The Invisible Man” Bolin

March 8th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

"Individual rights often disappear amid the roaring sound of the government's will."

Name: Liu Bolin

Age: 38

Hails from: Beijing, China

Occupation: Visual Artist

Known for: Appearing to disappear. China Daily just did a feature on Liu, a Chinese performance artist who camouflages himself into everyday surroundings for photographs using an awe-inspiring combination of paint and patience. Liu has created over 80 “invisible” works since 2006 and has been featured in museums across Europe and the US–one of the few modern Chinese artists to be recognized by the worldwide art market.

Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Liu “The Invisible Man” Bolin

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The Wang Way To Win

October 26th, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Do you remember 21-year-old Wang Jing, a Chinese sprinter from last summer’s Beijing Olympics?

So Wang

So Wang

If not, it’s because she didn’t qualify for a second round heat in either of her races during those games, the 100m and 4x100m. You probably missed her.

Last week, however she celebrated gold in the 100m at the 11th Chinese National Games. And silver in the 200m! Dayum!

Today, it was annouced that Wang failed a drug test and was stripped of her gold medal. Worse, the Chinese Athletics Administration Center (CAAC)–China’s governing body for track and field–has BANNED WANG AND HER COACH FOR LIFE from competition.

What a shitty Monday, huh? First, FAILING. Then, banned for LIFE. Wang is never getting hugged by her parents again.

[Reuters: China's Womens 100 Metres Champion Banned For Life]

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Bad Call

July 29th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Respect for sports arbitrators are typically structured into the game itself. In baseball, for instance, respect for the umpire is built upon a tacit understanding; a player unhappy with a strike call can grumble all he wants, but the minute he turns around to confront and disgrace the ump, there’s gonna be T-R-O-U-B-L-E. In basketball, technical fouls can take a person out of the game, screwing up everything for the remaining lineup.

Still, I’ve always worried about the safety of sports refs–who at all times are making unpopular decisions in somebody‘s viewpoint–which is why I’m so glad that in American football, the refs (like my favorite python master, Ed Hochuli, pictured below) tend to be as burly as the players themselves.

Ed Hochuli, selling tickets to the gun show. Pow pow!

But in the NFL, the odds of a defensive lineman taking out a ref aren’t high–any idiot attempting to lay a finger on a man in stripes would get slapped with a pocketful of 7-figure fines so fast, their heads would spin. Few things, after all, speak louder to an NFL player than the voice of $$$.

Perhaps my conditioning to relatively good behavior in the company of referees explains the shock I felt eyeballing this CNN video– a clip of Tianjin football players pursuing and basically attacking a ref after a match in Beijing.


Thank bejeezus the man in blue had some legs on him–but the players in the vid could really stand to learn a lesson about sportsmanlike conduct. Sore losing is just shameful. Hell, I know Asians love to win, but shit–don’t we also care in excess about honor and pride?

[CNN Video: Footballers attack referee]

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Thanks, Chris!

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Blocking With Umbrellas-ellas-ellas

June 5th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Did anybody else see a foiled pre-Tienanmen anniversary report on CNN this week?


Seriously, is there any reason why this plainclothes fuzz display seems uncannily like a choreographed hybrid of Singin’ In the Rain and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? I keep waiting for Gene Kelly to come bursting onto the scene, chest full, hands in the air, toes dragging with flair.

Wow. What a number that would be.

[via CNN Video]

Thanks, Chris!

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Chiggity Check It: Stylites in Beijing

March 24th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Most of the news we receive about China in the States is baaaaaaaaad news. And almost all of that news pertains to the Chinese government, making it easy to forget that there are actually people in the People’s Republic. Who are these people? What are their hopes and dreams? What kind of music do they listen to? What do they wear?

The last question, at least, has its answer in Stylites in Beijing, a two year-old street-style blog by Nels Frye that I only recently discovered, much to my delight. Back in the mid-90′s, when I was teaching in China, Beijing was pretty cool and cutting-edge compared to the rest of the country, but it was still rare-ish to see people there with unique style. I was rocking a Jenny Shimizu buzzcut and regrettably dark lipstick at the time, and most people mistook me for either a boy–despite the lipstick!–or Japanese (because looking different equaled Japanese, apparently). I definitely stuck out like a shorn thumb.


But the times, they are a’changing, and Frye is documenting it all. What I love about Stylites, though, is that it doesn’t just show fabulous people roaming the narrow hutongs of Beijing, it tells mini-stories of their lives, why they’re in Beijing, what their professions are, what they’re shopping for in the food markets, regular people-stuff that you’re just not going to hear about on CNN.

And that is very good news indeed.

[Stylites in Beijing]

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And Your Bird Can Sing

February 25th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Jen can sing really, really beautifully. I can’t. Her voice is like velvet and she reminds me of Patsy Cline. Mine sounds like gravel and I remind myself of buttwipes.

But just you wait. I’m hopping on a plane to Beijing. I’m going to beg music teacher Li Wenxing to take me on as a student. I’ll take out his trash, wash his dishes, use a humidifier, practice my octaves. I’ll do whatever it takes to sing like him.

And then, I will ask Jen to karaoke with me.

It’ll be a beautiful day. Just beautiful.

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Thanks for the tip, Thomas!

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They Seem to H8er

October 7th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana
Avril Lavigne posing in Beijing with a Chinese boy and girl after
receiving a Certificate of Honor from the China Association of
Social Workers. She received the award for fundraising for poor
families and disabled children in China during her “Best Damn Tour.”

BOY: What’s this lady’s name again? April?

GIRL: I don’t know.

AVRIL: Avril. Avril Lavigne. I’m a punk rocker.

BOY: What’s a punk rocker?

GIRL: Somebody with a clothing line at Kohl’s.

AVRIL: It’s a punk rock clothing line.

BOY: If it’s punk rock, should it really be a retail line for a corporate brand?

GIRL: I don’t know.

AVRIL: Hey (hey!)! You (you!)!

BOY: What is she doing?

GIRL: God, I think she’s singing again. I hate when she does that.

BOY: I think she got some eyeliner on my cheek just now.

GIRL: Gee, I hope it wasn’t…kohl…eyeliner. [they laugh uncomfortably]

BOY: Why are we here again?

GIRL: Because the government said they would take our parents away if we didn’t?

BOY: Really?

GIRL: No. Our names just got chosen out of a hat.

AVRIL: Come a little closer, my little friends! Did you know that I speak Mandarin?

BOY: I have heard that, but I don’t think that’s Mandarin.

AVRIL: It is.

BOY: Okay. Whatever.

GIRL: Are they gonna take our picture or what?

BOY: I hope so. This chick’s face looks like it’s about to melt off.

AVRIL: No it doesn’t! I can hear you, you know.

BOY: Dude, it really does.

GIRL: You could use a facial. Maybe you could get one here.

AVRIL: Waitaminute you guys. This is not about me. This is about me raising money for poor people in China.

BOY: Okay. Thank you.

GIRL: Thank you. From China.

AVRIL: Great. Let’s take the picture! Smile?

GIRL: No, but thanks.

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Grannies and Labor Camps Go Together Like Ramma Lamma Lamma Ka Dinga Da Dinga Dong

August 22nd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
Wu Dianyuan and Wang Xiuying


I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “grandma,” I don’t think about knitting needles or freshly-baked cookies, I think “labor camp.” That’s because my great-grandmother spent her last years, almost up to her death, in a Chinese labor camp, or “re-education camp,” depending on your semantic inclinations.

You see, my great-grandma was a corrupt landowner, and when the Communists took over China in 1949, her privileged old ass needed to be re-educated. Her re-education included having her ancestral home taken away from her, hard labor, and torture, er, I mean, teaching. Unlike other members of my family, great-grandma couldn’t leave the country for Taiwan or Hong Kong because her feet were bound. (Sucks for her!) But I’m pretty sure that once she was re-educated, the government showed great-grandma how even those bound feet were made for walkin’. Her re-education package also included being rendered blind, which seems fitting for an old lady who couldn’t “see” the error of her disgusting, capitalist ways and who never saw her husband, children, or grandchildren again after ’49, save for one daughter.

I thought the era of putting grandmothers in labor camps was over, but then I heard about Beijing grannies Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, getting sentenced to one year in a re-education camp for filing applications to hold a legal protest. Before the Olympics, Chinese officials promised to allow protests in three city parks so long as protesters filed an application first. So far, none of the 77 applications have been approved. Wu and Wang, who are lifelong friends, applied five times to protest the fact that they have not received compensation for the demolition of their homes, bulldozed seven years ago to make room for new developments.

Like seasoned criminals, these two agitators, who both walk with the assistance of a cane, deny any wrongdoing:

What crime have we committed?” said Wang, as the two lifetime friends let out a burst of laughter.

“We never committed any crime when we were young. Now we are so old we can’t even speak clearly. How can we possibly commit a crime?“

Wang says that the two will keep “disturbing public order” (the official charge) and she’ll even refuse to serve her labor camp sentence.

Clearly, these two grey-haired revolutionaries are in desperate need of re-education. Daring to legally protest in a country that said a few weeks ago it would permit legal protests? That practically sounds like a threat to overthrow the government! Chinese officials should put their old anarchic asses in a labor camp before those biddies start a trend! Make them see the error of their ways until Wang, who is blind in one eye, and Wu are cleansed of their putrid, Westernized ideals! If they have to be made completely blind and crippled–like my great-grandmother–to learn their lesson, sucks for them!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Liu Xiang

August 18th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Name: Liu Xiang

Age: 25

Hails from: China

Known for: Being the first Chinese athlete ever to achieve the athletics “triple crown”–World Record Holder, World Champion and Olympic Champion–in the 100m hurdles.

Our hats go off to him for attempting to race through the pain this weekend in defense of his titles, even with a fuzzed-up Achilles tendon…the “face” of China’s games trying so hard to save face. Even though he was ultimately forced to bow out, he did so with effort and honor, and we’ve gotta give him credit for that (even though we’re pretty sure his Hardass Asian Parents/Friends/Fans/Media won’t).

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