Dark Displays

Sightseeing the Nanjing Massacre Museum – by Christian Shepherd


"Alright mate. Where've you got to?" I'm sat on the benches at the exit."

Relieved, I up my pace to a brisk walk. "With you shortly."

"No rush mate – watching an interesting documentary on the author of The Rape of Nanking. You don't want to skimp on the torture and beheadings section."

I slow down. "Hold on – you're still downstairs?"

There's a pause on the other end of the line. "Upstairs? There's more?"


Christian Shepherd, Fri 25 July 2014 - 05:44

Chinese Myth Tuesdays: Dragons!

Edited, with additions, from Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!


If you’re not from Asia, you’ll be familiar with dragon slaying tales. In Western culture, dragons are evil, but in Chinese culture, they’re benevolent and kind, and made of awesome. Here’s why.

The story goes that in the earliest time in China, people formed clans. Each had an animal to represent their clan, like a pig or a snake, to show how badass they were.

Over time, one clan led by the legendary Yellow Emperor (黃帝 Huángdì) adopted the fearsome traits of animals from the clans they defeated, joining the claws of an eagle, the body of a serpent, the face of a lion, etc. – forming, you guessed it, the dragon.


Min Xie, Tue 22 July 2014 - 07:11

Poem: Salvation (拯救)

A bilingual poem by Tom Mangione



Plastacine pilgrims at the shuttle launch

Combinations, switchbacks in time

Black holes of memories leading back

We go under by going over


Priestly penny pinchers

Gather on the periphery

Flags of our fathers rise up


Tom Mangione, Mon 21 July 2014 - 05:01

Summer Shorts: Censor

From inside the machine – by Alicia Lui


It started simply, with those words, “Just hold me.” Normally he wouldn’t have taken a second look; after all, those words were harmless. As a censor at the largest social network in China, it was his job to scan thousands of messages daily to make sure “sensitive” messages didn’t get out. All the new hardware and algorithms his employers invested in made his job easier, but users were finding creative ways to bypass automated filters. Luckily so, or he’d be out of a job.

Every now and then, to alleviate boredom, he would read entire conversations: couples planning the weekend, company executives scouting apartments, teenage girls gossiping about cute boys, all manners of debates, jokes and puns.


Alicia Lui, Sun 20 July 2014 - 15:08

Patrolman and Pumpkin

A short story by Hannah Lincoln


It’s been months since I switched from tea to coffee, and Master Liu has never stopped berating me for my choice.

“Tea is very healthy! It keeps you warm and strong. Little Li, you listen to me – coffee is nothing but dirt dug up in the West! It does not care for your well-being as tea does. I am already seventy and healthy as an ox thanks to long jin.”

Sometimes he is seventy, other times sixty. On really cold nights he is as old as eighty-three. In winter he usually claims to be older, as if preparing his own obituary.


Hannah Lincoln, Fri 18 July 2014 - 05:30

Chinese Myth Tuesdays: Fuxi


Yes, yes, I know it's Wednesday/Thursday, but I've been out in the boondocks and just got back online. Then again, Chinese Tuesdays has always been more than a day of the week, it's a state of mind.

Anyway, here is the continuation of our early Chinese myths season, courtesy of Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!:

We talked about Nüwa last time, so now we’re going to talk about her husband. Fu Xi (伏羲 Fúxī) was the first of the Three Sovereigns, Five Emperors (三皇五帝 sānhuáng wǔdì) who ruled during the mythical dynasty before the Xia Dynasty, on the banks of the Yellow River.


Min Xie, Wed 16 July 2014 - 17:51