Chinese New Year Hiatus – Offline until Feb. 8

It’s Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, and – doing like much of East Asia – I’m going offline for a few days. In search of a suitable image to celebrate this unplugging, I’ve settled on the Prosperity Burger and the Prosperity McFizz, the Chinese New Year-themed offerings at McDonald’s Malaysia. Think of them, my dear American readers, as Shamrock Shakes for the SE Asian set.

For those in search of rabbits, I encourage a visit to Cat Meng’s 101 Chinese New Year Rabbits post (related, in part, to my much-maligned 141 Shanghai Christmas Trees). She’s got that beat covered, and well.

And finally, a quick note on Ambassador Jon Huntsman and his decision to step down so as to challenge his current boss in the 2012 presidential election. From my perspective, in retrospect, Ambassador/Presidential Candidate Huntsman has been a careful curator of his image in the US press. No surprise, but put differently: has he received anything but fawning coverage from the US press over the course of his tenure in Beijing? A single, even remotely critical story, blog post, mention? Has he really been so perfect? This sort of coverage is assiduously cultivated, believe me, (especially by his disagreeable former press attaché, Susan Stevenson, now the US Consul General in Chiang Mai). Nothing wrong with that, of course: it’s what politicians do. Here’s hoping Obama relieves him of his duties, sooner rather than later.