China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

Let the Street Cleaners do Their Job

Totally Awesome Picture of the Week 39

“Hello! Where you from? USA? Hello! USA do very well. Number two! USA number 2! China number 1! Many, many gold medal. Many many! China win Olympic Games! Go China! USA number 2 in Olympic Games. USA do very good! China maybe have a little more people so USA very good in number 2!”


“China win! China most gold! USA number 2 most gold! China win! We win!”

We win?

“China win! China win Olympic games! Maybe USA more medal but China more gold! We win!”

I’m from Canada.*

“Canada? Oh. Canada lose.”

Thus it was explained by friendly university students on Nanjing Lu in Shanghai.

Now that we know the Olympics as a whole are an entity that can be won and lost – a competition where achievements in individual events should not be counted if they were not celebrated with gold – the enthusiasm of the Chinese people makes a lot more sense. They absolutely could not afford to lose the Olympics on home soil. A defeat in the games would be akin to one in war. Calling on their ancestors, they did go higher, stronger, swifter, etc. and now, as the rigor mortis passes and the games, though won, are gone, the rhetorical slogan “One World, One Dream,” printed everywhere in English seems little more than an attempt to mock the foreigners who are the only ones who can actually read it.

The picture above, like the Olympic slogan, has had more than its fair share of time in the spotlight. For three weeks it sat as the header for our blog. However, unlike the empty words of the slogan, this picture teems, unbelievably ripe with appropriateness and all-round importance, which is why it is totally awesome.

Arms tired from hours of intense flag-waving as the torch relay plowed through Yichang late last spring, people couldn’t drop their flags to the busy sidewalks fast enough. They were ready to move on, looking forward to their baijiu lunches and beyond. It was inspiring, really, so natural a response that it took a foreigner with a dirty-lensed point and shoot to even recognize this transformation was taking place. And so, China, we show you now little more than a mirror, in hopes that it is all you need to move on.
*Not really from Canada.

One Response to “Let the Street Cleaners do Their Job”

  1. Josh says:


    I completely agree on all fronts. The notion that the Olympics can be won or lost is ridiculous and is the very reason why the IOC refuses to rank nations.

    Unlike you, though, I am American and my country is just as guilty of ranking itself as #1. I don’t think most Americans actually realize they do it, but when Chinese people do the same “We won the most golds!” to me, I can’t help but hang my head knowing both countries are equally pathetic.

Leave a Reply