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China To End Public Shaming

July 27th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

After much public outcry, the Chinese government wants to put an end to its longstanding tradition of publicly shaming criminal suspects. Which basically means the Chinese are becoming less Chinese. Because Chinese people love them some public shaming. (I mean, Me = Chinese, DISGRASIAN = A Public Shaming Site, hello?)

The NY Times reports that the demand for the end to public shaming arose out of sympathy for prostitution suspects:

The new regulations are thought to be a response to the public outcry over a recent spate of “shame parades,” in which those suspected of being prostitutes are shackled and forced to walk in public.

Last October, the police in Henan Province took to the Internet, posting photographs of women suspected of being prostitutes. Other cities have been publishing the names and addresses of convicted sex workers and those of their clients. The most widely circulated images, taken this month in the southern city of Dongguan, included young women roped together and paraded barefoot through crowded city streets.

The police later said they were not punishing the women, only seeking their help in the pursuit of an investigation.

The public response, at least on the Internet, has tended toward outrage, with many postings expressing sympathy for the women. “Why aren’t corrupt officials dragged through the streets?” read one posting. “These women are only trying to feed themselves.”

This expressed sympathy for prostitutes is consistent with an online survey conducted last year in China which found that people considered prostitutes more trustworthy than government officials, putting them third in trustworthiness behind farmers and religious workers(!). That prostitution and the Chinese government could be construed as binary Continue reading China To End Public Shaming

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Remembering Tiananmen

June 4th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

It’s been 20 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing.

There were 7 weeks of nonviolent student protest leading up to it.

The exact number of people killed in Tiananmen Square on and around June 4, 1989 is unknown. The Chinese Red Cross initially gave an estimate of 2,600 dead that they later denied.

20 years ago, I sat in my friend Patti’s kitchen, looking at this Time magazine cover:

We had been cooing over Patti’s new baby sister, who was the 9th child in her family.

10 years before Tiananmen, in 1979, China instituted its one-child policy.

In my one year of living in China, exactly one person spoke to me about what happened in Tiananmen. The story he told me was a secondhand account.

There was only one “Tank Man.” But there were 4 photographers who captured him stepping in front of those armored combat vehicles.

A recent NY Times story maintains that the Tiananmen Square protests are regarded by Chinese students today as “almost a historical blip,” although it is not as hard to get information about them as it used to be. 7 out of the 8 Peking University students interviewed for the article were able to download a banned documentary on the protests and watch it in their dorm rooms, for example.

5 years after I sat in Patti’s kitchen looking at pictures of the massacre, I played frisbee in Tiananmen Square.

The Chinese government estimated in 2000 that its one-child policy had prevented 250 million births, which was the population of the United States in 1989.

The Chinese government’s official death figure from Tiananmen was 241 dead (including soldiers), 7,000 wounded.

The one detail I remember vividly from the secondhand account of Tiananmen I heard was that the person whose story it was survived by hiding in a tree from the Chinese military for days. How many days, I don’t know for sure.

20 years later, the fate of Tank Man still remains unknown.

[Frontline: Tiananmen timeline]
[NY Times: Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen]


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China–Don’t Worry, It’s Just An Album

November 25th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Media outlets have latched on to a wild headline story printed in one Chinese newspaper this week that erupted in angst towards Guns N’ Roses’ 15-years-ready recent release, Chinese Democracy.

AP reports:

In an article Monday headlined “American band releases album venomously attacking China,” the Global Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to “grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn.” The album “turns its spear point on China,” the article said.

I’m no fan of the title, and as many of you remember, not even really one of the first single. But let’s slow down a bit here… should anyone really be giving credit to this guy:

…as any kind of figurehead for the West? Perhaps we should leave that distinction to someone who hasn’t yet forayed into hair-plugs, domestic violence, or general delinquency:

…and doesn’t need fifteen years to make a statement.

Source Source Source Source
Thanks, Jen!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Is ‘Chinese Democracy’ Finally Here?

October 29th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Ladies and Gentlemen…

At long last, the first song from the long-awaited (although we’re not sure how much-anticipated) new Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy is here. Idolator tipped us off to this streaming download:

…and we, like many others, have given it a few listens. Here’s our take, the track has legitimately Slash-y axework, it features Axl-squeal-voice and tough-guy-Axl-voice, and–AND submits the words “nation” and “masturbation” in one lyrical breath. Wow. We mean… WOW.

Okay, so it’s clear that these sexy bitches are no longer the men we’re rocking to…

…but they’re still trying. And we don’t hate what they’re doing (or that they’re doing it) entirely. We just hate it…mostly.

Source Source Source Source

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Dr. Democracy

March 26th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Guns N Roses has taken its sweet-ass time finishing up their ever-forthcoming album, Chinese Democracy, and after over a decade, even the most straggly of believers have given up hope (don’t worry… Jen and I were never really holding our breath, naw mean?).

But Dr. Pepper–a beverage that I love but most people I went to grade school with referred to as “carbonated prune juice–recently upped the ante for Democracy’s release–announcing that they would give a can of Dr. Pepper to every American (except for GNR exes Buckethead and Slash) if the album comes out this year.

I’m not sure what makes this offer least alluring:

1) The promise of free carbonated prune juice (hey, I know I said I love it, but I’m just me).

2) The promise of Chinese Democracy (I’ve certainly never been partial to the title, nor the proposed album art, nor the idea of listening to an album that has been crafted over the course of at least 4 really terrible musical movements).

3) The ugly digs at GNR former members Slash and Buckethead. They moved on! Wouldn’t you?

…Perhaps all of the above?


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