Aug 16, 2012|
An old man was seen lying unconscious on the pavement in broad daylight in Shanghai last week, attracting a crowd of Chinese onlookers, of whom none offered to help. A young western woman walked past and found the scene sickeningly intolerable; she embraced the poor old soul, turned back and shouted at her curious but indifferent audience: “Call an ambulance, you fucking Chinese!”
The episode was recorded by another onlooker on his smartphone, and it spread on the web. “Call an ambulance, you fucking Chinese,” became the sensational quote of the week across the Chinese internet.
As Einstein said: “The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” The frank remarks from the unnamed blonde in Shanghai must have echoed in the minds of the British, French and American ambassadors to the UN as they thought of China’s continual veto of sanctions on Syria, where hundreds of civilians are massacred virtually every day by President al-Assad’s troops.
But this young western girl has, apparently, not been in China long enough to understand the Chinese. There are two types of Chinese—the “fucking Chinese,” which make up the majority, who look on and do nothing; and the “non-fucking Chinese,” which consists sadly of only a few, like Ai Weiwei and Liu Xiaobo, who have bravely stepped up to interfere. It is the fucking Chinese who decide to look on at, but not to fuck about with, the Chinese Communist Party, who are granted a life of freedom to roam the streets and keep looking on; while the few “non-fucking Chinese” who dared to fuck about with the Party were thrown in jail. To fuck with or not to fuck with has never a problem for this western expat woman who jumped out to help; but for most Chinese men, it is a life-and-death decision.
Plus, there’s the problem of authenticity. Nobody on the scene seemed sure that the old man apparently lost in a coma was genuine and not actually faking unconsciousness. There have been cases where old women have been struck and injured by cars, and later sued the passersby who helped out for aggravating their suffering—and won. Those that came to their aid were fined heavily. Fucking Chinese at least have their asses well-protected, as well as their wallets, although a select non-fucking Chinese did earn a condolence prize while in prison, sent in from Oslo, plus a New York Times editorial in praise of his fucking about and decidedly un-Chinese heroism. We’d need to give the blonde Robin Hood in Shanghai more time to take on the ultimate fucking Chinese’s Hamletian dilemma: to help or not to help?
Chip Tsao is a best-selling author, columnist and a former producer for the BBC. His columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.