January 23, 2010

From "Black Paint Incident" to Royal Concubines

When a poster featuring movie star Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) outside a luxury Beijing hotel was splashed with black paint, nobody could have foreseen what was about to ensue: a cat fight between China's most famous celebrity and an outdated singer who was later alleged to be the proud concubine of a national founder's son.

One Netizen chirped, "Who would have thought to see the red version of Gossip Girl? This is hilarious." Others gaped, "What a dog-bite-dog farce!" People like the late General Ye Jianying and Israeli multi-millionaire Vivi Nevo all enjoyed the "fortune" of having their names bandied about in the fray. Once again, Tianya forum buzzed with scandalous details about the lives of the powerful and/or the rich.

Events Recap

Black Paint Incident (泼墨门)
On December 23, 2009, several reporters received a tip on the secret engagement between movie star Maggie Cheung (张曼玉) with her German boyfriend, about to take place in Park Hyatt Beijing Hotel. Although the tip was later proven to be a false lead, it drew more than enough paparazzi to the site to witness the black paint incident.

Past midnight on December 24, just when disappointed reporters were packing up, a group of men with Dongbei accents walked into Park Hyatt hotel where Zhang Ziyi supposedly bought an luxury apartment. Failing to obtain Zhang's exact room number from hotel security, they began to swear, calling Zhang "a stupid cunt, cheating people of their money and seducing married men."

The pararazzi were shocked inmobile, for never in their wildest dream did they expect such a scene. By the time some recovered to take pictures, the men had already left.

30 minutes later, another group of men came by the hotel to spray paint on Zhang's posters outside the hotel. As one reporter recalled, the men were calm and organized.

The black paint incident intrigued many. It appeared to be superbly orchestrated, its target clearly being Zhang Ziyi. In addition to the Maggie Cheung false engagement news used to bait the media, there were microblogs reporting the whole incident live. "The most famous female star now in a huge mess. One woman claimed that the star conned 1,000,000,000 yuan from her and seduced her boyfriend," a microblog wrote, "A group of burly men cussed the star loudly in the lobby of XX hotel lobby. But she never showed up."

The smeared poster

Hong Huang (Hung Huang, 洪晃) Chimed in as Zhang's Ally
The black paint incident caused many to speculate that Zhang shortchanged some business partner. Just when rumors of Wendi Murdoch being the mastermind behind the attack start to take root, media morgul and blogger Hong Huang announced otherwise on her microblog: "As far as I know, the woman who hired these thugs does not have a husband, because she is someone's mistress. Of course, for someone to keep mistresses so openly and for the mistress to act so boldly, it cannot be just any ordinary family. I suggest entertainment reporters look for this socialite." In addition, she scoffed at the idea that Mrs. Murdoch was in any way responsible.

During an interview later, Hong praised Zhang Ziyi's professionalism, such as being prompt to respond to any filming requests and never arriving late at photo shoots. Hong also said that Zhang cherishes her reputation very much.

Identity of the Mastermind Revealed
With the lead from Hong Huang and help from the human flesh search engine (including perhaps gunmen), Netizens quickly had a name: Zhao Xinyu (赵欣瑜). Officially, Zhao is the Beijing Socialite and Party Queen, who never misses a single fashion party and who always sits in the front row of any top Beijing fashion show. Unofficially, Zhao is a kept mistress, whose paramour descended from one of new China's most prestigious political families. If the sources did not err, then Zhao's lover is Ye Xuanlian (叶选廉), the third son of General Ye Jianying. Ye Xuanlian has an official wife and daughter but no son.

Netizens also found an old published article in which Zhao Xinyu talked with great pride about her illicit love and her paramour who encouraged her to have a son because he only has a daughter.

Since polygamy is outlawed in the People's Republic of China and because the new Chinese slogans condemn extramarital affairs, mistresses are not quite lauded as the pillars of morality. As a result, Zhao received epithets such as "Professional Xiao San" and "Outdated Singer" once her background and status came to light. In response to these nicknames, Zhao calmly told a newspaper:

"I love my Mister. Even though we never married, it didn't prevent me from giving him a son!" Zhao revealed that she and the "mister" fell in love in the 1980s and had a male child together. "My son attended Beijing Jingshan School. It has Beijing's best elementary school. Most scions from powerful political families go there. My son is 16 years old now, and we still live together." Zhao never intended to hide her relationship from public, "I love him. I want to give him a child. Did this harm anybody?"

Zhao's sister Songli Zhao (赵松丽) was more emotional: "All this happened 20 years ago. You need more than this stale old story to damage her reputation. Everybody already know about her status."

Zhao Xinyu's shoe closet

Zhao in her party costume

A video of her singing: http://v.sohu.com/20091223/n269165881.shtml

Zhao commenting on Zhang
In one interview, Zhao Xinyu explained a few events that occurred prior to the black paint incident. At a 2008 BAZAAR charity event, Zhao introduced her then friend Zhang Ziyi to a married Shanghainese business man. The two soon took up a more serious relationship, even though Zhang still had not split from fiance Vivi Nevo. While they were dating, the infatuated businessman gave Zhang expensive gifts, many of which were jewelry. "A separate anonymous email" sent to the reporter earlier confirmed what Zhao told him: "Zhang Ziyi was dating Nevo and the Shanghai man simultaneously. The man gave Zhang a limited edition Tiffany necklace, diamond earrings and necklace, a Hermes diamond lascote handbag, an Audi luxury car, and two paintings worth several hundred thousand US dollars." The gifts totaled about 2,000,000,000 yuan.

In 2009, the Shanghai man's wife found out about the illicit relationship between her husband and Zhang Ziyi. The wife blamed Zhao for introducing the two, while Zhang Ziyi believed Zhao was the snitch. Right before the paint incident, Zhang Ziyi's brother Zhang Zinan sent a threatening text message to Zhao.

Zhao further delineated differences between herself and Zhang, which ultimately caused them to go separate ways. For example, when Zhao attends charity auctions, she buys expensive objects without regard to the price, whereas Zhang will even sell jewelry to friends for money.

During the interview, Zhao also confirmed the break up between Zhang and her fiance Nevo, citing disagreements on financial arrangements as the reason.

Despite of this chat, reporter expressed some doubts, for none of the reasons given by Zhao Xinyu can explain the deep antagonism between the two women. Zhao was not completely forthcoming about the truth, he finally decided.

Vivi Nevo coming to Zhang's rescue?
Early January, Zhang Ziyi produced a statement from her fiance Vivi Nevo, who had not been heard from for many months. The document expressed unconditional support for Zhang. A photo of it is shown below.

Many Chinese question the letter's authenticity, because it ostensibly lacked Nevo's signature.

Zhang Ziyi goes to court
Following the news report about Zhang Ziyi's supposed affair with the Shanghai businessman, Zhang filed a defamation lawsuit against the media company.

In a separate news article, Zhao Xinyu finally admited that one of her friends instigated the black paint incident, because the friend had found out about Zhang Zinan's threatening text message. Zhao claims she does not fear lawsuit over what she said. In the end, Zhang will lose face more than she does (Zhang is not suing Zhao for some reason).

Netizen Reactions
At the current stage, what caused or didn't cause the black paint incident is no longer the focus of gossips. Other than the "excitement" that accompanies watching any fight, Chinese Netizens generally expressed disillusionment.

In a country claiming complete break from ancient feudal China, how can offsprings of its founding fathers so publicly keep mistresses? In addition, where does Zhao get all the money she splurges since she does not work (hypothesis: taxpayer money and graft)? Many disappointed young women claimed nausea at Zhao's so-called love for her Mister.

As for Zhang Ziyi, who has always been quite controversial in China, her reputation is further tarnished by the news reports that paint her as a wanton gold digger toying with married men. Tianya Netizens are now busy examining Zhang's donation record, for there are supposedly inconsistencies between various news articles and her official donation records. Netizens suspect Zhang of either lying or stealing some of the earthquake donation funds.

Still, others who work for entertainment media believe this all is just a ploy on both women's part to gain publicity.

http://yoka.chinadaily.com.cn/renren/women/2009/0112136689.shtml (News article 名媛赵欣瑜:生活中的PARTY QUEEN)
http://web.wenxuecity.com/BBSView.php?SubID=style&MsgID=1329399 (我所知道的赵欣瑜)
http://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/funinfo/1/1754308.shtml (向章子怡泼墨的老三是谁?根据洪晃的线索,难道是她?)
http://www.qlwb.com.cn/display.asp?id=479229 (News article 赵欣瑜不求和奉陪到底 章子怡告媒体决不手软)
http://www.china.org.cn/arts/2010-01/16/content_19249710.htm (News article Zhang Ziyi sues newspaper, Vivi Nevo issues statement)
http://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/funinfo/1/1772735.shtml (Forum thread 组图:章子怡“泼墨门女主角”现身 揭秘真相(转载))
http://ent.sina.com.cn/s/m/2010-01-22/06302853156.shtml (News article 章子怡“泼墨门”是一场事先张扬的网络事件?)
http://www.beelink.com/20100115/2706436.shtml (News article 泼墨者"赵欣瑜曾患产后抑郁想自杀 是未婚妈妈)

January 20, 2010

A Few Parenting Tips

Someone sent this to me...a very "enlightening" guide on newborn care, providing detailed illustrations on how to wash, bundle, feed, and introduce the baby to pets.

January 16, 2010

Why Was Baidu Hacked?

I just can't resist. The person who came up with this facetious list is very well acquainted with current news.

As you might already know, Baidu was hacked by the Iranian Cyber Army (ICA) on January 12. Here are some "profound" reasons that Chinese thought of to explain the cyber attack.

A Few Far-fetched Theories

1. The real reason: the new leader of Iranian holy crusaders Abaidu Abaidula (fictitious person)1 is mad at Baidu for choosing a name that sounds like his. -_-!

2. Abaidu Abaidula was searching for SB on Google and found Baidu2. Thanks to Baidu, his name is now the butt of a joke. Abaidu Abaidula is mad. -_-!

3. Political protest is only an excuse. In reality, Iranians were attempting to buy missiles in reaction to the ever-growing U.S. military threat. Ignorant of the fact that Baidu auctions off search result rankings, Iranians bought the first one on the results list, only to realize later the missile quality was terrible. Iranians are mad.

4. Lately there have been too many upheavals in the Chinese internet community. Frantic with PR management and bribing left and right, Baidu forgot to pay domain renewal fees. -_-!

5. Because Baidu CEO Robin Li does not believe in Brother Chun, Baidu failed to self-ressurect with full character attributes [if you play any computer game, this shouldn't be hard to understand] -_-!

1This is a play on the common Islamic name Abdullah, which is a homonym of Abaidula.

2For reasons unknown, if you search SB on www.google.cn, the first result you will encounter is Baidu. Likewise, if you search SB on www.baidu.com, the first results that shows up is Google. Typically people attribute this "coincidence" to the rivalry between the two companies.

Conspiracy Theories

6. The ICA supposedly did not use its customary signature this time. Therefore, it is possible that the Chinese government orchestrated the attack on Baidu (while pretending to be ICA) to pave the way for a future invasion of Iran.

7. "Concerned Departments (departments in charge)" made an emergency announcement: to prevent further escalation of the cyber attack, they have decided to cut off all U.S.-China and Europe-China internet communication.

8. The site attack is merely part of ICA's graduation exam. Successful domestic sites take over is enough for a graduation certificate. To get the actual diploma, each soldier has to hack into foreign sites. Furthermore, thanks to the Google sponsorship, breaching the defenses of Baidu guarantees anybody a diploma plus a job offer.

Along Chinese government's line of thinking

9. According to report by CCAV (derogatory nickname for CCTV): Shanxi college student reported the ICA to authorities through dedicated hot-line, claiming his mental state has suffered terribly because of the attack.

10. Baidu immediately issued a statement: "This morning, Baidu's domain name registration in the United States was tampered with, leading to inaccessibility. Concerned departments at Baidu are actively resolving the problem. "

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will soon seize this opportunity to berate unreliable foreign internet domain registrars--for stability, get a .CN domain.

11. Ministry of Truth denied any responsibility for the attack on Baidu, Comrade Yu Shan (云山) phoned Robin Li: "The Iranians did it. Not us."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened for an emergency session, during which Qin Gang castigated the ICA who has dared to challenge the Number 1 Superpower in Internet blockade.


January 12, 2010

Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 3

Readers don't care about plagiarism, and publishers are too busy making money to check for plagiarism. Making plagiarists even more gleeful is the fact that few writers who have been plagiarized choose to fight for their rights, not because they love being copied, but rather Chinese plagiarism laws are weak in many aspects, and litigations are drawn-out, resource consuming affairs.

Apathy combined materialism fertilized the Chinese soil for copy pasting. Still the root of the cause goes deeper, because the Chinese educational system teaches plagiarism.

As early as second grade when students first learn to write, children are taught to memorize any "elegant sentence and expressions" that they encounter, because the effective deployment of these sentences in their own writing will add a layer of sophistication. What the teachers intend is for children to improve writing skills through this type of borrowing or emulation. The part that many teachers fail to emphasize is the students should strive to form their own style as soon as possible and move away from the low level bi ying ying.

Teachers who participate in gaokao (college entrance exam) grading notice many essays which are amazingly similar in language, structure, and content, but compared to writings that are less coherent and organized, these lookalikes will still receive a higher score. There have been recent high quality gaokao essays that, after being published online as samples, are revealed by public scrutiny for plagiarism. The habit of copy pasting/cheating also carry far beyond high school, as the flourishing market of ghostwritten papers demonstrates.

Furthermore, as a result of the somewhat misleading education, many Chinese students equate plagiarism with allusion and citation. They also make wide allowance for materials that can be ethically copied. Under their erroneous way of thinking, historical novels, encyclopedias, news articles, movie reviews, any description that sets the mood/tone, and original stories re-posted more than 2 times on-line are considered "common facts" (or trivial enough) and may be copy pasted in any way, shape, or form.

Although the vivibear scandal has caused a backlash against simple copying, how long this correction will last is hard to say. The glorious commercial success of writers like Guo Jingming and An Yiru means that plagiarism and its next state of evolution--bi ying ying--will persist for quite a while to come.

Finally, it is humorous to note some excuses that fanatical readers come up to explain paragraphs and chapters copied verbatim. The excuses include but are not limited to victim authors traveling forward in time to copy the plagiarists, dead people coming back to life to copy the plagiarists, and synchronized brainwaves between the plagiarists and those they copy.

Baidu forum

Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 2

What Became of the Chinese Writers Found Out for Plagiarism?

Guo, Jingming (郭敬明)

Three of Guo's five novels were accused of plagiarism. The book that won him fame in 2003, City of Fantasy, was accused of copying Japanese manga RG Veda. A later book, Meng Li Hua Luo Zhi Duo Shao (Never Flowers in Never Dreams) stole "idea, story, main plots, major characters and language" from Chinese writer Zhuang, Yu's Quan Li Quan Wai. Guo's third novel, Xia Zhi Wei Zhi, was said to have borrowed characters and dialogues from Ai Yazawa's manga Nana.

Except for Never Flowers in Never Dreams, which Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled to be a work of plagiarism, the two other accusations have not been brought to court, probably because of reasons such as language barrier, different genres and nationalities. In the case of Never Flowers in Never Dreams, Guo Jingming paid Zhuang Yu 210,000 yuan but refuse to apologize as ordered.

Guo is still wildly successful after the conviction.

In 2007, Guo was inducted into the Chinese Writers' Association, a government-sponsored organization.

In 2008, Guo's new book Xiao Shi Dai (Tiny Times), rose to No. 1 on the Chinese Bestselling Novels List.

In 2009, Guo placed 68th on the Forbe's list of Chinese celebrities.

Guo Ni (aka GirlneYa, 郭妮)
Guo Ni was and might still be one of the mega-names in the young adult romance fiction business. In 2006, several news articles compared her to Guo Jingming, claiming that her novels attract more buyers than Guo Jingming.

Guo Ni has been reported to have plagiarized hundreds of Japanese mangas. Furthermore, reports of creative teams and ghostwriting abound, a claim that Guo Ni's publisher vehemently denies.

Guo Ni is still publishing.

An Yiru (安意如)
An Yiru has been dogged by charges of plagiarism ever since the publication of her first novel in 2007. Once described as "a self-reliant, handicapped, pretty female writer" and "gifted lady" by the media, An Yiru is now revealed to have plagiarized everything from her novels to blog posts. Her gifted writing was, in fact, written by other people.

Baidu encyclopedia provides detailed comparisons between the original works and An's essays. Unlike Guo Jingming and Guo Ni, who at least paraphrases or circumspectly plagiarizes across genres, An bi ying ying paragraphs without alteration, including typos and punctuation marks.

An Yiru is still publishing.

Weiwei Zhang (aka vivibear)
Vivibear started penning romance novels in 2006. She soon became the goddess of time travel books, with more than 10 titles to her name. All her stories feature ordinary young girls who travel across time or space and who are zealously pursued by famous handsome men such as Ramses II, Qin Shi Huang, Abe no Seimei, and Okita Sōji.

According to the latest tally, vivibear has copied and pasted from more than 600 novels/essays by 500 writers, which no doubt contributed hugely to the 10 books she wrote in less than 3 years. News reports of vivibear's impressive feat cast doubts on the Chinese publishing business. It appears that neither vivibear nor her book editors proofread, because her books are rife with the many typos and traditional Chinese pictogram copied directly from the original articles. Or perhaps, the editors tacitly allow plagiarism for the sake of profits.

In 2009, vivibear became known in China as the Goddes of Bi Ying Ying.

Vivibear is still publishing.

Chinese Publisher React to Plagiarism

When facing plagiarism charges, many Chinese mainland publishers choose to equivocate while they continue to publish the accused books. Occasionally, editors make statements which are both memorable and revealing.

An Yiru's Publisher

Editor Yang Wenxuan admits that An Yiru lacks cultivation when it comes to ancient Chinese, because her life experiences and education limit her. When writing about poems, she must depend on outside sources, including internet literary analysis.

"Even though An has her own style of writing, the World Wide Wide causes her indigestion, and she forgets copyright when using stuff written by other people. It just means she is a newbie, not that she copies out of evil intentions. Besides, when it comes to poem analysis, it is easy to appear to be plagiarizing"


Young girl magazine Princess Monthly (公主志)

There has been a recent post in our forum accusing Wei Ya's "Prince Is Marshmallow," published in the October 2008 edition of Princess Monthly, of plagiarism. All our editors are currently occupied with preparing the next issue of the magazine. We do not have time to look at the other article which "Prince is Marshmallow" supposedly plagiarized. We hereby post the entire article of "Prince is Marshmallow."

Plagiarism, whether language, structure, plot, character and others, is a serious charge to writers. If anyone wish to accuse Wei Ya, then please produce detailed evidence consistent with Chinese copyright laws and regulations. If you only have hearsay, far-fetched evidence, and make trouble for us out of malicious intent, then you shall apologize to writer Wei Ya, Princess Monthly and readers of Princess Monthly.



Few days later, one editor finally found more time to elucidate:

"Prince Is Marshmallow" was a short story published on October 2008. Even I, its editor, have already forgotten it.

"Prince is Marshmallow" is similar to "My Jelly Pudding," Moreover, one of the sentences was identical. Nevertheless, we editors do not have the right to determine whether this is plagiarism or not.


Shanda, who has decided to publish Goddess of Bi Ying Ying's novels (盛大)

Regarding the fact that vivibear has plagiarized, we are currently communicating with relevant departments in charge of her book. We request that you provide evidence that her new book has plagiarized. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may bring you.

对于此问题正在进一步和相关部门进行沟通,目前需要您提供vivibear 《花神系列》作品抄袭的证据,以便我们进行核实确认,给您带来不便敬请谅解!

Ironically, Shanda is the parent company of jjwxc.com, the literature website that became a laughingstock in the first half of 2009 because of rampant plagiarism. Even more ironically, Shanda is currently suing Baidu for not promptly removing pirated e-book sites from search results.

(To the best of my knowledge, in recent years, i. e. 2003 and on, none of the Chinese mainland publishers have taken proactive steps in these high-profile plagiarism cases.)

Readers React to Plagiarism

To learn about attitude towards plagiarism among readers in China, I posted the following survey at three websites: Douban, one net literature website, and one book forum.
1. Plagiarism is a talent.
1. 会抄也是一种能力
2. I don't care as long as the book is entertaining.
2. 不关我的事,书好看就行
3. I don't read books that are accused of plagiarism.
3. 不赞成抄袭,不看抄来的文

Of those who replied, 36 people chose 1, 16 people chose 2, and 27 people chose 3. Additionally, it appears that many cannot differentiate between imitation and plagiarism, legal allusion/referencing and illegal copying.

There were also several mind-boggling responses:
[This person chose 1] Copying is no big deal. If that person writes well, why can't I just use that?

I personally would feel honored if somebody copied me. It means I am good enough to be plagiarized.

Related Post(s)
Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 1
Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 3

Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 1

Early 2009, every registered user at Chinese internet literature website jjwxc.com received a perplexing message from the site administrator. After explaining the newly revised rules on plagiarism, the letter concluded with a tirade:
  New Rules Regarding Plagiarism (Latest revision, February 2009)
  信件内容 抄袭处理制度(09年2月修订)


  ps: Due to the many recent cases of plagiarism, we hereby gravely remind every writer: any description that you search and found on-line, be it about events, people, or landscape and directly inserted into your own writing, is considered plagiarism!

  Beware when you use Baidu that anything in your search results will likewise show up when readers double-check your writings. In this latest revision, we have increased the penalties for plagiarism. Any novel deemed to have copied will be added a public shame list for all to see! In addition, the points you have [jjwxc.com has a point system that automatically generate the ranking lists] will be deducted by 30%, and the guilty novel will have its own points deducted by 60%. Cherish your reputation and guard your writing career against wrong paths.

  A lackluster sentence with misspellings that appeared in the essay of an elementary student [here, the administrator wrote junior high instead, probably because it is less embarrassing] and subsequently copied by more than 10 novels is an utter disgrace to our website!

  发信时间 2009-02-04 11:34:43

Nosy Netizens intrigued by the very last part of the letter began searching and soon found the sentence it alluded to. Amusingly, this time a third-grade elementary student led the copying avalanche. He had stolen the original sentence from an anthology of exemplary essays:
Pink peach flowers, white pear flowers, and the flamboyant, tender Begonias...all smiled (Chinese: 笑盈盈, Pinyin: xiao ying ying) and bloomed.
--Yueli Chen
When this proud student uploaded his essay to the web, one typo was made, and xiao ying ying (笑盈盈) became bi ying ying (笔盈盈). Though similar in appearance, bi ying ying is not a valid Chinese word. Because the mediocre sentence appears to hold unfathomable attraction for so-called internet writers, the exact sentence with the same typo was discovered in at least 10 other net novels.

This came to be known in China as the "bi ying ying" incident, following closely on the footsteps of Weiwei Zhang (a.k.a vivibear) scandal, a Chinese romance novelist famous for copy-and-pasting because all of her novels are best described as collages of stuff by other people. The word bi ying ying is used nowadays to mean "unthinkingly copy," whereas plagiarism involves at least some modification of the copied material.

The bi ying ying incident has exposed one phenomenon: an alarming number of Chinese writers resort to bi ying ying to pen their novels, and the new generation of confident plagiarists does not deign to paraphrase, or remove tell-tale typos. Even more shockingly, the CEO of one Chinese publishing company estimated that more than 80% of net writers have plagiarized.

What then, one might ask, are the Chinese publishers and authorities doing to curb copying? This post takes a look at the reasons behind bi ying ying and its future in China.

Related Post(s)
Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 2
Bi ying ying Phases Out Plagiarism In China, Pt. 3

January 07, 2010

All the Trivial Matters that Happened In 2009

This wildly popular Tianya post astounded everybody because first it was not immediately deleted and later even made to the front page...

Author: 平庸老者 ("mediocre old man")


At the end of last year, I published an essay titled "Remembering 2008" to discuss current events from the perspective of an ordinary citizen. It roused much debate. Within days, the article was removed from most websites.

This year has almost ended. Here we are counting down the last few days of 2009. I won't write "Remembering 2009," because it is too time-consuming and will inevitably be deleted. Instead, I am just going to talk about a few trivial matters that took place in 2009.
January 14, 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics of China revised 2007 GDP figure to 25.731 trillion yuan, and after adjustment made according to the new currency exchange rates favoring the Chinese yuan, the Bureau presumptuously placed China as the world's third largest economy. Once again, the leaders have shown the overwhelming desire to prove their self-worth with the rapid growth of GDP. Their relentless pursuit of GDP calls to mind the need addicts have for heroin1. They revel in every minute of hallucinations and pleasures GDP rankings bring, always expecting Chinese people and the world to likewise be intoxicated and tempted.
However we know very well our average GDP per person ranks at 106th: the [meager] 3315 U.S. dollars lags far behind 11806 USD of reformed Russia, 17040 USD of our relative Taiwan, 19504 USD of Korea, 30755 USD of Hong Kong, 38559 USD of Japan, and 38972 USD of Singapore. Our rulers should feel ashamed, because we ranked 78th in 1960, 82nd in 1970, 105th in 1990, and 106th in 2008. The trend does not go up. It actually is coming down.
Importantly, our GPD growth comes at the sacrifice of energy resources and the environment; such despicable actions rob our children of their food. More importantly, most of the growth is derived from real-estate related businesses. The so-called virgin lands under development are in reality places people's survival depends on. Land developers, in collusion with local governments, invaded what should have been off-limits personal dwellings and farmlands, forcefully buying the lands with very little cost and selling the expensive newly built houses to riches such as coal mine owners. Forty percent of these ill-gotten gains fill the pockets of both the governments and their employees. Most importantly, the revenue that came with GDP growth, how much of it was used to improve citizen lives, and how much of it ended up fattening the powerful? While China marches forward, its people go backward. While China becomes rich, its people are impoverished. The government competes with the Chinese people for profits.

In 2009, quite a number of small and medium businesses filed for bankruptcy. Countless employees were laid off. While the number of breadwinners noticeably decreases, prices soars. Not only does housing cost an arm and a leg, even Napa cabbage in Beijing sells for 1.60 yuan per kg. Hearings to determine water and natural gas prices are like spring cats in heat, creating one trouble after another. They claim to be hearings, but nobody knows who voted for the representatives that represent the people. The representatives have both the traits of the prostitutes and the pimps and are utterly revolting. It appears from the way these go about problems that they are all possessed by the devils.
In 2009, Chinese people used trillions of hard-earned money to bail Americans out of the crisis of U.S.'s own making. This was one grand gesture of internationalism Leifengism to ensure Americans live in contentment.
In 2009, 21 year old Hubei female Yujiao Deng (邓玉娇) was pressured for sexual favor. Her adamant refusal--stabbing the official four times--landed her in a lawsuit that claimed her guilty. Across China, many more women voluntarily bed the powerful. Not only do they feel no shame whatsoever, the ladies scream loud enough to let everyone know they enjoy it.
In 2009, one National Day Parade directly and indirectly gobbled up huge amount of taxpayer money. The government refused to divulge the spending records despite of widespread demand. Our National Day is nothing but a day of celebration for a party that assumed power through violence and then promptly began authoritarianism. It has little to do with national identity. After 60 years of governance, the government has only poor people, corrupted officials, despotism and ineffectiveness to its name--surely nothing to brag about. Repentance and self-introspection would be more fitting. So many economically advanced countries do not hold National Day celebration and parade, whereas a country whose individual GDP ranking does not even cut the first hundred pours staggering amount of taxpayer money to celebrate its rule in flamboyance. This inappropriate behavior borders on mental disorder.

Historically the Chinese civilization has had few true national celebrations. They are in reality proofs that the rulers are not at all concerned about their political achievements; even the government that ended ancient feudalism was no exception. The founding of the republic merely involves killing and acquiring power, thereby realizing One Party dominance. In a democracy, this transfer of power can be easily accomplished by an election.

In 2009, the Ministry of Finance issued the "The notice on enhancing the employees' welfare and financial management of enterprises." All transportation, housing, communication bonuses must be reported as part of the employee's salary, whereas previously they were lumped into the "Employee Benefit" category. This means that, once the benefits are considered as wages, employees will have to pay more personal income tax, increasing the burden on the employer as well as the employee.

At the same time, the Ministry of Finance averts their eyes from the 900 billion yuan of spent public funds, even renaming this expenditure as "Public Funds Meal Money." It is obviously unconcerned about the officials spending 900 billion yuan for personal reasons. I wonder: should this spending count as salaries? should public servants pay income tax on this 900 billion too? While demanding more income tax from ordinary people, the Ministry of Finance continuously excuses those who appropriate public funds for inappropriate reasons. People's welfare vs. officials' gastronomic pleasures...which concerns MOF more?
In 2009, Chinese workers got their spotlight for the second time, not in China but in the U.S. The latest Time publication named the Chinese worker as its person of the Year 2009 runner-up. In contrast, the only Chinese people to receive attention in China for the past 30 years are--besides politicians, elites, rich entrepreneurs, hello kitty, Olympic winners, super girls--Benshan Zhao [he was in the media many times last year because of an heart attack] and shemale Xiaoshenyang. The people who generate the bulk of Chinese wealth such as workers and farmers have never received the respect and the deserved treatment from their government.

This discrimination has led to one phenomenon: people sending their offspring to college regardless of cost and means just so the children can be white-collar workers. In addition to a proliferation of exam-oriented education and a waste of educational resources to create useless graduates, this phenomenon also caused a severe shortage of skilled technology workers and technicians in China. Among the "Made in China"s that China provide to industrially advanced countries at the expense of natural resources and environment, there are countless low tech, low quality products. As these products are picked up by foreigners at cheap cost, they won Chinese manufacturers and managers disparagement and ridicule. Thus, the 8% GDP growth rate is maintained by the humble selves of those Chinese workers, who serve the Americans and even citizens around globe, who are viewed as worthless by the Chinese government, who are hit the hardest by the economic crisis, and who are always hovering around the poverty line.
January 8, 2009, in the campaign against vulgar sites led by the Ministry of Culture (文化部), the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (广电总局), the General Administration of Press and Publication (新闻出版总署) and others, Bulloger.com became firewalled without any fanfare. Since then, I have lost another place where I can chat with Internet friends.
In 2009, on Sina alone, 38 of my posts were removed. The government caged our thoughts and our self-expression, while it lectured and scolded from the outside.
On February 9, 2009, CCTV's male genital was burned down, making its castrated eunuch image even more vivid. I think a fire on its female genital would draw as much sympathy from the public. After all, no one wants to look at a creature covered with boils and sores.
From November 15 to 18, 2009, U.S. President Obama visited China. While here, he accepted an interview request from Southern Weekly (http://www.infzm.com) but avoided mainstream media, a sure sign of distaste for state media's cutting and editing abilities.
In 2009, the Internet has become another channel by which the public receive and transmit information. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in its 2010 Blue Book (2010年中国社会形势分析与预测) pointed out, Internet has become an independent source for news and public opinions. On the other hand, the despicable CCTV, after 60 years of monopoly on news reporting and public opinion, is being ignored and scoffed at. The angry CCTV launched an attack on the World Wide Web. On December 20th, CCAV published "Internet Triad in Control of Public Opinion: Five Million yuan Bribe Can Influence Court Decision (网络黑社会操控舆论:花五万元可左右法院判决)" on Ifeng.com. The shameless castrated eunuch media dares to accuse another of news manipulation, CCTV has really stopped thinking about its words in the haste to lay accusations.
In 2009, China as a responsible nation extended more than 10 billion debt relief to Asian, African and South American countries, while preparing to increase limits of loans to Africa. Bluntly speaking, this is just an [worthless] attempt to persuade all these fence-sitting countries from establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan and to avoid being criticized by human rights organizations.
Throughout 2009, cases of forceful eviction and demolition constantly pop up, from "unintentionally striking the tenants" to "violent self-immolation in resistance to the law," the evictors and the evictees are still entangled in this deadly game.
In 2009, a realistic TV series called Dwelling Narrowness did not finish airing before being banned. It is difficult to fathom which government nerve it struck, because the series has already made substantial revisions on the original story.
In 2009, the person who lost his job over Sanlu diary scandal Changjiang Li received another job--leading the national task force to rid China of pornography and illegal publications. The cream always rises to the top, and the party will never forget a good man.

In 2009, farmers are still not at liberty to make love to their wives. A slightly awkward reality.

In 2009, the most effortless event was the 11th National Games held in Shandong from October 16 to October 23. Why do I say it is the most effortless? Because prior to the open ceremony, 1/3 gold medals had already been assigned, and most of the winners predetermined. The athletes didn't have to compete. In response to this news, vice president of General Administration of Sports of China said: "We have always been doing sports the Chinese way. Whereas Olympics and Asian Games must be held in a limited time frame, and most matches are held in a fixed city during a fixed time period, in China, our games have unique Chinese characteristics."
Have the indifferent rulers become more or less concerned with general population's welfare in 2009? Is the censorship more relaxed or strict? I will say no more. The answer is quite obvious after a comparison with "Remembering 2008."
One last word, this post with just me will be too lonely. Please, friends, speak up. Talk about the trivial matters you saw. And in this game, we bid goodbye to the old and welcome in the new year.

1. I don't know whether it is intentional, but here the writer used the word "they" intended for animals/objects and not people

January 03, 2010

Hu Ge‘s CCAV News On the Hour

Ever wonder about the form of Chinese state media news broadcasts if not the exact content? Movie director Hu Ge (Bio) is here to show you.

Well, the content in this parody also speaks volumes about how some Chinese netizens regard CCTV.

Here is the GFW-friendly link: I am sorry but neither Tudou nor Youku allows me to upload the video. I can only point you to the vid without English subs.

1. pull up domestic demand (Chinese: 拉内需; pinyin: lā​ nèi xū​)
There are three characters in this expression. The first one la is a pun--it is the same character we use to mean the act that people do when they are on the toilet.

2. domestic demand will continuously "come out" (Chinese: 拉出来)
See above.

3. GDP
The way new anchor pronounced GDP is ji de pi (急的屁), which sounds like "cannot wait to fart"...

For those interested in the Chinese transcript, here it is via Google Snapshot of http://bbs.myiq.cn/archiver/?tid-5230.html

观众朋友晚上好,这里是XX小区XX号群租房.欢迎收看本群租房的精彩节目,本次节目的主要内容有:本群租房间一年一渡的无业游民经济工作会议,在客厅隆重举行.,长期失业在家的著名宅男XX同志发表了重要讲话.无业游民代表XX, XXX; XXX, XX女,XXX出席了本次会议,会议就本群租房的经济问题进行了广泛而深入的讨论,会议首先由XXX同志进行发言,此人长期在家从事IT工作,对世界局势有着丰富的经验和认识,."经济问题的关键就是要拉内需,因此,拉内需就是我们今年的重要工作...."经过讨论,大家一致认为:拉内需是解决本群租房经济问题的关键,为了顺利拉出内需,会议决定赤字300元进行马桶修复,管道疏通等一系列重大项目投资,专家预测,随着这些重大项目的纷纷上马,内需将会源源不断的拉出来,GDP增长将超过10个百分点.

为了解决群租房内人员众多而厕所不足的问题,本次会议还做出了一系列重要决定:记者采访时发现,本群租房内人员往来众多,但厕所只有一个,由于僧多粥少, 导致马桶的通畅率连续18个月内呈现负增长,厕所的发展已经远远落后于群众的需求,此外大便排放量超标问题也严重影响了本群租房的形象,为贯彻落实节能减排要求,保持马桶畅通,会议决定从今天起开始实施厕所管理措施,现就有关事项通告如下:从今天起,本群租房内的房客按身份证号轮流排便,身份证号为单号的只能在单号日排便,双号日停止排便,身份证号为双号的只能在双号日排便,单号日停止排便,新的措施实施以后将有效缓解马桶不足所带来的矛盾,受到了广大房客的热烈欢迎,至于有人提出来可以采用五号轮换制,由于本群租房内的房客普遍患有老年痴呆证,无法记住如此复杂的规则,因此被否决,




最近一段时间,本群租房内的一位深患绝症的房客三年内与病魔顽强拼搏的自强不息的感人事迹传遍了房间内的各个角落,请看记者的报道....今年21 岁的XXX是XXX大学的电脑专业的高才生,然而谁也没能想到,这个在同学和老师眼里的电脑技术高才生,在三年前患上了网络成瘾综合证,三年时间里这个面色苍白的男孩,独自忍受着病魔的折磨.在XXX心里,他渴望着能治好病,但由于网络成瘾临床标准是在今年才发布的,因此在三年前患上了此病的XXX错过了最佳的治疗时间,导致病情恶化,无药可救,然而面对如此残酷的现实,XXX并没有动摇,依然坚持每天带病练级,广大房客对XXX坚强不息的精神所感动,纷纷组团来到这里进行参观和学习,在研究网络成瘾综合证方面有着丰富经验的某著名医院也表示对XXX提供免费治疗,然而,XXX却婉拒了医院的好意,他动情的说:不要管我,先抢救其他人要紧...

小区务业以破坏环境卫生为由给群租房下达了整改通知,广大房客对此十分愤慨,纷纷发表意见,大家一致认为,本群租房一贯重视环境卫生问题,在环境领域取得了显著进步,得到了小区居民的普遍赞誉,双方在环境问题上的看法确实存在分歧,但我方一直主张在平等和互相尊重的基础上通过对话与交流妥善解决,然而小区务业不顾我们的反对,执意破坏双边关系,严重伤害了我们幼小的心灵,我们要求务业能以我们双方关系大局为重,充分认识到诊治群租房对双边关系造成的损害, 采取实际行动,纠正错误

http://www.ifs.org.cn/ Hacked and Now Back Online

Institute of Forensic Science Ministry of Public Security P.R.C was hacked Beijing time, January 2, 2010.

The "news" was first exposed on Tianya, and one post recorded the whole process. Of course river crabs soon gobbled it up, which is why anyone clicking on the Tianya link would encounter a "404" error (I really wanted to read it...nothing like food preferred by river crabs to rouse the curiosity).

Call it immature or what not, but it really seems Chinese Netizen bystanders are as excited as the hackers?

The takeover of this government website was supposedly a collaborative effort, as attested by the various IDs left on the webpages.

Here is the poem on the front page.
Perhaps, Love and Not in love
by 清风原木
Dying quietly, remembering you in silence
A hacker as skilled as I still could not invade your heart
Overflowing emotions do not even encounter an echo
Despite of capturing so many servers, I am still a Guest

And the poem goes on, in rather bad writing.

Message left by another hacker. There are misspellings...

More at http://bbs.news.163.com/bbs/shishi/161932242.html

What Netizens were conjecturing:
1. Institute of Forensic Science Ministry of Public Security P.R.C is just a lab. Not that important.

2. You call that a poem?

3. I guess by the poem that the hackers are young. They probably learned a thing or two and thought they are already taller than the sky.

4. People, what do you think are the motivations these hackers have?

They actually were aiming for The State Administration of Radio Film and Television but walked through the wrong door?

Wanted to destroy some criminal evidence?

Fell in love with someone at the Ministry?

Love the jail food?

Just learned a couple of techniques and wanted to experiment?

5. Maybe they will be like that Panda Virus guy and receive job offers after a stint in the jailhouse.

Veggie Discourse - Blogged