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Guangdong Officials Banned from Using Triad Nomenclature

Posted: 05/14/2014 8:10 pm

According to a missive issued by the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Discipline Supervision, all workers belonging to government bodies are now forbidden to call each other names like “boss“, “Don“, or any other titles with underworld implications.

Also made forbidden is the practice by which some government workers have taken to calling subordinates by the nomenclature of “brother” or “bro“.

The Bureau of Discipline Supervision stated this practice destroys both party democracy and the image of the public servant; as such, it is not conducive to the character of the Party and the People’s government, and so is forbidden.

The missive does not cover it, but we’re not sure what to call a envelope that is red in color except maybe a “red envelope”.

No More First Class Flights for Guangdong Officials
No More Clubbing for Guangzhou Officials
In Trying to Clean Up the Environment, Guangdong Cracks Down on Officials
Local Officials Ask to “Borrow” Orphans to Make Themselves Look Good

Photo: m1905


The Monkey King: China’s latest foray into franchise fatigue

Posted: 04/7/2014 11:28 am

monkey king donnie yen

[This article contains spoilers to a 500 year-old book.]

The reason why Journey to the West is beloved by many is because it is a great tale of redemption. The story tells of an arrogant ass, who proclaims himself “Great Sage, Equal of Heaven”. Over the course of the story, which facilitates the kicking of plenty of other asses, he learns the importance of humility, and eventually attains divinity.

That Chinese audiences have come to regard the Monkey King, colloquially known as Sun Wukong, as a beloved character comes at the cost of forgetting that this ass was imprisoned underneath a mountain for crimes against Heaven, that place that other people are dying to get into. This selective memory has enabled a new generation of Monkey King fans to detest Tripikata, the human protagonist of Journey to the West, for the audacity of disciplining that which can’t be disciplined.

Surely, Sun Wukong is just misunderstood, the underlying theme in the newest version of China’s version of franchise fatigue, The Monkey King (2013, called “大闹天宫” in Chinese). This modern update is the first in a purported trilogy that stars Donnie Yen as the latest to put on the monkey suit to tell the prelude of Journey to the West, in which Sun Wu-Kong rebelled against Heaven.

Big budget effects-laden blockbusters shouldn’t require any thinking, but The Monkey King provokes its audience by radically deviating from a story that every Chinese knows from years of reruns and new IP lethargy. By portraying Sun Wukong as a misunderstood soul that becomes a reluctant hero instead of a pompous ass, his future redemption is undermined. In other words, this CGI-heavy movie is sure to become the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy of China.

Almost everything about the Monkey King’s origin is changed. He is given the name “Great Sage, Equal of Heaven” rather than honoring it upon himself as an arrogant boast. He becomes responsible for the Imperial Stables because he likes horses, not because it was an attempt by the Jade Emperor to placate his enormous ego. Worst of all, Sun Wukong is given a master from whom he learns the “virtues of man” instead of being an unreasonable force of nature that would eventually require Buddha to force his hand, literally. The resulting mess of a story is so bad that it would be impossible to tell at a fireside a hundred years ago.

The performances are stilted, perhaps given the fact that many of the characters are perfect divine beings as seen by their blue contact lenses. Chow Yun-Fat plays the doddering Jade Emperor, the omnipotent character that nonetheless allows Sun Wukong to run amok in Heaven. This same kind of thematic complacency can also be seen in the children’s cartoon “Pleasant Goat“ (喜洋洋与灰太郎): An authority figure allows children to freely engage in violence on a grand scale while enjoying a military/technological advantage, thereby making this popular theme either a projection of China’s “little emperors,” or the permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Fantasy isn’t a genre in which anything can happen for any reason; rather, it’s when something fantastical happens for a logical reason. As an audience we can’t simply accept a terrible story just because we like the character, but then, I guess this explains the eight seasons of Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen.

All be forgiven if the second part of the trilogy is entitled, “The Monkey King 2: …in Space!

Rated: Zero out of One Stars

[For a sublime take on the story of Journey to the West, please go see Stephen Chow's criminally under-appreciated "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" (2013).]

Trifling Tidbits:

  • Best part of this movie: monkey parkour.
  • Worst part of this movie: besides terrible CGI, when you’re not staring at actors in monkey suits, you’re staring at furries.
  • Match(-up) made in heaven: Monkey King vs Nezha. Unfortunately, doesn’t include two headed, six arm action.
  • There be flies in Heaven, but then, they are divine flies borne from divine poop. 
  • There is less actual kung-fu in this movie than there is in a 90′s Hong Kong historical sexploitation flick.
  • What, no “cloud” to serve as the Monkey King’s ride? That’s a detail that wasn’t even missed in Andy Serkis’ “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” video game.
  • Actor trademark: Before assaulting the Gates of Heaven, Don-Don hulks out by ripping off his Monkey armor, a clear reference to stripping down to a wife-beater in every other non-historical Donnie Yen movie.

Photo: jxnews

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