Fashion

Souvenir of nationalism 2008

too_cnn_t-shirt.jpg
Souvenir of Beijing 2008

In 1991 T-shirts printed with cynical messages such as "I'm fed up! Leave me alone!" and "Getting rich is all there is" began to appear in Beijing and soon became popular with young people. They were known as 'cultural shirts' (文化衫).

As a 1991 New York Times article put it , the slogans were "not openly critical of the Government, but they convey a sense of being withdrawn, rebellious and hopeless -- instead of the gung-ho enthusiasm for Communism that young people are supposed to feel."

The T-shirts were soon banned. The Times article cited above also quoted the China Youth Daily about the shirts:

"Cultural shirts are not a Chinese invention, they are only a foreign trick borrowed from the West, where they have existed for decades. If we make a little study, we find that Westerners wear such shirts as an expression of decadent feelings."

Remembering those T-shirts, blogger and journalist Wang Xiaofeng decided to buy an anti-CNN T-shirt, although it does not sound like he is planning to wear it. Below is a translation of his post about the T-shirts.

Too CNN

by Wang Xiaofeng

Every year at this time, I buy T-shirts. Last year was annoying because I did not like any of the popular T-shirts. They either had logos printed on them or shiny plastic decorations, all stupid. I don't know what the people who designed those shirts were thinking; so last year I did not buy T-shirts.

Today I planned to buy a wok. I ended up buying a pile of records. The pirate CDs are getting better and better, but the music on them is terrible. I strolled around for a while and found a clothing shop selling T-shirts. I had a look and saw an anti-CNN T-shirt. Chinese people react really quickly: over there they are busy cursing CNN, over here they have already released a line of products. This proves that in certain situations, politics quickly becomes fashion.

At first I had no intention of buying a shirt like this because even if I wanted to, I can't get CNN. Anyway, let them say whatever they want, you can't demand that they say China's situation is excellent all day long. Reconsidering my decision, I thought that this T-shirt has great value as a souvenir. After several years, taking out this T-shirt and looking at it will be a lot of fun, like looking at [1996 nationalist bestselling book] China Can Say No or [1998 Hong Kong soft porn film] Sex and Zen right now. Even better would be if someone would print 'Boycott Carrefour' T-shirts. Collecting a lot of these T-shirts is like recording history.

Right now my biggest regret is that I bought a T-shirt printed with "I'm fed up! Leave me alone!", such a classic, but I later threw it away.

So I decided to buy a 'Don’t be like CNN' T-shirt although to make the shirt perfect, there should be an additional sentence: 'Just like CCTV'.

Finally, I did manage to buy a wok.

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There are currently 13 Comments for Souvenir of nationalism 2008.

Comments on Souvenir of nationalism 2008

My favorite cultural T-shirt was the one worn by a foreigner in Nanjing back in 2003. He claimed to have bought it at a market in Kunming: link

This was the shirt in Chinese characters telling Chinese to change their character with a top 10 list of admonishments such as "Don't stare at foreigners" and "Don't say 'Hello', 'OK', and '老外' to foreigners".

(When this news was reported by Chinese media every single article omitted the word "老外”in the latter phrase, even though it can be clearly seen in the accompanying photo!)

Hey can anyone please post the translation in Chinese characters of "I'm fed up! Leave me alone!"? I'd like to get one made.

Haha, I might even go buy and wear that shirt...mainly cuz I find CNN and the rest of the cable news media to be complete idiots...

albert:

烦着呢,别理我

Long live He Who Wears Three Watches.

Anti Fox News Channel (or just plain Anti Murdoch) might do well too...

But like the blogger said, he can't even get those channels anyway.

my favourite from 1991, which I still have (though it's falling apart) says, simply: 真累

"Anti Fox News Channel (or just plain Anti Murdoch) might do well too..."---HUNXUER

Come on brother, Murdoch is an aged fellow...leave him alone. Besides, he is married to one fine Chinese lady and if you are anti-him according to local logic you might be saying something against 1.3 billion.

Besides its Roger Ailes who sails the ship at FOX not Murdoch. Murdoch owns News Corp. but Ailes is head of FOX. Ailes is a business genius too. He built MSNBC, and CNBC, as well as FOX, and the up and coming FOX Business Network. You may not like these fellows but you can't deny that they are savvy businessmen.

How about an Anti-Danwei.org shirt?
Just kidding. Goldkorn rules!!!!!

@Sgt. Slaughter - "Besides, he is married to one fine Chinese lady"

Shum mishtake shurely? You mean "one crazy-assed bi-otch" don't you?

Let's see - she gets taken in by a US foster family in her mid-teens, seduces and marries the husband, divorces him after six months, goes to university and moves to HK, basically throws herself at Murdoch the first time she ever saw him and ends up marrying one of the world's richest men. Actually that last part sounds totally sane, but still!

@Spelunker - Yeah, but they still had to go and put '老外' in the title didn't they? Cool piece, wish I'd read it before going to China, it would have saved me that whole "if I just learn Chinese culture, history and the Chinese language well enough it will all start to make sense" period.

Happy Days!

I posted on zhong nan hai blog as well.

The Case Study of Marketing Strategy: Boycott Carrefour

In 2007 Carrefour China has been seeking a new marketing strategy to increase the brand awareness in Chinese market. But nothing really exciting has come out.

In April 2008, after the violent Olympic Torch relay protestin Paris. The marketing manager Pierre Wang in Carrefour head office China saw the great opportunity had come. There was anger among many hyper nationalistic internet youth in China after protest in London, Paris and San-Francisco.

Pierre Wang set up a special team of 10 to use all different names on all the major Chinese internet forums and blogs to call for a boycott Carrefour. This boycott Carrefour call spread all over China via internet and SMS just in three days.

In the next three weeks, there were protests led by High school and uni students in front of few Carrefour stores cross China. The crowed has been well controlled by police. There was no damage or sales decline in the stores. In the mean time, boycott or not boycott Carrefour has been hot topic on all the Chinese media. All the celebrities came out and talked about their opinions.

By the beginning of May 08, the majority of Chinese people from Kindergarten to retiree village agreed Carrefour was innocent and boycott was senseless. Carrefour became the top branded store among Chinese people as a result.

In 2009, Carrefour opened another 200 new stores in China. Pierre Wang was promoted as the global marketing director in Carrefour.

sorry,every one.

the Case Study was just my joke. I think carrefour is laughing rather than crying

wang's tone is amusing.

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