HILARIOUSLY out-of-control censors in China have added a new category to the list of items which must be censored: acts of censorship. This became apparent last week when the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a report listing the four countries in the world where Facebook is censored with these words:
and another country
China itself was of course the other country, but they now can’t write that.
Censoring acts of censorship will cause problems.
Official: “You cannot read this book.”
Citizen: “Is it censored?”
Official: “I cannot tell you whether it is censored on not, because that fact ITSELF is now censored.”
Citizen: “But by stopping me reading it, you’ve let me know that it is censored.”
Official: “Oh no! I must now sentence myself to five years in re-education camp.”
Citizen: “Wanna borrow my book?”
MY NEIGHBORS last week booked a holiday in Seoul on the exact day Kim Jong-un of North Korea announced he was going to nuke the place. I raced to www.wouldisurviveanuke.com to do some research on their behalf, inputting an 18 kiloton (Nagasaki-size) nuke to land in the middle of Seoul.
The software revealed that most of Seoul would be destroyed EXCEPT for the outlying Gangnam suburb where Psy hangs out doing his horse dance. There’s no justice.
THE GOVERNMENT of Nepal accidentally gave the entire population an extra day off. The official calendar listed a major Sherpa holiday so all offices and schools were closed, the Kathmandu Post reported. “Er, we already did that last month,” the Sherpas responded. Amazingly, there were no complaints from school children or civil servants.
I, Tang Jinhui, carelessly missed the date of registration for my marriage to Miss Zhang on March 13. I deeply apologize for my mistake and for hurting her. I hope Miss Zhang can forgive me.
said his ad in the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily of China.
Ms Zhang sounds really scary. I bet she wears black, sits at a big table with a white cat on her lap and speaks in a Teutonic accent. “So you forgot to visit ze registration office? You must be punished, ja?”
A MAN IS making buildings earthquake proof using giant Band-Aids. Dr Shunichi Igarashi wraps extra-long fabric strips around the central pillars of buildings in Japan’s Sendai City and elsewhere to reinforce them, Nikkei Business Online reported last week. Remind me not to go to Japan for a while.
APOLOGIES FOR being a bit quiet this week. Some of you know, I am on the move, and am currently in a hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia. It’s the Esplanade if you are nearby and want to visit. However, there are not a lot of places near to this part of the world. I am a guest speaker at a conference of editors.
On a related issue, a reader who works as an editor in Asia said she finds so much repetition here that she wants to start a new division for this region:
“I’m going to call it The Department of Unnecessary Words Department.”