Joel Pett in China: June 12

June 12, 2012 

Xian, June 12

Today I made two more speeches about political cartooning, in my quest to thoroughly perplex the largest number of Chinese possible in a short time.

This morning I was driven to an enormous complex of offices at the (drum roll, or egg roll, please…) “Cultural Relics and Replicas Development Co., Ltd.”

From what I could gather, it’s just what it sounds like, a private company that makes phony “relics” on an enormous scale. After all, if historic artifacts are a good thing, brand new relics are clearly way better, and a lot less dusty and cracked.

Perhaps you yourself might purchase one in the near future and proudly display it in your personal home, next to your civil-war replica weaponry.

CRRDC is also developing what seemed to be a frighteningly immense theme park, scheduled to open in 2015, assuming things stay on schedule. Picture some combination of Las Vegas, and Disneyland marinated in communist propaganda and how bad could it be?

If it flops, maybe it could just be re-branded as a “relic” theme park. My guess is that it will have a Great Wall that is Greater than the current so-called Great Wall, which is broken down in places, clearly past it’s prime, and so uneven you could twist an ankle or break a heel.

Just to be helpful, I suggested what I thought an appropriate exhibit combining faux-relic buildings with a Chinese dietary staple, with the palindromic name “A dog! A panic in a pagoda!” The smiling officials appeared perplexed. I’m guessing it won’t happen.

The second talk was at the People’s Ginormous University of Officially Approved Journalism, a classroom of a couple hundred attentive and cheerful perplexed young people.

Despite the fact that there appeared to be several thousand buildings at PGUOAJ, mine was under construction and every surface had a half-inch or so of dust on it. I figured that would help preserve the actual surfaces, thus delaying the need for the faux-relic PGUOAJ theme park.

I was assured the students understood English, but I wasn’t so sure, since they didn’t laugh uproariously at jokes about Mitch McConnell. I began to suspect it wasn’t even a real “university” since they don’t even have a basketball team.

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