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Dashan signs books, trashes crosstalk in Chongqing

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Dashan wows a fan.

Everyone's favorite Chinese-speaking Canadian comedian, Dashan (aka Mark Rowswell), is making appearances at bookstores across the country promoting his new book of children's fables, Uncle Dashan Tells Stories (listen to him read in the links below).

He also spoke about fairy tales and crosstalk in critical terms that the Chongqing Evening News likens to the language used on big character posters:

He detests the methods of traditional Chinese education, in which children are told a story and then are exactly what they should have learned from it. He feels this shows distrust and disrespect for children's intellegence.

Although he became known to audiences through crosstalk, Dashan rarely appears on TV to do crosstalk anymore. He says that TV killed crosstalk. He spoke frankly, saying that by the time he got involved with crosstalk he had missed its golden years by over a decade...the primary reason is that on variety shows televised in China, crosstalk is assigned a topic and has a responsibility to convey some message. He is unwilling to do those assigned topics; hence his appearances doing crosstalk on TV have dropped off. But he often goes to small teahouses in Beijing to see live performances.

Dashan has expressed views like these in the past, but so far they don't seem to have affected his stature in the eyes of his adoring Chinese audience, nor have they redeemed his reputation in the eyes of critical expats.

He also spoke about the financial scandal that surrounds the television production company with which he is associated in Canada (noted earlier on Danwei), but his remarks merely echoed previous statements given by his representatives.

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