Monday, October 11, 2010

On Patriotism

A post in pictures.

  1. In America, patriotism looks like this:

    Me and Andy in front of Mount Rushmore

    This is Andy and I doing our best America impressions in front of a minature Mount Rushmore at that famous Shenzhen attraction, Window of the World. Not to be confused with Windows on the World, the restaurant formerly located at the top of the World Trade Center towers, seen here, also in miniature:

    Miniature Twin
Towers

    As you can see, the miniature Mount Rushmore is quite authentic, even if the park necessarily elides the vast, unimportant states between New York and South Dakota (for your reference: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota — residents of those states: you have nothing of value). This authenticity does not extend to the park brochure.

    Brochure

    Left to right: Horseface O’Washington, Jefferson Just Poppin’ In, ROOOOOOOSEVELT, Charlie McCarthy

    Window of the World is an “amusement” park which purports to contain (ok, actually does contain) detailed miniature recreations of famous world landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Africa.

    African
Village

    With Chinese people! Like the two guys who came up to us and first asked to take a picture with us:

    Elephant and the other
one

    And then they asked us where we were staying, and followed us there, and reserved a room there too. So we ended up spending about 10 hours with them, all told. At the end of the night they suggested we have a beer together, and after one bottle each the guy on the left’s eyes turned red and he had to rest his head in his hands so he wouldn’t throw up. When they left the next morning he said he’d look me up on Skype.

    Really a magical place, Window of the World.

  2. In China, patriotism looks like this:

    Liu Xiaobo

    Liu Xiaobo (AP)

    Liu Xiaobo, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is still being jailed in China for pro-democratic activities. Most Chinese citizens do not know who he is, what he stands for, or that he has won the Nobel Prize. Those who do know must be careful: references to Liu Xiaobo have been removed from Chinese blogs and websites, and text messages containing his name have been blocked and SIM cards suspended.

    Patriotism looks like this.