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Wuyue Sanren

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五岳散人

Wuyue Sanren. (Source: Wuyue Sanren)

When I see something wrong, no one can shut me up!

—Wuyue Sanren

Critic and author Yao Bo (姚博) goes by the pen name Wuyue Sanren, a.k.a. "Idler of the Five Sacred Mountains." He is known for his biting commentary on a range of social and political issues. Wuyue was nominated as Southern Metropolis Weekly's 20 most influential internet personalities in 2008 for his "shameless use of obscenity to vent his feelings."

Wuyue started his professional life as a journalist, and began writing political commentary in 2002. At one point he became a venture capitalist. He is now a freelance writer and the owner of a restaurant in Beijing's Asian Games Village neighborhood, with side businesses selling antiques and other goods through several Taobao stores. Wuyue Sanren is the author of four books on Chinese social and cultural norms, exploring the concept of "face," issues of self-esteem, and the code of the outlaw as enshrined in martial arts novels.

Any Big V will have their fans and detractors, and Wuyue is not one to shy away from controversy. His commingling of promotions for his Taobao merchandise with regular commentary on social media has soured his image for some followers. More readers were upset by an October 2016 Weibo post on the [weibo.com/1477045392/EedMzaaZF romantic prospects for "old men"] like the 40-something Wuyue:

As an old man with a bit of experience and some economic standing, I'm positive that those of my ilk, unless they don't want it, have no trouble attracting fairly pretty girls, or at least getting them into bed. Don't disbelieve it, it's the honest truth. These tricks were written down and became second nature long ago.

But as a woman, you must know that the reason we like you isn't because you're idiotic to the point of childishness. In our minds, a woman's qualities go in this order: intelligence, cautioun, independence, a good figure, and beauty. If you only have the last two, you're nothing but an expensive ornament. We'll buy your type, but nothing will come of the affair.

Why? It's simple. If we're not intellectually and emotionally compatible, we won't be able to get on together, right? I'm here pondering business models, and you ask me to go window shopping; I'm absorbed in a book, and you say I didn't respond to your WeChat message fast enough. To be frank, except for your value on my arm or in bed, everything else you bring is a nuisance. [[weibo.com/1477045392/EedMzaaZF Chinese]]

The comment set off a wave of angry responses, including a riposte from feminist Ye Haiyan.

Wuyue is also given to provocative political opinions. He has not joined the Chinese Communist Party, though he once wrote a mock "application" to the CCP that waxes sardonic on the place of communism in the natural progression of civilization and the universe. In response to Xi Jinping's fitting shoe argument for China's development path, Wuyue replied, "Whoever buys the shoes has the last word. The common people pay taxes, so they have the right to say whether or not the shoe fits... The shoes themselves don't have the qualifications to say whether they fit or not. Shoes that do aren't shoes, they're shackles."

Read a selection of Wuyue Sanren's essays at CDT Chinese.

Wuyue Sanren at CDT

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