Tumors, lesbians, and assholes

Some interesting stuff on the China / Latin America / Chaos in Iraq blog ESWN:

1. The Malignant Tumor in Chinese Book Publishing
Comments and translation of a Ming Pao Monthly article about how market forces are liberalizing the Chinese book publishing industry, as nimble, privately-owned cultural companies buy imprimaturs (or book publishing licences) from state-owned publishers, and then use these licences to publish and distribute books that the market actually wants.

One further note: the same thing is happening in the magazine, TV, Internet and film industries. There's still a long way to go before China truly has freedom of the press, but the deep involvement of private individuals and companies in the creation and distribution of books, periodicals, TV programs and films is already a sea change from the way things were ten years ago.

2. Lesbian, flat-chested Sprite ads in Hong Kong
ESWN reproduces three print ads for Sprite in which hip-looking young Hong Kongers talk about their alternative viewpoints. One is a lesbian, one is cool with her flat chest, and the third is a schoolboy in love with his teacher. ESWN does not say if these ads have already been published or not.

3. Maybe that's why we're losing. We dislike being assholes.
A description of a dinner attended by well-to-do Hong Kongers, who fear that the current political climate in Hong Kong is making Hong Kong lose its competitive edge. The piece starts out with a quote from a liberal American blogger commenting on Instapundit. Both the ESWN piece and the post on the American blog he links to make me think of W.B. Yeats:

The best lack all conviction
While the worst are full of passionate intensity.

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