Sandy skies & May’s propaganda

Air pollution of a different kind today: sand.

My teacher said this isn’t an actual sandstorm (沙尘暴 – shā chén bào); it’s just “scattering sand” (扬沙 – yáng shā). But it’s still nasty being outside in the wind.

May’s propaganda
There is no shortage of “Welcome the Olympics, be more civilized, establish a new atmosphere” banners. They’re even on taxis and buses. Neighbourhood committees are putting up posters listing the names of residents and how much they each donated to the earthquake relief effort. Roads are getting paved, unfinished buildings are getting the outsides slapped on, other buildings are getting facelifts, our fake roof is finished, you can buy 10元 (<$1.50) t-shirts on the university campuses the say "I [heart] China! Go China! Go Chinese!" and "Go China!" with politically correct maps that conspicuously include all the disputed South China Sea Islands. The “be more civilized” cartoons are posted all over, and near the school people’ve painted a giant mural of them, right next to another big slogan:

The slogan on the right says:

“Liberate thought, do work & create industry, scientific development.”
解放思想,干事创业,科学发展

Along the top of the left photo is yet another “Welcome the Olympics, be more civilized, establish a new atmosphere.”

Also, these three articles have been waiting in line since the end of February:

  • Confessions Of A Propagandist
    A guy who worked two years as a “language polisher” for China’s official news agency’s English service introduces us to the world of China’s official media and the difficulties of translating official newspeak into readable English.
  • “The Connection Has Been Reset”
    Explains how they control internet content and monitor user activity, how easy it is for users to get around the restrictions, and why, despite the ease with which people can get around said restrictions, the system’s quite effective anyway.
  • Beijing’s Sky Blues & More ‘Blue Skies’ in Beijing
    You may have heard that Beijing has increased its air quality and met ‘blue sky’ targets ahead of the Olympics. A D.C.-based ‘independent environmental consultant,’ who was a 2006 Princeton in Asia fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing, explains how they manipulated their data collection procedure to report more ‘blue sky days.’ Beijing’s environmental officials respond with, “This phenomenon does not exist,” though I’m not sure if they’re referring to statistics tampering, or blue sky days.

Jessica has a hilarious post in the works about the treatment her and her workout buddy get at the gym from the middle aged ladies. Stay tuned…

3 thoughts on “Sandy skies & May’s propaganda”

  1. 这两天的天气简直比杀了我还难受。
    我有严重的过敏性鼻炎,在这样的扬沙天气里,真是 生 不如死。

  2. 1.戴口罩,
    2.门窗紧闭,热了开空调
    3.尽量不出门,出门上了车就算再热也不开窗,还是 开空调。

    今天已经是第三天了,这次扬尘天气据说都是天津 本地的 尘土,希望大规模的建设尽快结束,或者赶紧下一 场雨。

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