Snobs and Suckers Rule the day
Red Song from the Pearl Tower
Year's Painting: The Pearl Tower - Fang,
his cousin and the maid all in traditional
Chinese costume with brilliant Ming fashion.
His cousin handed him a box of cake with a priceless
pearl tower secretly concealed in it.
The Pearl Tower is the most celebrated Xiju Opera and the
most cherished work of Xiju
maestros Mei Lanzhen and Wang Binbin. It is a comedy
drama slamming some "up-class" elites who could
be so heartless towards the poor and powerless even when
they are their own extended family members.
20-year old (or even younger, who knows) Fang was the grandson
of a former high official, but in a social hierarchy highly
fluent Chinese society (thanks to a revolutionary social
system purposefully invented 2,000 years ago by emperors
and intellectuals of the Han dynasty based on Confucius
teaching), after his grandfather and father all passed
away, Fang's family quickly fell in status to the very bottom
of the socioeconomic ladder. The only way for him to get
to his desired position is through intellectual competition,
i.e. to pass the national
scholar examination held once
in every four years. But he was short of fare to take
a trip to the capital, so his mother sent him to his aunt
The poor guy walked days (or weeks?) to his aunt's town.
When he arrived, a grand birthday-party for his uncle-in-law,
a retired regional inspector (省纪委离休老干部)， was in full swing,
and his aunt was holding a media conference, attended by
ladies and maids from neighbouring households, bragging the
economic achievement of Fang family. It's too bad that
this shallow and vain woman didn't understand one crucial
factor of life: The benefit of a dual retirement arrangement
system (退休双轨制), in which the government officials would be
handed a large lump sum of money as superannuation while
the ordinary workers - peasants, tradesmen and vendors -
received no age pension at all (by the way, for 5000 years,
China's economic system was chiefly based on private ownership
until 1949), would not extend beyond the retired officials'
mortality, hence when Fang emerged, she was shocked at his
ragged appearance then felt humiliated by her association
with him and eventually became outraged for his daringness
to ask for help. Consequently, Fang received no assistance
but a load of insults.
On his way returning home "empty handed" (as what
he thought), Fang was robbed and beaten half to death, but
rescued by a family friend. With the help of the friend,
Fang collected his academic prize in the capital and got
a job as national law-enforcement inspector (巡按). (It seems
that material wealth not necessarily delivers you a good
fortune; it could bring you more troubles too. So, those
greedy elites who believe in "举贤不避亲" and love to
promote their own sons, brothers, teachers, students and
colleagues of three or four years to prominent positions
to collect or even steal national assets, should you think
again in terms of what kind of legacy is really worth handing
down to your offspring?)
Back to Fang. After he became the imperial inspector, the
first thing he decided to inspect was his aunt's consciousness.
He put on a humble street singer's robe with a Chinese guitar
in his arms and knocked at that snober's gate again. With
the noble spirit of "惩前毖后，治病救人 "(helping the sucker to
learn the lesson from the past and be a better person in
future), he communicated with the old lady by singing 道情
(daoqing, Sing & Saying, a classic street audio
art) and hoped she could get the massage (寓教于乐) thus reflect
on and redeem her sucking behaviour. The following aria is
one of the educational daoqings (红歌) that Fang (played
by Zhou Dongliang) sang for his aunt:
Zhou Dongliang (周东亮), dubbed by
his fans as the Prince of Xiju Opera, is a superstar
in China's opera stage. Apart from his top singing skills
and the ability to interpret whatever the characters he
portrays with remarkable emotional and spiritual subtlety
and depth, he can also perform startling kung fu stunts.
And above all, he is a dignified and compassionate guy,
just like Fang, which makes his stage presentation truly
convincing and appealing.
Finally, here is the pearl tower part in the Xiju Opera
the Pearl Tower:
Despite having a mean and heartless mother, Fang's cousin
was a passionate and generous young lady who placed the pearl
tower in a snake box and gave it to the unsuspected Fang
as her parting gift.
The priceless treasure did not help Fang but nearly destroyed
him, however, that's another story. The lady's noble spirit
should not be undermined for untoward consequences, because,
what really counts is our INTENTION - it is our thoughts
and feelings about other people that shape our long
And the young lady's fate is good. She eventually married
her sweetheart and the pair happily live together ever after
(until now ... on Chinese opera stage).
What A Chinese
The below are the words from China's
top government consultant:
Is the wealth gap between rich and poor in
China too big? Certainly not, in fact, it’s still not big enough.
Only when we further increase the gap, socioeconomic advancement
of the nation can then be achieved. (中国的贫富差距还不够大，只有拉大差距，社会才能进步。
The hallmark of China’s modernisation is that the professors
in the Beijing University owe cars and holiday villas.
Why are the poor people in China poor, because they hate rich
people. (中国穷人为什么穷，因为他们都有仇富心理。 )
If national assets were a bowl of rice, we should spit on it.
In order for the economic reform to succeed, we have no choice
but to sacrifice an entire generation, that is 30 million old
800 million peasants and
redundant workers are China’s huge assets, since their consistent
presence under the current condition is necessary for the happy
lives of the rich few. (8亿多农民和下岗工人是中国巨大的财富，没有他们的辛苦哪有少数人的享乐，他们的存在和维持现在的状态是很有必要的.)
The poor should view the riches as their big brothers. The big
ones wear new clothes, and the little ones get
their hands down, which is only natural. (穷人应该将富人看成自己的大哥，大哥穿新衣小弟穿旧衣，天经地义.)
China is in the middle phase of the development. We’ll have
to go through the heavy industry stage, during which the pollution
to the environment is unavoidable. But so what, we’ve gained
the economic benefits. (中国处于发展中阶段，重工业化是必经阶段，对环境的污染势必难免但我们获得了收益.)
I call for the full abolition of old-age pensions, unemployment
benefits, compensations for work-related injuries and all other
welfare payments, that's the way to make people stick to their
Let redundant workers live in rural areas (下岗工人到农村去！)!
The man who made the above anti-humanity
statements is Li
Yining (厉以宁), the top consultant for Chinese government and
the teacher and mentor of China's vice premier Li Keqiang who
loves to let public know that he is soooooooooo proud of being
The following are some comments from bbs.people.com.cn:
Who Is Li Yining (厉以宁)?