Back Online, Catching Up.

In the US, savvy newsmakers like to save bad news – scandals, say – for the holidays, when reporters and ordinarily conscious citizens have turned their attentions elsewhere. In China, it seems, English-language bloggers like to do something similar: save some of their best posts for when their readers are enjoying the lunar new year. So, before I get back to the business of reported blogging, later in the week, allow me to point you in the direction of a handful of China blog posts that have been written – and might have been overlooked – due to the Chinese New Year, Egypt, and – give me a break, people – Groupon:

  • What We Lost 2010: Shanghai’s Architectural Losses Last Year” at Paul French’s essential China Rhyming blog. The post is exactly what the title suggests: a comprehensive, heart-wrenching account of what few remaining pieces of Shanghai’s diminishing architectural heritage were demolished in the last 12 months. It’s a frustrating, depressing, and above all informative post:  “… the pace of destruction in no way slowed but significantly increased throughout the year … [w]e should all be clear now that ‘preservation orders’ supposedly placed on buildings to protect them have no validity whatsoever and are merely cosmetic. Supposedly preserved buildings continue to be bulldozed regularly, often at 2am!” This is an ongoing, preventable tragedy, and French deserves tremendous credit for the depressing drudgery of documenting it (but goodness, Paul, why publish on the first day of the new year?). Absolutely essential reading.