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The nail house, the Zhengzhou dragon, and the hidden cameras

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Zhengzhou's enormous dragon.
· The Nanny: As reported a number of places, blogs hosted on Blogspot are accessible again in most areas of the mainland. Feel free to remove your workarounds, but it's probably best to keep them somewhere within reach.

UPDATE (3.30 - 12:36): And it's gone again. Was it just a fluke?


· The nail nouse: David Bandurski at the China Media Project translates a cautionary opinion piece by Lu Gaofeng that criticizes the Chinese media for playing to the gallery in its coverage of the affair.

What is regrettable is that in reports on the "nail house" we see only the extreme "focus" and "magnification" of this event by the media, their excessive "publicizing" of the issue of rights and benefits, to the point that some have even made this "removal row" into their own personal performances, seeking to win the eyeballs of the audience through a "feast" of sympathy. We seldom see rational analysis of this story from the media, or impartial reporting, or any attempt to quell [or soften] the swelling of noise [surrounding the story]. (link)

Lu Gaofeng also went against prevailing media sentiment earlier this week when he wrote in support of the condemnation of Lost in Beijing by a SARFT official.


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Huangdi is not amused.
· The 21 km dragon: Chris O'Brien at Beijing Newspeak comments on the immense tourism project in Zhengzhou, and reflects on how it is being reported in the media:

Obviously this story has been lapped up by the international media which has used headlines like: "China to build 13-mile dragon to fire up tourism". It implies a Chinese government tourism think-tank has huddled together and come up with a triumphant plan to make Henan a hotspot for the world's travellers. In fact, the whole harebrained scheme, similar to the painting a mountain green incident (which prompted the inevitable headline, "Why did China paint the mountain green?"), is being propounded by an egocentric maniac with an incredibly poor taste in giant concrete and marble animal garden features who wants to be remembered as the man who made the Great Wall look like a picket fence. (link)

Dai Songcheng, director of the Henan Institute of Culture, is quoted in these reports as saying, "Such an immense structure on the mountaintop is disrespectful to Huangdi." Incidentally, Zhengzhou is also home to the 106-meter high, 200 million-yuan statue of Huangdi and Shennong, pictured at left with two people standing on top. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 18 April (2nd day of the 2nd lunar month).

UPDATE: This evening's Mirror reports that the dragon project has been scrapped, and that work has already begun on dismantling the unfinished structure. It still might resurface, however - there are reports that Guilin, Guangxi, wants to construct a 5-km, 4 billion yuan dragon. (link)


· The hidden cameras: Mid-month, reports surfaced of cadres in one Hubei county being secretly filmed while slacking off at work. Jonathan Ansfield at China Digital Times translates a follow-up investigation by The Beijing News that describes in detail how the cameramen went about their work:

"Be sure to catch them in the act. Otherwise, those who conduct their private business online in the office will not admit to playing games at work. If you criticize them, they won't submit." Those were the special orders of the discipline inspection committee leaders, said Wu Ming.

Even though it was highly difficult to shoot in the open, in three days of filming, there were more than 30 instances of cadres captured in the act. In the scenes filmed, people are chatting on the Internet and playing online games. Then when they catch sight of the film makers, they panic and shut down their computers. One cadre playing the online chess is so absorbed in the game that he never notices an inspector with a camera standing directly behind him. There were also people online trading stocks and playing dou dizhu [a card game].

"In order to truthfully render the scenes, some shots were filmed in the open and others undercover. But we did not use pinhole cameras as rumors alleged," said the county Discipline Inspection Commission secretary, Sun Xiaorong. In the entire county of Zigui, he said, there is not one pinhole camera. (link - proxy in China)

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There are currently 4 Comments for The nail house, the Zhengzhou dragon, and the hidden cameras.

Comments on The nail house, the Zhengzhou dragon, and the hidden cameras

Why is it that every article about screwing around on the internet at work asks all the wrong questions?

The question isn't "Why were you browsing/gaming?" but rather "Why did it take a hidden camera investigation to figure it out?"

The first of my employees to goof off at work will be fired for missing production deadlines --- who cares if that's because they were playing dou dizhu, updating their private sexcapades blog, or checking out the free porn on China Daily?

If it takes someone with a camera to find out that you're browsing porn when you should be working, then they should fire your company's _management team_ -- not you.

The nail house is an interesting case. It seems to have become a flashpoint for peoples greivences, yet its also a testament to the Chinese system- I think most other governments would resevre the right to demolish the house, yet in China this cant be done (except in the interests of "the nation"). Rather than supressing it, the government should hold it up as an example of how the system sometimes work.

My second feeling is that the amount of money that the lady is askign for seems absurd. I saw a quote in UK punds, and it seemed a stupidly large amount of money, and I understand why the developers don't cave in. Why isnt this angle being covered in press on the issues?

Good point Shan. Coming from a results-based industry (publishing), I feel that if employees (of any industry) have stellar work but stop to play a game, read a bit of news online, or whatever, just to unwind a bit... nothings hurt. But when someone takes a job for their ability to slack off - such is the case here I'm sure - massive house-cleaning is in order.

Musical chairs continues. Blogspot's back, typepad's down.

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