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CRI Journalist Shawn Lei's personal blog
My last entertainment was one week ago by traveling in Guangdong and Hunan. I met my mother in Dongguang, father in Hengyang, and Richard in Changsha. I have reserved an expectation that they would be surprised i had landed a job in Kungming, to my dismay, they either felt surprised or concerned, becuase each option has its pros and cons. So they would rather I will not regret for my choice than push me to a verge of their wills.
I named this travel as an entertainment is that I indeed got entertained for what I had seen and met. On April 29, I surprisingly bought a train tickets bound for Dongguang, where my mother is still working there. There i stayed four days. Mom spent her majority time in the button workshop, which was by my uncle initiated two years ago after having prepared for almost a decade by selling production order for his boss.I told her I wanted her stop to return home and accompany dad for the rest of their marriage, however, she didn’t want for neither of her sons has got married. She insisted she work for another five years when the economy situation becomes better. I couldn’t persuade her, the thing I can do is make sure of her I will work hard and have my own promising career in the coming years. To this point, I can’t miss out mentioning my uncle. He is 36, and has his own company now. as far as i know, he could have made one million a year. From his workshop, I can hear the machine buzz noise early in the morning and deep into the night. The workshop was circled by extensive fields, with no tall building around it. The machine noise, as strident as abrupt brakings in an accident, can be easily swallowed by the broad fields and deep sky. When i was strolling out, I can hear the noisy falling away in the far away distance. This kind of enviroment has sparked my memories from reading the book, Factory Girls, that is assembly line put every staff in the one phase of the whole procedure, however, everyone’s individual identity is gone with the line. I don’t know why mom has got used to factory life, borying and tiring. The only telling evidence is that she thinks she is still able to labor and helps pillor the family.
Then I went to my aunt, a professor in South China Polyversity. We two haven’t met for two years. She is a good example for our family. 8 years ago, she resigned from a vocaitonal school and was admitted to South China Polyversity as a graduate student. At that time, competition in supercities like Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing was not as fierce as today, so she took the chance and went out to seek a more prosperous life. 10 years ago, the biology of competition was good, now it is aggravated. However, what remains untained is a desire for better-off. Aunt told me no matter where i stays, a mind of tranquility can be the best power to defend jealousy. To me it is effective, if i had complained of my bad situation compared with my classmates, whose majority has landed jobs in Beijing and Shanghai, I would have made the same option.
Two days later, i took a train to Hengyang, a city i was born in but never familiar with. I got off the train early in the morning and bussed four hours to my village. Every home return has been a suffering: I have take trains, long-distance bus, motorcycle and hikings. But I have to return with a sincere heart. Nostalgia is something that can’t be crossed out. I left 18 years momery there, and it acompanied me a deep sense of inferority into the city. I tried to evade anything with agricultural or rural characteristics. I disguise as an urbanite and hypocrite. Only i return home, do i really find what a natural release is: I smell the morning fresh from the soil, the quack of home-grown ducks etc. Everything at home is so good, why I still want to indulge myself into the super modernity, and never want back?
I stayed at home for one week, when electricity scarcity happened all the day. I keep reading books and keeping dairies as I could. Dad is doing his job, a brick-layer with great passion. Since childhood, life for us has been like this: I read books all day and he lays bricks all day. He create his own value, and I find another world, maybe a utilitarian one to relieve my parents’ burden. We parallelles like this for more than a decade. I admit for the colleage years, I had sometimes lost from that parellell, because I had thought parents had been two slow to go with the trend. What they did is tiring and labor-intensive, why they never tried for a better-off lifestyle since they had comparatively high diplomacy?Because of their ignorance of what is going on in the whole world, they missed many gold-rush chances and transfered the burden of urbanization to our brothers. To name a few, father has many classmate, who are powerful and rich, however, he never socialized with them. All he did is make his own bread and never begs convinience for us. If he had been more sophisticated, we would have not been as pure as today, as naive as now. From father’s perspective, the world is simple, hard-working can be tremendously requitable. However, this ideaology has paid him off with bad result. 10 years ago, he contracted a railway construction project. on the verge of being finished, all the project money was taken away by a familiar person. If he had withdrew his pay, it would be 80 thousand. Father seems never regrets for his wrongdoings, and his naiveness stays intact, which is a good thing. The bad thing is for our brothers, our circle is totally different, which we have to deal with scrupulosity. If we socialize with the world with father’s fathion, it is very vulnerable.
One week later, i went to Zhuzhou and Changsha for visiting my friends, who are very good.
A long journey finished with fruitful spritis awards. I begin to learn the essense of life, and the core of being mature: Cherish what you have experienced, and make it a part of success!
Technically, when it comes to the protectiveness of sex, the first and foremost solution is to tear off the wrap of a condom and fit the head, but in China, it’s not enough. Professor Ma Raohai from a Nanking-based university may have worn one when indulging himself in an orgy party, which turned out a trauma when he was caught by the local police on the spot and accused of assembling others for collective intercourse. Three months later, the local justice sentenced him a five-year term in prison, which makes him become the first person to get such an accusation charge since the adaption of the criminal law in 1997. From the folk perspective, Ma should have obtained a less severe sentence if he had admitted his wrongdoings and confessed to act better. But Ma renounced that better-off opportunity and chose to stick to his faith of basic rights.
Ma’s case ignited a heating argument on the possibility of removing such a “ridiculous” charge from the law. Sociologist Li Yinhe thumped a blockbuster on the legitimacy organ, Standing Committee of National People’s Congress. In her draft, Li said the charge, assembling others for collective intercourse is “out of date” since the Constitutes have bestowed the citizens with basic rights like personal security right and personal property right. She also reiterated the importance for the freedom of “with whom to sex” if that doesn’t thwart the social order. In her bloc, she wrote, everyone has a lawful right to “deal with their own body”, his or her sex right is controlled “by themselves, not by the law”. It is definitely right that the law or the marriage credential has no forceful power to decide which two can sex together. However, Chinese netizens, famous for its dissidence against the authority, joined the force with the court, and censured Ma as lewd and sex-addicted.
The debate pivots on which should come first: ethical or law, when it comes to such a case. Li is totally right if the criteria lies only on intention and location: Ma didn’t force others to sex, and they volunteered to join; they sexed in a private housing, not on the street or other public places. However, generally speaking, Chinese is more likely to put morale before the law to evaluate Ma. That is why such a “ridiculous” charge can exist with too much opposition. From the reported evidence, Ma remarried and swung mates many times. These might explain why the netizen disgusted him.
Now the debate is cooling down since the court has made the “wise” sentence toward an Aunt Sally. But for Ma himself, he might have a strong sense of unfairness. In China there are so much unethical dirt lurking around: many people on the street may have done the same as Ma, but get away with punishment. For Ma, collective intercourse is a trauma which victimized him by the “ridiculous” law, for many others it is a skeleton in the closet, and they may have a clandestine joy.
The case still don’t have a far-flung effect on the Chinese attitude toward sex. But one concern looms large: what if we were in Ma’s shoes? Will you fell self-condemned and your family self-ashamed? The answer is obvious yes for most of us. Generally, Chinese has a sacred feeling about sex, which psychologically is jargoned as virgin complex. For example, our parents can’t allow before-marriage sex, or after-marriage affair.
But our generation, an emerging one, is becoming more and more individual and tolerant. We can tolerate gay or lesbian, we go out for one night stand, we move in with our sweetie before graduation etc. All these which scarely happen 20 years age are prevailing now and will keep it momentum later. So it is easy to predict if the law don’t go with the tide and revise its loophole, we will become another Ma.
Several hundreds ago, European women were leash by a virgin belt, metal or leather to avoid being raped. Now we generation is bond by an uncertainty: sex or not, it is a toss of coin, both sides have tradeoffs. Have it, you need to avoid the abrupt raid from the police; not have it, you are nobody but a girl next door or decent boy.
I was born in a very small village, whose remoteness is more than even myself could imagine: I take train from Shanghai for 16 hours, then take 3 hours bus to the town, then another 6 kilometers. In that village, i stayed for 15 years, a duration that i even didn’t even go to the county. At 18 I went to the provincial capital, Changsha, the first time for college, which to my pure villagers a precious opportunity for a better off life. From the first step i tread on my college, I has been running with a horse blinder, pass exams, get scholarships, and get promoted to graduate studies. All these are about schooling, nothing is out of my own desires.
Now, I am confronted with choosing my own career, which really perplex me. I have applied for more than three jobs, all advanced to the final stage: signing contract. However, the more application I did, the more lost i felt. What kind of occupation should I do? My father, a farmer, never tells me and asks me what to do in the future, for myself, all I want or accomplish is a material dream: money, house and automobile. I still remember every Chinese new year, I saw a neighbor’s Santana parked in front of my house, which could lure my desire to buy one, however in my mind the only way to make it is study. So, when Santana appeared in my sight, i was more motivated to bite my books. All I wanted to do was one day I can drive my parents pass the village road and make everyone see my car.
Is my life really only for automobile and money? What I expect the education pay me off is nothing but money and the respect or jealousness from my neighbors. Seems since my childhood, I have suffered from poverty. I still don’t have any vivid memories of my life before 6. I don’t have any photos taken before 6. My memories has saturated the days in school, in Xiao’Ping Middle School, in Qidong NO.2 higher middle school. These days, I saw more life difference among classmates. In Xiao Ping we slept on the wooden floor with a matting, sometimes the rat may run pass us with a creak noise. In summer, we didn’t have fans to cool down, the dormitory windows were bare with no glass, mosquitoes can fly in and bite us because we have no support for the mosquito net. These bitter days have taught us the importance of eat bitterness, however, it never teaches us how to make a good choices. Here I call it the school failure. For many Chinese schools, common sense education is very good, however, any aberration from normal can be seen as evil. If one of our classmates dropped out of school and did business with his dad, that can be seen as ruining his future. Now I may hold a different idea on this. Not everyone needs the normal education path, the dropouts may have more possibility to be successful.
For me now, I may have the capacity to land more than one jobs, well-paid ones, but I can’t say all these are promising ones. More than one jobs chances for me to choose, which one is better, which one guarantees brighter future, I can’t predict. I only know “actions speak louder than words” ” practice makes perfect”. These ideologies are still prevailing in my old schools. They encourages poor students lift themselves our of poverty by duration and persistence. Generations of generations, we copycat the success path in the same rigid way and feel foolishly excited. What a fuck!
Now, I have almost chosen to work in Xinhua News Agency Yunnan Office, and will leave Shanghai, my favorite city in three months. Before this decision, I have been distracted by two contradictory aspects: work in Shanghai with my own entrepreneurship, buy my own house and cars, and work in Yunan, a easy life with stable salaries. Finally, I have decided to worked in Yunan, the first and foremost reason is i am from a poor family, my parents have no extra pensions to pay my house down payment, my family has no pull in Shanghai that facilitate my career. All in all, every I can have a Shanghai hukou, I still can’t buy my house here in 10 years. So I choose another way, a easier way to support my family. Now, I begin to understand why “direction is more important than endeavors”, why I can’t run after girls as my will. I know, life for me is tough, I can’t compromise to the economic situations. I can only choose to another lifestyle, single and entrepreneur. I guess, this is my way out.
Last Friday, when i was doing a report with my cellphone, a push message from my QQ application system. it says Ying Jiang perfecture in Yunnan province was quaked by a 10-kilometer underground epicenter, and thousands of people were affected. At that moment, I was not taking that serious because an earthquake of that level had been so common in China. However, all the reporters in our offices were dispatched to the quake scene, only i was left behind. I was stunned by the governmental response. Yunnan provincial government had charted a plane to transport tents, foods, water and other relives half hour after the quake, the bureau of civil affairs, the Red Cross Organization and the like also mobilized its emergency action.
Because i was not a regular staff in the office, so what i could do was to see how the earthquake was reported by the Chinese journalists. i stayed seated in my chair for the rest of that day, and kept refreshing the pages to check if the quake had been pushed on the front page, however, all i saw on the news portal like Sina.com, 163.com etc. were updates about the Two Session, CPC, CPPCC. To name a few, what Premiere Wen Jiabao has said in the CPC, what kind of bill had been submitted. But where is the earthquake. it was missing on the pages. For the following two days, all the front pages were the same, nothing changed.
Then yesterday, another earthquake happed with a much severe magnitude, 9.0, the biggest in Japan since the World Two. More than 4000 people reported dead, 50 thousand missing. The additional tsunami inundated thousand of homes. One Nuclear generator reactor were shaken to leak fuels. This quake has overtaken Yingjiang’s place on the hot news section, but still not on the front pages. on the contrary, Guardian, BBC, New York Times and other main stream media have headlined this news at the right time. They kept updating the earthquake.
Compare how Chinese media and western media in terms of how the reacted to the quakes, I guess, China’s media has always put politicians’ routine first and foremost. Even in Yingjiang’s quake, most of the news are reserved for leaders, the paramilitary soldiers, the doctors, the policemen, the rest are for ordinary people. When Yingjiang was quaked, some leaders even said they earthquake has distracted the Two Sessions. Does that mean the Yingjiang should have been quaked one week later, so that the leaders have enough time to tackle the catastrophe? that is too ridiculous. Also, a saying said Japan has followed the earthquake ultrasound 10 seconds before the Yingjiang quake, however, why Japan didn’t follow the sound of its own quake?
Now, from the latest report, i can say Yingjing earthquake has been for the most part under control now? the thing is will China, the second largest economy helps its neighbor, who has just stopped the loans to China this year? Will Chinese media pays more attention to the Japan’s earthquake than just mobilize the ignorant Chinese to relief Yingjiang quake? At this special moment, Japan need more help than Yingjiang, even for ordinary Chinese. Our quake is not as severe as it is reported, Japan needs more help than we do.
The thing is what we can do now?
When some crazy man feel happy about how Japan, the once enemy which intruded Chinese lands and scorched our Cities, are quaked, a new fascism has sprang up. They may refused to help Japan, because Yingjiang needs too. They even made up jokes like a South Korean relief team of five rescuers and two searching dogs were sent to Japan as aid, but when they were traveling in Tokyo, the dogs were lost, so the give rescuers spent most of their time find their dogs. Unluckily, a Japanese, who should help relief the disaster has to accompany them. This is an interesting point to illustrate how some crazy Chinese are happy to see Japan quaked.
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Anyone who’s long followed the Middle East knows that the six most dangerous words after any cataclysmic event in this region are: “Things will never be the same.” After all, this region absorbed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of Google without a ripple.
But traveling through Israel, the West Bank and Jordan to measure the shock waves from Egypt, I’m convinced that the forces that were upholding the status quo here for so long — oil, autocracy, the distraction of Israel, and a fear of the chaos that could come with change — have finally met an engine of change that is even more powerful: China, Twitter and 20-year-olds.
Of course, China per se is not fueling the revolt here — but China and the whole Asian-led developing world’s rising consumption of meat, corn, sugar, wheat and oil certainly is. The rise in food and gasoline prices that slammed into this region in the last six months clearly sharpened discontent with the illegitimate regimes — particularly among the young, poor and unemployed.
This is why every government out here is now rushing to increase subsidies and boost wages — even without knowing how to pay for it, or worse, taking it from capital budgets to build schools and infrastructure. King Abdullah II of Jordan just gave every soldier and civil servant a $30-a-month pay raise, along with new food and gasoline subsidies. Kuwait’s government last week announced a “gift” of about $3,500 to each of Kuwait’s 1.1 million citizens and about $850 million in food subsidies.
But China is a challenge for Egypt and Jordan in other ways. Several years ago, I wrote about Egyptian entrepreneurs who were importing traditional lanterns for Ramadan — with microchips in them that played Egyptian folk songs — from China. When China can make Egyptian Ramadan toys more cheaply and appealingly than low-wage Egyptians, you know there is problem of competitiveness.
Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia today are overflowing with the most frustrated cohort in the world — “the educated unemployables.” They have college degrees on paper but really don’t have the skills to make them globally competitive. I was just in Singapore. Its government is obsessed with things as small as how to better teach fractions to third graders. That has not been Hosni Mubarak’s obsession.
I look at the young protesters who gathered in downtown Amman today, and the thousands who gathered in Egypt and Tunis, and my heart aches for them. So much human potential, but they have no idea how far behind they are — or maybe they do and that’s why they’re revolting. Egypt’s government has wasted the last 30 years — i.e., their whole lives — plying them with the soft bigotry of low expectations: “Be patient. Egypt moves at its own pace, like the Nile.” Well, great. Singapore also moves at its own pace, like the Internet.
The Arab world has 100 million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you have a very powerful change engine.
I have not been to Jordan for a while, but my ears are ringing today with complaints about corruption, frustration with the king and queen, and disgust at the enormous gaps between rich and poor. King Abdullah, who sacked his cabinet last week and promised real reform and real political parties, has his work cut out for him. And given some of the blogs that my friends here have shared with me from the biggest local Web site, Ammonnews.net, the people are not going to settle for the same-old, same-old. They say so directly now, dropping the old pretense of signing antigovernment blog posts as “Mohammed living in Sweden.”
Jordan is not going to blow up — today. The country is balanced between East Bank Bedouin tribes and West Bank Palestinians, who fought a civil war in 1970. “There is no way that the East Bankers would join with the Palestinians to topple the Hashemite monarchy,” a retired Jordanian general remarked to me. But this balance also makes reform difficult. The East Bankers overwhelmingly staff the army and government jobs. They prefer the welfare state, and hate both “privatization” and what they call “the digitals,” the young Jordanian techies pushing for reform. The Palestinians dominate commerce but also greatly value the stability the Hashemite monarchy provides.
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Egypt was definitely a wake-up call for Jordan’s monarchy. The king’s challenge going forward is to convince his people that “their voices are going to be louder in the voting booth than in the street,” said Salah Eddin al-Bashir, a member of Jordan’s Senate.
As for Cairo, I think the real story in Egypt today is the 1952 revolution, led from the top by the military, versus the 2011 revolution, led from below by the people. The Egyptian Army has become a huge patronage system, with business interests and vast perks for its leaders. For Egypt to have a happy ending, the army has to give up some of its power and set up a fair political transition process that gives the Egyptian center the space to build precisely what Mubarak refused to permit — legitimate, independent, modernizing, secular parties — that can compete in free elections against the Muslim Brotherhood, now the only authentic party.
If that happens, I am not the least bit worried about the Muslim Brotherhoods in Jordan or Egypt hijacking the future. Actually, they should be worried. The Brotherhoods have had it easy in a way. They had no legitimate secular political opponents. The regimes prevented that so they could tell the world it is either “us or the Islamists.” As a result, I think, the Islamists have gotten intellectually lazy. All they had to say was “Islam is the answer” or “Hosni Mubarak is a Zionist” and they could win 20 percent of the vote. Now, if Egypt and Jordan can build a new politics, the Muslim Brotherhood will, for the first time, have real competition from the moderate center in both countries — and they know it.
“If leaders don’t think in new ways, there are vacancies for them in museums,” said Zaki Bani Rsheid, political director of Jordan’s Islamic Action Front, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm. When I asked Rsheid if his own party was up for this competition, he stopped speaking in Arabic and said to me in English, with a little twinkle in his eye: “Yes we can.”
I hope so, and I also hope that events in Egypt and Jordan finally create a chance for legitimate modern Arab democratic parties to test him.
No one can fully conclude 2010 for China’s 2010, a year full of twist and turn. lots of violent relocations, brutal natural earthquakes, rarely seen drought in millennium , also China overtakes Japan as the second largest economy body in the last quarter of 2010, China debuted its fastest super computer, signed a ECFA with Taiwan islands etc. Negative or positive, China seems has become a news spot this year, more and more media pays attention to the emerging dragon: our diplomatic response could be decoded by many foreign analyst, our currency exchange rate could be denounced as the evil monster of international imbalance, also our investment in clean energy could be reported as a great challenge to the hegemony of the States etc. The more innovative maneuvers we had, the more assertive we become.
I know to conclude China’s 2010 is increasingly difficulty, because still many things are under suspension, also there are lots of undercurrent that has blurred the real face. Domestically, I once saw a Chinese magazine to summarise China’s 2011 as a year of Micro blog, Weibo, who claimes that Weibo has become a popular tool for expression or seek help. I guess this is a good summary since more and more micro blog are promoting the development of our society. On the Weibo, we can exert pressure to the authority and solve problems, we can express dissidence against the authority, also we can expose something dirty, like corruption, or sex bribe among the officials. on the Weibo lots of things have been solved, but still lots of things are springing up unnoticed. on this matter, some American columnist has written that Twitter, Facebook may change the way of toppling the undemocratic regime, like the way Hosni Mubarak are facing. So they harbor the same expectation for China’s micro blog, which is too naive to be true.
Internationally, 2010 may have been labeled as a year of China’s assertiveness. China piloted its stealth fighter the day Gates visited Beijing, China bought euro bonds in Spain and Greece, and wanted to revolutionize the way international finance system works etc. To lots of foreign expert, China is going to catch up with US in the coming decades because they think US has been too big to speed up.
All in all, China’s 2010 is a year of Micro blog, and a year of being assertive.
By Chase Zhang
Communication University of China
Published June 19, 2010 on UPIM
Reporting by Chase Zhang
It’s not the World Cup craze or graduation requirements that cause Hou Haiyang to lose sleep each night. Instead, the 22-year-old is plagued with insomnia thanks to China’s largest online campaign dedicated to creating an accepting environment for gays and lesbians.
As the sponsor of Smile for Gay, he has to organize and coordinate everything, from managing the volunteer team to finding the financial support. At the same time, Haiyang is waiting for the best time to tell his family about his sexual orientation.
China’s young homosexual pioneers launched the Smile for Gay online campaign to call for 1,000 smile faces to support the homosexuality, which signals the slight cultural shift to homosexual communities in the Chinese society.
“China has 50 million gay and lesbian populations.” Li Yinhe, a China’s sociologist who has been proposing legal gay marriage in China said, “Most of them are hidden their identity in corners due to cultural pressure or discrimination.”
In the traditional Chinese mindset, gay issue is forbidden to explore. A decade ago, homosexuality was considered as crime and mental disorder. Today, the Chinese gay and lesbian group is surging. So in the honor of Gay Pride Month, Hou kicks off the campaign.
Hou posts the online petition titled “Smile for Gay” to collect 1,000 smile faces via blog. In the campaign’s statement, Hou hopes the majority of the society could eliminate the discrimination and tolerate the special groups.
Hou highlighted, “The homosexuality itself has no fault.” But at first Hou doubted that no one would have enough courage to speak for them. The first smile photo is uploaded by a young man. In his upload, he mentions, “Like everyone else, pursuing love is natural and real.” After the first day, three people have forwarded their photos.
Things are turning around in the China’s huge online world. The common Chinese people are inclined to express their ideas online.
On the third day, Hou finds 41 smile faces laying in the Gmail inbox. Simultaneously, the smile photos and campaign updates are being tweeted and retweeted on the Chinese Social Media sites, like QQ, Renren and microblog, etc. The organizers have even bypassed the Great Firewall of China and updated information on the blocked Facebook and Twitter.
The campaign’s everyday-updating blog draws over 65,000 hits. And 2,100 followers are following its mircroblog.
One survey conducted on Renren website, shows that the youths of China take on a positive attitude towards the homosexual issue. Almost two thirds of the 342 participants understand and support the homosexuality. 11% of them feel odd or totally uncomfortable.
It took 10 days to accomplish the Smile for Gay’s original goal: 1000 smile faces. Hou conservatively predicts the final number could exceed 3,000 at the end of June 30.
Thirty four social workers and more than 200 volunteers with Hou are devoting their passion to this event. With the different specialties, young volunteers deal with the tasks ranges from information update to photo upload.
The 21-year-old He Ruyun is the director for photo processing; the sophomore has photoshoped over 200 smiles in her first week.
“Many of my friends understand, but my mom says do not waste the time.” She said.
Dozens of famous Chinese writers, directors, professors, actors and other public figures are supporting it in different ways, which attracts more ordinary people.
Kevin Tsai, the Taiwanese T.V. host, who came out to public in 2002, tweets Smile for Gay via his microblog. “That day, we received the record-high 233 smile faces.” Hou Haiyang added.
Wu Youjian, the first Chinese mother appeared in T.V. to talk about her son’s homosexuality. She sends her photo to with the words, “Love is the most beautiful rainbow.”
However, this movement still arouses much controversy on and off line.
“I am disgusted with the gay campaign and promotion, they should hide in the corners.” One man from Hangzhou comments on Hou’s microblog.
For some senior Chinese, it is hard for them to understand. Wang Zhongwei, 48, said “Homosexuality is the social evil; we should educate and lead them into the right track with the power of society, family and morality.”
Facing all kinds of questioning and misunderstanding, Hou says he does not care.
In his alma mater, Northeast Normal University, seems no one would like to join his movement. Nothing is in his definite control. The organizer worried about the sharply drop of the smile faces, from averaging 100 to dozens a day in recent.
He mentioned, “The good thing is more and more common people likely to join Smile for Gay offline.”
Charity groups, student unions, and more individuals from almost 50 Chinese cities have been flocking on the street to request more supports. Hou said this can be regarded as the parade.
Hou is planning the photo exhibition as the event tides up. In his microblog updates, he is ready to come out to his parents. “Self break through is what we need to do,” he said.
Since i became part of Fudan J-school, My journalistic idealism has been inspired: stregnthen China’s weak international voice. However, the more i engaged in international journalism as an intern in a China’s institute like VOA, the less enthusiastic i got because I think China’s media strategy has in-depth probblems, which i resonate with Bai Yansong’s speech the other day.
Bai Yansong(白岩松), the most influential journalist in China, adddressed the CRI staff in a coffee shop. His points on journalism are really insightful and straightforward.As the western media criticised that Chinese media is famouse for lackage of humanity, Bai says China media may choose the right fact and the news-worthy stories, however, all it engraves are collective spirits or collective life, like a who’s who is comdoling the low-income families for the sake of the party greatness, or who is martyred for public interest. Under such media context, nothing is big, no disaster is warmful, no meeting is great ect. The party leaders are always right, no matter what they say must be printed on the papers. The authority says something that the media can hardly be challenged. The media just try to explain what the authority has said or decided with more palpable examples.
take an example from the latest hot issues in China. 18 students from Fudan got stranded in a Huangshan Mountain valleys for 8 hours without food and water for 7 hours. The student sent SOS to the local police, who sent about 200 staff to rescue them. However, one police called Zhang Ning hai martyed on the rescue process. The party news paper says how the students were successfully rescued by the police, how the local leaders wisely organised all the rescue and how brilliant the cooperation between Shanghai Police and Huangshan Police etc. This patterm of writing news has become very inhuman. all this news has been focused on the collective image of the police, the government. No focuse is targeted on a single person, like how one of the student was reacted to the rescue, or how the martye’s father was responding to the tragedy.
The talking point returns to the collective portray of our lead , our government in the news writing. Even every details serve for the collective purpose. Like the police, if he dies he must die for his people. Like the leader, if he works, he must say he work for the people. No individualism is reflected in the news writing, which is very dangerous. Firstly, Our readers are no fool any more, they want critical think. They want their own independent idea. Why every meeting is great? every public servant serve the people? People can have different perspective, things can be another half two. Opinion can vary from one person to another. Secondly, general portray has no effect at all. If we say this meeting is successful, it is just a lifeless paragraph. All we need is to think why the meeting is unaminously taken as successful, is there any opponent? What kind of pros and cons of the meeting? Only tell us more details, the readers can really be impressed.
As Bai said in his address. Our journalism has been too much fact-oriented. We have the best fact, the best source, or even the best quotes, however, they are all not approachable for ordinary people The reporting has went to astrays for many years. When we decide our headline with our top leaders, not the natrual disasters, our reports have become the photo frame of our leaders or the amplifier of their voices. In this way, we may have sidelined our audience, because we don’t respect them, we don’t satisfy their information needs. I think Bai is right. The leaders are very important in our news, but too much spotlight on them can alleviate the audience.
Dear Prof. Shel Israel:
I am Shawn Lei, a journalist from Today @Beyond Beijing, China Radio International. I have just read your book Twitterville about the importance of social media, which contains a number of case studies on how individuals and companies have used Twitter to extend their reach out to lots of people, unlike any tool that they have probably used before.
Twitterville has been translted into Chinese last January, four months after Sina.com.cn, China’s biggest portal launched its Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo. Weibo has been played a very important role in China in 2010.Weibo has become an interactive channel between the government and the taxpayers, an opinion tool for relatively free expression and a ways for commercial promotions etc. Micro blog becomes such an influential tool in China, which strongly should give the thanks to Twitterville because it helps to promote the ideaology and methodology of micro blog.
The year 2010 is branded with the Year of Weibo by many Chinese media. In 2011, Weibo will play a more important role to China.
Under this context, Today wants to invites you to join our latest topic discussion: Micro blog development in China.
We warmly welcome Prof. Shel Israel can offer us a comparative perspective from American’s social media situation.
Time: January. 13, Thursday, 10-11am, Beijing Time. That will be 9-10pm in Washintong Time.
How to participate: Please provide us a landline telephone number so that one of our team will be able to call you ten minutes before the show to establish the connection and check your voice level as well as get you associated to other guests and the hosts. A backup phone number is always appreciated.
Language: English only. A draft of talking points will be sent to you via email by one of our hosts a day before the discussion. You’re also welcome to raise your own talking points and exchange ideas with us.
About the show: Today, China Radio International’s flagship news chat show, is broadcast live Monday through Friday on AM846, Beijing, China; FM88.0, Canberra and FM104.9 Perth, Australia; AM 570，Northern California, AM 1540, Galveston, TX, AM 1320, Houston, AM 880, Hawaii, USA; FM 97.9, Ottawa, and AM1540, Toronto, Canada.
The show will be rebroadcast on CRI relay stations worldwide.
Looking forward to your confirmation.
Here is the post link, http://www.ftchinese.com/story/001031189/en
Here is the comments from the readers:
A reader from Zhengjiang province:
This post has something subjective, but it well goes with our thoughts. The Hainan development is the same like the Pearl River Delta two decades ago: follow the way central government points at and never goes the opposite. But this way still has different advance for different people: the rich becomes richer, average people makes small fortune and the penniless just doesn’t get starved. Does this development do good or bad to the Hainan locals?
From one point of view, the development of Hainan, which is emphasized by the government and attracts lots of investment, is a good thing. Not only it can fuel the local economy, but also will add more employment. All in all, the local can live a better-off life. However, currently lots of capital from other provinces has sky-rocketed the housing prices, while the local salary can’t be improved in the short term (so the local can’t buy their own houses), which will cause discontentment among the locals. But in the long run, the whole development will do more good than bad to this island.
Ironically， the Pearl River Delta region is mainly consisted of private firms, and it has more political-rich connections with small scales. Hainan mainly consist of tourism industry, which demands lots of infra structure for good-quality recreational services, and these can only be done by the government’s negotiating with the superrich. So the small bosses are still waiting the superrich to finish all the infra structure before their entering. Now the Hainan development is still in the process of building infra structure and lots of politician-rich connection looms large. In this sense, Hainan can’t get away with its guilt. The politician-rich connection is seen everywhere, today and yesterday. But in some places, such connections are underground. We can see the less developed an area is (like in Hainan), the more obvious the politician-rich connection is and the less interest involved in such connection. On the contrary, in the developed areas (like in Shanghai), Beijing, the political leaders know how to act in a low profile but they may be connected with worse corruption.
In China, you can’t achieve anything without good relation with the authority and no one can stop the authority if the authority wants to do something. I have to say this is a problem of structure or a fundamental problem. If we can not restructure this in a fundamental way, everyone would know what its opportunity cost is. Definitely speaking, it is very difficult to reform because in China the historical leaders won’t give up the power and interest in their hands until they have to.
It is useless to open your mouth to curse, or shut up or harbor discontentment inside, and it is more useless when you express nothing. When we lamenting that we can’t help, we wish the Hainan locals will live a better of live, though all we can do is just wish with sighs. Finally, I want to express my indistinct concern. Hainan is very near to two different systems, the mainland’s communist and the capitalism in Hongkong and Macau, also it is at the frontier of the disputable Southern China Sea, which has strategic importance. I hope its complicated surrounding won’t bring too much trouble to this island.
a reader from Beijing
This thing can only happens in China, a miraculous country. In the golf development, only the developer and the government official make fortune. Who will care about whether the average people is having porridge (live a simple life) or starving?
A reader from Jiangsu province:
I can conclude this article has reflected that China’s development has been confronting a bottleneck which is very hard to overcome: because of our short-sighted pursuit for utilitarian GDP and income growth, we have only built a very good-looking window dressing, that is, we develop our economy by land acquisition and relocating people rather than emphasize technology and education innovation,and our “powerful” economy is like an obesity with kinds of health problems. just look at the people who get rich first, the either ends up with losing their money in outbound casinos,or trying to transfer money overseas. I guess Hainan not only need world first-class courses, casinos or even erotic places, which will spring up in the coming years. Because this is the only way we can develop Hainan, what a tragedy.
A reader from Shanghai
最近看了一本书，叫做The Great Crash 1929，是讲的美国1929年大崩盘的故事。里面讲到了佛罗里达的地产狂热，最疯狂的时候，连海底下的地都有人高价买了。一场飓风过后，佛罗里达一片狼藉，人们才认识到佛罗里达不只是有宜人的海滩和温暖的气候，也有令人不快的一面。之后，佛罗里达的地产泡沫就破灭了。
I get resonated with the article after reading an American book called The Great Crash in 1929, which describes the Florida property boom. To the greatest craziness, the lands even undersean were sold at skyrocket prices. Then after a hurricane, Florida was in chaos. people waked up from housing mania and realized that they not only have beatiful beach and warm climate in Florida, but also they have something unpleasant,the houses. Later on the property bubble broke in Florica.
Hainan had the same history in the 1990s,when lots of hourse were left unpatronaged, but this time Hainan is walking the same way, which may copy the Florida example.