Photo from Stephan Schobloch’s photostream
When we caught wind of the latest “OMG did you see how much information China censors?” production from the States, a brilliant idea came to our collective mind. As the article provides a short list of topics apparently banned from being discussed in media here, we thought we’d disregard that by discussing them, the most puzzling ones anyway.
1. First up are sex diaries posted to the Internet by enemies of Han Feng, a former tobacco lord from Guanxi province. His relatively low position on the ladder – bureaucrat in Laibin, Guanxi’s 11th (out of 14) most prosperous city – can be used to explain both the lack of oversight which allowed the 50-year old to lead a party life even Ivy Leaguers would envy and the bizarreness that reporting on such an unimportant figure’s fall from grace would be important enough to merit its own entry in China’s “banned” list. It sure does provide for good reading though. In Feng’s own words:
September 26, Wednesday, 21 – 30 ℃, cloudy, bought a LGKW820 dual-mode dual-standby handsets cell phone, spent 3720 yuan then went back to the guests. Went back to the office in the afternoon, processed some documents and talked about sales. Tan wanted to have sex at night, she is going to get married on the 29th and still wants to play with me. This girl is really wild. Went to Guoda and opened up a room, she came at 10 pm, washed up and jumped into bed to do it, great action. Chatted for a while and had sex again in the middle of the night, she was bleeding again. Slept for a bit and did it again in the morning, this time she did not bleed.
2. Next, we have the youtan poluo flower, which recently caused a calamity when a Jiangxi woman apparently found some under her washing machine. While we’d previously reported that we thought it looked like a fungus, fact-based website Environmental Graffiti reported way back in 2009 that:
Some of the mysterious flowers have been identified as the eggs of lacewings – whose females lay their eggs on threadlike stalks, similar to human hairs, to keep them apart and thus prevent cannibalism among the aggressive young after hatching.
EG continues on to explain that some of the lilliputian blossoms are, in fact, flowers and also reveal that the first discovery of the flower in Korea in 1997 occurred just over three millennia after the founding of Buddhism. Whether it’s coincidence, synchronicity or proof that Buddhas walk among us, its inclusion on this list seems nitpicky, quite literally speaking.
3. We most recently reported on the exploits of artist Ai Weiwei and his apparent hand in designing Twitter’s apparent Chinese registration page. Not to be spoken, however, are words regarding a hunger strike that, according to the New York Times, never happened. The incident in question, a group of Beijing artists including Weiwei protesting being unfairly relocated, made its own waves in the media, present company included. Digging deeper, however, we did learn that Weiwei was a participant in hunger strikes at one point in his career:
After the student occupation of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square was broken up in June 1989, he was outraged. He went on an eight-day hunger strike in New York to protest the crackdown.
But really, who didn’t?
4. That is, besides Li Changjiang and Meng Xuenong, two more disgraced former government officials on whose “resurfacing” reporting is discouraged. Mr. Li, who held a quality control position just prior to the breaking of the Sanlu Milk Scandal, is apparently now leading China’s war on porn. Meng, Shanxi province’s governor at the time of the mine implosion, which led to his resignation, is now deputy secretary of the National People’s Congress.
A rundown: graphic accounts of rough-to-the-point-of-bleeding sex; sacred flowers that may, largely, be insect eggs; hunger strikes from 21 years ago; and ousted officials who now have jobs that suck even more than their old ones. Yep, sounds dangerous to us. Ban away!