The Humor Vacuum Sucks

TalkTalkChina is gone, and there’s a bit of a humor vacuum in the China blogosphere. Who’s going to help fill it?

– Greg of Sinobling is writing again. His new post entitled So What You’re Saying is You Don’t Have a Liver for Me is hilarious.

– The TTC heir apparent seems to be Sinocidal. The similarities are many, but I haven’t seen anything quite on par with TTC’s greatest hits. The Flopsy entry got my attention, though.

Yellow Wings apparently has some kind of relationship with Sinocidal. The entry entitled How to write a China-related weblog was amusing, but I just couldn’t figure out which type of weblog to identify with… hmmm.

The last two are rather recent additions to the China Blog List. Since good China humor seems to seethe with negativity by default, I’ll balance it out a bit by finishing with a link to 10 reasons why living in China is great from another new one called Positive Solutions. But it’s not funny. Oops.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Hey John, forgot the ‘h’ in the ‘http://’ of the Sinocidal link. After adding it though I discovered that it’s unblocked! There goes my comment that it would be better if it wasn’t blocked.

  2. The Yellow wings post was quite funny, although aside from just those (albeit humorous) forms, I’ve been noticing that China blogs tend to have a pretty harsh delineation – between those that are intensely personal (daily life) and those that are commentaries. I saw this because I don’t tend to write commentaries on big items or even cultural facets, but rather just about my life, and by far it seems most of the China blogs are of the mode that tends to make comments about various aspects of living in China.

  3. Ryan,

    Thanks for pointing that copy-paste error out.

  4. Ben,

    Interesting… It seems like in terms of evolution, blogs start out very personal, but as they gain a wider audience, they go more general. That’s been true for me, and I know Ryan has been experiencing the same thing. So what you’re saying is that in the transition from “personal account” to “general commentary,” blogs rarely stop halfway in between?

    I admit that I go for a lot of “general commentary,” but I’d like to think that I write some “life commentary” too… Do you disagree, or is the kind of thing I write also scarce in some ways? I’ll have to take a closer look at your blog to see exactly what you mean.

  5. Hahahahahaaaa – all publicity is good publicity 🙂 however, it’s been a bit of a slow start as we’re just trying to get the site set up and we’re kinda tinkering with posts while we were blocked (long story – BUT, we overcame). Things will get better – I hope. Hey, we’ve got some creative guys on the team and …. well, you know what, who cares if y’all find it funny – we’re having fun and if you don’t like it you can go… :-p

    Love you all – Parp!

    PiPi – 屁屁

  6. I agree about the personal bloggin vs. general blogging, of course when I lived in China I wrote posts about my nose hair which is maybe too personal.

  7. I can’t believe you guys left off the omni-funny imagethief… one of the funniest guys in the east…

  8. PiPi,

    I didn’t mean to sound too critical, it’s just that TTC set the bar pretty high, so following in its tradition is just tough.

  9. Boyce,

    Of course Imagethief is great. No argument from me. All the blogs mentioned on this post are new on the China Blog List (and new to me) with the except of Sinobling, which is newly resurrected.

  10. Any reasons of TTC’s disappearing?
    I saw the post title ‘3D回归’ in my google rss when I was in Melbourne, but didn’t check it out. When I came back to China and clicked on it, I found I couldn’t get access to it any longer…
    It was…so sudden… 🙁

  11. In my opinion, Talk Talk China was scraping the bottom of the barrel toward the end. Case in point, noobish whining about 我知道了 as if it means “I already knew.”

  12. I classify your blog as being personal, as you tell stories about life at times. There’s a lot of blogs that I’ve read (or read part of) where it’s impossible to find “I” or “my” anywhere, as the blogs are not interested in exploring the secret lives of their writers, but rarely only interested in being news outlets for all sorts of interesting and strange updates. And I am not saying anything against blogs that are not personal either; they are in my opinion, wonderful additions to the Great Blogosphere. My only wish is that more people blogged, because it seems so few do in relation to the amount of people here in China who are working. So many stories untold…

  13. No humor? I always have a laugh wehn I read China Daily and Xinhua.

  14. @Ben: I mentioned it before somewhere that the “I” and “me” in John’s blog sets it apart in my opinion from otherwise interesting and well done “blogs”. To me that’s what a “blog” is. Though I by no means define the term, I think it’s what separates blogs from traditional media as it puts the opinion back in the written word. Having had the personal pronouns pounded out of me in Journalism school, blogs are working hard to put it back in. 🙂

    To be honest though Ben, I don’t think there’s any shortage of “life” blogs in China. Just cruise the CBL and you’ll find more than enough to fill your reading.

    @eway: I c&p’d TTC’s reasoning in my post about it, if you’re curious.

  15. John – we know how high the bar was set at TTC and we’re really not trying to emulate their success. The whole reason we started doing something was to fill the void in our own personal lives. When TTC sunk without trace we found ourselves with too much time on our hands and it was a case of either do some work or have some fun while we were supposed to be doing some work. However, we got a kick out of it and we’re hoping to develop the site/sight/s*hite into something a bit different to reflect the combined 5 online-personalities of each of the ‘guys’ (we’re possibly not all male, I’m not really sure about LaoLao). I/we were not offended by your ‘criticism’, but your point was taken – especially the part about TTC’s highs. We’ve been up and running for about 2 weeks and TTC were going about 18 months. Let’s hope though that we at least have the foresight to pull the plug before we jump the shark 🙂

  16. PS – If the 3D’s are out there and reading this – ‘Hey guys, i hope y’all have a great Christmas and please feel free to drop by and say Hi!’.

  17. @PiPi – I am not a girl!!!

    John, I like your blog (site) as a whole, and I think the new layout is awesome. I would tend to categorize your “/life” part of your site as a personal observation, without being “too personal”.
    Keep up the great work!!!

  18. “John Says:


    Of course Imagethief is great. No argument from me. All the blogs mentioned on this post are new on the China Blog List (and new to me) with the except of Sinobling, which is newly resurrected.”

    Sorry, my bad, should have read more carefully!

  19. Come on John, it’s a vacuum. It’s supposed to suck…


  20. vacumm sucks dust. Haha…

  21. @ Matt: Good catch!

  22. Like the girl who insisted she knew what I wanted on my burger was “jia bei ken”. No, no thanks. But it’s tastier with the bacon, you should really add bacon.

    Then you fucking eat it. I didn’t ask for your opinion, I just want a burger without the bacon and without the McDonald’s upsell.

    Q: Are you closed down for good?
    A: Yep

    Q: Then why are you lurking here, you creep?
    A: You just hurt my feelings

    Q: Will you do any kind of limited 2-week-only Chinese New Year return specials?
    A: Yep

    Q: If you had to recommend a laugh, where would you go?
    A: I would go to, but that’s just me.

    Q: Do you endorse other hair bands?
    A: Yes and no. But the answer is actually no.

    Q: Why post the first comment after closing on Sinosplice (why not Imagethief or PekingDuck?)?
    A: We always had a soft spot for John. He enjoyed a good laugh, but did other things too, like live. And he is smarter than us, except for that 道可道非常道 phrase.

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