I think I need to learn Chinese. Not so I can get a job with a company doing business in China or travel there on holidays. I don’t like jobs and I have no interest in visiting a place where I need a respirator to walk down the street. No, I need to learn Chinese to keep up with the humor.
China has been cracking down on sleaze and corruption in the communist party. This has been a boon for people seeking to profit from the crackdown by blackmailing wayward officials. They get a young woman to sleep with an official and secretly record the tryst on video. And then they demand a payoff to keep the career-ending, prison-time inducing event secret.
But the guys keep falling for it. For some reason they believe that being a fifty-year old man with a pot-belly and a receding hairline somehow makes them an irresistible chick-magnet to young women. Note to self.
An aptly-named party official named Mr. Lei was recently bagged in one such scheme. He tried to claim that his $500k payoff was a loan to businessman. It didn’t work and he got 13 years in the pokey. But here’s why I need to learn Chinese:
China has Sina Weibo, an equivalent to Twitter where citizens can Tweet about anything (except The Party, human rights, Tiananmen Square, Tibet, etc.). Citizens are using it to comment on these official scandals. Here’s what one poster wrote bout Mr. Lei:
“Lei given sentence for 13 yrs. He was in bed for 12 seconds, which makes one year for each second, with a year to spare.”
As a typical single-language, American blockhead, I’m missing all this wit and humor. It seems that China is just like the US – the government is plagued with corrupt jerks who care primarily about their own financial futures, but the regular people are funny as hell.