From Inside Beijing News - Part 3
This particular chat session has been distributed all over the place (e.g. here, here, here). It describes a scene that is chaotic, but also outrageously hilarious.
[in translation, with some simplifications]
Q: I heard that you people are on strike?
A: No. I am working. The newspaper office is in total chaos. But it was a lot of fun.
Q: How was it fun?
A: I can die from laughing. Really. Super fun. Yesterday afternoon, first it was Chen Zhihua ... Do you know him?
Q: I know him. What about him?
A: He started to cry aloud at the editors' meeting yesterday afternoon. He told everybody that we are better off dying quickly than to live on in agony. I was among the editors at the time, and I was so shocked.
Q: And then what?
A: Then the editors' meeting was over.
Q: But people did not respond to him.
A: And then everbody started to grab material from the office. Ha ha!
Q: How did they grab material?
A: A whole stack. They started to grab the calendars and copies of the newspapers. They all said that they wanted souvenirs. And then someone stood up and said that they were not going to work tonight and they would go out drinking instead. We did not participate. I ate dinner by myself and I returned to the office. There was nobody there. But we continued to write our year-end reports. Later on, Sun Xuedong came back and found out that there were only the seven reporters in our department hanging around eating snacks and chatting. So he telephoned the editors and reporters to come back to work. But those people must have had quite a bit to drink already. They said that they weren't coming and anyone who comes back is a traitor. Sun was shocked. So he went over there in person to fetch them. It was supposed to be super-exciting over there. They had seven tables, with ten or so people per table. Everybody was passionate and emotional. They were crying. They said that they wanted to be the revolutionaries for Chinese media and so on. Ren Shiwu was kissing his wife in public.
Q: Ha ha, was Sun relieved of his duties?
A: He was relieved of his duties.
Q: So why was he working?
A: Our department editor kept drinking and drinking until he tumbled down. A male reporter tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but it did not work. It did not work.
Q: Oh fuck!
A: He was sent to the Friendship Hospital. Ha ha. It was supposed to have been alcohol poisoning.
Q: You ought to write it up.
A: So Sun went over there and got some of them to come back. At that time, Dai Zigeng came in and implored us with tears: "Everybody, let's get to work."
Q: And then what? This is exciting.
A: It was exciting.
Q: Isn't he from Guangming too?
A: The most interesting thing was ... he is not a bad person ... the most interesting thing was that reporters from foreign media sneaked into the office.
Q: Ha ha!
A: There was a girl from Reuters. As soon as she sneaked in, we identified her because she is the classmate of one of our interns. There were also quite a few photojournalists from foreign media who were taking photographs all over the office. Later, when Dai Zigeng was speaking, a male reporter -- the one who tried to resuscitate our editor -- jumped up, pointed at Dai's nose and cursed him as a traitor. Then the reporter turned around and left. This left us quite confused. But there are no solutions to many things. At this time, the person sent from Guangming also wanted to speak. I was ready to faint. This person named Zhao sent from Guangming began to say: "For the sake for the party central and the people, you have keep to newspaper going." I was laughing to death. Which era did this piece of antique come from? He spoke for a long time and everybody was displeased. So a commotion was beginning again. At that time, the person named Shi from Guangming also wanted to talk. He spoke a couple of sentences and then Dai cut him off in time. He said: "You go upstairs and let these people work." Then we started working.
Related links: From Inside Beijing News - Part 1; From Inside Beijing News - Part 2