Talk about Newsnight


Idle scrawl = Xian Ren San Ji

  • Paul Mason
  • 22 Apr 08, 05:08 PM

(bad writing by idle person)

I am in the process of rebranding the blog for the newly expanded Chinese audience. There's some interesting stuff about the ongoing protests against BBC, CNN etc here and I repeat my offer to appear on CCTV to discuss this live for a Chinese audience, provided the Chinese audience can see one of my reports on China with subtitles.

I think the Chinese government is anxious for there to be a period of reflection now, after the torch relay controversy, and is concerned at the vehemence of some of the reactions by demonstrators at Carrefour branches - comparing Joan of Arc to "a prostitute" etc.

As to the rebrand, I got my Chinese producer to translate Idle Scrawl into Chinese. It comes out as "bad writing by lazy person": Xian Ren San Ji. - sadly the other bit of the double meaning, a Lancashire epithet denoting pure sloth, does not survive translation.


  • Comment number 1.


    Any relation to an Old Scrote?

    (I just didn't like to see '0' under this piece.)

  • Comment number 2.

    The BBC is obviously very frightened of being thrown out of China the way it was thrown out of Zimbabe. That would be a complete disaster. Therefore, blatantly anti-Chinese postings and news stories will be self censored. BBC fair and balanced? Impartial? Willing to report the facts as they are and let the chips fall where they may? Not on your life as far as I am concerned. Too bad we don't have a way to throw them out of America too. Now if we had a declared war somewhere, maybe they could be at least forced to register as agents of an enemy alien power. Then further action could ensue.

  • Comment number 3.

    West and East: the fault line lies falls on the topic of different ideas of 'saving face' and harmony.

    Broadly the 'west' is in harmony with individualism while the Far east is in harmony with collectivism. So any 'attack' on the Chinese Govt policies is seen as a personal attack on ALL the chinese people. We in the west have separated the honour of the State with personal honour. So being in harmony with the State is not seen as important.

  • Comment number 4.

    i'm sorry but you must be missunderstanding of "xian ren san ji".
    yes, if you translate from chinese english dictionary you could consider it is "bad writing by lazy person".
    however, in china this group of character means "a piece of freestyle writing by a leisure author".

    your chinese producer translate it perfect.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes I think she did translate it perfectly - I summed it up wrong.


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