It’s been a while since I’ve translated a text message, but as those at the Center scramble for power and internet access became extremely dodgy three days ago, text messaging has become more a more reliable source of information. Sigh. Indeed, the long text that follows speaks to the dissatisfaction and resignation that often creeps into daily conversations; it certainly hints at the extent to which non-compliance and minor sabotage may characterize administrative and business life throughout Shenzhen, and Shenzhen I’m told, is one of the “easiest” places in China to achieve one’s goals in the public sphere.
Principles of “resolving the issue” Chinese style
The Secretary resolves leaders’ problems, the economy resolves political problems, appeal [to others] to resolve foreign relations, peace resolves military problems, the Party resolves non-Party problems, scams resolve problems of understanding, political movements resolve moral problems, supervision resolves cultural problems, policy implementation resolves market problems, printing money resolves the debt problem, municipal administration resolves social problems, banquets resolve face problems, forced razing resolves construction problems, planning resolves birth problems, “my father is more important than your father” resolves future problems [qiantu puns “road” and “future direction”], the lottery resolves problems of getting rich, low quality resolves the medical situation, adulteration resolves food and drink problems, discharging waste water resolves education problems, shanzhai production resolves science and technology problems, plagiarism resolves education problems, sleeping together resolves movie star problems, singing songs resolves military rank problems, gangsters resolve public safety problems, buying a political appointment resolves promotion problems, corrupt officials resolve anti-corruption problems, expropriation resolves stock market problems, blocking the internet resolves public opinion problems, “I believe” testimonials resolve doubts, muddying the waters resolves harmonious society problems, weapons of the weak resolve problems of realizing the people’s will. . . and to resolve problems of staying in touch, let’s text!