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 attachĂ©, 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.