Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mummy Peng loves Uncle Xi…not that Putin guy...

So, Bouchercon is over and I did not go to Iceland Noir. I am feeling just a tad bitter and jealous about that. Next year, I swear.

No, I came home post-Bouchercon to…copy-edits. More specifically, reviewing the copy edits for my third Ellie McEnroe novel, the series I write that's set in contemporary China. The copy edit process is, for me, a lengthy reminder that I do not understand how to use commas properly, among other things.

Aside from that, I've been working on the draft of a sequel to Getaway. Getaway was set in Mexico. This book is set in the wilds of Houston, TX, and various California locales.

So I'm not all that connected to China at the moment, and tonight I wondered how to approach a post for a blog that's about murders, everywhere, except in the US and Canada. I have a ton to say about the US, if not Canada, so expect me to break that rule in upcoming months, because as absurd as what I'm about to write about is, we have plenty of absurdities here in the US to cover.

I decided to write a bit about the current political situation in China, which is pretty interesting—there's a major anti-corruption campaign going on, which is simultaneously a party rectification campaign, a factional purge and an honest-to-god anti-corruption campaign, the biggest since the days of Mao Zedong. We're also seeing a Mao-like cult of personality emerging around new president Xi Jinping and his glamorous People's Liberation Army officer folk-singing wife, Peng Liyuan.

They even have inspired a new pop tune that's shaking up the Youku charts. It's called "Uncle Xi Loves Mummy Peng" and features lyrics like:
Men must learn to be like Uncle Xi
Women must learn to be like Mummy Peng
and take after them and love each other
with a warmth that can warm ten thousand families!
You want to hear it. You know you do. It features child rappers.

Although "Uncle Xi Loves Mummy Peng" has been a viral hit in China, not all reactions from Chinese netizens have been positive. I think my favorite response (as quoted by The Nanfang) was:
Crazy; taken too many drugs. 
I wonder if said commenter had seen this example of Peng Liyuan's earlier work…

One thing's for sure: No one is getting in-between this power couple, not even Vladimir Putin. From the Atlantic:
If anyone is going to make headlines at a staid affair like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, it's going to be Vladimir Putin. The swaggering Russian president did passive observers of global leadership conferences a solid on Monday with an act of gallantry (or benign sexism) for the ages. 
Amid the high pageantry of the summit's opening dinner, Putin stood up to gracefully place a blanket around the shoulders of Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan. 

 Here's the footage:

This act of gallantry? Flirtation? Bro-behavior? caused such a stir on Chinese social media and elsewhere that hours after the footage was broadcast, Chinese censors busily scrubbed it from China's internet.

Hey, at least Putin kept his shirt on.

Lisa…every other Wednesday...


  1. When I first read about Bro Putin messing with Uncle Xi's Lady's shoulders... my first thought was..Aha! That's how the world will get rid of Stalinistic Mr. Putin! And, maybe it will be... if we read one day soon that the Kremlin can't find Putin or his shirt... we'll know who done it! Concerned Thelma Straw in Manhattan

  2. What we REALLY need is some photoshop virtuoso to create a photo of Lady Peng using a blanket to cover up Putin's bare man-boobs.

  3. I don't know. There is always a political motive. I was thinking of taking off my shirt and doing this pose on my horse and sending it off as an internet challenge. If I can get thousands of men to do this we can see how good Mr. Putin's humor is. Or how many of us SHOULD wear a man-bra.

    1. That would be awesome. I await the resulting meme!

  4. I just realized that Putin must be on a relative of the famous Iceland horse...they're pony size but don't say that aloud as their elves protectors get very angry. Yes, Lisa, I learned a lot in Reykjavik.