Monthly Archives: April 2010


  • Another Tiananmen
    Enough pressure will turn silent air into thunder. For ten years, the Gang of Four had lain over Chinese thoughts, words, and spirits like a leaden blanket.


  • The Forgotten Towers
    Often the search for something rare yields not that sought, but something else just as elusive. Late last century, Frederique Darragon combed West China's "Tribal Corridor" for the snow leopard, but kept happening upon massive, well-craf


  • Old Shanghai: A Rogue's Gallery
    Them's the berries, see? M'yeah.You think today's Shanghai is tough? Ahh, applesauce. You're all wet, see? Nowadays, any foreigner in a knock-off suit with a fluffed-up resume can land a marketing gig that pays enough for a


  • Ancient Chinese Libertarians
    Lao Tzu, Not a Fan of Big GovernmentBy far the most interesting of the Chinese political philosophers were the Taoists, founded by the immensely important but shadowy figure of Lao Tzu.


  • Boycott Oil, Full Steam Ahead
    One learns to deal with China's culinary pitfalls, because the rewards are great. Cat meat instead of lamb? Stop buying yangrouchuanr on the street. Newspaper-stuffed baozi? Start having zhou for breakfast.


  • The Parable of Li Yu
    Those who repeat history are bound to ignore it. That's why you're one of the special ones. You'll see in this pictorial history of Li Yu that Easy Street always intersects with Disaster Row.


  • A Biography of the Old Drunkard
    -by Yuan Heng Tao The Old Drunkard - no one knows where he comes from. Nor has he told anyone his name. Since he's always drunk, I call him the Old Drunkard.


  • Mt. Yuntai, a Place for Perspective
    The pity of air travel is that it makes appreciating your destination much harder, and much more like the last place you visited. The bulk of the distance between Sichuan's wondrous Jiuzhaigou and Hangzhou's West Lake can be spanned


  • Not the Unicorn, The Zhi
    One-horned Zhi, found protecting an ancient Chinese tomb It doesn't take long for history to turn into myth. The Civil War wasn't fought to free the slaves, but it may as well have been, for our myths point the way to greater truth


  • Buying the Buddha
    So, what does one look for in a statue of the Buddha? What makes a figurative work of art a Buddha and not, say, a Rambo doll or a clay bust of Elvis? According to Matricheta, an Indian poet who lived fourteen centuries ago, the figure o