Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just messin' with ya!

Yahoo was restored to us by mid-morning.

But I wasn't going to let that get in the way of a good post. I'd nearly finished my mad jazz-will-topple-the-government hypothesis before I went to work this morning, and I thought I'd share it with you anyway, even though it has already been (for now, at least) outpaced by events.

When I picture to myself our bothersome Internet censors here in China (the Kafka Boys, I like to call 'em, because the rationale for what they do is so impenetrably obscure) I am often reminded of the Gary Larson cartoon 'God at his Personal Computer': His Omnipotence, long-gowned and white-bearded, hunched in front of a display screen, zooming into a close-up on a hapless mortal man who is walking underneath an upright piano as it is being hoisted precariously into the air by a fraying rope.... his hand hovering mischievously over a 'Return' key labelled 'SMITE'. (You know the one I mean. Unfortunately, it is nowhere to be found on the Internet.)

Then at other times I visualize their headquarters as being like the nerve centre of a Bond villain's hideout: all gleaming computer consoles with row upon row of blinking lights and obscure switches..... and quite deserted, all humming away calmly on 'automatic'..... deserted, that is, except for the mild-mannered old janitor, who absent-mindedly leaves his mop leaning against a wall.... it falls, accidentally moving the lever that activates the Website Destructo Beam..... and it's goodbye, Yahoo; so long, Blogspot; suck on this, BBC; you're next, Google.

This time, the tragic mistake was swiftly spotted and corrected. This time.

Next time we may not be so lucky. Next time our favourite websites may be completely vaporised....


moonrat said...

...have YOU read Foreign Babes in Beijing?

moonrat said...

it's awesome.

Froog said...

You asked me this before. I shrugged and said 'chick lit'. It might be very well done 'chick lit', but I suspect it is likely to have far more appeal and accessibility to women readers. And also to readers who've never been to China. China books are much less surprising and exhilarating to those of us who are living here. Heck, I read Peter Hessler, and sigh and pull a face, and think, "That's all a bit obvious, isn't it?"

moonrat said...

Fine. Well, I have a very short attention span and can never remember what kinds of questions I've already asked. Although I do believe that I should be earning a commission from Rachel DeWoskin at this point.

And yes, no, I haven't been to China. Unqualified am I to imagine your experience, never mind feel jaded about the whole thing. But I have lived in Taiwan and in Japan. Which inspires me to get carried away with myself on occasion. I also have an infinite capacity for surprise and exhilaration, well past the thresholds of tedium for most people.

Have an awesome time in Shanghai!

Froog said...

I'm not jaded with China.... just jaded with "Cor, wow, what a funny country this is to live in!" books. Jaded, and maybe just a little bit envious of their financial success.

Me, I'm working on a collection of linked short stories. (Yes, Moonrat, I read your post on that.)