Readings from the Waiting Room

I’m out on a long reporting trip right now – which means that I get to spend extended periods of time waiting in hotel rooms for people to call and say that I can come and see them, now. Hard to do much in that situation but read bite-sized blog candy, and that’s what I’ve been doing. So, a few of the things that I’ve enjoyed these last few days:

  • Ever wonder what happens when police officers with little to no training in the firing of weapons, much less in hunting, get to do both? The mighty China Smack provides some insights with this magnificent account of a sort-of boar hunt. I know the US is falling behind China in just about everything these days, but I feel quite confident that an American police officer – especially one from a region where hunting is popular – would have required fewer than 13 shots to prepare the roast.
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Amy Chua mania. I had my say (on the book, no less), and others have had theirs. But I think no response has been quite so apt as Christine H. Tan’s satire, Why Chinese Girlfriends Are Superior. Tan’s post, like Chua’s, has become something of a phenomenon, racking up some 50,000 visits in one recent 12 hour period (my sourcing is impeccable, trust me). It is, indisputably the most popular English-language post in the China blogsphere in some time.
  • Of the so-called news that came out of Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States, nothing struck me as quite so dispiriting as the accounts of American members of Congress whining to the Chinese leader, in a private meeting, about all of the bad things that he’s been doing to them lately. And the best account of that sorry episode comes from the LA Times. Why US congressional leaders would want to present themselves to the Chinese leader as a bunch of complaining supplicants escapes me entirely. I sincerely hope it has nothing to do with John Boehner’s claim that the United States “has a responsibility” to hold “China to account. He may believe that but, problem is, Hu Jintao probably doesn’t.

Relevant to nothing here, but worth posting: 3 AM at an ice cold Chinese scrap yard …