The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Pointless act of the week

Why do people do these things?

It's Friday, the day of pop psychology, of searching questions.

What compels a man, I ask you, to make a 2,162-metre-long wedding dress for his bride-to-be? The Guinness Book of Records, is the short answer. But there's more to it than that, isn't there? Was Zhao Peng, the dressmaking groom, neglected in childhood; did he suffer a wedding-dress-related trauma in his teens; did he watch American Beauty too many times (Peng pinned 9,999 red roses on to the train of the dress)? I don't know.

I do know that Xinhua definitely walks away with the Quote of the Week trophy. It has two absolute corkers.

First, from the groom himself:

"I do not want a cliché wedding parade or banquet, nor can I afford the extravagance of a hot balloon wedding."

And then his mother:

"It is a waste of money in my opinion."

Oh, mothers! Must they crush our dreams? Your son opted for the giant wedding dress, not the expensive hot balloon option - you should be grateful. (A hot balloon wedding? I know he means hot-air balloon, but I'm just imagining lots of little party balloons, strangely warmed.) Anyway, on reflection, I'm on Peng's side. He's romantic with a capital R. He knows a gesture when he sees one. It might be utterly pointless, but hell, everything's pointless once you start thinking like that. Ah, Friday, it gets me every time.




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