Time for another roundup of the best of one year ago....
Pick of the Archives:
Favourite posts, January-March 2010
1) A breakthrough for Chinese poetry farmers! - 5th January 2010
The characteristically mangled English pronunciation of CCTV9's newsreaders prompts this little piece of whimsy.
2) Hubertina Hildebrand says Hallo - 6th January 2010
Some e-mail spam from an exotically-named sender prompts this little piece of whimsy.
3) Randomly generated names for characters in a novel - 9th January 2010
My 'List of the Month' records twenty or so of the surprisingly plausible names I'd encountered over the previous six months through the ReCaptcha spambot-blocking system.
4) Problem? What problem? - 12th January 2010
A particularly important example of Chinese 'cultural difference' - illustrated by Chinese artist Yang Liu.
5) Only several... (War on Chinglish - 14) - 15th January 2010
One of the most common - and, I find, the most irritating - quirks of Chinese English.
6) There you go, China - 19th January 2010
The despotic "first emperor" Qin Shihuangdi furnishes an unlovely - but all too apposite - paradigm for many subsequent Chinese rulers.
7) Pacing - 26th January 2010
The skills required for voicework are more substantial than is often recognised. (Interesting link in the comments here from JES, too.)
8) It really ought to be a word - 30th January 2010
Text-message clumsiness begets an inspired invention!
9) The Rigmarole - 2nd February 2010
It can take the Chinese a very long time indeed to take their money out (or put it away again). Really.
10) A dark poem - 7th February 2010
Some observations on Auschwitz, prompted by the recent theft (and recovery) of the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' sign from above the entrance.
11) Those naughty Australians!! - 11th February 2010
The folks Down Under really do create the world's most risqué advertising campaigns.
12) Just for the record... - 20th February 2010
... I am not a killjoy in the matter of fireworks. But... (I never much enjoy Chinese New Year and its insane firework overkill.)
13) War Music - 21st February 2010
Some favourite excerpts from Christopher Logue's wonderful modern versions of scenes from Homer's Iliad.
14) Can blue men sing the whites? - 23rd February 2010
A long and virulent review of the godawful Avatar. (Includes a couple of links at the end to the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's song which provided the post title.)
15) Film List - more great openings - 27th February 2010
A follow-up to this list from a year earlier; and an even better selection.
16) Sometimes this is how it feels.... - 28th February 2010
You only post Gary Larson's 'God at his PC' cartoon when you've had a particularly bad day on the computer!
17) Bon mot for the week - 1st March 2010
Some of my own thoughts on depression (elaborated further in the comment). [Later, I try to cheer myself up with a bit of 'positive thinking'!!]
18) Also Sprach Zarathustra (and other headbangs) - 1st March 2010
Some recollections of my student days, and the records my friends and I used to use for hi-fi speaker tests. (Unfortunately, the YouTube link I'd embedded to Japanese electronica wizard Isao Tomita's version of Also Sprach Zarathustra has died; I must try to find an alternative link.)
19) The ultimate Boy Scout - 5th March 2010
A brief introduction to China's 'model citizen', Lei Feng.
20) List of the Month: Return of the Killer Factoids - 6th March 2010
10 more autobiographical confessions you may little have suspected about me.
21) If I were an AMPAS voter - 7th March 2010
I correctly predict the winners in just about every one of the Oscar categories this year - but I don't necessarily agree with them all. I was particularly scornful of The Hurt Locker and Avatar, and disappointed that only the superb Christoph Waltz won something for Inglourious Basterds. This dissatisfaction with the whole Oscar fiasco later prompted me to write a list of all the nominated films I felt should have won the 'Best Picture' Award down the years (in two parts, here and here).
22) When is an artist not an artist? - 12th March 2010
When they're self-proclaimed, I say. (Or perhaps when they're millionaires?)
23) A new playbook for Chinese diplomats - 19th March 2010
The latest outbreak of childish - and self-harming - petulance over "the Tibet issue" leads me to offer up suggestions for an alternative approach.
24) Another great website idea - 29th March 2010
THE COIN goes online! But then a discourager points out that someone has allegedly come up with a similar website already. No new thing under the sun?
25) When NOT to join hands (War on Chinglish - 15) - 30th March 2010
Another particularly common - and particularly risible - piece of Chinglish I am striving to eradicate.
26) Schrödinger's Cat in geopolitics - 31st March 2010
Possibly my funniest, or at least oddest ever post title?