On our China Channel, Eli Bildner posted an eloquent appreciation of Henry Winter, an American who had made a big impression in China before his death last year, from a cerebral hemorrhage, at age 43. I mention it now for these reasons:
- To encourage you to read it. I never met Henry Winter, but I feel as if I know him thanks to this essay. And, as you will see, Bildner is writing about much more.
- To point you to two items of context about Win in China, the idealistic/crazy game show on Chinese TV that made Henry Winter famous there. One is my article on the show's early days back in 2007; the other is an item about Ole Schell's documentary film on the program.
- To embed a clip of one famous moment from the show, which Bildner describes. This is when Henry Winter exchanges quick repartee, all in Mandarin, with the judges on this Chinese reality-TV show. Eli Bildner describes one of the exchanges:
In a question-and-answer session following Henry's pitch, one of the panel's three judges, a software billionaire named Shi Zhuyu, asks Henry whether he is just a "floral piece" for his company. At first, Henry looks confused, and the show's host -- thinking that perhaps Henry had become lost in the rapid-fire Mandarin -- interjects to clarify:
"Are you just one of those good-looking but useless CEOs?" she asks.
"I got it the first time," Henry replies with a grin. "I was just waiting for him to ask a bit more tactfully."
You can see that exchange starting shortly after time 3:00 of the short clip below. His "bit more tactfully" zinger, and the laughing reply by its target and the Chinese audience, is around time 3:35. Even if you don't understand a word of it you will enjoy the personal dynamics that need no interpretation, including the pose Henry Winter strikes around time 3:18.
I'm sorry never to have met Henry Winter, and am glad for Bildner's effort to see that he is remembered.