One man's quest to achieve parenting immortality while not going insane in China
Sunday, November 18, 2012
SPECIAL NEWS FEATURE
change 'over' says top official
By a Special Correspondent
BEIJING, Nov 26, TF News - China has
officially finished changing, a government spokesman announced here today.
After decades of reform and opening up starting
moments after a speech by Deng Xiaoping in 1979, the process of overhauling the
country economically, politically and socially is now finally complete.
“It’s over. She’s done,” the spokesman
told a packed press conference of intrigued China watchers and other
pointy-headed nerds at the Great Hall of the People yesterday.
“We have reformed, modernised and opened
up the country as much as we can now. Any more and it might break.”
The official said the completion of the
process would at last put an end to 33 years of stories about the most dramatic
change to a country seen since China’s previous one in the Cultural Revolution.
“It’s been remarkable, it really has,”
the official said. “And we thought beating up landlords in the ‘70s was fun.
“It’s been wondrous to see how we’ve
opened ourselves to western businesses, who have helped us with massive
challenges like reforming our hulking state-owned enterprise sector.
“Along the way, we’ve seen some terrific
social change too. But all those stories about how young people now wear short
skirts and make-up, drive fancy cars and have other signs of new-found wealth –
the kind of stories where we see an old man in a Mao suit doing tai-chi in
front of a Ferrari or a construction site or something - they can stop now. We
now know that’s what’s here.”
The official said that as of the end of
this week, there’d be no more stories such as:
* How China’s “burgeoning middle class” –
the only approved term for the band of people who’ve suddenly got all this
money – all now have big TVs, drink Scotch and play golf.
* How China faces a vexing task in
overhauling its health care system.
* The effects of the one-child policy,
with four grandparents looking after one single spoiled little turd.
* The massive and dangerous situation of
inequalities of wealth, especially between the prosperous coastal regions and
the struggling interior where, we all know now, there are people living below
the poverty line.
“All those Chinese who worried about
what’s going to happen can stop worrying. It’s happened. This is what it looks
like,” the official said.
”So everyone can stop interviewing old
people who pine for the days when everyone was all poor together. As for any
danger of increasing social unrest, we’ve had as much as we’re going to have.
“There’ll also be no more of this
nonsense about some tiny village election in which about 50 people get to vote
for some pre-selected party member, and how this might a harbinger of political
change which means China will have democracy one day. It’s not and we won’t.
“To all those western businesses who came
here thinking they’d get rich if they only sold every Chinese person one sock -
give up. If you’ve learned one thing about Chinese people by now, it’s that we
don’t buy single socks. We’re not that weird.
"And to those thinking the dinky little changes
we made to get into the World Trade Organisation would trigger a so-called
‘Damascus moment’ where we realise the beauty of removing more trade barriers, I've
got bad news for you. We've done what we said we'd do.
“Now bugger off.”
Stories about China’s improving infrastructure
could also finally be turned off.
“All the subway lines are in, and once
the current batch of buildings are finished, it’s all over. The last crane will
come down on a building in Wuxi next Thursday, and that’ll do us.”
An old Beijing man looking unimpressed whilst riding
past a construction site and a sign with Chinese writing
on it. Pictures like this will soon be a thing of the past,
not the future, the official said.
Mick Jagger lets it all hang out while singing a song with
swearwords in it for mildly interested people in Shanghai.
The image was described by the official as "old hat".
Two scantily clad Chinese women next to a sports car.
When asked to comment on this image, the government
spokesman said: "Yeah yeah, whatever."
The official added “the whole rapid
change story” - in which journalists could bandy about terms like “rampant
growth” and “breakneck pace” - would now have to move on. “Maybe to an India,
or a Russia, or one of those African ones,” he said.
“After years of taking our place on the
world stage, we’re now on it. India and Russia are still climbing up at the
back, behind your Britains, your Canadas and your Frances. And anyway, we know
all about the world stage. It was made right here in Chongqing.”
The announcement rang alarm bells with
seasoned China analysts last night.
“Well, the main ramification we can glean from this, looking
at the tea leaves and reading between the lines,” said one old China hand with
an air of smug superiority, “is that I’ll be out of a job.
a bloody disaster.
mean, who’s going to need some softly-spoken academic telling them about
mystical eastern nuance, the Chinese way of doing things and where to sit at
the banquet if the whole show is over? Even if I am one of three white people who know what Chinese person X really
means when he’s saying this or not saying that, noone will give a shit.”