Category Archives: Genius Time

扎堆儿就要抱团儿: New Group Blog

So about a month ago, Jeremiah sent around an e-mail to a few China bloggers pointing out that our individual blogs were gathering dust faster than Jiang Zemin’s corpse. I am paraphrasing here, but let’s run with the image for a bit:

In the same way that massive intracardiac injections of adrenaline and periodic applications of lightning have failed to reanimate Mr. Jiang for any serious length of time (and let’s not even get started on what happens to him in direct sunlight), my occasional feelings of guilt at neglecting this space have not actually turned it back into a functioning blog. Like the entity known in life as Jiang Zemin, it jerks to life every now and then, generally around major anniversaries or media events, then recedes back into the darkness whence it came. It is also, frankly, starting to smell pretty ripe.

At any rate, Jeremiah proposed that we start a new group blog, partly to exert positive peer pressure on one another, and partly as a way of moving conversations that we were already having from Twitter to a space that afforded more room to blather. That space is, and the blather has already begun: see Jeremiah’s introductory post, Zheng-ing the Ming, for an explanation of the blog. We’ve got a pretty awesome group of writers on the blog — me, Jeremiah, Will “Imagethief” Moss, Dave “sGoneChina” Lyons, and the lovely and talented YJ — and things are off to a good start. My first post is “Thar Be Dragons,” a sincere and earnest call for a better grade of bullshit about China.

Which leaves the question of what will happen to this blog.
I’ve been blogging on since 2001, and would feel bad about abandoning the site, despite having basically unofficially done so ages ago. The plan, I guess, will be to have a certain amount of interplay between the two sites: I’ll post the first paragraphs of my posts here, and the first paras of my posts over there. updates will probably end up having to do mostly with current events; updates will be more personal and/or nerdy. (Some of the nerdy stuff will also end up on Paper Republic — yet another blog I have failed to pull my weight on. I’m working on a post about the word 剩女 right now, for instance.)

As Will says in his post about

This is an experiment for all of us. We’re not sure that it’s going to work, but we’re excited about it. These are pretty lean days for China blogging, with much of the fun and banter now on Facebook and Twitter. Those are great platforms, but for those of us who like to write, blogging still has its charms. Someone has to save China blogging, dammit. And we think we’re the people to do it.

That site once again is I hope you’ll dig it.

Soft Power从我做起

OK everybody, it’s Genius Time: I’m going to write a screenplay.

It’ll be a romantic comedy for the 90后 teenyboppers. Premise: two online censors meet cute when they accidentally delete the same forum thread. The entire thing will be shot indoors, preferably in bad lighting, with all dialogue to be overdubbed slightly out of sync in keeping with local tradition. Virtually all of the scenes will take place in the faceless cubicle farm where Boy Censor and Girl Censor work. There’ll be a romantic dinner in the office canteen, the two of them leaning gradually closer together over stamped-tin trays of reheated mystery fish, Boy Censor’s knockoff Zippo flickering merrily beside them in lieu of candlelight.

There’ll be the standard-issue rom-com musical montage, but halfway through there’ll be an obvious, externally imposed cut to remove all sex scenes, comic misunderstandings, conflict, and doubt that the ending will be anything but happy. We close on a shot of Girl Censor’s hand on the mouse, preparing to click “Delete” on some troublesome forum topic — then on his hand covering hers, moving the mouse slightly to the right, and clicking “Delete All.”

Working title: You’ve Got Meiyou.