#5 Most Impressive Dynasty: The Han

August 23, 2008

Good Friends:

As my longtime readers may have noted, something has been wrong with the Yan Xishan Blog lately. Earthquakes, Tang dynasty magistrates, and dumbass laowai have been distracting me from my primary goal for the year. Well, I suppose my primary goals for 1941 should be wiping out the wife-sharing ideologues and convincing the 小日本儿’s to return the panties of our good Shanxi women and get the hell back to their little island chain. But beyond that, I have been attempting to educate my soldiers (and by extension the uneducated masses of the so-called “internet”) about the wonders of Chinese imperial history. I fear a future where people learn about our past from pasty-faced intellectuals who can never understand that killing peasants is not only essential in the state-building process, but fun as well! Why just last week… wait, I am getting off track again. You can see how this could happen so easily with a Great Man such as myself. Speaking of which, I am thinking that once the war is over, I will put my visage on every single monetary denomination. But for the fiver, I am thinking about this for the image: me, giving Zhou Enlai a noogie. Shit, I am getting off track again. I need to stop holding special 8:00 AM happy hours.

But this conception of myself as a Great Man is relevant to today’s topic. As I explained to my JPA troops in my most recent lecture, a truly great dynasty is defined by great men. And there were many great men in the #5 Most Impressive Chinese Dynasty, the Han. First, let’s take a look at the map:

Not bad. I have seen better, but compared to the Sui, that is nothing to sneeze at. Now, who were these great men of the Han? The first in my estimation is Liu Bang, the founder of the Han. He was of peasant origin, which is rather problematic in my estimation. As a social climber, I can dig his rise to power, but as someone who is currently the ruler of millions of peasants, I do not want them getting any big ideas. Liu Bang became the ruler of the realm by putting the beat down on the great general Xiang Yu. During the critical battle, he duped Xiang Yu into thinking that his own men had turned on him. Liu Bang did this by having his own men sing the songs of Chu, where Xiang Yu hailed from. Interesting, huh? I should note that I have some long term plans that require my JPA troops to learn Carmen Miranda songs. Just in case, you know.

My other favorite Great Man of the Han was Wudi, a later Han emperor. He was a man of action, and a great role model for powerful Chinese men everywhere. Here is a man who would never be seen holding a clutch purse. Instead, he expanded the Chinese state to the largest it ever had been, at least up to that point. What a stupendous feeling that must be… unfortunately for me to have that feeling, I think that after I unify China, I would need to then go ahead and annex Sibera. Besides being a conqueror, Wudi also knew how to get up in people’s faces. This was no distant Laozi-style ruler, but one that got right up in a peasant’s grill and said: Hey little buddy, instead of letting the market tell you how much grain costs, how about I just tell you instead?

Now, there are many other great men of the Han, espeically if we consider the warlords that emerged at the end of the period.  I am talking, of course, about men such as Cao Cao (holy shit Cao Cao just showed up at my Taiyuan palace).  But let me tell you, dear reader, no matter what radical revisionists such as Kenny Pomeranz might say, Wang Mang was no great man.  He was a punk usurper, plain and simple.  And anyone who mentions land reform, as he often did, was obviously a Commie Pinko.  I would have had him quickly introduced to my famous hay chopper.  If it was good enough for Liu Hulan…

Well, there you have it kids–a few great men of the great Han dynasty.  I am pretty sure there were some pretty groovy chicks during the Han–I hear there was this one chick Ban Zhao who could teach other chicks to be good wives, that sounds pretty cool.  Overall, what a fucking great dynasty.  But still not the greatest.  I mean, Wang Mang pretty much screwed up the second half of the thing, plus there was this whole Confucian emphasis that threatened to limit the power of the emperor.  Don’t worry folks, the best is yet to come.  Stay tuned for my future post on the #4 most impressive dynasty.

YXS

Advertisements

Great Men of Shanxi: Judge Dee

July 22, 2008

Ah, what a busy summer it has been!  I have been unable to update you, my dear reader, with the regularity you must surely crave, but here is a quick recap:  It has been most horribly hot here in Taiyuan, and not even my wives constant fanning and continuous service from my robotics division has been enough to keep me cool.  The heat, I must admit, has gone to my head on several occasions.  Why, just last week I flew off into a rage and had 25 communists executed via hay chopper, only to later learn they their Lu Xun study group was actually a study group and not a cover for anti-Yan Xishan activities.  Whoops!  Speaking of the dreaded Pink Threat, the JPA has been busy in that regard too.  But after months of constant battles, the Commies have finally retreated to Yan’an to share their peasant wives and pop sleeping pills.  Can final victory be just around the corner?  Stay tuned my friends.

With the lull in fighting, I have decided to educate you, loyal reader, about the greatness of Shanxi.  What’s that you say?  You already know that since I hail from this province, it must be great?  How true.  But here is what you do not know–I am not the only great man to be born from the warm bosom of Shanxi.  No, Shanxi has a long tradition of producing the finest men in China (which of course means we are the finest men in the world!).  To wit, please meet my Shanxi brother, Judge Dee–a native of Taiyuan:

Now, Judge Dee (real name Di Renjie) was an official during the Tang Dynasty.  Well, actually he served under Empress Wu’s Zhou Dynasty, but I would rather not dwell on that fact.  I mean, serving a female ruler?  Not my style.  But my boy Renjie, despite this flaw, was all man.  He was known for laying down justice, Chinese style.  Which is to say he tortured anyone he pleased, then afterwords had a few drinks and and a delicious meal.  And when I say torture, I mean torture!  Talking back to the judge?  How about 100 lashes of the heavy bamboo?  Looking suspicious?  That will be 40 lashes with the whip against your bare back. Don’t want to confess even though I know you must be guilty?  How about I slowly turn your ankles into jelly until you admit I am right about everything?

And while he served a woman, Judge Dee had what my General Bragg, my US military advisor, would call a “strong pimp hand.”  Check out his interrogation of a beautiful-yet-murderous woman:

Who knew justice could be so wonderfully raunchy?  Nowadays, thanks to brainwahsed Westernized liberals like Song Qingling, we are supposed to pretend in things like not torturing people, but this is not the Shanxi way.  Hell, it is not even the Chinese way!  Here we have a simple philosophy about justice: No evidence?  No problem!

With such a great heritage, is it any wonder that Shanxi has produced a Yan Xishan?

YXS


#6 Most Impressive Dyansty: the Ming

May 15, 2008

Sons and Daughters of the Order of Yan Xishan,

Welcome again to my ongoing rundown of the greatest dynasties in the history of the world’s most awesome and super-duper civilization, that of the Chinese. Did you know that we invented everything? We did. Name a thing. What was that you said? Gunpowder? Kites? The Hay Chopper Chop? We totally invented all of those–hell, I was even personally responsible for one of these inventions, and you can be sure that it was not the kite that sprang from the mind of your favorite warlord.

Now, it is true that our rate of inventions has slowed down a bit. Ever since the Song dynasty, China has been plagued by a horrible curse, for you see we are forced to deal with millions and millions of poor peasants. With so many of these damn peasants, all of whom were willing to labor all day for peanuts (or the equivalent rate in rice), there really was no need to develop new agricultural techniques or pretty much any other labor saving device. Hell, it seemed downright anti-Confucian to deny our beloved peasants their enjoyable back-breaking labor by re-inventing the water wheel. But as I explained in my recent lecture to the JPA, this does not mean that Chinese invention stopped. No, we glorious Chinese turned our keen minds to other forms of invention.

So it was with the founder of the Ming dynasty, ranked number #6 in this definitive countdown of the greatest Chinese dynasties to ever rule All Under Heaven. For this great and wise man, known to us as Zhu Yuanzhang, recast the imperial state. First, a bit about the man:

Zhu Yuanzhang, Founder of the Ming

Zhu Yuanzhang, as you can see, was no 花花公子. He was even more pockmarked than Jiang Jieshi’s favorite Shanghai gangster. In that sense, I have trouble relating to him, for I am a dapper gentleman of the highest order. Well, that is not entirely true–I should not really say that I am a gentleman, only that I know how to act like one when needed. I am, however, a damn fine looking man–although I am not sure why I need to remind you of this, you have seen my photos.

Anyway, Zhu Yuanzhang was ugly, but he was a genius. He basically re-invented the imperial state, creating an autocratic and authoritarian regime that power hungry and paranoid rulers have been enjoying ever since. In the past, emperors had to listen to their ministers. But once Zhu solved this problem by cutting off the head of his government; he did so literally, making me think he would be a fan of my patented Hay Chopper Chop. I mean, once the Prime Minister has no head, how the hell is he going to complain about the increasing diversion of flood control funds into the fenjiu shush fund?

Alas, the state he created was not without flaws. First, it was small:

I mean, it could be worse. But really, what happened to West China? Tibet? Hello? Anyone there? It seems Zhu Yuanzhang misunderstood “All Under Heaven” as meaning “This Small Pathetic Part of All Under Heaven.” Trust me, that is not a mistake I will make. As I noted after meeting the Dalai Lama, I am still undecided about invading Tibet. On one hand, having it does make the map much more impressive. On the other hand, yak butter tea (ugh, I just threw up a bit). In any case, Zhu Yuanzhang never even dared to venture west as I have, and for that I look down at him like the pock-marked porcine caricature that he is.

The real problem with the Ming, however, is that Zhu Yuanzhan’s offspring were royal fuck-ups. They make Puyi look like Kangxi, if you get my meaning. When you put all power in the hands of the ruler and reduce the officials to a bunch of yellow bellied fools dragging their coffins to court, you best have a damn competent ruler. But Zhu Yuanzhang’s descendants were not fit to manage a Shanxi noodle shop. Take for example Zhu Houzhao, better known as the Wuzong Emperor. Houzhao didn’t like to study, loved war games, and boozed his life away. Now, I imagine you are wondering what could be wrong with boozing–nothing in the abstract, but ol’ Wuzong got so loaded he fell out of a fishing boat and died from complications. Now, if you are too stupid to figure out how to safely pass out on your kang, how the hell you gonna run a damn empire?

Indeed.

YXS

PS–Note to self, make sure my offspring are not total fuck ups.


Taiyuan is Mine! Mine Mine Mine!!!

August 18, 2007

Loyal Readers:

Today was a glorious day.  Escorted by the remaining core of the JPA, I marched on Taiyuan this morning.  We were prepared to go out fighting against the Commie hordes–we were the true Do or Die Corps!

As we approached the city walls, imagine our surprise to find them unguarded!   The Pink Menace had abandoned Taiyuan and all of Shanxi without a fight!  No doubt they had heard of my military genius and decided to scamper.

Enough blogging.  Time to get loaded.  Tomorrow is a big day–searching for collaborators.  Time to grease up the hay chopper!

YXS


A Forced March Looms

August 8, 2007

Readers,

This campaign has been a particularly brutal one for myself and the JPA.

The JPA, my prized fighting force, is in ruins, although my most loyal soldiers remain.

Me? I have barely been able to get my drink on. Staying with local warlord Ma Bufang is killing me–he expects me to conform to his Muslim beliefs while we negotiate. Eating spicy lamb kabobs without cold beer is like executing commies without using my patented Hay Chopper Chop. Ridiculous! Not that you could get a cold beer anywhere in this part of the world–the idea of refrigeration is almost as alien to these people as bathing. These negotiations, meanwhile, are going nowhere. While he is supposedly part of the KMT, all he cares about is his clan power. Just goes to show you what being an ally of Jiang Jieshi gets you–jack shit.  Although since allies of Mao Zedong get the clap from sharing those peasant wives, maybe jack shit ain’t half bad.

With this in mind I am breaking off negotiations with Ma Bufang. Before I leave Qinghai, however, I will tell him to keep an eye out for the Communists, and tell him to plant more trees.

The time has come to march on Taiyuan, there is no turning back now.

YXS


On Unruly Students

May 28, 2007

I am compelled to comment on the latest topic to set the interwebs on fire, the unruly student in Beiping who dared to attack his university professor. You can see the video below:

Now, I was heavily conflicted after watching this video. I, after all, was once one of the most unruly of all students. I played a key role in bringing down the Qing empire! So I am no stranger to student activism. But as I see it, these Beiping students have gone too far. If they were in Shanxi, they would get the Hay Chopper Chop, no doubt about it. I hereby call on Feng Yuxiang (or whoever it is that is running Beiping these days) to get cracking.


Top Ten Chinese Thinkers #7: Mao Zedong

May 15, 2007

YXS Fans,

Time to get back to business–the top ten Chinese thinkers list continues. Been getting a lot of feedback on the list, although not all of my readers have been contributing to the discussion. Many of you are loyal readers, but others stumble upon my site after Googling “Mongolian teenage hookers.” I encourage both groups to bring something to the table–you are all my soldiers, and a good warlord takes care of his men.

Speaking of which, taking care of his men is something that the #7 all-time Chinese thinker also does, although we go about it in different ways. I ensure my soldiers have plenty of booze and loot, while he gives his men plenty of reading material and 5% ownership of a communal wife. That is right, I am talking about this highly airbrushed guy:

mzd

“Chairman” Mao

 

Given the choice, you would think that any peasant with half of a brain would choose the loot and booze over an extended study session and a night with a communal wife every twenty days, but here is where Mao shows his genius: he offers his men the “wife lottery,” in that if the so-called “revolution” succeeds, there is a chance they could be sharing one of my many wives! Brilliant!

Throughout his career Mao has shown a capability for “outside the box” thinking. Take his idea of class warfare–Mao is a rich peasant! I could never have conjured the idea of turning on my own class, subjecting them to humiliating struggle and taking away their property. I guess that is why some have dubbed Mao “the dreamer.”

I am also a fan of Mao’s leadership style. Much like myself, he is not afraid of putting a subordinate in line or taking a few extra perks. Although what is up with the endless sleeping pills Mao? Ever even heard of fenjiu? And then there are the ladies. Here Mao cracks me up–he keeps on telling me that having nine wives is feudal, but what am I supposed to do? I guess I lack his ability to get my wives executed in a timely manner so I can get remarried. And don’t get me started on his new wife, Jiang Qing. The last I heard she was organizing an all-peasant stage production of Gone With the Wind. If he is smart he will accidentally “leave her behind” during my next mopping up campaign so that I can give her the patented “Shanxi Hay Chopper Chop.” If it was good enough for Liu Hulan, I am sure it is good enough for her.

The recap….

Pro:

1. Outside the box thinking in biting the hand that fed him

2. Genius in promoting the hope of sleeping with my wives

3. Ahead of his time in treating his VD by sleeping with more peasants

Con:

1. Good chance he is stealing his ideas from Chen Boda

2. Latest choice of wives is “problematic”

3. Gave VD to four of my six favorite Changsha sex workers

To be honest it is the last con that really burns me. Well, the burning has stopped, but you get the idea.

YXS