Thursday 26 March 2009

我是一个 ' 愤外 '

I've been following the discussion over in Froogville on what exactly a fenqing is and what they represent. Froog laws down the law with his opening salvo:

I often refer to the fenqing phenomenon as the Chinese Communist Party's 'blowback' from the years of propagandizing it subjects its children to during their schooling. The government occasionally seeks to exploit their hot-headed and xenophobic impulses by whipping up their indignation against a particular country to make a diplomatic point (in an exceedingly undiplomatic way!): the French have been on the receiving end of this a lot over the past year. However, this kind of sentiment is hard to direct and control, and it is more often an embarrassment or an inconvenience to the government than a help; indeed, it could potentially become a threat to the government.

Indeed. What then (ahem) am I to say of those expats (or ex-expats) who wend their way through the nationalist blogs that are the natural home of the fenqing engaging in long and pointless argument? Well, it seems that there is a word for them too:

愤外 fen wai - "angry foreigner" (or, more literally, "angry outsider") - is the term given to foreigners living in China of a self-righteous and excessively cynical tendency. They are mostly middle-aged males with nothing better to do with their time than hang out online. They usually keep their own blogs, and also infest the comment-threads of other more popular foreign China bloggers. Some of the ones with better Mandarin skills will stalk Chinese-language blogs and bulletin boards in search of sources of amusement or indignation, but most will just skulk on other foreigner blogs waiting to pick a fight with any fenqing who happens along. If you visit The Peking Duck, etc., etc.

I often refer to the fenwai phenomenon as the Chinese Communist Party's 'blowback' from years of inviting 'foreign experts' into the country to help with its development.... and then treating them with complete contempt.

Touché. From now on I'm going to try to cut down on the endless arguing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it is lent :)

shall we expect a resurgence of cynical deprecation of the peoples paradise by Easter?