#3 Most Impressive Dynasty: The Qing

February 16, 2010

Greetings Peoples of the Internets:

Recently I have been chatting with my old rival and drinking buddy, Zhang Xueliang.  Of course, we have to have these “chats” via telegram, as that old mouth breather Jiang Jieshi has kept the Young Marshall under house arrest ever since the so-called “Xi’an Incident.”  But he has to be released pretty soon, I mean how long can the Generalissimo hold a grudge?  Anyway, Xueliang was telegraphing (is this what kids mean by texting?) how he just cannot wait to get out and get back to his homeland up in the Northeast.  I had to stop him right there.  Who the hell wants to go to Dongbei? Motherfuckers been wanting to get up out of there for centuries!

Seeing how ignorance was everywhere, I knew that it was time for the introduction of the #3 most impressive dynasty of all time, the glorious Qing.  As all but the most moronic know, the Qing dynasty was founded by the Manchus, bunch of gross barbarians who were able to parlay their excellence in horseback riding and archery into the temporary dominance over the great Han Chinese race.  Crazy, right?  But truth be told the Chinese empire has long been troubled by the dirty and unwashed barbarian hordes to the north.  Ever since the Xiongnu delighted to our fine silks and princesses, it has been one long struggle to remind the barbarian that yes, you can ride horses better than we can, but no, you are still a damn barbarian so keep out.

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#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.


The Struggle Spreads!

April 17, 2008

Loyalists:

Sometimes it is hard to tell what is going on from an odd photo, especially one that is randomly transmitted to me on the “internet.” Here is what was delivered to me this morning as I was recovering from yet another all-night fenjiu binge:

What is going on here? It is clearly a Commie style douzhenghui, made famous in various campaigns organized by my would-be-rival, Mao Zedong. For those of you not in the know, a douzhenghui is a “struggle meeting,” used to convince an upstanding landlord to hand over his water buffalo and wife to some debt ridden peasant.

But usually a douzhenghui takes place in some backwater, Buddha-forsaken village where the only idea of industry is a far-fetched dream of building a brick making “factory.” Clearly this photo is not of the nongcun, as these are no peasants–they are dressed in cloths that would make your average Taiyuan citizen scream out in envy. And note the electric lighting and the confused looking foreigner… this is not even China, our great motherland!

Yes, the struggle has spread to the West. And this has caused me to pause and ponder the ramifications of this odd turn of events. On one hand, I am a famed anti-Communist. Seeing the wife-stealing mass mobilization techniques of “Mao Zhu” gain traction world-wide makes me ill. But I am also a nationalist, and the thought of my proud Chinese brothers and sisters raising their angry fists in the imperialists’ metropole brings a smile to my face.

After reflection, I have decided I can only give a halfhearted acceptance to the actions of those above. Are they demanding rent reduction, or their own land? I cannot tell. But I can tell they are struggling a poor Chinese girl–and unless she is being told she must join the JPA, that is just not acceptable. Especially when the true struggle object, the hapless looking laowai, is right behind them!

YXS

Edit: One of my readers (thanks Jonas) has identified this photo as having something to do with a debate over Tibet. I am clueless as to what the debate might be, it has been some time since I was in the land of the yak. You can read about my visit with the Dalai Lama here and about my subsequent flight from Tibet here.


Remembering a Fallen Warlord–Feng Yuxiang

August 24, 2007

Loyal Readers,

Being back in Taiyuan is great–how I survived those long months of near captivity in the United States, not to mention my near disastrous campaigns out in the Tibetan highlands, I have no idea. I swear I may never leave my beloved Shanxi. My wives–at least those who were not pimped out to the peasant hordes–are keeping me loopy on fenjiu while my favorite qinqiang opera stars “perform” for me all night long. Damn it feels good to be a warlord.

But my good fortune has a tinge of sadness as I think of a former colleague who no longer shares the good warlord life. I speak of Feng Yuxiang.

As my more thoughtful readers might remember, I had suspected that my boy Yuxiang (no, not the fish sauce) might be in charge of Beiping, but I now know he is in charge of jack shit. You see, that pussy whipped cut-and-runner Jiang Jieshi is determined to keep Feng Yuxiang out of power. What a fall from grace… Feng and I were once within a battle or two of pushing Jiang Jieshi into an early retirement… who knows, maybe he could have gone to the US and learned how to use a fork. Jiang lucked out, and while I am still firmly in control of Shanxi, Feng does not have two Mexican silver dollars to rub together.

Now, Feng Yuxiang and I have had our differences. He has been at times known as the “Christian General” and the “Red General.” That tells you he is something of a moralist, and he loves to get on his high horse and tell people not to whore around, drink, or gamble. Fuck that! What is the point of being a warlord if I cannot get loaded with some whores and double the Shanxi treasury playing mahjong? As for the “Red General”–it is true that Feng spent way too much time in “mother Russia,” and since he was not banging Russian whores, you just have to think he is politically suspect.

But to be without an army, without a territory? Just too sad. Fuck, I am a bit depressed. Time to go do all the things that would make my former ally pray to his Western gods.

YXS


Bai Bai Dalai, Ni Hao Ma Bufang

August 2, 2007

My Dearest Readers,

After enduring weeks of near starvation, subsisting solely off Yak and Yak-By-Product, the great Tibetan experiment has come to an end.  Due to the machinations of the 13th Dalai Lama, myself and the remnants of the once mighty JPA were expelled from the Tibetan highlands yesterday, although to be honest this comes as a relief. Yes, I had been hoping to rally my Tibetan cousins to fight for me, but the thought of drinking any more yak butter was creating certain mental imbalances that could not be ignored. And the JPA! Perhaps if the yak meat was sliced razor thin, then dunked in a blazingly spicy broth that ensured epic laduzi–well then they might have been able to survive the thin air.  As it was their health and spirits were at an all-time low.

So we left, traveling by yak-pulled carts to Xining, the capital of Qinghai. Departing Tibet I had time to ponder this great land and came to some conclusions. The first is that yaks are the stinkiest when you travel behind them. The second is that having young boys become monks, such as is the practice in Tibet, deprives them the chance for free thought. What a brilliant way to pre-indoctrinate the masses! I will look into this in the future. Finally, reincarnation is also pretty sweet. The only problem is that once you are Yan Xishan, you can only go down in the next life.

Now that I am in Xining, I am making plans to meet with Ma Bufang, the local warlord. Perhaps he will be able to assist me in my drive to Shanxi. He is a Hui, one of China’s many ethnicities. The Hui are Muslims, so I am expecting a warm welcome, complete with lots of booze. Expect an update shortly.

YXS


Yan Xishan meets the Dalai Lama

July 28, 2007

My dear Loyalists,

Yes, it is true, I have yet to return to my beloved Shanxi.  How my subjects must be suffering under the rule of the Mao Zedong and his motley band of wife-sharers.  Fear not, I will return!

In the meantime I am stuck in the Tibetan highlands, attempting to rally an army.  It has been slow going–it seems these Tibetans don’t speak Chinese.  To make matters worse, they want nothing to do with me or my Han brothers and sisters.  That much was made clear to me during my meeting with the 13th Dalai Lama.   I snapped this photo of him:

 

After serving me the most horrid concoction of yak butter tea, he informed me that Tibet has enjoyed de-facto independence since the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, and they intended on maintaining that independence.

A few things struck me after this meeting.  First, Tibet seriously needs to learn how to make a G&T–beverage-wise, they surely are one of the most backward peoples around.  I have yet to see a single ice cube!  Second, not once did His Holiness thank me for my part in bringing down the Qing and thus helping free his peoples.  Finally, I had heard that despite his pledge of independence, His Holiness had bowed to the wishes of the monasteries and canceled the modernization of the Tibetan army, which they saw as too expensive and a threat to their traditional powers.   Once I reunify China under my rule, how are they going to stop me from invading?  But the beautiful thing about reincarnation is that future Dalai Lamas cannot complain–all I have to say to Dalai Lama #14 and his heirs is, hey, you were the one that disbanded the army!

Still, I do wonder if I will bother to invade.  Not really a big fan of the yak.  Plus, the Tibetan people have a certain individuality that I would like to see preserved.  It is not every minzu that can say “Hey, you know what?  Screw vegetables.  Lets move to 5000m above sea level and subsist on yak, and yak alone.”