This Shanzhai Shit is Getting Out of Hand

May 4, 2009

Loyal Readers:

Once again I must take off my warlord hat and put on the refined headgear of your informed social commentator.  Why, you ask?  Because this shanzhai shit is getting out of hand.  Oh, you probably figured that out from the title of this post.

First, what is shanzhai?  Shit, if you do not know, you may be beyond help.  Shanzhai literally means “mountain fortress” but thanks to the intertube world is now used to refer to knock-off goods, and can also be translated into the American slang term “ghetto.”  BTW, if you are not familiar with this word, you must be living in a cave.  A dank, stinky, Yan’an cave filled with wife sharing, pill-popping, yangge-dancing dumb-ass peasants.

Secondly, how do we know that the shanzhai craze has gotten out of hand?  My first clue was the fact that during a recent Chinese autoshow, half the cars were knockoffs of Western models.  Here is one example:

shanzhai-mini

Looks vaguely familiar, no?

My second clue was when the New York Times, the “Grey Lady” herself, starting talking about how shanzhai China has become:

Technological advances have allowed hundreds of small Chinese companies, some with as few as 10 employees, to churn out what are known here as shanzhai, or black market, cellphones, often for as little as $20 apiece.

Although shanzhai phones have only been around a few years, they already account for more than 20 percent of sales in China, which is the world’s biggest mobile phone market, according to the research firm Gartner.

Now, we all know that the NY Times is a tool in the Jiang Jieshi and Guomindang machine, so for them to call out China, in the middle of a fucking war, says something.  BTW, what the fuck is a cellphone?  I digress.  Did I mention the shanzhai soy sauce made from human hair?

Now, many of you may be wondering why I care so much about this shanzhai shit.  Well, let me level with you.  Yan Xishan has been holding down Shanxi for decades.  As I stated before, I am the real revolutionary.  I helped bring down the damn Qing dynasty!  But with this shanzhai shit, I fear in the future my memory will be overshadowed by some shanzhai revolutionary.  Sun Yat-sen, Jiang Jieshi, even (gasp) that infamous peasant fucker Zhu De.  I thus call on my Chinese brothers and sisters, let us be a little less ghetto, a little less nongcun, and a bit more Taiyuan.

YXS

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How Not to Pick Your Chinese Name

August 3, 2008

Good Friends:

The summer heat wave here in Shanxi has continued unabated.  I have been thinking about leaving Taiyuan for cooler environs, but I am finding it hard to do so.  Not because of my duty to my people and a feeling of responsibility for the future, but because Shanxi is currently blockaded by the Japs and the Commies.

Sweltering and half insane, I have had to find all sorts of diversions to pass the time.  Booze has helped.  But even when drunk, you can only watch so many hours of opera before demanding that the young female lead be delivered to your palace for a personal performance.  Thus my days have fallen into a monotony, and I was so bored for distraction that I agreed to a meeting with my US military advisors.

Now, normally I despise such meetings, as they are always telling me what I am doing wrong.  If I actually listened to these fools, I would have to re-organize my army and take on the Japs head first.  No thanks!  But out of boredom I agreed to meet with them.  Overall the meeting was useless, but one hilarious thing did emerge: they had all taken Chinese names, each more ridiculous than the next.

What is it with laowai and Chinese names?  Is it so hard to choose one that does not make you look like a total douchebag?  As I have noted earlier, laowai are always doing stupid shit that I real man such as myself would never do.  But to flub something as simple as a name?  As public service, I thought I should share a few basic rules when it comes to laowai and Chinese names.

Now, I am sure that many of you, when hearing about bad Chinese names, think of this guy:

Meet Da Shan (大山), the guy who is famous for being able to speak Chinese.  This makes a lot of other laowai super pissed off, since they speak Chinese but don’t get to be all famous for it.  On one hand I feel their pain, since I speak Chinese and am not famous for it, but on the other hand I really cannot relate because I am totally famous for other things, like being a powerful warlord.

There is also a bit of controversy surrounding his name, which literally translates into “Big Mountain.”  Besides the fact that he named himself after a bad reggae band, there is this question: Is this not a really stupid fucking name?  The answer: Yes.  But it could be much worse.  I would say it is about as stupid as me moving to Denver and telling people they should start calling me Rocky Mountain.

Perhaps I am being a bit soft on Da Shan, since we both share the 山 character in our names.  But really, there are far more stupid names for a laowai to choose.  I will demonstrate this by discussing two of the worst names ever to be chosen by laowai.

The first name is an unfortunate mix of three factors.  The first is the desire to name yourself after an animal.  Why the fuck would you do that?  You are a person (I think, although a few of the laowai I know are a bit ape-like).  If you have the character of any animal in your name, and you have never starred in an action movie, you are a douche.  The second factor is having a small dick, and feeling insecure about it, so you want to emphasize your “bigness’ by putting the character for big (大) in your name.  The third factor is actually thinking that you somehow deserve to be compared favorably to Bruce Lee.

As some of you might have guessed, the name I refer to is Dalong (大龙), or “Big Dragon.”  If you have this name, you are an idiot.  Bruce Lee’s Chinese name was Xiaolong (小龙) or “Little Dragon.”  That is a fucking awesome Chinese name–for Bruce Lee.  You expect me to call you “Big Dragon”?  How about I just call you a fucking idiot.

If our first horrible name displays equal parts ignorance, insecurity, and misplaced arrogance, the second horrible name reveals in its holder a willingness to debase themselves for fame.  I speak of what I take to be the most idiotic name ever taken by a laowai (and that says something), Aihua (爱华).  Meet Aihua:

Aihua.  What a fucking name.  It means “love China.”  I suppose it will not surprise you to know that Aihua is an actress.  Here is what the always reliable CCTV said about her:

[She is an] American girl who has embraced and adopted Chinese culture and tradition as her own. Meanwhile, she is beloved by the Chinese people, and they have accepted her as a Chinese, not a foreigner. She has graced the stages and TV screens of China since the young age of 10. “Ai Hua”, meaning Love China, is her Chinese name. And the name proves very appropriate, for not only does she love the Chinese, but the Chinese love her as well.

Shocking, is it not, that this CCTV report is inaccurate?   Note to all laowai: You will never be accepted as Chinese.  Picking a suck-up name might make us feel comfortable around you–it does show that you will kiss our asses for as long as we keep you around–but it does not make you Chinese.

I still cannot believe anyone would take this name.  To balance the scales, I am currently looking for a Chinese citizen to move Montana and take the name “Me Love USA Long Time.”  If you know anyone who might be interested, contact me at once.

YXS

Update:  The newish blog “Peking Order” (get it?) has a list of the top 5 laowai.  You will find that these “top” laowai are also dumb-ass laowai with seriously stupid names, a few of which have already been referenced above.  Check it out here.  BTW the Peking Order gets +6 internet points for referencing Yan Xishan, but -3 internet points for showing pity to Ai Hua.


Sanlitun Sally and Marvin the Mohist

October 9, 2007

Loyal Readers:

Recently the Beiping celebrity behind sundaylovers asked for the help of the most wise of warlords, Yan Xishan. Here is the original query:

By the way, I’m always looking for neologisms pertaining to: soul patches, dreadlocks, white douchebags who have chinese character tatooed on their bodies, slutty xiaojies who hang out with aforementioned white douchebags, etc. Please advise.

As for soulpatches and dreadlocks, I am not of much help. Sometimes you cannot do any better than douchebag.

But slutty xiaojies? Back when I was more of a misogynist (last week, before I had to tone down the rhetoric in conjunction with a JPA recruiting drive), I referred to pretty much every woman that was not related to me a “hutong rat”–as in “Welcome to Shanxi, Mr. Ambassador, I have lined up some of our finest hutong rats for your pleasure!” You might think it is offensive, but you don’t see the Japanese imperial army threatening my borders anymore, do you?

Now that I am a kinder, gentler warlord, I have decided to treat women with more respect. You see, I am a gentleman. Or more to the point, I know how to act like a gentleman to get what I want. So for the time being, only those ladies who frequent the seedy parts of the Realm will be worthy of my scorn. And only a mild scorn at that. So, take for example, those poor misguided xiaojies who frequent Sanlitun in search of… who am I kidding, who the fuck knows what they are thinking.

Sanlitun Sally

Photo taken in Sanlitun Sleaze-pit d’jour

When I look at these confused girls, I cannot help but wonder… Don’t I know you ladies? You, on the left, you hooked up with that dude from Canada, right? Pink shirt–did we. . . Maybe it was your cousin? In the middle, with the busy hands, did that one drunk guy from Italy ever get you to go back to his place in Shunyi? That was you, or least I swear it was.

So many ladies on the prowl, with English names leftover from middle school, popping up here and there like a case of genital warts that just won’t go away… How about I just call you all Sally? Sanlitun Sally, there, that makes my life easier.

Laowai dudes with Chinese tattoos. Don’t get me started. Whoops too late.

Laowai tattoo

“Now I have proof I am cool!”

Now your average Sanlitun Sally is just a poor misguided girl. I feel bad, but for those stupid enough to get a character “tat,” sorry, your extreme stupidity precludes me from pity. What is so wrong with getting a Chinese tattoo, you might ask. Let me break it down like this. You know how everyone makes fun of the Chinese for their love affair with English words? The way a shirt is suddenly fashionable because it has an English phrase on it? Well, getting a Chinese tattoo is the exact same thing–except that whereas that fine Chinese citizen will take off their dumb-ass “Happy Day!” shirt when they get home, you just tattooed some random word on your skin. Great move.

You may think Chinese characters are so damn cool–many Chinese think the same about English words, but all both sides are doing is fetishizing the other. Luckily for my people, few of us have started tattooing English words on our bodies.

For your crime of forever marking yourself as a douche, I reward you with the name Marvin the Mohist. You see, back in the day, the Chinese imperial state tattooed criminals to punish them. Mozi was a innovate thinker who, according to legend, had been “inked” himself. Now that I know you are a follower, I can ask you what you think about his philosophy of jian’ai, or how you plan to use his policy of youwei to help revive the state. Wait, you don’t know what I am talking about? Oh shit, you mean Marvin the Mohist don’t know shit about China? Wow, never saw that coming.

YXS


Laowai

May 11, 2007

Readers,

Taking a break from the top ten countdown, but number #7 is a biggie so be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post.

There has been a lot of talk on the internet these days about the proper usage of the term “laowai.”  One of my fans–a self-proclaimed “charter member of the YXS empire,” wrote in and asked my opinion.  Well done my friend.  I find myself in a unique position to answer this query.  First, I am a well-educated member of the Shanxi elite.  Second, I have had numerous dealings with foreigners, both members of the US military as well as a large group of ethnically diverse prostitutes.

First, is this term offensive?   According to my understanding, it simply means that the person in question is not Chinese.  So yes, it is highly offensive.

Second, how do people use this term?  Here is the real surprise–I have never used it, not once.  I prefer the term gaisidelaowai.  When I am talking about Stillwell, however, I usually use the term tamadelaowai.

YXS