Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Chills

Oh, so soon it will be Christmas. Many many moons ago, on Christmas day I was born into this world and into the hands of my woeful owner. I always cursed the manufacturers for producing me so close to Christmas. My first sight was that of that metallic garland known as tinsel. Tinsel is only for dinner ladies who wear it in their hair during the season.

Christmas in the UK = 7 ¾ weeks of moaning about Christmas coming earlier and earlier each year by manic shoppers who still fall prey to the same friggin’ trap each year X Christmas adverts featuring celebrities who gyrate up and down the aisles of chain stores and self depredating adverts for women (*does your face look like scorched macaroni? Are you old leaky, pathetic and repulsive, along with being female? Well here come the girls! Yeah!*)÷ pointlessly high expectations of the actual day + the depressing empty feeling you get by 5pm Christmas day + old people dying from the cold and lack of heating.

That’s why Christmas in China can be a nice break. Christmas is Dead in China. I mean, how else are you meant to feel when you walk into a shopping mall and see Father Christmas bizarrely nailed to a cross. A misunderstood idea that Baby Jesus grew up to be Santa (as designed by Coca Cola) maybe? Or maybe it was a reference to China going back its roots and sacrificing consumerism? Actually, it’s just China doing what it does best: Combining things it doesn’t understand with things that don’t match. Yes, that’s right, like floral cushions on red leather sofas.

The Chinese equivalent to Christmas is *nod nod* correct! Chinese New Year. It’s a festival that is truly about family, chatting, traditional food with symbolic meaning and general celebration. It is terribly noisy and people still fight for food and barricade themselves in like back home, but it’s stuck to its guns over the centuries and not wandered down a plastic tacky root, akin to Christmas.

And what's with all this?When did Father Christmas become associated with sex exactly?

Look at what happened to baby Jesus
Sexy Santa

Who came up with sexy Santa Christmas underwear? I’m still waiting for my sexy Chinese dragon leotard and face mask to prance about in, come February 14th 2010.
So what has Christmas become eh? Well, an amalgamation of all that’s glittery, red, consumerist and Father Christmas. It’s simply become a party in Jordan’s brain (sponsored by Heat magazine), projected into reality for all of us to suffer and accept.

From one of those horrible sites called something like jibjabjihad.com, where you can elf yourself up, plaster it's face on a mug and buy it, in order to fill that little sad spot inside you and make you feel better.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jackie's Visa Castle

Hoorah, Tabitha is back in action! No more Chinese internet censorship for me.

"How did you do it?" I hear you cry. The answer is - Magic. I can divulge no further for fear of encroaching on the 8th Harry Potter book rumoured to be set in a Dystopian future where the internet highway is blocked by a Baron Freespeechblockamort, and Harry and chums must work out a way round it.

I will now hand over the reigns to my pitiful owner as the guest writer for today.

I've spent the last week manically trying to stop my visa from expiring in my little hands. I spent two weeks in Hyperactive Stress Mode (similar to Berserk Mode in RPGs, but more neurotic) trying to get the relevant forms from my University and the reluctant local police station, whilst being thoroughly aware of my rapidly expiring visa. Then it was off the middle of nowhere outside the 59th ring road for a medical to prove that I don't have AIDS. The medical also checked my blood pressure, weight, height, hearing, sight, colour blindness, heart rate and internal organs. Luckily, the visa application process is pretty relaxed with ID, needing only your passport, dental records and your original umbilical cord.Then it's back to the other side of town and off to the Division of Exit & Entry Administration of Beijing Public Security Bureau 出入境管理

I arrived at the Bureau.


No one would serve me, because I hadn't yet picket up a ticket. The ticket machines print off a 4 digit-number ticket for you that indicate how many people are waiting ahead of you. Mine was 1408. This then qualifies you to sit in the Visa Waiting Area and listen out for your number to be called, but at the same time there are different numbers being called out for people waiting for a different service (residence permits, over due visa processing, visas for Hong Kong nationals and so on). The result is hearing "Ticket 1311 please go to.../Ticket 12B79 please go to..."

simultaneously whilst different numbers are flashing on a separate screen in front of you screen. I could see people quite literally crying with fear. As it came close to my number being announce, I grew anxious. When the moment came, after 2 hours, I leapt up only to realised I was simply being allowed to join the long queue that snaked it's depressing way around the interior. I waited inline, bored.

When my moment eventually occurred, it was disappointing brief and impersonal. My medical form was glanced at, my 21 passport photos were snatched from me and my passport was extracted from my hands with no words


"Come back in a week to collect it. NEXT!

What? That was it? That was the big moment? That was what all these days of nervous anxiety and rushing to have my blood taken had led to? Where was the interaction? The moments leading up to it were dull.

Inside the entry and exit bureau


As a result I propose the queuing process should be made more 'fun' and 'interactive' just to keep the adrenaline pumping application process consistent right up until the end.

It should work out so that you have to get your 87 digit service number from an Exit and Entry Bureau Employee who acts out the numbers in abstract dance and you have to work out what the numbers are. They perform the dance twice: once normally and the second time in reverse. You then have to convert that number into binary code (with the aid of a small handbook that you can only obtain by answering a series of questions on the history of Feminism in Estonia). You have 5 minutes to convert the number. Once your time is up you have to wait until what you *think* may be your 'number dance' is shown on the large screen in the middle of the room - that's your cue to go to service desk NG15368X (or whatever one is recommended). You have 14 seconds to get to the service desk, but you're not allowed to run. When you get there, you have to recite your number (now in binary coding) whilst someone throws balls with numbers written on them at your face.

You can not make any mistakes.

You get 60 seconds.

When you succeed, you can hand over your application and receive some kind of feedback on how well you filled out the form or how different you now look to your passport photo.

The End.

Get anything wrong or miss the time limits at any point and you have to repeat the whole process again.Exciting! Imagine the adrenaline rush! They could film it all and show the highlights as a television programme, with Chris Rock doing the commentary . It would be like Takeshi's Castle.

Perhaps they could employ Jackie Chan to shoot at you with a strong water pistol from a hovering plane whilst you attempt to hand over your visa forms. No one would ever succeed and the Chinese Government could relax in the knowledge that as the visa process is now utterly impossible rather than just annoying, dull and inconvenient; the number of foreigners in the country will decrease in time for the October 1st 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. The end credits would roll over an image of a boot stamping on a visa application form. Forever.

Jackie's Visa Castle*2

*1: Photo is only a representation. The featured image is actually of the Inside of the New York Stock Exchange...but you get the idea.

*2: Artist's Impression.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Tabitha's Files Banned In China

I have been out of action for a while. Blogspot.com is currently banned, so I can only access the site my clawing my way through a proxy server. It limits what I can upload. I feel depressed.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Twittering Twitchet *despondent moan*

I've join Twitter. I was bullied into doing it. I don't get how it works or how it even benefits individuals...Here it is in all it's feeble stuffed toy glory .
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Coco-cola involved in using mag to rebel shocker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am still struggling to get to grips with human life. Recently I heard that Coco-Cola is going to be promoting female empowerment.

Nationwide, the 'Diet Coke' female will be invited to 'Join the Rebellion' and celebrate her right to say no to the pressures and expectations of modern day life. What's a Diet Coke female? And what rebellion? Rebellion against modern life? Does this mean that all girlies that sip diet coke will be allowed to become rebels? Will dustbins be full of heeled shoes, hair straighteners and make-up? I decided to look into this a little further.

Coca-Cola’s press release states that they will be teaming up with Company magazine and producing a miniature magazine called, ‘Rebel.’ The first ‘impactful’ (nice one Cola even I, a creature that literally has cotton wool for brains, knows that ‘impactful’ does not appear in the English sodding dictionary…) issue will have articles on beauty, fashion and that staple magazine ingredient, 'celebrities', who ‘hint’ (urgh, that vague word, that basically implies no balls subtlety) at REBELLION. It’s obvious that Coco-Cola knows its market and hence, the brainless press release.

However, one only has to do a half-arsed double take to realise that campaign makes no sense. The aim of the campaign is to encourage the readers to say NO to the pressures of modern life. What might those pressures be….hmm. As a kitty, beauty, fashion, looking good and finding Mr Right doesn’t exist….Therefore, I would definitely say they are modern pressures for women…yet, in this new Cola magazine, they will be being flashed at women as though they are tools of empowerment. On top of that, this ‘Rebel’ magazine is featuring within Company magazine that already pretends style, beauty, consumerism and celeb gossip are vital to being a girl and therefore empowering. Such concepts are not empowering and are just self-immersing dross. It’s a magazine, like most womens magazines, that is barely connected to the outside world except via celebrities.

Yes, human society has moved on in one way from the 1950s, the ‘golden age’ of womens magazines, when articles focused on housework and knitting. However in their place, we now have these magazines that are so girlie and brainless that it makes me feel nauseous and lucky that I’m not human. Pages and pages filled with shitty garbage about current style trends, make up tips, sex tips, ‘secrets about men’. As these magazines realise they have nothing left to write about, they fill their obsolete pages with celebrity gossip; worshiping celebrity cretins like the Egyptians worshiped gods (and cats) and divulging every useless bit of pap about the soddingly dull lives of celebrities. The general assumption is that these magazines are empowering because they focus on women and ‘what women should like’. Yet all it means is that they are just encouraging women to be self-absorbed consumers, obsessed with trivialities and fixated on their personal lives at the expense of more broadly meaningful concerns. It seems, puzzlingly enough, that many women like to identify with that woeful ‘singleton’ and frivolous neurotic, Bridget Jones: Bridget Jones is the end result of womens magazines.

Anyway, my case in point is that it is utterly depressing that Coco-Cola, a large brand that sadly has a lot of influence, is simply just advertising via a womens magazine, under the guise of faux female empowerment.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lonely China Trepidation

I have been distant, out of touch, remote, lost and broken. However, I have returnethed. “What have you been up to?!” I hear my three followers cry. I’ve been travelling around China. I’ve seen a metropolis, a mountains and sorrow. Below you will find some holiday snaps from my journey.

The very beginning; we began the journey on a bicycle. It was snowy and cold. I froze, but my head turned to the mountains in the West and I remembered that I am, the Bicycle Queen. We cycled from homie home home to the train station. From there we caught the train onwards to Shanghai 上海.

All over Shanghai, people were waking queasy and despondent; we took an early morning stroll down Nanjing Lu. It was samey.

I met a squirrel-cat. Its facial expression coupled with its tufty and aloft tail indicated that it did not understand me.

We visited the bund. The skyline was shrouded in a misty haze; the buildings stood grey and flat.

A café put me in bad mood, when they refused to serve me. I sat and stared out the window, whilst my owner sipped a range of exotic teas. The day was not going well.

I insisted on returning to the bund that night - This time it sparkled.

The rest of the evening was spent in a Jazz club.

I fled to a mountain retreat.

I thought of a bear I knew back home; suddenly the room seemed too big for me....

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