Stephanie Karlik

Month: October, 2013

Almond-shaped Astigmatism

Got an almond-shaped eye exam today.

Filled out a medical history form. Any almond-shaped glaucoma in the family? Or almond-shaped cataracts?

I used to only have an almond-shaped astigmatism in one eye, but the doctor told me I’ve got it in both now. I can give you toric lenses to correct it she said.

No, I’ll stick with what I’ve got I told her.

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Oudin & Hibi はいく

DSC_0237

Oudin’s unforced errors

turned to winners and “come on!”

3rd set tiebreak comes.

 

Fate blows two her way,

Hibi bows her head,

Packs her Yonex bag for home.

China’s “Leftover” Men and Women: Over 30% Masturbate through the Pressure

A recent report by China’s Sohu News highlights the pressures faced by China’s single demographic referred to as “leftovers.”

Made up of men and women between the ages of 30 and 39 and unmarried, China is now seeing a drastic increase in the leftover segment of the population.

The number of estimated leftover men in China is about 12 million individuals, while an estimated 5.8 million leftover women inhabit the nation with a population of 1.35 billion.

Concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and other tier one cities, leftover women tend to have higher levels of education and higher salaries, with about 48% possessing a master’s degree or higher and 36% earning over 15000 yuan monthly ($2450 U.S.). Many leftover women express that they expect future male partners to have adequate financial resources before getting married. Thirty-seven percent acknowledge that salary is a significant consideration in their partner search.

On the leftover men’s side, most can be found in China’s more populated areas of Guangxi, Guangdong, and Jiangxi. About half do not own property or a car and have lower incomes than leftover women.  Thirty percent make less than 2000 yuan monthly ($3265 U.S.) and 16% have no income at all. Nevertheless, a significant portion of China’s leftover men are highly educated with about 37% percent possessing master’s degrees or higher. While salary tends to be of greater concern to leftover women, physical appearance is high on the priority list for leftover men. Over half admit that a woman’s physical appearance is a major factor in their partner search.

The outcomes of such high numbers of unmarried working people in China include complaints about the opposite sex, many leftover men claiming that women are too independent while leftover women speak of a lack of self-confidence among the men.

Additionally, about 75% of all leftovers suffer from high stress levels citing loneliness and unhappiness in their lives.

This has been connected to poor lifestyle habits, many leftovers admitting to staying up all night restless, suffering from lack of sleep and insomnia, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and bingeing late night.

But perhaps most interesting is how these singles in the city resolve their sexual urges.  About 17.6% of leftovers have a steady sexual partner and 21.6% abstain for extended periods, but the highest percentage, about 31.4% admit to masturbating to alleviate sexual pressure.

While such a situation is mirrored in urban areas all over the world, the prospects for such leftover men and women in China may not be too encouraging. In an environment of traditionally high societal pressure to get married and produce offspring for the continuation of bloodlines, China’s leftovers are expected to grow to an estimated 30 million individuals by 2020. This comes as a result of uneven gender distribution from China’s one-child policy and steady population growth in the world’s most populous country.

Some of China’s leftover set have accordingly come to embrace their leftover status, asserting that they have no desires for marriage or children in the future.

Chinese Journalists Lose Critical Voice and Global Credibility

A critical attitude is one of the most important characteristics of a journalist.

But in order to enhance ideological unity, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently called on all Chinese government officials to combat “rumor spreaders” in the country and to win the battle for “public opinion,” cracking down on online dissenters and their critical attitudes towards the state.

Accordingly, the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department announced that the nation will require its 307,000 reporters, producers, and editors to sit through at least two days of Marxism classes.

Chinese journalists initially reacted with a kind of silenced apathy, one investigative reporter for the Southern Weekly stating that he was “speechless” in response to the new requirement.

But beyond losing a voice in Chinese society with Xi Jinping’s announcement, Chinese reporters now face the loss of journalistic credibility internationally and are slowly speaking out about it anonymously.

According to a reporter for China’s Sina News, the Berliner Zeitung in Germany claims that “professional conduct standards for Chinese journalists will now be more blurred,” and China’s new “ideological requirement” will force journalists to abandon their critical duties.

The Berliner Zeitung goes on to say, “In comparison to publications from the ‘80s and ‘90s, Chinese media today is vibrant and diverse. Before, from content to language and layout, practically all Chinese newspapers were the same. Now, however, China has over 2000 newspaper outlets and around 9500 magazine publishers covering topics from astronomy to local construction projects and garden design. Even topics related to homosexuality and domestic violence were common and critical attitudes were the norm.”

But as a result of the new policy announcement, the Berliner Zeitung fears that Chinese journalists will not only feel pressured to hold their tongues on matters related to religion, Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen. The German news source expresses concern that Chinese journalists will not be at liberty to speak critically about much at all.

According to an anonymous Chinese online journalist, “Most journalists who were looking for journalistic freedom have left China’s newspaper industry or aligned themselves with the Chinese government’s wishes.”

And while ideological unity reform plays out in China, more reporters being forced into anonymity or out of the journalistic field, credibility abroad for China’s content creators drops.

Chinese reporters are further muffled and silenced.

Foreign reporters further lose sense of what’s actually happening on the ground in China.

And the Party is the new editorial department.