Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for June, 2009

Traditional Values

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, June 26, 2009

090626 tradition

Posted in China | 46 Comments »

What Kind Of Business Person Are You?

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If you are in the midst of a global economic recession and have lost between sixty and eighty percent of your orders, how you react says a lot about the kind of person you are.

If you react by being extremely nice to your remaining customers, cutting your costs and margins in order to remain competitive, and doing everything you can to help the customers you have left, then you are a normal business person doing the right thing. There’s every chance that your customers will repay you with increased loyalty and larger orders when things get better.

If you react by screwing what few customers you have left as hard as possible by increasing your margins in order to make up for the lost profits of the other eighty percent, being as uncommunicative and rude as possible, and in general acting an even larger arsehole than ever before, then you are Chinese. You don’t know the meaning of loyalty, so let’s just end this right here.

Posted in China | 25 Comments »

June 4th Etc

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I didn’t write a post to commemorate anything last week. I didn’t even feel any need to do so, as there were apparently more than enough other people out there who were more than eager to do the job for me. I only wish a few of them hadn’t been talking out of their arses.

It seemed to me, as a reader who also just happens to know a little about China, that most writers felt June 4th was a good day either to remember how pro-democracy protesters were gunned down in Beijing, or to use it as an excuse to say how bad the United States is for doing business with Saudi Arabia etc and that it’s pretty much the same thing as what the folks at Zhongnanhai did in 1989. I’m not up for a naming of the names here, but certain bloggers have been crossed off my Christmas card list for that last part. In related news, I’d just like to say that Dan Harris is a complete twat.

What happened in Beijing twenty years ago was an utterly despicable act by an utterly despicable group of thugs and murderers, and there is no way that it can ever be forgiven or casually swept under the carpet. That said, however, it isn’t the savage butchery of the Chinese Communist Party that really gets my goat, not by a long shot.

Mrs MyLaowai knows a thing or two about what was happening throughout China in 1989. She should: she was here. As a member of the proletariat and one of the masses, she has never fallen into the group of journalists and ‘experts’ who have the most to say on the issue, but be under no misapprehension at all – she was very well aware of exactly what was going on.

So, what was going on? Well, to start with, it wasn’t about a bunch of students who wanted democracy. Or Democracy, either, for the benefit of those of you who like to see the word capitalised. In truth, it wasn’t even really about the students who were in Beijing. Sure, a lot of students were demonstrating in Beijing, and a great many of them had travelled from their hometowns across China to do so, but democracy was a very tiny part of what it was all about. In general, most of them merely wanted to ask their ‘government’ to be a little more open and accountable to the people they claimed to represent. And it was a feeling that was widespread across the entire nation, not to mention the occupied territories. The students in Tienanmen Square were merely the obvious, TV-friendly face of a broadly-based, widespread, grass-roots wave of feeling that cut right across Chinese society, and which generally ignored class and status divisions. Even members of the Army and the Party itself claimed to stand with the students, in spirit if not in body. And it wasn’t just the students in Beijing, either: it was the students in every city and many towns in China. It was fire-fighters (who in China are also members of the Army), it was bus drivers, housewives, teachers, police officers, factory workers, you name it. The entire country had the feel of a holiday or festival. No, this wasn’t a few radical students looking to overthrow the government, it was the vast bulk of the population asking if it would be alright, please sir, to have just a little genuine representation.

We all know how that turned out.

At least, we all know how that turned out in Beijing. What virtually everyone forgets (neglects?) to mention is that the next day, June 5th 1989, the broad support had completely evaporated, and the subject made taboo. And it wasn’t the Party who did that, it was the people themselves. Virtually overnight the entire nation changed sides, switched allegiance, and sold out those who had stood up on their behalf. Ask anyone in China about the events of June, and not one person will claim to know anything about it. Mind you, ask anyone in China about the Cultural Revolution, and they will all say it was a difficult time but they are glad it didn’t involve them, despite the fact that for anyone over forty years of age, it involved them in the same way that the Nazi’s were involved in the deaths of six million Jews.

The Chinese have a selective memory for these things, and they are very happy with that. It allows them to absolve themselves of guilt, to ignore the consequences of their actions, to escape from the thought that they should have done something to help. It explains why large-scale organ harvesting continues to this day, and it permits the continued existence of Laogai slave labour camps that are as bad as anything Stalin dreamed up. There are so many injustices in China, so many abominations, so many abhorrent and disgraceful acts that have never been acknowledged, never put right, and for which no one has ever been held accountable, that some days I just honestly despair for the entire human race. But they all continue to exist for the simple reason that the Chinese people themselves are okay with it all. After all, why would you take any risks to help someone else? That’s something that only a foolish, charitable, Westerner would do, right?

Few people in China ever seem to help anyone else, no one ever seems to take any responsibility for anything, and almost nobody ever seems to care about anything that doesn’t hold an immediate benefit for themselves. There was a hue and cry last year when an earthquake knocked down some schools, but today it’s all forgotten, especially the part about how it was the Party-approved contractors who used substandard materials and methods to build those schools, whilst ensuring that the government buildings were built to spec. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of babies were made ill (and many died) when poisoned milk was sold, and nothing was done because the Party wanted their Olympics to go off without a hitch – where are the patriotic citizens today? They certainly haven’t all been shot. And what of the bus that burst into flames a week or so ago in Chengdu, burning to death most of the passengers? I watched video that was taken of the fire, from the moment smoke was seen to the awful end. Here’s what I saw: Not one person trying to help. Not one person doing anything at all to help a busload of human beings burning to death. Not one person doing anything at all.

It makes me sick.

So by all means punish the Chinese Communist Party with meaningless bans on weapon sales. Personally, I don’t see how anything the civilised world has done has ever had the smallest positive effect on the basic nature of the vast majority of the Chinese people. They may have better clothes and taller buildings and proper roads and television sets now, but China remains today what it has been ever since Qin Shi Huangdi took the reins: a savage cultural wasteland largely populated by selfish ne’er-do-wells who are utterly lacking in even the most basic of human virtues. To hell with ’em. And to hell with anyone who claims otherwise.

[/rant]

Posted in China, Human Rights | 120 Comments »

LangLang Phone Home

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This is a public service announcement for LangLang, of Sinocidal fame.

LangLang, you haven’t called home in over two months, and your family is worried about you. Hell man, you didn’t even phone your poor mother on Mother’s Day. Sheesh. (I didn’t call home either, but they’d be worried if I had).

If you are not LangLang, but happen to know where he may be found, please give him a prod.

MyLaowai – saving lost kittens and delinquent sons since 2007.

Posted in China | 7 Comments »

International Children’s Day

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, June 1, 2009

June First, and the day when the entire (Communist) world celebrates International Children’s Day. Personally, I’m not against the idea of having a day for children, though really I sort of figure that every day ought to be Children’s Day, in the same way that every day ought to be Don’t Torture People Day or Let’s Not Imprison Our Political Dissidents Day.

I was waiting for a friend this morning, and as luck would have it, our meeting point was outside of a primary school. I was therefore in the correct location to hear the following come over the school’s Public Address System:

“Get ready! We must fight for Communism! Get ready!”

There then followed a disgusting sermon on the values of Communism and victory over foreigners.

This was, remember, coming from the PA system of a primary school.

Now, there’s probably more than a few people out there in the (civilised) world who are a bit lost for words at this, so for you I have this explanation: Children’s Day is the day when the Chinese Communist Party hold their annual induction into the Young Pioneers of China, a mass youth organisation that falls under the direct control of the Party. The purpose of this organisation is to indoctrinate the youth of the nation as early as possible, and instil in their tender minds the correct hatred of anything that isn’t Han Chinese. They renamed themselves the Little Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, which sums it up rather well. The exact number of children who are members is not currently known, but there were 130 million of them back in 2002.

The Young Pioneers have their own flag (which is red, symbolizing the victory of the Revolution. There is a  five-pointed star in the middle symbolising the leadership of the Communist Party, while the torch above the star symbolises brightness down the path of communism), and their own uniform, which consists of a red scarf. Young Pioneers are in fact often referred to simply as ‘Red Scarves’.

The Investiture Ceremony consists of new members having their scarves tied for them by existing members. Children wearing red scarves are a common sight in China.

The Young Pioneers Constitution explains that the red of the scarf comes from the blood sacrificed by martyrs of the Revolution, and that all members should therefore wear the scarf with reverence. Lovely.

This is the slogan: “Be prepared, to struggle for the cause of Communism!”

And this is their pledge: “I am a member of the Young Pioneers of China. Under the Pioneers Flag I promise that: I love the Communist Party of China, I love the motherland, I love the people; I will study well and keep myself fit, to prepare for contributing my effort to the cause of communism.”

But best of all is their song:

We are the heirs of communism,
Inheriting the glorious tradition of the forebearers of the Revolution;
Love the motherland and the people,
While the crimson red scarf flutters at our chest.
We do not fear hardship, nor the enemy,
Studying hard and struggling with resolve;
Towards victory, courageously advance,
Towards victory, courageously advance,
Towards victory, courageously advance;
We are the heirs of communism.

We are the heirs of communism,
Along the glorious path of the forebearers of the Revolution;
Love the motherland and the people,
“Young Pioneer Members” is our proud name.
Ever be prepared, to contribute to the cause,
And to destroy completely the enemy.
For [our] ideal, courageously advance,
For [our] ideal, courageously advance,
For [our] ideal, courageously advance;
We are the heirs of communism.

Entry age to the Young Pioneers is 6, which because of the way in which Chinese count age, means 5.

Before I leave you with that sobering thought, I’d like to pre-empt anyone who wants to make comments like “Oh, but in America the children all know the Oath of Allegiance blah blah blah”. It isn’t the same thing at all, you blithering idiot. One is a (possibly misguided, I admit) attempt to encourage faith in one’s country, the other is filling the mind of innocents with hatred and lies, with a view to destroying any trace of humanity in them.

Happy International Children’s Day.

Posted in China, Festivals et al, Propaganda | 14 Comments »