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It's on the Internet; it must be true
April 21, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

The Previous And Current Lives Of A World-Class Joke "At first, it was limited only to the Chinese-language Internet. More recently, it has appeared among foreign media. I just watched a clip of director James Cameron being interviewed on a talk show during which he said: "They were afraid that the Chinese men will reach out to touch the screen." When Cameron emphasized that "This is true," I knew that this is one of the most successful fake stories in recent years."

Here is the Chinese blog post, including the Cameron video.
posted by Kirth Gerson (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The creative idea behind this fake story came from the satirical American website "The Onion." If you want to learn about "The Onion" quickly, you can watch the 2008 American film "The Onion Movie".

Or, you know, don't do that.
posted by HostBryan at 1:09 PM on April 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


就一直觉得这是假新闻,没转发过。
posted by birdherder at 1:14 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


爆 米 花
posted by Ardiril at 1:20 PM on April 21, 2012


If you want to learn quickly what's up with all those "Mario" games, you can watch the 1993 American film, "Super Mario Bros".
posted by straight at 1:30 PM on April 21, 2012 [19 favorites]


If you're curious about the board game Battleship, there is a Liam Neeson film about to come out that explains it all.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:44 PM on April 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you want to learn about "Japan" quickly, you can watch the 1992 American film "Mr. Baseball."
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 1:53 PM on April 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


But the news from the initial screening on April 6 was that the nude scene has been excised. In 1998, the scene had been shown in full (addendum: it has been pointed out to me since that this is an inaccurate statement). I believe that we are more relaxed and tolerant in economics, politics and culture today, so this decision by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television is incomprehensible.
That's interesting, I keep hearing how china is cracking down more these days. I wonder if the average chinese sees things differently.
posted by delmoi at 2:12 PM on April 21, 2012


This just goes to show you can never tell exactly what part of a link Metafilter people will focus on in the thread.

If you want to learn about Metafilter quickly, watch the 2001 movie Startup.com and imagine a more successful startup with less employees, less money, and not about government. Also I'm confident mathowie can braid a little girl's hair more evenly than Tom Herman.
posted by The Deej at 2:43 PM on April 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's interesting, I keep hearing how china is cracking down more these days. I wonder if the average chinese sees things differently.

Well, I they're trying to crack down on what they see as the worst forms of dissent on the microblogging services, but I think it's way too late for them to put the genie back in the bottle.

When you look at things like the success of the campaign against repatriating North Korean refugees, the way that incidents like the Tang Peng case are discussed as proof that the rule of law is deficient in China compared to the US, and the amount of open dissent in matters as politically sensitive as the purge of Bo Xilai, it's hard to avoid the impression that the CPC is steadily losing whatever control it's had of discourse behind the Great Firewall despite whatever localized measures they take to crack down.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 3:37 PM on April 21, 2012


To be honest, I would probably reach out if I saw that scene in 3D.
posted by estuardo at 3:55 PM on April 21, 2012


Something like this happened to me, when I created a photoshopped image of Obama standing in front of a banner reading "Beliefs we can believe in". It was intended to lampoon the platitudes of political campaigning in general, but was adopted by right-wing bloggers as evidence of Obama's putative dishonesty in particular. As someone who stands politically well to the *left* of Obama, I was mortified.
posted by e.e. coli at 4:25 PM on April 21, 2012


it's hard to avoid the impression that the CPC is steadily losing whatever control it's had of discourse behind the Great Firewall despite whatever localized measures they take to crack down.

You know, I kinda disagree with this. Any "loosening up", I would argue, is 99% discretionary. Indeed, it's interesting you bring up the Bo Xilai matter - even the piece you linked to shows how the party is still blocking many search terms related to the matter - and the CCP is very comfortable shutting down entire websites if it suits their purposes.

Certainly, there's a subset of Chinese that are au fait with the ways and means to get around the firewall, and I agree with you that this subset will only grow with time. But from a CCP, perspective, it's a minority of a minority (political active and knowledgeable, and internet users respectively).

Their over-riding concern, as always, is a prevention of the kind of mass protests seen in Tienanmen Square, and I think the firewall - in combination with other things - still serves that purposes perfectly.
posted by smoke at 4:27 PM on April 21, 2012


If you want to learn quickly what's up with all those "Mario" games, you can watch the 1993 American film, "Super Mario Bros".

Bravo.
posted by Anything at 4:50 PM on April 21, 2012


If you want to learn about "Japan" quickly, you can watch the 1992 American film "Mr. Baseball."

ELLIOOOOOOT

UCHIYAMAAAAAAAA

posted by curious nu at 5:31 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to learn about "censorship" quickly, you can watch nothing and like it.
posted by etc. at 5:57 PM on April 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you want to learn about "snark", you can watch the website "Metafilter".
posted by Samizdata at 9:51 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to learn quickly what's up with all those "Buffy" fans you can watch the 1992 American film "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
posted by NoraReed at 11:36 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want to learn about Ron Paul quickly, you can read the Google search on him.
posted by mazola at 12:23 AM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the really interesting thing about this is how well it demonstrates the way false information can be spread by governments or others who wish to do so on purpose, rather than just an innocent joke gone out of control (though that is pretty damn funny). First have some blogger on the payroll make whatever assertion you want, wait for it to bounce around online for a bit getting picked up by other folks not so directly traceable back to you, then have your "real" media pick it up via the "so-and-so reports" tactic and you've managed to push your own fiction into the mainstream discourse. Sure maybe the truth outs eventually or people don't even pick up on your lies in the first place, but you are pretty well shielded from being found out as the prime mover of the lie, and you've had to invest minimal resources to get the thing rolling anyway. And you have the viral meme dynamic working, with the almost inevitability that can seem to entail. More effective than just having some media type throw it out there seemingly out of nowhere. This seemed to work well with pre-Iraq War stuff.
Too bad the way this thread has mostly gone so far.
posted by zoinks at 4:40 AM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


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