Fun with bootlegging!

A friend of mine just got back from spending a summer in Zhongguo (a.k.a. China) and brought back gifts for his friends and family. Among the treasures: a pair of "COMVEREE All STARS," many bootlegged DVD's, two inexpensive tailored suits, and, for me, a copy of Mao's Little Red Book. Now I can keep it next to my heart and turn to its wisdom every time I feel anxious about the tides of history. Example:

"Fewer and better troops and simpler administration." Talks, speeches, articles and resolutions should all be concise and to the point. Meetings also should not go on too long.


Apparently, half of all economic transactions in Shanghai involve bootleg DVD's. The dubs are awful (everything in the film gets quiet while people are talking) and the English subtitles are hilarious. Likewise, the summaries on the back of the boxes are pure gold. Sometimes it's just what one would expect to be there, although gramatically full of error. Sometimes it's an endorsement that the blurb-writer's friend really liked the movie! And one—clearly written by a native English speaker—even says not to buy the movie because it's terrible. The acting and script are bad and the effects are cheesy, etc.

I'll have to visit someday.

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