Can’t keep a good kebab down!

Xinjiang Kebab

 

Blogspot rolled over on my blog, like the panda licking chumps that they are in their feeble attempt to be allowed through the Golden Shower Shield.  But comrades in arms Catherine and Ned adhere to the creed “no man left behind” and gave me a spot on their blog.  Let the good times roll and bring on those scrawny little net bar geeks!

China does bad, bad things and we are here to keep a spotlight on China’s horrible, anti-human behavior, let’s join hands, arms, legs and form a wall that keeps China contained and neutralized!

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26 Responses to Can’t keep a good kebab down!

  1. C.A. Yeung says:

    Nanhe,

    Your post has been published. Sorry for the delay. I had overlooked and didn’t realise there is a post pending. I have just upgraded you to an author. So next time you can publish your own post.

    Welcome once again and I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

  2. Nanhe – I pretty much disagree with most of your assessments of China. However, you’re always good for a laugh, and sometimes you do offer up some valid arguments. Good to see you back kicking and screaming in the virtual world of the English-language China blogsphere.

  3. Ned Kelly says:

    Nanhe, have you been banned from the Felching Panda yet? Oops, I meant the Peking Panda.

    Disclaimer: I have no personal knowledge of the private sexual practices of any pandas, nor of any creature in all of China for that matter. It’s just that those two words, “felching” and “Peking”, sound so much alike.

    Radio broadcast story about “felching”, here: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=W0pNeDMowCY

  4. nanheyangrouchuan says:

    @ Ned,

    Do you mean “The Peking Suck?”. Usually IP blocks have expiration dates, hehehe. As for a “Peking Panda” I can’t keep up on all of the China sites. I’m only human…

    @ MAJ

    Everyone can sense the bias you have towards China due to your entire business/employment future being invested there.

    Planzzzz within planzzzzz….

  5. Ned Kelly says:

    Nan, do you realise that when you presume to read MAJ’s mind and make assumptions about his “real” motivations, you’re using the kind of logical fallacy that the Communists – whom you despise – always use against their opponents?

  6. nanheyangrouchuan says:

    Ned,

    MAJ comments prominently on chinalawblog.com and his comments always orbit around the “win-win” BS regarding China-US economic engagement, entanglement, etc. He isn’t an academic in an ivory tower, he is an “on the street” expat residing in Beijing and he is obviously not a student. He doesn’t defend foreign corporations (much) in China, leaving the most plausible answer to be that he is an entrepreneur or a business partner of some type who has his life invested in China and therefore must sell China to others as well as himself so that he can keep functioning on BCDs.

  7. Ned Kelly says:

    Nanhe,

    MAJ lives in Australia and works for Australians. To my mind, that makes his pro-China stances immensely more honest and less opportunistic than those of the Great Panda Felchers.

  8. C.A. Yeung says:

    Nanhe,

    MAJ and I have differences in our way of looking at China’s human rights record. But I don’t have a problem with him supporting CLB’s position on economic engagement with China (even though I have to admit that Dan annoys me with his way of willfully misrepresenting the risk of doing business in China). MAJ’s position on China is not uncommon in Australia. Up till now, trade between Australia and China have brought us as a nation more good than harm.

    It’s good to see a variety of opinion expressed by our regular contributors. We don’t need to see eye to eye on all issues. If we do, it’d be very boring. However, I also need to count on all of you to refrain from personal attacks. I don’t want our blog to turn into some kind of mud-slinging name-calling play pens.

  9. Ned Kelly says:

    Sexual Harassment Panda has contacted us to complain about our personal attack on his co-species member, Felching Panda.

    We acknowledge that there is nothing more sacred in this world than the sexual predelictions of pandas. Sexual Harassment Panda, thank you for correcting our thoughts:

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=JeuBNIRx16I

  10. C.A. Yeung says:

    To the spammer who complains about “personal attacks” on behalf of a certain member of the English language China blogosphere:

    It is this blog’s policy of removing comments from bloggers (or their agents) who refuse to let us post comments on their blogs. Please consider this as your first warning and refrain from trying.

  11. nanheyangrouchuan says:

    “MAJ lives in Australia and works for Australians”

    Then he is simply spouting off baseless support for China and its policies. I still hold that he has some economic benefit tied to China.

  12. Ned Kelly says:

    Nanhe, please refrain from speculating about the financial affairs of others. Legally you’re coming close to the edge of defamation.

    And even if it were true that MAJ has “some economic benefit tied to China”, there are far more worthy targets out there, such as Rupert Murdoch.

    You’re not suggesting that MAJ is some kind of influential media magnate, are you?

  13. How amusing….I’ve been busy writing up yearly student progress reports, so I’ve only just discovered this conversation.

    Sorry to disappoint you Nanhe, but I have absolutely no business interests in China, or anywhere else for that matter. I don’t even have an ABN number here in Austtralia. I’m just a humble high school English teacher, working in the state government system.

    Secondly, when you say that I “spout off baseless support for China and its policies”, which policies are you referring to exactly? None of my assessments, as far as I’m concerned, are baseless. I base them all on what can be verified empirically.

    I see China as being a country that has made significant progress over the last 25 years in terms of its economic development – progress which has had both positive and negative impacts on its people. While per capita living standards have certainly improved, inequality has unfortunately sharply increased, leaving many people worse off than they were before the reform era. My positioning on today’s China is far more nuanced than you like to give me credit for.

    The Chinese are, by most measurements, freer now than at any time in their history. That claim I firmly stand by, though that’s not to say that China is free from all human rights abuses. Human rights in China have improved significantly in many ways, while deteriorating in others. There are two sides to every coin.

    Just take religious freedom in China for example. While it remains the case that religious institutions and practices in China are subject to the authority of the Bureau of Religious Affairs, which places regulatory controls over the social space and times of religious activities (and the CCP exercises this control in the interests of containing any possible threat to its political power from ever being able to emerge), it is also true that the economic reforms orchestrated by the Chinese state have paradoxically increased religious freedoms, though in limited ways. The market economy has opened up both electronic (virtual) and privately arranged (material) spaces for religion, allowing the flourishing of what I call religious consumerism. As Dan Smyer Yu has similarly argued, “Privatisation as a process of marketisation in China parallels Chinese citizens’ utilisation of the market as an alternative space for public discourse on a variety of issues. Among them, marketised religions are becoming media for the reclamation of the private self from the previously collectivised socialist self. In the modern marketplace, however, this privatisation of the self through religious orientation is a process of the exteriorisation of one’s inner search. Though the object of such inner yearning does not necessarily stay within the reach of the individual’s search. More often than not, it is gripped by the commercialising forces of the market.”

    Freedom of religion itself then, is becoming increasingly commodifed in China, as it already is in most other places throughout the world (this is one of the recurring themes I explore in my book, incidentally). Commercialising one’s inner search for self then, is a form of dispossession.

    It is not state policy itself however, that is driving this dispossession, but private capital.

    Point is this: with freedom comes unfreedom, and with unfreedom comes freedom. Again, there are two sides to every coin. The Chinese people are freeer now than ever before, I mean freer now perhaps even than at any time in ther long history. However, it is also the case that this freedom now comes with a price tag. I am not blind to the dark side of China’s variant of neo-liberalism. I never have been. Try reading my chapter on “Shenzhen – city of kitsch” if you want further evidence of this (I wrote it more than three years ago now, though it was first published this year as part of my book).

    With all due respect Nanhe, I think I am far less biased in my approach to understanding China than you are.

    All the best,
    MAJ

  14. Ned Kelly says:

    Hey Mark!

    I agree with 90 percent of your response to NanHe. And I admire you for your courtesy and your restraint in your response.

    Meanwhile, Mark, please take a look at my most recent post, featuring the demented song, “Sodomy”. HA! 😉 🙂

  15. What 10 percent do you disagree with, just out of curiosity?

  16. Sorry, this line: “Commercialising one’s inner search for self then, is a form of dispossession” should insteas read: “The commercialisation of people’s inner search for self then, is a form of dispossession.”

  17. Ned Kelly says:

    “What 10 percent do you disagree with, just out of curiosity?”

    Mainly this part: “The Chinese are, by most measurements, freer now than at any time in their history.”

  18. Yes, I suspected that was the line you disagree with. I admit, this is perhaps an overstatement on my part, since it is impossible to measure the levels of freedom that existed in say, Tang Dynasty China for example. But I think it is reasonable to say that the Chinese, generally speaking, enjoy greater levels of freedom now than they have at any time in the last 100 years or so, and certainly more freedom now than at any time in the past 50 years.

  19. Ned Kelly says:

    Even the past 100 years is very debatable.

  20. nanheyangrouchuan says:

    So in other words, MAJ, you are writing another “1 Billion Customers” type of book. Do you happen to have solid numbers to back up your assertions or is your book another collection of anecdotes and repeating of both CCP and MNC mantra?

    The “freedom” of shopping is not freedom. Not even close to what you enjoy in Australia.

    And “marketized religion”? Do you and your source really mean “the religion of markets”? Or the monetary end of CCP backed religious organizations in China, all of whose clergy pledge loyalty to the CCP as part of their ascending to the levels of religious figures?

    “It is not state policy itself however, that is driving this dispossession, but private capital.”

    Care to elaborate?

    “Freedom of religion itself then, is becoming increasingly commodifed in China, as it already is in most other places throughout the world”

    I’m smelling conspiracy theory.

    “Point is this: with freedom comes unfreedom, and with unfreedom comes freedom. ”

    Channeling “1984”? Do you smoke Victory cigs or drink Victory gin while writing?

    Your drive to sell books is your financial bias towards China, but the “1 Billion Customers” ship has sailed unless your book is trying to take the next step and say that we should not criticize China as China’s outlandish bad behavior as the world is moving that way, thus both defending China and the natural totalitarian tendencies of governments.

    So my remarks concerning your bias are much more on target than you would like to admit.

    And you have no basis to claim that the Chinese are freer now than at any time in the past, especially when you factor in local offials.

  21. Nanhe, my book is not another one of those “1 billion customer type books” – it’s a travel narrative, and as I said to you in my earlier comment, it is, in places, quite critical. Again, I refer you to the chapter on Shenzhen for example.

    Let us examine some of your criticisms.

    You say that freedom to shop, or to consume commodities, is not a form of freedom. I beg to differ, though with the important qualification that it is a very limited freedom. Through advertising and consumption, popular culture, which is commercialised culture, has become deeply rooted in Chinese social life, and as Yue Daiyun has pointed out in her essay on “Public Culture in China Today”, is now ‘the main force and system in constructing the ideology of the present.’ It has transformed Chinese values, making people more materialistic, standardising people, argues Yue, into a ‘single and commercialised cultural form’, causing them to ‘lose their complex feelings of being human beings by concealing their real needs.’

    But for staggeringly large numbers of Chinese, real needs are being met, in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and spending power, as the United Nation’s Human Development Report shows. ‘China has registered some of the most rapid advances in human development in history,’ says the 2005 report, ‘with its Human Development Index ranking increasing twenty percent since 1990.’ China in 2007 was ranked eighty-one out of one hundred and seventy-seven countries, although uneven development has created huge inequalities, with Guizhou ranking alongside Namibia (ranked one hundred and twenty-five on the index) in contrast to Shanghai, which is more comparable to Portugal (which ranks twenty-nine on the index).

    Not only then ,are living standards improving, in per capita terms, but one shouldn’t ignore the importance of human agency – especially when the issue of freedom enters the equation. Roughly eighty percent of Chinese city dwellers now own their own homes, giving these middle-class urbanites a strong personal stake in the economy, and when it comes time to furnish and to decorate their own abodes, as Deborah Davies has demonstrated through her research, consumer choice can enable shopping sprees to be ‘experienced as expanded autonomy and pride.’ There is certainly more freedom available to the masses than the mere ‘grazing on the ration of simulacra the system distributes to each individual,’ as Michel de Certeau has so justly pointed out.

    “It is not state policy itself however, that is driving this dispossession, but private capital,” I wrote.

    “Care to elaborate?” was your response.

    O.K. then, though I thought I made this clear in the paragraph I wrote immediately before this statement: the private inner yearnings that individuals feel to go in search of self (what some people may describe as a “spiritual” search) is itself commodified, hijacked by marketised religion. This is a form of dispossession. It is NOT the state that is directly responsible for this, as the state in fact seeks to regulate religious practice by jurisprudic means. It is capital that is the main driver, and the reason why religious entreprenuers have been so successful in China is because they have been quick to utilise internet technology and to take advantage of the increasing number of private “real” spaces – with religious gatherings often arranged to take place in private homes that are more often than not located within the relatively safe confines of gated housing estates. Tibetan Buddhist tulkus have in particular, proven very adept at using the internet to promote themselves, their commodified religious services, and their national touring events.

    Next: you suggest that I may be into conspiracy theories because I claim that marketised religion is a global phenomenon. You’re just being silly now, methinks. The empirically-verifiable evidence to support this is just so overwhelming, that I really don’t see how anybody could possibly deny it. Even the Pope wouldn’t try to argue against this one, I’m sure!

    And finally, you take me to task for making the point that “with freedom comes unfreedom, and with unfreedom comes freedom.”

    “Channeling ‘1984′?” you ask. “Do you smoke Victory cigs or drink Victory gin while writing?”

    Hilarious response! I really do appreciate the humour – truly, I had a good laugh when I read that.

    Thanks for your time Nanhe.

    Best regards,
    MAJ

  22. Ned Kelly says:

    MAJ,

    I thought you smoked Victory CIGARS, not cigarettes!

  23. Ned, I do indeed enjoy smoking cigars. Funny coincidence really, because I just only a few minutes ago lit up a cigar and poured myself a glass of merlot before switiching on my laptop. And here you are asking me if I still smoke cigars.

    I have cut down on considerably since returning here to Australia though. I’ve gone health!

  24. Ned Kelly says:

    And now my more serious response to MAJ:

    “Nanhe, my book is not another one of those “1 billion customer type books” – it’s a travel narrative”

    Good point. From what I can see of MAJ’s book, it’s not intended for a mass audience.

    “But for staggeringly large numbers of Chinese, real needs are being met, in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and spending power”

    But for even LARGER numbers, those needs are not being met, and their material conditions are worsening.

    “Not only then ,are living standards improving, in per capita terms”

    …but worsening for a LARGER number in per capita terms.

    “Roughly eighty percent of Chinese city dwellers now own their own homes, giving these middle-class urbanites a strong personal stake in the economy”

    The question is, in WHAT economy? China’s “economy” is not uniform, nor is it really centrally controlled. Do the minority of Chinese whose material conditions have improved, have a stake in any NATIONAL economy? (Generally, no.) Their economic interests and loyalties are local. However, I will admit that they DO have a stake in national POLITICAL STABILITY, because national instability would jeopardise their local economies, to say the least. (And although I am a severe critic of the CCP, I do NOT want to see a revolution in China, let alone a breakup of the country. For the forseeable future, I actually would prefer to see one-party rule continuing, albeit with gradually escalating civil liberties, and ideally IMMEDIATE emancipation of all persecuted religions.)

    “…consumer choice can enable shopping sprees to be ‘experienced as expanded autonomy and pride.’”

    Expanded choice, yes. Expanded autonomy, no. Expanded PRIDE? Quite the opposite, as to equate consumerism with personal pride is degrading and dehumanising, as the cultural and moral decadence of consumerist America has demonstrated over the past 60 years or so.

    ““It is not state policy itself however, that is driving this dispossession, but private capital,” I wrote.

    “Care to elaborate?” was your response.

    O.K. then…: the private inner yearnings that individuals feel to go in search of self (what some people may describe as a “spiritual” search) is itself commodified, hijacked by marketised religion.”

    Mark, this is probably my main point of disagreement with you. Religion has become very commodified and commercialised in America, but NOT IN CHINA! Just one example: the American phenomenon of “megachurches” is totally outlawed in China, because in China, even SMALL, PERSECUTED HOUSE CHURCHES are outlawed.

  25. Ned – I agree that for many in China, life has become more difficult. Growing inequality is a serious problem, and by some measures, China is now the most unequal society on Earth. This doesn’t take away the fact though, that China is developing, and that per capita living standards are improving. More people have so far benefitted from the reform era economy than have lost out – a fact demonstrated by China’s rise up the UN Human Development Index ranking by more than 20 percent since 1990.

    You agree that consumerism offers an increase in the freedom of choice, but say that it does not offer increasing levels of autonomy. But consider this: while material restrictions and the politics of the work place in China do shape consumer practices, it is also true that consumers retain the possibility for fantasy, resistance and empowerment. Many of the people interviewed by Deborah Davis in her study of “Urban Consumer Culture” in China for example, suffered past political repression and material deprivation during the 1960s and 70s. Their past experiences with subordination, dependence and politicised conformity during the Mao era decisively define for them their experience of consumption. They ALL spoke of today’s consumerism with visible degrees of freedom, and just being able to own and decorate thier own homes gave them a sense of autonomy empowerment and pride. Her large sample, by the way, drew from a wide range of income levels, and included taxi drivers as well company managers, etc.

    “Wiewing their current consumer choices against a past of shortage, crowding and bureaucratic controls,” writes Davis, “respondents of different income levels discussed recent purchases as representing expanded autonomy, even freedom, commenting on thier consumer activities with pride….Consuming for their homes these urban residents have created for themselves an intimate sphere through which they make sense of their life trajectories as well as make claims for a personal realm beyond the reach of the party-state.” As Elisabeth Croll has likewise observed, “Chinese citizens who for decades subordinated individual preferences and desires to conform with the party-state’s priorities are particularly likely to understand expanded consumer choices within a larger re-exercising of agency.”

    So I think it is fair to say that consumerism is a contradictory experience – one that simulataneously entails feelings of both emancipation and disempowerment. One may feel frustrated, even angry, had not being able to access commodities because of limitations in income. For many Chinese though, consumerism is indeed experienced as increased autonomy, empowerment and pride.

    Megachurches may not yet exist in China, though the Falun Gong was certainly a kind of mega-business. But the absence of megachurches doesn’t mean that religion isn’t commodified. Religion is highly commodified in China. Government restrictions and state laws prevent the emergence of megachurches in China, specifically for that purpose, and out of a fear that such largle scale organised religious bodies could emerge as an alternative political force.

    Again, I refer to my chapter on “Snoopy and the flying pigs of Shunde” – it’s the sample chapter on my website, so it’s freely accessible for all to read – I discuss there in some detail the commodification of religion in China. Just go to: http://www.flowingwatersneverstale.com and click on the link to the “Sample Chapter”.

    Thanks for your response Ned.

    Best regards,
    MAJ

  26. nanheyangrouchuan says:

    MAJ

    “You say that freedom to shop, or to consume commodities, is not a form of freedom. I beg to differ, though with the important qualification that it is a very limited freedom. Through advertising and consumption, popular culture, which is commercialised culture, has become deeply rooted in Chinese social life”

    Chinese have always the “freedom” to shop. But just as in the USSR, planned economies and especially badly managed planned economies simply meant few choices. Too bad those same Chinese consumers don’t have the “other” consumerist freedom to be able to be compensated for buying useless and/or harmful products marketed as safe and effective without being ignored, beaten by thugs or imprisoned.

    The fake baby formula scandal STILL has not seen anyone of consequence go to jail after a few plant managers were set up as fall guys.

    “But for staggeringly large numbers of Chinese, real needs are being met, in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and spending power, as the United Nation’s Human Development Report shows. ‘China has registered some of the most rapid advances in human development in history,’ says the 2005 report”

    And at the same time the WHO report on China’s pollution was openly watered down to omit the 750,000 premature deaths caused every year by pollution. How about the double digit increases in cancer in China? Birth defects? And for those larger numbers of Chinese who are migrant workers or out in the hinterlands, life has been nothing but bitter.

    And the UN? They are a laughingstock.

    “Deborah Davies has demonstrated through her research, consumer choice can enable shopping sprees to be ‘experienced as expanded autonomy and pride.’ There is certainly more freedom available to the masses than the mere ‘grazing on the ration of simulacra the system distributes to each individual,’ as Michel de Certeau has so justly pointed out.”

    That is the kind of consumerist propaganda fed to the rest of us recently to encourage massive spending binges (and as an American I can speak first hand about that). Too bad Chinese can’t consume digital satellite dishes without a considerable of guanxi and some grease.

    “It is capital that is the main driver, and the reason why religious entreprenuers have been so successful in China is because they have been quick to utilise internet technology and to take advantage of the increasing number of private “real” spaces – with religious gatherings often arranged to take place in private homes that are more often than not located within the relatively safe confines of gated housing estates.”

    Actually, the underground churches are usually driven by word of mouth due to the emphasis the CCP places on “managing” religion that the peolpes’ thinking is properly “Chinese”. Missionaries throughout the West and India have alot of useful first hand knowledge about this.

    And as for “marketized” religion are you referring to the religions of “the markets” or profit driven mega churches that the US is famous for.

    As for the Catholic church, like Islam, Buddhism and Judaism, they are much older than the system you are describing and exist more as NGOs or borderless empires of philosophy than some newly minted marketing strategy.

    And back to religion in China, it is a clerical face on the CCP itself. Mao in a frock.

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