The global economy is still stuck in the doldrums and Niuniu is always bumping into people who are out of work. While on holiday in America, Niuniu stayed at a friend's house in Silicon Valley. Each morning, people along the street greeted each other before starting their domestic chores. They had lost their jobs. The sad reality is that hard work and kindness are simply not enough for survival, and these noble qualities no longer gain the respect they deserve. Consequently, many people have been creative when it comes to making money. Recently, two of Niuniu's former acquaintances have put their creative thinking into action. Stacy sued her employer for sexual harassment. She has just been awarded US$2 million (HK$15.6 million) after winning the lawsuit. Because the case will be appealed, it might take her a few years to collect the money. Nevertheless, she is ready to retire. Irish-American Tom, Niuniu's ex-flatmate, is suing his company for racial discrimination. He's confident he'll get the US$3 million he's asking for. If not, he'll find other ways to sue. Making money out of lawsuits is creative and can be easy. Win one or two and you could retire. Although it sounds creative and easy, suing someone is a game plan that does not work for most people who still have to put up with their routine drudgery and the bad temperament of their bosses. If a person can make money by suing people in America, what about in China, a country that is not as wealthy as America and with less lawyers? How can a person make easy money here? The Chichi Entertainment Company, which Niuniu's friend Beibei chairs, has recently signed up a 21-year-old singer named Beijing Doll. She apparently has the answer: it's easier to stand out in a relatively conformist society such as China. Once you stand out, you get attention. Once you get attention, you get money. After all, it's all about competing for attention in an information-explosive time. But how do you get attention? Simple - by placing a few hot news items, tailored by a savvy public relations representative into selected media, for the starving-for-scandal public to read and discuss. Sales of Beijing Doll's first CD is doing just so-so after release. The first thing the young singer does to change the situation is wear an artificial mole on the corner of her mouth and wear her undergarment inside out. She knows that China needs a Madonna! Not only a Madonna, but also a Monica Lewinski. While on tour promoting her CD, she invited a famous movie star to her hotel room, and later claimed he tried to take advantage of her. The movie star fiercely defends himself, saying that her allegation is bogus. Beijing Doll's scandal appears on page one in newspapers, big and small, for weeks. Beijing Doll becomes a celebrity just like Lewinski. Reporters and entertainment columnists congregate in hotel lobbies and concert venues, trying to get a face-to-face interview with her. Beijing Doll is aware of the notoriety of some media that follow her like a pack of dogs. When she is interviewed by some of the bigger newspapers and TV stations, she claims that what happened between her and the movie star was simply misrepresented by irresponsible reporters. Using big journalists to attack smaller journalists, she has gained free publicity, which generates sales for her album. Still, many are annoyed by Beijing Doll's shameless manipulation of the media. But she doesn't care. She tells Beibei, 'China is at the stage of laughing at the poor, but not at whores. I'm just trying to get ahead. That's all!' Beibei thinks to herself that sex and scandal are still more important than real news and social development. She wonders if society is really that shallow. But that thought passes in a fleeting second as she probes the sensational singer searching for an angle to keep her in the news. Fifteen minutes of fame can always be followed by another media campaign designed to re-capture audiences. After all, Beijing Doll sacrificed her reputation to make money not just for herself, but for Beibei as well.