Too much has gone on since I last posted to keep up. Hutoon sent a most inharmonious New Year’s card to the world; a citizen watch on Sina microblog has reunited abducted children with their parents; Li Qiming, of “My father is Li Gang” fame, got six years for the hit-and-run death of a young woman; and Egyptian protesters carried Chinese signs in Cairo. Throw in the Chinamuser starting a new job, and there’s just been no way to keep up.
When I started taking Chinese in high school, I was motivated by the challenge alone. It was so vastly different from anything I had ever known, that I burned to make it familiar and my own. Ten years later, the whole world wants the same thing. But can anyone acheive it?
Remember the Daily Elvis, the guarantee that Elvis would somehow pop up on the radio, TV, or in conversation every day of your life? Well, welcome to the era of the Daily China. Peter Hessler said it right: not even the Chinese themselves can keep up with the rapid changes in their society. Not even Chinese people can wrap their heads around China. So rather than try to ride the China wave, I’m going to dive right in and see what’s below the surface. Because “cold jokes” and quirky forum discussions can say just as much about the Chinese world as the headlines and newspaper analyses–and frankly, it’s impossible for one lone netizen to keep up from the other side of the globe.
I invite you to revel in the confusion and enjoy a nice, cold joke on me, courtesy of Lengxiaohua Net (motto: “we say cold”; mascot: evil-looking pink rabbit):
Sharing the Penguin Wave (original text)
A female colleague of mine and I usually get along really well.
Today, Friday, we got sushi together. Afterwards I took her home.
She said to come in and sit a while and drink a little of this old litchi tea she found.
A boudoir is a boudoir, the light was gentle, the music swayed, and the litchi tea was pretty good. We sat on the floor.
She took out a piece of paper and wrote:
F(x) and G(x) in Xo is continuous and has the same limit as A limF(x)＝limG(x)＝A
Therefore, if a domain of the function f(x) in Xo it is always true that
then X approaching Xo has limF(x)≤limf(x)≤limG(x)
Saying something coy, she waited for a momemt.
Me: Wait, what?
She said indignantly: It isn’t early, you’d better go home.
I politely closed the door and went home alone.
Wait, you don’t get it? neither do most of the 20 commenters–and the ones who seem to don’t do anyone any favors by posting variations which have the female co-worker writing in Basque and drawing matrices. Happy Year of the utterly confusing Cold Joke Rabbit!