Chinese: Old People Becoming Bad, or Bad People Becoming Old?

Chinese elderly men in wheelchairs with canes.

Chinese elderly men in wheelchairs.

From QQ:

Are Elderly People Turning Bad? Or Are Elderly People Being Defamed?

Recently, negative news about elderly people have been frequently exposed by the media, which has prompted much whipping and flogging [criticism and controversy], and everything that is unpleasant has been said. Some media have even refined it into whether “old folks are turning bad or bad guys are turning old”. One sentence to sum up: there’s something wrong with the elderly in China. Setting aside prejudices and personal feelings, is it truly the case?

[Review and discussion of various recent negative news about the elderly, including the story of an elderly person sitting directly on the lap of a girl in Xi’an because she refused to give up her seat, of urban elderly Chinese people gathering to dance in public locations often with loud music disturbing nearby residents, and the infamous Nanjing Peng Yu case of “false accusation and extortion”.]

The selective attention paid to the problem of the elderly may partly be due to shifts in whose voices dominate society

Those who have no voice are easy to pick on?

Actually, when observing the comments on “news about the elderly”, you’ll notice that almost all of them are opinions expressed from the perspective of the young, with seldom any statements by the elderly. As a matter of fact, according to 2011 statistics from the CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), people under the age of 35 make up 82.3% of Chinese netizens. Not only that, with the trend of web media moving to mobile platforms, mobile netizens in China in general tend to be even younger, with netizens over 50 making up only 7.2%.

When the information platform has been dominated by one group of people, the focus of the information will inevitably the foci of this group of people; the preferences in the information will inevitably be the preferences of this group of people; the judgements of the information will inevitably reflect the values of this group of people. Just like the piece of news about the elderly person in Xi’an who sat on the girl, even though it was very unreliable, it could have 30,000 comments within a few days, with tens of thousands of readers slamming the elderly as unrespectable. Yet, while also happening in Xi’an, a previous report of “Old Man Offers His Seat to Sick Young Lady, Says Life Isn’t Easy for the Young Either” only has a bit more than 100 comments. Similarly, “Old Man Gives Carved Eggshells to Young People on Bus Who Give Up Their Seats to Him” and “Elderly Person Gives Red Packets with 2 Yuan and a ‘Thank You’ Card to Passengers who Give Up Their Seats to Him” also don’t get much attention.

Concluding Remarks

Years ago, the mainstream of public opinion was the older generation criticizing the younger generation as a “broken generation”. Nowadays, with the younger generation now grown up, the mainstream of public opinion has become criticizing the older generation as unrespectable. Perhaps this is part of the truth behind “old folks turning bad”.

Do you believe there exists a phenomenon of elderly people in China being defamed?

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QQ website poll asking if the elderly in China are being defamed

43,392 votes
Does not exist
30,531 votes

Comments on QQ:


This is a question with no answer. As the saying goes, there are two sides to everything, and anything positive has a corresponding negative, so there’s no need to fuss over whether this [phenomenon] exists or not. The characters [manners] of the whole population rely on being fostered in the lives and learning of us all. If everyone has the consciousness of deriving pleasure from helping others, these things you mention would not happen, so it’s better to stop asking such pointless questions, and just think about helping everyone improve this consciousness.


I’ve seen many elderly people who have the air and bearing befitting that of an elder, able to set an example for the younger generation. But there are also quite a few elderly people taking advantage of their seniority and capitalizing on their being advanced in age. One incident that left a deep impression in me was a sick girl who could hardly stand up being forced to give up her seat to an old man on the bus. I think in opinion of this old man, that row of seats was specially set for him, and the sick, disabled, or pregnant are all lower in status than him. Though all the people criticized him, the old man treated them all as just farting [ignored them]. So nobody would disrespect an elderly person worthy of respect, but those who wrongfully exploit their old age should be punished with severity. Old people should not be allowed to use the principle of respecting the elderly in order to scam people with false accusations of accident and injury.

Free Style—不以为:

Quite objectively written. Things shouldn’t be generalized. Society should also fairly judge this kind of problem from the standpoint of the elderly. The media’s guidance of public opinion is indeed really important. When reporting such issues, the perspective should be chosen with caution.


Please think about it carefully, why is it that this kind of elderly people are particularly numerous in our country? If all of them could enjoy a life with security in their old days, would they still behave like this? Who amongst you all knows what rights a citizen enjoys? Who amongst you all have heard of rights to medical care, old age pension, and social security? Let me tell you clearly, these are all inalienable rights of every citizen, but do these elderly people as well as you people have them? That we have a society without any faith/principles and without morality, just whose fault is it? Wake up, the inhuman originator of this evil is secretly laughing!


It was 20 years ago when I met an old lady, who fell down on the street. I went up to help her up, and was grabbed and held, with her insisting that I had knocked her down. Luckily, the crowd around us denounced her, but she continued to hold onto me. I broke free and left without looking back. From then on, I’ve never helped an old person up.


To sum it all up, it all goes back to the lack of resources, a conflict between the young people who work and the elderly who don’t competing for public resources, which is a social problem.


No matter old or young, first be aware of one’s own mistakes/faults before finding fault in others, and then society will become harmonious. Everyone nitpicking faults in others, while ignoring their own self-cultivation, is simply hurting ourselves in the long run.


Not every old person deserves our respect. There are bad people among the young as well as the elderly. It’s not that the old have become bad, but that the bad have become old.


When people say the old are unrespectable, they are saying some old people are unrespectable. When people say the elderly have turned bad, they are say have discovered that some elderly have turned bad. With regards to those old people who are unrespectable or have turned bad, we should not allow them to enjoy the benefits of being elderly but make them pay the price for being “unrespectable” and being “bad old people”. Being advanced in age is something we can be appropriate forgiving of, but it is not a fig leaf for severely inappropriate words and behavior!

  • Cauffiel

    The resonance of a Maoist era we should all proverbially pray never returns.

  • bprichard

    With all the terrible shit they lived through, I have a hard time being too hard on Chinese elderly.

    • Germandude

      Or: With age comes wisdom and it took most elders some time to realize that they are living in a bubble and that former pride towards nation and party doesn’t pay medical expenses in a society that doesn’t care for one another.

      • xuedi

        i ding that …

    • Mano

      Lived through? You mean the terrible shit they did.

    • donscarletti

      If you were 40 in 1968, you would be 85 now, but the life expectancy in China is in the 70s, meaning the generation that made up most of the victims of the cultural revolution mostly died a decade or more ago.

      The older generation today are largely not the victims, but the ones that relentlessly persecuted their own elders, from local class teachers to great national leaders like Liu Shaoqi and Peng Dehuai and smashed as much of the cultural heritage given to them that they were able to, so the young today could never witness it.

      Face it, if someone is 70 now, they would have been 25 in 1968 and if they lived in a city, they almost certainly were a red guard. Peasants are fine I guess.

      • Kai

        I really like the thought that went into this comment.

      • jax

        20th century China was one of the worst places in the world to grow up and live, before the communist takeover was probably even worse than after. The century started with the Boxer Rebellion (and the retribution from the imperialistic 8 nation alliance), then the fall of the Qing empire, and ultimately the failure of the nationalists to take control, the warlord era, a new low, a good number of terrible famines throughout the century, the Japanese invasion and atrocities, the civil war, the Great Leap, the Cultural Revolution, economic reforms with mass unemployment.

        Life expectancy is not as much affected by how long you live in old age as the risk of childhood or young adult death. There was a lot of that in 20th century China. Someone 85 today would have been born at the end of the warlord era, and survived most of that history. The youth in the Cultural Revolution are in the 60ies now. Those in the 70ies (and older) were on the receiving end. And the 68 generation did not exactly have charmed lives either, they were sent to the countryside to live even more miserable lives than the peasants already living there.

        I fully agree with bprichard. With all the terrible shit they lived through, I have a hard time being too hard on Chinese elderly.

  • markus peg

    Old people… with such a high population of old people we are bound to see some selfish, evil ones… the % of selfish ones are higher than that of evil ones though. they think its a right they deserve for being old…

    • the ace of books

      Ehn, humans are usually inherently selfish to some degree. It jsut remains to be seen whether they allow that to dictate their actions, or whether they’re able to channel it into something useful, or whether they go into denial about it, or so.

      Culturally, they’ve been told it’s their right for being old. Again, it depends on the people – if they genuinely believe it, it’s like the people who believe the man should always pay for the date, or the woman should shut up while the man speaks. It’s a cultural fallacy that makes no actual sense, but it’s what society teaches, and some people buy into that.

      However, if they begin acting like that, it verges into entitlement, which is a wwhole nother issue (and which I have whole nother comments on).

  • Guest23

    The theme of “Old vs Young” with these generation types is understandable, though if most of the elderly are from the time where being a Maoist thinker was being hip, it comes off that they attacked the old generation from their time, now that they are old, they are attacking the younger generation, really ironic if most of these were true.

  • mr.wiener

    …Anyone want some soylent tofu?

    • My_honourable_lord

      I want the airspace.

  • FYIADragoon

    At least they’re not leeches like the baby boomers are on American society. We could do without them.

  • Dax

    A lot of these people were growing up during the great leap. When everybody’s starving to death the generous, decent people are the first to die. It’s the miserable selfish bastards that survive.

    Later you get the Cultural Revolution. Again, goodhearted people who don’t want to abuse and beat people to death for mild or imaginary crimes end up accused of sympathizing with the “criminals.” Miserable, selfish bastards do fine and may even prosper in such an environment.

    40 or 50 years later, you get a generation with an abnormally high proportion of miserable, selfish bastards.

    • SimpsonsGoldenAge

      That’s exactly it.

    • Southwestern European

      This comment is fucking brilliant. You are absolutely right. I wish the whole world could know the truth about this place. How much different would things be!

    • wes707

      Exactly. Here’s an excellent documentary with first person accounts of Mao’s Great Leap Backward:

      • TheSOP

        Maybe they should post this on Hidden Harmony? Oh wait they censor anything that doesnt tow the CCP line.

        • wes707

          It’s amusing that the Chinese take such pride in their history, yet they edit (or make up) so much of it. Don’t even get me started on their purported 5,000 years of unbroken and homogeneous history…

    • nqk123

      totally agree with you there. our current self is shaped by our past.

    • connie

      Kind and decent people died first in the German concentration camps.
      The survivors were the dregs in the camp.
      Survival of the fittest working in true form.

      • the ace of books

        You’re absolutely right. Decent people never, ever survive terrible experiences intact – either they die valiantly, or they are twisted beyond all recognition, losing their decency or their sanity, due to the fact that humans do not have this thing called “willpower”, nor do they possess “determination” or “courage” or “the ability to bear hardship”. Truly, it is only monsters who can go through heart-rending experiences and not go mad. Only the strong survive! Arbeit macht frei!

      • lasolitaria

        I disagree. I think it’s actually the opposite.

        • connie

          Maybe you should read the biographies of some of the survivors of the concentration camps.

          Take yourself for example.
          Would your sweet Mother Theresa side survive against the your Genghis Khan competitors in a concentration camp?

          If you say yes, I have nothing more to say. You will definitely go to heaven.

          • lasolitaria

            I have read those biographies indeed. I’ve also read accounts of POW camp and gulag survivors. Have you?

            Most survived out of sheer luck, which does little good for either of our cases. But out of the several recurrent motives in their accounts, three stand which contradict your premise:
            1) It was harder to make it by yourself. Those who were willing to cooperate, share and rely strongly on the group often had a better chance to survive.
            2) Cunningness and the ability to adapt helped a great deal. Now, a cunning individual isn’t necessarily a bad person, unless his actions wittingly and willingly resulted in direct harm to others.
            3) Ultimately, it all came up to willpower and finding reasons to cling to life. Those who had no principles, moral structure or attachment to anything in the world outside the camp and themselves usually gave up.

            There’s even an explanation why cooperation -rather than mere brute force and stomping on everybody’s heads- is actually a good survival strategy in nature. Google “Nice Guys Finish First”.

            Do you know anything about me as to take me as an example? If you say yes, I have nothing more to say. I can assume you’re a bullshitting troll.

          • mr.wiener

            A well written and very clear answer, thank you for that.

          • connie

            I’m glad you think so. : )


          • connie

            Yes, I read about the conditions of POWs and inmates in gulags.

            Although the conditions were terrible, the objective for POWs and inmates in both settings was not physical elimination or being worked to death (Burma Railway excepted [1943]).

            However, if you read carefully, you will note I made reference to “German concentration camps.” Did you notice?

            The German concentration camps were designed for physical elimination.

            The inmates understood that dead was the only way they would leave the camp. Under these conditions it was every man/woman for himself. These conditions brought out the very worst qualities of humans.

            Many survivors of the concentration camp described extreme acts of treachery, cowardice, and base opportunism by inmates.

            Yes, there were also acts of supreme sacrifice and kindness. But that was not the norm in life for the German concentrate camps I read about. The Gestapo made sure Mother Theresas did not survive.

            I’m familiar with Dawkins’ idea of “reciprocal altruism,” but he based his study on evolution (“mother nature”) not on the Gestapo’s selection precess. The “prisoner’s dilemma” will trump “reciprocal altruism” in extreme cases. A German concentration camps is an extreme case.

            Consider the penal systems in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Turkey, or Attica for insight into the survival methods of prisoners.

            You may find that your Pollyannaish approach may make you very “popular” with the boys and may help you “survive,” but it will also bring out an unpleasant side of your personality.

          • lasolitaria

            You seem to have several misconceptions about the camps.

            Physical elimination became the primary purpose of only a few of the camps, hence the distinction between “concentration camps” and “extermination camps”, and even that happened long after the nazis started building camps.

            It was not a policy of camp authorities to deprive inmates of hope. In fact, many were led to the very last moment to believe they would survive. That’s why they went out of their way to keep inmates selected for death in the dark about their fate, such as mislabeling gas chambers as showers and lying to parents about why they were separating their children from them. Inmates, in turn, believed it was in the interest of camp authorities to keep them alive, either in order to thoroughly exploit them or because human cruelty had to reach its limit at some point. Only in the end, when the nazis started to speed up the executions, did inmates at large realize that extermination was a goal.

            Individual acts of opportunism or sacrifice don’t matter here. The fact is that camp inmates AT LARGE shared and/or bartered and strove to stay within a group -that’s not “Mother Theresa” behavior, that’s just people with common interests working together. Refusing cooperation, hoarding resources, collaboration with the oppressor and systematic backstabbing were NOT survival strategies adopted by MOST of the inmates MOST of the time.

            There was no “Gestapo’s selection process”, mainly because the Gestapo didn’t run the camps.

            Funny that you mention prisons cause they’re about the poorest example you could go with to prove that on-their-owns are more likely to survive. Prisons are the worst possible environment for lone wolves and that’s why every prison inmate, be it in Mexico, Brazil, America or anywhere, is already in a clique or in the process of joining one.

            Just one piece of advice: avoid breaking the law and keep away from countries with pesky political situations. It’s pretty evident that you wouldn’t survive much long in either a prison or a camp ;-)

          • connie

            Hahaha! : )

            Thank you for sharing the benefits and positive work environment advantages of the German concentration camps.

            I believe you’ve gotten lost somewhere as to the nature of this discussion: German concentration camps brought out the most depraved qualities in humans -That is my premise. That what I wrote. It was my comment relating to the topic of “bad people getting old.”

            Stay focused!

            It was the stupidity, gullibility, and ignorance of people like you who ended up in German concentration camps.

            Information was available; signs were everywhere; activities were taking place in Germany and other places that showed the “bad” people were taking over.

            The naive and foolish believed that “all was well” and to “avoid breaking the law” gave one safety.

            When the political conditions changed, these people had no psychological defenses for a concentration camp experience.

            How many people practice your Mother Theresa behavior “AT LARGE” in China’s camps? From what I’ve read, China doesn’t allow “Mother Theresa” therapy.

            Getting rid of Pollyannaish ideas, and your naive understanding of concentration camps, will help you understand how to react to unpleasant political changes should they take place.

          • lasolitaria

            “German concentration camps brought out the most depraved qualities in humans -That is my premise […] Stay focused!”



            That is not your premise. Your premise is: “Decent people are the less fit to survive in camps and the dregs are the most”.
            Cause of this: “Kind and decent people died first […] The survivors were the dregs. Survival of the fittest working in true form.”. How dare you try and swap your premise now?

            So this is the point when you resort to calling me stupid, gullible and ignorant. Then you use unwarranted patronizing. Then throw in your own opinions disguised as facts. Then try to make me chase the red herring of the situation of “the naive and foolish” BEFORE the camps (all while saying “stay focused”!). Then you top it all with this pearl of wisdom: “When the political conditions changed, these people had no psychological defenses for a concentration camp experience”. WTF? Now that must be a deep analysis… cause you pulled it out of your ass!

            I don’t have to put up with your shit. Go troll somewhere else.

          • connie

            Hahaha! : )

            I’m sorry for implying that you’re stupid, but your ideas are superficial and shallow.

            You sound like a foreign student who got trapped in a class on Derrida’s deconstruction and didn’t know how to get out.

            Please, reflect a little bit on who’s trolling.

            I was addressing my comment to Dax. Before that I was commenting to My_honorable_lord. Then, all of a sudden, you pop your ass up and accuse me twice of trolling. Calling me a troll, is that the best you can do?

            I believe you have a problem expressing yourself in English, but that’s ok. It does get frustrating trying to discuss big ideas with a small vocabulary in a foreign language.

            In the future, I will not address any comments to you, but you must not address any to me, because I will respond.


    • the ace of books

      I won’t say there’s not some truth in this comment, and that selfish folks do tend to make sure they survive. But I’d like to add this:

      In a society like the one they had then, you had to pick and choose your battles. Don’t tell me that’s not true – for an average person in a society like that, their first priority is “survive”. There’s a reason the novel’s called To Live – just living, in a time like that, took itself a supreme effort. You can’t constantly be Fighting The Man – how you going to finance that? how you going to keep yourself/your people motivated? Don’t tell me it’s “what people should do” – should is all very well, but should doesn’t give you a lot of staying power.

      Plus I’d add that most people aren’t paragons of kindness, nor do most people make out-of-the-way efforts to help each other. It’s more of an off-the-cuff thing: if people see a chance to help another, they might take it because it’s in front of them. But far more rarely do people think to themselves “what good things can I do for people today?” Far more rarely does the average human being just up and be kind for the shit of it.

      Average people are average people, no matter what society you’re in. That means they’re not bad (no, I promise, they aren’t sheeple) and they’re not good (John Q Public is hardly a saint). Blaming people for how they behave in pressure situations is hardly fair, and holding them lifelong accountable for a societally overarching thing that happened in history is neither logical nor pleasant. Do you really want to live in the past?

      In conclusion: They didn’t start the fire ~~ it was always burning ~ since the world’s been turning ~~ etc etc etc

      • Washington Bullets

        To Live is such a good book. The film was good, but I liked the country setting much better in the novel. Ge You is fantastic.

      • Dax

        Good points. Perhaps, rather than thinking of some sort of innate goodness or selfishness, it would be better to say that such experiences teach people that life is a zero-sum game and that if they are going to prosper it’s got to be because someone else is suffering and that if you don’t look out for yourself, someone’s going to take advantage of you. The people who don’t or won’t learn this lesson would not be as likely to survive.

        That’s not to say that what they chose to do in those situations was wrong. I’ve never been starving and can’t imagine what I would do if I was trying to take care of children who had nothing to eat. But I have doubts about the positive impact that a “eat or be eaten” mindset has on a society of relative plenty.

      • lasolitaria

        In trying to come off as moderate people often end up sounding like the typical horoscopes. I mean, “People help if a chance comes up but they don’t when it doesn’t”, “People aren’t good nor bad”? I find it hard to make any opinion out of such statements.

        • masonman

          Its a common thing people pick up, as they learn they can pretend to have opinions without actually offending anybody. Some people do not appreciate that not everything has a magical “middle ground”

          • lasolitaria

            I agree. “feelings are more important than facts”.

    • Dr Sun

      I think generalizations are dangerous, my in-laws all lived through the cultural revolution, the great leap etc and their really nice people, certainly not the “miserable selfish bastads” you accuse them of being.

      • Dax

        you get a generation with AN ABNORMALLY HIGH PROPORTION of miserable, selfish bastards.”

        I did not, nor would I ever, say that everyone from that era is like that. Nor, indeed, would I say that of most people of that generation. I simply put forth a possible explanation for the seemingly large number of old people who seem to be somewhat lacking in social ethics.

        • Dr Sun

          I take it you have figures from multi- centered randomized studies to back this “abnormally high proportion” statement up then, or are you simply basing your generalizations on prejudice and rhetoric ?

          • Dax

            No, because I was assuming as valid the central postulate of this entire article and providing, what seems to me, to be a possible explanation for it. I don’t think it’s inappropriate to talk about generalities in a discussion that’s already so steeped in them.

          • connie


    • Rox

      Perfect analysis

  • YourSupremeCommander

    “urban elderly Chinese people gathering to dance in public locations often with loud music” – A spectacle only seen in China!

    • Zappa Frank

      haha in the rest of the world may be the opposite..

  • YourSupremeCommander

    This old Chinese man is ESPECIALLY bad!

  • KamikaziPilot

    Never trust an old fart, especially an old Chinese fart. They have nothing to lose as their life is almost gone. Also they can use their life experience to their advantage to exploit you. They look all frail and helpless but their minds can be devious.

    • David

      As opposed to young people who use their less extensive experience to exploit you?

      • KamikaziPilot

        Haha, that was funny, I’m actually less afraid of younger people trying to pull one over on me. There are good old people in China too, of course. I think if someone is devious, they get more dangerous as they age, just like a lot of people get better with experience. Younger people are more dangerous physically, older people more dangerous mentally.

  • 5000 years of history

    I want to know where do they learn how to grab onto people and be able to never let go? Is that a skill Chinese are born with or is it taught?

  • connie

    The question is being asked are old people turning bad.
    The question should be what happens to evil young people?
    Do they remain evil as they become old – becoming evil old people?

    The same thing can be asked about stupid people.
    What happens to young people who are stupid?
    Do they remain stupid as they get old – becoming stupid old people?

    The problem of evil or stupid old people begins when they are young.

    • My_honourable_lord

      The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.

  • Markoff

    I find interesting that if you see someone causing trouble anywhere it’s most likely someone old(er) in their late 40’s and older.

    One would expect there will be significant amount of young generation to blame (always popular across all countries old people blaming young for no respect etc.), people in 20’s or 30’s or even teenagers, but whenever you see some video or some mess on street it’s mostly related to old(er) people. I find it strange since at same time many young people are spoiled selfish brats, but it seems it’s not at least affecting other people, it can be annoying but still much better than all these old people trying to extort you.

  • David

    I don’t understand. Do you mean similar stories of elderly people demonstrating bad behavior would be ignored in Europe, Africa and America? That they would not be reported? Because elderly Chinese are EXPECTED to act better (because of those Confucian values) it is news but in the West elderly people are expected to be bad so it is not news?

  • Rick

    We cares about old people becoming bad .. I’m sure the US had their share of old people becoming bad as well. You surely can’t believe that everyone in the US are angels. SO get over it and stop being jealous over others progress. Chinasmack is truely a hate site.

    • Cauffiel

      Chinasmack re-reports existing news from the Chinese newswires. So, not a hate site.

    • My_honourable_lord

      ‘Chinasmack is truely a hate site’

      So you found it suited your taste.

    • TheSOP

      Whiny bitch without a point award goes to….

  • David

    Baby boomers are leeches? How do you figure? It seems like you think the United States just went from 1970 to 2010 all by itself with no help from us. We have spent the last 40 years working and building the country (and fighting the wars) just like the generation before me did (btw 40 difficult years). We
    have paid into Social Security our whole lives. There are plenty of us who know the SS system needs to be reformed. I have nothing but respect for my father’s generation but you have not actually fixed anything yet, so to make it sound like you will is a little premature. I see nothing from the next generation that makes me think you can even concentrate on a problem for more than 10 minutes Of course this might not be you, just like it was not all Baby Boomers who cause the problems (that “greatest generation” were the ones in charge when they kept underfunding SS every year). Also, if you think Obamacare is going to fix anything (5,500,000 canceled policies, average premiums increased by 57% and giving all their friends in unions exceptions) I have some land to sell you in Florida. Lets just be fair and say your generation will make plenty of mistakes too and hindsight is 20/20.

  • KamikaziPilot

    Not sure when that picture was taken, a few days ago or a few months ago but I think there’s a good chance that guy on the far right is dead already. He already looks comatose in that pic.

  • loki

    ok CS why nothing about this ….

    I mean seriously… I see incredible news that lots of people would love to make fun of and just generally use to talk crap about … But no, not on this website?

  • mr.wiener

    ….Meanwhile in Shanghai……

    • My_honourable_lord


    • the ace of books

      Sympathies. We’ve been having this stuff on and off the last few months here in Harbin. Smog’s a real delightful thing to wake up to, I tell you what.

    • TheSOP

      White Christmas? Thats a blizzard right?

    • whuddyasack

      Airpocalypse part 2. I’ve heard the news but viewing those images for myself gives it a whole new meaning. That smog is terrible and I feel terrible imagining people living in those environments. Apparently school children have now been advised to stay home. This is actually spreading to Japan, HK, Taiwan and Korea.

      Just look at those figures in the coastal and Northern cities.

      Unfortunately, it’s going to get worse. Somehow, the Chinese Government has decided to import more petcoke when every other nation refuses to touch this crap with a mile-length pole. I feel sorry for everyone living in China at the moment, to be honest.

    • wes707

      At least it’s clearing out a bit. Shanghai was at hazardous PM2.5 levels for 20 hours. Baoding is currently at 722; 422 point above the hazardous level of 300; that’s very impressive…

      • MidniteOwl

        ding ding ding, we have a new winner…

      • the ace of books

        We had something about like that back in October, bout a week straight, right around my birthday.

        “Happy birthday, Ace, today you get PM2.5!”
        “Thanks, China, you’re the best!”

        • wes707

          That’s cool you’re in Harbin. I lived there for 7 months in 07. I loved walking around the streets of the old city and its eerie feel.

    • Kai

      Yeah, it’s been pretty bad. I don’t recall seeing this in Shanghai in all the time I’ve been here. I used to joke with people in Beijing about how much better the air is in Shanghai but now I can’t. Dammit.

  • My_honourable_lord

    • whuddyasack

      It’s an interesting photo, Ridler. Do you know the story behind this photo? If you don’t, would you like to know? :-)

      Might not be so active in a while. Vacationing, but not so sure if yay or nay.

  • the ace of books

    And the winner of the Which Tab Did I Have Open Again Prize goes to…

    …in seriousness, though, yeah, r.i.p to him.

  • wes707

    It’s called: Mao’s Great Famine. Hopefully you can find it somewhere else.

  • MidniteOwl

    Bad old people farting all the time! … … in other news, Chinese authorities have prohibited public farting, the latest environmental initiative to curve air pollution. An early focus on outdoor bbq that has lead to a nation wide ban, was deemed insufficient in reducing PM 2.5 particles… … :S

  • mr.wiener

    I’ll be sure to have someone knock on your door on your 60th birthday.

  • Kai

    Robocop will make it all worth it.

  • mr.wiener

    …aaand everyone would descend on them and dig up the free trees, a nice thought ,but unworkable in China sorry.

  • connie

    Lulu: It will only get worst.

    SHANGHAI—”New car sales in China in September increased at the fastest pace in eight months, boosting results at major foreign auto makers including BMW, Ford Motor Co., and Nissan Motor”
    China’s car sales totaled 1.59 million vehicles last month, up 21% from the year-earlier period, the industry group China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Friday.

    “China Auto Sales September 2013: Up 21% As Japanese Automakers See Strong Rebound In China Sales A Year After Territorial Dispute Pummeled Sales; Ford Focus Charges Ahead”

    “Auto sales boom spawns a used car market in China
    Chinese started buying new cars in huge numbers about four years ago, about the average length of time analysts say drivers will stick with a vehicle before trading it in for a fresh model.
    “The secondhand market is already taking off, with sales growth last year outpacing that for new vehicles. By volume it is still dwarfed by new cars, which outsold used vehicles three to one. In countries such as the U.S., that ratio is reversed, highlighting the secondhand market’s vast potential to make car ownership affordable for millions more Chinese.”–finance.html

  • lasolitaria

    Your comment is even more insipid than his.

  • mr.wiener

    I like your optimism, it is refreshing…and infectious!

  • Dax

    And there are no elderly villians in Eastern folklore? Are all villains in Western folklore old? I’m not sure I’m prepared to accept your argument on the basis of a single fairy tale.

    In fact, in my experience the general American perception of the elderly is that of helplessness and exploitation by the young (see, for example the docudrama “Happy Gilmore”)