Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:31 PM
For the past two days, the Chongqing Economic Times has been reporting breathlessly about a local man who, when furnished with a basin of water and three towels, can make money appear as if from nowhere:
The article, written by a senior writer for the paper with the assistance of an intern, reports that other spectators followed suit, pulling out sums of up to 8,300 RMB at a time. Yang also produced Euros, US dollars, coins, and ration tickets. The secret? It might have something to do with alcohol:
Yang says that he is not performing magic () but rather the art of escape ( ):
Today's paper followed up on the story with more hype from the pen of the senior journalist, who reports that experts from Germany and Japan are waiting in Wuhan to study Yang's skills in person. The article also offers an informed opinion from a domestic academic:
There's another possible explanation for Yang's performance, or at least the Chongqing Economic Times' press coverage: both articles note that a Chongqing-based website has put up a 100,000 RMB reward for the first person to unlock his secret.
Yang has been stunning local press for quite some time. A previous television special (embedded below) features him producing bills and coins from a basin covered by two towels and several sheets of newspaper. Amazing? Convincing? Entertaining? At all worthy of being included on Wanzhou's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, as reported by the original Chongqing Economic Times article? Decide for yourself (the actual performance begins at around 2:30):
Links and Sources
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!