這篇英文文章的大致內容是，王丹離開哈佛後，把他的一些私人物品寄存在一個倉庫裡，但由於他的代理人（也就是哈佛大學東亞所那個幫王丹寫英文作業的南希女士）沒有及時繳費，他的東西被清倉拍賣，結果被發現其中有「裸體男孩照片」，最後那些男孩裸照都被美國FBI高價收回。這件事情的過程恰好被一個喜歡購買拍賣品的美國人撞見，所以他寫出了這個過程。從該文語調來看，他顯然對中國天安門學生領袖私藏兒童裸照的行為很厭惡、很不滿，所以他的文章標題是（No Child Porn Here）, 意是是：別在這裡搞兒童色情。
No Child Porn Here
by Alden Howes Olson
22 February 2013
This really happened. Totally no shit. I used to go to a lot of auctions, two or three a week, sometimes four or five. One of my favorite auctions was Acorn Auctions, run by Stan (name changed). Stan was terrific and he almost always had interesting items, never much high end, expensive stuff, but interesting stuff. Stuff you could either use or re-sell. I hit Acorn every Saturday afternoon to preview as early as possible, then go home to look up online the items I was interested in. Everything Stan sold was his. He bought virtually all of it at storage unit auctions, way before Storage Wars got on TV.
So one Saturday afternoon I go into the place and, because I'm always there early, only Stan is there, no one else has been in yet. I start previewing on the left side of the room, like usual, and immediately see that this auction is totally different from all the others I've seen Stan hold.
The first table is full of pictures of crowds of Chinese people and some Chinese soldiers. Hundreds of pictures. This is not a happy occasion. I pick up one photo that shows a guy with no forehead. The cavity behind the hole is empty, no brains, nothing inside his skull. Some blood on his face, his chin on the street. I look at other photos that show some tanks, some people running, some look like they're throwing rocks, some injured. The crowds are huge, chaotic. This is no small event.
On the next table a little print-out by Stan says the items belonged to Wang Dan, a leader of the Tienanmen Square uprising in 1989. There are what look like old notebooks or journals. No idea what they say because I don't read Chinese. Could be anything, but naturally you think they are journals kept as a record of the demonstrations. It was a big deal at the time. Wang Dan was more or less second-in-command. He was very present, very outspoken. The Chinese government hated him. And arrested him. Put him in jail. Eventually, he was released. Then he got jailed again. This time Bill Clinton, at a summit meeting in China, requested that the People's Republic of China release Dan, who would come to the U.S. In fact, he would become a graduate student at Harvard.
I notice on the floor about a dozen boxes filled with New Yorker magazines. I look at the address labels - all the same address. Wang Dan; c/o Nancy Hearst; Librarian; Fairbank Center; Harvard University; Cambridge MA. I write this down.
I continue through the rest of the room. Some stuff is normal, but more of the items are clearly part of Wang Dan's stuff. I know it must all have come from a storage unit. I ask Stan about it. He says he got it at a storage unit in Somerville a few days ago.
I say thanks and leave, go home, and call the Fairbank Center. No answer. I leave a message. I try directory assistance and find a Nancy Hearst in Brookline and call her house. No answer. I leave a message. She calls back. I tell her I'm not an expert, but this looks like historically significant stuff for sale tonight in Greenfield. Is she aware that Wang Dan's stuff is being auctioned off? No, she says, Dan has been traveling around the world speaking out for democracy in China and it was her responsibility to pay his storage unit rent. Which she neglected to do. So his stuff was sold to Stan and now would be sold to anyone with enough money to win the bidding. I told her I didn't have a lot of money, but I would be glad to buy the most important items and get them back to Dan as long as I could get reimbursed. She said maybe, that she would call Wang Dan, and would I please call her back in about 10 minutes. I called back. No answer. I waited another 10 minutes and called back. No answer. I did this twice more. She wasn't picking up.
So after an hour of trying to contact Hearst, and with the auction about to begin, I drove back down and saw the stuff sold. I didn't buy any of it. A local book dealer bought the diaries for about $7000 dollars plus 10 percent commission. $7700 and he couldn't even read them or know for sure what they were about.
Monday afternoon I stop by Acorn to see Stan about something. He tells me he had some visitors that morning. The FBI had stopped in. They got a list of all the people who bought Wang Dan's stuff and went to all of them and bought it all back. They paid the buyers more money than was bid. Everyone made some kind of profit, but probably not the amount they were hoping for.
Stan tells me there were also some pictures of naked boys he found in the unit. Young naked boys. Not good. At first he thought he had thrown them out with the rest of the trash that inevitably comes with a storage unit purchase, but wasn't really sure. Turns out he still had them in the backroom along with a few other things in a some beer flats, which he was going to toss but then the FBI showed up. The FBI agent asked Stan how much he thought he could sell the stuff in the beer flats for. Stan, thinking quickly, said it was worth about $1000. So the agent paid him a grand on the spot and took all the stuff that Stan was going to toss, including the porn.
Later Monday afternoon I'm home and Nancy Hearst calls me. She is a little tense. She wants to know whether I bought anything at the auction and who else bought stuff. She asks her questions slowly, unlike when I talked with her a couple of days earlier. She keeps pausing between sentences as if someone else is in the room with her. I tell her I don't know who bought what, but I didn't buy any of it because she didn't answer her phone. She told me she didn't pick up because she was afraid I might be from the Chinese embassy. Of course.
Totally no shit here. True story. The FBI told Stan they were buying all Wang Dan's stuff back as a matter of national security. Considering that Dan was one big, huge thorn in the side of the Chinese government and that he was the darling of the American pro-life crowd, and the politically conservative crowd, and a bunch of other crowds that hated PRC, and that no less than President Bill Clinton secured his release from Chinese jail and that Harvard had gladly taken him in, I'd guess Wang Dan's photographs were kind of an embarrassment that the U.S. government wanted to forget about. Forever.
Posted by Alden Howes Olson at 12:00 PM
Labels: copied 10-dec-2013