Monday, February 27, 2012

The Soul of China.

What do you think that is?

It's apropos of part of a follow-up to an email received last week:

Most of Chinese live, but only live...
1/ I got some info. from web, over 110,000 officers of China took over 5000 billion (781billon $) out of China.
2/ Many officer of China are China nationality, but only he/she was, his/her family are USA...
3/ China government news: previous minister of China Railways, defalcated 2 billions ...
As an american, took justice action for Chinese, I respect you !!
Thanks from [name withheld] !

Corruption is to Chinese what street crime is to Americans: the most demoralizing aspect of society.  The image at top, and those below, are of a...prison in China. A prison reserved for those convicted of corruption. Dr. Weimin Mo sent these to me some weeks ago and they're all over the web.  It made me so angry I couldn't write about it, and I'm not even Chinese. I can only imagine how galling this must be to Chinese.

The other part of the email is "Most Chinese live but only live..."  I'm going to ask the writer to fill in the ellipses. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On Song Binbin.

Here is a computer translation and then the original Chinese of a poem posted yesterday on the site China News Digest,

Elegy: To Song Binbin.

Do you know how many innocent people, 
Cry in celebration of laughter chirped? 
Did you know that behind the crown of honor alumni, 
How many people scolding you are after another murder the culprit? 
You know that 40 years, 
These movements have a huge heart of scars still? 

If you are indeed innocent, 
Please be happy to publish the truth - 
Who was beaten to death with sticks belt the principal? 
If you are so virtuous, 
Please indicate how many people died in the Girls of the dungeon, and denounced the stage? 
If you are the first sad past illness, 
Please advise the hands are still bleeding female bandits, 
As soon as possible to surrender to the law and conscience ... 

Westerners always puzzled, 
This the Mood for Love of the groups of Oriental girl, 
Zende blink of an eye becomes a bloodthirsty ferocious wolves? 
This major issue, 
As the direction of future research. 

Please do not cunningly self-defense, 
It is the salt in these movements are oozing wound.
Do not disguised speak of smb. In glowing terms, 
That is another insult denounced flexor deceased who. 
Do not pretend that the clever minds of the prestigious Dr. 
Will take all the negative details of all forget ... 

Whether or not you personally waving the belt sticks, 
Regardless of the time in the field or behind the scenes, 
How can we escape the guilt of "manslaughter"-- 
Just because your school Red Guard leader, 
Only because you have direct command of numerous bloody criticism overthrow. 
I am afraid that the notoriety of the "initiator", 
The future generation will you wound ... 

I hope a Yuebaifengqing exotic night of insomnia,
You will germinate a trace of a sincere apology and repentance; 
I hope that the flames of the free fraternity of the civilized world,
Conscience to make you freeze for many years of opening; 
I hope some day you can use in good faith,
Action itself free from a history of shame down.







Image: Mark Rothko, untitled painting, black on gray (1969).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On Song Binbin.

The above photo is very grating. Song is second from left, Liu Jin, fifth from left. The occasion was the (2008, I recall) anniversary celebration of the founding of their high school Alma Mater, the best in all of China, where the assistant principal, Bian Zhongyun, was murdered by her students on August 5, 1966.

The alumnae returning for the anniversary produced then-and-now displays of themselves. Song's friends, including Liu, created one for Song; it was the most elaborate. It was over-the-top elaborate and included the iconic photograph of Song pinning a Red Guard armband on Mao on August 18, 1966, just 13 days after Bian's murder. Song was the leader of the Red Guards at the school.

Song refers to the outrage produced by the anniversary celebration in her recent writing. She says she was used by her student-friends, that she told them to focus the tribute they were making for her on her academic achievements only. This photo, and others taken at the time, for example of Song satisfyingly leafing through the tribute booklet open at the page showing her pinning Mao, belie her current claims of umbrage. When she apologies for her "insensitivity" after the murder (which she refers to as "The August 5 Event"), I believe this is one of the things she is apologizing for.  It is evident that Song's apology is not sufficient for many Chinese.

On Song Binbin.

I got the new from : [redacted].
I thanks for all you done for our chinese, took action to the evildoer, for example of SONG.
GOD bless you and USA!
From a Chinese

On Song Binbin.

Email received. Song Binbin is a deeply unpopular figure among Chinese everywhere:


Dear Mr. Lawyer:
 May Buddha bless you and your family. Justice will be done.
 I hope this woman, hidden Nazi in the United States by the justice of punishment.
 Bright will surely come.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I am so proud of the president of my country, and of his family.

There’s another thing on my emergency writing list that Yeeshan Yang’s book brings to mind.

When I first went to Beijing I stayed in a spectacular hotel that topped a place called “Oriental Plaza.”  The subtitle to Ms. Yang’s book is “an oriental fantasy about a Tibetan little nun” (emphasis added).


We’re not allowed to say “oriental” in America unless we’re talking about rugs.  Why?  Why if there’s an “Oriental Plaza” in the heart of Beijing, which is, like, in the Orient, why, if Ms. Yang, who is a very attractive Chinese woman, uses the term in the title of her book, why is it politically incorrect in America?

Because of Edward Said.

Edward Said was a Palestinian who in 1978 wrote a book called “Orientalism” which argued that the term reflected historical prejudice by Westerners toward Arabs and Muslims.  Okay, first of all, wrong: Americans do not use “Oriental” to refer to Arabs and Muslims, Americans use “terrorist.”  Second, what did Said’s book have to do with the price of tea in China?  How did that book make it politically incorrect to use “Oriental” when referring to Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese people?

I don’t know.

Said’s book did not alter discourse in England, which is, like, where Americans got the English language. Only in America.

So yeah, that was on my list. 

Why do I have to act like a guy all the time...Why couldn't I just leave well enough alone. 

Yeeshan Yang, who added me to her facebook page, is...attractive.
Goodness gracious.
Yeeshan Yang added me to her facebook page.  Yeeshan has a book out, I Know What Tear Is: an oriental fantasy about a Tibetan little nun, which I have ordered through Amazon. 

This is Public Occurrences

A happy start to the day to open the computer and see that we have a new member, 白日放歌须纵酒, which, according to Google-translate, means "day sing to be drunken," which is my favorite kind of day. Welcome, 白日放歌须纵酒.

There has never been a time like this at Public Occurrences. It is 9 am as this is written and Google Stats says there have been 979 pageviews today. In 2011 the daily average was 100. There have been 5,900 pageviews so far this month, the previous high, 4,700. In the last two hours: 109 visitors from China; the country in second place, the U.S., 9. Last 24 hours: 1,100 visitors from China, 160 from the U.S. This extraordinary traffic is being driven by the Chinese sites, club.knet, and weibo.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Legacy in China

BUT, it's not too late to get their "Book of the Week." :)

Our Book of the Week

Chinese Posters book


Dear Friends,  

This week's Book of the Week is Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution byLincoln Cushing and Ann Tompkins published by Chronicle Books.  

The Cultural Revolution in China produced thousands of powerful social and political posters inspiring the Chinese people in a sweeping transformation of Chinese society.Chinese Posters collects more than 150 of the most striking of these posters and offers background on their social and political context and production. A perfect companion to the February 22 and March 6 programs at Revolution Books.  
 Chinese Posters is an 144-page large format $19.95 value for only $12 at Revolution Books this week only.

Save one 
4 me!
Click here to hold a copy of
"Chinese Posters" for you. 
NY Revolution Books, 146 W. 26th Street, NYC 10001   212-691-3345
Become a sustaining Friend of Revolution Books to ensure there's a place where people can find the books, the forums, the ferment needed to halt the horrific course the world is on and bring a radically better world into being. Here is where you can join.

A bookstore at the center of building a movement for revolution

Red Legacy in China

Our soul-mates at Rev Books are carrying on the fight
against historical revisionism and for continuous revolution. I do apologize that this is posted after the
event was held :(

Revolution Books is excited to announce the first of two discussions of the just published interview with Bob Avakian:

red detachmentFebruary 22, Wednesday, 7pm at Revolution Books
The Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 led by Mao Tsetung was the high point of the first stage of communist revolution. But it met defeat. How to sum up the achievements, problems, and setbacks of this first stage--so that we can go further and do better in initiating a new stage of communist revolution--is a critical component of Bob Avakian's new synthesis of communism. The interview with Avakian is a wide-ranging and nuanced analysis of the Cultural Revolution.

Raymond Lotta will be leading Wednesday night's discussion. Come out and be part of digging into this inteview. Bring your questions and raise your understanding of the Cultural Revolution...this pivotal chapter in the struggle for human emancipation. The second discussion will be taking place on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 pm (taking up the role of art under socialism).
Revolution Books / Libros Revolución
146 W. 26th St (btwn 6th & 7th Aves)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Song Binbin Effect."

Graph of pageviews per day, January 23-February 22, 2012:

Countries of readers for 24-hour period ending February 21, 2012, 3 pm:

United States
Hong Kong
United Kingdom

Monday, February 20, 2012

Are you interested in anything right now?  Me neither.

There seems to be a lull in the world. I keep an emergency list of things to write about for times like this; that’s why the post on Qatar…Had that one for months…All used up now.

Israel may attack Iran…but they haven’t yet…Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao’s successor, was in America last week…or the week before. I forget.  He went to Iowa…I don’t know why…Maybe they’re stilling having caucuses, I don’t know…God, what a boring place Iowa seems…Just take a xanax and save the money…Or go to Canada.

Did somebody cut Newt Gingrich’s vocal chords?   Haven’t heard a thing from him…seems like in a while, too.  He is an interesting guy: smart, glib; temperamental, that’s what makes him entertaining, his temper….Boy or boy, I was wrong about New Hampshire sewing up the GOP nomination for Mitt Romney, huh?  Republicans just cannot warm to Romney.  What you read is that conservatives don’t trust him.  I think that’s accurate but I think it would be more accurate to say they don’t think Romney’s “real.”  I get that. Remember the Republicans bumper sticker when Bush43 ran against John Kerry:  “Bush is Real.”  Kerry seemed not:  “Who amongst us doesn’t like NASCAR?”  Remember that one?  Or, “I was for that before I was against it.”  They had a point. I think that’s what bothers Republicans about Romney.  Seeking the soul of Mitt Romney.  I just can’t see the Republicans nominating anyone else—and I don’t think they see themselves nominating anyone else—but this is going to be a shotgun wedding.  Who else are they going to nominate?  Newt?  Puh-lease.  For all his intelligence and conservative bona fides, Gingrich really irritates people, including Republican people. Rick Santorum?  Republicans like Santorum, he’s real to them.  Too real, lost-his-Senate-seat-by-18-points, too real. It’s the “Pennsylvania Paradox:”  a very important state that has sent one person to the White House in 220 years—and that was James Buchanan. Santorum graduated from Penn State for godssakes.  Not even Ron Paul thinks Ron Paul is a serious candidate. He’s just a cult candidate. No, Romney will be the nominee but it was not “over” with New Hampshire.

Syria…That’s real. Real serious, real bad. I’m just all Arab-ed out.  I’ve read the headlines, never read even one full article…Greece…I’m all Grecian-ed out...Jeremy Lin was a great story...if it hadn't been for Jeremy Lin and my friend Weimin Mo on Song Binbin...I don't know, I'd have been writing a follow-up on Qatar, I guess.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What is that?

That is the skyline of Doha, Qatar.  And that is a big tea pot.  Or coffee pot.  

Why?  I don't know.

This "cutting edge" urban architecture is typical of Qatar:

Qatar is very wealthy. I think I read that it has the highest per-capita income in the world.  So they can spend money on the world's biggest tea pot and the world's biggest pearl.

Qatar is one of America's "friends" in the Muslim world (I think).  Qatar is also home to Al Jazeera (I think).

This stuff is not "real."  Not just "the lagoon is man-made:"  Qatar is not real.  Qataris don't do anything, they
just have oil. Like so many Muslim countries in the Middle East, Qatar exists as a country because it sits on an oil field.  Foreigners pay Qataris to drill the oil, they pay Qataris for the oil once they extract it, they pay Qataris for the sale of the oil. So the whole country has a foreign, "fake" look to it. The best architects and urban planners petro-dollars can buy created Doha's skyline.  

I think I read someplace that no democracy has ever existed in a country where oil was over 40% or 50% of GDP.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On Song Binbin. 在宋彬彬.

For the conclusion to her recent writing, graciously translated by Dr. Weimin Mo, I sincerely commend Song Binbin.


Monday, February 13, 2012

China's Great Wall of Silence: The Murder of Bian Zhongyun.

Below is the original Chinese and then the English translation, courtesy of Weimin Mo, of the conclusion to the recent writing by Song Binbin, aka Song Yaowu, aka Yan Song.  I post this now and will comment after having had a chance to think about it:




The rest of her article is just her recalling and explaining about what happened more than 40 years ago. According to what she said in the article, she was used and messed up by those who tried to exploit the anniversary celebration of her Alma Mater in spite of the fact she had warned them and insisted that only her academic accomplishments should be mentioned. It sounds credible. The above is the last part of the original. The following is the translation:
Over the past 40 years or so, more than once I asked myself why I would be involved in the making of the first large-character poster of my school [at the beginning of CR]. The answer is that at that time my mind was filled with the ideas of how to defend the Party and Chairman Mao, and how to stop capitalist restoration – all in response to the Party’s call to criticize the revisionist line in education and the call for young people to self-consciously experience the tempering of the stormy class struggle. Later on, I came to realize that even though C.R. was a nation-wide political movement, specifically the large-character poster I was involved in played the matter-of-fact role of starting the C. R. in our school. I was part of it. Therefore, I should be responsible for it. As a student at that time of the girls’ school, I can never be able to forget the day of August 5, 1966. The fact that its principal was beaten and tortured to death by its students is not only the greatest ignominy to the girls’ school, but is also the knot which is so difficult to untangle inside me and many of my fellow students. I’ve been blaming honestly myself and unable to forgive myself for delinquency in stopping the violence and insensitivity in response to it, which eventually led to the fact that Ms. Bian, while in the prime of her career, lost her life as a result of suffering unspeakable humiliation and torture at the hands of her own students, the fact that her husband lost his loving wife, and the fact that her children lost their mother. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my deepest regrets to Ms. Bian who fell victim to the August 5 Event. I’d like to apologize to her family and all other administrators and their families who suffered alot during the August 5 Event. When the C.R. was over, I thought of going to see Mr. Wang Jinyao, her husband, to show my regrets in person. Unfortunately, my situation forced me to be extremely careful. In 2006 around Memorial Festival, some of my friends went to see Mr. Wang and present bouquet to Ms. Bian’s picture to express their reflective thoughts over the 40 years as well as regrets and mourning. I wanted to go with them, but I didn’t go, for concerning that my controversial role at that time might further upset him or cause more pains.
The August 5 Event of the Girls School was offspring of the education of class struggle. While the working team sent from above was found to have committed an error, that is, suppressing the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses and was driven out of school, the Party’s media added fuel to fire by calling on people to rebel and liberate themselves by making revolution. As a result, many of the students were thinking how we could catch up with the development of the revolution. On August 5, 1966, some students came up with the idea of rallying and tackling the “sinister gang” head-on. It culminated in violent actions and eventually led to the unfortunate death of Ms. Bian. The education of “class struggle” eventually influenced us in such a cynical way that most of us might feel sympathetic witnessing the school administrators being tortured, but no one dared to speak our mind, to say nothing of standing up against the violence. Our weak persuasions might have slow down the development, but were never able to dismiss effectively the forthcoming rounds of torture and beating. Now I understand, this kind of collective negligence of life is one of the critical causes of this tragedy. Finally, I’d like to say, I am responsible for every word I said above. I will continue to reflect on the past from a perspective that is based on the fact that I share the responsibility for my Alma Mater, for the C.R. victims, and for the history. Above all, I hope this kind of turmoil and tragedy will never happen to our nation, to our country again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The joy experienced by many over Jeremy Lin is eclipsed today by the sadness shared by many more worldwide over the death of popular-song singer Whitney Houston. She was 48 years old.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Joy of America.

There is much joy in New York City today because of Jeremy Lin, and because New York City is located in the United States of America.

Jeremy Lin is a 23 year old professional basketball player for the New York “Knickerbockers” (“Knicks”).  He is American, born in Los Angeles, and is of Chinese descent. Lin graduated from Harvard.  The saying is, “You can always tell a Harvard man but you can’t tell him much.”  Well, you can’t tell a Harvard man on an NBA basketball court. There are too few of them. 

Harvard is not why there is so much joy over Lin; nor is China.  There is so much joy over Jeremy Lin, first, because he has succeeded (America does not take to failures, especially New York Americans).  Last night Lin scored 38 points against the Los Angeles “Lakers,” outscoring their star player Kobe Bryant.  In his three previous games Lin scored 23, 28, and 25 points.

Second, Lin has created so much joy because his stellar performances have been so unexpected. Out of Harvard, Lin was not selected by any NBA team. He played minor league basketball for teams named the Reno “Bighorns” and Erie “BayHawks.”  Americans love underdogs to succeed. It is part of the American dream that one can be born in a log cabin and grow up to be President (Abraham Lincoln), born to a white woman and African man and grow up to be President (Barack Obama), born poor in Scotland, immigrate to the U.S. and become a millionaire (Andrew Carnegie).  And so: of Chinese descent, athletically handicapped by Harvard, out of Reno and Erie, lights up the Lakers with 38 points?  Yeah, Americans are going to go nuts over that.

There was another feel-good story in American sports this past football season. Tim Tebow, as good a human being as there is, proved his doubters wrong by leading his NFL team, the Denver “Broncos” on a long winning streak that culminated in reaching the playoffs.  Tebow however was voted the best player in the country when he was in college.  He was still under-appreciated in the NFL but was not the nobody from Harvard that Lin was.

The stories of Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow are all the more welcome this year because of the Penn State scandal.   It has been the worst year in American sports.  Lin and Tebow have brought joy to people in a country founded on the pursuit of happiness.