Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Nobel Prize Jokes

In my childhood, during the CR, there were no fun books to read, so one of my great entertainment pleasures was to tell and retell international political jokes.  These were jokes I heard from others, or read in Reference News (参考消息,a Party newspaper my parents subscribed to).  The subjects mocked by those jokes were, almost exclusively, the United States and the Soviet Union.  Sometimes the jokes were so clever and funny my playmates and I would roll around on the ground laughing.  Nobody then would have imagined that one day China itself could become a subject of political jokes.

In the vociferous reactions to this year's Nobel Peace Prize, there is a lighter side:  a number of political jokes have been circulating on overseas Chinese websites.  The following is my translation of one of those.