FROM General Administration of Press and Publication, Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China
TO All organs of the National Press
Greetings, faithful steward of information!
On this auspicious day, this day of mighty augury, replete with the promise of the lucky number “8,” we commence the noble proceedings that will most certainly not be remembered by all the world as the Clusterfuck Olympics, Worst Idea Ever, Historic Environmental/Sporting Disaster, etc.
Beijing is ready! The air sparkles with asbestos crystals, mighty industrial hoses are sluicing the public toilets, and in the Olympic Village, the apartment buildings that fell down last night have already been rebuilt. All dissent has now been neutralized! Four million pollution-producing vehicles have been impounded. The embargo against hair-dryer use continues to be energetically enforced. And the People’s Internet remains secure — the glorious firewall whose protective coils encircle our Republic like those of the celestial dragon Tianlong will never be breached, never!
What, you ask, can you do? What is your part in this magnificent popular effort? Read this handout carefully, comrade. Read it again, even more carefully. As the “eyes of the world” turn upon China, you have an important role to play! “No news is good news,” says the American. He is incorrect. All news is good news, and the Republic looks to you, as a state-approved news propagator, to draw the attention of our international guests to the famous “silver lining.”
No doubt by now it has not rained upon the opening ceremonies, drowning the occasion in sulphurous yellow-dog precipitation that raises a strange foam upon the scalp. Thanks to the preventive actions of our farseeing Weather Modification Program, whose stirring and masculine arsenal of silver-iodide rockets already will have been fired into the looming clouds to “empty” them, such an eventuality will assuredly have been avoided!
But if not, it will be your job as a journalist/news outlet to emphasize the distinctively Chinese character of the ensuing downpour — its plum-scented richness and softness, and its hygienic properties! The choreographed appearance of 80,000 government-issue umbrellas will also be splendid beyond imagining. All press officers have been issued with a copy of “Rain,” by our great seventh-century poet To Fu: “Bright drops descend/Lacing with jewels my lonely pomegranate bush./ Generous heavens,/ Send this old man a bride, will you? Damn!” For your convenience, the poem has been translated into 47 languages.
Certainly, too, there will have been no interference or disruption from enemies of the people. No one, for example, will have unfurled an enormous illegal banner protesting the PRC’s benign and fatherly policy in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Not a single member of the execrated sex cult Falun Gong will have flung himself imploringly at a visiting dignitary, nor will the smallest bomb have been detonated by the Muslim fanatics currently making their last stand in our Western provinces. Should a disturbance of this nature occur, however, it should be ascribed to “high spirits.” In the West, sporting events are regularly brought to a halt by frivolous persons with no clothes on, or by outbreaks of nationalistic song — make mention of this!