China Blogosphere: Shame on us

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chinalystI have been inspired to write one of my 'other' category posts. Not, as some might imagine, by the continued hijacking of progressive ideals by pretenders or by ongoing global abuses but by the English language China blogosphere. 

I first came across Chinalyst via Ispyshanghai. It aggregates feeds from English language China blogs and makes them available in one string of posts. You can also get info on the individual sites/feeds. It's not half bad and I added my blog's feed in there. 

So, Chinalyst run an award whereby everyone can vote for their favourite blog on the site in several categories. Of course, this system reflects the readers/voters more than it does Chinalyst. It's not quite that simple mind you, as we'll see.

The winner this year by a large margin, picking up over 500 votes, is Wo Shi Laowai, Wo Pa Shui by Mylaowai. Now it's not unusual to see blogs where people rant on for 90% of the posts about how annoyed they are with China or how funny/weird they find it. But it has to be stated clearly: there is a gulf of difference between highlighting important issues in China (like a politics or rights blog), a humour blog that is good natured in it's ribbing (the same as you would about your own country) and outright racism/chauvinism

As is the norm for hateful diatribes, the author prefers to use an alias (mylaowai). Here's an excerpt from the poetry page The Bus Dialogues, which Mylaowai brushes off as venting on bus rides:

Dirty bodies stink of must
Hair is covered with scaly dust
Ugly xiaojies with fuck all bust
Peeps as useful as iron rust...
Kill 'em all: I'm not fussed.
Go to the page and read the lot. And why not check out a recent post highlighting Mylaowai's general attitude to women Kappa Slut, here's an excerpt:

There's this Shanghainese (presumably) whore with a face like a box of frogs who has all the warmth and charm of a lemon that lost a fight with a mangle. She runs naked into the room, and proceeds to suck off a very young boy - judging by the size of his cocktail stick, he's probably a kindergärtner. I've seen bigger dicks in J-Porn, honestly. It's pathetic.
This is Chinalyst's top blog of 2008. A continuous stream of hate and insults with zero analysis on the subjects it claims to care about. The owners of Chinalyst seem to have no problem with this and don't even add a disclaimer to the announcement congratulating Mylaowai on the win.You've got to assume that's because they have no personal problem with the content. But even if they pull the we-just-collect-the-feeds or free-speech defense - it was voted the best by a large margin: Shame on us.

In Pleasure To Be Here (Boys Climbing Ropes), Shanghai based Indie vocalist Jordan Small sings "out here we don't have to believe in anything" and he couldn't be more right. When we see clear-cut extreme hate like this it's not enough to think it's harmless and to ignore it. I'd like to think that the people I read in the blogging community would never accept talk like the above quotes if it was said out at the dinner table and it's even less acceptable in a published form. 

Of course we don't have to ban it outright or mete out punishment so spare me the faux-logical defenses of bigotry. But surely when hateful trash like that blog gets an 'award' it is our moral duty to at least pass comment on it. In the eyes of observers, silence is surely acceptance. 

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It appears as though the site has become blocked. (Maybe I'll use a proxy to check it out a bit later.)
From what you've said though, I couldn't agree more. Although it is sometimes a fine line between racist bigotry and bitching, it is a line indeed. I for one cannot stand the blogs/people who devote so much energy to hate. (that's what it really is isn't it?) Ugh. I could go on for hours about these types, but nay, I shall not.

Well, cheers to the people that don't suck!

The English language blogging community here is led by some excellent sites like Danwei, for example, and is quite diverse. My beef is when something as clear cut as the blog I talk about gets 500 votes within the community and gets an 'award' it's time to at least comment on the fact.

Andy, props to you for calling that out. I don't read the Chinese blogosphere that much (beyond a few gems like you mention) precisely because I find poor quality and aggressive attitudes like this too often be the norm.

It's bizarre that such a pointless, disorganized, unreadably-formatted blog would win any awards in the first place: I suspect rigging by his friends. But, as you say, it's appalling regardless that Chinalyst would give such hatred a platform, and they should be ashamed. This is my first encounter with Chinalyst, and it will be my last.

Generally, though, it seems like 1. the Internet and 2. being in China/Asia for a certain type of more neocolonialist "expat" brings such hateful attitudes out into the open not infrequently. Thank you for standing against it: all of us here who care about human equality and social progress ought to do likewise. Some of us have plenty to believe in.

Yeah this guy seems to be your regular expat who "really hates China but wants to stay cause he can be a lazy ass and still live like a king and get girls", Seems kind of dumb that Chinalyst would recognize him when there is so much better stuff out there like Lost Laowai or this site.


Whichever way you look at it, if you like or hate his blog, he did win because he got the most votes. That's called democracy. Chinalyst did not make him a winner, the readers of the China blogosphere did.

@ mariner

Yeah, that's why I put in the shame on us bit. If I was Chinalyst though, I wouldn't include that sites feed in the site for sure.

'If I was Chinalyst though, I wouldn't include that sites feed in the site for sure.'

Sorry, but that would be censorship and would put Chinalyst on the same level as the Chinese regime. If I look at the blogs on Chinalyst there are some I really like, and there are some which (only in my opinion) are rubbish. We all have different tastes, opinions and interests, and we should not expect Chinalyst to excludes sites just becaue we don't agree with their content.

It's not censorship, it's values. Chinalyst is not society as a whole.

Mylaowai has his blog and it's not blocked. That's fine. But giving it an award without comment on it's content is endorsement.

I don't think we disagree. I specifically don't call for censorship in the post, but Chinalyst should send some kind of message that outright racism is not acceptable in our community.

Also, where do we think being anti-racist fits in with censorship? Censorship is silencing people's right to dissent. Dissent means expressing views contrary to the mainstream. In this case, I am the minority voice challenging what appears to be accepted wisdom. rescinding the award on the basis of the blog being hate would be engaging mylaowai to think. For example.

Mylaowai can repeat his odious views if he likes, but the English language Blogging community should let it be known that we don't accept it.

And as I originally wrote, same as you, since all indications are that it was voted in by readers, the shame is on us. Think about how many people click polls or comment on the various blogs in our sphere. 500 votes represents a lot. 500 who not only think the contents there are fine, but vote it as 'best'. Terrible.

It's irritating how quickly and inaccurately people cry "censorship!" Censorship would be blocking or refusing to host the offending site; what's called for here is basic editing and quality control.

Chinalyst could have, one, had a baseline in terms of the quality, organization, professionalism and content of the sites it accepted nominations for, and thus refused said site on the grounds that it is incoherent racist rants, not a legitimate blog. (And there's an oxymoron I never thought I'd write.)

Secondly, it could have gone through with the voting as it did - and I'm lmao at the poster who things that internet voting is "democracy" of any sort - with this guy winning. BUT have added a commentary, that, "Although this won, we do not endorse its content." Ideally that could launch a discussion of racisim and anti-racism, one that is much needed amongst China-based foreigners. Granted, my optimism about the sort of people who vote for that sort of site being open to such a discussion is low, but always worth trying.

I'm curious to hear what others have experienced in terms of trying to be proactively anti-racist in China. Obviously, people resent being called out anywhere, but I think Caucasians in China are extra-insulated and defensive. I'm meeting up soon with a fellow Shanghai reader of, and I think this will be a very intersting discussion.

Dear all, I seem to have lost my bowling ball. Could you please insert a (dry) finger and check up your assholes to see if it's up there? It might be hiding just inside your sphincter, somewhere close to your sense of humour that you lost a long fkn time ago.

Best regards, Fkn NOT,


Hello, Sinosceptic.

Do we take this as an endorsement of the 'Bus Dialogues'? Are you saying we should find outright racism funny?

What if it was a group of blogs from Kenya Ex-pats referring to locals in the same way? Why is it any more or less acceptable here?

I'm drawing a line between me and racist bigot a-holes. You are welcome to take the other position. By the way, want to post your endorsement under your real name?


Lisa wrote: "I'm curious to hear what others have experienced in terms of trying to be proactively anti-racist in China."

Fighting against racism in China is a lost fight before it even started. Racism is embedded, and always has been, in every aspect of life and culture here in China. So embedded that it is not being perceived as 'racist' by the Chinese themselves anymore.
As much as I admire such a pro-active stance against racism, and your positive idealism, I am afraid it will require more than a few life times to fight racism successfully here in China.

Best Regards

Hi Mariner

Thanks again for your comments. I'm glad we can all talk about it and I have also linked Mylaowai's responses in a new post to make sure everyone can have their say and see all the responses.

Mariner wrote: "I am afraid it will require more than a few life times to fight racism successfully here in China."

In that case, we'd better get started!

I find that 90% of people, both Chinese and foreign, here are well-meaning but ignorant, and that is often exacerbated by the language gap. And they react pretty positively to having their offensive language/behavior pointed out: they really weren't aware of it, apologize immediately, and follow up with curious questions.

Of course, there are the other 10% who are deliberately being offensive jerks, but all the more reason to stand up to them.

stimulating and communicative, but would be suffering with something more on this topic?

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