Shameless can be considered the Buzzfeed of the WeChat world, with erudite articles such as "How to stalk your date on the internet", "How to take a perfect dick pic," and "Chinese girls in Bed!!!" (from which we learned that Western women say "Oh yeah" in bed and Chinese girls say "Oh no" ［受不了了］and they mean the same thing). On this lovely day, the Master/Mistress of Shameless has agreed to sit down virtually for an interview. Let's see what's in store.
1. Why are you hiding your identity, you spineless prick?
The first article by Shameless, 8 Types of Foreigners in Beijing, was inspired by people around me, and I was afraid they would take it too personally. Later on I realized people would make random guesses about my identity, then take sides and make a judgment. People tend to think that I hold certain positions on the topics I write about, and that I am very likely to be biased because of my race and nationality. In reality, I’m not trying to push any agenda. It’s very interesting to stay behind the curtain and watch the audiences’ opinions evolve. All I am doing is to provoke thoughts and lay out the results, like a social experiment.
2. How much hate mail do you get, and what are some of the more interesting pieces you've received?
In the first 2 or 3 months, I got 3 hate mails per week on average. I rarely get any emails ever since I integrated the comments feature -- instead I get hateful comments.
There are three types of hate mails/comments: the angry Chinese guy who thinks I’m stupid white trash, the sad Chinese lady who uses crying emojis to shame me, and the progressive hipster who points out the flaws in my logic and calls out my lack of credibility.
My personal favorite is a comment I got for writing about US Elections. An American dude commented that it was totally “racist, narrow minded, and propaganda-filled”, while the whole article was actually a joke on how centralized the Chinese political system is.
3. Follow-up: do you reply to your hate mail?
I only reply to the ones that make me laugh.
- You stupid foreigner, get the fuck out of China!
- [Tears of Joy Emoji] x 3
4. How would you describe your sense of humor?
Simple. It’s either exaggeration or comparison. Or dirty jokes. Or fart jokes.
My humor is not for everyone. It’s an acquired taste, like jazz, cigars, and wine. I’m known as a conversation killer on Tinder because of my weird, awkward, inappropriate jokes, so I apologize if we ever matched.
5. Some might say you tend to make fun of women more than men. Is this true? And if so, why do you think this is? Are men more difficult to make fun of? Or do you actually hate women more?
It is absolutely true that I make fun of women more. I make fun of women more because I write about women more, and I write about women more because women are more interesting. Women are sexy, cute, sneaky, emotional, sensitive, and crazy. I can tell you that I am secretly a feminist, but I am not going to tell you that it’s because I believe feminism helps dudes get laid. Yeah, fuck my sense of humor.
6. What are your most popular pieces and why do you think they're so popular?
Top 3 posts in terms of views are How to Drink with Chinese, Chinese New Year Survival Guide, and 5 Types of Chinese TV Dramas, all highly related to Chinese culture. Shameless may have the largest foreign reader base, but WeChat is still dominated by Chinese users. An article can’t go viral unless it catches the attention of the massive Chinese readership, even though most of them may not understand the style of Shameless.
7. Do you wish to start any other projects once Shameless has gone bust? (Follow-up: Do you hope Shameless will go bust so you don't have to think up a new "Top 5" article every week?)
I do secretly hope Shameless would go bust when I feel frustrated and uninspired, but most of the time I feel there’s still a lot to write about. I’ve been trying to set up some side projects lately, such as videos and live broadcasting, not because I foresee Shameless going bust soon, but because I want to share more with the readers in different forms of content.
8. Where is the best place to go in Beijing for:
- Unwinding after work?
Drink fake Long Island Ice Tea at Haven.
- Complaining about life to a stranger?
Sneak into someone else's booth at Sirteen.
- Finding a quick lay?
Pick up whoever is drunk AF at ELEMENTS.
- Finding a slow lay?
Borrow a lighter from someone while waiting in line for the bathroom at Migas.
- Finding some meaning in life?
Meditate on the crappy red sofa at DADA.
9. Anything else you wish to say?
I am very proud that my parents actually read Shameless every week, and my dad has provided a lot of constructive feedback. My dad is cool. Be like my dad. Follow me on WeChat.