Chinese bloggers: Apparently, fatalism doesn’t translate

As someone who lived in mainland China for a couple years back in the 90’s, I can tell you that if there’s a word that sums up the Chinese sense of humor, its ‘macabre.’

And our brothers in HTML recently proved the West’s knee-jerk media coverage quite aptly: With an elaborate censorship hoax last week, covered today by the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview, Beijing-based journalist Wang Xiaofeng of [blog] Massage Milk says he shut his blog down to make a point about freedom of speech — just one directed at the West instead of at Beijing. He calls the Western press “irresponsible” and says that the hoax was designed “to give foreign media a lesson that Chinese affairs are not always the way you think.”

tank.standoff.jpg

Okay, point taken. No one ever lost money underestimating the indolence of the American media vis-a-vis international coverage. But when you’ve got the government pictured at left, the benefit of the doubt isn’t (and shouldn’t) always be so readily available.

Incidentally, for Massage Milk readers new to FishbowlLA, “fatalism” means 宿命论.