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Censorship China Taiwan Tibet

A Style Manual

When I think of a style manual, I think about punctuation. To use or not to use the Oxford comma. To write a number in letters or in Roman numerals. The purpose of a style manual is to create consistency in the writing, formatting, and design of a publication. So, every now and again, I […]

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Censorship China Hong Kong

Payback Time

Hongkongers are in the news again. New security legislation, protests, and the inevitable arrests. Shock and dismay expressed around the world. Many claim that Beijing has violated the 1997 treaty pursuant to which the United Kingdom relinquished control over Hong Kong. But the writing has been on the wall for a while. The Chinese are […]

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Books Censorship China

Banned Books

When my Dad was a kid, he loved The Water Margin. It’s racy. It’s gory. His teachers probably banned the book from the classroom. The Water Margin stars a band of 108 bandits who wreak havoc in what is now the province of Shandong. Three of the bandits are women. They are as morally reprehensible […]

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Censorship China

A Boot in the Face

On Sunday afternoon, 2 June 2019, the Asian Cha blog went dark. Owner Tammy Ho Lai-Ming panicked. This was the message that appeared. When the site went dark, Ho was busy uploading texts for a reading she was to moderate. There were less than 12 hours to go. She couldn’t delay the event. Its purpose […]

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Censorship Craft

Torschlusspanik

Torschlusspanik is one of those wonderful German coinages that envisions an entire universe in a single word. The South African artist William Kentridge defines it as: The panic of closing doors. The fear of opening one door rather than another, and hearing it slam behind you, once you have made your decision; but maybe that […]

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Censorship China

Uncle Xi Wants You!

In the 1780s, Samuel Bentham got a job supervising workers on a Russian estate. To keep his eye on all of them, he made them sit in a circle with himself in the center. His brother, Jeremy, stole that idea and called it a panopticon. a central tower surrounded by cells. In the central tower […]

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Censorship China Politics

Truth or Consequences

The people of Thebes are dying. They beseech King Oedipus to save them, as he had once freed them from the clutches of the Sphinx. The oracle promises the plague will pass if Thebes finds the murderer of old king Laius. So Oedipus Rex vows: I will begin again; I will find the truth. Last […]

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Books Censorship

Skin in the Game

Sensitivity readers are the new thing. At least, it was new to me when I read an article by Lionel Shriver entitled We need to talk about sense and sensitivity. Apparently, US publishers are sending out manuscripts for review by sensitivity readers. Their job is to check for any misrepresentations, stereotypes, inauthentic dialogue or anything […]

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Censorship China Sexual harassment

#ricebunny

#ricebunny is a homophone, an emoji and a stealth weapon, all in one. Feminists across China use it instead of #metoo. Why? Because of the Chinese censors. the great firewall of china We all know about the army of censors employed by the Chinese government. Some censors are machines that monitor Weibo. That’s the Chinese […]

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Censorship Chinese prisons

Prisoner #42816

Prisoner #42816 spent 23 months in a Chinese jail, first in the Shanghai Detention Center and later in Qingpu Prison. The charge was “illegally acquiring personal information” of Chinese nationals, a claim he vehemently denies to this day. Prisoner #42816 is Briton Peter Humphrey. Last month, he published his first account of My life inside […]