Irony as Protest in China
Truly nuanced, self-aware social discussion may still be in the future but among educated Chinese the government's baldest self-contradictions no longer pass unremarked.
Irony is beginning to make some incursions into the straight-faced bastion of mainstream print media. Last year the Sanlian Life Weekly, one of China's more forward-thinking general-interest magazines, ran an article concurrently with the premiere of the film The Founding of a Republic, the Chinese government's painfully un-ironic love song to itself on the occasion of its 60th birthday. The article, a fake travelogue, explored "micro-nations" around the world, praising imaginary countries like Sealand and Molossia in over-the-top terms and obliquely poking fun at China's ambitions of becoming a "great nation."
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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