Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category
Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, June 4, 2016
Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, January 15, 2015
A great many people have recently come out in support of the publication Charlie Hebdo, with the declaration “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I Am Charlie”. That’s fine with me, and I totally understand those sentiments. I share some of them. But MyLaowai is not Charlie; it is MyLaowai.
To put things into sharp focus, it is the policy of Team MyLaowai to support criticism of Islam. And Christianity. And Judaism. And any of the other weird and wonderful ‘beliefs’ people sometimes have.
Also, whenever possible, dictators and elected representatives, the police, the military (including the men and women who serve under arms). Parents are not given a free pass, nor are schoolteachers. Presidents and Kings and Queens and Generals are fair and legitimate targets. In fact, anyone in a position of power or authority can and should be open to criticism.
When you are in a position of power or authority, it is free and open and above all public criticism that helps keep you honest. The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t allow that, nor does Kim Jong-Un, to give a couple of examples. But what about the people who feel offended by criticism, direct or implied? Don’t those people have a right to not be offended?
No. In places where human expression is a value that is valued, if you don’t like what someone is saying, you have a whole slew of options available to you – you can simply not listen, you can make counter-arguments, or you can even try to persuade people to change their minds. And you can certainly harden the fuck up and grow a thicker skin. Hearing things you don’t like is a part of life in any sane society, it can even be educational at times, and the sooner you learn to deal with it in a mature fashion, the better and happier you and your society will be. And if you are in any way a civilised person, you will step in to support the underdog in almost every situation.
Well, what about so-called ‘hate speech’? Should Neo-Nazi’s and Communists and Tea Party spokespeople and anti-abortionists and anti-gay marriage activists and other dribbling idiots be allowed to preach violence at all and sundry? That’s not where we should automatically draw the line, but it is precisely the place where we need to examine where lines might be drawn. You might think that’s an easy one, that preaching violence against a group is clearly wrong, but what about the oppressed peoples of the world who live until the heel of a powerful and dictatorial regime and who have tried unsuccessfully for decades to win their freedom by peaceful dialogue? I wouldn’t draw the line against them, though I’d understand it if you did. A better way to look at it, would be to look at who has power and who does not, and in general terms I think most reasonable folks would say that those without power have a greater right to express themselves against those who do. And what is the difference between saying that you support people who commit violence, and actually committing that violence yourself? A big one. I should very much like Tibet and East Tukestan to be freed, and on this point you may agree or differ. But not many of you would argue that it was morally wrong to free the oppressed peoples of France in 1943, for example. And from this we can see that the exact same lines have been drawn in different places, because they were politically or practically expedient to do so. That is morally wrong, but it is a geopolitical reality that I can’t change.
I wouldn’t want to be the guy who drew up the laws that define precisely where the lines are, though, which is one reason why I’d rather criticise a politician than be one myself. The best I can do is draw my own lines, try to persuade you that they are drawn correctly, and be open to you changing my mind instead. It has happened before.
So what I can, perhaps, change, are my own beliefs, and the beliefs of the people I speak with. I know people who actually believe that the current Emperor of China is a good guy. Wow, I’m as opposed to that point of view as it’s possible to be, but rather than get all hot under the collar, I try to talk them around. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not, but they remain people all the same. I know people who criticise my country. Fine with me – if you say something I disagree with I shall do my best to set you straight, just as I do when someone criticises your country in a manner that I feel is unjustified.
So, my personal line is drawn in a personal position, and that is a position you may share or not. I shan’t burst into tears if yours is different. But I will say this: be very careful when you feel a sense of outrage or wish to support someone out of a sense that is not your own, because that is when you are most likely to overreact and, in so doing, actually reduce the rights of the powerless to free speech.
MyLaowai is not Charlie, because the lines here are drawn differently. We do, however, support Charlie Hebdo’s absolute right to say the things they wish to say, as well as the absolute right of anyone to not agree with them. But not to pick up a gun as a way of winning the argument.
I hope you think about this issue, and think on it long and hard. Not because you should share the view here, but because the better people understand the issues and the more they have thought about their own positions and why they hold them, the less likely they are to pick up that gun themselves, except in extremis.
Thank you. Normal programming will now resume.
Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, May 5, 2014
I see it, but I don’t believe it. I thought my skin pretty thick by now, but the incessant claims that China invented everything is really starting to go too far.
Zhu Muzhi, president of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, claims the famous phrase “Let them eat cake” is an alteration of a much older, and of course Chinese, anecdote: “An ancient Chinese emperor who, being told that his subjects didn’t have enough rice to eat, replied, ‘Why don’t they eat meat?'” The phrase was attributed to Emperor Hui of Jin in Zizhi Tongjian.
In the 1700’s, there was obviously so much trade with China, that a phrase 1700 years old, and one none of us have heard in Mandarin nearly as common as the usage of the English translation of the original French meme, spread so prolifically that french peasants were repeating it. ROFLMAO!
I guess the China Society for Human Rights Studies thought if they called themselves The Society for Enforcing a China-Centric World their published works might not be so willingly consumed. Ever see My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Great film… and contains a character (the Greek father) who claims every word in the world comes from a Greek root. Reminds me of Zhu Muzhi…
It’s an unfortunate trend that is starting to pop up all over Wikipedia, now that they have decided to harmoniously unblock it from the Great Firewall. With their new requirement for disclaimers I imagine the talk page for the Eat cake entry would say something like “Zhu Muzhi: I work for the mob that requires China to be God, the one true creator of all.” Or would it? Sneaky bastards these Chinese…
This post was invented in China, just after the MyLaowai blog, 5000 years ago.
Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Brace yourselves, because this doesn’t happen often. I am about to defend something in China.
In recent days, a Chinese seller of Chinesein China has been persecuted by some angst-ridden fucktards whose parents obviously never taught them to mind their own fucking business, and those dolls are no longer for sale.
The hate-mongering wanksocks who orchestrated the anti-free market and anti-consumer choice campaign against this purveyor of marital aids were, of course, American. From New Jersey, no less. Fuck, I can feel the bile rising in my throat already. The founder of the anti-freedom organisation responsible, one Kelly Master, is someone I have fortunately never had the misfortune to meet, and I’ve been bruising my knees praying to a fictitious God that I never do. That said, she is no doubt the kind of dried-up minge who thinksis far too racy for young girls to be exposed to. She no doubt firmly supports a complete ban on the eating of bananas, on account of how sexually suggestive that can be. She obviously has cobwebs in her cooch, too.
I mean, seriously? It’s a sex doll. It’s not like it’s going to run about the world telling everyone else how they should live and drop bombs on some poor fucking village from a Predator drone, or force people into ‘stress positions’ until they confess to believing in the wrong imaginary God or whatever. It’s. Just. A. Sex. Doll. Get a fucking life already Kelly. It’s less real than my right hand. It’s the same real as a coffee cup. A coffee cup doesn’t make most folks turn to pedophilia, not even the ones filled with Starbucks coffee.
Here’s what the doll looks like:
As you can observe, it has the same expression that every middle-aged Chinese woman has. It has the same body shape too. Same hairstyle, same lifeless eyes, same fashion sense. Obviously, it is a recreation in plastic and latex of a middle-aged Chinese woman.
I haven’t the faintest fucking idea why anyone would want to buy one of these things. It’ll be no better to have sex with than any other Chinese woman, though to be fair it is unlikely to be any worse, either. But thanks to you, Kelly Master, you moistureless, wizened skank, thanks to you I am going to buy one of these dolls. I am going to install it permanently in the passenger seat of the Aston. And I shall put up a little sign next to it, that reads:
“At Least This Bitch Knows How To Mind Her Own Fucking Business”.
Have a nice day folks. I’ve got people to fire.
Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, January 3, 2013
We have recently concluded a deal that involved receiving bids from prospective suppliers. Of the serious contenders, three were from China and one was located in Japan. We yesterday announced to all parties that the Japanese won the bidding process and have got the deal. This was greeted with whines and anger, with two of the Chinese parties demanding to know why we didn’t pick them. Why? Here, for the hard-of-thinking, are the reasons:
1. When the Japanese come to my office, they have washed and brushed their teeth. I therefore am prepared to listen to them for longer. They are also more polite, or, put another way, they have heard of manners and practise using them. When we eat together, I am not repulsed.
2. The Japanese have never stolen my trade secrets, as have the Chinese. This matters even more than personal hygiene.
3. The Japanese made me privy to their reasoning and were very open and honest with me about absolutely every aspect of the deal. The Chinese were as transparent as a concrete wall and refused to discuss the reasons why their proposals were structured the way they were. Thus, although the Japanese bid was the most expensive, I completely understand why this should be so.
4. I trust the Japanese. Amazingly, I trust the Japanese even though my grandfather fought against them in the Second World War. Seems strange, perhaps, but I just feel that one shouldn’t base one’s entire world-view on something that our ancient ancestors did long before we were even twinkles in the milk-man’s eye. On the other hand, two of the Chinese parties actively tried to bribe their way into the deal, and the other was overheard making disparaging comments about foreigners in China. It seems unlikely that I can trust them.
5. Most of all, however, even more important than all the rest of this, is the fact that the Japanese came back to me with an on-time bid that was comprehensive and answered all the questions. None of the Chinese parties did. Oh sure, they complain now that it isn’t their fault that their email wasn’t working and that they had problems accessing some of the reference documents that were kept in the Google Docs folder, and that their Dropbox was never synched, and that they couldn’t use their VPN’s to access my servers. You know what? I don’t care. I don’t give one single, solitary groat’s worth of shit. For all I care, you can walk East until your head floats. Fuck you, in fact. Fuck you, your mother, your father, your entire fucking family, your neighbours, people who have loaned you money, fuck you all. Your country, your government, and your Party that you are so proud of in front of me, your fucktarded internet controls that you refuse to protest, your oh-so-fucking wonderful Sina and QQ and Weibo and Youku and Baidu and all the rest of your stolen technology, these have done sweet fuck all to help you to compete on the simple, level playing field I set before you. The Japanese, quite frankly, were better than you, their system was better than yours, their country is better than yours, their culture is better than yours, and although their price wasn’t better than yours, I do guarantee that their quality will be better than yours too.
Happy New Year, Mr. Fujimoto. Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu, kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, March 15, 2011
A few years ago I was on the phone to a client, and he asked me what the time difference was between where he was and China. I replied: “Four hours and four hundred years behind you”.
But China is also 72 hours behind the rest of the world, because it always takes three days for any news at all to filter through the censors, if it ever does. It has always been thus.
And yet, within 72 minutes of Japan being rocked by a massive natural disaster, the news was on every television, in every public place, on buses, in subways, everywhere. Imagine my surprise.
My attention was drawn to this by groups of people, mostly young adults, standing around public propaganda television screens and cheering loudly. Imagine my not-surprise.
It is true that not all Chinese people are outwardly expressing joy at the tragic situation Japan is facing – I have spoken to a number of Chinese people who simply don’t care either way, and more who are actually quite upset. Well, they would be, of course, because their customers and/or suppliers are Japanese and they stand to lose a lot of business.
In case you are wondering whether China has offered to send any support or rescue teams, the answer according to ChinaDaily is a resounding YES! Mind you, if you read the small print you may notice the true answer is that an NGO team that happens to be based in China is going, and that the Party and People of the world’s second largest economy with the world’s largest cash reserves have refused point-blank to countenance any help at all.
Just to put things in perspective, Japan has been the single largest contributor to the success of China’s economy, giving hundreds of billions of dollars in the form of soft loans, development aid, direct investment, and so on. It is no exaggeration to say that most Chinese people would still be living in mud huts without the generous assistance given to them freely by Japan. In 2008, when western China was hit by a large earthquake, Japan was one of the very first nations to offer condolences, support, rescue teams, and humanitarian aid. No one in Japan was laughing or cheering.
And so, once again, we see why China and the Chinese people are not fit to play a role on the world stage. Kel surprise.
Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, June 4, 2010
It’s June 4th. But no one actually seems to either know what that means, or care if they do.
At least it’s also a Friday.
Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, July 24, 2009
The Chinese Communist Party, under the leadership of Chairman Hu Jintao, is warning Australia to keep out of China’s ‘internal affairs’ in the case of the Rio Tinto employess who are being held hostage for political reasons. China Daily, the Party mouthpiece, has had the following headlines recently:
Australia urged to treat Rio Tinto spy case ‘properly’
China urges Australia to respect judicial sovereignty
Australia urged to respect judicial sovereignty in Rio case
It seems the Chinese take a dim view of bribery and corruption, and want to be seen to be taking a hard stance. Strange, therefore, that all news of the Nuctech case is being blocked.
Wait, Nuctech? What’s that?
Chinese Govt. mum on $3.7 million fraud
THE Chinese Embassy has declined to comment on the $3.7 million X-Ray equipment fraud involving Chinese manufacturer Nuctech Company, despite the fact that it is headed by Hu Haifeng, the 38-year old son of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The official spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek, who preferred to be named only as Mr. Yang told [the press] that the embassy was not prepared to say more than: “We will take the necessary steps.”
The charges are connected to a contract for the supply of security scanners to the Ministry of Finance. It was awarded to a Chinese company, Nuctech Company, and was marred by alleged corruption and the payment of kickbacks to the tune of as much as a third of the contract price of some $3.7 million.
Search engines in China, including Google Inc.’s local site, are blocking news on a graft case in Namibia involving a company once headed by the son of President Hu Jintao.
Hu Haifeng is the former president of Beijing-based Nuctech Co., a maker of security scanners involved in a corruption probe in Namibia. Investigators want to talk to him to get information about the company.
A search on Google’s Chinese Web site using the characters for “Hu Haifeng” and “Namibia” results in the following message in Chinese: “The search results may involve material that may not be in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, unable to display.”
The restrictions show the extent to which the government is working to contain news of the case, which may embarrass President Hu as he cracks down on official corruption. A Beijing court this month gave a suspended death sentence for bribery to Chen Tonghai, former chairman of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s largest refiner.
“Google’s operations in all countries worldwide must comply with local laws, regulations and policies,” said Marsha Wang, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for the company. Because of that, “some search results are not shown.”
MyLaowai calls on the Chinese Government to treat the Nuctech case properly, and to respect Namibia’s judicial independance. Oh yeah, and hand over Hu Jintao’s grubby-fingered boy at once.
Corruption in the Hu family? Like father, like son…