• 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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Repression 101

In China, social order is maintained through the one method in which Chinese government has surpassed any country in history in their level of skill, finesse, and achievement: repression.
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The Bird's Nest

The Battle of Beijing

Ai Weiwei's concise and lucid evaluation of Beijing alludes to the myriad indemnities of the city. He ends with a simple conlusion: "Beijing is a nightmare. A constant nightmare."
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Guo Meimei

The Annotated Guo Meimei Interview

On August 3, in her first television interview since the Red Cross Society scandal, Guo Meimei appeared on Ningxia television's "Decoding Finance" with her mother, Guo Dengfeng, to tell her side of the story.
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Carl McLaughlin and David Nordstrom in Sawdust City

60: Sawdust City (LAFF 2011)

Sawdust City is titled after the nickname of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where the film is set. It’s a poignant title in many ways: sawdust is the detritus that’s left behind after the work is done and the finished product is sent elsewhere. It’s also something used to clean up vomit. That’s not a comment on the […]

Evan Tanner in Once I Was a Champion

59: Once I Was a Champion (LAFF 2011)

Gerard Roxburgh's documentary on Evan Tanner is neither hagiography nor exposé, but a heartfelt meditation on the impossibility of ever truly knowing another human being.
The New York Times in Page One: Inside the New York Times

58: Page One: Inside the New York Times (LAFF 2011)

Andrew Rossi spends a year with the Grey Lady and brings back all the news fit for the screen.
© AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

A Chinese in Paris

Li Na's win at the French Open has captured the hearts of the Chinese people, but what does it actually mean?