Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gutless: Global Times's response to Sky Canaves

UPDATE, 3/12: I've since re-evaluated my initial response. I've kept the below for posterity, but here's my apology to Jacob Li and the Global Times editorial team.

Well, the "impending death" alluded to in my Alessandro post turned out to be an indefinite suspension, as Global Times's Jacob Li tells us in today's issue:

The most frightening piece of writing I've read recently is a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) blog about my colleague Alessandro. He, together with our newspaper, was accused of projecting a vulgar voice by discussing vaginas amid the Chinese ambition of gaining a bigger voice among foreign audiences.

You, sir, are a pussy. No, not pussy... vagina. You are a big fat vagina dripping with vagina juice and you deserve to be stuffed back into the vagina from whence you came, you stupid vagina.

Admittedly, the joke is sophomoric and perhaps should have been killed with better judgment...


...Oddly enough, I feel more frightened than ashamed after reading the blog titled A Vulgar Turn in China's International Media Ambitions...

...written by a humorless vagina...

...and its more fearsome Chinese translation Chinese Media's Vulgar Voice Irks Reader...

...written by vaginas who take humorless vaginas way too seriously...

...thanks to last year's anti-vulgarity crusade during which...

Vagina, vagina, vagina.

The joke was just about the vagina, not about China. It was not even about Chinese vaginas – the one who raised the question was a foreign woman.

[Vagina joke.]

Still, I would like to apologize to those who have been offended by Alessandro's occasional vulgar language during the last three months.

Have I mentioned how much of a vagina you are?

I decided to discipline the foul-mouthed Italian...

You HAVE to understand that by keeping up the ruse that Alessandro is 1) real, and 2) actually Italian, you're undercutting your message, right? Or is that your point?

If you're really apologizing, why not out "Alessandro"? Grand plans for the future? If that's the case, ignore the rest of what I have to say. Email me off-blog and explain how a creative, free-spirited, subversive, hilarious voice was able to get a job at your publication, because by God, the writer of Alessandro was actually good. canceling his advice column until he realizes how wrong he is and how he has jeopardized Metro Beijing, the first daily English language local news provider in town.

So let me get this straight: you're canceling the column because some prude working for the Wall Street Journal hates humor and has, with the might of all that is holy in the name of the Western press, derided it in a fucking blog post, and as a result you think your action -- this cancellation -- will save Metro Beijing? VAGINA, how chicken-hearted are you? The equivalent of this would be MSNBC issuing an apology for everything Keith Olbermann has said in the past three years because Rush Limbaugh called him "offensive." Apparently, however, hell has no wrath like a vagina in the Western press scorned.

As I read more of the blog, I did start to feel ashamed of being incompetent, particularly when I saw the appellations Miss Canaves of the WSJ gives us: An arm of the People's Daily, the Communist Party's official mouthpiece and the "government-run" epithet, and calling us on our so-called great ambition of gaining a voice abroad.

Oh, Ms. Canaves, spank me harder, I've been a bad boy, I've been real incompetent, oh please shame me, Ms. Canaves, oh please give it to me, tell me I'm an arm of the People's Daily, oh yes! yes I'm a mouthpiece, oh yes I'm a mouthpiece, oh yes the mouthpiece! the mouthpiece! yes! yes! yes!!

Is the "fake" Italian a spy who has sneaked into the "government-run" newspaper, trying to sabotage our mission of making the official voice roar in the West? Have I been trapped in his well-designed snare?

I'm a bit confused. Your mission is to make the official voice roar in the West? Are you being sarcastic here? Are you saying you believe you DO represent the "official voice," i.e. you ARE a mouthpiece of the government? And furthermore, that you want that voice to "roar"?

If you are being sarcastic, shouldn't you be, um, PROMOTING Alessandro? Maybe you are promoting Alessandro. Maybe this is all a joke, and I've fallen for it. Maybe you are much wiser than I've given you credit for. Maybe I've failed to read between the lines. Maybe I will be retracting everything I've said in two months when Alessandro makes his glorious return.

Then again, maybe you're just milquetoast.

And yes, you have been trapped, you vaginisitc vagina.

All the anger and doubts, however, disappear when I recall the statement we made in our launch issue: We simply aim to provide reliable and fast news and become a communication platform for expats living in this country.

I'm confused again. Fill in this blank: My anger and doubts disappear because ___.

I think you would say -- and forgive me if I'm wrong, I'm not practiced in reading the minds of namby-pamby vaginas -- that your anger and doubts have disappeared because you've realized you're a vagina whose diet consists of high-energy, high-fiber, low-fat vaginas.

The column was becoming a communication platform for expats, which means on top of being a vagina, you are a vaginaing vuhgina vagina.

We're clear about who we are. This is simply an English language newspaper run by Chinese people, with the help of some foreigners.

You're a fucking China Daily wannabe.

But if objectivity and plurality happen to build up our country's soft power, everyone who is involved should feel proud.

You're a milksop.

Anyway, we should thank Miss Canaves for pointing out the inappropriateness of some of Alessandro's advice.

You're a douchebag and a groveling idiot.

It helps us, a fledgling English language newspaper, to find the boundary.

Define your own fucking boundary and find your own fucking voice, you conforming vagina.

But the spirit of Alessandro will live on, in a good way.

If by "spirit" you mean as the 17th century poets meant it -- cum -- and if by "a good way" you mean "in my vagina," then yes, good sir, you have redeemed yourself and your column was a worthwhile use of our time which we shall never want back even if we would eat maggot-flecked goat testicles to get it back.

Well done, Global Times. Vive le Western media!

p.s. Fuck you, Sky Canaves.


Anonymous said...

Hey HoB,

you want to write for Metro? mail me,

phantom said...

i'm surprised that you can see the humor and satire in the column ask alessandro but not in this piece of editorial. it's clearly yet another satire!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Heart, I had to read it a couple of times but I'm pretty sure it's a satirical, non-apology apology. Firstly, the Canaves prissy fit was seemingly caused by the use of the word vagina in a satirical context. The author uses the vag word in their apolgia like a dozen times. He must be taking the piss (or smelling the piss, perhaps). Second, he actually suggests the vagina opening might be a metaphor for the sessions of the National People's Congress for pity's sake!
I for one think it's a classic oblique 'fuck you' - with Chinese charcteristics, as they say

The Tao said...

"The author uses the vag word in their apolgia like a dozen times."

I actually wondered about this myself the first time I read it, but then the V word stopped coming and I got sidetracked by a swell of anger -- completely misplaced, it looks like. Anyway, thanks for your comment. Now I really, really want to meet this Jacob fellow, or anyone on that editorial staff.

Anonymous said...

seriously, you should pop in to the GT office. let me know here or a mail to the aless. address

Anonymous said...

Bravo, HoB! I applaud you for calling vaginas vaginas. But really, what the whole Alessandro/Canaves/retraction drama tells us is that while GT has some hilarious, outward-thinking staff and editors, both they and their competitor, China Daily, are attached with strings to the very same bureaucrats and policy. They're different, and in most ways better, but not nearly so much as they believe themselves to be.