Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

WYB? 2

I gotta say I’m impressed. Chinese propaganda in English is improving a lot. The chick is cute, she’s dressing in traditional clothing, her English is ok, but has a clumsy enough accent to sound cute, and the content is both strong and funny. Well done, guys.

Graphics are fairly low-quality, but that’s easy to improve. But making fun of the latest US Navy mishaps is pretty good, given that the odds are the Chinese military has been involved in some way. I can imagine the grin in the Chinese high command. Still, the emphasis on “American lives being lost”, “American taxpayer being wasted” is a bit try-hard. Just focus on Asia being Asia and Americans being incompetent bullies who have no business there, and you might even convince some baizuo over there.

Here’s welcoming some competent soft power here. Soon we will have cute Chinese waifus to complement Putin’s alpha allure to the Western masses.

40 responses to “WYB? 2

  1. Pingback: WYB? 2 | @the_arv

  2. Severian August 25, 2017 at 01:43

    The Youtube comments are flooded with Indians bitching about Pakistan. Has anything recent happened that I have missed out?

    • lalit August 25, 2017 at 07:31

      Idiots! They should be bitching about Islam, not Pakistan! They can’t even bitch about the right thing. Hindu civilization is truly exhausted.

    • With the thoughts you'd be thinking August 26, 2017 at 13:24

      They made a video about China and india’s recent spat and Indian media responded, thus Indians are responding with hostility.

  3. Rhetocrates August 25, 2017 at 02:40

    “given that the odds are the Chinese military has been involved in some way”

    I’d be surprised. I’m pretty sure this is just affirmative action, the slump in US IQ, and the Annapolis Protection Society coming home to roost.

  4. Aylok August 25, 2017 at 02:58

    Mmm… I found her delivery robotic and her voice was grating enough that it squelched any desire to obstruct her passages, heh, heh, heh. But they’re def improving.

    “passing ship … passage”, “to cross … across the Pacific”. Do Chinese people just not find this clunky and weird the way Europeans do?

    PS Off topic, but I remember you said that you were annoyed at how little good material there was in hanyu. Have you tried any 武俠 authors like 金庸 or 梁羽生?I recently have and *finally* have something to read that’s not xinhuanet or

    • j August 25, 2017 at 06:08

      Yes, she is cute but inexpressive and cognitively difficult. I mean, the message is delivered at an intellectual level, but showing some blood and dead sailors and oil covered pelican chicks would have been emotionally more penetrating. And showing American marines as incompetent is counter-productive, however true.

    • snorlaxwp August 25, 2017 at 06:25

      “passing ship … passage”, “to cross … across the Pacific”. Do Chinese people just not find this clunky and weird the way Europeans do?

      It’s considered good or poetic style in East Asian languages (especially Chinese) to repeat a word several times within the same phrase, yes.

      • spandrell August 25, 2017 at 12:25

        No, it’s not. You’re supposed to use a synonym.

        • snorlaxwp August 25, 2017 at 15:30

          I’ll defer to you on this topic of course, but still, all the historical events which are referred to as “The [Number] [Nouns]”? (I guess those are more about magic numbers than repetition). Long live, long live, long long live? (And granted that’s similar to English 3x “long live the king”).

        • j August 25, 2017 at 18:37

          In literary, poetic and devotional Hebrew (a West Asian language) it common to have the same concept expressed repeatedly in different words and expressions. Also repeating a key word in the same sentence. Example the Kaddish prayer:

          יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח
          וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם
          וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל
          שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא׃

          May His great name be blessed
          forever and ever!
          Blessed and praised,
          glorified and exalted,
          uplifted, honored, elevated and lauded be
          the name of the Holy One, blessed be He

    • spandrell August 25, 2017 at 12:58

      You gotta be pretty damn good already to be able to crack an 武侠 novel. And it’s an acquired taste, not a fan myself.
      I got good reading 王朔, but that’s just me. And he’s become a complete asshole of late.

  5. Pingback: WYB? 2 | Reaction Times

  6. snorlaxwp August 25, 2017 at 07:38

    Anyway that was some pretty dull copy, delivered awkwardly. Who’s it supposed to appeal to; this guy?

    Nowhere near the production values of the Russian or Qatari stuff.

    If I were them I’d find some slutty-looking afroed blasian chick who combines the you have no chance to survive stuff with hilarious profanity-intensive zingers about how Trump is fat and racist and has short fingers #Resist

    A month of that and Xinhua and CCTV would be basic cable.

    (“I get all my news from NPR and al Jazeera” — overheard circa 2008).

  7. Duke of Qin August 25, 2017 at 08:19

    Maybe it’s just me getting older and grumpier but I have to nitpick. The Qipao is not in the least bit traditional, it is in fact a modernist invention that was as the name implies a modified Manchu outfit that came into fashion after the Qing dynasty was overthrown. The form hugging silhouette and short sleeves are never seen in Han clothing prior to the 20th century.

    Also I hate that brassy red copper hair dye that many Chinese and other Asian women adopt. It’s ugly, it smells awful, and it damages hair follicles. Her hair is a woman’s crowning glory, she should treasure it and keep it the way it naturally is, a straight lustrous midnight black.

    • spandrell August 25, 2017 at 12:23

      I know dude, I know. But that’s what passes as traditional these days.

    • dirk diggler August 25, 2017 at 12:58

      whatever happened to you

      get tired of complaining about the party or did you settle into some sort of uneasy acceptance that at least maybe you wont be biologically replaced?

      as far as historical outcomes go its actually a rather decent hand

      • spandrell August 25, 2017 at 12:59

        A second comment like this and you’re banned.

      • Duke of Qin August 25, 2017 at 15:22

        I am still complaining about the party, however their across the board rejection of Americanism both politically and more importantly socially is one of their few redeeming qualities. I could go on and on about the stupid crap the party pulls, such as wasting billions on the so-called “one belt, one road” initiative that is at best going to go nowhere. Their one step forward two step backwards approach toward female de-emancipation. The PLA has followed the Americans in this regard training female pilots and now putting women on submarines. Their failure to nip Hui radicalization in the bud when myopically focusing on Uyghurs, there are more Hui women wearing headscarves now than there were even ten years ago where it was non existent.

        I don’t think I’ve even left a dozen comments here at Spandrell’s but maybe you are talking about the same reactionary circles that most people here frequent in which case I don’t recall ever being a particularly prolific commenter. I write in spurts of activity and then go silent for while because I enjoy reading and sometimes there is simply no point in commenting when everything I wanted to say was already said by others.

        Chinese, and really Asians in general, are bad a propaganda. To effectively lie to others, you have to convincingly lie to yourself first. I don’t think anyone working at Xinhua actually believes their own propaganda, thus it comes off as formulaic and too officious. This is a step up from the nonsense such as the “San ge dai biao” or “Hakko ichiu” but it pales in comparison to what peoples with more firmly rooted beliefs, even if completely delusional and stupid, are capable of.

        • spandrell August 25, 2017 at 16:05

          The PLA has females in submarines? Where’d you get that from?

          The Hui aren’t breeding that much, and they don’t have land of their own, they’re hardly a pressing problem.

          • Duke of Qin August 25, 2017 at 18:09

            From the PLA’s own propaganda films.


            To be fair, I watched clips from where those screen captures are taken from and the sailors shown are actors rather than sailors, so there may not be any women to be found on actual Chinese submarines like there are on US submarines, but I wouldn’t put it past them in trying to follow the US military. Now granted the US has gone off the deep by redesigning their next generation nuclear ballistic missile submarine with female friendly engineering spaces and mixed crew accommodations from the ground up, so female actors depicting life aboard submarines is slightly less stupid.

            As for the Hui, it is better to be safe than sorry and it isn’t really the separatism that worries me but rather their Jihadism, the potential of which is significantly greater than that of the Uyghurs because of how well they can blend in (think European convert Jihadies). It was after all the Hui that were responsible for kicking off both the Panthay and Dungan rebellions in the 19th century and those were fueled by nothing more than Islam’s bloody mindedness.

            • spandrell August 25, 2017 at 18:30

              Well, that picture is embarrassing, but I haven’t heard of real female sailors in combat duties in the PLA.

              And you just got no clue about the Hui. They are a bit annoying where there’s many of them (Ningxia, mostly), but around the country they are still secular, focused on scamming each other with halal products. And Han millennials hate them with a passion, so that’ll take care of itself.


              • Duke of Qin August 25, 2017 at 19:18

                The only female sailors that have been confirmed on PLA vessels are those aboard the Liaoning, even more so they stuffed them with minorities making those women a “two-fer” as they say in affirmative action parlance. There are just around two dozen of them out of a total crew size of around 2500. Their crew quarters are in a gender segregated area of the ship behind a biometric lock. You need to scan your thumbprint in order to get access. Probably wont stop one or more of them from getting pregnant though because ships have lots of little out of the way areas.

    • danielchieh August 25, 2017 at 14:36

      Its all optics. It looks good and can be claimed, at least, to not be outright Western.

  8. ricksean August 25, 2017 at 12:59

    Ugh :| Sorry but it’s so terrible it’s embarrassing to watch. Everything about this video is stiff and forced. It’s made to please the higher ups and it shows. China’s complete lack of talent in anything expressive still boggles my mind. I wonder how they got to that point.

  9. Dave August 25, 2017 at 20:34

    What’s the deal with all these US warships running into things? Are they being piloted by affirmative-action hires? How are they supposed to win sea battles if they can’t even see where they’re going?

    • dirk diggler August 26, 2017 at 07:40

      I can’t speak for the navy but electronic security is getting stuffed with various sorts of mud people. Joy.

  10. parisian August 27, 2017 at 04:25

    “Putin’s alpha allure to the Western masses”

    Which masses at the moment, or is that generalized for some years, and goes without saying? Would that be because of the Trump-meets and who looked flabby so obviously? Was curious formulation because there’s the Trump base, but anybody is aware of Putin’s criminal ease and brutal impressiveness–but has that made of him a kind of ‘idol’ in the West or parts of the West? It actually seems that it ought, but I haven’t picked it up as such, nor even that the most ardent Trumpistas are automatically impressed that way by Putin; I had thought it was mostly Russians and Central Europeans. Maybe was throwaway line on your part, although when you read in some places that Putin is the wealthiest man in the world, it should follow that it’s just somehow there. But if he’s got ‘alpha allure’, it would also seem that we’d be aware of more of a cult in the West, even though he is definitely short? And there may be, but I haven’t heard people talk about it anywhere. Seems like the focus when Putin’s around is still always on Trump even if he’s made to look weak by Putin. It doesn’t seem that Putin is perceived as a heroic thug (or whatever) just because he’s just bested Trump. It doesn’t quite seem alluring in the usual sense, because it’s ‘just Russia’ somehow. Maybe it’s understated and he wants it that way, but Russia still isn’t the U.S., even if they’re trying to get there. That Atlantic story about Veselnitskaya and her corporate raids and elite thefts explains a lot of the money-laundering for absentee resort-condos in NYC and elsewhere, but I’m interested if this is generally well-known. Does it seem different from Japan? There was a long brilliant NYT series in early 2015 about the LLC’s at Time Warner and Billionaire’s Row (57th-59th), and a lot of the owners of the condoes were Russian oligarchs who paid with the suitcases full of cash, so maybe there’s a mystique and ‘following’ of this sort of thing, but my impression was that it’s not well-known. Even after the NYT thing, I wouldn’t have known anything about how these higher-ups and semi-higher-ups in Moscow operate, and only a little more after the Atlantic piece, which was definitely very informative–including Veselnitskaya’s ‘misty-eyed patriotism’. Even if tongue-in-cheek, still is interesting to ponder as serious too.

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