The wearing of jammies in public: amongst people who have been in the city for less than 15 minutes, no issue has better served as a focal point for passion and vitriol. But what of the people who have been here longer? The so-called “lifers” who have lived in Shanghai for 16, 17 and, in some cases, 18 minutes? These have been eerily silent on the issue, avoiding it in public conversation, referring to the phenomenon only furtively from behind closed doors and in darkened back rooms.
On Sunday, however, paragon of investigative journalism, the AFP, blew the lid off this fucker once and for all with the story, “Daytime pajama wearers spark spat in Shanghai.” Put on the back burner to make way for the piece were the slightly less timely and captivating exposes, “Black Eyed Peas Concert a Terrific Success” and “Shanghai to Add Line 2 to Metro System.”
The bulk of the article concerns a recent, three-month-old study conducted by Shanghai Academy of Social Science sociologist, Yang Xiong. After exhaustive scientific probing, the study has unearthed two strains of people: those who support the wearing of jammies in public and those against it. Other details of the situation remain hazy and unsubstantiated although the AFP article and the study itself can offer this insightful conclusion: some people in Shanghai disagree with other people in Shanghai on this issue.
This shattering deduction has instigated the formation of two diametrically apposed factions: those who feel the practice is “acceptable” and those who find it “unacceptable.” Ever since the publishing of the article, rioting and looting has been prevalent and widespread throughout the city and recently, a wave of jammie on jammie violence amongst the “acceptables” has broken out in noodle houses and Kedi marts across the city. The Zhongshan Park branch of the Carrefour in particular was the scene of a truly vicious series of pillow fights amongst jammie-clad combatants, leaving scores of people annoyed and inconvenienced.
The AFP exclusive has plunged Shanghai into chaos and anarchy with the city on the verge of an all-out civil war. The authorities have declared a police state and harsh restrictions have been imposed on local media. Only time will tell when we will again get to read SH magazine’s daring exposes of coffee makers, the Shanghai Daily’s probing insights into fashion accessories, or That’s Shanghai‘s devastating interviews with professional tennis players we’ve never heard of.
Photo from theshanghaieye.