Some Saturday reading

A full blog entry is on its way, but in the meantime, here are some ways to spend the time locked inside thanks to the Shanghai rain.
  • Danwei has reposted an archived letter from Taipei-based journalist Ralph Jennings’ advice column, in which a teenage girl with “relatively good looks, a slim figure, good family background and an excellent academic performance” yearns for popularity. Jennings himself says: “here’s where members of China’s only-child generation start paying dues. Children smothered in the formative years by parental compliments imagine it’s impossible to do serious wrong or to fail against public perception. Then they go off to a faraway college where no one really cares.”
  • A Beijing zoo is up there with Shanghai’s notorious counterpart in the extreme stakes. Visitors are discouraged from feeding the hippos, crocodiles or kangaroos, but are allowed to eat them at the zoo’s exotic restaurant, The Guardian’s Jonathan Watts has reported. The offerings have garnered a fair amount of criticism, with bloggers and experts from the China Academy of Social Sciences and the International Fund for Animal Welfare speaking out. Staff have since pledged to revise the menu.
  • Forbes’ Gady Epstein has reviewed The Party, a new book by the FT’s Richard McGregor, which exposes the pervasive workings of the CCP in business and public life. The money quote comes from a Renmin University professor who told McGregor, “the Party is like God. He is everywhere. You just can’t see him.”
  • The Dalai Lama yesterday held an hour-long online chat with Chinese netizens via Twitter. In reference to China’s policies in Tibet, the spiritual leader said, “the government made these tensions, not the people.” An English translation of the conversation is ongoing (click here).
  • With much talk going on regarding China’s social injustices fuelling the recent spate of school killings, the China Elections and Governance blog has offered a detailed look into the source of citizens’ resentment. Mao Yushi claims the CCP’s violence and force in dealing with social unrest is futile. He says, “when selecting a state leader, two parties should finally turn to voting to break the deadlock. If we set up such a voting system, our society can become reasonable again. Stability can thus be maintained, and citizen resentment will be gone.”
  • Gulp…if I ever needed a final push to revamp this blog, Adam Daniel Mezei has certainly provided it. He argues for a drastic reduction in the number of China blogs out there (agreed) that are “doing scant more than than making noise and rattling people’s cages.” Right then…