Air pollution of a different kind today: sand.
My teacher said this isn’t an actual sandstorm (æ²™å°˜æš´ – shÄ chÃ©n bÃ o); it’s just “scattering sand” (æ‰¬æ²™ – yÃ¡ng shÄ). But it’s still nasty being outside in the wind.
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 10å…ƒ (<$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.”
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…