• Leftover Women

    Leftover Women

    Chinese women and burden of marriage.

    Posted by on Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Only after many late night conversations with female friends have I slowly begun to grasp the heavy and consuming burden that young women must face in metropolitan cities throughout China.

    The concept of a shengnü or “leftover woman” is a fairly recent phenomenon in Chinese society. The term refers to single women, over thirty, who live in large cities and are often highly educated and well salaried.
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  • The Rape of Europa

    Don’t Be A Dick

    Fenwick Smith's foreign policy.

    Posted by on Monday, June 4, 2012

    Last week, when my doorbell rang at the optimum moment between my boyfriend leaving for work and me leaving for work—a thirty minute gap that seems to be the only time my local police station does any work—I knew who would be waiting even before I wrenched the reinforced steel door open.

    I had my passport, foreign expert certificate and residence permit all primed and ready in a nearby drawer.
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  • Photo © Rian Dundon


    Images from the provincial capital.

    Posted by on Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Rian Dundon, an American photographer who lived in China for 6 years, is trying to fund a new book of photography called Changsha.

    He is currently fundraising through Emphas.is, which is like Kickstarter for photojournalism. There's a month left to support the project. We talked over e-mail about his upcoming book.
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  • Manufacturing #10A (detail) by Edward Burtynsky

    Yet Another Mike Daisey Piece

    A few words on Daisey, truth, beauty, and bitterness.

    Posted by on Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Daisey creating a situation where he shares a real human moment with his interpreter and he touches her hand seems not that problematic—that’s drama. But Daisey claiming to speak to Chinese workers who suffered hexane poisoning, or claiming to have met with secret union workers in clandestine Starbucks meetings seems far more problematic. Why?
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  • Photo © This American Life

    Glass Houses

    On the hypocrisy of This American Life.

    Posted by on Monday, April 2, 2012

    I also found it extremely difficult to listen to the "Retraction" episode of This American Life. I could not even listen to the whole episode—I had to read the transcript. The only way I could have relieved the fury building up inside me, as I listened to that podcast, would have been to slap Ira Glass across the face. I have never heard such sanctimonious, self-serving hypocrisy in my life—not from someone I respect.

    I am going to tell you some things that may shock you.
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Golden Jaguar

All China Can Eat

The salmon sashimi platter at Golden Jaguar is never full. Every time the employee behind the counter slides some on, customers swarm around and snatch them all up.
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Photo © Occupy Together


In a recent podcast comedian Adam Corolla railed against the Occupy Movement generation as America’s new “fucking self-entitled monsters” who “think the world owes them a living.”
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Photo © mfhiatt from Flickr

The Foreign Duckling

In China, no matter what I did, how I primped or what I said, I stood out like an ugly duckling. It was simultaneously freeing and infuriating. I was stared at without pretense, and for the first year it drove me nuts.
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Photo © jasonbchen from Flickr

Working from Home

A month after his release from jail, Ai Weiwei has accepted a guest professorship at the Berlin University of the Arts. But will the Chinese government let him go?
E.J. Bonilla in Mamitas

78: Mamitas (LAFF 2011)

Nichola Ozeki's feature debut leans on emotion rather than structure, and while there is an air of authority helped along by the unobtrusive camera work, the film knows its heart is in the classic Bildungsroman.

Anti-social Behavior

China has blocked Google+, or have they? Western reporting on Chinese censorship leaves much to be desired.
Ron and Russell Mael

77: The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman (LAFF 2011)

A Los Angeles story that reflects on the city's cinematic legacy, a clash between the unstoppable force of Hollywood and the immovable object of art cinema, and a display of interdisciplinary virtuosity that's ultimately a love letter to the power of the movies.