Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Holy (Falling) Cow Batman!

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, December 27, 2008

When any Empire wants to display its artistic achievements to the world, it’s customary for it to build the Pyramid of Cheops, the Lourve, the British Museum, or something similar. The Chinese Empire is no different, and in 1933 Nanjing, former capital of the Empire and a city with a reputation for warmth and hospitality second only to that of Pyongyang, was chosen for the site. When the awe-inspiring Nanjing Museum opened its doors to a suitably impressed public, the reaction of the world was that of wonder. The Imperial Authorities themselves claim that the Museum “now numbers among its extensive collections some 2,000 first class treasures of national and cultural interest. Should you be fascinated by the long and cultured history of China, then this Museum is a ‘must-see’ for you. Let it be an absolutely indispensable part of your itinerary… Even the most uninitiated of visitors will be left speechless in the presence of such artistic beauty and richness.” Bold claims indeed. Let’s see how it measures up…

As one enters the grounds, the first sight one sees is a collection of sculptures of all the Emperors, including that of the current Emperor, Hu Jintao (insert):

Beyond are two buildings, the first of which is currently host to an artistic celebration of thirty years of Opening Up Under Communist Overlordship. This incredible collection of Art represents the work of every great artist since the Communist Dynasty seized power in 1949. No expense has been spared to exhibit it in all it’s stunning splendour:

The second building is home to what is described as “someone’s work”, which may seem somewhat vague until one considers the fact that if anyone in China had done any work, it would automatically qualify for inclusion in a museum, for the enlightenment and wonder of future generations. Unfortunately, security was very tight and I was not permitted entry to the magnificent structure. I did at first wonder at this, but the tight security all became clear to me as I wandered around outside, and chanced across a detachment of the People’s Liberation Army 2nd Artillery Battalion encamped in the woods nearby:

Overall, I was tremendously impressed at the fact that no stone had been left unturned and no corner left uncut in the Empire’s display of it’s artistic talent and power. They even thought to include a children’s play area, designed by China’s greatest sculptors:

Verdict: Entry to the Nanjing Museum does not require a ticket. Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that entry is free. It is not free at all. It will cost you your soul at the very least. This honestly does represent the very best collection of Art that the Chinese Empire can assemble, and for that reason, it is a clear winner of a Falling Cow Award.

Nanjing Museum: A Tribute To Ineptitude

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33 Responses to “Holy (Falling) Cow Batman!”

  1. Neddy said

    Trying to think pure thoughts, but I am still puzzled: This Emperor Hu, is he riding that animule, or is he humping it? Just asking…

  2. MyLaowai said

    I find, Neddy, that sometimes it’s best not to ask questions in China.

    Besides, what makes you think Hu is the one on top?

  3. Neddy said

    Exactly the point: Is he on the top, or behind?

    Now something off-topic, but too precious to miss: Black and White Cat reports that Chinese Navy is “Harmonizing the Gulf of Aden”

    http://www.blackandwhitecat.org/2008/12/27/harmonizing-the-gulf-of-aden/

    The question is, how is this supposed to work? Somali pirate do not understand Chinese; you can’t play them the song, then arrest them while they are helplessly rolling on the decks, laughing their arses off! Or have I missed something?

  4. Neddy said

    I don’t mean to spam this thread with irrelevant comments, but since I have already introduced the Black & White Cat post, please beer bear with me…

    That B&W Cat piece is just an innocent, wholesome fun. But this “Chinese nationalism and indoctrination 101” thing in Shanghaiist is a pathetic, vile piece of shit:

    “…
    Lead: Earthquakes, shifting back and forth like the positions of Sarkozy, with his dirty tricks, trying to shake the great China
    Lead: Did China retreat?
    All: No. The Shenzhou-7 launched. We are victorious!
    Lead: Pathetic Europe will never stop the insurmountable force of our great dynasty
    All: Just the aftershocks from the earthquake would destroy France!
    …”

    http://shanghaiist.com/2008/12/27/chinese_nationalism_indoctrination.php

  5. justrecently said

    As for the question about Hu is on or behind the animule, let me quote the Imperial Authorities themselves:
    Even the most uninitiated of visitors will be left speechless in the presence of such artistic beauty and richness – see post above.

  6. MyLaowai said

    Lead: Snowstorm, freely falling down to earth, like western values
    Lead: Despair fills the sky, ice covers the earth

    Lead: Did China retreat?
    All: No. The Olympics were a success! We are victorious!
    Lead: Hot blood and iron will of Chinese people, lighten up the dark world like burning the holy flame
    All: The rivers and mountains, ever more colorful and beautiful

    When I tell people in the Real World that Chinese schoolchildren are being taught that Japan will be a province of China by 2020, they think I’m exaggerating. China makes Nazi Germany look like the Boy Scouts by comparison.

    Ah well, I suppose we’re just gonna have to kill them all in their beds tonight, and scrap the original plan of trying to civilise them.

  7. Mate, I just ran into a few of those ‘civilized’ celestial specimens this morning at breakfast in my Bangkok hotel.Shudder!
    For a moment I thought I was back in the zoo.

  8. Chinamatt said

    Looks like a fascinating museum–I’m so happy they could carve such a likeness of Hu. It appears that the falling cow is the only thing not made of stone.

  9. C.A. Yeung said

    Dear Neddy and MyLaowai,

    I’m referring to your comments about that video you find at Shanghaiist. Before you all go flying off the handle, would you care to contemplate the possibility that the video is meant to be a satirical spoof, in a similar spirit to the Onion? And that whoever does the English translation has gotten the wrong end of the stick?

    For more please see my comment at JR’s blog:
    http://justrecently.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/a-piece-of-chinese-patriotic-education/#comment-795

    Having said that, I agree with MyLaowai that China makes Nazi Germany look like the Boy Scouts and I feel like strangling a Chinese student every time he/she tells me that Australia will soon become China’s backyard.

  10. Neddy said

    @C.A.Yeung
    On The Pekig Duck, a commenter, claiming to be the author of the piece, says that there has indeed been a misunderstanding due to poor translation, and offers his apology to any French who may have been offended:

    http://www.pekingduck.org/2008/12/indoctrinating-chinas-children/#comment-77178

    But saying this, he refers only to a particular segment, not to the whole, and makes no hint of any satirical intent. And until that happens, I am still calling it a vile piece shit. As for the video clip, it could be a spoof, maybe, but… For my position, I refer you to JR’s reply to your comment. And for the time being, I still feel free to fly off my handle as I please.

  11. C.A. Yeung said

    Neddy,
    You can fly off your handle anytime. I couldn’t give a damn. For update about this video saga, please visit JR’s.

  12. MyLaowai said

    @C.A. Yeung:

    I have taken your advice and thought about it before replying. I feel that, were this to be in almost any other place on earth, there would be some danger that this was was being either misunderstood or taken out of context.

    However, this isn’t anywhere else on earth, and most days I seriously wonder if it is on earth at all. It cannot be satire, because the Chinese have no concept of satire, and it cannot be irony, as that’s what the Chinese make rice bowls from. Added to that, I know of many, similar, things that are taught in other parts parts of China, as part of the new Patriotic Education (introduced post-Tienanmen massacre), including such lessons as ‘Why Japan Will Be A Chinese Province By 2020’ and ‘Why All Laowai Are Possible Spies’.

    From your post over at Jacaranda: “[the Author] declared her patriotic intention in filming the video. She also condemned the netizens concerned for politicising a totally innocent school event for their own purpose.”

    A totally innocent school event? Yes. It was. And the fact that this kind of language is seen as being a totally innocent thing to teach school kids is what the problem is. That’s the whole point, in a nutshell.

  13. justrecently said

    Let’s all take a scientific approach. Many histories of origin concerning this video are possible, as far as I can tell. What I’m pretty sure about is that the school kids are very serious – and I find it hard to imagine that someone Chinese used them to make fun of their patriotic feelings. Chinese patriotism is there to be instrumentalized – but hardly in such a subversive a way.

  14. Hunxuer said

    Unfortunately it seems N.Z. is already China’s backyard as all the Kiwis (white ones not on the dole, I believe, and not working for Fronterra) seem to be emigrating in droves (many to Oz) and are being replaced just as fast by boatloads of Chinese “students”.

    Yikes!

  15. Neddy said

    Fine with me!
    The last thing I wish to add, are the words of another commenter, also on The Peking Quack, whose sentiments I share:

    “China China über alles
    über alles
    über uns!”

    http://www.pekingduck.org/2008/12/indoctrinating-chinas-children/#comment-77132

    And now I propose that we turn a page, because there are only a few days to go, and the Chairman MaoyLaowai will be expected to deliver a rousing victory speech. But, umm, perhaps not as rousing as was the famous diplomatic post on The Opposite End of China! Have you noticed that that blog got closed to all comments immediately afterwards?

    Cheers

  16. MyLaowai said

    Yes, Neddy, I did notice that he was quick to close off the comments after my wee speech. I assumed it was because he wanted the last word, and I made the ideal proxy.

    And yeah, if I win, I’ll have a speech to rouse the hearts of nations! Seriously, there are a few words I have in mind, but let’s concentrate on winning first, shall we? The gap has closed up 40 votes over Christmas…

  17. Neddy said

    Only 40? I don’t want to accuse you of telling stories, but that does not sound right. I don’t think I would have missed it…

    Anyway, right now, this blog got 482 votes, and the runner-up is 372. That’s a gap of 110. The voting closes on 02/01/2009.

    No, I am not complacent, and I watch it closely. And yes, I understand it’s supposed to be a jinx, announcing a victory before its time. But I have a reason to be confident.

  18. C.A. Yeung said

    MyLaowai,

    1. No offence, but how do you think many Chinese netizens manage to slip through the GWF radar if they haven’t mastered the art of irony and satire? By the way, this is only one of the required skills to survive in the Chinese language blogosphere. If you can read Chinese well enough, you should read some of the comments at the club2.cat898 link. Or else just take my words for it: they are Chinese humour at the very best. But then of course what am I taking about. You don’t believe Chinese people have a sense of humour. Do you?

    2. Do you really believe that the person who puts her hand up and takes one for the team is the real author? I don’t think so. She is probably hired by the owner of the portal to do what needs to be done to “harmonize” the situation.

    3. Sorry for taking up so much space here with something totally unrelated to this blog post. But then I didn’t start this. Isn’t it true, Neddy?

    P.S. My co-blogger Ned Kelly asks me to emphasize here once again that Neddy is not the same person as Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly has a much better command of the German language than Neddy does. Neddy’s German, as demonstrated above, sucks.

  19. Neddy said

    Re comment #16: Correction. Voting will close at the end of 31.12.2008. China time, I presume.

  20. Neddy said

    Just a squeak from me: One, I think MyLaowai has always been aware of the two separate identities. The one who who, for a while, confused Ned with myself, was Justrecently, bless his soul. MyLaowai has known me by my handle since the Sinocidal, way back when. Two, My German does not suck; it is nonexistent. I am not proud of that, but it was not exactly popular in Czechoslovakia when I was in high school. Just like Russian. As for my quote, it was just that (as in copy & paste) from The Peking Quack. Oh, details, details…

  21. justrecently said

    I’m still working on getting a clear picture of who is who. Thought Ned had something to do with Czechoslovakia, too.

  22. MyLaowai said

    I just took a look through the voting scores, and was horrified to discover that this blog has the most votes in any category. Oh, the power… The Power… THE POWER!

    Well hey, what’s the point in having ultimate power, if one doesn’t abuse it from time to time :)

  23. Neddy said

    Was the “The Power of the People” the expression you were looking for?

    This is because even if you got a percentage of repeat voters, they would make a little difference to you unless your ‘first vote’ numbers were high enough to begin with. So rest assured that the ‘people power’ was indeed behind your results, no matter what.

    In a word, your lead is due to two factors: Good blog, and a good campaign. Both necessary. Any elements of possible ‘cheating’ (indeterminable) are grossly overrated, usually by losers.

    Though I must say myself that the voting system was shot, alright.

  24. justrecently said

    Good lucky.

  25. Neddy said

    Evelyday, evelyday!

  26. Neddy said

    Well, voting for the best blog has closed.

    Wo Shi what? (you may have heard of him before) has finished first with 508 points. In second place is chinaSMACK with 395. That’s pretty good, too, I must say – look at the scores of the rest of the herd, which includes some first class blogs!

    I don’t know when they’ll formally announce the results. Until then, relax and enjoy. Here in Sydney it’s already 2009, and I need a drink. I also wish a happy New Year to you all. Cheers!

  27. C.A. Yeung said

    It’s just passed mid night in Perth. Happy New Year to you all from Catherine and Ned.

    A great congratulations to MyLaowai for winning the award. The Panda strategy is very successful. I also hope the Wild Strawberry Generation in Taiwan will be very successful in sending the two unwanted pandas back where they belong.

  28. Neddy said

    @everybody here

    The results are in, officially. Go to
    http://www.chinalyst.net/node/55211
    and see for yourselves. It says there:

    “Best overall China blog for the year 2008 is Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui with 508 votes. Congratulations MyLaoWai!”

    I have three things to say here:
    1. Congratulations!
    2. I told you so!
    3. Where is the promised speech?

  29. justrecently said

    Congratulations. I suggest a youtube speech. And I recommend that for your convenience and safety, you wear a chador and disguise your voice.

  30. Neddy said

    I think an Empire storm trooper’s mask would provide both disguises. And it would also be more appropriate in other ways, and a hint that any resistance is futile…

  31. Mate, congrats for winning the China Blog Award! Well done, and well deserved. I will strike down at your place tomorrow for a well needed drink. I myself am still on hunger strike, having been spoiled with Thai food for 9 days. Oh the horror, when you come back here.
    Well, ’nuff said. I grit my teeth and promise myself I will hold out till the next Japan trip this month. :)

  32. […] Holy (Falling) Cow Batman is actually a review of the Nanjing Museum, which I found interesting and humorous.  Great voice, great story, great pictures.  A great blog post. […]

  33. MyLaowai said

    Thank you, all of you.

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