China's anonymity ban
MY geek friend in China is upset. The government in Beijing launched a tough set of new rules forbidding anonymous comments on Internet forums. (Somehow they guessed that PartyQueen_99 was not her real name.)
Officials explained that strict rules were needed because internet users pushed their views anonymously, refused to provide their real names or any form of identification, and upset huge numbers of people.
How did the mainland officials announce this new policy?
Er, they issued the rules anonymously, they refused to provide their real names or any form of identification, and they upset huge numbers of people.
Internet officials in Beijing just don't get it, do they? They should take lessons from officials in south-east China, who are far more creative.
These guys ordered workers to cover a bridge in butter to stop citizens using it to commit suicide.
Bridge guard Wong Man told a reporter: "The butter makes the bars and frames slippery." The buttered individuals simply slide to the ground where guards wait to arrest them.
A question: how do you grab a guy covered in butter?
And how do they get it off? Do they roll them around on giant slices of white bread?
Mainland officials can be unpredictable. I love China and go as often as I can. But on one occasion they stopped me. They explained that they didn't like my shirt, because it made me look religious. Instead of the colorful Hawaiian shirts other tourists were wearing, I had on a white, Mandarin-collar shirt. Only in China can you be detained for wearing the national costume.
Snippets to think about
Tall people really do have more authority than short ones, said reader Thomas Seifert, responding to last week's column on the subject. He used to work with 2.12 meter giant who looked imposing but was an immature 17-year-old who banged his head on every doorway he encountered.
"When people came to ask us about something, they would unfailingly address him first, even though I was ten years or more his senior," said Thomas. "But they got the reply they deserved for putting height before age."
The tall youth always gave the same answer: "Er. Ah. Um. Dunno."
Thomas added: "I was never sure if he started out less gifted in the upper floors or if all that banging of his head dented his IQ."
To be fair, let's abuse short people too. I once met a tall woman who looked at my little legs and said: "Wow, you're short. But I guess it isn't all bad. I bet you can pull up your trousers really fast." Not the greatest compliment I've ever had.
A guy who hijacked a plane last Wednesday said he did so because the date was 999 "which was the satanic number 666 turned upside down." Author Hari Kunzru told me: "He probably also bought 200 tubs of Haagen Dazs last August because the date was 888 which looked like three fat people wearing belts."
Conversation read in an internet chatroom a few days ago
Michelle: "I lost 25 lbs in eight days."
Zee: "Either you had a baby or you gave up bacon."
My money's on the bacon.
Thought for the day (Warning: thinking about this too much may make your head explode): Life is too short to worry about how short life is.
For more comments on random things of life visit our columnist at http://mrjam.typepad.com