China’s hottest “styles” of 2012

The Six O’Clock This Morning (今晨六点) from Shandong province today has a special feature rounding up the newspaper’s selection of the hottest “styles” of 2012, using an English word that has been popularized in China this year because of the global pop song hit ‘Gangnam Style’. Intending to capture some of the humor and pedantic banality of our social media-obsessed world, the special round-up of 2012 is divided into six categories:

  1. “Funny (幽默) Style”
  2. “Strong (实力) Style”
  3. “Emotional (感情) Style”
  4. “Surprising (惊诧) Style”
  5. “Lateral Thinking (偏锋) Style”, and
  6. “Controversial (争论) Style”

To put the whole section in its proper context, the newspaper prefaces it with the following quip:

In this year of 2012 sports and entertainment stars performed all kinds of remarkable deeds; they accomplished acts of great strength; they made some unconventional winning gambits (剑走偏锋); they got a lot of attention by means of marriage and divorce; and they swaggered around endlessly leaving you dazed and confused. No matter what kind of Style, these were all hot in 2012. They fully deserve the right to be called hot, and yet we are still mystified at why they became hot.

So without further ado, here’s the newspaper’s slightly dubious round-up of the hottest “styles” of 2012:


“Funny (幽默) Style”

1. Gangnam Style (鸟叔 江南STYLE)

Yes that one.

2. “Du Fu is very busy” (杜甫很忙) online spoof (恶搞)

If you enter the words “Du Fu is very busy” (杜甫杜甫很忙) in any search engine, you’ll find countless spoof images of the dignified and contemplative visage of the 8th century Chinese poet Du Fu. This spoof (恶搞) of Du Fu is the latest in a series of such spoofs of ancient Chinese literati, following other popular ones such as “Li Bai (李白, ancient painter) is not convinced” (李白不服气了). Go ahead, Google them.

3. Yuan Fang, what do you think? (远芳,你怎么看?) 

This phrase  is probably the most famous one to emanate from Chinese television in 2012. From the television series Legendary Detective Di Renjie (神探狄仁杰), Li Yuan Fang is Di’s assistant and is often asked this question by the master sleuth.  The phrase became very popular on the Chinese Internet and even in general conversation as a question that can be used for any kind of situation. Yuan Fang’s response to the question became almost just as popular, as he was prone to answer, “I think there’s something fishy here” (我觉得此事有蹊跷).

 4. Feng Zhe (冯喆) does cross-talk

The Chinese Olympic athlete Feng Zhe (冯喆) performed his own cross-talk comedy routine to ridicule his coaches and illustrate his experiences at the London Olympics, winning him many new followers online.

“Strong (实力) Style”

1. Mo Yan (莫言), Chinese winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

“China’s most important cultural event of 2012”.

2.  Chinese swimmer Sun Yang (孙阳) beats adversary Park Tae-Hwan at the Olympics

All the drama of Sun’s victory over South Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan (朴泰桓) in the 400 meters freestyle swimming final at the London Olympics.

3. Ye Shiwen’s (叶诗文) grand slam at the Olympics

Chinese female swimmer Ye Shiwen’s (叶诗文) record-breaking achievements in the pool at the London Olympics and the accusations of doping that followed.

4. Jeremy Lin “ethnic Chinese marvel”

Jeremy Lin, ethnic Chinese NBA player, “Linsanity”, etc.

“Emotional (感情) Style”

1. Lin Dan defends gold and gets married / Zhang Yimou 

Chinese badminton player Lin Dan (林丹) successfully defended his Olympic gold medal at the London Olympics and this year also married his girlfriend of eight years, Xie Xingfang (谢杏芳), in a moving ceremony.

This happy story is contrasted with the relationship troubles that Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (张艺谋) experienced in 2012.

2. Actress Yao Chen(姚晨) marries Cao Yu (曹郁) / Actor Li Ming (黎明) divorces his wife

Marriages and divorces of the rich and famous.

3. The saga of Olympic diver Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) and husband Huo Qigang (霍启刚) / Zhang Ning’s (张宁) melodrama

The Olympic diver Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) finally married husband Hou Qigang (霍启刚) in 2012 after a long relationship (and many rumors).

This is contrasted with the melodrama surrounding former Olympic badminton champion and current head coach of the Chinese women’s badminton team, Zhang Ning (张宁). Ning gave birth to a girl in December and caused an uproar when the identity of the father seemed to be in doubt and when people pointed out online that she attended the London Olympics while being pregnant.

4.The acrimonious divorce of Dong Jie (董洁) and Pan Yueming (潘粤明)

In October news broke on Weibo that the fairytale wedding of the two actors was over.

 “Surprising (感情) Style”

1.  The shocking mascot Lele (砳砳)

In November, the mascot of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics was revealed as the strange apparition called Lele (砳砳). Derided as a multi-colored frog, Lele did not go down well online.

2. The divisive figure of Italian footballer Mario Balotelli

Contrasting opinions on the wild child of European football.

3. The strange sounds of Wu Mochou (吴莫愁)

This summer, a girl wearing weird clothes and strange make-up made it into the final round of the singing game show “The Voice of China” (中国好声音). With her exaggerated performance, Wu Mochou (吴莫愁) caused quite a stir, with some viewers complaining that the sound of Wu’s voice made little children cry.

 “Lateral Thinking (偏锋) Style”

1. “The Voice of China” (中国好声音)

The singing game show “The Voice of China” was the hottest show on Chinese television this year, according to the Six O’Clock This Morning. The newspaper describes certain novel aspects of the show that made it worthy of inclusion on this list.

2. Cao Qi (曹琦) selected for film role

Young actress originally selected by Six O’Clock This Morning was in 2012 appointed to an important film role (this seems like plug by the newspaper for itself)

3. Zhou Lulu (周璐璐), most notable Chinese athlete at London Olympics

Of all the Chinese female athletes at the London Olympics, Zhou Lulu (周璐璐) stood out, literally. She wore clothing that was five times larger than normal, and her weight (130 kg) was far in excess of all the other female athletes as well. Yet Zhou Lulu not only won a gold medal at the Olympics, she also broke her own world record.

4. “China on the Tip of the Tongue” (舌尖上的中国)

Cooking show broadcast on CCTV in May that garnered rave reviews from the public.

 “Controversial (争论) Style”

1. Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang (刘翔)

The controversy of the famous 110-meter hurdler and his second Olympic injury flop at the London Games.

2. Han Han (韩寒) provokes Fang Zhouzi (方舟子)

Heated exchanges between author and Internet celebrity Han Han (韩寒) and campaigner against academic malpractice Fang Zhouzi (方舟之) rumbled on through spring 2012 as Fang accused Han of using a ghost writer. The matter ultimately fizzled out.

3. Li Zongrui (李宗瑞) and his secret sex films and pictures

In July the scandal of Li Zongrui (李宗瑞) broke with him admitting to drugging around 60 women and then secretly filming them naked or “in the act.”

4. Guo Degang (郭德纲) disciple causes trouble

A disciple of the Chinese cross-talk artist Guo Degang (郭德纲) somewhat blackened his mater’s name by getting into fights with journalists.


Links and sources

Six O’Clock This Morning (今晨六点): 抢镜STYLE; 幽默活宝粉丝不少; 实力干将声名远扬; 分分合合折腾不停; 另类的花儿别样红; 剑走偏锋也能成功; 文体奇葩层出不穷

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