Weather with Chinese characteristics

CHINA has defended its decision to launch a bloody military crackdown on Beijing’s weather for the remainder of the Olympics.

“All Chinese patriots enjoy freedom of climate in accordance with the law,” a government official said beneath a suddenly blue Beijing sky. “But rain and stifling humidity are not weather. They are the enemies of harmoniousness and are creating a negative ethos by inciting disturbances and hoodwinking appraisements of the Chinese Olympic gloriousness. They must, therefore, be re-educated through illegalment.”

Anti-weather hostilities erupted last Friday night when China’s newly formed Olympic Climate Consensus Commission fired a volley of “rain dispersal rockets” to intercept a cloud belt moving towards the stadium. The attack was promptly condemned by climate rights activists.

“The Government claims no civilian weather conditions were injured,” a spokeswoman from Meteorologistes Sans Frontieres said. “But we’ve spoken to precipitation that was illegally imprisoned and beaten. There are also reports that ringleader clouds are being harvested for the black-market trade in drinking water.”

China denied this brutal climate censorship was to detract from its unsuccessful pollution-reducing efforts.

It said troops would continue to take action against dissident weather elements deemed to be inveigling disharmony and jeopardising compliancy cohesion.

First published in The Australian

“China profoundly thwarts all outside attempts to interfere with the internal weather issues of other countries,” officials told the Youth Freedom Through Oppressification newspaper. “Allowing evil climatic disruptions during a heroic occasion such as the wondrous Chinese Olympic advancement may be a Western ideal.

“But we will not tolerate atmospheric events that threaten our national interests. The blue skies you are seeing now are clouds with Chinese characteristics.”

Some commentators expressed scepticism about China’s ability to control something as vast as the weather. But Chinese officials looked puzzled and asked if this was an attempt at Western humour.

“We have, after all managed to control reproductive rights, religious expression, the internet, text messages and even the amount of garlic on the breath of Beijing cab drivers during the Olympics interval,” one said with what sounded suspiciously like a laugh.

“Do you really think a little rain stands a chance against the revolutionary might which will soon restore illustrious New China to its rightful place at the centre of universal economic and cultural domination?”

Shortly after, another official blamed “twisted media reports” for perceptions that China had said it planned to turn the capitalist running dogs of the world into its minions.

“This is an example of the misunderstandings that occur when so-called journalists are at liberty to report every little thing they see, hear or feel in their soft-tissue areas during voluntary labour camp visitations,” he said. “In China, the press enjoys freedom from error, freedom from disunity and freedom from too much freedom. Now these are real freedoms.”

The official went on to herald the creation of special protest zones for outlawed weather conditions. But Meteorologistes Sans Frontieres said even the most innocuous of would-be demonstrators such as light cloud and patchy drizzle had been refused permits on the grounds that they were likely to fraternise with photochemical squalls.

Foreign journalists, meanwhile, continued to demand access to a full range of weather while they remained in the city. “These endlessly sunny days and blue skies are really starting to freak me out,” one said. “It’s like those perfectly drilled routines in the opening ceremony. Sure they looked great, but so many people doing exactly the same thing is far too militaristic and I, Robot for my liking.

“I’d have more respect for China if there’d been a bit of chaos: if local streakers had run out during the aerial athletics and the communists-that-be were able to laugh it off instead of goose-stepping. Is a little spontaneity and humour really too much to ask from an emerging superpower?”

Shortly after making these comments, this journalist was spontaneously liberated from her visa. Initially, Chinese officials said this step had been taken to reduce difference and enhance understanding. The statement was reissued to read “What step?”

The Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau, meanwhile, has issued a forecast of virtuous skies, smiling faces and ceaseless vitality for the indefinite future.

- originally published in The Australian on 14-8-08

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