Magazines

2006: The year in spoofs

JDM061229ndzks.jpg
SMW's "Reverse News Dictionary."

Southern Metropolis Weekly devotes the final Life issue of 2006 to spoofing this year's major news stories - one hundred pages, made up entirely of fake news, doing in print the sort of stuff that the country's cultural authorities have not been thrilled to see online.

Editor Chang Ping writes in the foreword:

Argument due to anxiety. Anxiety over social reform, anxiety over traditional culture, anxiety over moral virtues, anxiety over the rule of law, anxiety over a home mortgage, anxiety over the fall of great masters...and anxiety over anxiety itself.

This year, one other word was always with us - "egao" (恶搞 - spoof). Egao is a new word, but it not really anything new; it is just black humor. Calling black humor egao is like calling news reporting "hype" (炒作). It is a spoof of those serious concepts and has the flavor of high-and-mighty moral judgment - but is egao afraid of moral judgment? An attitude like that only gives it more spirit and spice.

As the cover indicates, this is a collection of major issues turned upside-down. We find that in 2006,

· Poet Zhao Lihua was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature;
· Qiu Xinghua was prevented from carrying out his plan to kill ten people;
· Li Yinhe stumped for family values,
· Curse of the Golden Flower was criticized for being too uptight;
· Bus Uncle was a model of patience;
· Sharon awoke from his coma to pursue a path of peace and win the Nobel; and
· O.J. mused on what life would have been like if he didn't do it.

Not all of the reversals hit the black-humor mark that the editor talks about in the foreword, but there are a number of surprisingly cynical bits of social commentary:

· "China realizes universal healthcare";
· The happy life of migrant workers in Guangzhou;
· "Commercial bribery in China wiped out"; and
· 400,000 non-professional 'barefoot teachers' enter the ranks of the newly wealthy.

The magazine also has a spoof newscast posted on its Sina blog, and a number of cover mock-ups for major stories are available via the blogger "aside".

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There are currently 3 Comments for 2006: The year in spoofs.

Comments on 2006: The year in spoofs

what's the word on parodies of "golden flowers" of the likes of hu ge's "steamed bun homicide case?"

there should be something out by now, right?

Ah, that explains it. I've seen the word 'egao' quite a bit on English language China-related sites but without an explanation of what it meant. In Japanese it means "happy face" (笑顔), so I was a little confused :)

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