Squeezing in for a bite of shit
Read down to verify that the use of shit is quotative (if gratuitous) here, sorry for the pattern.
The political and personal ramifications of Han Han’s recent post on his famous blog cannot be entirely negligible when it includes quotes like this (translation from C. Custer on Chinasmack)…
I feel we should permit the Fifty Cent Party to exist; everyone has the right to hire someone else to speak for them and those hired have the right to speak anywhere they please. If you can beat Xiao Ming once, and then with the money stolen off of him hire someone to curse him once, that counts as a talent. Every government has a mechanism for propagating their perspective, [so] that is excusable.
Add this to the intro he gave recently to a speech at Xiamen University:
Do you know why China cannot become a grand cultural nation? It is because most of the time when we speak, we say “Dear leaders” first and those leaders are uncultured. Not only that, for they are also afraid of culture, they censor culture and they control culture. So how can such a nation become a grand cultural nation? Dear leaders, what do you say?
And suddenly, shorting Han Han political futures is gaining popularity.
But it’s language, not politics, I noticed this morning. There seems to be a Chinese thread about eating shit that’s more productive and somewhat different in character to the (at least American) English one. Here’s Han Han in that recent blog post:
Yīnwèi nǐ búhuì yīnwèi kànjian yīduī rén wéizhe zài chī shǐ ér jǐ jìnqù chī yīkǒu
because you wouldn’t, upon seeing a crowd of people eating shit, squeeze your way in to have a bite yourself
And not that long ago on Beijing Sounds there was also talk about eating shit, from an earthy saying:
Chī shǐ yě děi chī ge jiānr
“Has to eat the tip even when eating a turd”
… referring to someone who always has to have the best. In the comments for that post, Randy Alexander added this version from Dongbei (东北 = Dōngběi, China’s cold northeast)
chī shǐ dōu chībuzhao jiānr.
and a variation:
chī shǐ dōu chībuzhao rèhu.
This means that a person is so slow that even when eating shit, they don’t even have time to eat the point (or warm part in the variation).
Is there a pattern here? It all seems a lot more fun and subtle than the old American bumper sticker: “How’s my driving? 1-800-EAT-SHIT”.