Note to Self: *When you know AP is calling you for an interview at noon, don’t go to bed really, really late, and don’t wake up right before the interview.*

An AP reporter in Beijing called me the other day about a story. It’s not a story I’m covering in this weblog at all; I don’t tend to write about politics. The story has been covered quite well, very early on, by ESWN.

In the AP article I’m quoted as saying, “**I want to move the big eye off me.**” Yeah, I really said that. Leave it up to my groggy mind to make vague references to *Lord of the Rings* with regards to the Chinese government in an AP interview.

The quote seems a little contradictory, though, doesn’t it? If I want less attention, why would I agree to an AP interview?! Well, it’s sort of a calculated risk. I was trying to give Adopt a Blog some publicity in order to get it moved to more devoted hands. And if ESWN doesn’t get blocked for all the things he writes about, I really don’t see why I should worry. Still, I’m paranoid.

So far the AP article has already earned me one new friend. I found this fan mail in my inbox this morning:

> I read about you in the Washington Post today. Tell me, what is wrong with your own culture that you feel it necessary to continue with your obvious European roots to perpetrate your people’s disgusting racist practice of cultural imperialism!?

> I hope that Public Security sends your racist ass right back to Florida! You obviously received a shitty education at Florida and probably spent too much time getting wasted at frat parties.

> Come to NYC’s Chinatown and we will show you how us Chinese here deal with scum like you!

It’s like this guy can see right into my *soul!* Amazing.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Priceless. Congratulations on the new-found fame, and I wouldn’t worry about you or your site getting into trouble. If it’s in English, they just don’t care.

  2. ÍÐµÄ Says: March 28, 2005 at 9:56 am

    I love that he tells you to come to the US (why is this guy living at the headquarters of the “racist imperialists” anyway?). Well, probably so he doesn’t have to deal with things like Public Security…

  3. So glad that the New York Chinatown guy has reconciled the hypocrisy of his place of abode and nationalistic persuasions. And has enculturated so well as to deal with things in his Chinatown ¡®American¡¯ way.

    I guess we should all learn from him!

  4. extremists are everywhere, perhaps they should find a small place to f**k each other:


  5. HAHAHA. I so envy the fact that you are getting hate mail now. I want hate mail too!

  6. I think UF was his first choice and he didn’t get in.

  7. What an ignorant jerk. Wonder if he is even really Chinese.

  8. Kikko Man Says: March 29, 2005 at 3:09 am

    That prick is obviously from FSU.

    There are a lot of weirdos like that moron who have problems with non-Chinese knowing anything in-depth about “their” country.

    Keep up the good work John!

  9. The guy’s note would be risible if it weren’t so disturbing.
    Ignore the bollocks he’s spouting John.

  10. Da Xiangchang Says: March 29, 2005 at 6:19 am

    Am I being paranoid when I think that John should be TRULY careful with this Adopt-A-Blog project? I mean, dude, you’re basing your entire future in China, and what if the powers that be kick you out! That would totally $%^$&#^ your future! So your actions, while TOTALLY honorable, are sort of scary. I wouldn’t have the guts to do something like that, that’s for sure.

  11. As a fellow alumni from UF(Chinese to boot) all I have to say to your random hate mail sending friend is F*ck you. Oh and Go Gators(despite the crappy performance last season).

  12. why does he think you’re racist?

  13. after reading the article (available through a link in the comments section of the next post), i still don’t see why he thinks you are racist. also, i think the whole “big eye” thing is a rather good analogy, even though it might not be something you would say when more mentally prepared. it’s descriptive; it works.

  14. My first impression on reading that portion of your “fan mail” was that the writer is very comfortable with English, too comfortable to be a Chinese (I am thinking of Chinese as an ethnos, in the classical Greek tradition, of being based primarily on culture, not a genetic descriptor). So I am rather sceptical of his being culturally Chinese, also it gives the flavor of adolscence. Also, I do not understand the request of going to “China Town” in NYC, you are living in the largest “China Town” in the world. Is “China Town” in NYC suppose to be filled with more thugs who are more vicious than what is in Shanghai?

  15. Da Xiangchang Says: March 29, 2005 at 9:49 am

    I think it’s a prank. I don’t believe the guy’s really Chinese but rather a silly American nerd. Everything’s too over the top. The best policy is to ignore him.

  16. I agree with JFS and Da Xiangchang. This kid probably at one time got his ass whipped in New York Chinatown (I believe this is how Chinese refer to the place, not NYC’s, but I don’t know for sure) or has been scared of that place all along because the kid himself is a racist thug.

  17. From what I understand, I would say John is the exact opposite of “cultural imperialism”. John, I hope you didn’t get upset by some trolls’ emails.

  18. Da Xiangchang Says: March 30, 2005 at 7:55 am

    What does “cultural imperialism” mean anyway? The word “imperialism” is used way too much by half-educated folk, IMHO. I don’t think cultural imperialism exists in the West anymore. Only dictatorships FORCE people to adopt attitudes of conquerers; such dictatorships, of course, need not be named here. 😉 A lot of people trash American cultural imperialism, but it’s nothing of the kind. It’s just providing options, and it’s up to people to buy or not buy whatever is offered. If a Chinese chooses to eat Big Mac instead chow mein, don’t blame McDonald’s! It’s the same deal with blogs. Blogs provide more options for people, and people are often scared by it. It’s not only the commies in China. Even in America, the so-called mainstream liberal media is shaking in their pants since their often BS articles are often trashed by right-wing blogs and Fox News, like the CBS memos. In the old days, people could get away with that, but not anymore. I’m all about providing more options, and then let people choose.

  19. “cultural imperialism” is more related with existence, less with intention.

    a case here:

  20. I think that kid is just jealous that whities coming to China can get tons of action while his Friday nights consisted of playing Warcraft online.

  21. Da Xiangchang Says: March 30, 2005 at 11:57 am


    Haha, what a great article! Completely shows how irrelevant and insecure the French are! Within a decade or two under the ridiculous pipe dream of EU revitalization, France would probably have an unemployment rate of 15-20%; by 2050, the French language would have no more relevance in this world than Swahili does today. What a great time to be a French-hating American!

    On the other hand, I don’t see Chinese culture imploding like France’s. With more opening, China should experience a cultural renaissance within the next few decades–hopefully. And since Chinese culture is so radically different from America’s, I can see how both can complement the other–like wire-fu in Hollywood movies. The problem with France is that it offers nothing that Americans can’t do infinitely better (like Google). Hopefully, China can.

  22. fujiang Says: April 1, 2005 at 5:58 pm

    John you are an asset to China.

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