Net humor is the same - whether Google or Baidu

14:57, January 20, 2010      

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I'm a googler. I faithfully use the company's search engine and Gmail, enjoy free music downloads on google.cn and I'm learning to Wave - even if nobody's waving back.

But now, like a woman I once loved, Google's threatening to leave me, saying I did her wrong. I don't understand the reasons she's given, perhaps they're just excuses and there's someone else?

But considering my hurt feelings, I expect her to follow through on her rediscovered sense of independence. For instance, if the Cyber Security R & D Center at the Department of Homeland Security is caught accessing emails in the United States, I expect her to threaten service interruptus there, too.

Since the $300 million a year Google made in China last year is considered small potatoes, considering the billions made elsewhere, I trust she will leave her other poor paramours, including Japan, where revenues are less.

Finally, if Google has a legitimate complaint that it's search engine business suffers from an unfair handicap, like Yao Ming playing with one hand behind his back, then I'm prepared to forgive and take her back.

And while we're on the subject of hack attacks, the website funnyinchina.com deemed the "Iranian Cyber Army" violation last week on homegrown search engine Baidu as hilarious - and posted screen shots of it.

On further inspection, it appears Internet humor is pretty much the same wherever you surf. It largely consists of cute kitties and pups falling over themselves, horrendous driving, and impressive Michael Jackson impressions by kids.

To make it easy for English-language speakers interested in what Chinese netizens find funny, there is buzz.youku.com, which gives snappy introductions to the country's most bone-tickling videos.

Currently No 2 in the rankings is the video segment on a car that drives into a building and ends up in a ditch. "Miraculously after all this, out from the totaled car comes a fashionable babe with only scratches on her hands. Then, she starts dancing."

Clearly, she's high as a kite, rather than just happy to have escaped with scratches from what should have been a life-ending collision.

A contributor to the buzz.youku website, former Tang Dynasty rocker, columnist and media maven Kaiser Kuo, says humor is the dominion of mainly 20-somethings with similar cultural inputs, hence it's "convergence".

"I'd add that I think Internet humor in China, while often pretty juvenile (and therefore awesome) does represent an advance in Chinese humor in general, which seems to me to have been based largely, until recently, on the mocking of regional accents," Kuo concludes.

The website haha365.com gives a more old-fashioned and Chinese-language only insight into the nation's comedic psyche by collating spicy essays, cross-talk dialogue and wisdom from the East. This is in addition to the usual fare of photos and vids, all in praise of the Greek goddess of mirth, Baubo.

Source: China Daily
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