Danwei Noon Report

Confuciuan confusion

Danwei Noon Report is a daily roundup of new and old media coverage about China from Chinese and English sources. This report was compiled by Joel Martinsen, Bill Zhang and Jeremy Goldkorn.

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Will the real Confucius please stand up
Confucius for Dummies Foreigners
The new, standardized statue of Confucius unveiled over the weekend by the China Confucius Institute has reignited debate over who has control over the image rights to the ancient philosopher. In response to accusations that his organization was attempting to monopolize the market in Confucius art, CCI vice-secretary Wang Daqian said:
Our foundation is just a private institution - we could never have a monopoly. We made this standard statue primarily for the convenience of international promotion and interchange of Confucian culture, since for many foreigners, a large variety of Confucius statues would only bring confusion; a single standard image is beneficial for dissemination. In addition, domestically, we are only recommending its use - we can't force anyone to use it. It's just like the promotion of Mandarin - recommending the use of Mandarin doesn't mean that you can't speak a dialect, or that dialects aren't Chinese. (China Times link - in Chinese)


Internet vs. emotional well-being
Yesterday's Mirror announced the chilling news that some of the most popular forum posts do not receive attention because of the quality of their writing; rather, posters threaten to curse readers if they do not reply , in the manner of those old chain-letter curses warning financial ruin for breaking the chain. (link - in Chinese)

The Mirror has been concerned with netizens' online health recently. The paper recently addressed a story that first surfaced over the summer about an online name-analysis program that will reveal whether you are an upstanding person or a good-for-nothing. Problem is, the simple
formula the programmer used ends up giving saintly 'Lei Feng' a score of 2, while a corrupt official gets a 94 (why anyone would name their kid 'Corrupt Official' is not explained). A scholar contacted by the paper for a quote offered up this gem:

Although the Character Calculator is just a game, it has the possibility to influence the growth of youth. The programmer should take a more serious attitude toward designing software. (link - in Chinese)


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The post-modern life of my aunt
The Beijing News
today had a report about Hong Kong female director Xu Anhua's ( 许鞍华) new movie The post-modern life of my aunt (姨妈的后现代生活) which made its debut in Toronto Film Festival to critical acclaim.

Xu Anhua's films include Women 40 (女人四十), Man 40 (男人四十), and Thousands of Words (千言万语) (link - in Chinese).


Spoof remix of Jay Chou's new song
Taiwanese R&B pop schlock king Jay Chou's (周杰伦) new song Ben cao gang mu (本草纲目) was remixed by Yishan Studio(一山工作室) with folk song 'Spicy younger sister' (辣妹子). You can hear the remix here.


Guo Jingming and a new youth lit mag
Twenty-something author Guo Jingming (郭敬明) has signed with Changjiang Literature Publishing House to set up a new outlet for the works of young authors. The contract includes a newly-launched literary magazine, Zuixiaoshuo (最小说, Most Novel), and an imprint that will longer fiction by Guo and others in the 80s literary set.

Guo first made his name writing stories for the venerable Sprouts (萌芽) magazine. This summer rumours abounded that he had refused to write for the magazine because of a disagreement over royalties, so his involvement with this new magazine has been seen by some as a direct challenge to Sprouts. In response, Guo said:

There are actually quite a few magazines directed at young readers, so no one will feel that things have become competitive merely because of the entry of a single Zuixiaoshuo. The goal of this magazine is not to compete with anyone, but rather to offer the youth additional young-adult reading material. (Beijing Times link - in Chinese)
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