Monday, 12 February 2007

The blogger who took on China

Hounded by internet vigilantes, a blogging westerner lothario is pouring scorn on the idea of Chinese justice, says gary jones
Last August, China's internet vigilantes launched a cyberspace manhunt for the 'Chinabounder', a self-styled western lothario who had sparked fury among the men of Shanghai by boasting of his many and varied carnal encounters with Chinese women on his blog, 'Sex and Shanghai'.

A massive backlash followed, characterised by threats of murder and castration from those claiming he had blackened China's good name. The anonymous rake - thought to be a thirtysomething teacher of English in China's most prosperous city - went into hiding and the internet calmed across the Middle Kingdom. National pride was restored and the bumptious foreigner was effectively made impotent.

Now, he has suddenly thrown himself back into the fray, all guns blazing. With a new posting at, dated February 2, he has taken on not just the critics who drove him into silence - "internet idiots so concerned about China's honour and dignity" - but, it seems, the entire Chinese nation.

"Shame on the citizens of China!" he writes. "Your children are dying and your silence is complicit in their death."

The First Post

So there’s this new girl.

She’s quite the head turner. Young, vivacious, full of life, feminine fire to the masculine mud that is so common in China. Even though she’s expected to conform – for everyone must conform in this society – she finds little ways to be an individual – sometimes just her smile, that twist of the body, that sparkle in the eye that is her individuality; or maybe it’s the way she walks into a room, surrounded by people yet still all herself – or the way she answers a question, or asks one. It’s the way she rides her bike, whipping full of life between the more staid cyclists, up on the pavement, dodging between the lampposts. It’s the way she dances to her music, the way she drinks a cup of tea, the way she twirls a pen between her fingers.

From the first time you see her you know she’s special. She’s got that something, that spark of sass, of drive; it animates her, energizes her. She’s full of secrets and laughter, plans and hopes. Her presence fills a room and her absence empties it. She’s not someone you forget. I want to know her, know what her life is, who she is, how, what she thinks.

She’s young, and she’s got her life ahead of her. She’s not going to become a robot, not going to put up with the grind and the shit, with the third-rate university education China offers, with its meaningless lip service to ideas no one believes in. She’s not going to sit through Mao Zedong theory or learn about Hu Jintao’s trite, risible ‘Socialist Countryside’ (that a once great country comes to this!) She’s not going to wear the staid, dull regulation haircut her tutors will want, and she’s not going to get up at 6am in the morning to do their silly physical exercises and go to sleep at 11pm when they put the electricity off. She’s not going to be a good girl for them, quiet, polite, obedient.

Not her. Not for her the three or four years of rinkydink ‘higher’ education nor all the English tests; not for her the semi-slave labor as some prof’s lab flunkey, nor graduation in some cheap, gaudy robe, nor the kindergarten-style routine of the tassel on her mortarboard being moved from left to right. Nor, after that, the fuss and scrape of finding a job, and having to pick out the right clothes and style to make some dull potato of a Chinese guy offer her some shit job with shit wages in a shit firm, with a shit contract that says she must work as many hours overtime as she’s told and must not get pregnant. Not for her the causal abuses of her humanity that getting a job in China requires (for getting a job here is putting yourself on the slave auction block). Not for her putting up with the inept, bashful wooing of office colleagues, their fawning when they chase her and contempt when she declines, nor the constant drip of sexual harassment coded into the country’s DNA; and certainly not marriage to some passionless clod followed by decades of servitude and conformity.

None of this for her.

None of it.


She’ll have no future, she’ll have no life, no chance, no joy, she’ll never grow and develop and explore her potential, what she could be.

Because she’s dead.

Chinabounder Blogspot