Every few years, Beijing’s government lashes out against billboards that advertise an ostentatious lifestyle. These exhortations are largely ignored, which preserves an endless source of involuntary humor.
Meanwhile in Nanjing, “scores of amazed onlookers flocked to a busy shopping street” to see a gold plated Infiniti G37 convertible that had pulled up curbside. “Unfortunately for the owners, police soon flocked to the scene as well,” reports the Daily Mail.
First, Nanjing’s finest wanted to issue a ticket for ostentatious illegal parking to a well-dressed couple that emerged from the car. Then, the police noticed the lack of a necessary ingredient for a ticket: A license plate. The golden car was not registered. A tow truck made its way through scores of reporters that conveniently were on hand, and the golden car was under arrest. Another win in the strike hard campaign against brazen bawdy bling.
However, two days later, the golden Infiniti was not in the impound lot, but on display in a jewelery store in Nanjing. It also was featured prominently in state-owned Xinhua, with its own gallery, and the note that “it took five artizens (sic) over four months to plate gold on the Infiniti car.” Don’t worry, can’t bring luxury down in China.
What it needs is taste. That will come next year. Or after I have disposed of the faux Rococo fixtures that were left behind by the previous owner of my apartment.
The fine art of media stunts however is already mastered with aplomb.