Millions of migrant workers may be out of a job and China’s once booming economy may be locked in a downward spiral as the global economic crisis bites, but for a particular Chinese brand of humor it’s been a boon.
Many of the jokes have been circulating online, or via text message in a country whose population is obsessed with their mobile phones.
A bank worker calls a colleague, goes one joke on the tiexue.net bulletin board.
“Hey, how’s it been going?”
“Not so bad.”
“Oh, sorry, I’ve definitely called the wrong number.”
Others adopt a similar tone, but riffing off Communist propaganda slogans.
“In the face of the financial crisis, I have bravely stood up and am marching forward! That’s because … I can’t pay back my loans and the bank has repossessed my car.”
Internet use has exploded in recent years, but the government keeps a close tab on what appears, removing offensive comments or detaining those who criticize too much on certain sensitive topics, such as human rights.
This hasn’t stopped people taking to the Internet to laugh about the crisis, or crack witticisms.