By now, many of my readers are well acquainted with a relatively new blog called chinaSMACK. It’s kind of like “EastSouthWestNorth Lite,” in that it takes Chinese media and translates it to English for a foreign audience, but stays away from the heavy political topics.

Here’s an excerpt from the chinaSMACK manifesto:

> I decided to make this website and share a “slice of Chinese life” with English-speaking foreigners. I will collect and repost all of the hot, popular, interesting, outrageous, and shocking things that I see on the Chinese-language internet so foreigners can understand, experience, and enjoy also. Maybe there will be some cultural differences and maybe not every foreigners will understand what Chinese think is funny, sad, angry, or ridiculous but I will try to translate and explain the “cultural context.”

> No politics! I will not talk about politics. I do not want to. It is too serious and not fun. Other people can do that if they are bored.

> I just want to show a piece of the real China, real Chinese life, and real Chinese people. I want to show our beautiful side, our fun side, our sexy side, and even our ugly side. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, does bad things, and hurt other people sometimes. Chinese people can be serious and Chinese people can be silly too. We love and we hate. We have dreams and we have fears just like everyone else. We have sex and we fight too. Even if we are from different countries and different cultures, everyone laughs and everyone cries. I hope my website will help foreigners realize that Chinese people are very similar to them and not so different.

If you’re unfamiliar with chinaSMACK and the above sounds good to you, take a look.


John Pasden

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


  1. You leave little advice for those to which it doesn’t sound good. 🙂

    Personally, I think the site’s awesome. Bit of a cross between guilty pleasure and watching a car accident.

  2. I too am a big fan. In a lot of ways I like it more than ESNW just because it tries to limit itself to “slice of life” things — sometimes even I reach my daily “heavy politics” limit. 🙂

  3. LoL @ John Biesnecker. I agree. My “heavy politics” limit is reached within seconds of opening Fool’s Mountain, even in my RSS. Another great site, just really heavy on the politics. I like how chinaSMACK will cover these really nifty serious social phenomenon (though the comments are not always so serious themselves) and then the next day they’ll have something entirely non-serious. It is like built-in comic relief sometimes.

    Seems like its down right now though. Hopefully it isn’t something serious. That’d suck for a 3 month old website.

  4. Great site.
    You gotta love the 囧 shirts too. After the post about the character, I’m surprised you didn’t think of that one yourself, John!

  5. The “囧” character completely cracks me up! Some of the articles are very serious, while others are just plain hilarious! I’ve bookmarked it. I don’t like any amount of heavy politics.

Leave a Reply