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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Fooled ya!

The Daily Mail reports:

April Fools is no laughing matter, China’s official news service intoned Friday, saying the Western tradition of opening spring with a gag is un-Chinese. The official news agency Xinhua’s stiffly worded post on micro-blog Weibo declared: “Today is the West’s so-called ‘April Fools'”. The occasion “does not conform with our nation’s cultural traditions, nor does it conform with the core values of socialism“, it added.

“Don’t believe rumours, don’t create rumours and don’t spread rumours,” it said, capping off the note with a smiley emoticon. A cartoon accompanying the post showed two phones “spreading rumours.” A finger pointing at them is accompanied by a word bubble that says “breaking the law”. Spreading rumours online can be a violation of Chinese law.

But the country’s Internet users met the reminder with a collective guffaw, suggesting that in China, every day is April Fools. “You speak lies every day, use government policy, data, to trick the people in every way. What’s up, what’s down? What’s wrong? What’s right? We’re on to you,” one Weibo commenter said. Other users likened the post to the satirical American newspaper The Onion. “The most amusing ‘April Fools’ news is that Xinhua is seriously saying ‘don’t believe rumours’,” said one.

One has to admire Xinhua’s deadpan delivery, but didn’t including the smiley rather give the game away?

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16 comments to Fooled ya!

  • Mr Ed

    Here’s a Chinese maths problem, find the ‘standout’:

    22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30, 32 and 35.

  • Mr Pants

    Is it that 27 doesn’t come with fried rice?

  • Julie near Chicago

    OK, I’ll take the bait and say … begins with the 16th letter. Or, in another way of designating it, the nineteenth.

    Or so it seems to me. :>)

  • Regional

    It’s actually April Fool’s Day to midday then Donkey Tail Day.

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Pants, close enough, it’s actually 32 at that’s beef and the rest are chicken. I shall never forget the reaction of a Maths Post-Doc when he had spent a few minutes factorising, looking for primes etc. at a Uni Xmas party.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed, I don’t get it. To me, 23 is the only prime number (p is the 16th letter, and 23 comes second) in the bunch, and definitely stands out.

    “32 [as] that’s beef and the rest are chicken”? I suppose that could be true on some Chinese menus (they tend to number their dishes, at least over here), but it sounds unlikely, and why would it hold for all Chinese restaurants?

    Either it’s an in-joke or I’m being even more dreadfully obtuse than usual….

  • Mr Ed

    Julie this is a cow, which makes beef.

    This is a chicken, which is self-explanatory.

    Prime numbers don’t know they are prime, it’s just an arbitrary categorisation, and anyway, the beef is prime too.

    Clear now? 🙂

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh for the love of goats, Mr Ed! People like you should be — should be — I don’t know what’s awful enough. Should be made to drool yearningly over Prime Cow once a month until the chickens come home!

    (I will be glad to join you if we don’t have to stop with drooling.)

    🙂

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on spam, deceptive practices, and scams.” :>(

  • JohnK

    The Chinese Communist Party is sounding more like Police Scotland every day.

  • Reconstruct

    32 or 23. They both sum to 5: the rest sum to 3.4.6.7.8.9, with no doubles.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thank you, Alisa. I’m sure glad I didn’t miss that one!

    (“Scam”? “Deceptive practices”? Maybe the notice itself was an April Fool?)

  • Sam Duncan

    “The Chinese Communist Party is sounding more like Police Scotland every day.”

    JohnK wins today’s Internet. 🙂

    (He is, of course, referring to this threat from our friendly neighbourhood national coppers.)

  • JohnK

    Sam:

    If you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry.