“My blessings upon thee, qq” said Irony smiling kindly on the child

And qq smiled back ironically.

When I’m chatting to Linda from school, I use the international version of qq, which is the local answer to various IM programs. You’d think that even the international version of qq would adhere to the usual paranoid strictures on the Internet which irk and annoy me so intensely, but it seems that that’s not so.

When I start qq, a box with news and other information eventually pops up, which I normally ignore, but today I noticed that the first advert was encouraging users to join qq international’s Facebook page. “How de­light­fully ironic,” I thought, because Facebook is blocked. I wasn’t thinking ironically enough because the next advert was for a VPN service spec­ifically aimed at those of us in China who are stoutly defended by the state from the colossal amounts of social trivia on Facebook, the colossal amounts of video silliness on YouTube and vimeo, and the colossal amounts of gossipy trivia that gets vomited across Twitter every second.

What next? Join Φάλυν Γόγγ and have the State Harvest your Internal Organs for Free[1]. Or, Buy a Δαλάι Λάμα T-shirt. (All profits go to the Popular People’s Front of Τιβέτ.[2]) Or, Choose Δεμόκρασy, and Vote for the Tyrant of your Choice.

I thought I was a master of such arts as irony and sarcasm, but I see I have so much more to learn.

1. This offer is only available to HK-based recruits. See the displays at the Star Ferry Terminal, Causeway Bay and other locations for details.
2. Not to be confused with the People’s Popular Front.

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