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Sappy Birthday

October 22nd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I suppose there are sadder things than sharing a birthday with Michelle Malkin. For instance…

Sadder things like, y’know, waking up at the ass-crack of dawn to sit opposite the goddess-beautiful Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, performing your new pop single “Womanizer” without offending the children with your womanhood, then splitting your birthday cake with a live audience full of puffer coat-laden, middle American, GMA fanatics, all while making a point to defend your sanity/body shape/parenting skills/rollercoaster twenties/mother/baby-bearing baby sister/bad choice in men/love of Cheetos/questionable hygiene/waning music career/existence/basic intelligence/happiness.

“I’m great, y’all! I’m great!”

Shoot. On my birthday, all I want to do is eat well, read happy messages on my facebook wall, receive hugs and presents, force my friends to make speeches about their respective sibling rivalries, and drink lots of Patrón.

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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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The Definition of "Saving Face"

August 12th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

We’ve all read reports about China putting its best foot forward for the Olympics, whether it’s cleaning up the polluted skies blanketing Beijing or sweeping Tibet and Darfur protesters right out of the country. With all eyes on China for the coming weeks, its government naturally wants to project an improved image. The most striking example of that is the opening ceremony switcheroo that took place between 9 year-old Lin Miaoke and 7 year-old Yang Peiyi.


Lin is the adorable, pig-tailed sprite who appeared in a red dress to sing China’s national anthem, “Ode to the Motherland,” during the opening ceremony. Or so we thought. In fact, Lin–a veteran of TV commercials–was lip-synching. And not to her own voice, Ashlee Simpson-style, but to the voice of Yang Peiyi, who was supposed to sing it on international television until a Chinese official decided at the last minute that she wasn’t cute enough to go before the cameras. One report cited Yang’s “chubby face and crooked baby teeth” for the switch, while another blamed the 7 year-old’s “buck teeth.” Clearly, Yang’s teeth were an issue, which, you know, seems apt considering most people in China don’t have dental care.

Yang’s replacement, Lin, meanwhile, is missing a few baby teeth but her smile is, nevertheless, infectious. And her cuteness is undeniable. She looks like a cross between an anime schoolgirl and Dawn Weiner’s perfect little sister from Welcome to the Dollhouse. She looks like she’ll grow up to be a beautiful woman whom you’d love to hate except you can’t find anything wrong with her.

And that is precisely the point. You can fix buck teeth or crooked baby teeth and eventually lose your baby fat. But that takes time–as does cleaning up air pollution or reconciling a totalitarian government with its increasingly more open society. And China presenting itself as a work-in-progress? As a nation that is still growing and, consequently, suffering through some ugly growing pains? How would that look to the rest of the world–in HD, no less? That would be embarrassing, right? So, to save face, in this case, it’s better to replace the imperfect face you’ve got with a happy, pretty one–that no one in the world could deny is pleasing.

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Zheng Jie

July 7th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Name: Zheng Jie

Hails from: China

Occupation: Tennis player

Known for: At this year’s Wimbledon, beating number one-ranked player Ana Ivanovic in a straight-set upset as a wild card-entry (24 year-old Zheng was ranked 133 in the world); becoming the only wild card in the Open era and the only Chinese woman to ever reach the semifinals (where she lost to Serena Williams); winning the 2006 Wimbledon doubles title, dazzling crowds with her gorgeous backhand, reprzenting the little people (at 5’4″) in a sport of Amazons, saving face for Chinese tennis.

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Thanks, Dajaja and Ken!

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