Danwei.org recently carried a very thought-provoking lecture by the Chinese heavy-metal (and now media consultant) pioneer Kaiser Kuo about Chinese and American “confrontations in cyber-space.” (The Danwei post and the streaming video of the lecture are available here.) In it, the author describes briefly the need for more “bridge blogging,” which I define as bloggers translating one another’s work, doing the kind of connecting that is necessary to show that the Great Firewall of China, and the language barriers, are not so formidable as once thought.
So apparently when I translate BBS comments from Chinese “netizens” on Huanqiu Shibao stories about North Korea, it counts as bridge blogging. China Smack has made a virtual industry of this, focusing on the most salaciously interesting tidbits of the Chinese internet. For some reason they seem to think that nothing is more important in China than prostitution crackdowns.
(But for colorful oeverage on Chinese scandal, nothing tops Andrew Jacobs’ recent work as the correspondent for the old paper beast, the New York Times, in Chongqing. Not only does Jacobs quote my colleague Sidney Rittenberg [who is back in Tacoma today] in this story, he writes like a God. If only our translations from the Chinese were so felicitious!)
But when Chinese internet users (which according to Kaiser Kuo number now 338 million, more than the entire population of the entire USA) arrive in this space and mix it up, then we have achieved something. I think that’s “bridge blogging.”
One recent prolix Chinese commentator arrived not long ago at the august gates of the Sinologistical Violoncellist, and left a number of comments. His name is He Jian, and he has a very distinctive prose (and, I would imagine, personal) style. I did a little looking around and found that he appears to be a 30-year old Christian democratic reformer in Shanghai whose writings have been suppressed.
In frustration at having his magnum opus, entitled 《何健语录》 (The Annals of He Jian), suppressed, he posted this poem on the Radio Free Asia website. Here is the original, followed by my rough translation. It is full of puns!
The Pirate Bay的海盗沦为共匪了；
and it ends with his tagline, already seen here on this blog——摘自《何健语录》，欢迎转载，谢谢支持！ [From “Annals of He Jian,” Welcome Recopying, Thanks for Support!]
And my translation:
“Annals of He Jian” Current Investigation of Mainland Internet
Under the pressure strike of the Chinese Communist Party:
Google has been castrated （The “oo” in google are two testes, and once cut and dropped, “ggle” is all that’s left）；
Microsoft’s bing has gotten sick；
Apple has fallen；
Yahoo has become hoarse；
BBC back to back, now can’t be seen；
youtube, you ran away；
America Online（AOL） has suddenly dropped the line；
Amazon’s attitude has become shady；
adobe has died a violent death；
facebook has been crippled （it can’t avoid death）；
myspace sold my body （this time I can’t tell Deng Wendi）；
Double Click’s eggs turned into double chickens （as if two Shanghai beauties went to look for Japanese men with whom to discuss their price）；
Flickr had an unlucky year；
The Pirate Bay was boarded by Communist bandits on the high seas；
the friends in friendster all fell dead；
Orkut has no computer options；
In Hulu, one begins to read of “elegant” medicine；
joost: this pig is dead；
Blinkx can’t transmigrate its soul or die （in the early evening it was captured and killed by communist bandits)；
Tudou has been boiled and has begun to be eaten by the communist bandits；
hi5 is drinking liquid waste；
On Taobao, one can’t find any commemorations of June 4 culture’
On Ali Baba one can find even less；
Weather has also begun to report only the good news；
As for Baidu、QQ、Sina、Sohu、and 163.com? These are truly the CCP’s Five Brave Tiger Generals。
twitter still hasn’t been turned evil by the communist bandits! But I (He Jian) already perceive that the day is not far away.
but boxun’s high-spirited erection of a new era has begun；
the People’s Daily has been seen by all the people.
The People’s Daily and Kim Jong Il will soon be in Hades.
Dell resists Green Dam — good！
Toshiba does not put on the Green Skirt — ！
HP doesn’t need the Green to be graceful in the summertime！
Hitachi doesn’t need Green shoes！
CNN is still CNN and hasn’t turned into cartoon-network — really great！
Of course, these are just a few.