Destiny in the Flood Waters

“Be moved! But more than that, move the sewers!”

Beijing’s floods are emblematic of government mismanagement. Chinese netizens are quick to make social critiques of disasters both great and small, and this most recent one has drawn out some dark, incisive jokes:

IMD__: There was a shooting in the U.S. What did the editor-in-chief say? “It should go without saying. Report on it as much as possible!” Now there is flooding in Beijing. What does the editor-in-chief say? “It should go without saying. Report on the U.S. shooting even more!”

IMD__:“美国出事了,枪击,总编什么指示?”“这还用我说?全力报导!”“北京出事了,暴雨,总编什么指示?”“这还用我说?加大美国枪击的报导!”

chuzhaoxin: There’s a city that poured huge sums of money into the Olympics, a nation’s capital. When it rained in this city, the streets flooded. People drowned in their cars. A policeman died of electric shock. This city is called Beijing. The country has sunk to this level. When the people can’t make decisions and the city officials have no shame, what can you do? The spontaneous rescue efforts of the people have thoroughly discredited those whose reputations were already bankrupt. This country’s hope lies not in a bureaucrat or an organization, but in every single individual.

褚 朝新:一个投巨资办过奥运会的城市,一个国家的首都,下场雨,居然有人在市中心的马路上开车时被淹死,有警察触电死。这个城市,叫北京。国家沉沦至此,民 不能做主,治理城市的官员毫无羞耻感,奈何?来自民间自发的各种相互救助,让信誉破产者彻底破产。这个国家的希望,不在某官某团体而在每个普通人身上。

WuyueSanren: Several events stand out from yesterday’s storm and its aftermath: The first is that the early warning system didn’t actually warn anyone early; the second, that the emergency response was slow to start; the third, that people who drove on the airport highway to pick up stranded passengers were charged tolls; the fourth, that neither the government nor public facilities opened their doors to those in need; the fifth, that drivers stuck in the middle of the road were fined for parking illegally. The only thing that functioned properly last night were the people of Beijing.

五岳散人:昨日暴雨以及今日善后有几个地方不能释怀:一是预警机制没真的预警;二是应急机制启动缓慢;三是机场高速对自发接滞留旅客的车收费;四是政府机 构、公共建筑没有开门为被困者提供庇护;五是很多被主人暂时停在路边的车被贴上了违章停车的罚款单。昨晚唯一合格的,是北京市民。

FinanceGossipGirl: In my brief existence, a once-in-a-century solar eclipse has happened twice, a once-in-five-hundred-year flood has happened ten times, and a once-in-a-millenium earthquake has happened twice. The only thing that hasn’t happened is the once-every-five-year general election. Repost if you feel me~~

金融八卦女:在我这短短的一生中,百年一遇的日全食遇到了两次,五百年一遇的洪水遇到十次,千年一遇的地震遇到两次,唯独五年一次的人民大选还没遇到。有同感的转~~

pufei: According to reports, the Beijing Sea and the Chengdu Sea are China’s only undisputed maritime territories. Fisherman, please go to work at ease. No need to worry about foreign warships giving you trouble.

pufei:据悉,北京海与成都海是我国领海中唯一没有与外国有海权纠纷的海域,请各位渔民放心捕鱼,无需担心外国军舰骚扰。

pufei: In the Celestial Empire, every natural disaster is a prelude to an award ceremony.*

pufei:在天朝,每一场天灾都是一次表彰大会的序曲。

* Implies the Party will have a public back-patting for its flood relief efforts.

hnjhj: Under a once-in-forever government, be it a once-in-a-millenium earthquake or a once-in-a-century storm, the Chinese people can face it with grace.

hnjhj:面对万年一遇的政府,无论是千年一遇的地震,还是百年一遇的暴雨,中国人都能坦然面对了。

mynamexu: Superficially, what the storm brought to light was the problems of the Beijing sewer system. But we need only hold this question up to related issues to discover that the “sewer” is a metaphor for the unraveling of the China rising myth. Should a social storm hit, this regime, which cares so much about saving face and nothing about saving its ass, will drown in a puddle of its own making.

mynamexu: 从表面上看,大暴雨揭穿的是被阳光给包裹起来的北京城市建设下水道问题,但是,只要把此一问题再与其它相关问题普遍联系起来观照,我们就会发现,“下水 道”应是中国崛起之神话面临破产的隐喻。倘有一场大的社会暴风雨来临,这个顾脸不顾腚的政权最终必淹死于自己亲手制造的水坑之中。

Via CDT Chinese.