On the night of February 9, part of China Central Television (CCTV) Tower caught fire when a squad was shooting fireworks to celebrate the Lantern Festival. The fire has reportedly killed one fireman, injured seven other people, and destroyed billions of yuan in broadcast facilities.
Speculators have widely noticed the Chinese netizens’ online comments of the CCTV fire. But in fact, just as the authorities started to filter the relevant information in Chinese cyberspace, alternative communication means have been employed to air the grassroots views.
On February 10, I received a SMS message from one of my close friends, consisting of a traditional Chinese couplet available online at the moment:
Second line: The Lantern Festival fireworks set the boot-shaped building on fire
Horizontal line: CCTV never short of money
The message ends with such a conclusion:
On February 12, I received an email from Mr. Yue (岳先生), aggregating a myriad of grassroots comments and snapshots on the fire. One of its captions reads:
Another netizen is quoted as commenting on CCTV’s misdoing:
Out of my expectation, one commentator feels optimistic about the consequence of the fire:
One person is dissatisfied with CCTV’s professional performance:
To draw a lesson from the fire, someone recommends politically:
But I am afraid the Chinese people’s irony will be misintertpreted as gloat, merciless or inhuman. As a matter of fact, the aforementioned satire illustrated the grassroots concerns over the incident, their sympathy with the dead and injured, their anger with CCTV, and their love of the country.