Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for January, 2015

Sinocidal – The V Girls

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, January 17, 2015

From the Vault

Sinocidal Banner

Note from ML: Some images missing, my apologies

By ChouChou

Lightning crashed to a roll of ear-splitting thunder. As the demonic sparks flashed across the heavens, the hooded figure ran beneath the torrential rain and glanced at the words “SINOCIDAL TOWERS” as the tempest briefly illuminated the otherwise pitch-black sky. Glancing nervously behind him, the trembling figure unlocked the tall wooden doors and pulled them open just as a roar of wind sent a tree branch falling to the ground he had just momentarily been standing on. The great doors of Sinocidal Towers slammed closed with a bang almost as loud as the hammers of Thor being thrown above across the celestial tapestry.

Safe, maybe, at last; the figure ran into the main hall and ripped off the rain-sodden hood that clung to his manic face. Once pulled back, the hood revealed the anxious rolling eyes of a man who truly knew the fear and torture of the world. Darting back and forth, the eyes finally settled on the two gentlemen sat waiting patiently behind a grim metallic desk. Like a joyless moon, a single solitary lamp swung dimly over the sharp desk, casting an eerie luminance over the two waiting men. Slowly putting out his cigarette, the taller of the two figures finally addressed the sudden visitor.

“It is late,” exclaimed PiPi – for it was none other than he. One of the Mighty Sinocidal Ones known throughout the land and upholder of all that is true. In a rough Scottish accent that could make an Argentinean surrender at fifty paces, he continued to address the trembling figure. “Myself and Mr. TaiTai have been waiting for you for some time now. Your absence has been noticeable, ChouChou. What business requires our attention so suddenly and at so late an hour?”

ChouChou, still looking nervously behind himself, limped towards the desk and took a seat. Gone were the young and carefree looks that had once earned him the enviable title of Mr. Qingdao 2005. Instead they had been replaced with a crazed and manic look that strangely seemed to swing between hunger and fear. “I’ve found them!” His voice was the voice of a madman. “I’ve finally found them – and I have proof this time! Now there can be no question of their existence!”

Fingering his lucky rabbit’s head necklace, TaiTai stared coolly at his colleague and smiled slightly. “Found who, ChouChou? You’ve been talking about some mad theory for ages now, but you still haven’t made yourself any clearer.”

ChouChou slammed a large folder onto the desk. “I’ve found THEM! The ones that control everything! At first I thought it was crazy; a mad conspiracy theory for fools and knaves, but the farther I went back the more I saw how true it all was. They’re real, and they’re in control. They’re everywhere!” He leaned forward towards his two friends and whispered in hushed tones. “The V Girls.”

“All it took was some simple research,” ChouChou continued, ecstatic at the chance to finally reveal his secret. “I went through the newspaper archives as far back as I could. This was the first one I found.”

[image missing]

“It’s the Hindenburg disaster,” replied PiPi after glancing at the newspaper for some time. “What does that prove?”

ChouChou sighed. “Look at the girl! She’s making the peace sign! Somehow, these V Girls are involved in every major disaster or upheaval in human history. If something happens, the V Girls are always there: lurking in the background, pulling all the strings. Once I found the first one it was easy. Just look carefully at these photographs. I’m telling you – they’re omnipresent!”

[image missing]

“It goes back even further than this!” ChouChou pulled out even more papers from the folder. “There are records of mysterious Oriental women spotted making the peace sign as far back as the Fall of Rome. We must do something! They’ve already taken LaoLao, and who knows which one of us they’ll come after next. Alert LangLang and try to stop this. Please Brothers – we must do something!”

[image missing]

Breathless and exhausted, ChouChou looked from PiPi to TaiTai and back to PiPi again. Slowly, and with an air of sadness, PiPi and TaiTai both shook their heads.

“I’m sorry ChouChou,” said PiPi, “I’m sure you believe what you have shown us is true, but I’m afraid I can’t believe anything so outlandish. Why not get a good night’s rest and we’ll talk about this again in the morning?”

TaiTai smiled sympathetically. “Come on ChouChou. I’ll even wake you up with a special can of F-Max: The Lightly Sparkling Fish Flavoured Drink from Aquavite.”

ChouChou backed away. “No, no! You must believe me!” he yelled. “The V Girls must be stopped. If you won’t help me – I’ll do it alone, God help me!” Grabbing his folder, ChouChou ran back through the main gate of Sinocidal Towers, as PiPi and TaiTai shook their heads in bewilderment.

ChouChou ran and ran through the pouring rain and the biting wind. He had the proof that the V Girls were slowly taking over, and he would let the whole world know if necessary. However, as ChouChou ran down the winding path that led away from Sinocidal Towers, a great dark shadow began to fall on him from behind…

…A shadow in the shape of the letter V!

THE END.

Or is it? Or is it? Or is it? OR is it?

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I am not Charlie

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, January 15, 2015

150115 I Am Not Charlie
A great many people have recently come out in support of the publication Charlie Hebdo, with the declaration “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I Am Charlie”. That’s fine with me, and I totally understand those sentiments. I share some of them. But MyLaowai is not Charlie; it is MyLaowai.

To put things into sharp focus, it is the policy of Team MyLaowai to support criticism of Islam. And Christianity. And Judaism. And any of the other weird and wonderful ‘beliefs’ people sometimes have.

Also, whenever possible, dictators and elected representatives, the police, the military (including the men and women who serve under arms). Parents are not given a free pass, nor are schoolteachers. Presidents and Kings and Queens and Generals are fair and legitimate targets. In fact, anyone in a position of power or authority can and should be open to criticism.

When you are in a position of power or authority, it is free and open and above all public criticism that helps keep you honest. The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t allow that, nor does Kim Jong-Un, to give a couple of examples. But what about the people who feel offended by criticism, direct or implied? Don’t those people have a right to not be offended?

No. In places where human expression is a value that is valued, if you don’t like what someone is saying, you have a whole slew of options available to you – you can simply not listen, you can make counter-arguments, or you can even try to persuade people to change their minds. And you can certainly harden the fuck up and grow a thicker skin. Hearing things you don’t like is a part of life in any sane society, it can even be educational at times, and the sooner you learn to deal with it in a mature fashion, the better and happier you and your society will be. And if you are in any way a civilised person, you will step in to support the underdog in almost every situation.

Well, what about so-called ‘hate speech’? Should Neo-Nazi’s and Communists and Tea Party spokespeople and anti-abortionists and anti-gay marriage activists and other dribbling idiots be allowed to preach violence at all and sundry? That’s not where we should automatically draw the line, but it is precisely the place where we need to examine where lines might be drawn. You might think that’s an easy one, that preaching violence against a group is clearly wrong, but what about the oppressed peoples of the world who live until the heel of a powerful and dictatorial regime and who have tried unsuccessfully for decades to win their freedom by peaceful dialogue? I wouldn’t draw the line against them, though I’d understand it if you did. A better way to look at it, would be to look at who has power and who does not, and in general terms I think most reasonable folks would say that those without power have a greater right to express themselves against those who do. And what is the difference between saying that you support people who commit violence, and actually committing that violence yourself? A big one. I should very much like Tibet and East Tukestan to be freed, and on this point you may agree or differ. But not many of you would argue that it was morally wrong to free the oppressed peoples of France in 1943, for example. And from this we can see that the exact same lines have been drawn in different places, because they were politically or practically expedient to do so. That is morally wrong, but it is a geopolitical reality that I can’t change.

I wouldn’t want to be the guy who drew up the laws that define precisely where the lines are, though, which is one reason why I’d rather criticise a politician than be one myself. The best I can do is draw my own lines, try to persuade you that they are drawn correctly, and be open to you changing my mind instead. It has happened before.

So what I can, perhaps, change, are my own beliefs, and the beliefs of the people I speak with. I know people who actually believe that the current Emperor of China is a good guy. Wow, I’m as opposed to that point of view as it’s possible to be, but rather than get all hot under the collar, I try to talk them around. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not, but they remain people all the same. I know people who criticise my country. Fine with me – if you say something I disagree with I shall do my best to set you straight, just as I do when someone criticises your country in a manner that I feel is unjustified.

So, my personal line is drawn in a personal position, and that is a position you may share or not. I shan’t burst into tears if yours is different. But I will say this: be very careful when you feel a sense of outrage or wish to support someone out of a sense that is not your own, because that is when you are most likely to overreact and, in so doing, actually reduce the rights of the powerless to free speech.

MyLaowai is not Charlie, because the lines here are drawn differently. We do, however, support Charlie Hebdo’s absolute right to say the things they wish to say, as well as the absolute right of anyone to not agree with them. But not to pick up a gun as a way of winning the argument.

I hope you think about this issue, and think on it long and hard. Not because you should share the view here, but because the better people understand the issues and the more they have thought about their own positions and why they hold them, the less likely they are to pick up that gun themselves, except in extremis.

Thank you. Normal programming will now resume.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Censorship, Democracy | 1 Comment »

History, Gentlemen

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, January 3, 2015

From the Vault

Sinocidal Banner
From ChouChou:
WHEN – ON DECEMBER 31ST 2099 – DICKIE DAVIES is doing a lavish, television spectacular charting the cultural history of the 21st Century and he moves solemnly among the celebrity audience asking “And where were you when you heard the news that Sinocidal was closing..?” you will all doubtless bite your lips as your own memories of the event resurface. You, the masses who only came to China in the first place so that you’d have an excuse to comment on Sinocidal, are changed. Changed forever. I realise that you’re all still in shock from the news. In the coming weeks some of you will try to pick up the pieces of your lives, others will turn to drugs; but I ask you all to see beyond your pain for one moment. Yes, Sinocidal was the highlight of your lives – for more than one person in Qingdao it WAS their lives – but there are those who will lose even more than you will. It’s easy to forget… what was I saying? (Joking to hide the tears, there. British tradition.) It’s easy to forget that Sinocidal is (OR SHOULD THAT BE WAS? Thanatos take me now.) the nipple which succored a very nearly talented team of writers. Okay, one of us disappeared, and the rest of us towards the end just posted when we bloody well felt like it, but we always knew Sinocidal was there; an oasis in the ocean. Imagine your parents suddenly disappeared when you went to university – where would you take your laundry then, eh? Spare a thought then, for the new Sinocidal orphans as I knew them:

PiPi: Where will he rant now? PiPi has “opinionated” written all the way through him like a little stick of Blackpool Rock, and vented and raved and occasionally mentioned something vaguely connected to China. But where will tiny PiPi go now? Yes, yes, he’s sick – but who of us is without fault? Loud and aggressive, PiPi tried so hard to fight against the stereotypical image of a Scot, yet how long now, we wonder, before he descends to a shuffling, drunken itinerant wandering the London Underground like 75% of his nation?

LaoLao: Former teen idol LaoLao turned his back on Sinocidal’s glittering round of showbiz parties to study chemistry. A man driven by altruism, he had dreamt as a small LaoLao of discovering the elusive secret behind the correct temperature water should be drank at. He wrote for Sinocidal purely to gain money off the ad revenue (currently 75 cents) in order to fund his ground-breaking water boiling experiments. LaoLao will be devastated by Sinocidal’s demise not simply for its own sake, but because of its knock-on effects too. Who will fund his research now? What might he have discovered if Sinocidal were still there to throw money at him? How many who might have lived will die for want of the tepid water LaoLao can now never make? What colour are your hands, China? Eh? WHAT COLOUR ARE THEY?

TaiTai: Brave, brave TaiTai. The Dalai Lama of China blogging. Sensitive little TaiTai; childlike elfish face, but the heart of a lion. TaiTai fought for Sinocidal with the fervour of a mother rabbit protecting her kittens. The tragedy is that TaiTai cared TOO much. Always a nervous, highly strung character, fighting Sinocidal’s corner on the Peking Duck, suffering abuse from cruel rabbit torturers, and working well into the night to get LangLang’s posts on time finally took its toll. He had been under the doctor for some time before BJD reincarnate started commenting, but that pushed him completely over the edge. TaiTai still writes brilliant posts in his lucid moments, yet these moments are fewer and fewer, the gaps between them longer and longer. The doctors can do nothing. But this is China so that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

LangLang: One might think that someone with an American accent and a career in English teaching would be stoned to death at Sinocidal’s door. You might think he could do with a proper haircut too. Yet the Lone Wolf was an integral part of the Sinocidal team when “team” actually meant “a bunch of pissed-off expats who occasionally emailed each other”. PiPi’s proselytizing, Proto-Christ LaoLao, elfin TaiTai and my own gentlemanly mien were set off perfectly by the muscle-bound Metallica fan with the secret desire to write about death metal. As a website which always provided a haven for free spirits, it’s fitting that LangLang conducts Sinocidal’s band as she sinks beneath the waves. What will he do next? Well, only time, and most probably his own personal statement, will tell…

ChouChou: Not worth writing about.

Now go outside and do something meaningful for a change, y’all.

Reproduced with the kind permission of at least one member of Sinocidal. More Sinocidal / Yellow Wings posts to follow this year, for the sake of History – MyLaowai

Posted in Sinocidal | Tagged: | 11 Comments »