THE PERILS OF CELEBRITY ACTIVISM IN CHINA are revealed in this article about Yao Ming trying to dissuade Chinese from eating shark fin soup. (Apparently, shark fin soup is bad for sharks.) All very noble, indeed. But be careful not to offend Chinese tradition too much or you might end up like this poor girl:
And when Zhao Wei, a popular singer, donned a Japanese military flag for a fashion shoot — disrespecting not just government policy but perhaps the sensibilities of Chinese still angry over the war with Japan — her career began to fizzle. At a concert, she was tackled by a construction worker who said his grandparents had been killed during the war. He smeared her face with feces.
Old grudges are hard to give up, I suppose. Also, more evidence that the Chinese only hurry at change as long as change means more moolah. And more moolah means more shark fin soup, naturally.