Monday, October 27, 2008

A motto for China

I have of late been working my way - chronologically, post by post - through the voluminous archives (nearly 5 years' worth now) of the excellent Other Men's Flowers. Its creator, Tony B, was for many years an official of the International Table Tennis Federation, and I was charmed by this little collection of observations on the game from March 2004 (this, doubtless, is where Boris Johnson did his research for the celebrated "Ping-pong's coming home" speech).

The comic highlight of this little post is the slogan of a Table Tennis World Championship tournament staged some years ago in Serbia, which was allegedly translated into English (tricky language, Serbian!) as: "Our balls are tiny but our aspirations are enormous."

My friend G, an eccentric artist, would, I think, find this particularly apposite for China. She has not been impressed with the physical endowment of the Chinese men she has known, and entirely understands the national obsession with 'performance enhancing' medications made from endangered animals. She is currently working on a painting intended as an ironic commentary on this phenomenon. She plans to call it The Laughing Rhino.

No comments: