In Flagrante Delicto Live On Microblog

Wikipedia: The Latin term is sometimes used colloquially as a euphemism for a couple being caught in the act of sexual intercourse.

"You got a mistress behind my back,
so I am going to broadcast you two live on the Internet!"

(Yangzi Evening News)  September 9, 2010.


Husband: Chen Qinglan.  Place of origin: Ziyang city, Sichuan province.  Education: Graduated from the Peking University Department of International Politics in 1996.  Occupation: Economic scholar.  Job position: Director, Ipencil Economic Research Institute.

Wife: Zhao Tingjingmei.  Place of origin: Urumqi city, Xinjiang province.  Born in the 1970's.  Profession: Oil painter.

Third party: Internet ID: "Like to seize the opportunity to touch people."  Also at the Ipencil Economic Research Institute.

Here are the screen captures of the microblog posts:

Here are the microblog posts from the wife:

7:05 Wife: "I got home this morning and found @Chen Qinglan (Beijing) and @"Like to seize the opportunity to touch people" naked in bed."

7:06 Wife: @"Like to seize the opportunity to touch people" said that I am not compulsive about cleanliness.  What?

7:09 Wife: "As soon as I entered the door, I saw the woman's brassiere and clothes scattered around the room."  @Chen Qinglan (Beijing) said: "So what if you saw it?  We each own half of all the possessions."

7:51 Wife: "How can @Chen Qinglan (Beijing) be as hypocritical and shameless as this?"

8:05 Wife: :"@Chen Qinglan (Beijing) and @"Like to seize the opportunity to touch people" acted as if nothing happened after being caught in flagrante, and said: 'What can you do about it?'  I am very devastated ..."

8:10 Wife: "The police took down my statement."

8:18 Wife: "Extremely devastated.  No one can be more hypocritical than this.  Six years ago, he was jobless in Hainan.  I left Shanghai in order to go to Beijing with him.  I have given much too much in dealing with the art gallery and now the home.  I am heartbroken that someone could be like that ... how is it possible?"

9:07 Wife: "There was a fight just then.  I was no match for @Chen Qinglan (Beijing)."

10:24 Wife: "From the look of the clothes and accessories of @"Like to seize the opportunity to touch people," you are a person very much in need of money.  Even so I advise you to make your choice wisely.  You ought to find a reliable man.  Clearly, Chen Qinglan is not that person.  He made materialistic promises to you and I am supposed to realize them for you.  Do you think that is going to happen?"

The following are some selected microblog posts from the husband:

12:47 Husband: "Thank you for the support of all you onlookers!  There is nothing to see where.  Please don't let this interfere with your work."

15:13 Husband: "I got hit.  I didn't hit back.  Thanks!"  //@Ningyi: Apart from all else, how can you fight with a woman?

15:26 Husband: "Here are some statements about the sex scandal.  1. @"Like to seize the opportunity to touch people" is a gift from God to me.  She is the dearly beloved one that I have searched for half my life.  If she gives me the chance, I will give her the perfect happiness.  2. @"Like to seize the opportunity to touch people" stayed at my place last night, but we did not have sexual intercourse.  3. I don't live off a wife.  On the contrary, I pay for all family expenses.  I bought this place with my money.  4. I and @Zhao Tingjingmei have been working on a divorce for the past year."

The following are Internet user comments:

"Yesterday afternoon, many people at the office were paying attention to the Zhao Tingjingmei-Chen Qinglan "in flagrante gate."

"Whether actively or passively, the new media known as microblogs broadcast an awesome spectator experience yesterday for countless number of netizens."

"Microblogs are so awesome.  The internal monologues of both parties were posted on microblogs.  This is enough to make people's eyes pop out."

"Isn't it exciting if everyone has a microblog, everyone has a platform?"

"This is supposed to be a family secret, but it is being spread all over the place.  Is this self-promotion?"

"What a coincidence for both parties to have microblogs on which they freely discuss the matter?  Apart from fighting and speaking to the police, they microblog?"

"Family problems should be solved inside the family.  It becomes a tragedy if it is made public on the Internet."

"A wrestling match on the Internet is no way to solve the problem for the three parties."

"The private matters of three persons are posted on microblogs and suddenly numerous onlookers show up to watch, comment and criticize.  The Chinese people's sense of 'justice' is fascinating."

"What are microblogs good for?  If it is to be used to nail adulterers/adulteresses in flagrante, then this is so sad."

At around 4pm yesterday afternoon, a certain real estate channel at a certain website published an article titled: <Catching the adulterer in flagrante on microblog (continued): An apartment suitable for the third-party woman>.  This article claimed that "because the husband met with the third party inside his own home, netizens sneered that he couldn't afford to buy an apartment for her or even pay to rent a hotel room."  Also "This is a tragedy because the bed is too small for three people."  The article then listed information on five apartments that were suitable for the third-party woman.  Netizens wondered: Did this website direct the entire microblog incident?  Were they running a promotional campaign for a real estate company?

(Red Net)  September 10, 2010.

On the morning of September 8, the female painter "Zhao Tingjingmei" arrived home and found male and female underwear all over the place.  Her husband and a woman were naked in bed.  She was devastated by the sight.  Her subsequent reactions were -- quarrel, fight, microblog.

On September 9, <Yangzi Evening News>, <New Express>, <Chutian Metropolis Daily>, <Dongguan Times> and other mainstream media entered and gave wide coverage.  One newspaper even posted the photos of the three principals on its front page in order to satisfy their readers' curiosity.  According to a netizen, that newspaper sold out all copies that day.

Should the traditional media engage such a private affair?  This is an issue that is being explored and discussed continuously. The Edison Chen "Sexy Photo Gate" two years ago brought up a big controversy.  In that case, the broadcasting of the private affairs of celebrities clearly created bad influences in society and hurt the celebrities and their families.  Should the media broadcast the information to sate the curiosity of their audiences?  Of course, the celebrities bear certain social responsibilities because of they are public figures.  Nevertheless some of their individual rights to privacy were mercilessly violated during the process.  This time, the principals are grassroots citizens, not celebrities.  Some day, you could be the principal of some incident, your photo will be posted everywhere, your telephone will be jammed, your address will be made public, you dare not step outdoors and you dare not face your relatives.  What will you do when your world sudden becomes transformed from one into the other?

Someone may say that this is not the same.  After all, "Zhao Tingjingmei" posted the information on her own microblog.  This is equivalent to holding a press conference of her own.  Yes, a broken egg draws the flies.  But can her one-sided quest for emotional catharsis stand for the wishes of the other two principals?  After all, those two are also victims here.  Adultery is wrong, but nevertheless it is still a private mater.  It is wrong to use a public platform to drag them out into the open so that the people and the media can pillory them from their high moral points.  The jokes from the spectators are even more painful to read.  Also, the principals have families too and the photos directly informed the relatives about this affair.  Recall that Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in <Huis Clos>: "Why do we need a torture rack?  Hell is other people."  Here, the media are the torture rack and the looks of the spectators are the road to hell.  Adultery is not unusual in our society.  If the principals are not forgiven by their families, they go to "hell" while being set on fire by media as others look on with unfriendly eyes.

"Spectators will never take the pain of others seriously."  This is what a friend of "Zhao Tingjingmei" commented on her microblog afterwards.  This clearly highlighted the heartless nature of this muddy age in which everyone is a moralist.  Anyone who gets himself muddied becomes the stepping stone for others to attain the highest moral peak.  What is your pain but the basis by which we obtain a momentary pleasure as well as a sense of superiority?  After the storm blows over, you lay crying in the mud while we head quickly towards another target in order to reach an even higher "moral peak."  But who doesn't fall in a muddy age?  The media is just a spotlight so that everybody can see whoever is splashing up the most mud at the moment.  Everybody derives pleasure from knocking others down into the mud.  At the same time, this is the worse of times because nobody is safe.  For all you know, the spotlight could be turned on you the next moment.