Recently it has been proposed that the practice of mandarins travelling in official litters should be reinstalled.
Major advantages of the proposed change are: 1. Environmental friendly; no carbon emission. 2. Create jobs. Assuming 4 people are needed to lift each litter, this proposal creates 32 million employment opportunities. 3. Save $150 billion yuan annually on government vehicle operating cost. 4. Eliminate traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. 5. Entrepreneurs will emulate what officials do and thus double its impact on job growth. . 6. Commoners can stop the litter to air their grievances
I’d like to announce our blog to the Fool’s Mountain audience, an offshoot of this blog written by Wukailong, whose comments and posts you’re probably familiar with, and Steve (that’s me). Rather than write specifically about China, we’ve opened it up to the entire Pacific Rim and have posted articles about many countries, though because our backgrounds are in China and Taiwan, they are the subject of the brunt of our articles.
Unlike most blogs about China and East Asia, we tend to stay away from current political affairs and are more on the cultural side, though we do dabble in politics every once in awhile. We figured the political and current event scene was covered ad nauseum by other blogs out there and didn’t want to be a ‘me too’ site. If you like music, movies, photography, culture, travel and food, you might enjoy checking us out.
We also have a continuing feature, a photo after every 3rd post, from Jesse, who lives in Beijing and has his own blog where he posts one photo per day, everyday. His headlines are as good as his photos!
As the title states, our site is called Pacific Rim Shots. You can find us here: http://pacificrimshots.com/
Dr. Lin Yutang, whose Chinese rendering of humor as 幽默 became the standard translation of the word, once said that “it is terribly serious when our rulers do not smile, because they have got all the guns.”
Dr. Lin believes that if humorists come together in world conferences discussing serious issues confronting the world, wars could be avoided. Here is an optimistic picture he presents for us: “You will find George Bernard Shaw shouting that Ireland is wrong, and a Berlin cartoonist protesting that the mistake is all theirs, and Heywood Broun claiming the largest share of bungling for America, while Stephen Leacock in the chair makes a general apology for mankind, gently reminding us that in the matter of stupidity and sheer foolishness no nation can claim itself to be the superior of others. How in the name of humor are we going to start a war under these conditions?” Continue reading »
Vancouver DJ Louis Yu turned me on to the video series Sexy Beijing a few weeks ago. In it, a nice Jewish girl from the USA named Su Fei (her actual name is Anna Sophie Loewenberg) does a “Sex in the City” routine as she scours Beijing looking for hot Chinese guys and commenting on life there. Normally I’m not much of a fan when it comes to foreigners babbling about their grasp of Chinese culture as they spend most of their time with other expats and only have a cursory understanding of the local culture, but this lady is quite good at asking pertinent questions and getting direct answers from the locals, and certainly does not fall into that category. The production is quite good and I found myself enjoying them.
Hongkonger sent me a link to Joe Wong, the first Chinese stand up comedian to become successful in the United States. This is his initial network television appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman. After the jump, I’ve added an interview, another performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a quick comedy sketch of why Joe wants to run for President of the USA.
One of the more interesting aspects of living in or marrying into another culture is to observe how that culture handles ordinary tasks in an entirely different way from what I had learned growing up in the States. I thought I’d list a few I had seen and see if anyone else can contribute their own. I’d like to hear from every cross cultural combination and from both the Chinese and non-Chinese viewpoints.
It seems the long held social custom of Shanghainese to walk down the street in their pajamas is causing some discomfort to the organizers of the Shanghai World Expo scheduled for next year and a campaign has been started by the municipal government to end the practice.
It’s not that unusual to see middle aged women milling around on the street in their pajamas, or even walking to the subway or local shopping mall. So the slogan “No Pajamas in Public – be Civilized for the Expo” has been coined to end what the government feels is uncivilized behavior in a modern, world class city. As China Daily columnist Raymond Zhou said recently in “In Defense of Pajamas”:
“So, it’s not really about whether we like it, but rather about whether we are liked. Again, it’s the quintessential concept of “face” and “saving face”.
Not many Chinese are shocked to see a street full of pajama-wearing pedestrians, but if international visitors feel squeamish about it we should stop doing it. Or so the implied rationale for the crackdown goes.”
The city’s tactic to stamp out street pajama wearers was to create a team of 500 volunteers to use persuasion at bus stops and other venues to convince pajama wearing Shanghainese residents to change their clothes.
There’s a new phenomenon sweeping China. Back in January on a Chinese web page, a new video made its way from there into the hearts of internet users all across the country, spawning a wave of related items such as cartoons, documentaries and grass-mud horse dolls.
Reading TonyP4’s comment this morning on the Numbers as Language thread, I noticed he used the acronym FOB meaning “Fresh Off Boat”. That reminded me of my Taiwan days and especially Catherine, one of the gals at my office in Hsinchu who was one of the funniest people with one of the driest wits I’ve ever encountered. She seemed to have an acronym for everything! So I thought it’d be fun for everyone to share the ones they know. I’ll start it off: “That stupid MBA made a pass at an MIT while married to an ABC. He’s just an IBM anyway.”
I suppose it is generally a good idea not to pick up a fight with someone agreeing with you. Or as Sherlock Holmes would have said, “it’s elementary”. So with that in mind, this following story probably sounds rather amusing. (H/T to Charles Liu)
Something remarkable happened yesterday at about 780 kilometers above Siberia. Love was in the air vacuum at first sight encounter between a U.S. satellite, Iridium 33, and a Russian one, Kosmos-2251. And they immediately multiplied and prospered into at least 600 and increasingly counting descendants set to enjoying high flying life styles for years and decades to come.
Since a recurring theme of discussion here is the truthfulness or truthiness of various reports and claims regarding China, I compiled a list of figures illustrating the very different styles practiced by some journalists and analysts. Can you attach some names to them?
Well, in an effort to introduce something lighthearted as far as China is concerned, I would like to start the first of a (hopefully) long list of humorous/amusing items. Andy Borowitz had just written a funny piece titled “China Buys Naming Rights to U.S.“, which I am pretty certain is completely made up. (H/T to China Hearsay) Continue reading »
A friend directed me to this joke today. I vaguely remember hearing something similar years ago, but this version is now much more interesting because of a new/amended moral of the story, which addresses the Chinese investors but is perhaps just as relevant globally. Continue reading »