What do you think of Wu Xiaobo’s article “The Metaphor of Zibo Barbecue” blocked in China?
本文最后更新于 342 天前,其中的信息可能已经有所发展或是发生改变。

Zibo Barbecue is fulfilling people’s common people’s imagination of a free market: high-quality and affordable commodities, a hearty consumption experience, a market environment that is childlike and honest, and a humble and friendly “small government”.

Text/Wu Xiaobo

Any popular occurrence is essentially a catharsis of social emotions. In the beginning, it was a collective unconscious, which then constituted a contemporary narrative. The popularity of Zibo barbecue does not meet the definition of popularity in the economic sense. It is neither scarce nor a new invention, nor does it represent a certain fashion. Its metaphorical significance lies in the “here and now” and the expression of freedom by the common people.

It is said that the detonators of Zibo barbecue were those college students who were treated well during the epidemic. In May last year, more than 12,000 students from universities in Jinan, Shandong, and other places were taken to Zibo for isolation. The government specially invited the students to have a barbecue and agreed that everyone would bring their friends to visit Zibo again when the spring is warm and the flowers are blooming.

This “promise” is a kind of aimless expectation, but in the end, the beneficiary interprets it as a warm return movement. In the world of the Internet, college students have always been the most active fermenters of popular culture, and they are the core elements of what Gladwell called “the law of personal characters” and “the law of environmental power”. The emotions would be smoky, which in turn triggered the “post-epidemic empathy” of the whole society.

The popular second-level detonator is the local government of Zibo. They are actively complicit in their emotions. In the past three months or so, they have distributed barbecue coupons, launched a dedicated barbecue line, organized and arranged for barbecue volunteers, and even specially cooperated with the Jinan Railway Bureau on a “barbecue train”, giving commemorative gift bags when boarding the train.

These measures of theirs remind me of Guan Zhong, a native of Zibo more than 2,600 years ago. At that time, in order to attract businessmen from other vassal states to do business in the remote Qi State, Guan Zhong proposed that “don’t ask for empty cars, don’t enter with empty ones, and come from afar.” He also specially set up guest houses to entertain businessmen from various countries. There is one place every 30 miles. One foreign businessman who comes by car provides food for himself, two people who come by car provide food for horses, and three people who come by car provide food for his servants. . From then on, “the merchants of the world return to Qi Rushui”.

What makes people happier to see is that the Zibo government has liberated the control power once. They allowed barbecue stalls to go on the street, thereby giving up some of the powers of the city manager; they mobilized all civil servants, regardless of positions and positions, to be on call 24 hours a day, and accept transfers at any time; Parking lot and toilets. People also saw that Zibo’s director of culture and tourism “publicly apologized” for the fact that the passenger flow exceeded the reception capacity, and the secretary of the municipal party committee rode a shared bicycle to inspect the streets in person.

On the Internet, there are also complaints from local civil servants that “officials are not living well”, but in the eyes of the public, this is a new atmosphere that has not been seen for a long time. When these measures are finally settled into a system, they may represent some kind of specimen of government function reform.

Any national carnival is based on the cost of participation. To eat barbecue in Zibo, a beef skewer is 2.5 yuan, and grilled oysters are 5 yuan. The average meal is about 50 to 75 yuan per person. Someone did the math, and the tourists from other places rushed over together, and the two-day cost was about 345 yuan per person. Because of the proper management of various prices, there has been no news of ripping off customers so far.

In a sense, Zibo Barbecue is fulfilling people’s common people’s imagination of a free market: high-quality and affordable commodities, a hearty consumption experience, a market environment where children are not deceived, and a humble and friendly “small government”.

As a result, millions of people traveled hundreds of miles and thousands of miles to “vote” – 4.8 million tourists came to Zibo throughout April. During the May Day holiday that just passed, there were about 200,000 tourists a day, and the Badaju Convenience Market in Zhangdian ranked first in the “queuing list” of national scenic spots.

On the surface, they are going to have a barbecue or a few meals, but subconsciously, they are realizing an indulgence and expression, participating in a small experiment of democratization. This is an extremely humble goal, but it is so precious in today’s China.

You can never underestimate the silence and “voting with your feet” of the people. Today, when people’s wisdom has been developed, no slogan or declaration is worth a free barbecue. People don’t need sentimental “fatherly love”, but only long for equality. People’s recognition of power has always been based on the common value of “people do not deceive themselves”.

Looking back many years later, the popularity of Zibo barbecue is so absurd, but at this moment, it is the whole reality of China in 2023.

The author of this article | Wu Xiaobo

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中文版:

淄博烧烤正在兑现人们对自由市场的平民式想象:物美价平的商品、畅快淋漓的消费体验、童叟无欺的市场环境、谦卑和气的“小政府”。

文 / 吴晓波

任何流行的发生,本质上是一次社会情绪的宣泄。在一开始,它是一种集体无意识,继而构成为当代叙事。淄博烧烤的火爆,并不符合经济学意义上对流行的定义,它既不具有稀缺性,也不属于一种新的发明,更不代表了某种时尚。它的隐喻意义在于,“此时此刻”和平民对自由的表达。

据说淄博烧烤的引爆者,是那些在疫情期间受到善待的大学生。在去年五月,山东济南等地的大学有12000多名学生被拉到淄博隔离,淄博人没有嫌弃,不怕找麻烦,给学生们提供好的食宿环境,在送别前的最后一个晚上,当地政府特地请同学们吃了一顿烧烤,并约定来年春暖花开时节,大家带上朋友再来淄博做客。

这个“约定”是一种无目的的期待,但最后,受惠者把它演绎成了一场温情的回报运动。在互联网的世界里,大学生从来是流行文化最活跃的发酵者,是格拉德威尔所谓的“个人人物法则”和“环境威力法则”的核心元素,他们在“淄博烧烤”这个概念上烙进了会冒烟的情感,进而引发了全社会的“疫后共情”。

而流行的第二级引爆人,是淄博当地政府。他们积极地成为了情绪的共谋者。在过去的三个多月里,他们发送烧烤消费券、推出烧烤专线、组织安排烧烤志愿者,甚至还专门和济南铁路局合作了“烧烤列车”,上车就送纪念大礼包。

他们的这些举措,让我想起2600多年的那个淄博人管仲。在当年,为了吸引其他诸侯国的商人来偏远的齐国做生意,管仲提出“虚车勿索,徒负勿入,以来远人”。他还专门设立了招待各国商人的客舍,每三十里有一处,来一乘车的外商供给本人饭食,来两乘车者供给马的食料,来三乘车者更要供给仆人的饭食。从此,“天下之商贾归齐若流水”。

更让人们乐于看到的是,淄博政府对管制权进行了一次解放。他们允许烧烤摊上街,从而放弃了城管的某些权力;他们动员全体公务员不分岗位、职务,24小时待命,随时接受调动;他们开放全市207家党政机关的大院,免费为游客提供停车场和厕所。人们还看到,淄博的文旅局长为客流超过接待能力而“公开致歉”,市委书记则骑着共享单车亲自巡街检查。

在网上,也流传着当地公务员发出的“官不聊生”的抱怨,而在民众看来,这却是一股许久未见的新气象。当这些举措最终沉淀为制度之后,它或许意味着政府职能改革的某种标本。

任何全民性的狂欢,都基础于参与的成本。在淄博吃烧烤,牛肉一串2.5元,烤生蚝5元,平均一顿下来,人均约50元到75元。有人算了一下,外地游客结伴赶过去,吃住游玩加在一起,两天的花费大约是345元/人。因为各种价格管理得当,迄今没有听到宰客的新闻。

在某种意义上,淄博烧烤正在兑现人们对自由市场的平民式想象:物美价平的商品、畅快淋漓的消费体验、童叟无欺的市场环境、谦卑和气的“小政府”。

于是,数以百万计的人不远百里、千里前去“投票”——整个四月份,有480万人次游客来到淄博。刚刚过去的五一假期,每日游客约20万人次,张店的八大局便民市场更位居全国景区“排队榜单”第一。

在表象上,他们是去吃一顿或几顿烧烤,而在潜意识里,他们是在实现一次放纵和表达,参与一场民主化的小试验。这本是极其卑微的目标,而在当今的中国却又是那么的珍贵。

你永远不能低估民众的沉默和“用脚投票”。民智已开的今天,任何口号或宣示,都抵不上一顿自由的烧烤。人们并不需要滥情的“父爱”,而只渴望平等,人们对权力的认同,从来建立在“人不我欺”的共同价值观上。

很多年后回望,淄博烧烤的火爆是如此的荒诞,但在“此时此刻”,却是2023年中国的全部真实。

reference:

  1. 如何看待吴晓波的文章“淄博烧烤的隐喻”?
  2. 淄博烧烤为什么突然火了?淄博为何能凭借烧烤「出圈」?
  3. anti-blocked link
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