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China: Youth, too much free time

Obscurity is here to stay for the residents of a distant northern Chinese town, it seems, judging from a post this week from Chongqing-based blogger-journalist Ran Yunfei.

中国的县之多,从未听说过某一县,当然不足为奇。比如山西的方山县,我就从未听说过。但最近这个县的县委书记张国彪来了个铁腕政策,打着为保护未成年学生的幌子,关掉该县县城所有网吧,干涉商人经商之自由,以及人们了解信息之自由。还被许多人赞美,这真是滑天下之大稽。

There are many counties in China. To have never heard of a certain country is of course nothing strange. Shanxi‘s Fangshan county, for example, which I've never heard of. But recently this county's Party Committee Secretary Zhang Guobiao has come up with a new iron ricebowl-type policy which, under the camouflage of protecting minors and students will close all internet bars in the entire county, interfering with business people's freedom to do business as well as people's freedom to understand information. This is even being praised by many people, the biggest joke ever.

中国历来不缺乏因噎废食之徒,因循守旧之人,清政府将沪淞铁路买回来,是为了将其拆掉;中国引进互联网,好像就是为了堵塞,乃至像湖北赤壁曾经关闭,终至如今的方山关闭该县所有网吧的丑行。我们思考过没有,别的国家也有互联网,但别的国家是怎样对待互联网的?是去搞敏感词汇的过滤,是去压制不同意见之出笼吗?不是。他们利用互联网,是最大限度地让人们了解世界所发生的现状及各种消息,同时最大限度地为人们的生活提供方便,并且让互相网成为发挥人们创造力,提供诸种创造机会及商机的场所。但在中国,我们的政府视互联网为一大不安全因素,不把他视为政府了解民意的场所,相反倒是整治不同意见的窗口。互相网就像真正的洪水,要想堵是堵不了的。那么我们会采取什么方式来解决问题呢?

There has been no shortage of those who would rather starve than run the risk of choking in Chinese history, people who stick with the old ways. When the Qing Dynasty government was preparing to buy back the Shanghai-Wusong railway, it was planning to tear it up. It's like China only introduced the internet so that it could block it, in today's scandal in which Fangshan country closed all its internet bars as with Chibi city in Hubei province who once closed their internet bars as well. But have we ever thought? Other countries have the internet too, and how do they deal with it? Did they go and make a filter for sensitive terms? Did they go and suppress different views from getting out of the cage? No. They took advantage of the internet. It allows people to understand the current situations of all things happening around the world and all kinds of information to the utmost, as well as making life as convenient as possible for people. It unleashes people's creativity and provides a variety of venues for creative and business opportunities. But in China, our government sees the internet as a large unsafe unsafe element, not as a venue for the government to understand the public opinion, instead of a window for different political opinions. The internet is just like a flood; you can't stop it even if you want to. So what steps should we take to resolve this problem?

SNIP

电脑的产生,改变了当今人们的生活,甚至在逐渐改变当今的世界,这是不争的事实。任何想自外于此的想法,都是愚蠢的。张国彪的做法是愚蠢的,但却受到许多人的欢呼,这真是令人有椎心之痛。有些人就是不知道自己的权利——当然有些人说,我自己家中有电脑,不受张国彪断网之影响。但请记住,今天他人权利受损,明天你的权利亦将不保——受损,不知道自己的喉咙已被扼住,不知道自己被别人卖了,还在那里大肆欢呼。按张国彪的逻辑,中国政府哪天为了”稳定压倒一切”,切断整个国际互联网也是可能的,这可能是那些欢呼张国彪裁掉一切网吧的人,始料未及的吧。如谓不信,诸位拭目以待。当然,我希望我的预言最好落空。
因电脑系统出问题,我这篇文章就是在网吧写就的。我用在网吧写作这篇文章,来反对张国彪此举对中国政府的暗示性,所带来的将来可能取消网吧,或者更加严厉地控制上网,对我生活选择权利之侵犯。

The creation of the internet has changed people's lives, and is even gradually changing the world. This is the uncontestable truth. Anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish. Zhang Guobiao's approach is foolish, but it's still received many people's applause. That's what hurts the most. Some people don't even know what their own rights are—of course some people say, I have my own computer at home, Zhang Guobiao's cutting off of the internet doesn't affect me. But please remember that today other people's rights were trampled and yours won't necessarily be protected tomorrow. Then, you won't even know your own throat has been blocked, that you've been sold out by others, and you'll still be standing there applauding. According to Zhang Guobiao's logic, when the day comes that the Chinese government wants to suppress everything in the name of stability, cutting off the entire international internet is also a possibility. This might be something those applauding Zhang Guobiao's cutting off of all internet bars didn't anticipate. If you say you don't believe it, just wait and see. Of course, I hope my prophecy better be wrong.
Due to computer system failure, I'm writing this post from an internet bar. My using an internet bar to write this post and oppose Zhang Guobiao's act and what it might suggest to the Chinese government, that in the future all internet bars might be shut down, or severely increased control of the internet, an infrigement of my right of life choice.

Zhao Lihua, editor of a small regional poetry magazine has the bad experimental poems in her closet dug up and mocked across the blogsphere. 24 year-old high school drop-out/one-hit teen literary sensation/race car driver/indy pop star/A-list blogger Han Han writes on his blog that there's no need for modern poems or poets to exist, and Sina.com gives the resulting blog battle—primarily between Han himself and 90s poetry star Shen Haobo—top spot—now taken down—on their blog page.

From Shen Haobo's Sina blog, September 28 with over 110000 page views and 2000 comments:

对于内心贫瘠的愚民们来说,任何一点鸡毛蒜皮都可以演变成一场乐子。赵丽华的那几首诗歌就是中国当代诗歌的一点鸡毛蒜皮,愚民们要来恶搞,要来争先恐后的对一个女诗人进行侮辱和伤害,要来一起制造一场以诗歌为幌子的乐子,呵呵,这个是谁也拦不住的。总得让这帮内心失血的青年找到点活着的存在感和喧哗的出口吧,要不,他们只能被自己的尿憋死了。

For the empty-hearted ignorati, any trivial little thing can become a source of fun. Zhao Lihua's poems are trivial within modern Chinese poetry, but the ignorati want to spoof them, climbing over each other to be the first to insult and hurt a female poet, coming together to have fun under the pretense of poetry. Haha. Nobody can stop something like this. We have to let this gang of bloodless-hearted kids find a little something to let them feel they still exist and get it all out of their system, otherwise they might choke on their own piss.

Han's response the same day:

说实话,我是很不喜欢现代诗人的,现代诗人所唯一要掌握的技能就是回车。现在这批和最早那批的区别是现在这批连社会责任感都不大有了,”诗人”这个称号是对自己混乱萎靡生活的一个开脱。毕竟,别的大多数都是要付出劳动去掌握技能的,惟独写竖着现代诗最轻松。



To tell the truth, I really don't like modern poets. The only technique that modern poets need to grasp is how to use the ‘Enter’ key. The difference between this bunch and the earliest is that this bunch don't have much sense of responsibility towards society. The label ‘poet’ is just a way for some people to deal with their own sad, messed-up lives. After all, most others have to work hard to grasp a technique. Modern poems written vertically [two to three words per line] are the easiest.
Yes
or
no
?

SNIP

原来他是下半身代表诗人。我一直以为人只有上半身才能带表呢。让我大开眼界的是,原来诗歌有这么多流派啊,我以为诗人都是闲云野鹤呢,没想到开个研讨会马上就全到齐了。那他们去哪里做什么呢?

Turns out he's a representative of ‘lower body‘-style poetry. I always thought only the upper body could wear a watch [poor pun on the characters for ‘represent’]. What's opened my eyes the most, though, is learning how many schools of poetry there are. I though poets were like wild cranes floating in the clouds. I never thought that after starting a discussion everyone would show up. But where are they going and what will they do?

Shen Haobo's response the next day; over 37000 page views and 1200 comments:

我为什么愿意搭理韩寒(别说我代表诗歌界,他没那么好的命)
昨天有朋友问我,说你跟一小孩计较个屁啊,还骂得那么带劲,伤害了人家多少粉死儿啊。

Why am I willing to bother with Han Han (don't say I represent the poetry world, his luck's not that good)
Yesterday a friend asked me, said you're arguing with a kid and now you've dissed him so harsh that you've gone and hurt a lot of fans.

呵呵,是伤害了不少粉死儿。不过我这人眼拙,没看出来那小子长到今天了(80年代初期出生的),你们居然还管他叫小屁孩儿,这就不对了,算算也开始奔三张了吧,不小了,非往枪口上撞我干嘛不骂?尊老爱幼怎么着?再说,我这是替他家长教育他,从小没教育好啊,上高中的时候,写作文出了名,他爹居然也像粉死儿一样写本书,叫《儿子韩寒》吧大概,用来骗钱。这样的家教自然会教育出这么一个市侩的孩子来,并试图恶搞所有他这一辈子也不能理解的事物…

Haha…so I've hurt a lot of fans. But me, I can't see so well, couldn't tell that that little kid's already grown up (born in the early 80s). Picking on a little ass kid like that, it's just not right. Actually, now that I think about it, he's not that little after all, closing in on thirty already. If he insists on banging his head on the muzzle of the gun, how could I not diss him? What about respecting the elderly and loving the children? Again, I'm just acting instead of his parents in teaching him, he who wasn't taught well since he was young. In high school he wrote a book and got famous, and like one of his fans his dad actually went and wrote a book called ‘My Son, Han Han’ or something, to scam people out of money. This kind of home schooling would naturally produce such an avaricious little kid, who makes fun of everything in this world that he can't understand…

Later the same day, poet-turned-sports commentator Dong Lu got up in it, on Han's side (44,000 page views and over 375 comments):

如果不是看到韩寒炮轰现代诗歌和诗人的博文,才疏学浅的我还真不太清楚时下流行什么样的现代诗歌和诗人,在紧急饿补了一个下午并认真朗读了上百首赵丽华体诗歌之后,觉得韩寒这回的冷嘲热讽当属言之有物——赵体诗歌虽不乏个别佳作,但总体读来味如嚼蜡者甚多。
有道是:任何艺术的初级阶段都是模仿。于是随机挑拣出几首赵氏原作,加以临摹,算是为未来系统学习现代诗歌写作艺术提前做一些准备

If I hadn't seen Han Han bombarding modern poetry and poets’ blog posts, unlearned little me still wouldn't have much idea of what kind of modern poetry and poets are in fashion these days. After hurriedly and hungrily reading through all hundred plus Zhao Lihua-style poems, I feel there's some substance to Han Han's mockery. With Zhao's style, although there is no lack of outstanding works, overall many of them read as rather insipid. What makes sense is that the elementary stage in any art form is imitation. Randomly pick out any of Ms. Zhao's early works and copy them, then you'll have what amounts to preparation in the study of the writing style system of modern poems and art of writing of the future…

Beijing Doll author Chun Shu has a Sina blog too:

最近真乱,上新浪BLOG的首页看到了关于现代诗的争论。我已经不再像从前一样容易激动了。想当初,如果是这样的事,我肯定立马冲过去辩论骂人或者讲道理。这次有点无聊,对现代诗的争论其实一直没有停止过。现代诗也是被”公认”的容易”操作”的文体——长篇小说好歹还得写个多少万字,可现代诗不用啊,短的五分钟就能写出来,顺利的话,一分钟也行。这就是大家所诟病的原因吧?还有就是,诗真的是没有什么商业价值,没有什么”实用性”。也许这也是我喜欢诗歌,喜欢当一个诗人的原因。
换句话说,赵丽华也好,沈浩波也好,我也好,都是在写自己的诗,没挣你的钱,没用你家的后院,你不喜欢看觉得匪夷所思说出自己的意见,这很正常。这是个人的自由。起码现在你知道了现代诗和诗人还存在,起码你知道了一些原来不了解的东西。我觉得这就已经够了。

It's been a little wild lately. Went over to Sina Blog's main page and saw the argument over modern poems. I'm nothing like before, so easily excited. Thinking back to the beginning, if there was something like this, I definitely would have rushed right into the argument swearing at or speaking reason to people. This time it's a bit boring; the debate over modern poems never actually stopped. Modern poems have also been judged publicly as an easily ‘operated’ form. Novels at any rate still require several tens of thousands of charaters, but not modern poems! Short ones, just five minutes is enough. If all goes smoothly, one minute works too. Is this what everyone's denouncing? What's more, poems don't really have any commercial value, no ‘practicability’. Maybe this is why I like poetry, or the reason I became a poet.
To put it another way, whether it's Zhao Lihua, Shen Haobo or myself, we all write our own poems, and we haven't taken any of your money, haven't used your backyard. If you don't like to read them, feel it's unthinkable to voice your own opinions, this is normal. This is your freedom as an individual. At least now you know modern poems and poets still exist; at least you understand some things you didn't know before. I think this alone is enough.

Sounds like it might be over, then…

…heavyweight poet Yi Sha shows up, also on the 29th, with some sarcasm:

“这年头纸挺贵,好好的散文,写在一行里不好吗?”,所以没有存在的必要。
“古诗的好在于他有格式,格式不是限制,就像车一定要开在指定路线的赛道里一样,才会有观众看……”,所以,古诗有存在的必要,现代诗没有存在的必要。

“Paper is expensive nowadays; is there anything wrong with writing to the end of the line like good prose?”, that's why there's no need to exist.
“The good thing about ancient poetry is that it has form. Form is not a restriction. Just like only if cars are driven within a designated route will there be an audience to watch…”, that's why ancient poetry must exist, and modern poems have no need to exist.

还因为啊——

Because…

中国的现代诗歌没有风靡中国的中学生,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poetry world doesn't have any fashionable high school students, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗歌的名篇里也很少有《三重门》《少年啦,飞驰》这种B名字的,所以没有存在的必要。

China's masterpiece modern poems seldom have such cool names as “Three Doors“, “Young One, Fly Away”, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人一般只看舒马赫和阿隆索的较量,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets tend only to watch Schumacher and Alonso‘s races, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人很少有长得像吸了鸦片的小面首的,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets seldom have little faces like opium addicts, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人也不友情链接老徐的博克,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets also don't link to Xu Jinglei's blog, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人大部分都是上过大学的,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets, most of them have been to university, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人还不嫉妒抄袭惯犯郭敬明,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets don't envy serial plagiarizer Guo Jingming, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人没有长出一个淫贱的小奶嘴,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets haven't taken up a lewd loose ‘nipple’, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人没有学会以撒娇的方式反传统破四旧,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets haven't learned how to take on tradition by acting like a spoiled brat, that's why there's no need for them to exist.

中国的现代诗人的博克点击太低,所以没有存在的必要。

China's modern poets’ blogs’ visit rates are too low, that's why there's no reason for them to exist.

总之,韩寒说得对:”没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……” “没有必要……”

In short, Han Han was right: “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”, “no need…”

Nothing more until the next morning when sex-friendly poetess Yin Lichuan, old comrade to Shen Haobo, was called in by a reader of her (Sina) blog:

有人留言说,沈浩波和韩寒吵起来了,你怎不去帮……
嗬嗬,多么熟悉。我点开天气,不宜出行,我点开帖子,看到最近的是非,从赵丽华、梨花派……到韩寒及其他。
前阵子听说过,没真去看,因我是被BBS养大的,在诗歌论坛上成长为诗人地,对这些早习以为常。对啊,诗人,就是全世界人民都有资格骂的那种人,就是没用的人,弱势的人,不与时俱进的人……赵丽华在某个阶段写的那几首诗,似乎最大的诟病就是——这就是诗,那我们也会写——那就写嘛。”回车诗”不也是建立在模仿 “废话诗”的基础上么?诗歌首先是门手艺,网民们要有这个雅兴,就先模仿着写吧,可比模仿国真慕容要好。先模仿着,写一百首,兴许就能辨别好坏,就能理解赵丽华。我暂无这个雅兴,去找废话诗的杰作给大家瞧,大家可以去看杨黎,和许多年轻人。

Someone left a message saying that Shen Haobo and Han Han were fighting, why don't you go help…
Heh, so familiar. I clicked open the weather; not suitable to go outside. I opened the post to see the recent quarreling, from Zhao Lihua to the Pear Flower Faction…to Han Han and others.
A while back I heard about this, but didn't bother to go look. Because I was raised on BBSes, grew up into a poet in the poetry forums, came to see things like this as normal early on. Yeah…poets…the people most suited to insult others in the world; useless people, weaklings, out of touch with reality…[snip]…Zhao Lihua wrote those poems during a certain phase, seems the biggest problem is people saying, ‘if these are poems, then we can write them too.’ Well then write them! Aren't “Enter key poems” just built on imitations of ‘nonsense poems'? Poems first and foremost are a craft. If netizens want to cultivate this taste, then start with imitating, you can be better than imitations of Wang Guozhen or Xi Murong. First imitate, write a hundred poems, maybe you'll be able to tell the difference been good and bad, and to understand Zhao Lihua. I don't have this cultivated taste for now, so will go find a nonsense poem masterpiece for people to see, like Yang Li, or so many youth.

October 3, Shen Haobo comes back, taking to task Han's desire to see an end to modern poetry with twenty points directed at the young writer. Here are just a few:

5、 诗歌是”创造”。是在自由精神激荡下的创造。是在创造”美”,这个”美”不是你们所习惯理解的那种”优美”,它有更广泛的含义。仿写不是创造,创造需要独立的精神和个性。

5. Poems are “creations”. They're created in the excitement of a free spirit. They create ‘beauty'; this beauty isn't the ‘grace’ that you've come to understand; it has a much larger implication. Imitation isn't creation; creation needs an independent spirit and personality.

6、独立的精神和个性意味着,不要动辄就想去争取群众,像韩寒做的那样,一会儿”广大网友”,一会儿”我们大伙”,这是心虚和无能,这是发动群众,这是缺乏个性,这是文化乞丐在向人民乞讨同情。独立而自由的精神要求诗人首先面对的是并且只是自己的心灵,而不是大众,群众。

6. An independent spirit and personality implies that one should not be so keen to win over the masses, like Han Han. First it's “my many netfriends”, then a minute later “the lot of us”; this is guilt and incompetence. This is setting off the masses, this is lack of personality. This is a cultural beggar begging for sympathy from the masses. What an independent and free spirit requires poets to deal with firstly is their own soul, not the public or the masses.

7、 因为诗歌不是大众文艺,不是为群众创作的。所以,用诗人李亚伟的话说,它飞得太高,你们有些够不着。如果天天想着大众,想着团结广大网友,那你们——韩寒、董路、李承鹏们,永远够不着。

7. Because poetry is not a mass art, it's not created for the masses. That's why, using the words of poet Li Yawei, he's flown too high, you're a bit over your heads. If all you think about every day is the masses, about uniting your vast netriends, then you—Han Han, Dong Lu, Li Chengpeng—will always be in over your heads.

8、所以诗歌是唯一换不来金钱的文字形式。它太忠实于个人内心了。因为它换不来钱,所以被你们和广大抱团的网友视为无用。是啊,它不是商品,不可以被用来交易,它天生高贵,它不是韩寒的书和董路、李承鹏的球评。于是有”广大网友”在我的博客里留言骂道:你这穷酸。他们本能的认为诗人一定是穷酸,因为诗歌确实换不来钱。问题是,诗人怎么能忍受用诗歌来换钱呢?难道我们是韩寒吗?那穷了就写篇小说换取点度日银两的卖文者!

8. That's why poetry is the only form of writing that can't be traded for money. It's too faithful too peoples’ inner hearts. Because it can't be traded for money, that's it's being seen by you and your vast huddle of netfriends as useless. Yeah, it's not a commodity, and can't be used for trade. It's inherently noble; it's not Han Han's books or Dong Lu or Li Chengpen's sports commentary. And then there's the insulting comments left on my blog by your “vast netfriends”; you're so poor and pedantic. Their instincts tell them that poets must be poor and pedantic, because poems really can't be exchanged for money. The problem is, how could poets bear to use poems to trade for money? It's not like we're Han Han, right? A culture-seller so poor he wrote a novel for some money to scrape by!

14、诗歌的被边缘化只是一个开始——它太精神了。纯文学的全面边缘化已经成为现实,真正面对内心的小说家们永远卖不过韩寒的文字垃圾。这是客观现实,不必忌讳和沮丧,这是最优秀的作家和诗人的自我选择,没什么可抱怨的。但是,韩寒们仍然会仇视这一切,因为你们不带他玩儿,因为你们始终觉得他是个写作文的,只不过是靠炒作、靠戏子般的脸孔和作秀的本能、靠拿捏得很准的小叛逆(他叛逆个屁呀,讨广大网友的好还来不及呢)混成了畅销书作家。所以,他内心有恨。

14. The marginalization of poetry is just a start; it's too spiritual. Pure literature's full marginalization has already become reality; novelists who really deal with the inner heart will never sell better than Han Han's trash writing. This is the objective reality, no need shy away or get depressed. This is a choice even the best writers and poets must make, nothing worth complaining about. But, Han Haners will still hate everything, because we don't take them out to play, because all along we just feel that he's a writer, but one that relies on sensationalism, that relies on a playful manner and performer's instincts, relies on putting on a little rebel (rebel my ass! Is there still time to beg his many netfriends to be good?) act to become a hot-selling writer. That's why he's so hateful inside.

The least of Han Han's worries at this point is what to blog about next. His October 4 post in response to Shen's above:

我笑你们跳,我吹口哨你们叫

I laugh and you jump; I whistle and you shout

今天天气大好,和往日一样要出去玩。然后看了看诗人那边的反应,觉得我太残忍了。不能再玩他们了。诗人本身就有点神经质,再玩下去就要变成神经病了。看他们写诗本身就够受罪了,还为难大家要看他们写非诗类的文体。我还真没见过这样一个群体,对社会没有贡献,阴暗猥琐,爱跳墙,喜结团却不团结,无能,无功,无德,尚不能形成逻辑的思维,心理脆弱,逼着别人认可他们,发现别人不能认可后就骂别人太低等,最要命的是他们没有才华。
你们的可怜就在于,只要我哪天兴趣过了,不玩你们了,你们就再次退出人们的视线。本身退出人们的视线不是坏事,写文章的人就应该退出人们的视线。关键是我看见你们有多么踊跃想跳上舞台唱两句,舞台稍微高了点,你们诗人就自己人踩着自己人往上蹬。我笑你们跳,我吹口哨你们叫。
但是当我走了,聚光灯和观众就都没了。你们爬上来后,就用手机的光照着自己互相表演吧。

Today the weater is good; like these last few days I want to go out and play again. But then I saw those poets over there's responses, think it's too cruel. I can't play with them anymore. Poets by nature have a bit of a nervous disposition; if I keep on playing they'll just go crazy. As if seeing the poems they write is punishment enough, they still want everyone to see the non-poem style in which they write. I've really never seen a group like this before, which makes no contribution to society, so sombre and dreadful, so fond of running away, pleased by groups but don't group themselves, incompetent, lazy, amoral, still unable to form logical thoughts, mentally weak, forcing others to accept them and dissing those they notice that don't. The worst of is that they have no literary talent.
You're pathetic in that you only want to see the day that I lose interest and stop playing you and you'll just once again recede from everyone's sight. Backing out of people's sight isn't a bad thing per se; those who write articles should actually back out of people's sight. Most important is that I see how badly you want to jump on stage and get a few words in, but the stage is a big high, and you poets keep stepping on each other trying to get up. I laugh and you jump; I whistle and you shout.
But when I've moved on, the spotlight and audience will be gone too. After you climb on up, you can use your mobile phones to illuminate yourselves as you perform for each other.

By this point China's halfway through its week-long National Day holiday and both sides seem to have cooled down, but October 10 was still not too late for cultural commentary journalist-blogger Wang Xiaofeng:

把韩寒拉出去毙了

Take Han Han out and shoot him

和谐社会里不能有韩寒这样的人,他总是寻衅滋事,不管是作为一个写字的还是作为一个司机,韩寒的工作应该是把本职工作做好,写好字、开好车,做一个好孩子,让父母省心,让社会省心,这,是大家愿意看到的。

There's no room for a person like Han Han in a harmonious society; he's always looking to make trouble. Whether it's as a writer or as a driver, Han Han's job should be to do his work well: write well, drive well, be a good boy, keep his parents from worrying, keep society from worrying. This is what everyone is willing to see.

但是,这个没受过教育的孩子,总爱招惹是非,人家文坛一团和气,他非说人家是个屁;人家余秋雨红光满面,他非说人家拿油饼洗脸;人家诗人喜欢在纸上天马行空,他非说诗人在玩回车的游戏……凡此种种,作为一个文化圈里的不安定因素,韩寒拿着一根竹竿子,到处乱捅马蜂窝,搞得鸡犬不宁。那么,我们把韩寒拉出去毙了算了,这样天下就太平和谐多了。

But, this uneducated child, always loves to pick a fight. People in poetry forums are full of good will toward each other, but he has to say shit about people; Yu Qiuyu is actually quite healthy, but Han has to say he looks like he washes his face with deep-fried pancakes. Poets like to write in a compact and unconstrained style, but he has to say those poets are just playing games with the Enter key……and much more like this. What it boils down to is Han Han is an unstable element in the cultural circle, has taken a bamboo pole and is running around like wild smacking at hornets nests, making a big mess of things. So, let's take Han Han out, shoot him, and be done with it. This way things will be much more peaceful and harmonious.

现在我在想,如果今天没有这么一个叫韩寒的人,或者说有一个受过正规教育叫韩寒的人,和我们每一个人都一样,从小学到大学按部就班,然后自然而然地成为社会的栋梁或某一领域的人才,那么,就不会有今天发生在韩寒身上的各种文化事件了。可是,很遗憾,他没有受过太多教育,所以总是显得那么粗鄙无礼,没大没小,没轻没重,简直是文化害群之马。如果他受过教育,就不会这样惹事生非了。

Now I'm thinking that if today there were no such person as Han Han, or to say if there were a Han Han who had received formal education, the same as all the rest of us, sticking to convention from elementary school through to university, and then naturally becoming a pillar in society or a talent in a certain field, then there wouldn't be the sorts of things that are happening to Han Han today. But, regretfully, he hasn't received much education, that's why he always appears so vulgar and rude, so out of line, the cultural black sheep of the family, and there wouldn't be all this ado over nothing.

看来问题的根本在对韩寒的教育上,问题也恰恰出在教育上。从韩寒今年制造的各种舌战群儒的事件来看,这小子没有处过下风,而与之碰撞的人,常常被韩寒出其不意刺中要害。你博学多识,人家不过是个司机,怎么干不过人家?

It seems the root of this problem lies with Han Han's education. Since Han Han started several battles with scholars this year, this brat hasn't slowed down, and the people he crashes into often get hurt by Han's unforeseen stabs. If you're so learned and wise, although just a driver, why is it you can't do better than anyone else?

与韩寒过招的人,死的都挺难看,因为韩寒不仅把遮羞布撕下来,而且还把人挑起来示众,更要命的是,韩寒有他自己形成的一套逻辑,他不按常理出牌,令接招的人总是头疼不已。一个司机就能把一群文人挑翻了,这是件挺可笑的事,但其背后隐藏的更大的可悲,知识有时候带给人的不是智慧,而是让人习惯并坚信对一种共性东西的认同。而人们有时候太相信知识和经验了。

The people who have provoked Han Han have all died quite messily. Because not only does Han Han rip the G-string off, he also stirs people up for others to see. The worst part is that Han Han has his own form of logic. He doesn't play by common sense, giving the people he takes on an endless headache. That a driver can defeat a group of scholars, that's pretty funny. But the biggest pity hidden behind his back is that sometimes what knowledge gives people isn't wisdom, but it allows them to get used to and have conviction in identifying with things that are universal. And people sometimes put too much faith in knowledge and experience.

Around the same time, Bokee blogger/journalist Keen Kang (who also has a Sina blog), sees a possible solution to the fried-egg state of affairs of Chinese poetry in calling for legendary Chinese poet Bei Dao—who doesn't have a Sina blog—to return to China from exile in America:

致北岛

For Bei Dao

北岛同学,

Classmate Bei Dao,

你也回国吧。

You come home now.

坐上飞机

Get on a plane

用恐惧的心

Use your frightened heart

看着太平洋

To see the Pacific

俯视喜马拉雅

Look down on the Himalayas

我们

Us

一起

Together

光大伟大

Brilliant and great

祖国

Motherland

‘s

诗歌。

Poems

美丽,每一篇

Beauty, every piece

壮丽,每一句

Majestic, every line

绚丽,每个标点

Flowery, every punctuation

3 comments

  • zhwj

    Thanks for writing all of this up. I’ve really only been following Yi Sha myself, and that alone has been posting two or three pieces a day mocking Han Han.

    I think this exchange from a Sina panel captures the whole thing pretty accurately:

      主持人:韩寒等人站出来批评,然后反批评,争论,究竟谁懂事?谁不懂事?
      沈浩波:首先不是批评,是骂,他跳出来是纯骂,我们反过来基本上也是纯骂。

    (http://blog.sina.com.cn/lm/8/2006/1010/9186.html )

  • […] But when I hear people say that modern poetry – real poetry, constructed with language, not theatrics – is dead, I ask them to listen to my iPod. When will the most talented hip-hop artists – from Uganda to Cuba to Cincinnati – be recognized as the true poets of contemporary society? […]

  • “The internet is just like a flood; you can’t stop it even if you want to”, says Ran yunfei. That’s true. The problem is, as he correctly reminds me, that Chinese authorities often chose to shut it up rather than consider it as a means for development in culture, politics and social matters. Reporteres sans frontières writes today that the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has been partally reopened (only the English-version) after a year of closure. That’s incredible, if you think to the western usage of the net. But that’s true. And that’s even more incredible if you think that western firms choose to yield to Chinese government’s censorship request to make more business in the Internet field and get fatter market slices. Some of them are the biggest Internet companies in the world: Yahoo! (involved in the past in revealing sensible data to authorities), Msn and Google.

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