Teng Biao: Musings on the 2009 Blogger Conference

TengBiaoWebTeng Biao (滕彪) is a lecturer at the University of Politics and Law in Beijing, and a lawyer. He is also known as a human rights activist and blogger. Teng came to the 2009 Chinese Bloggers Conference in Lianzhou and wrote the following post on his blog: Dance Before Dawn. Selections translated by CDT:
 

The place held the conference is at the spot of the underground river of Lianzhou. The good part of this location is that no audience can escape.

Lianzhou benefits from the conference by gaining lots of publicity. @wenyunchao and others worried that police will interfere with the conference, and we said: If so, Lianhou will be even more famous.
 
Every participant of the conference who stayed in the Lianzhou Hotel needed to show their ID card for registration, and this information was to be reported to police.

Met old friends @ranyunfei  @winkho (Wen Kejian@mozhixu  @wenyunchao  @ye_duTiger Temple、Xue Ye、@engengpu (Zhai Minglei)  @shizhao ,etc. Meeting new friends @chang_ping  @yanghengjun  @isaac  @hsin747  @digitalboy @matthew0705(Yuyiwei)@woaizhangfacai @huanghan3 @kcome  @buchong etc. What a pleasure!
 
After spending several days with @hsin747, a Taiwanese who lives in Hong Kong, I discovered three advantages mainland Chinese have over those from Hong Kong and Taiwan: They know how to climb over the Great Firewall; understand political jokes; and can tell plainclothes police officers in a crowd.
 
On the evening the blogger conference ended, @chang_ping was writing an editorial for the Southern Metropolis News: Hoping for a World Without Walls. We sit together exchanging political and sexual jokes. Chang Ping sits on the side, writing a few sentences, and cannot help to join us sharing some of his jokes: “On a desert, there is a female camel…” I was really afraid that he would type “female camel” into his editorial by mistake.
 
At one point we discussed that the news our leaders watch/read are all tailored and packaged by the propaganda department. @Isaac asked: “Would you like ice cream that looks like a shit, or shit that looks like a ice cream?” @hsin747 said: Of course, ice cream that looks like shit, how can there be any doubt about this? I said: The problem is some people like the latter, such as our leaders….
 
Some promotional messages for the Blogger Conference had lines such as “Believing in Mr. D (democracy) and Mr. S (science). ” “Believe in Han Han and you won’t be brain damaged.” I think it should be changed to, “Read Han Han’s books and you won’t be brain damaged.” “Believe in” is too heavy.