Pop Quiz: How do you take a documentary that nobody was interested in, by an unknown director, about a woman most people have never heard of, and turn it into the one of the world’s most talked-about movies?
Well, dear reader, for the answer you’ll have to delve deep into the echelons of Chicom Central. When you get there, I suspect you’ll have to push your way past a despairing Hollywood director or two asking for Zhongnanhai’s advice on how best to promote the latest Matthew McConaughey/Jennifer Aniston summer rom-com.
By now most of us are aware that China got its knickers in an industrial-sized twist last month when the Melbourne International Film Festival invited Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer to attend the festival opening and screening of The 10 Conditions of Love, a doco by Jeff Daniels (not the Michigan-based actor) about her life.
Apparently Australia really “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people” by hosting Kadeer (Beijing accuses her of inciting unrest in her home territory, Xinjiang), but then our Antipodean friends would not be the first nation or organization to upset this fair island’s overly sensitive neighbors.
Earlier this month in a piece on the Asia Sentinel Web site, a great article revealed how a Chinese blogger and journalism master’s degree candidate at Peking University, Fang Kecheng (方可成), checked the online archive of the Chicom rag People’s Daily dating back to the founding of the People’s Republic to work out exactly how many times the Chinese had had their feelings hurt.
Fang and friends worked out that China’s feelings had been officially hurt at least 140 times by a minimum of 42 countries and several organizations since Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) bandits came to power in 1949, the most recent example being the Aussies and their dastardly act of showing a 55-minute documentary.
I, for one, am curious how the Chicoms can be so certain that the people have had their feelings trampled on — it’s not as if they regularly ask the proletariat for their opinion on issues of importance. I doubt that a large portion of China’s population have even heard of Kadeer, let alone the documentary, so how they all managed to become emotionally disturbed by its existence is beyond me.
Nevertheless, by making such a Mount Everest out of a mole hill and revealing the extent to which their feelings were hurt, the Chicoms inadvertently provided my pro-independence buddies in Taiwan with plenty of fodder with which to rock the good ship SS Harmonious Cross-Strait Relations.
No sooner had the Melbourne fuss died down than the Kaohsiung Film Festival announced it would show the Kadeer doco “to promote arts and culture” in the city.
Add this to the recent visit by the Dalai “wolf in monk’s clothing” Lama, and therapists in China must be exhausted from working overtime these last few weeks.
Now, Freddy Lim (林昶佐), the singer from “black metal” band Chthonic (warning: Don’t stand directly in front of me when I try to pronounce this word) traveled to Washington this week to personally invite Kadeer — also known as Osama bin Hitler in Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) circles, if Kaohsiung City Councilor May Zai-hsin (梅再興) is to be believed — to Taiwan in December.
Freddy, by the way, is also the head of the delightfully named civic group Guts United Taiwan, which as well as having a cool name is also one of the few organizations whose name is its own acronym.
Feelings have been hurt all right, although Beijing would never admit to it because of the political connotations of such language.
All this comes at a particularly sensitive time for the Chicoms, what with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC closing in. Zhongnanhai is on high alert in the run-up to the parade, busily banning absolutely anything that moves in the hope that Thursday’s parade will pass without a hitch.
So paranoid are officials about security that the BBC tells us the flying of pigeons, kites and even balloons has been banned in the vicinity of the parade.
Overreaction, I hear you say, but have you not heard about the al-Qaeda suicide pigeon squadron? Or the deadly decapitation kites of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement? Or the Tibetan Youth Balloon Bombers?
Standing on your balcony is also a no-no, but then that’s never been a good idea in Beijing — as the son-in-law of Song Rufen (宋汝棼), former vice chair of the Law Committee of the National People’s Congress, found to his detriment when troops killed him while standing on a Beijing balcony during the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
People of Beijing, you have been warned.
Chinese sensitivities are peaking as we speak, so for any mischievous Taiwanese patriots looking to continue “hurting some feelings,” one excellent way would be to sabotage the Taiwan “provincial float” taking part in the parade.
I was thinking of something along the lines of a naked effigy of honorary KMT whatever Lien Chan (連戰), complete with Cultural Revolution dunce’s hat, being fellated by abductee panda Yuan Yuan (圓圓) as an effigy of Invertebrate-in-Chief Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sits atop a Dong Feng missile a la Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove flying over a Taipei wasteland and the splintered ruins of Taipei 101.
Symbolic, or the product of a very disturbed mind? Whatever you think, I’d give my right arm to see Chicom Prez Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) face when that tableaux wheels past the Forbidden City review platform.
But old Johnny can top even that. After several long minutes of painstaking research I believe I have come up with the mother-of-all-ways for any patriotic Taiwanese to “hurt the feelings” of every single one of those oh-so-sensitive scions of the Yellow Emperor. One that would scuttle cross-strait detente once and for all, though I freely admit it could take a bit of organizing.
According to my calculations the most effective way would be to wait until Oct. 1, then invite the pope to travel on a newly purchased Dutch-built, Taiwanese-flagged submarine to the Spratly Islands to take part in an early Republic of China National Day beach party celebration, where His Holiness would ordain several unapproved Chinese bishops nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their work supporting persecuted human rights activists, before a post-ceremony barbeque attended by the Dalai Lama, Rebiya Kadeer, Lee Hongzhi (李洪志), Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chris Patten.
Then, in the evening, we would host the shotgun wedding of a bikini-clad, heavily pregnant Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) and her Israeli venture capitalist boyfriend in a Yasukuni shrine-shaped tent with a Free Tibet, Free Xinjiang and Free Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) concert as entertainment, along with games including “extinguish the Olympic flame” and several exhibitions entitled “The Belgrade Bombing: A Simple Mistake,” “The Nanking Massacre: An Atrocity by Foreigners, For Once,” “Falun Gong: The Peaceful Way to Inner Harmony” and “One Taiwan, One China: The Only Solution.”
That should do the trick.
Got something to tell Johnny? Get it off your chest: Write to email@example.com, but put “Dear Johnny” in the subject line or he’ll mark your bouquets and brickbats as spam.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is an expert at bluffing and keeping the West on its toes, pushing relations to the edge before pivoting without warning. However, hemmed in and fuming, he is deadly serious about being heard on Ukraine. Those close to the Kremlin said that the Russian president does not want to start another war in Ukraine. Still, he must show he is ready to fight if necessary in order to stop what he sees as an existential security threat: the creeping expansion of the NATO in a country that for centuries had been part of Russia. After years of disillusionment
At a time when China continues its assertive policy toward its neighboring countries, the regime of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bhutan last month to resolve a longstanding border dispute. However, this is not the first time China and Bhutan have taken such efforts on this issue. Over the years, China has expanded its claim over territory in Bhutan. China claims over 764km2 of Bhutan’s territory, which includes Doklam, Sinchulung, Dramana and Shakhatoe in the northwestern region and the Pasamlung and Jakarlung Valleys in the central part of Bhutan. Although the two sides held
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) sixth plenary session has ended and from all appearances, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has set the stage to rule for the rest of his life. Some might be tempted to declare that this calls for Xi to do a victory lap, but all is not well on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. To parody a line from Ya Got Trouble, a song from Broadway musical The Music Man: “There’s trouble in River City, (aka, Beijing). Trouble with a capital T, which rhymes with C for CCP.” Why? Taking control of a nation is always much
Among the voices expressing concern for Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai (彭帥) over the past two weeks, one was barely audible — that of her long-time former doubles partner Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇). Following their defeat in the WTA Finals championship match in Mexico on Nov. 18, Taiwan’s Hsieh and her Belgian partner Elise Mertens fielded questions via a Zoom call. Chinese state media had just released an incredibly suspicious e-mail, purportedly from Peng, and Canadian tennis Web site Open Court broached the issue. With the entire tennis world chiming in, seeking Hsieh’s opinion seemed obvious. However, the Web site’s reporter prefaced her question