The Time of Han Han (2) +Ulterior Rant

Written by Julen Madariaga on April 12th, 2010

Uterior Motives

Here is an update to yesterday’s review of Han Han, with some additional info about the Time nomination, which might be more important than it appears at first sight.

Then, if you stay till the end of this chapter, we will put on the yellow socks to analyze a bit more that terrible scourge of our times: the Ulterior Motives. This is for the benefit of all the puppet journalists and researchers who enjoy using that phrase, please pay attention.

The comments today come in the form of title-paragraphs, to allow for easy skimming:

1- The rules of the Time 100 are often misunderstood and heavily criticized, especially after internet star moot hacked the online poll last year and turned it into a joke. However, what you should keep in mind is that the internet poll only selects one of the members of the Time 100 list. That is, only the top person in the online poll makes it into the final official list, and in the position that Time editors decide. To be fair, it does make sense to include at least this one person from the poll, as it is representative of online mobilization power (when it is not hacked).

2- The fairness of the Time 100 is often put in doubt, and for good reason since ultimately it is nothing but the personal views of some magazine editors. And so what? The Peace Nobel is also an undemocratic selection by some random Norwegian wise men, and I would expect top Time magazine journalists to be better informed in World affairs than them. This is as fair as it gets for a list of influence.

3- The importance of the List: Like the Nobel, the list is important only because people give it importance. When it comes out it is read and commented by millions around the World. Many in America know Rain, the Korean star, just because he was voted high in the Time poll by a concentrated base of Korean fans. Now Rain is an international figure, what will happen if Han gets the same status? His independent view of China may be heard outside, and a full generation of Chinese people will have a channel to the World. This is a bit optimistic, I know, but there is a lot of potential if Han plays it well.

4- The chances of Han Han to win are very high if he really wants to. Supposing this year Time protects the poll against hackers, the number of votes necessary to win will not be much higher than 2 million. With an average of 1 million readers for any single post he writes, Han could easily mobilize enough people to storm the list if he campaigns for it. On the other hand, I am not sure he really wants to go that way. To be elected by others for a foreign listing is one thing, but to actively promote himself for it might raise future accusations of Ulterior Motives.

The Ulterior motives

And as promised above, here is my essay on Ulterior Motives. In case you are not aware, Ulterior Motives (usually translated from the Chinese 别有用心 or 别有用意) is a stock phrase that the Party and attached mouthpiece press uses to criticize people they don’t like. It has become so pervasive that it is like a CCP meme, similar to the famous classic “hurting the feelings of the Chinese people”. Most of the times, the “Ulterior” refers to American interests, and this hideous phrase is used to mobilize nationalistic feelings and pave the way for future charges of subversion.

This phrase wouldn’t be so revolting if it was only heard from Xinhua and the People’s Daily. After all, every government uses the patriotic trick to mobilize the masses, and lying is part of the routine of most politicians. But what is really disgusting of Ulterior Motives is that it has spread widely in society, to the point that even the work of intelligent people, like Lian Si, is polluted by it. Not to mention accomplished idiots like that guy who writes for the Shanghai Daily.

The allusion in “Ulterior Motives” is sickening because of the smug, self satisfied tone used to smear the victim, but it is more than that. It  is also low and cowardly, as it doesn’t dare to speak out the words.

So dear incompetent puppets, please listen up. If you are going to accuse someone of Ulterior Motives you should at least have the guts to specify what those motives are. “Ulterior” in general is meaningless, life is a complex phenomenon and all actions have multiple motivations. You need to list them out and offer some proof so that the reader can make up his mind.

To help you understand better, find here below 2 examples of how the Ulterior Motives are treated when you have what it takes to write it out. I will give you one from each side, to be completely fair:

1- The USA sent its Army to Irak to murder thousands of great innocent people for the main ulterior motives of serving its own political/economical interests AND to satisfy a base craving for revenge in a large part of the American public.

2- The CCP leaders imprisoned people like Liu XiaoBo or Xu Zhiyong for the main ulterior motives of eliminating any potential challenge to their own personal position of power and wealth.

So you see, it is easy to do. Either you go and mention what you are speaking about, or else just STFU. Unspoken accusations stink.

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Comments so far ↓

  1. Apr

    But he already campaigned for it in his last post hasn’t he? still the south Korean ski girl is getting more votes. He’ll never simply tell fans to go vote for him. No one does that.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Julen Madariaga Reply:

    Well, there are different ways to campaign for something. Openly asking for votes is just one of them, another more subtle one would be to mention this in more posts, or even let some fan websites or BBS know that it is important… Whatever. The point is that by number of fans, Han should be able to win easily.

    But this only works if there is some kind of campaign - by him or by others - that motivates his millions of readers to open an English language website and work out how to vote on it. Koreans have very good results at this because the Korean internet is very concentrated and already used to this kind of campaigning. But looking at the raw numbers there is no doubt that Chinese fans would quickly outnumber them if they tried.

    [Reply to this comment]

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