#7 Most Impressive Dyansty: the Zhou

April 6, 2008

Eternal Fans of the Powerful Yan Xishan,

I know what you are thinking. It probably goes something along these lines: “Damn Yan Xishan, how can you keep me waiting for so long between your brilliant posts? My life is fucking stupid without your wisdom to brighten my day!”

Yes, I know it has been a long time. But what can I say, I have been distracted as of late. First, Wang Jingwei is attempting to bribe me, hoping I will join up with his puppet-ass state. No way that will ever happen–Yan Xishan put Shanxi together proper like, and Yan Xishan only trusts Yan Xishan–but it is fun to get his hopes up. Shit, he has not been this optimistic since Hu Hanmin got sent to Russia back in 1925. I will probably string him along for a few more weeks, as I am quite enjoying the sake he has been sending me. I have also been a bit busy with one of my newest JPA recruits. I will not go into detail, but let’s just say she sure knows how to polish my Mauser. Hmm, that is kind of filthy. Let’s just say she sure knows how to establish hegemony over my territory. That does not quite work…. Let’s just say she sure knows how to dredge my wasteland, reclaim it as a productive agricultural field, rent it out at high rates, and avoid taxes on it to boot.

Now that we are all caught up, here is my latest JPA history lecture in my “Top Dynasties” series. We are at number seven, and (drum roll please) the number seven spot goes to the Zhou dynasty. Now, I am sure Confucius is spinning in his grave (unless the Commies have somehow managed to dig up his grave and use his bones as drumsticks in their hippie drum circles) as I write this, because that damn Kongzi was all about praising the Zhou dynasty to anyone who would listen. I have already explained how Confucius was a punk here and here, but suffice it to say he was, like all educators, a total assfrog. So you will have to forgive me for disagreeing with Confucius and telling you that the Zhou dynasty was not the imperial equivalent to sliced mantou.

Why was this the case? First of all, the Zhou founders were moralistic bastards. They overthrew the Shang because they were power hungry, but used sissy moralist rhetoric to justify their actions. Thus they called out the Shang for loving to party, and those of us who love booze and whores have been fighting for repsect ever since. Check out this painting of the Shang rulers:

Tame comapred to Taiyuan

Now, I do not know about you, but if you ask me these guys look like they know how to party. And while they seem a bit tame when compared to myself and my inner circle, I bet they could at least go a few rounds before passing out being dragged out of my Taiyuan citadel.

Having unjustly overthrown the good-time-party-boys of the Shang, the Zhou had to explain why they did so, and what they came up with was the “Mandate of Heaven.” Basically, this theory holds that Heaven is always judging you, and if the ruler has too much fun Heaven finds some one to replace him. In retrospect, all I can say is what a bunch of fucking idiots. Sure, Kings Wen and Wu, you sure explained why you did what you did. But guess what? Now every hungry peasant with a half-assed army is going to be trying to overthrow you and every other ruler, claiming to have the Mandate of Heaven backing them up. Way to think that one through buddy. Bad enough to think Heaven is up there judging me for doing body shots of fenjiu with various ladies with low moral standards, but to think that this sort of behavior would make me lose power? Total bullshit, but thanks to the Zhou there is probably some starving peasant, standing in his own filth, ranting about how they are the new Son of Heaven.

Now, why is the Zhou even on this list? Well, one reason people love the Zhou is because it lasted so damn long–1122 BCE-256BCE–but let’s not kid ourselves. They Zhou ruling house was only in power for a small part of their dynasty. This brings us to the real reason this period rocked–lots of small states fighting for control of the world (in other words China). Sound familiar? Yes my dear readers, there is much in common between the latter part of the Zhou (known as the Warring States period) and the current warlord era (soon to be known as the Rise of Yan Xishan Era). In both times we see great men enjoying the hunt, the battle, and the spoils of war. All this death and destruction made for some great philosophy, which you can learn about here. But beyond that the Zhou saw the rise of the autocratic state, focused solely on destroying other autocratic states. Without their advances in taxing and recruiting peasants, where would I be?

I tell you where I would not be–kicking back in my war room, getting an anmo from a young JPA recruit, and getting my beer served by a robot. Thanks for that King Wen. I am sure that is what you had in mind when you cut off the head of the last Shang king.

YXS

Advertisements

Top Ten Chinese Thinkers: The Complete List

June 5, 2007

At the request of a few of my readers, here is my complete list of the top ten Chinese philosophers, all in one handy post. Enjoy…

#10

Loyal Readers,

After my recent comments on Kongzi, many of my fans wrote in asking for guidance. If Kongzi was unworthy of emulation, who might they turn to? In this light, I have decided to countdown the 10 greatest Chinese thinkers. These are the men whose minds helped shaped generations–not just in China but across the globe. And to be fair, I do respect Kongzi–I just don’t think he is the best model for the modern age. So he will probably turn up somewhere on this list. But first, we start with my #10 selection:

SYS

Sun Zhongshan, also known as Sun Yat-sen

Some might question my choice to put old Sun at the bottom of this list. Is he not, after all, the “Father of the Chinese Revolution”? In a word, no. Now, I joined Sun’s Tongmenghui way back in the day, back when we were all in Japan pounding sake and visiting Tokyo’s red light district (FYI your boy Sun could not hold his booze and had a few fetishes that even surprised the Japanese). So I am very much qualified to pass judgment on Sun Zhongshan, or Sonny as I called him.

You see, he had the most amazing ability to repeatedly fail–he was the original “cut and runner.” Every time he tried to overthrow those stinking Manchus, he would fail. Except he would never be there to face punishment, as he would be hiding out in HK. And when we finally brought down the Qing, where was he? Colorado, just where he was needed. What a joke. You know who the real Father of Chinese Revolution is? That’s right, Yan Xishan. But Stillwell, in a conversation with Fairbank, once drunkenly called me the “Stepchild of the Chinese Revolution” and I have yet to escape this stigma. Is it fair? No, but I live with it–we all have our crosses I guess.

So, final analysis of Sun Zhongshan….

Pro:

1. Married a woman young enough to be his daughter.

2. 3 Principles of the People (uninspired and never implemented, but hey it was something).

Con:

1. Best skills: Retreating and avoiding conflicts

2. Possibly married a Soviet Agent in Song Qingling

3. Created the conditions for decades of civil war

It is number 2 on the con list that really gets me. I mean, if you are going to deliver your nation to the Red Menace, at least do it via a Eastern European redhead named Natasha. That is the classy way to go about these things. So sorry Sonny, you barely make the list at #10.

#9

Times of strife and war create great minds. Just look at me–without the chaos of the downfall of the imperial system and the emergence of the Warlord Era, would I have reached my heights of brilliance?

Our number nine Chinese thinker lived during the Warring States era, another age marked by warfare and chaos.

mozi

Mozi, aka Mo Tzu

I see much to admire in Mozi, as in some ways he reminds me a lot of a young, less successful, less attractive Yan Xishan. Our similarities go far beyond our penchant for criticizing Confucius. Like me he was a man of action–he had a philosophy of action (youwei) that believed heaven helps those who helps themselves. As someone who helped himself to all of greater Shanxi, I could not agree more.

Plus he was all about military technology, creating all sorts of wonderful gadgets that could be used to kill people. I have mad respect for that. What is strange is that he preferred to side with weak states, helping them build up their defenses. As someone currently out of power, his affinity for the underdog is endearing. As someone who plans to be in power soon, it is troubling indeed.

To sum up:

Pro:

1. Military genius

2. Not afraid to call Kongzi a punk

Con:

1. Would probably attempt to stop my plans of military conquest.

2. Anti-family, promoted a concept of “universal love” (jian’ai). This was supposedly some kind of collective system enforced by strict hierarchy, but to me it sounds too much like the free love espoused by those damn Commies. Why does everyone want to take away my wives and distribute them to the peasant masses?

3. He used his military technology for defense only. He was–get this–a pacifist!

So while I respect the genius behind his technological innovations, Mozi was far too idealistic to serve as a true role model. Maybe if he cut down on whatever it was he was smoking, he would of done better, but as it is he clocks in at #9.

#8

As the Warring States came to a close, two kingdoms faced off over who would rule a unified China. Qi or Qin–which would it be? In one of these kingdoms, a wandering statesman helped seal the fate of China. This statesman is our #8 Chinese thinker.

xunzi

Xunzi, aka Hsün Tzu

First up: Xunzi is a Confucian. One huge strike against him. But what makes Xunzi special is his this–he was one of the first to see mankind as it truly is: inherently evil. Just look at his portrait, you know he is thinking evil thoughts–probably involving Han Feizi’s third and sixth wives, some baijiu, and a tub of zhimayou. Xunzi thought people were born with a love for profit and sensual desires. I know he was correct, as this very much describes me. I mean, is there a better way to spend a weekend than drinking, whoring, and gambling? If you had to choose one Chinese philosopher to plan your bachelor party, it would be Xunzi. He is the kind of guy who, if things got out of hand, would help you bury the hooker. Compare this with Mencius, who has so many mommy issues he cannot even get a lap dance without bursting into tears.

So what is not to like? Well, Xunzi served at the court of Qi. And if you know your Chinese history (Spoiler Alert!) it was the state of Qin that unified China. So not only did Xunzi back a loser, in failing to stop Qinshi Huangdi he gave hope to countless other losers who get off on the idea of being the “Great Unifier.” I must say I find this damn annoying–you cannot imagine how many people are interfering with my goal of bringing China under Yan Xishan rule.

Pro:

1. Saw people for what they were–low down, nasty, perverted, egomaniacs.

2. Go-to-guy for bachelor parties

Con:

1. A follower, content to muddle along behind Confucius

2. In the geopolitical world of the Waring States, a loser

Xunzi, if you had only reversed the tide of history and helped create a unified Qi dynasty, you might be higher on the list, but as it stands be happy at #8. Or, be true to your nature and be angry and jealous, then work off that anger through sex and/or violence.

#7

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.

#6

Despite various threats received as a result of previous posts, the countdown continues. Sorry MZD, but I will not publish an apology just so your wife will let you move back into your cave.

Number Six on my list of Top Ten Chinese Thinkers will probably surprise some of my readers. Here he is, another product of the Warring States era:

sunzi

Sunzi, aka Sun Tzu

That I include the great Sunzi on my list should not surprise anyone. Author of Sunzi Bingfa, which somehow got the hippie translation of Sunzi’s Art of War, Sunzi was one of the first to really get philosophical on the proper method of killing large numbers of peasants. As a ruthless warlord, I must admit that I could not have killed so many peasants without his sagacious wisdom. Take this pearl of genius:

“For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.”

Hence my insistence that my soldiers be aware of the drunken looting that follows victory. But I mainly appreciate Sunzi for how he argues for not fighting unless the peasant army you want to destroy is totally helpless. This has allowed myself (and all of my peers) to avoid war unless it is to our obvious and immediate benefit. BTW I promise I will get around to fighting those Japanese invaders when the time is right.

Some of my readers, however, must be surprised that Sunzi is not higher on this list. I know–to rank this great peasant murderer only slightly ahead of a man who lives in a cave with a hack actress–it is somewhat of an insult. But I must find great fault with Sunzi for one tragic mistake. He never made it clear that his methods were only to be used in killing peasants. The result of this tragic mistake has been a flood of texts using his bingfa for the most bizarre ends. By means of example, I once found my personal servant reading The Art of Germ War: Using Sunzi’s Philosophy to Clean Toilets. What is next? Using peasant killing philosophy to succeed in business? Don’t make me laugh.

Read the rest of this entry »


Top Ten Chinese Thinkers: #1

June 2, 2007

The long wait is over. I am pleased to announce, without any further ado, the number one Chinese philosopher. The man worthy of your love and adoration. He is a man that was born in turbulent times, but never shrank away from danger, instead engaging and conquering a war-torn and fragmented state. Here he is:

ysx two

Yan Xishan

That’s right, me. Who made Shanxi into the model province? Me. Who has ruled over Shanxi for two decades, earning the moniker “the Model Governor”? Me, that’s who!

When I was a young lad, I had nothing. I remember wanting to buy some fenjiu but not having enough money… the thought of having two Mexican silver dollars to rub together was a distant dream. But look at me now. I run Shanxi. I am rich and surrounded by sycophants who fear my wrath. I execute peasants the way Mao “accidentally” gets his wives executed–which is to say I do it a lot. I have more wives than Jiang Jieshi, Feng Yuxiang, and Zhang Zuolin put together.

And you know, for a long time I was not the strongest warlord in North China. Not even close. But I played the key role in balancing various factions. Everyone needed me, and I played that card like a pro. I am damn crafty. Yuan Shikai once wanted to have me executed as a traitor. How did that work out Yuan? Oh yeah, you are dead, and I am alive, blogging about how you are a punk. Feng Yuxiang? Yeah he wanted to occupy Shanxi, but guess what? He needed my support against some other warlord, so he could not do jack shit about it.

So, my Chinese brothers and sisters, do not emulate Confucius. Do not praise Sun Yat-sen. Do not worship Laozi. Turn to me, Yan Xishan, the most perfect whoring, drinking, and peasant-executing warlord/philosopher.

YXS


Top Ten Chinese Thinkers#4: Its a Tie…

May 25, 2007

Today the countdown takes on two of the greatest minds to ever grace the Middle Kingdom. I could not decide which figure was more worthy of your emulation, so it is a tie. And yes, I know that this means this list will technically be a “top eleven” list, but guess what? Part of being me is making the rules up as I go along. Get used to it.

We start with the man who inspired the countdown:

kongzi 2

Kongzi, aka Confucius

Now Confucius-lovers like that crazy woman Yu Dan are probably plotting my execution. At least when the deed is done they will carry out the funeral rites in a manner that can only be described as perfect. Here is what I said back then:

“Anyway, once again my Chinese brothers and sisters are turning to Kongzi to give their lives meaning. Seems some chick (a chick!) wrote a book about how Kongzi has so much to teach us. What a joke. Now, Kongzi was not as big of a sexist as some make him out to be. It was my boy Zhu Xi who really put women in their place. That place, BTW, is nei-leave the wai to us men. Still, I have to believe that Kongzi would agree that women authors should stick with cookbooks. One of my wives thinks that I am just hating. Yeah, you know what? It does hurt that this chick has a best seller while my masterpiece, Yan Xishan: Using Warlord Wisdom to Achieve Personal Perfection in Ten Steps has yet to break into double digit sales.

But really, I am just not into Kongzi. He is always going on and on about correct ritual practice. Clear case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)-this fool needs serious medication. As my subjects know, I am more of a freewheeling, boozing, gambling, whoring type of leader. Until Kongzi develops the correct ritual practice for doing shots of fenjiu with Mongolian hookers, he can stay the hell out of my HQ.”

I still stand by this interpretation of Kongzi. For all his influence, he was too anal about ritual for my liking. Perhaps it is only fair that he shares the #4 spot with one of my personal heroes:

YSK

Yuan Shikai

Yuan Shikai-now here is a man a warlord such as myself can truly admire. Sure, he is hated for betraying both the Qing court and the new Republic, but he taught me that in these crazy days, you always gotta look out for #1. I still remember the last words he ever told me: “When you need five Mexican silver dollars, don’t ask for three. Ask for ten.” Now you tell me readers, what the hell did Kongzi ever say that contains so much wisdom? Besides, in actuality my boy Shikai was not the cause of the downfall of the Republic. That regime was weak and destined to fail. You know why everyone hates Yuan Shikai? Because every story needs a bad guy. Same reason everyone is always hating on me.

I could go on and on about YSK. He helped send me to Japan for my military training. His reorganization of the Beiyang army helped lay the foundations for the warlord era, which has been a great time for warlords such as myself. He made the connections between military rule and political power self-evident. He made killing peasants fashionable again when he put down the Boxer Uprising in Shandong. And of course he had the highly annoying Song Jiaoren assassinated, a move that set off a chain of events that put him in power of all of China. That he had it done at the train station–on the platform!–as Song was about to come to Beiping, well that is pure genius.

As much as YXS respects YSK, there is a reason he can rise no higher than Kongzi on this list. You see, in 1915 he attempted to have himself declared emperor of a new dynasty. Even worse, he had the most ridiculous emperor name-Hongxian, or “glorious constitution.” One of my favorite Beiping consorts once told me he paid extra if she would call him Hongxian in the sack-that kind of always grossed me out. That and the fact I was sharing women with one of my mentors.

I should note that some of my subjects have begged me to declare myself emperor and revive the empire, and I would be lying if I have not considered this option on a few occasions. But I don’t think I could ever go through with it. To be frank, I prefer my women to yell out my military rank when I do my thing.

YXS

 


Top Ten China Thinkers: #9 Mozi

May 9, 2007

Times of strife and war create great minds. Just look at me–without the chaos of the downfall of the imperial system and the emergence of the Warlord Era, would I have reached my heights of brilliance?

Our number nine Chinese thinker lived during the Waring States era, another age marked by warfare and chaos.

mozi

Mozi, aka Mo Tzu

I see much to admire in Mozi, as in some ways he reminds me a lot of a young, less successful, less attractive Yan Xishan.  Our similarities go far beyond our penchant for criticizing Confucius.  Like me he was a man of action–he had a philosophy of action (youwei) that believed heaven helps those who helps themselves.  As someone who helped himself to all of greater Shanxi, I could not agree more.

Plus he was all about military technology, creating all sorts of wonderful gadgets that could be used to kill people.  I have mad respect for that.  What is strange is that he preferred to side with weak states, helping them build up their defenses.  As someone currently out of power, his affinity for the underdog is endearing.  As someone who plans to be in power soon, it is troubling indeed.

To sum up:

Pro:

1.  Military genius

2. Not afraid to call Kongzi a punk

Con:

1. Would probably attempt to stop my plans of military conquest.

2. Anti-family, promoted a concept of “universal love” (jian’ai).   This was supposedly some kind of collective system enforced by strict hierarchy, but to me it sounds too much like the free love espoused by those damn Commies.   Why does everyone want to take away my wives and distribute them to the peasant masses?

3. He used his military technology for defense only.  He was–get this–a pacifist!

So while I respect the genius behind his technological innovations, Mozi was far too idealistic to serve as a true role model.  Maybe if he cut down on whatever it was he was smoking, he would of done better, but as it is he clocks in at #9.


Kongzi–Don’t Call it a Comeback

May 8, 2007

Once again I am hearing about Kongzi (that is Confucius for all you who have yet to learn Chinese, the language your grandchildren will call their “mother tongue”). Here he is after one of his countless Duke of Zhou rants:

Kongzi

Notice the buckteeth. Good look for him, huh?

Anyway, once again my Chinese brothers and sisters are turning to Kongzi to give their lives meaning. Seems some chick (a chick!) wrote a book about how Kongzi has so much to teach us. What a joke. Now, Kongzi was not as big of a sexist as some make him out to be. It was my boy Zhu Xi who really put women in their place. That place, BTW, is nei–leave the wai to us men. Still, I have to believe that Kongzi would agree that women authors should stick with cookbooks. One of my wives thinks that I am just hating. Yeah, you know what? It does hurt that this chick has a best seller while my masterpiece, Yan Xishan: Using Warlord Wisdom to Achieve Personal Perfection in Ten Steps has yet to break into double digit sales.

But really, I am just not into Kongzi. He is always going on and on about correct ritual practice. Clear case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)–this fool needs serious medication. As my subjects know, I am more of a freewheeling, boozing, gambling, whoring type of leader. Until Kongzi develops the correct ritual practice for doing shots of fenjiu with Mongolian hookers, he can stay the hell out of my HQ.

YXS