According to ESWN, lots of Chinese people apparently would. Lu Jiali, reportedly the mistress of some of Shanghai’s highest officials (many of whom are now embroiled in a scandal), is an attractive woman (88% of netizens polled agree!). Photos of her (after the jump) have been circulating the internet recently, which led to an opinion poll: “If you were a government official, would you break the law for the sake of Lu Jiali?”
55% of respondents indicated that yes, they would break the law for her. 30% said they wouldn’t, and 15% said they weren’t sure. ESWN reports one netizen commented: “When I saw the results, I am speechless — are there any good men left in the world?” It is a bit distressing, on the other hand, is anyone really surprised? Certainly, it seems like if officials themselves were polled, an awful lot of them would say yes, too. Looking at the original article, another netizen engaged in some in-depth analysis of the photographs’ symbolism:
“The background shows a derelict fishing boat, and a submerged reef. How creative, the metaphorical meaning is that these officials are just a boat used to “catch fish” which will collide with the reef. But in the end, she will make it ashore. You can look at the pictures and see it, this woman is really remarkable.” Another netizen wrote: “Being an official is really great, one can enjoy this kind of top-class beauty!”
Others felt the news was nothing to write home about: “Almost everyone knows officials have mistresses,” one netizen wrote; apparently 94% of those polled felt that officials having mistresses was “extremely common.”
The Useless Tree has also picked up the story, pointing out that Confucius had something to say about all this: “It is a rare man who would turn his mind to virtue when he could follow love instead.” (Analects 15.13) and “The Master said: “I’ve never seen anyone for whom loving Integrity is like loving a beautiful woman.” (Analects 9.8)
Also of interest today: Mutant Palm has posted a page containing links to several archives of historical Chinese photos, and plans to continue updating it as new archives become available. Historians, start your engines!