It Lengthens, It Strengthens, It’s Olympic!

Collector’s Edition Fuwa Condoms:

Fuwas ‘Beibei,’ ‘Jingjing,’ ‘Huanhuan,’ ‘Yingying,’ and ‘Nini’ are the new darlings of the Olympics! The Fuwas represent the hopes and dreams of the Chinese people. Their forms and headwear symbolize their relationships with the ocean, the forest, fire, land, and sky, and their design makes use of traditional Chinese artistic elements to better display China’s splendid cultural wealth. Fuwa condoms are produced by the Shenzhen Shishangtang Health Products Corporation.

2008 Olympic Wiaggra:

Olympic Wiaggra is the result of years of clinical testing. It uses internationally leading nanometer compound extraction technology to combine natural horticultural and animal elements in a finely powdered form, rather than sildenafl and other compounds…Promoting rejuvenation, increases in length, girth, and function, the medicine is effective for a period of 180 hours and will lead to no side effects, dependencies, facial flushing, increased heart rate, severe headaches, heart disease, increased blood pressure, or diabetes. May be taken in conjunction with alcohol with no deleterious effects.
Best used by:
1. Individuals with short or small penises, underdeveloped genitalia, persons of middle or advanced age experiencing weakness or depletion of the kidney humors, penile shrinkage, premature ejaculation or decreased sexual urge,
2. Persons seeking to improve their quality of life, better themselves, and increase stamina;
3. Persons dissatisfied with their current penis who are seeking to lengthen it; individuals experiencing waist and back pain, weakness of the extremities, insomnia or narcolepsy.

tr. note: The company that makes Viagra got a trademark for the product name in Chinese, “Wan’aike,” but neglected to trademark the name everybody actually uses, “Weige.” This allows knock-off makers to effectively sell their products as Viagra, with no legal repercussions.

Star of the Olympics:

Zhongle imports and refines American ingredients to produce Star of the Olympics, which promotes circulation of the male vital force, replenishes the kidney, and need only be taken once every seven days. (Under no circumstances should it be taken more often, as the user’s sexual partner is likely to experience extreme fatigue.) This product has absolutely no side effects. Protracted use can promote growth in penlie length and girth and the effective resolution of impotence and premature ejaculation.
32 capsules.
Usage instructions: 20 minutes before the commencement of bedroom affairs, take one capsule. Pill will be most effective one hour afterwards.

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Li Yinhe to hang up her spurs?

Li Yinhe (in China? Use this), the noted sexologist and professor at CASS (the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) who’s always in the news around this time of year for trying to draft a bill to legalize gay marriage and push it through the CPPCC, just posted an update on her blog entitled “My Latest Decision.”

A quick and dirty translation — the original Chinese is here and mirrored here:

I’ve had conflicting feelings lately. People have long criticized cynicism — a few years ago an overseas free thinker (Chinese) whom I respect very much criticized the growing cynicism among Chinese intellectuals. Unfortunately, in China, there are times when cynicism is the only choice we have. And it’s the choice I’m facing now: higher-ups [at CASS], under pressure from “people who aren’t Average Joes,” would like me to shut up. Actually, the higher-ups don’t think there’s anything politically sensitive about my choice of topic — the pressure isn’t coming from the government (if it were, [CASS] would have folded long ago), but even if I am just talking about things that don’t have any political sensitivity attached, they’re still about to fold under the pressure from outside. So starting now, there will be a while – maybe the rest of my life – where I’ve decided:

1, to accept as few press interviews as possible.
2, to publish as few papers related to sex as possible.

I want to start enjoying my life. I don’t want to uphold any more of my social responsibility, because it’s interfering with my life, and it’s causing pressure on my higher-ups. They’re good people, and even if I think that cynicism is bad and wrong, perhaps it’s the only way.

Gay marriage is not something that our country can accept at this stage of its cultural development. History will change when it must. And perhaps I will only be able to be a bystander when the change comes, rather than a participant.

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They’d None of Them Be Missed’

A couple of friends and I were chatting about Gilbert and Sullivan over the weekend, and I thought of Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko’s song “I’ve Got A Little List” from The Mikado.

The original song manages to be racist (“the banjo-serenader and the others of his race”), sexist (“the lady novelist”), and classist (“the lady from the provinces”) all at once, and so people typically come up with more contemporary lyrics when they’re staging a production. (I remember a Canadian version that sentenced to death “all children who do Rubik’s Cubes in 15 seconds flat.”)

Anyway, it occurred to me that somebody really ought to do a China-localized version, and last night my friend Jim and I sat down to come up with one: Good timing, too: today was one of those fine sunny Beijing days – I could almost see the sun! – that just make you want to burst into song. And so, without further ado:


“I’ve Got A Little List”
(with thanks to Jim, and apologies to Messrs. W. S. Gilbert & A. Sullivan)

SONG – LORD HIGH EXECUTIONER with CHORUS OF MEN.

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
        I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
        And who never would be missed – who never would be missed!
There’s the discontent petitioners in Beijing for redress -
And those who can’t pay doctor’s fees but won’t die nonetheless -
The children who can’t go to school because we still charge fees -
The whole ungrateful peasantry; they’re so damned hard to please -
And hot-head bumpkins who on spoiling grabs for land insist -
        They’d none of ‘em be missed – they’d none of ‘em be missed!

CHORUS:
        He’s got ‘em on the list – he’s got em on the list;
                And they’ll none of ‘em be missed – they’ll none of ‘em be missed.

There’s the ones who cast aspersions on the glory of the race -
        (The upstart journalist? I’ve got him on the list!)
They’re sucking up to foreigners and making us lose face,
        They never would be missed – they never would be missed!
Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
And the lady from the provinces, who reads unfiltered sites,
And who doesn’t know from voting but would rather like some rights,
And that singular anomaly, the labor activist -
        I don’t think he’d be missed – I’m sure he’d not he missed!

CHORUS:
        He’s got him on the list – he’s got him on the list;
                And I don’t think he’ll be missed – I’m sure he’ll not be missed!

And those nasty F*lun Gong’ers who are always on your tits
        Like an irritating cyst – I’ve got them on the list!
As long as they don’t burn themselves, we’ll sell them off for bits -
        They’d none of ‘em be missed – they’d none of ‘em be missed.
And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as – What d’ye call him – Thing’em-bob, and likewise – Never-mind,
And ‘St-’st-’st-and What’s-his-name, and also You-know-who -
The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.
And if you look in hist’ry books, we’ve took ‘em off the list -
        We did it very carefully-not one of them was missed!

CHORUS:
        You may put ‘em on the list-you may take ‘em off the list;
        And they’ll none of ‘em be missed-they’ll none of ‘em be missed!

(Crossposted to bokane.org)
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Would-be hippies met with puzzlement, detentions

This Reuters story — “China: Free Hugs in the Cities” — is the best thing I’ve read all day. There’s apparently a YouTube-based campaign to provide free hugs to everyone you see – one of those well-intentioned but sorely misguided stunts that your dippier classmates pulled in high school, it seems to me – and some Chinese YouTube users decided to get in on the action.

From the Reuters article:

In the ancient capital of Xi’an, home to the terracotta warriors, no more than 20 people, mostly children, accepted the free hugs over two hours. “Passers-by showed interest and curiosity, stopped and asked, but most of them walked away after hearing the explanation,” The New China News Agency said. In Beijing, the police moved in and took four huggers on one of the city’s most popular shopping streets away for questioning.

It strikes me that Balloon Gong protesters would be way more effective if they ran around hugging people after they set themselves on fire.

Update: Translated from the Chinese media’s account of events:

At approximately 2:30, as tourists crowded around the “Hug Brigade” looking on curiously and asking questions, a police car pulled up. This reporter saw a police officer flanked by several men wearing security guard uniforms get out of the car, confiscate the signs that the young people had been holding, and lead away four people. One of the security guards was wearing an armband that read “Wangfujing Gen’l Peace Management.”

Ms. Xu, a member of the “Hug Brigade,” said that she had only been there for five minutes, and had never imagined that the hugging would end this way. Ms. Xu and her five year-old daughter had prepared a cardboard sign reading “Hug Brigade.” After Ms. Xu’s daughter saw the police coming, she kept asking her mother, “What’s going on?”

Ms. Xu says that she met the other members of the Hug Brigade online. All of them had seen pictures and video of the Changsha Hug Brigade’s activities, and were moved to try holding a hug-in on the streets of Beijing. This was their first. Their aim was to promote caring for others, and to encourage people to “reject coldness.” They never thought they would get the attention of the police.

…Following the success of the Changsha Hug Brigade’s hug-in, Beijing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Tianjin established local chapters of the Hug Brigade. Members met each other over the internet with the common goal of “making people who’d just brush past you in the street without a second thought…start smiling at people they don’t even know.”

Greg at Sinobling has got a good writeup of the whole thing. Excerpt:

These young rapscallions tore mercilessly through the streets of Beijing, Xi’an, and Changsha brandishing signs stating, “Free Hugs,” “refuse to be apathetic,” “care from strangers,” and say ‘no’ to giving the cold shoulder.” You see the picture above. They look Chinese but they couldn’t possibly be Chinese. If they were they’d know that being apathetic and giving people the cold shoulder is the 5,000 year old ethos that has made this proud nation a collective of 1.4 billion wary, humorless killjoys. I once watched a guy pass out from heat exhaustion in the dead of summer in Hangzhou. He laid on that searing pavement for over an hour and a half before an ambulance happened to drive by and pick him up. He cooked like an egg on that street and died before he got to the hospital. Sure, I could have called the authorities but that wouldn’t have been very Chinese of me now would it? And as a guest in this country I respect their way of life, so as much as I wanted to call I couldn’t affront my host nation and care for another human being. Something these young punks need to be reminded of the next time they hit the streets looking to make people feel better. Nothing a few months in a certain prison in Qinghai I know of won’t cure.

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Suffer the little children…

(an inane inaugural post from Brendan)

I used to think that after years of watching Japanese horror movies and using Chinese squat toilets, I was prepared for anything, no matter how horrific. Then I saw this in a children’s playground near my office:

In Communist China, hamburger eats you. Happy Hallowe’en!

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