Beijing: Oz in ’08?

– When did the Olympics turn into a microcosm of the world? And I don’t mean in a happy, “I’d like to teach the world to sing,” pro-diversity kind of way. Allow me to expound: I have read tons upon tons of articles misrepresenting the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a bargaining chip at the negotiating table … Read More »

Charlton Heston Never Thought of THIS

– Religion is a pervasive topic of interest when discussing culture, especially in today’s global society – a society in which secularism and orthodoxy battle one another more ferociously than elderly Chinese grannies and repressed housewives at a Carrefour sale. What, too soon? Though I know merciless missionaries have spread the good Christian faith the world … Read More »

Open Your Hearts This Holiday Season

– For the December holidays this year, as every year, I will return home to the United States, leaving behind the exasperation of smog-coated lungs and sideways “waiguoren” glances that always last just a smidge too long. Thinking about my impending return brought me back to memories of last year’s trek homeward. And as my mind … Read More »

The Sound of Music

– Usually my posts have a bit of levity, but today I have a more serious cultural question to pose. China is known for its knock-offs. We joke about that long and often. But how is it that world music is not protected? The Chinese have a long history of creating music in a unique style … Read More »

Insulation: It Isn’t Just For Heating Anymore

– The Chinese are marvelous builders. Anyone who has been to China and has witnessed its dynamic physical development cannot help but nod in agreement. The Great Wall, the Shanghai subway network, the Starbucks-in-a-Temple – all prime examples of what the Chinese can accomplish when they put their cute little noses to the architect’s grindstone. But … Read More »

Ode to a Chinese Landlord

– What is it – to be usurped? It is not to be transferred. Or relocated. Or even neutralized. Actually, I’m not even allowed to use that last one. It’s sole property of the American CIA. Which is then licensed out for the Chinese government’s occasional Falun Gong crackdowns. But to be usurped – driven from … Read More »

The Party Line, Round 1

– Announcer: Well folks, it’s that time again. “What time is that,” you ask? Well, my naive foreign friends, it’s time once again to play “What’s My Party Line?” Which – coincidentally – works for either our beloved CCP or a bunch of friends on a shaky 1950’s telephone connection. [chortle, chortle] Ahem. Our contestants today … Read More »

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