Quit Using Bad Platitudes!

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The Dongcheng District Propaganda Department has prepared a helpful list of things not to say to Olympic tourists, lest they figure out that they're in a foreign country:

Rules for Interacting With Foreigners 

Don't ask about income or expenses, don't ask about age, don't ask about love life or marriage, don't ask about health, don't ask about someone's home or address, don't ask about personal experience, don't ask about religious beliefs or political views, don't ask what someone does. 

Etiquette for Interacting With Handicapped Athletes

Pay attention to avoiding taboo subjects, quit using bad platitudes, and do not use insulting or discriminatory contemptuous or derogatory terms to address the disabled.  Say things such as, "You are amazing," or "You are really great."  When chatting with the visually impaired, do not say things like "It's up ahead," or "It's over there."  When chatting with athletes who are paraplectic in their upper body, do not say things like "It's behind you."   

Via Peaceful Rise.

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35 responses to “Quit Using Bad Platitudes!

  1. do not use insulting or discriminatory contemptuous or derogatory terms to address the disabled

    Awesome.

  2. don’t ask about love life or marriage

    My Olympic hopes of sleeping with a cute translator have been shattered.

    At least they won’t over-praise my defective pancreas.

  3. DON’T SAY, “ME SO HORNY. ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME.”

  4. …quit using bad platitudes…

    and

    Say such things as “You are amazing” or “You are really great”.

    In what context exactly is saying “you are amazing” to a handicapped person going to any better than, at least, an awkward platitude?

  5. At least they won’t over-praise my defective pancreas penis.

    Fixed that for you.

  6. Oddly, the rules for foreigners allow discussion of politics and religion, and not much else. What could possibly go wrong?

  7. This is going to be vely intelesting. The Chinese peopre have been cut off flom the lest of the wolrd fol rike a thousand yeals.

    Dilect contact with foleignels is eithel going to entlench the communist regime ol spalk a levorution.

  8. Fixed that for you.

    Yeah, you always are working on my penis.

  9. Hey, you’re the one who segued from “sleep with translator” to “defective pancreas”. Maybe if you could learn to be more coherent in your thought patterns, it wouldn’t lead me to such connections.

    Remember, NOMAD, that if your pancreas is imperfect, then you are imperfect, and must destroy yourself.

  10. Don’t ask about income or expenses, don’t ask about age, don’t ask about love life or marriage, don’t ask about health, don’t ask about someone’s home or address, don’t ask about personal experience, don’t ask about religious beliefs or political views, don’t ask what someone does.

    R C Dean…you, uh, missed something.

  11. Don’t say “You kick ass” to a double amputee.

  12. Invisible legs, you’re awesome. Thanks.

    And if someone beats you up for that comment, don’t come running to me.

  13. Can you say “you kick ass” to Phantom Limb?

  14. Apparently the goal is to convince foreigners that Chinese people are obsessed with the weather, because it’s the only topic of conversation not forbidden.

  15. Do not ask if you can go home with our foreign visitors.

  16. What do you call a guy with no arms and legs in a pool?

    Bob.

  17. Anda guy with no arms and legs in the ocean?
    Buoy

    Nailed to a wall?
    Art

    Woman with a wooden leg?
    Ilene

    Chinese woman with a wooden leg?
    Irene

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  18. Apparently the goal is to convince foreigners that Chinese people are obsessed with the weather, because it’s the only topic of conversation not forbidden.

    I dunno, mention the smog and you’ve made it a political conversation.

    A guy with no arms and no legs in a pile of leaves?

    Russell

  19. A guy with no arms and no legs in a whorehouse.

    Dick

  20. Having been in China for an adoption a year ago, I find this stuff pretty funny. We were warned before we went about certain topics to avoid. Strangely, weather was one of them. You don’t ask people about the weather where they live. From the Chinese point of view, some of these things are good advice. When we were there, other parents reported being approached by perfect strangers whose first question was “How much money do you make?” The Chinese thought it was a perfectly normal question. Either that or they were doing some chain jerking.

  21. Phantom Limb is a douche.

  22. From the Chinese point of view, some of these things are good advice.

    Agreed. From what I’ve heard, the Chinese are a bit more “forward” in these matters than the Western world is used to. I had one or two “too personal” questions aimed at me when I visited, and that was from people who dealt with American tourists every day…. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the flood of “culture shock” stories that will come out of the Olympics.

    Plus, you have to remember that “political correctness” does not exist in China in any way, shape, or form. That should provide some good stories too.

  23. They could ask visiting americans their thoughts on Brett Favre’s inability to make a decision or whether they’ve had it with Manny being Manny.

  24. …you have to remember that “political correctness” does not exist in China in any way, shape, or form.

    Ironic, given the contributions of the Chinese government toward that particular intellectual specialty.

  25. I wonder what their position is on “messin’ with Sasquatch.”

  26. A guy with no arms and no legs waterskiing.

    Skip.

  27. What do you call a guy with no arms and legs in a pile of leaves?

    Russell.

    Whay’s the difference between a truckload of bowling balls and a truckload of dead babies?

    You can’t unload the bowling balls with a pitchfork.

    What do you call an Ethiopian with diarrhea?

    Showoff!

    *gong!*

  28. What do you call a guy with no arms or legs in a hole in the road?

    Phil.

    What do you call a guy with no arms or legs in front of the door?

    Matt.

    What do you call two guys with no arms or legs above a window?

    Kurt and Rod.

    Dead babies, Ethiopians, lepers, various ethnic genres – I thought I’d heard most everything until last winter when I spent some time listening to holocaust jokes told by an Israeli.

  29. …you have to remember that “political correctness” does not exist in China in any way, shape, or form.

    Hmm. Maybe it just takes a different form. For instance, try asking a Chinese person about the status of Outer Mongolia. Ouch!

    I got a different lecture, almost 20 years ago. It amounted to: Remember that all the women will want to sleep with you but you can’t do it because if you get caught it will ruin their life, and you will be expelled from the country. Oh, and keep your mouth shut about everything except for the weather.

    I guess things have changed, but I still prefer Taiwan. China is outrageously filthy (I mean, the toilets in Chengdu are.. beyond description), but the Japanese occupied Taiwan for decades.

    So Taiwan is like China with hygiene and better weather (bear in mind that I now live in Florida- it’s all relative). And all the women still want to sleep with you, but instead of the government objecting their boyfriends hit you with chairs if you look at the girls. That’s my kind of town.

  30. …you have to remember that “political correctness” does not exist in China in any way, shape, or form.

    Just because their government tries to hide their backward politics doesn’t mean they don’t transform the backward politics into dialog problems.

    Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  31. What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs in a hot tub?

    Stu.

  32. Totally off-thread –

    The NYT ran a story today about the League of Empowered Female Bloggers, “BlogHer”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/fashion/27blogher.html

    … on this comment, i immediately thought of Kerry (oh you stop lyin, you were thinking about her anyway)

    Other prominent female bloggers who did not attend the BlogHer conference agreed that there are unique challenges that women in the blogosphere face. “Women get dismissed in ways that men don’t,” said Megan McArdle, an associate editor at The Atlantic Monthly who writes a blog about economic issues. She added that women are taught not to be aggressive and analytical in the way that the political blogosphere demands, and are more likely to receive blog comments on how they look, rather than what they say.

    I think this is a little unfair. There are probably many profoundly unattractive female bloggers out there who’ve never received so much as a single “yowza”.

    But I felt a twang of sympathy for kerry, who is consistently one of the most insightful people on the net, but yet must put up with constant juvenile comments about her hotness, or her hot factor, or how shes smart (and hot!), whether she’s in a relationship, how hot she is, and other totally irrelevant details.

    I mean, those people are such jerks.

    But thats not really my point. My point was this BlogHer conference thing seemed pretty gay.

    There were tears at many emotional panels, and also much hooting and applause, whether in response to news that Michelle Obama had just written her first blog post on the BlogHer Web site or that Michelin would be giving away a set of tires.

    Tires? WTF.

    It just makes me feel like people are stuck in some stupid 1990s-liberal-arts program of gender-identity-politics fluffing. I think the younger generations are already pretty over this type of shit. I think the assumption of a “blogging glass ceiling” makes for a tired rhetorical routine these days. Then again this is the NYT. There was a story last week that headlined =

    “Women Are Now Equal as Victims of Poor Economy”

    Also, I hear minorities also affected. Anyhoo.

  33. What do you get when you cut a dead baby with a razor?

    An erection.

    I’ll be here all week.

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