On May 4, the popular Chinese actress Yao Chen posted the following message to her 45 million followers on the microblogging site Sina Weibo: “Nineteen years ago, the young Zhu Ling was poisoned. Nineteen years later, this name has again been poisoned.” READ MORE >>
The new rich want wine, cheese, and savoir vivre. Underemployed Frenchmen are glad to deliver it.
“Au revoir,” said the grocer.“Au revoir,” said the man in chic little canvas shoes. He had a bottle of champagne under one arm, and a bottle of “C’est la vie” chardonnay sauvignon blanc in hand. One elbow cradled a three-foot baguette. With an artful little pirouette, he piloted his cargo out the door. READ MORE >>
Renoir is the film’s title, but it might as well be plural. It seems to promise a film about Jean Renoir just because it is a film, but it turns out to be about two Renoirs: Jean and his father Pierre-Auguste, the great Impressionist painter. It is also, to an equal share, about a young woman called Dédé who is seen in the very opening shot bicycling along a sunny road. This sequence is a tip of the hat to modern French film. READ MORE >>
Forget China. An EU trade deal would be the real game-changer.
At a time when everyone in Washington wants to talk about making a “pivot” to Asia, both economically and politically, it would be tempting to dismiss President Obama's decision, announced in his State of the Union address, to pursue a United States-European Union free trade area. It would also be a big mistake. The fact is, the U.S. READ MORE >>
How the Internet changed cartoons
One of the promos for Seth MacFarlane's upcoming gig as Oscar host starts, "Hi I'm Seth MacFarlane," followed by a whispered aside, "Ask your kids." Sure, he's winking at the fact that he's easily the least famous host in the Award's history.1 But he is also acknowledging why he was likely offered the job in the first place: to attract a younger audience. READ MORE >>
China and North Korea share a real bond. But for how long?
Even close friends and allies can sometimes prove troublesome for their big power patrons. President Obama discovered that in his first term dealings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lectured the U.S. president, embarked on a rash of settlement building, and then openly embraced Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. The Russians are finding that out with Syria, as Moscow looks increasingly isolated in its continued support for Bashir al-Assad’s blood-soaked regime. READ MORE >>
The People's Republic may lift its ban on consoles. It wouldn't be the boon that many expect.
Last month, China Daily, the country’s main English-language paper, reported that the People’s Republic might lift its 13-year-old ban on video game consoles. READ MORE >>
Ai Weiwei: Wonderful dissident, terrible artist
If Ai Weiwei, the much admired Chinese dissident artist, were a character in a novel, I would know exactly what to think about him. I would regard him as a fascination, at once formidable and absurd, courageous and disingenuous, unquestionably brilliant and downright moronic. I would take in stride the outlandish paradoxes that are integral to his reputation. READ MORE >>
THAT FAINT CLANKING SOUND, arriving through the open window of his home office: Was it coming from the courtyard? Was it being made by the pulley they’d attached to the house’s outside wall? READ MORE >>