December 24 – December 30
We ran a nine-part Christmas special in which expats around China wrote about the holiday experience in their respective cities. A letter decrying “slave labor” was found in a Halloween kit in Portland, Oregon. CCTV ran a documentary on Tibetan self-immolations, which you can watch here. A wealthy young businessman died trying to save a drowning employee.
Sina Weibo is experimenting with post delays if there are sensitive words. A road collapses spectacularly in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, creating the impression of two buttocks. Is there really a 127-year-old woman in China? A man plowed down 23 middle school students because he was upset with a court verdict.
A woman who appears to scrape hot coals into a manhole blew up, basically. Here’s how easily a dog can get stolen. You can now watch, over and over, the shark tank bursting in Shanghai. And the only way Beijing Bellies could’ve been better is if it was a video and not a slideshow.
Comment of the Week:
P., on our Christmas Day post about when a small part of Twitter decided to randomly get racist with #IfSantaWasAsian:
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Just one creature was stirring, a kid with a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Chinese St Nick soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of casual racism danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s fap.
When out on the lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The diode screen on the breast of the new-fallen soot
Gave the lustre of midday to the Party underfoot.
When, what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
But a gas-guzzling sleigh, and eight men to fear.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Chinese St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and spat, and called them by name!
“Now Jinping! now, Keqiang! now, Dejiang and Zhengsheng!
On, Yunshan! On, Qishan! on, Gaoli and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of joys, and Chinese St Nick too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Chinese St Nick came with a bound.
He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of gizmos he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like hongbao, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the stink of baijiu rose from below
The stump of a cig he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a sour face and a little round belly,
That shook when he coughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right rotten old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And emptied the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And blowing a lot, a snotrocket arose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Bam Humbug to all, and to all a rotten night!”