The Drunken Old Guy

THE DRUNKEN OLD GUY….Our satellite shootdown went like clockwork last night, but questions remain about why we shot down the satellite. The Chinese, needless to say, aren’t buying our story about concerns over the hydrazine fuel tank, and apparently they’ve chosen the following cryptic Confucius-esque phrase to spread the meme that there’s more to this story than the U.S. is letting on:

The drunken old guy’s mind isn’t really on the wine.

According to China Hand over at American Footprints, “By Google’s count, there are 24,300 hits for the Chinese-language search string, ‘The drunken old guy’s mind isnt really on wine + U.S. satellite.’ That is either a sign of the celerity of the China blogosphere’s hive mind or an indication of how quickly a meme can spread when the government controls the Internet, or both.”

Just thought I’d pass this along for amusement value. Any Chinese language readers have anything to add about this?

UPDATE: In comments, Kevin Miller tells us that this is a chengyu, which are idioms widely used in Chinese that have a short backstory. This particular chengyu means that someone has ulterior motives and was inspired by the story of a wine-drinking “tippler” that KM translates as follows:

Tale of Old Tippler’s Pavilion

Chuzhou is embraced by mountains; to its south-west there are ridges upon ridges, of which the forests and valleys are extraordinarily beautiful and charming. The Mount Langya looks not only deep and serene, but also absolutely gorgeous. Walking along the mountain path for a few miles, one can hear the gurgling sound of water — it is nothing but a spring known mythologically as the rock-brewed spring pouring down between two peaks. The path winds through the ridges, and there appears a cozy gazebo perching on the spring — it is none other than the Old Tippler’s Pavilion, of which wonder who was the builder? It was a wise monk who lived in the mountain, of which wonder who entitled the name? It was no one but the prefect himself who offered his own nickname.

Once the prefect drank wine with his guests here and very soon he got a bit tipsy after only several sips. As he was the oldest among them, he was therefore teasing himself “an old tippler”.

A tippler’s delight lay not in wine but in mountains and waters. The delight to enjoy mountains and waters came from the bottom of his heart, and relied on wine as well.

So there you have it.