The Water Cooler of the Chinese Century

4 12 2008

“As a Chinese-American, may I officially assert that the only way we can beat ‘the China’ is by waging cultural war on them. We need to hedonize their lifestyle by showing them our slacker own. Imagine, if you will, a montage of the next decade in the style of mid-80s anti-Soviet propaganda films wherein formerly straitlaced Chinese wander dazed and bedazzled through a wonderland of undreamt freedoms: not, as in the 80s movies, of capitalist luxury and decadence, but more a wasted postcapitalist pothead dystopia, like Richard Linklater’s Austin. The Chinese need to be told they can sneak out back and get totally baked at work. Every office in China needs to become The Office. Harold and Kumar need to infiltrate and subvert society. I mean, face it, folks: the Wall fell to rock music. The new Berlin is a city built on rock and roll. We need to blitz China with a barrage of what we do best: images of people having the low-rent good times you, the viewer, will never have. We need to undermine the Chinese national spirit through the careful deployment of disillusion in movies, advertising, and individual examples of expatriate lifestyle, showing them convincingly how apathy, sloth, and disenfranchisement are the only genuine reactions to contemporary global society. Oh yeah, and irony, of course. Let’s not forget irony.” ~ Sheldon Chang

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