China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

A Reflection of China


Totally Awesome Picture of the Week 23


This image portrays a “barbarous” man (Chinese ba nationality) clutching a spear and peering curiously from his shelter of twigs. Obvious within the poetic subtleties is China’s heed to its minorities and the care China has taken to preserve the culture and lifestyle of its indigenous people.

The recent outcry of Chinese nationalism, a response to Western humanitarian concerns, has demonstrated a great deal to further this notion of a nurturing nation.

Though the majority of Chinese people have never read a book printed outside the country, let alone traveled abroad, they have somehow developed relevant world views. The second most likely process of obtaining this particular expertise is years and years of memorizing government issued textbooks (the first being magic).

The inherent skepticism of Western culture leads to an instinctive moral questioning and an embrace of maxims like Descartes’s popular, “I think therefore I am.” Chinese people, who have never before heard of Descartes, instinctively know to hate him because he’s French and follow a similar motto without knowing why, “I’m told therefore I am.”

Returning to the picture above, this man’s job is to press air out through his vocal chords while rapidly placing his hand over his mouth and then removing it. He also must sport his leopard print polar fleece Fred Flintstone smock, rhythmically tap his spear on the floor of his hut, and smile for tourists. It seems that this job is rather lacking compared to the fire dancing further up the bone laden path. That young man’s torso covered in burn scars screamed “Thank you China!”

Though the relevance can be questioned, it seems that a direct correlation exists between this Totally Awesome Picture and the patriotic fervor of the people of this great nation. This area, though popular with domestic tourism due to its close proximity to the world’s largest dam, is relatively unvisited by foreigners. Locally, this is the theme park to beat all theme parks. Anyone who thinks that exploitation of Native people in this blatantly stereotypical fashion is ethical would without a doubt have difficulty finding faults in the governments’ policies concerning Tibet and Darfur.

Telling Chinese people that something their country is doing lacks virtue is like telling someone that up is really down. Maybe even like telling someone that up is really purple. It seems like utter and so-basic-as-to-be-offensive nonsense.

So, when you are through being absurd and protesting the current hot issues, maybe you can pick up the issue of the “barbarous” clan’s savage routine drawing twice as much money and attention as the competing “sophisticous” clan’s carefully choreographed etiquette act. Maybe if Chinese people are encouraged to have interest in civilized entertainment some of the witnessed qualities will be absorbed. Maybe this would solve everything. Maybe.

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