But it was really the Internet that salvaged Chinese humor, and especially irony of the embittered sort that Wang Shuo had pioneered. In the late 1990s, the Internet was still entirely uncensored (it would remain that way as late as 2004 or 2005), and it became, at last, a public space for writers and thinkers…to explore new kinds of voices. Wang Xiaoshan was the founder of the “Black Humor Wire Service,” a parodic news service reminiscent of the Onion. The wire service, founded in 1999 and still in operation today, in gentler form, gave journalists and writers a desperately needed outlet. “
The whole article is worth reading for the importance of laughter and the internet as an instrument of freedom.
It reminds me that we, as writers and readers in free countries, all the more need to refuse despair, and refuse knuckling under to the ostensible demands of the market. We have the privilege of being free to laugh together, have tea together, and remember what matters to us, what touches us most deeply. And we are free, as well, to use the internet to connect and to communicate that.
Okay, enough procrastinating, back to draft 1 of my new novel.