Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Layers, Movies, Sea-Buckthorn, and Purcell

The extensive recovery effort for my earlier mishap continue, but the end is in sight. Since I do not have time for a proper post today and want to hold off commenting on what I have learned from my recent experiences until later, I will share just a few unrelated items.

1. Thursday at 7pm China time (7am US EST time; 1pm Berlin time) I will be joining a discussion on Hangouts led by the president of the China Speakers Bureau, Fons Tuinstra, and also including Thomas Morffew & Alicia Noel. The topic will be "the current wave of anti-foreigner press in China - where it comes from, what it means to foreigners living in China, and employment implications for non-Chinese living in China." I look forward to discussing a topic that I believe has many layers. If you want to join or watch you can find more details here.

2. The article "Hollywood gripped by pressure system from China" on the Los Angeles Times describes how despite Hollywood sometimes being seen as a part of America's soft power, the desire to appease Chinese viewers and censors is influencing the nature of the movies Hollywood now produces:
In fact, references to the Middle Kingdom are popping up with remarkable frequency in movies these days. Some are conspicuously flattering or gratuitous additions designed to satisfy Chinese business partners and court audiences in the largest moviegoing market outside the U.S. Others, filmmakers say, are simply organic reflections of the fact that China is a rising political, economic and cultural power.

Meanwhile, Chinese bad guys are vanishing — literally. Western studios are increasingly inclined to excise potentially negative references to China in the hope that the films can pass muster with Chinese censors and land one of several dozen coveted annual revenue-sharing import quota slots in Chinese cinemas.
Read the article, but I must point out an important fact first -- Kung Fu Panda has bad guys.

3. The other day in Xining, Qinghai I found this:

bottle of sea buckthorn juice

I had never heard of sea buckthorn juice so I figured I would give it try when I noticed it in a small convenience store. I must say it had a rather unique taste, and I am at a lost to describe it. I will give it another try when I have the opportunity.

4. And for today's baroque culture, I will share a video of a one minute long song with music by English composer Henry Purcell (it takes about 20 seconds for the music to start). The piece has the title "Man is for the woman made". Lyrics and music are displayed making it easier to follow. I found it a catchy tune and the title brought me amusement. Soon you may find yourself singing this song on the street as others look on in bewilderment. Anyways, I simply share it as a quick taste of music from long ago.

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