Me and Chairman Mao
Sometimes when I need to laugh at something I go check out the online English language editions of various Chinese newspapers, which never fail to do the job. For starters, there's always at least one good news story. Like the other day there was an article about a celebration that commemorated "the 60th anniversary of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression." The article went on for eight or nine paragraphs but never mentioned, never even hinted, that anyone else was involved, that other countries that may have been fighting the Japan--with actual success, mind you--during the same time period. I mean, I know we'd all like to forget the movie Pearl Harbor, but it's not like we can pretend it didn't exist. (Well, we can pretend, but it won't change the fact that it does exist. Sadly.)

While the news articles can be amusing, the really good stuff is always in the Opinions section, where you can read really heavily opinionated essays with titles like "US should keep its hands off Taiwan," "Commentary: 'Taiwan is part of China' backed by international law," and--my favorite--"Japan: Why So Small-Minded?" Of course, the opinion pieces themselves are even better, especially on the lower-tier news sites, where nonstandard punctuation, such as the super-exclamation, or !!!, is often used to emphasize key points. And let's not forget the actual writing, which is of course the best part. One story I read yesterday was talking about Zimbabwe (how the West should mind it's own business) and claimed that in Western newspapers: "The Zimbabwean economy is described as 'collapsing' despite the UK economy being far worse."

Really??? I wouldn’t have thought that!!!

(Side note: if anyone cared to look, I'm thinking you'd find that the 2004 GDP of the UK was a few billion US dollars more than Zimbabwe's, but that's just my opinion ...)

Another good opinion piece--and one much closer to my heart--was called "English blogs in China:the disappointing ethnocentrism" (sic), which claimed to be written by a foreigner living in China but probably wasn't. At one point, the article was pointing out they "anti-Chinese discourse" that many of the foreigner-run sites seem to have, including frequent complaining about:

... how many Chinese are in the habit of allowing their young children to defecate everywhere in public, and even on the floor of other peoples' homes.

To this, I have two things to say:

1. What kind of person would do
something like that?

2. No shit.

No, wait a second--I think that last one's backward, somehow ...

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