Several of my students don’t know or have already forgotten who Zhao Ziyang was. But they have all heard of Da Shan. Da Shan is ‘China’s favourite foreigner’, renowned in every corner of the Middle Kingdom for his dashing good looks and his complete mastery of the Mandarin Chinese of Beijing. He arrived here from Canada in 1988, and since then, according to his very informative webs…excuse me just a moment, one of the students has a question.
Yes, you there, you had a question?
Don’t call me sir. My name’s Richard. What’s your name again?
“Jamily, sir. Er, Mr. Richard.”
Jamily? Your name is Jamily?!? What’s your question, Jamily?
“Well, sir, it’s just that…I was thinking about that story you made us read, sir, Mr. Richard. The one about the picture. By that guy, er, Oswald Wo-‘
Oscar Wilde, Jamily. What about it?
Don’t say ‘what, sir?’ It’s … oh it doesn’t matter. What’s your point, Jamily?
“Well, I was thinking, because, you know, Da Shan came to China in 1988, sir, and that other guy, the one you asked about yesterday? I did some research, and I found out that he was locked up under house arrest, sir, Mr.Richard, in 1989, so I thought-”
Are you suggesting that Zhao Ziyang was like the picture in the attic, while Da Shan is like the-
“Yes, sir, exactly, Mr. Richard, sir! And Da Shan is like the guy who couldn’t, I mean doesn’t, get any uglier!”
That’s bollocks, Jamily.
“Thank you, sir”
No, I mean it’s preposterous. It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard in my life.
“But sir, just think how much better things would have been! And just imagine all the wonderful things he could have done on behalf of other gay people in Ch-”
Jamily, I never said that Zhao Ziyang was gay!
“Well, sir, maybe just a little bit bi-”
Jamily! This is just too silly for words. Sit Down! Stop calling me Sir!
And change your name!
“Sorry, Mr. Richard, sir.”
Right, sorry about that, now where were we? Ah yes, the blog. According to Da Shan’s very informative website…
Just a moment. I need to think.
You know, maybe that kid Jamily – Jamily! – has a point.
It does kind of all make sense.
In fact the more I think about it…
Right! I’ve thought about it.
It’s time for the Chinese people to stand up once again!
Down With The Da Shan Dynasty!!!
It’s time to establish a People’s Republic of China!