amberite_archive: (cosmonaut milk)
From a Chinese blogger, Jenny Zhu, on Google's response to China - and China's response to Google. I'm quoting about half the post here, because it sent shivers down my spine:

"In my humble observation, this might pan out to be an crucial event that could shape China’s history by awakening its young, fledgling civil society.

(...) We want to believe that our government would one day realize its strategies have to change in the 21st century even when it has repeatedly made authoritarian and outdated decisions with regards to the web and many other issues. We might even have fervently defended our government when it is criticized or ‘attacked’.

(...) Many of us are ambivalent at best about issues like free/speech, human/rights and censorship, because we don’t know going against the establishment would be the best way to bring about change in China. And frankly, many of us are disengaged from politics because we don’t have the courage to pay the price.

But today, a company who has brought us a fresh way of thinking and outstanding services is forced to pull out from China. Unlike, to be honest, the detachment and ‘how we go again’ sentiment we feel when people are shouting ‘free XXX’, we actually feel a personal stake in it... Google is on the right side of history. I am bringing flowers to them."



This. This is a voice like the real voices I have heard. Hot damn.
amberite_archive: (cosmonaut milk)
Oh, yes, the Nanjing trip. Brief report, photos forthcoming. So: I can say pretty heartily that if I wanted to relocate internationally with my family for six months or so, Nanjing would be near the top of the list. It's a comfortably large city -- people obey traffic laws there much more frequently than they do in Yangzhou, and the university district is full of expats and expat hangouts and local versions of expat hangouts, proper bars and coffee shops and restaurants charging a pittance compared to what they'd cost back home. The smog is pretty bad, but it doesn't *feel* as bad as a smog day of similar badness in Yangzhou, and I'm assuming that's due to all the large trees and viney foliage that occupy every street: more oxygen to battle for square footage with the good old-fashioned coal crud. The Jasmine International Hostel is a fine place to stay for about $6/night. Oh, and the cheap DVD shops are quite quality.

Let me review, for posterity, the Chinese mafia edition vs. the official edition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Edition:IllegalLegal
Quality:The season by season ones are 6 eps/disc and pretty decent. The 'full edition' (irony quotes explained below) is 24 eps/disc and looks like someone saved it as a jpeg at 1%. Half the episodes won't play. Well, you get what you pay for. And I paid five bucks. Lush. It had better be, at that price! But how many of the people who actually made the thing will get a reasonable cut of it?
Completeness:Missing, for some reason, the second half of season 2. Censorship is my theory, but why? Does Angelus make some kind of offhand 'Free Tibet' remark somewhere?1 It's not like there's no sex, even underage sex, in the rest of it.Complete. Well, duh.
Blurb Copy:In Chinese, and English... more or less.2In English.
Fair Wages for Writers:Nope....And nope. Kind of puts this whole legality thing in perspective. 3


--

In other news, I've been in a panic over generally feeling shitty -- because lots of nasty syndromes are flagged by generally feeling shitty -- and then today I officially came down with another viral crud. The cold virii here are different from the ones in the States -- the previous time also started with several days of idiopathic feeling-like-shit4, including indigestion, followed by a sore throat for several days with a bad postnasal drip and a headache, then followed by the usual cold. The sore throat isn't quite as bad this time. At least I'm getting it over with before my vacation.

Fu Xing is a holy terror now and has names in six languages. English: Mr. Awesome. French: Rominet (the French name for Sylvester the Cat.) Korean: Navi -- courtesy of the Korean prof's daughter. Spanish: Pepe -- courtesy of a Mexican traveler I met in the hostel in Nanjing. Uyghur: Kaisar, which means hero.

That's right, the kitten now has a name in Uyghur. This is the result of a friendship I struck up a few weeks ago, which has its own funny associated story. I was trying to get home from the supermarket after 7:00 PM, which is always a dodgy prospect around here, and couldn't figure out from the various private buses' drivers if anyone was going my way. Finally a pleasant stranger showed up speaking English and helped me find the right one.

It wasn't leaving for a long while, so we got to talking. He's from the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, he's a mechanical engineer at an international company, and he likes his job because he gets along very well with expats, better than he gets along with most Chinese. He's more or less an expat himself due to the weird "all these countries are China, yet they're really not" thing. I find him very comfortable to be around -- perhaps because his enculturation seems to carry a concept of personal space that's lacking in the cities of Eastern China. At that time we had a rather hurried conversation -- he had to go -- but I mentioned I'd found a kitten, a baby cat with no mother, and was feeding and raising it and it was hard work...

His eyes widened, but I thought maybe he wasn't used to cats. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, agreed to chat about science fiction, maybe go out and have coffee...

A few days later, he called me and said, "I've talked to my friends and asked them what to do; they think you should bring it to the police."

I think you know where this is going. I was completely confused and didn't connect this to anything at all. I thought I'd misheard him. "What?"

"Bring it to the police, or a hospital..."

"Huh?"

We went through this routine a couple more times.

"Bring what to the police?"

"The baby."

The light dawned. "Oh! Oh no. No, not a baby person! A baby cat."

He was silent on the other end of the line. Then, finally, "A baby....cat?"

"Yes. Baby cat. Xiao mao." I made kitten noises into the phone. He started laughing.

"A baby cat! And I've been so worried these few days..."

In between laughing and apologizing for the embarrassment, we both agreed it would make a great story. We went out to tea yesterday and had a great conversation about our respective lives and cultures, and I asked him if he'd contribute another name for the list. So Fu Xing is now also Kaisar.

1Oh noes! Banninated! Wait, LJ's already banninated. Yay Tor!

2From the back of the 'full' S2: "Actress is one called Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar playing) girls, and a group of her high school friends Willow, Xander and her guardian Giles (on the surface of planets is the identity of the school librarians) with right Anti - Vampire story to, because they live in town Sunnydale is the door to hell where, in addition to vampires, other Many also often the devil. Solar energy is natural, making all kinds of evil against her and her friends to her She also help in the operation to redouble their might..." Ah, don't you love computer translations?

3Mind, in the States I'd be getting them from the library or borrowing from several friends, unless I were to finally get a decent job or some other sort of windfall. But even in that event, I'm not buying any official DVDs from the major corporations until the writers get a better deal.

4malaise, I know. But I love to mix my medical and slang vocab. Booyah!

*facepalm*

Nov. 8th, 2007 08:13 pm
amberite_archive: (Default)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_notable_websites_blocked_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China is part of the general Wikipedia lock against editing by people using open proxies.

Oh, Wikipedia. Right hand, meet left hand... you'd get along great... really...

*ded of the stupid*


(...and yes, I know there are supposedly workarounds. I just don't feel like fussing around for two hours just to fix a spelling error. Here's how useful they are, anyway.)


On a side note, Rebecca MacKinnon just covered Chinese BloggerCon most awesomely.

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