Recent Posts


Five people you meet on the Beijing metro…

December 20, 2011

I’ve been riding the subway more. I don’t know why. I’ve never before been particularly masochistic nor do I generally enjoy close physical contact with strangers. But it seems an economical way to get around the city now that every available road surface is jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive. Having spent quite a few commuting hours below ground now, I’ve started to distinguish a taxonomy of my fellow passengers, including several species which I find it best to avoid. [Read More...]

The Wire Guide to the 1911 Revolution, Part I

October 10, 2011

So, I spent the summer rewatching all five seasons of The Wire and the more I watched it, the more I realized that far from being the story of Baltimore, there was a timelessness and placelessness to the Wire that transcended one city. The sense of hope battling the reality of hopelessness, the way rhetoric and political transitions, however dramatic, rarely change the day-to-day lives of the people at the bottom, the thought of Sun Yat-sen and Yuan Shikai taking swings at each other like Stringer and Avon, it occurred to me how much it reminded me of the years before and after the 1911 Revolution. So without further ado, The Wire guide to the 1911 Revolution, Part I. (Warning: Some strong language) [Read More...]

The significance of singing ‘Red Songs’

June 27, 2011

Does singing “Red Songs” really mean a new revival of the old Party spirit? Or is it something that has been happening all along but makes for easy headlines with Bo Xilai’s recent Chongqing campaign and the CPC anniversary just around the corner? A Guest Post by Zhang Yajun. [Read More...]

The Cuckolded Communist Party

June 9, 2011

Would Hu Jintao ever consider allowing his daughter and/or wife to film an Internet group sex video with Charlie Sheen, “Snooki” from Jersey Shore, and half a dozen or so rabid chimps if it meant a guaranteed six months of ‘harmony and stability’? Maybe, maybe not. [Read More...]
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