Recent Posts



December 14, 2013

On December 13, 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army stormed the city of Nanjing, setting off a month of looting and killing that still shocks the world. But what is truly being remembered 76 years later? [Read More...]

Mandela and Mao

December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela was so many things that the current Chinese government actively fears and loathes. He was a political prisoner, an activist, a party organizer, general rabble rouser, an outspoken champion of the disenfranchised, and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. If you are Chinese, these are not activities that get you a place on the CCP Christmas card list. [Read More...]

Patriots Day

April 16, 2013

A bombing is a tragedy always. But hitting Boston on Patriots Day is a blow to who we are. This is a day when everybody is out in the streets enjoying what is usually one of the first semi-warm days of the year. It’s the beginning of spring. And some asshole or assholes decided to blow it up. [Read More...]

On Sun Yatsen, 1912, and Han Han

January 18, 2012

Trusting Yuan Shikai to nourish a fragile young republican government was basically akin to dousing a three-year old in A1 Sauce and putting him in the care of a rabid honey badger, but the demise of the first republican experiment might not have been as inevitable as some believe. [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...]
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