Posted by Joel Martinsen on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:39 AM
Danwei Picks is a daily digest of the "From the Web" links found on the Danwei homepage. A feed for the links as they are posted throughout the day is available at Feedsky (in China) or Feedburner (outside China).
Review of 'Last Days of Old Beijing': Jeffrey Wasserstrom writing in Newsweek:
Michael Meyer's impressive new book, 'The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed' goes a long way toward illuminating some of the scenes that have come to symbolize early-21st-century China, at least before the unrest in Tibet and the Sichuan earthquake. They include wrecking balls knocking down beloved small businesses; schoolchildren dragging their migrant-worker parents, who have never been in a restaurant, into a KFC; human-powered vehicles in a land of high-rises, evoked by the canopied pedicab set against construction cranes...
China on Monday promulgated the regulation on reconstruction after the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake. It was the first of its kind in the country, specially for a single massive quake, which led the reconstruction work into a legal orbit.
"It is illegal to take photos over China, or in Chinese airports."
I've seen shameless, but I've never seen this shameless. People kiss butt, but that's to stay on the boss' good side. Yu Qiuyu this super butt-kisser extraordinaire, like your average race traitor from back in the day, has squeezed out a few alligator tears and shouted to the people: knock it off, the imperial army still means well for you.
Every kind of natural disaster can be found in the oracle bones of the Yin ruins, such as: droughts, floods, earthquakes, windstorms, thunder storms, locust plagues, also solar eclipses and lunar eclipses, because the Shang people also saw these astronomical phenomena as natural disasters. If we say that the oracle bone inscriptions are the source of the Chinese people's characters, then we can say that anxiety about natural disasters is one of the motive forces behind the coming into being of Chinese characters.
It also occurs to me that few westerners know the subtleties and nuance surrounding the participating parties in the CR. I once did an informal poll among writers I workshop with on what they thought of the Red Guards, and the answers were pretty much uniform with the representative one being "pretty much the same as the Hitler Youth." This is quite baffling and at the same time very interesting. As we know (I'm aware of the pitfall of generalization) Americans hate the communist government of China; but did they know the biggest thing the Red Guards did was to break China's state apparatus? Should a communist hater applaud or condemn that? There is just no simple black-and-white answer.
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+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!