Friday, July 22, 2005

Another knee-slapper thanks to Richard Bennett

Well, not really directly from Richard, but he deserves a major hat tip for his post here. He introduced me to "Sister Hibiscus" via the Carnival of Chinese blogs.

China’s internet censors are ‘keeping an eye’ on sino-sexblogger Sister Hibiscus. The below item from the Asian Sex Gazette (worksafe, risque banner ads) concludes that her 15 minutes of fame are up.”

As you can see from the above photo from China Daily (story here), they're "keeping an eye on her" in much the same way that Rupert Murdoch "keeps an eye" on all those beauties he publishes right near his gossip columns.

Sister Hibiscus is not beautiful - by most accepted standards, that is.

But, going by the philosophy that "if you haven't got it, flaunt it," she has created quite a buzz in China's online world.

Usually referred to as frjj, short for "Furong Jiejie," Sister Hibiscus' apparently misplaced confidence in her looks, writing and dancing ability has made her something of an Internet legend.

And while her tireless self-publicity has gained her comparison with a myriad other desperate Z-list celebrities, one lingering question sets Sister Hibiscus apart: Is she deluded, does she really believe she is as beautiful and talented as she claims, or is she fooling us, and manipulating the public for future profit?

Then, there is the possibility, albeit slight, of a classic underdog story. Born in a peasant family in Shaanxi Province, Sister Hibiscus did not have an easy time with the country's college entrance system. It took her three tries to get into college, and since graduation, she has set her eyes on two of the country's best schools - Peking University and Tsinghua University - for postgraduate studies. Three tries later, she is still outside the ivory tower.

But for a long time, she could almost pass as a Tsinghua member. She frequented the university's online forums, leaving very personal essays and posting provocative photos taken at well-known campus locations.

What has made her stand out, however, is her self-evaluation: "My sexy appearance and ice-and-jade pure quality bring me a lot of attention wherever I go. I'm always the centre of everything. People never tire of looking at my face, and my physique gives men nose-bleeds."

Sister Hibiscus says things as if she is living in a romance novel. Many call her a narcissist, but she prefers the term "self-confidence."

Ever since she became the subject of endless online coverage and discussions, netizens have been heaping both mud and flowers on her - tons of them.

She works as an editor for an electronic publisher, but fame, which she insists is unavoidable to her, has gained her a cult following.

Experts have flipped out their Swiss-army knives and have been dissecting the phenomenon as if it were a virus plaguing the nation. Most believe that it is "cruel" and "evil" for her "fans" to keep up the "circus." This woman is obviously suffering from some kind of delusion, they contend, and she needs professional care, not the encouragement of a cynical electronic audience.

"I cannot imagine how much she'll be hurt when, someday, she wakes up to reality," writes Liu Tianzhao, a freelance commentator on entertainment issues. "Those who enjoy this kind of humour reek of madness.

Really, folks these photos are taken from China Daily. What mean nasty, unfreedom loving anti-sex folks they have there! I mean, they might as well be publishing Isadora Duncan dancing!

Isadora Duncan, from the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library.

Somebody tell both Richard Bennett and China Daily about deconstruction, irony, and Rupert Murdoch tabloids. Please. Before I read another thing like this and spit out some beverage all over my keyboard. Oh, and one other thing: Richard please, click through your links, do a Google search, be a good blogger and at least pretend to multiple source things!

This is like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family in that they offer titillation and condemnation- you can't be more fair and balanced than that...although if anybody doesn't think the titillation's way out front and center, they need to see a sex therapist.


My wife apparently thinks "Furong JieJie is too out there>."

To each his own.

Yeah, China has human rights issues.

So does the US.

But if you're worried about Furong Jiejie, why not liberate a Playboy Bunny or a Page 6 girl over here first?

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