|JOKE OF THE WEEK
Santa in Beijing after a busy day
How to capture a rabbit
In a contest of police capability, teams from China and the United States were assigned the mission of capturing a rabbit hidden in a large forest.
The U.S. team first spent half a day holding a strategy meeting, then decided to dispatch special forces to conduct an inch-by-inch search. They came back empty-handed.
On the other hand, the Chinese team, which consisted of only four members, spent the whole day enjoying food and playing card games. At dusk, each of them carried a baton and walked into the forest. Five minutes later, a badly-injured bear was escorted out while whimpering: “Sir, I beg that you stop torturing me. I admit that I’m the rabbit you’re looking for.”
BEST OF WEIBO
@Li-NO-Bai’s shop: “Meticulous Internet users have found this: In the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, there was a report of rescuing a pig. In the Tianjin explosion, there was a report of rescuing a dog. Now the Shenzhen landslide has happened and a chicken was reported to be rescued. Which zodiac sign will be the lucky one in the next disaster?”
Explanation: A rescue team found a chicken, still alive, during the search for survivors after the Shenzhen landslide. In one of the news photos, several firefighters smiled as they held up the small fowl—a gesture heavily criticized as “improper” by Internet users, given that no human survivors had been uncovered at that point.
According to the report, the rescue team leader said they will raise the surviving chicken because it’s a symbol of hope. Similar stories are to be found in previous media reports. For example, a pig that survived 36 days under rubble during the Wenchuan earthquake was named “Pig Firm Will” (猪坚强). A puppy became a symbol hope after the Tianjin explosion as it reportedly managed to survive over 72 hours in rubble.
These “positive energy” stories, however, helped little in improving survival or rescue rates after natural disasters. Only one survivor was found by over 4,000 rescuers in the 72 hours after the Shenzhen landslide occurred.
@hgjhgj86: “At the site of the Shenzhen landslide, after zero survivors had been found, the Party’s Propaganda Department put on a farcical display, organizing four firefighters put on an impromtu performance of ‘joining the great, glorious and correct Party,’ with the explanation that the gesture—of swearing a Party oath and becoming a member—was aimed at ‘moving China and joining the Party at the frontline.’ They turned a deadly man-made disaster into a glorifying event. I would like to ask those hammer-and-sickle gangsters who always claim to ‘serve the people,’ is there any humanity left in your soul?”
Explanation: On Dec. 22, the third day after Shenzhen Landslide occurred, a group of photos displaying firefighters vowing to join the Chinese Communist Party while standing on the rubble, became a hot topic on the Internet. Although official media sought to explain the event as a morale booster for the rescuers, many Internet users saw it as nauseatingly self-serving political thought work, regularly seen in disaster response propaganda.
The state-run news agency China News Service published a series of photos in which workers were affixing fake leaves to trees beside a main road in Shenyang, one of the largest cities in northeast China. The project is claimed to make the city “look better in winter.”
Not surprisingly, the eccentric effort drew skepticism: “Why not just make winter look like winter?” and “Will more money be spent to remove the false leaves when spring comes?” were some of the comments. Parents also complained that false leaves can confuse children attempting to learn about the four seasons.
BANS ON CHRISTMAS TREES’
ChinaAid, a non-profit Christian rights group, reported prohibition orders against celebrating Christmas among schools in Beijing and elsewhere in China. According to the report, some kindergartens even banned the name ”Christmas Tree,” which must be called a “New Year’s Tree” instead.
A Weibo post forwarded a school announcement which said: “…according to the ‘separation of religion and education’ principle in China’s education law, all kindergartens are forbidden to hold any celebratory events during Christmas.” A commentator then asked: “Isn’t instilling communist theory into the minds of boys and girls from kindergarten to graduate school exactly ideological education?”
ChinaAid’s report also mentioned that the Beijing Technology and Business University conducted a mandatory survey on religious belief among faculties and students, an apparent attempt to intimidate Christians and supporters of the beleaguered Shouwang Church and other house churches in Beijing.
Last year, a university in Xi’an banned Christmas celebrations and forced students to watch propaganda films instead.
—Compiled and translated by James Yu