Daily Archives: 04/12/2024

OUTRAGE ABOUT NO OUTRAGE “How blatant lying is job description of NYT employee”

Original article being criticized here What Chinese Outrage Over ‘3 Body Problem’ Says About China  (short answer: whatever they want you to think. shorter answer: nothing)

Problem with this article starts at it’s very title, and many a problem come up in form of half-truths, omissions, non-obvious contradictions, exaggeration – the list could get worse, but umbrella term “intellectual dishonesty” covers them all.

Let’s do this one by one, starting from the title – “Chinese outraged”: no, a small subset of at maximum 20% of another subset – the people who watched the show – (and this is highly exaggerated guesstimation – certainly much less) of the Chinese population, and in that subset, of a certain age demographic and preferences, are outraged – simply put, more nationalistic and patriotic types. Those, as we all know, tend to be the loudest. Furthermore, generally speaking about “China” in singular, as the author/editor have done, is problematic (and dishonest, and wrong, and common journalistic practice), but that is for another essay. To get back on the sub-subset of people who actually watched the show, according to SCMP, BitTorrent downloads spiked at 90500 first day and waned after that – including other services, Baidu cloud and different ways of circumventing bootlegging, the total number is notoriously hard to estimate – for sake of brevity and because of shadowy nature of these methods, we will say it is just about couple million people, as a WAG (wild-ass-guess). This is one tenth of one percent of Chinese population. No further comment is needed.

Problem #1 – in a word: absolutely gross generalization to the point of mocking reader’s intelligence. In more words: clickbait horseshit pandering to sinophobic audiences, doing the job of both State Department and publication’s (NYT’s) self-interested “bottom line” at the same time, while disregarding, nay, actively spitting in the face of Plato’s ideal of the Good, the True, the Beautiful (being one and the same thing). Implying article is evil, deceitful and disgusting.

2. Ironically, even the comments author cites at the beginning of the text, e.g. the Weibo comment first mentioned, on the topic of Cultural revolution, have the same problem as we’ve already said previously. That is to say, Li Yuan (the author) is not commenting on this Weibo comment – but frames it in the last part of the passage to be interpreted by the reader, while she cunningly sets up a half-truth based narrative on perception of Cultural revolution in China in the first part of the very same passage. This manipulation tactics game gets worse: I should use 2.2 since next point is a subset of this one, but let’s not get technical.

Problem #2 in a word: half-truth. In more words: carefully crafted narrative that is mostly true, but untrue in the most important part.

3. The use of the term “heavily censored”, in the context of discussion of Cultural Revolution in China, is immediately contradicted by the examples of public discourse in China about that very topic, which the author cites. But here I need to add my own experience as an expat in China and a sinologist wannabe: subset of people who are interested in politics, ruling class, economy and everything (inter)related know exactly what and how happened during that destructive period. The author seems to understand it, but doesn’t say it explicitly, and although her point that showing a gruesome display of violence is too much to bear even for the mentioned subset of Chinese netizens, it doesn’t logically conflict with the fact that – although being censored when it reaches too many eyes on Weibo – there is a vibrant discussions of all political topics in China, especially Cultural Revolution in recent years (as she confirms herself). To add to this point, even Xi Jinping is known to be quoted as someone who considers Cultural Revolution a net benefit, since it created a generation of strong people – perhaps drawing from his own example. This is not censored – so again – where is this heavy censorship? Does it weigh 10 pounds or 100kg? How does one even quantify censorship? We shall never know, but maybe Li Yuan or her editor can explain this to us! And not to indulge in whataboutisms (tu quoe que). but isn’t omitting topics such as Seymour Hersh’s research on Nord Stream 2 sabotage, or Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation worse kind of censorship; for illusion of freedom is worse than being aware one is lacking freedom? It should be noted, even the author (Mrs. Li) concedes that Liu Cixin’s novel had exact same depiction of violence during the Cultural Revolution, but he had to put it in the middle of the first book, not the beginning as in the TV show. If that is “heavily” censored, we would like to see mildly-censored version. Not the mention her wild guesses about this or that year in which the novels could have been published (2004 yes, 2007 no) she offers no explanation to these notions.

Problem #3 in a word: inconsistent. In more words: morally wrong, factually incorrect, logically unsound, most probably “heavily censored” by her editor. Talk about projection. Before next point, it needs to be added:

4. The arguments that the Chinese netizens make on racial diversity and political correctness (simply put: wokeism) are all solid and irrefutable, even more so, anyone familiar with Netflix’s track record understands all too well how ridiculous (to the level of being mocked in memes) their productions end up. Polarization that is happening in USA – country where no side will accept the next POTUS and is on the verge of civil strife; infected by the mind virus of wokeism, “subtly” controlled media that we already mentioned (getting less subtle as legacy media loses ground) – all of these things are something as foreign to a Chinese person as metric system is to an average American. Worse – this is something completely foreign to Chinese mentality, it is alien to them, unthinkable, as is in all other Confucian countries and territories. As for mentioned virus of wokeism: one example illustrates the unprecedented craziness of American society: back in 2020, prof. Greg Patton of USC’s Marshall’s School of Business used the common Mandarin Chinese filler word in his Communication class via Zoom (which is ironic in itself), and later became viral: the Chinese word sounds like the N-word (provided one has good imagination or psychotic disorder) and he earned himself a suspension and vitriol of the mob Justice Warriors of unearned moral grandeur. Even crazier: the parallel between intellectuals being canceled and ostracized in comparison to The Cultural Revolution would be terribly funny if it wasn’t so profoundly sad. This seems to have flown over Li Yuan’s head like the Chinese spy balloon, and it is about time to fire the missiles. In that spirit: there is a joke in China that vividly describes the American political situation and Chinese understanding of it, and goes as follows:

Chairman Mao arises from the grave and speaks to the contemporary Chinese populus:

Mao: Are the people able to eat their fill?

Us: They are overeating, even thinking about loosing weight!

Mao: Do capitalists still exist?

Us: They’ve taken all their businesses abroad.

Mao: Has steel production surpassed that of Britain and the USA?

Us: City of Tangshan alone exceeeds that of USA as a whole!

Mao: Have we won the political dispute against the Soviets?

Us: They collapsed by themselves!

Mao: Has imperialism been overthrown?

Us: We are the imperialists now!

Mao: And how about my Cultural Revolution?

Us: Oh…It has moved to America.

(For the sceptical reader,author (CaesarInChina) heard this joke about 10 years ago – Chinese are acutely aware of American situation, while American understanding of China amounts to less than nothing (it would take some to get to zero).

Problem #4 in a word; y’all fucked.

Here, for the next point, which might be wrong, but ’tis but a self-conscious speculation:

5. The author seems as if the last time she was in China was in her past life, that is to say: never. But she was. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem she has any connection or understanding of Chinese people except in her name. All of this is obvious from every single previous point, while NYT editors are using the identity politics card i.e. her, to make the article more “credible”. Here we mean no harm, but as a rule, overseas Chinese who go to America are notorious in China for being sons and daughters of corrupt government officials, who in a creative manner of “capital flight”, flew over the Pacific to find safe haven in the capitalist oligarchy. It is merely rule of thumb or a very crude heuristic tool; we do not imply anything about the author whatsoever, but simply stating the fact of how thus described people are perceived in China. After all, the Chinese word for a “traitor” is maiguozui (sell-country-criminal, literally, character for character).

Problem #5 in a word: pure ignorance or intentional mallice. We do not know which one is worse, but we suspect both.

6. Desert should be served last: the fact that the author, overseas Chinese writing on “outrage” about Netflix adaptation of Liu Cixin’s novels (trilogy) never once mentioned original Chinese adaptation is at best mind-bogging and unfathomable, illogical to the point of being a true enigma, and at worst a calculated manipulation which if wasn’t done, would uproot the whole narrative of the article, point by point. Not to mention it doubles as a commercial for Netflix. It gets even worse: Chinese version has 30 episodes, elegantly, 10 per book, while it lacks the unnecessarily melodramatic and all too common moments of the Netflix version, which is, as if things are not bad enough, dumbed-down to the level of an 18 year old STEM freshman with developmental problems. In the US with all the incredible school system advantages (here we quote global PISA ratings. Later).

Problem #6 in a word: Chinese version does not exist, and yet it does.

Addendum: Authors Franjo Tuschek and Olle M. Gustafsson admit that we are set to destroy the whole publication (NYT), but not because we dislike it, as we don’t even care to read that shite, but because this particular article was abysmally dreadful to the very core of all that is holy and decent. (SLAPP lawsuits are more than welcome)

– We found out were notified by our MSS handlers that Li Yuan previously worked for Xinhua, which gives credence to our suspicion of government “federal family” connections, but also indicates her writing as a form of very personal vendetta against those who slighted her. This way of writing cannot be objective, rational or decent – no bloody wonder this article is the biggest shit since the publication of Protocols of Elders of Zion. And this is a good place to stop.