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China: Blogging for Change

Although Bullog.cn, one of the most influential independent blog hosting platform in China, has been shut down under the pretext of internet cleaning of smut, a number of prominent bloggers declared that they would continue to speak. A few days ago, Sohu, a commercial blog hosting company, hosted a blogger dinner, in which a number of prominent bloggers took off from the official topic “how blogging has changed our lives” to discuss the role of bloggers / public intellectuals in social and political transformation. Blackeyequeen has posted the transcript of a round table by a number of prominent bloggers in China. It is a very significant conversation and record on political bloggers’ aspiration for changes and China blog culture. Below is a selective translation of the transcript.

We must Blog

刘晓原:有条件的网友要多开博客

博客是个好东西,我开过20多个博客,现在经常使用的还有十多个。08年我的博客关注社会事件和法制案件。最后杨佳案虽然让我失望,但是参与至少还算留下了一些痕迹。我为杨佳案写过140多篇博客。我还关注过汶川地震能否预测的问题,关注过那些死难的教师,为此我还给教育部写过信。如果没有博客,我想发表一个观点,就得去找媒体记者。但是博客改变了这一程序,现在是媒体记者主动找我。所以,我希望有条件的网友多开博客,把你的观点通过博客表达出来。

Liu Xiao yuan: Netizens should open more blogs

Blogging is great, I have opened more than 20 blogs, and more than a dozen of them are still active. In 2008, my blogs concern about social and legal issue. Although I was disappointed by the Yang Jia case, my writings leave traces of the incident. I have written more than 140 blog post for Yang Jia. I also concern about Wenchuan earthquake, whether or not it is predictable and the teachers who had killed in the disaster and I wrote to the education ministry on this. If blogs didn't exist, I have to talk to journalists to express my idea. But a blog changes the process, now the journalists approach me. That's why I wish netizens with resources can open more blogs and express your own opinion.

艾未未:在偶然的机会,我开了博客,那时候我都不会用电脑打字……杨佳的母亲王静梅,一个很老实的人,试着开过一个博客,但是后来关了……可见,博客是个了不起的东西。一个人的文字,竟然使人感到如此恐惧。一个人一生中最强大的武器,就是博客。人类从猴子演变到人以后,博客我们遇到的最好的东西。这也是中国在实现公民社会和民主化之前,自我形成的一种民间形态,它是松散的。它总有一天会把我们带到一个美好的世界。所有坚持写博客的人都是我最尊敬的人。

Ai Weiwei: I opened my first blog by chance. At that time, I didn't even know how to type with computer… Yang Jia's mother Wang Jingmei, a very honest person, she tried to open a blog, but was forced to close down… You can see that a blog is a very great invention. Words written can become a threat that stirs up so much anxiety. Blog is the most powerful weapon in one's life. Blogging is the best thing given to human being. This is a loose form of civil society before we have genuine democracy and more organized civil society. It will lead us to a great new world. I respect all those who insist to blog.

叶匡政:博客正在使文化事件和社会事件的边缘越来越模糊

我在06年10月开始写博客。博客改变了我的生活,之前我一直写诗,但现在却开始写文章了,有时候一个星期写十篇。博客正在使文化事件和社会事件的边缘越来越模糊。比如报纸想让我写年终文化总结,我就问他们,你说周正龙事件究竟是文化事件还是社会事件?其实,我们过去经典的知识空间,在博客时代发生了转变。前一段时间,我看到一个美国人提出的概念非常好,他说,博客迎来了2.0版本的公共知识分子的时代。西方的学术分科在西方不超过三百年的历史。中国没有美国格林威治村的时代,那时代的知识分子只对公众发言。我觉得博客是虚拟的美国格林威治村,但博客里弥漫的精神还是波西米亚风格。

过去,时评是新闻的一个门类,博客如果再过十年,也许会成为一个经典作品。我认为网络时代对知识分子的改变是巨大的,它改变了知识分子只面对同行的状态。比如艾未未老师。

Ye Kuang-zheng: Blog blurs the boundary between cultural and social incident

I started blogging in Oct 2006. Blogging changed my life. I used to write poems and now I write article as well. Sometimes I write up to 10 articles in a week. A blog blurs the boundary between cultural and social incident. For example, when the newspapers asked me to write a year-end round up on culture, I asked them whether Zhou Shenglong's fake tiger incident is a cultural or social incident. Our knowledge has been transformed in the blog era. I came across some ideas from an American who said blogging has opened the era of 2.0 public intellectual. The division of academic discipline only have 300 years of history in the West. Chinese haven't experienced the Greenwich Village era in the U.S, when intellectuals only spoke to the public. Blogs are like a virtual Greenwich Village, but the spirit is filled with Bohemian style.

In the past, commentary is a category of news, maybe in a decade, blogs can become classic. The internet era has brought enormous change to the intellectuals, the intellectuals are no longer speaking to each others. Ai Weiwei is a good example.

加藤嘉一:博客是一个中国特色的东西

说博客改变中国是有一定道理的。博客是一个中国特色的东西。我在日本,在我所呆过的澳大利亚、美国,绝对不会发生这样的情况,我从一个老外的角度去说,在中国,各种思想都处在一个无序的状态,用日本话说,媒体、博主、读者都处在一种三位一体的碰撞中。它是为中国带来巨大变革的一个重要因素。

在中国实名博客比较多,日本比较少。这跟日本人的国民信仰有关系。中国的老百姓希望通过博客这个平台来提升自我,无论是知名度,还是思考能力。这在我看来是很新鲜的。虽然日本的因特网发展比中国要好。在日本,没有人通过博客去参与重大事件。

Kato Yoshikazu: Blog is something with Chinese characteristics

It is reasonable to say that blogging has changed China. On the other hand, blogging is something with Chinese characteristic. I speak from the perspective of a foreigner who come from Japan and have been to Australia and the U.S, no where else resemble what's happening here. In China, ideas don't have an order, in Japanese term, media, blogger and readers are clashing with each others. It is a crucial factor to bring change to China.

In China, there are more real name bloggers than in Japan. This is related to Japanese national belief. While in China, people want to elevate themselves via the blog platform, in terms of fame and thought. This is very new to me. Although the development of the internet in Japan is much more advance than China, but we don't participate in social incident via blogging.

吴怀尧:博客写作要“情欲信而辞欲巧”

博客的真正意义是自由,没有对错。博客有一种“毛泽东上井冈山”的意义。当然博客,我们还远远没有意识到它的价值。电视和纸媒还是一种人为的灌输,但是博客给了我们交流的空间。对在现实生活中缺少交流的博主们来说,博客带给他们一个寻找同类项的机会。

博客还带来了一种世俗化的东西,对于我个人来说,还有名利,很多人知道你在做什么事情,并且认可你。当你找到了一个志同道合的人,这是很难得的。

我有时候随便点到一个博客,肯定有一句话可以让我吃惊。但是被展现的博客终究是少的,那么,拿到话语权的人,你是不是可以替另外一些人发言?这也是我向艾老师致敬的一个原因。

关于知识分子的博客,公共知识分子的心是蒙尘的。我曾经是财经时报的封面报道记者,所以我对传统媒体比较了解,他们在采访的时候,只判断这个人是不是有名气。那些真正有想法的人,因为沉默,所以被埋没。而那些三流的人,因为会折腾,获得了名气,传媒就会采访它,所以形成了一种恶性循环。所以,这就是我为什么在2008年为什么做怀尧访谈录的原因。我的采访标准就是,你对这个国家对这个社会有没有贡献。

搜狐博客是一个令人尊敬的博客,它有一些让你会觉得人文关怀的东西在。它关注人、人的生活、人的命运。这也是我为什么跟搜狐合作做“怀尧访谈录”的原因,因为我终究是在跟搜狐背后的人交往,我很荣幸能遇到有才华有想法的编辑们。

牛博网被关闭,让我们反思,如何在写作中做到“情于达而辞于巧”。在这方面,叶匡政老师应该很有心得。

Wu Huai-yao: Blogging with sincerity and sophistication

The value of blogging is freedom, regardless of right or wrong. The meaning of a blog is similar to “Chairman Mao on Jinggangshan”. Most of us are not aware of its value. T.V and newspapers are one-sided indoctrination, while blogging gives us space to exchange. For bloggers who don't have much opportunity to exchange, blogging gives them a chance.

Blogging also brings something secular, for me, it is fame and fortune, many people know what you are doing and recognize your effort. It is very precious to find like-minded people.

Quite often I am surprised by what i read in others’ blogs. However, not so many bloggers have visibility, for those who have the discursive power, can they speak for others? This is the very reason why I respect Ai Weiwei so much.

As for intellectual blogger, the heart of public intellectual is covered with dust. I used to be a reporter in a financial magazine, and I know about the traditional media. When they interview a person, they make the judgment based on whether this person is famous or not. Those people with brilliant idea have been buried. Those third rated people, as they know how to zhe-teng (toss), they gain fame and the traditional media will interview them. This is a vicious circle. That's why in 2008, I published the Huai-yao interview, my criteria for the interview is based on whether or not the person has genuine contribution to the country and society.

Sohu blog is respectable, it contains humanitarian content. It concerns about human, people's life and fate. That's why I work with Sohu in the “Huai-yao Interview” project. I am honored to work with the talented editors.

The shut down of Bullog.cn gives us some reflections. How can we write with sophistication in order to deliver our message and feeling? Ye Kuang-zheng should be very experienced in this.

Resist against brain damage commentary

马少华:我们处于大众批评社会的时代

我原来是在新闻媒体做评论工作的,现在在中国人民大学教新闻评论。我个人的博客,用来和学生交流。我的博客是在06年建立的,这得益于赵牧老兄的鼓舞。

两年前,我结束了在北京青年报的时评写作。后来写作的意识越来越淡,但是表达的意志还很强烈。朋友和同学提出的问题,对我教学方面的成长有很多贡献。我在做职务写作的时候,都没有叶匡政一周写十篇这样的冲动,何况搜狐博客并不开稿费。

几周前,同学也问我对叶匡政这篇脑残文章发表看法。我也发表了一些看法。我觉得,在搜狐文化传媒博客群,我看到了除职业写作者之外,各个学科背景的人都在进行一种批评社会的写作。

Ma Shaohua: We are in an era of critical mass

Originally, I was a commentary writer in news media. Now I teach in Renmin University on news commentary. My blog is to facilitate my exchange with students. Questions raised by students and friends help me to improve my teaching. However, even when I was paid for my writing, I didn't have the impulse like Ye Kuang-shen to write 10 articles in a week, not to mention that I don't gain any profit in the Sohu blog.

A few weeks ago, some students asked me to comment on the article on “brain-damage” written by Ye Kuang-she, I have expressed my opinion. My feeling is that among the Sohu bloggers, apart from the occupational writers, many people with different disciplines are writing social critique.

叶匡政:脑残的概念是日本传来的。现在的年轻人创造了很多词。它们是时髦的。我就把这个概念引入到了时评当中,现在大部分时评是脑残体,这与年轻人创造的新词汇与异曲同工之妙。有时候我们进行工具性的探讨,会更容易普及一些。时评,在中国,将有可能成为一种经典文体。我只想通过这个对时评的本体进行探讨。我希望每年会有评论性的协会,来评出每年一个的经典系列。

Ye Kuangsheng: the idea of brain damage comes from Japan, nowadays, young people have created so many new terms. They are fashionable and I use that in my commentary. Most of the commentaries are substance that causes brain damage, like the terms that invited by the young people. Sometimes, it is more effective to criticize the tool itself. In future China, commentary may become a kind of classic and I want to explore more on the genre of commentary. I hope we can have an association on commentary to select a series of classic.

刘新征:无专业背景的时评存在的价值在哪里

我经常跟编辑说,少推一些单纯的时政评论性文章。我想跟马老师交流,我刚才在发言中,也提到对社会各个阶层人的信息化,如果这些信息化都完成了,那么时评人的作用还体现在哪里?有医疗事件,我们找医生来评论,作为时评作者,即非当事人,又没有专业背景,那么时评继续存在的价值在哪里?

Liu Xin-zheng: the value of commentary without professional background

I often tell editors to push less simple current affair commentaries to the front page. Ma Shaohua also pointed out that with the penetration of information technology to different social strata, the function of commentary writers is in question. When there is a medical incident, we have doctors writing commentary, while the current affair commentators are without such professional background, what is then the value of commentary?

马少华:我先谈谈对叶匡政文章的看法。所谓脑残,自身又在从事这份写作,这是有冲突的。他对网络时评一个非常高的评价,他在中国文章史的框架下,来谈论时评的价值。叶匡政的判断,还需要验证,但是我作为一个老师,对他表示感谢,他增强了人的信心。从写诗歌到时评,除叶匡政外,这样的人在八十年代也有一位,叫邵燕祥。后来还有沙叶新等。叶匡政的激烈言论和风格给相对封闭的写作群体带来的冲击是值得欢迎的,甭管他的文章伤害了哪些人,甭管这些文章在逻辑上有哪些矛盾,时评界需要这样的冲击。在社会的各个领域各个学科背景下的人,只要参与写作,都是对这个文体的贡献。

Ma Shaohua: I want to discuss about Ye Kuang-sheng's article first. While we called commentary brain damage substance, at the same time, we are all writing commentary, this is self-contradictory. He gives high value to internet commentary and evaluates current affair commentary in the context of Chinese Literary history. We are yet to verify Ye Kuangsheng's judgment. However, as a teacher, I am very thankful to him. He has given confidence to many people. From writing poem to commentary, apart from Ye Kuang-sheng, we have another example in the 80s, his name is Zhao Yin-xiang, later we also have Sha Ye-xin, etc. Ye Kuang-shen's radical speech and style has challenged the relatively closed circle of commentary writers. No matter if his article has hurt others’ feeling or sounded illogical, it should be welcomed. Regardless of one's background, once you participate in writing, you are contributing to the genre.

Role of intellectual

王晓阳:知识分子的天职就是批评

我是“搜狐汉奸”王晓阳。我的博客自我介绍就是 “汉奸,经爱国贼认证”。现在,白痴、爱国贼们已经把汉奸给弄成一个半褒半贬的词语了。只要白痴、爱国贼还像现在这么多,我就准备继续汉奸下去,帮白痴、爱国贼一把,直到把汉奸这个词弄成完全的褒义。

我写博客,主要目的是发泄和意淫。我在自我说明中说了,工作中说鬼话屁话官话,博客上说点人话。这是真的。直到今天,我依然在工作中说鬼话屁话官话,去拍马屁挣钱,因为我得生存。但是在博客上,我说的都是真话。

刚才大家都说到时评的批评功能。我认为,知识分子的天职就是批评。老爷们说往东,我们就要立刻指出往东的害处;老爷们说往西,那我们就要立刻说往西的弊病;老爷说往南,我们同样说往南有什么毛病。也就是说,为了批评而批评。

今天很荣幸,见到很多令我尊重的很多博主。比如马少华老师。刚才我出卖了马老师,他跟我聊天说一会可能要先走。他话音刚落,我就立刻去出卖他,告诉幸知说赶快逮住马老师发言。我对少华老师非常尊重,这是一种带着批评的尊重。我认为,时评首先应该抱着干预社会、改变社会的目的去做。而少华老师有点沉迷于象牙塔,过于玩弄时评的技巧。我很希望马老师带出一批勇于改变社会的学生来。

关于马少华与叶匡政关于时评脑残的争论,我欣赏马少华的一句话,他说我欢迎你的攻击。马老师的这句话,反映出他的性格,其中也含有比较隐蔽的反击力量。我认为,人人都要尊重别人的话语权。欢迎攻击,这是一种胸怀。

还有一个就是艾未未老师。艾老师是当代艺术家,我对当代艺术有着很深的偏见,可能与我见到的所谓当代艺术大多以“做怪”为创造手段有关。多数艺术家上梁山为的是招安,蔡国强张艺谋就美滋滋地携手被招安了,抛弃了伪装。

很多人,包括我在内,了解艾未未老师,并不是因为他的当代艺术,而是因为他关于杨佳的那些博文。艾老师观点犀利,文笔精妙,我是佩服得不行。还有一点,我想强调,在座的可能大多数跟我一样,出身草根,而艾未未老师不是。以他的出身,完全可以像大多数衙内一样,相互勾结,在体制内谋取金钱、地位等等,但他却是跳离体制,主动投身草根,为良心呼吁,这是令人感动的一种境界。

Wang Xiaoyang: The duty of intellectuals is to criticize

I am “Chinese traitor in Sohu” Wang Xiaoyang. My self introduction in my blog is “Traitor, certified by patriotic thief”. Now, the idiots, patriotic thieves have turned “traitor” into a semi-prasing term. As long as so many idiots and patriotic thieves exist, I will continue to act as traitor, helping the idiots and patriotic thieves to turn the word to a praise.

My reason to blog is to express frustration and indecent thought. I have explained, in my daily work I speak in ghost language, fart in official tongue, while in my blog I will speak human language. I really mean it. Up till now, I still speak in ghost language and fart in official tongue. I flatter to make a living. But in my blog, I speak the truth.

Just now, everyone is discussing about the function of commentary. In my opinion, the duty of intellectual is to criticize. When the lords say go east, we have to point out the danger of going east. When the lords say go west, we have to point out the problem of going west; When the lords say go south, we still talk about the negative side of the south. We criticize for the sake of criticism.

Today, I am honored to meet so many respectable bloggers. For example Ma Shaohua. I just betrayed him, he told me that he might have to leave early and I betrayed him immediately by telling the organizer to grab him to speak first. I respect Shaohua very much, and my respect come along side with my criticism. In my opinion, the objective of commentary is to intervene and change society, while Shaohua is a bit obsessed with the ivory tower and focuses too much on the technique of commentary. I hope Ma can encourage his student to act on the direction of changing the society.

Concerning the debate between Ma Shaohua and Ye Kuangshen on brain-damage, I appreciate the Ma's saying that “I welcome your attack”. It reflects his character and his will to fight back. Everyone should respect others’ right to speak, should welcome attack. This a kind of open-mindedness.

As for Ai Weiwei, he is a contemporary artist, and I have very deep prejudice against contemporary art, probably because i have seen too many “obscured” style. Most of the artists are at Liang Shan to wait for reckon from the government, Cai Guoqiang and Zhang Yimu have merrily been reckoned and abandoned their hypocritical dresses.

Many of us, including myself, get to understand Ai Weiwei, not because of contemporary art, but due to his blog post about Yang Jia. Ai's opinion is very strong and his writing style is brilliant. It is hard not to look up on him. I want to stress that most of the people here, like myself, are from the grassroots. Ai Weiwei is not. His family background could have given him relation for gaining status and monetary interest. But he chooses to detach from the system, join the grassroots and speak his conscience. This is really touching.

I also respect lawyer Liu Xiaoyuang very much. His writing is not as good as Ai Weiwei, but he has very good insight and he is very hardworking, the 140 posts to speak on behalf of Yang Jia reflects a lofty state of mind. He also earns my utmost respect.

I still want to stress that criticism is the duty of intellectual. There are many different types of bloggers, entertainment, finance, sport, current affair, etc. In China, the most valuable bloggers are the political blogger, I don't need to explain the reason.

Politics is like air, no one can be escaped from that. Under the current situation, intellectuals who don't care about politics are shameless. Thank you.

艾未未:人拿知识作为竞争手段是很羞耻的

现代艺术是现代文化的一部分,现代文化最大的特征是自由化、个人化和个人的觉悟,在这点上,现代艺术是不可能被批评掉的。对于批评本身,我的看法是有人谈比没人谈好。我觉得刚才提到的是整个现象,而不光是中国艺术家、文化人丧失立场、丧失觉悟引起的反应。

中国与知识有关的人,最重要的一个特征就是寻求真实、寻求真理。我们怎么看待我们自己的身份,这种意识形态对我们人的生存状态、品质有什么影响?中国有知识的人,由于教育,仅把知识作为个人财富或名誉积累的一种手段,人拿知识作为竞争手段的时候,确实是很羞耻的一件事。

如果一个拥有知识的人在大的伦理或是是非面前不能够发表自己的看法,确实是一个民族或是一个国家的悲剧。有了互联网、博客以后我相信人们才逐渐习惯于这种表达。因为这种表达的权利在很长一段时间丧失了。

刚才的专业人士和时评人争论,让我想起一百年前的“问题”还是“主义”之争。说老实话,由于我们都脱离不了时政,所以时政我们都卷进去了,因此我们都热衷于谈些抽象的时政概念,或者说这方面我们是非常不专业的,但是生活的每一天、每一件事都是不可躲避的,所以说完全的专业化也是不存在的。

中国所有的专业都是被政治所影响的专业,我们也看到三鹿的问题并不是专业医生能解决的问题,地震的问题也不并是建筑师能解决的问题。在今天死去孩子的数字、名字仍然是作为国家的机密在保护,不能公布。我们就想到如果死去的人名字都不能公布,这是什么问题,我们不关心这样的问题那还有什么专业性的问题,如果我们不能说豆腐渣这几个字是什么意思,那我们真的遇到一个寸步难行的问题。所以尽管有许多歪路但我们还是要走下去。在真正的路走出来之前,我们就是一直在各种歪路上穿来穿去的一些人。

Ai Weiwei: It is shameful to take knowledge as a tool for competition

Modern art is part of modern culture. The character of modern culture is liberalization, individualization and self-reflectiveness. That's why we cannot negate modern culture totally. On the subject of criticism, it is good to have the discussion. What have been mentioned just now is an overall phenomena, it is not just a reaction to Chinese artists and the lack of self-reflectiveness and political positioning among cultural elites.

In China, people who are dealing with knowledge should seek the truth. How do we look at our own identity and how does such idea affects our existence and character? However, many people with knowledge, because of the existing education, only regards knowledge as a tool to compete with others for personal wealth and fame, this is really shameful.

If intellectuals withhold their opinion in major ethical issue, it would be a tragedy for the nation and its people. With the help of the internet and blog, I think people would slowly get used to such kind of expression. We have been deprived of the right of expression for a long time.

The debate between professional and commentators reminds me of the debate happened a hundred years ago over “problem” or “ideology”. We can't escape from current social issue and politics, we are all part of it, that's why we are eager to discuss the abstracted political concept. Maybe we are not very professional in our discussion, however, we cannot escape from our life and all the happenings. And we can't be professional in all aspects.

All the professionals in China are affected by politics. We see that the poisonous milk problem of Sanlu cannot be solved by professional doctors, the earthquake problem also cannot be solved by architects. Today, the death toll of children and their names in the earthquake are still national secret, cannot be disclosed. If we cannot even disclose the name of the dead, what is the issue at stake? It is not related to professional issue. If we cannot discuss what's behind “Soy pulp construction”, we cannot move forward. Although our paths have been blocked, we still need to go on, before we walk our way out, we will continue to explore all the possible tracks.

张天蔚:我的博客很杂乱,博客对我来说是一个私人空间,我没有雄心通过博客影响社会。我的博客没有什么固定的风格,如果我的博客被推荐,我会有被吓到的感觉。刚才刘新征提到“没有专业背景的时评家写作有什么意义”的问题,我作为一个专业的时评人,每天都在写着叶匡政说的脑残文体。《北京青年报》的四个评论人,也都没有专业的背景。

最近两三年以来,具有专业背景的时评人确实十分活跃,对于绝大多数老百姓来说,社会发生的许多事情对每个人生活都有影响,从常识角度,每个人都生活在社会里,无论是经济事件还是法律事件对你的生活都有直接的影响,每个人都会做出基于你的常识、经验、感情的判断。西方有所谓意见领袖这种概念,这种意见领袖有可能是基于专业背景的,也有可能是基于受众最普遍的情感。如果你的评论真的能够传达出在这件事上绝大多数老百姓心中的感受,那就还是有价值的。

我想解释下脑残文体,我在《北京青年报》写时评已经写了七、八年了,可能是坚持这个文体时间最长的人之一了,发在报纸评论版头条的社论真的是非常困难。时评对语言的包装跟形成别扭的表达方式跟言论空间有非常大的关系。公开发表在平面的时评从不会批评说“党”,所有对党的讨论会转换成政府,政府这个词还不行就会转换成“行政权利”。经过长期的摧残之后,可能这个人就真的脑残了。

Zhang Tianwei: My blog is very loose, it is my personal space. I don't have the ambition to influence the society via blogging, and I don't have a consistent style. If someone recommends my blog, I would be very surprised. Just now Liu Xin-zheng asked “what's the value of non-professional writing”? As a professional commentator, I wrote what Ye Kuangzheng's so-called “brain damange” style of writing. However, among the four commentators of Beijing Youth Daily, none of them have professional background.

In the past two to three years, those commentators with professional background are really active. To most people, everything in the society will affect each of their life. Our common sense tells us, every member of the society will be affected by economic and legal incident, and everyone will react according to their common sense, experience and emotion. In the West, they have the idea of opinion leaders. This probably because of their professional background or probably based on the reaction of general public. If your commentary can reflect the feeling of ordinary people, that commentary would be valuable.

I want to talk about the brain-damage genre. I have been writing commentary at Beijing Youth Daily for 7-8 years, probably I am the most determined person sticking to this genre. It is very difficult to get commentary published on the front page headline. Commentary is very much framed by language, expression and space for free speech. Commentary on printed media cannot criticize “party”, all discussion would be automatically changed to the term “government”. If the term government becomes too sensitive, then we would change that into “administrative right”. After a long period of repressive environment, the person would probably become brain damaged.

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