April Fool’s Day

No kidding.

I had some of the kids in Class 16 wishing me Happy Fool’s Day. It’s another one of those Western things they know of but know nothing about, although one kid had tried to play a joke on his classmates.

4xy3k0 Anyway, you’ve probably seen this infamous picture and know that the chap on the right (and indeed, probably the whole lot of them) is a ringer. The picture featured on the front page of the local paper. The first time I saw it, I doubted its authenticity. What I thought seemed wrong was the group of people in the foreground. They all look Han Chinese to me. That’s not to say that I’d win every time at Spot-the-Τιβέταν, but I see enough Тибэтанс in Chengdu to know that this lot don’t really look like them. They also often wear traditional Τιβέταν clothing and wear it properly. Even if it wasn’t know that the man with the knife is a fraud, his clothing gives him away. The only award he’d get would be for Sloppiest Dresser in Тибэт.

I also note, now that I look at the picture again, that the man burning the flag can’t be identified, and reconsidering the crowd, I observe they’re milling around. They have no particular interest in the burning of the flag. Some of them are looking one way; some are looking the other. There’s no sense of unity or focus. The whole thing is another instance of street theatre, but less entertaining because the audience is part of the performance.

In fact, the more I look at this photo, the more fake it seems, but it may have been touched up a little. The colours seem strangely vibrant. If you look too hard at it, everything starts to look superimposed.

Meanwhile, blogspot remains absolutely and utterly blocked. The work-round I’ve been using for over a year(?) seems not to be working any longer. I’ve just found that the Rutgers University website is behaving as if it’s been blocked. I can’t get onto the ROA and I’ve just tried Jack Lynch’s pages there, only to have the door slammed in my face as well. Looks like anonymouse is also being kicked in the nuts. When I tried to check the ROA via that service, it was clear there was some (deliberate) interference somewhere along the line.

I can understand why blogspot might be inaccessible, but the ROA and, it’d seem, a whole university website? It’s possible, of course, there are other things at issue which I’m unaware of, but this is really stupid.

I’m guessing that blogspot will be restored during the Olympics and then probably killed off yet again. (Considering how frequently it’s been resurrected, perhaps it should be renamed Lazarus.) Whether the work-round also ever functions again I can’t say at this time. [20.08.14. I was right about blogspot. Access was restored during the approach to the Olympics and then got killed off afterwards; that may have had less to do with Tibet than it did to do with Google refusing to censor search results.] Will access be restored to the ROA? Presumably; though why a site devoted to the distribution of papers in Optimality Theory should be blocked is, as I said above, stupid. Once more, Nanny’s idiot antics inconvenience the expats and pretty much no one else.

Danwei has an entry Why do Chinese Internet users like government controls? which is about a survey of Chinese Internet habits, usage, views of government controls etc. Interesting info, but all rather depressing. I wonder how many people answered truthfully and how many merely said what they thought the questioner was expecting to hear.

Time to stop banging my head against this brick wall. “Sensible” and “rational” are not two words that I’m likely to use in connection with this subject.


2 thoughts on “April Fool’s Day”

  1. Roland Soong traces the photo back to kadfly.blogspot.com, which is where I remember seeing it first, and which would suggest the photo is not so fake as it may look.As for ROA: Could it be hosted on a server which also hosts "bad" things and therefore got caught up in an old-style sledgehammerish "ban the whole server" block?

  2. I suspect that this particular version of the photo looks fake because Apple Daily has messed about with it.
    The ROA, I’m pleased to say, is back. Might’ve been out because they were adding a Google search feature I don’t remember seeing before.

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