9 May, 2006

Feng Shui Phone

In an attempt to deepen its Asian market share, Motorola is reportedly planning a Feng Shui Phone:

 Photos Uncategorized 060507 Fsfone

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by @ 11:58 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

Taiwan’s Massage Boy

Friend Gram at Holidarity, a journalist for a decade in Asia, encounters an one of his first interview subjects in the region:

Massage Boy!!!! The freelance male masseur/ prostitute now turned part-time transvestite and low-grade pimp!!!! Dumbstruck, I broke off a conversation, gave him an unsure hug, and couldn’t manage more than a stunned: “[His real name], oh my God it’s you!”
MassageI hadn’t seen Massage Boy in years, maybe six or seven, certainly five at least, and when thoughts of him and his disfigured yet cherubic smile did come to mind, I’d usually turn my eyes down to the sidewalk and with a small shrug of guilt - for neglecting a friend, or something like that - and imagine he was in an HIV/AIDS hospice somewhere, or dead. I mean, what other fate are you supposed to imagine for a guy who solicits sex with international hotel guests for money? Especially once he’d stopped hanging out in nightclubs.
It turns out he’d disappeared into a clutch of Tibetan Lamas, one of the several Tibetan Buddhism Centers in Taipei. “I was hanging around there from 8 in the morning till 5 or 6 at night. All day. Sometimes, every day. Yeah, I was chanting sutras, you know, meditating, lots of things.”
Then a moment of hestitation, and a contemplative look gave way to a giggle: “Oh my God, what was I thinking! What a waste of time!”

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by @ 11:45 pm. Filed under Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

Whedon’s Sailor Moon

AsiaPundit is a fan of Joss Whedon, but the latest rumored venture sounds disturbing.:

 Sailormoon Postcards Images 005Remember when the big story was about Lindsay Lohan as Wonder Woman? Well, now keep the director, and the actress, but change the movie title, and you have Lindsay Lohan as Sailor Moon.

That’s right,, according to , Japanese anime magazine Animage is reporting that Fox has acquired the film rights to Sailor Moon, and they want Joss Whedon (currently writing and directing Wonder Woman) to direct, and of course, they want Lindsay Lohan to star.

I think this is spurious at best, but only time will tell. I’m not sure if people are still fans of Sailor Moon, except as a source of sexual fantasy, but I’m sure whatever fanboys there are out there are probably not happy. Then again, I’ve always thought Lindsay Lohan had a particularly cartoonish look to her.

(via Brian David Phillips)

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by @ 11:27 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Film

Academic freedom: China vs Singapore

Sam Crane points to an essay by Daniel Bell that, among other things, argues Mainland China offers greater academic freedom than Singapore.:

The willingness to put up with political constraints depends partly upon one’s history. In my case, I had taught at the National University of Singapore in the early 1990s. There, the head of the department was a member of the ruling People’s Action Party. He was soon replaced by another head, who asked to see my reading lists and informed me that I should teach more communitarianism (the subject of my doctoral thesis) and less John Stuart Mill. Naturally, this made me want to do the opposite. Strange people would show up in my classroom when I spoke about “politically sensitive” topics, such as Karl Marx’s thought. Students would clam up when I used examples from local politics to illustrate arguments. It came as no surprise when my contract was not renewed.
In comparison, China is a paradise of academic freedom. Among colleagues, anything goes (in Singapore, most local colleagues were very guarded when dealing with foreigners). Academic publications are surprisingly free: there aren’t any personal attacks on leaders or open calls for multiparty rule, but particular policies, such as the household registry system, which limits internal mobility, are subject to severe criticism.

As a resident of both countries, AsiaPundit is somewhat skeptical of Bell’s observations. The ‘out of bounds’ markers in Singapore do permit discussion of most matters of policy - discussions of nepotism or the integrity of the courts could cause some trouble. Still, AP has never been involved in academia and would welcome comments from those more experience in that arena.

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by @ 10:59 pm. Filed under Singapore, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Media, Censorship

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