Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Black and white and nearly dead all over

Tuan Tuan: What is my favourite dual-function gland organ, Yuan Yuan?
Yuan Yuan: Is it the panda-creas, Tuan Tuan?

You have to admire China for its panda-based attitude towards international relations. Genocide, human rights atrocities - the world has yet to invent a problem that China won't attempt to solve by throwing an irrelevant panda in its direction.

Because everyone loves pandas! You'd have to be a world-weary cynic or some sort of educated person to view Beijing's gift of two giant pandas to Taipei Zoo with scepticism. Just because it undermines decades of fragile Taiwanese independence, potentially contravenes the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species and treads perilously close to a united front stratagem.

But who can resist a giant panda? Look into those beautiful black eyes - it doesn't even matter that they're lazy, frigid and needlessly expensive to maintain, consuming an exorbitant amount of conservation funds that could be more valuably invested elsewhere.

After all, the World Wildlife Fund probably wouldn't attract as many benefactors if its mascot was the similarly threatened but less photogenic New Zealand weta, tenderly named by the Maoris 'the god of ugly things.'

Help us save the disgusting insects of New Zealand

Pandas are lucky to have evolved in a country that recognises their value as poignant global currency - well, once they stopped hunting them to the point of near-extinction for their pelts anyway. The panda is a natural symbol for international relations, not only for its peaceful demeanour (laziness, to be fair), but also its simultaneously black and white fur that symbolises racial harmony.

Panda diplomacy and Taiwan

Tuan Tuan: Which one of us am I again, Yuan Yuan?
Yuan Yuan: It doesn't matter, Tuan Tuan - we look identical. 
Tuan Tuan: That's just the sort of bigotry we're here to sort out, Yuan Yuan!

Maybe China's gift of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan to Taiwan (whose names translate as 'reunion') shouldn't be viewed as a covert scheme to lull the ROC into a false sense of camaraderie before violently absorbing it into the PRC - but as a genuine symbol of togetherness between two peoples separated by ocean but united by a common, recent ancestry.

Except that's where China went wrong this time, isn't it? I mean, sending black and white pandas to Taiwan - come on! Everyone knows both countries are yellow.

Yeah, I mean literally yellow. Like a canary. Actually, a canary would have been a more appropriate gift - an animal that's simultaneously yellow and yellow, like them. And maybe if China did employ more canaries, they could send a few down their death-trap coal mines to check out the atmosphere, and stop losing so many people to mining accidents. It's a good thing I'm around to help out with stuff like this.

On second thought, canaries may be even lazier than pandas.
Look at this one sleeping on the job - hop to it Tweety, there's coal to be dug!

Why is there all this China-Taiwan schism anyway? Everyone knows all Chinese people look (and thus are) exactly the same, so they should naturally get along. Young, old, male, female, 汉族, 壮族, 满族, aborigine, Bengali, I'm snookered if I can tell the difference. And what's with the eyes?

Panda diplomacy may not succeed in bringing the respective Chinese nations together, but with any luck my ignorant racism may finally unite the countries in harmonious hatred of me. I'm sort of like Hitler in that respect, among others. Or a young Richard Herring. It's okay Chinas, I'm here now!

Did I have some sort of point with all this...? Oh yeah, I saw the pandas at the zoo. It was nothing to write home about, let alone a needlessly offensive blog entry.

1 comment:

  1. you know, I was going to write a proper reply but all I can think is 'daaaaw, the pandas'