If you’ve been following Chinese social media these past few days, you are well aware that in Tangshan nine men brutally beat four women, while bystanders watched. Chinese social media has questioned police response, the bystander mentality of Chinese public culture, and the lack of media reporting on the event. One of the more interesting responses to the event is a chat transcript from some anonymous and unidentified chat group currently circulating. The main speaker is a man posting under the avatar song sir, interacting with several other group members. In the transcript, song sir analyzes what the attack and how it was handled tells us about Mafia activities in Tangshan. And yes, by implication, the scandal goes all the way to Beijing, which is actually just next door. The story is soapy and distressing and rings true. Or at least the story hits the right notes in the build-up to the 20th National Congress. And also yes, as you read the transcript, you can’t help but wonder: what’s song sir’s stake in this drama? Who’s side is he on? Anyway, more to the point (and in keeping with song sir’s use of rhetorical questions to make nasty insinuations); who would know so much about the case and talk about it in a group chat that can be saved and circulated as a chat transcript? Seriously, who does this?
I’m calling my translation of the transcript, “Everybody Understands…”