Sister Swallow Twitter Report (A Sneak Preview)

We have compiled and translated some interesting tweets by China’s famous sex blogger Liumangyan (Sister Swallow) You can follow her (in Chinese) on http://twitter.com/liumangyan or visit her website  http://www.hongchen2006.com.

A more thorough analysis of her exquisite dialogues and rants will follow in my book.  She is a hyper-active blogger who is brave, full of jouissance and to the point. She is often neck to neck with well-known artist Ai Wei Wei, who will also be featured in my book.

***Defending and advocating for sex workers. 

@JinyanSONG 性工作者比小三夺正室的可能,情人蹿位的野心,都要小得多。因为性工作者面对许多男性,并不愿意界入他人的家庭。我并不反对一夫一妻制的家庭模式但性在婚姻生活中,不应该是影响家庭稳定的主要因素。當然性工作者也不构成威胁。June 30

@ JinyanSong sex workers are much less likely to intervene in a family than a second wife or a secret lover, because sex workers have to deal with a lot of males and they do not want to be part of these families. I am not against monogamy but sex should not be the major reason that affects the stability of a family. So of course sex workers cannot be a threat.

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Han Han's Magazine Arrives!

 

The new Han Han magazine has arrived…. Although there’s not a single advertisment in the magazine, it is known as the most generous publication in China—paying  each of the authors 2000 RMB per 1000 words (as you can see from the picture above, that’s basically all of them).

The magazine is a nice mixture of short novels, essays, photographs, commics, etc. But it was quite an disapointment for me not seeing the orginal cool cover picture on the actual copies.

As I look through the magazine, I found the following excerpt very informative. It  is  It’s from Han Han’s own article   I WANT TO TALK TO THIS WORLD (我想和這個世界談談 wo xiang he zhe ge shi jie tan tan). Here is the rough translation (Thank you Katrien for editing it for me):

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Writing as Night Elf Priest

 

Bonnie Nardi’s new book My Life as  Night Elf Priest about World of Warcraft is out by University of Michigan Press. You can look at the summary of her book and also download several of the chapters for free. The book gives a very detailed and positive account of what it means to be immersed in this game environment. The Night Elf is a character who heals people after they have died in battle. The book deconstructs persistent media stereotypes about game addiction and refers to play theory and aesthetics to explain the draw of WoW.  I wish their would be more experiential books with images and an honest writer’s voice–it provides a breath of fresh air for soul-less academic writing.

               WoW Druid Form, a character that shape-shifts

     into different animals.

 

 

HanHan and the Central Organ

All summer long I have been writing my new book People’s Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet for Intellect Books. Excerpts and foreplay will follow on this blog until I finally reach academic fame or downfall. In either case, I have been very fortunate to work with Carrie Yang who has helped me researching and scrutinizing Chinese bloggers and sexually explicit media. The book will feature several generations of female and male bloggers who have written about pornography or who have made their own sexually explicit galleries: Muzimei, February Girl, Hooligan Swallow, Sola Aoi, Tiger Temple, Ai wei Wei etc,… 

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The Cabinet of Miss Ma

 

A few days ago I managed to meet with Miss Ma. She is a tailor who makes costumes for the costume players who live around Communication University of Beijing. We were hoarded into a dark alley by one of her young mates and customers, named Woody. The smell upon entering the cabinet was fantastic and I could only imagine what Miss Ma had been up to.  There was a huge tree growing through her tiny shop where she also housed her morobike and various machineries for sewing together immensely complex outfits.  We started a conversation and I noticed that she likes to talk. She told me that she was happy with her line of work but just wanted more business–as the cosplay fad has dimmed a little. We were all glued to her lips during our short visit, at the end of which Miss Ma pulled out her magical scroll.  Hundreds of drawings and photos of people’s favorite animation characters which she had tied together with a string.  People had brought her all these drawings and sketches, knowing that Miss Ma would turn them into a great outfit. We talked about our common friend Atom who likes to do male characters. She showed Atom’s golden brown kimono waiting to picked up. The visit to Miss Ma was short and sweet. I will surely remember it as an unusual afternoon–when time slows down and we feel teary stepping out of the grind.  

Schizoid with Vocaloid

I continue   my search for people’s virtual characters and end up following cosplay photographer Francesca. We meet at the old communist factory-turned-art-district “798” where they have also preserved one of the old Chinese coal trains. Francesca uses this setting to take photos of her good friend Phoenix.  Phoenix here is doing the  girl character of the virtual singers from the voice synthizer software Vocaloid.  People can submit their DIY songs to the Vocaloid site which are then interpreted and sung by a family of virtual singers.  Phoenix was inspired by a song about a cute girl who is a train conductor from the Japanese war era. To her the girl with green ponytails and green uniform represents an element of nostalgia and fantasy in times of darkness.

Earthy and Dirty

I just arrived in Beijing at Renmin University where I will give a talk about animation fans and how they use alter egos and virtual siblings, or even entire imagined clans and families. I want to find out how and why they fantasize about alternative families and how they deal with pressures of the bio-family.

But what are the first impressions of Beijing coming from Hong Kong? Beijing is earthy and dirty. Hong Kong seems to have lost its sweat glands and body odors. Maybe it is just a cliche that in Beijing one smells wafts of urine everywhere (comparable to those in Paris and Brussels.) But certainly it is true and brings relief to see that people look more relaxed and “healthy”, grubby and chubby, moist and tanned.

Then I also brought with me my pale Hermina, who is is named after the sister of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.  She came with an electric guitar and I also got her a skate board. The doll brand is named Pullip and is made in South Korea as a competitor to the much bigger Japanese companyVolks or SD (Superdollfie) The CEO of Volks  (A Japanese man taking on German features) launched the fad of ball-jointed dolls as virtual siblings about a decade ago. When assembling and buying a “daughter” from Volks, one can go pick her up in Kyoto and she will be handed over to you in a Christian-like ritual of baptism. Yes, these strange fashions are the spiritual and chaste version of the sex doll. Actually, one can see that many of those daughters live  out the fetish dreams of their owners but the adult here is supposed to shut up and play.

So here she she is … my mean little Hermina. Yes, she does have an esoteric personality and those piercing blue eyes–that would a swift Korean business ideal.

Love My Others

Eureka, Summer of Love, by Hybridre

Excerpt about love from my previous interview with Beijing costume player Francesa. Francesa’s photographs can be found at hybridre.deviantart.com/gallery

F=Francesca, or Hybridre, Cosplayer and Photographer

K=Katrien, Interviewer

C=Carol, Translator/Interviewer

C: Can I ask a question? Assuming that you and your lover are both cosplayers, when you cosplay two characters in love with each other, would you feel that you two are actually in love?

F: Actually I can’t completely split the real love from the love in fiction. Sometimes you feel that the character you are going to cosplay is so similar to yourself. And your partner is also cosplaying a character that is very similar to him. When you two are cosplaying, maybe you will feel that you are performing real life. It’s convincing.

K: If you and your partner can both accept the characters, it will be very powerful. For instance, when my current partner first met me, I was actually dressed up like the character Libidot (not  a cosplay character)  I was so worried that he would not like me as my real self, but it turned out to be ok. He just really liked me dressed up like that. If you two can accept each other’s characters and love each other, it can be very powerful.

F: I often wonder whether you like the person or you just like the character. It’s hard to say. The experience of playing roles is also influence by our relationship.

K: Maybe you start with cosplaying together, and then it moves into other things, and then everything. That’s life.

C: If your favorite character is cosplayed by someone that you don’t like, could you become very annoyed?

F: Of course. I can’t understand why you would cosplay that character if you are not so good. But we should at least respect them if they love the character too.


The Diarist & The Steamy Mob

I met with 15 students for a two-hour recorded session about Internet culture, social networks, pornography & censorship politics. We were probing and discussing ideas about the power of netizens and the government war on pornography. Many views and anecdotes were exchanged.  As much as Chinese people know how to cope wity with government surveillance, they also use the web to spy meticulously on each other’s sex lives or sexual mishaps. The urge to snoop around and publicize this kind of “dirt” is perhaps as deep as the desire for porn or romance. There is the recent case of tabacco chief Han Feng, whose sex diary was uploaded by the angry husband of one Han’s lovers. Later his diary was forwarded online and his political life and corruptions were scrutinized by a squad of online vigilantes, whose actions led his dismissal a party official. This chinese “human flesh search engine” is like a netizens’ mob who collaborate online to illegally investigate and stalk a person. They then take action against and harass this person in real life. which can have far-reaching consequences. Han has meanwhile sued the uploader of his diary and rumors now abound that it was one of his political rivals who hired a hacker to steak Han’s diary. This is an instance of netizens power and cyber bullying, but in many cases the steamy mob gropes for petty details about people’s sexuality–as if they area signs of larger problems. But maybe they are just what they are, and the mob might as well leave these details alone & and yes–get a sex life of their own!