Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sailing column is irresponsible

Sailing column is irresponsible
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 5:50 a.m.
Where was the journalistic responsibility when Morgan Stinemetz's tasteless column of July 14 crossed the sports editor's desk? Stinemetz's gross ignorance of China and his invocation of racist mythologies harking back to 19th century fears of the yellow peril are truly shocking in a 21st-century newspaper.
Intelligent Internet users recognize that numerous sites capitalize on sensationalized, often fabricated representations. Anyone gullible enough to believe them should not be writing newspaper columns.
I am a cultural anthropologist who regularly spends time in China and who speaks and reads Chinese, so I can tell you the Internet pictures of "street food" are, for the most part, cherry-picked and inaccurately identified, and the "Chinglish" examples are purposefully atypical and bizarre. Beijing has embarked on a massive project to standardize menus and signage in preparation for the Olympics.
Consider how Chinese respond to mangled Chinese tattooed on American bodies, the Chinese word for "love" displayed upside down on a car bumper, shirts sporting Chinese writing in mirror-image, video titles printed upside-down, travel companies using Taiwanese fonts advertising trips to mainland China.
While committed to economic development, China has a national policy pushing renewable energy, reforestation and green building design.
Sixty percent of the world's carbon-reduction projects are in China (Foreign Policy magazine, March-April 2008).
Carolyn M. Bloomer The writer is on the liberal arts faculty of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. She resides in Sarasota.

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