After a decade, internet enthusiast and rock star and US citizen Kaiser Kuo wrote his last column “Ich bin ein Beijinger” in The Beijinger, his take on his new home town in China. But he is not gone, he notes: “I’m not going anywhere, and you’ll know where to find me.” Kuo is currently spokesperson for search engine Baidu.
A noted critic of China’s political system recently wrote that Beijing is two cities – a compassionless city of power and money, and a downtrodden city of poverty and desperation. As an artist with extensive training in color, light and shadow, it’s surprising to me that he sees things in such stark black and white. The Beijing I know is many cities, not just the two of which he speaks. The nightmarish horrors he writes about may well be part of the reality, of the experience of too many.
And yet even without blinkering myself to the injustices, the callousness, and the indignations suffered, the Beijing I see remains mostly a city of ordinary people living through truly extraordinary days, a place where many people feel justifiable pride in what they’ve accomplished and how far they’ve come, where I still witness everyday kindnesses aplenty, where a guy singing unabashedly at the top of his lungs as he jams along on a bike – as I sometimes feel compelled to do myself – can still brighten my day. But I accept that this isn’t stuff that makes for good column fodder.
Kaiser Kuo is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request.
More links on Kaiser Kuo in Storify
- Baidu is not ruled by the communist party – Kaiser Kuo (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Baidu goes semantic in box search – Kaiser Kuo (chinaherald.net)
- Most sought-after speakers October 2011 (chinaspeakersbureau.info)