Posted by Joel Martinsen on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 5:37 PM
Lin Miaoke in her breakout performance
The Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based organization whose biggest claim to fame is its dubious pursuit of the millionth word in the English language (they're up to 996,341 right now), recently released its latest analysis of the media buzz surrounding various Olympic personalities.
Michael Phelps topped the list, and Yao Ming was #3, but second place belonged not to an athlete but to Lin Miaoke, the girl in the red dress who lip-synched "Ode to the Motherland" at the opening ceremonies.
The top headline of this evening's Mirror announces these results, but something seems to be missing:
Headline in the Mirror for 23 August
No mention whatsoever of why the world's English-language media has lavished so much attention on Lin. And while the article makes a point of noting gymnast that Cheng Fei (17) and hurdler Liu Xiang (18) made the list, it neglects to report that Yang Peiyi, who actually sang the song Lin performed, ranks #15.
A sidebar to the article cites four foreign newspaper reports about Lin and her breathtaking performance:
¤ From Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao:
The editorial by Zhang Xiang, which analyzes the opening ceremony as part of China's soft power strategy, has been taken down from the Zaobao site. It can be found on DW News.
¤ From the Sing Tao Daily (US):
The paper was quoting Wu Guobao, head of the San Francisco chapter of the National Association for China's Peaceful Unification, who attended the event at the Bird's Nest.
¤ From the Times (UK):
What the Times actually said, in the infamous "crooked teeth" article:
¤ From the New York Times:
Oh, wait. That's not from the New York Times at all. It's actually a line from a Netease report that just happens to mention that the newspaper put a photo of Lin on the cover.
One thing's for sure: some things we're just not meant to talk about.
Your search results may involve material that is not in accord with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, and have not been displayed.
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.