Absurdity, Allegory and China

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Of Interest: February 18, 2010

February 18th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Some links I’ve visited over the past week that might be of interest to readers of this blog, And if not to you, to me.

Cultivating Failure: Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic. A pointed criticism of California’s gardening-in-school program, with valuable lessons in what is (or rather, should be) fundamentally important in education.

  • If this patronizing agenda were promulgated in the Jim Crow South by a white man who was espousing a sharecropping curriculum for African American students, we would see it for what it is: a way of bestowing field work and low expectations on a giant population of students who might become troublesome if they actually got an education.

Internet Censorship with Jeremy Goldkorn: Podcast interview with Jeremy Goldcorn, founder of Danwei.org, perhaps the most popular media blog in China. Danwei was blocked by China’s Great Firewall (GFW) on July 3, 2009. The interview was conducted by Josh Gartner, AmCham China’s Director of Policy Communications.

A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything: Jamie Bell, a 17 year old art student, takes us from Bang to The End in three minutes and 2,100 biro drawings’ video. (h/t to Open Culture).

[If] Werner Herzog Reads Curious George: From Open Culture, a “dark and existential” satire of Werner Herzog reading the children’s classic monkey story.

The Fifty Cents Party Training Manual: From ChinaGeeks, a satirical guide for prospective Fifty Cents Party members on the many methods they can use to respond to the comment, “This chicken egg tastes disgusting.” A listing of get-rich wu mao responses for every situation.

Favorite Tweets of the week:
@AdamMinter: Curiously few Chinese tourists in Rio for Carnaval. Only ones I saw were wearing surgical masks. Rest of Rio: wearing thongs.
@bokane: Last year I had to pretend I was a Uyghur to get in to my girlfriend’s family’s army compound; this year they let me in as a foreigner.

The dumbest, failed word cobble I read this week: Unputdownable - seen in the January 18, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, page 5, in a book review advert. Attibuted to Lev Grossman, Time. (And no, I won’t tell you the book. I have a strict policy of never revealing the title of a book that is unputdownable. That’s just the way I am.)

Tags: review

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Josh // Feb 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Ha! I like that…”unputdownable”.

    By the way, it really is a shame that right now Danwei is unvisitable.

  • 2 Jim Gourley // Feb 18, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I now live with the VPN always on, so I am no longer sure what is unvisitable. Can you get a VPN out their in the wild west yet, Josh? The Goldkorn interview should be unblocked since it is on the Amcham China page.

  • 3 vpn china // Feb 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    i have to live with the vpn always on too.
    but at least, i am back to the unblocked zone.

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