THERE’S BEEN a massive outbreak of irony in China. From Beijing it has spread all over the country.
It started with a singer trying to win The Voice of China, a cringeworthy TV talent contest (yes, yes, I know, that description seems to apply to pretty much ALL television shows these days).
In the final, he surprised viewers by singing an ultra-patriotic number called I Love You China. Not a lot of subtlety there.
This guaranteed him a win from the judges—but caused viewers to have a massive irony attack. People were fed up with being forcefed patriotism.
His fan-base across the country fled, declaring him instantly uncool.
They decided that it’s no longer possible, even in China, to be pro-authoritarian and a pop star at the same time. It would be like being a male stripper and the Pope. One job precludes the other.
This is a massive development.
The authorities were reeling from that when there was ANOTHER outbreak of irony.
Every time people are ill-treated in China, they try to protest but the rulers halt demonstrations with icily calm government TV spokespeople explaining that to “maintain harmony” and “preserve stability” everyone should kindly “shut the f*** up”, etc, although not in those exact words.
Workers who were cheated of their pay cheekily made a video which looked just like a government announcement. They calmly said that non-payment of workers threatened the community’s desire to “maintain harmony” and “preserve stability” and “shut the f*** up”, etc. The video went viral.
(Peasant acting like government TV spokesperson)
Will the sarcasm outbreak reach the top?
Watch out for China changing its slogans to be more ironic: “Communism is much better than capitalism, yeah right.”
IN OTHER NEWS
SCIENTISTS LAST week discovered that in winter, the planet Mars is warmer than most of Canada. It’s probably livelier on Saturday nights too.
AN UNDERTAKER lost his license last week after he chopped up a corpse too fat to fit into the cremation furnace, reader Wendy Tong told me. I feel sorry for mortician William Ellenger, who lives in the US and so will probably face the fat corpse problem A LOT.
Clearly, US citizens will have to switch to traditional Asian-type funerals, setting fire to bodies on river banks.
But when I found the original cutting to check the facts, I learned that police arrested the guy and then found that chopping up dead people is not illegal.
Presumably that means you can slice and dice Keith Richards without fear of punishment. The thought excites me, oddly.
(Keith Richards and corpse, or other way round)
The reason judges gave for taking away Ellenger’s license was that he failed to ask relatives first. “Hello, I’m from the funeral home and wonder if you’d mind if I lopped off a few of grandma’s limbs?”
A THREE-YEAR-OLD child in Cambodia has become a superstar doctor. Toddler Ray Rong looks at patients, and then points to foodstuffs which miraculously heal them. Thousands of sick people are queuing up outside his house in Prey Veng province to be told what to eat, the Phnom Penh Postreported.
I would hate to have dinner with this kid. “You eat my greens and give me your steak and you’ll be cured of being an irritating moron.”
Hey, Ray. I tried that. It didn’t work.
FACEBOOK ENGINEERS are working out how to add a “want” button to every post. What if the thing you really want is fewer buttons? Or if you want the whole Facebook empire to explode? Hackers: kindly arrange, please.