Monday, January 23, 2006

The Chinaman is Not the Issue

Is anyone else getting sick of China?

If your life is like mine (and God help you if it is), your holiday season was awash in ill-informed dinner table conversations about China's recent emergence as an international economic power. Either your uncle, or your cousin, or your fat British friend's terrifying father sat you down and, over egg nog and Xmas cookies, (or over Kosher bagels and fishsticks), regurgitated alarming statistics he'd read in U.S News & World Report about said countrys already dense population and the emergence of a palpable Chinese Democracy. (At which point, if you are like me, you were reminded of the much anticipated but infinitely delayed album release from Guns N' Roses. Come on Axl, put the needle down, call Buckethead, and finish a fucking song.)

Well, now China has added more fuel to the fire:

A Chinese lawyer named Liu Gang claims to own a map, which he purchased for $500 from a Shanghai dealer, that shows both North and South America clearly drawn out, along with Africa and Australia. (The British Isle, however, are absent.) The map was created in 1763, but its cartographer claims to have copied his work from another map made in 1418. This would, of course, pre-date Columbus by almost a century, and give creedence (You like what I did there? Two Lebowski references in one article) to the theory put forward by British author Gavin Menzies that the Americas were first discovered by Zheng He, a Muslim mariner.

This new development, along with the oft-reported notion that the Chinese government is secretly meeting with North Korea's "ronry" leader Kim Jong Il, is making me quite sick of China.

You know what I say? Fine. Maybe you did get here first, China.

But did you crawl ashore under the mistaken notion you were in India? Did you make peace with the indigenous population and accept their gifts while secretly recording in your journal that they were ripe for enslavement? Did you brutally murder millions of people and consciously spread smallpox and other diseases among their population, in what is generally considered the first instance of chemical warfare? Did you drive them off their land and make ridiculous deals with them which you had no intention of keeping? Did you do any of these things, China?

No, you did not. So back off.


At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.



Post a Comment

<< Home