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Cute but foreboding
May 19, 2008 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Superstitious bloggers explain the recent earthquake in China by suggesting that the official Olympic Mascots of the Beijing Olympics foretold of disaster.

It's not the first time these mascots have been scrutinized for hidden meaning. Previously: 1, 2

Alternatively, the migration of toads have been cited as another omen of disaster.
posted by NikitaNikita (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Amazing how potent fear is.
No mention of the Tri-Lateral Commission?
posted by Dizzy at 11:46 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's a neat trick, the "bloggers say" thing. It's apparently not even necessary now to name the individual bloggers -- if "bloggers say" something, it must have currency.

Bloggers say that this is a great advantage over the days of traditional media.
posted by gurple at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


And here I thought that the earthquake was caused by shifting tectonic plates, the train crash was due to shoddy safety standards, the Tibet riots were the result of years of oppression, and the torch protests were fueled by the growing anti-China sentiment in the world. I have to admit all of that seemed a little far-fetched.

Cursed mascots though, that makes sense.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:52 AM on May 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


With perhaps greater consequences, the earthquake has been seen by Chinese as the government losing the "Mandate of Heaven", as the fall of previous administrations, such as the Gang of Four after the Tangshan earthquake, was associated with natural disasters. (Covered in Salon, Forbes, or if you don't like ad-walls, addressed indirectly here by Gore Vidal.)

Which makes a kind of sense, really - witness the turn on the Republican administration after the revealed incompetence of the federal response to Katrina.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:52 AM on May 19, 2008


Excuse me - the earthquake has been seen by some Chinese, etc.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:53 AM on May 19, 2008


Seems like if we're going to blame anything for the earthquake, it would be the Three Gorges Dam.
posted by mullingitover at 11:55 AM on May 19, 2008


Bloggers say that some Chinese believe that the US electorate turned on the Republican administration after Katrina.
posted by gurple at 11:56 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


NikitaNikita, if you check out the names of the mascots, you'll note that this post takes on qualities of the eponysterical eponysterical.

PS I get to be YingYing.
posted by Mister_A at 12:02 PM on May 19, 2008


50,000 people died from this and another 80,000 died in Burma? May was not a good month for Asia.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:20 PM on May 19, 2008


YingYing (Yingsel) is no longer a mascot since she defected.
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's no coincidence that dentists and heart surgeons in the UK are already rubbing their hands in anticipation of the London 2012 Rotting Teeth and Beefeater Olympic mascots.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 PM on May 19, 2008


I could make a joke, but I remembered these pictures.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:15 PM on May 19, 2008


Which makes a kind of sense, really - witness the turn on the Republican administration after the revealed incompetence of the federal response to Katrina.

Or 'natural disasters show how incompetent your administrators really are.' Kinda makes more sense than the mandate of heaven argument.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:18 PM on May 19, 2008


That's kind of my point dda - I'm not suggesting that there is anything supernatural going on. But a majority of people, being believers of one kind or other, might see an insufficient response to disaster and feel that somehow the government they voted for or supported has somehow "lost the blessing of heaven". Certainly easier to blame the auguries than themselves for supporting a government that was flawed and incompetent from the beginning.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 1:26 PM on May 19, 2008


You want to know how Beibei is formed? I'll tell you: In the hottest fires of the infernal beyond, under the soul crushing weight from beneath the eternal mountain. The sturgeon comes.

Fear the fish!
posted by quin at 1:26 PM on May 19, 2008


I have a bad feeling about this. I think you have made the gods angry.
posted by valentinepig at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2008


You know what they get if you put a million monkeys bloggers with a million typewriters computers in a room on the internet, right?
posted by meowzilla at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2008


Our friends at the Westboro Baptist Church offers a simpler explanation.
posted by klue at 3:18 PM on May 19, 2008


I thought they were all pandas.
posted by stavrogin at 4:18 PM on May 19, 2008


Through the looking glass
posted by hortense at 5:01 PM on May 19, 2008


I was in total agreement with that page, hortense, until they brought Tom Petty into the argument.
posted by sleslie at 7:07 PM on May 19, 2008


With perhaps greater consequences, the earthquake has been seen by Chinese as the government losing the "Mandate of Heaven", as the fall of previous administrations

That is in complete disagreement with what I'm hearing in the media here in HK. Go through this page, and run some of posts through this translator. The prevailing consensus seems to be "加油 中国人!" or "Chinese people refuel!". The Salon article you gave even admits in the last paragraph that it is too early to find a wide consensus of anger, and that it is unlikely to occur. There appears to be some anger towards the companies which built the buildings in that area, particularly the schools. Regardless, it's very early in this disaster, and the official and well supported 3 days of mourning is only in its second day.

And if you want to bring Katrina into this, wasn't this what was needed in New Orleans a day after the levees broke?
posted by sleslie at 8:35 PM on May 19, 2008


Is this "Mandate of Heaven" thing real? I mean, I know it has existed as a concept in Chinese culture, but are large numbers of people really positing this as an explanation for recent events?

I heard about it on NPR the other day, and it sounds like a caricature of the inscrutable Chinaman, obsessed with honor and ancestors and emperor-worship. Can anyone with first-hand knowledge of China comment?
posted by greenie2600 at 9:40 AM on May 20, 2008


Don't forget about the earthquake clouds
posted by daHIFI at 10:10 AM on May 20, 2008


You know, Jingjing often packs heat. Seems to be everywhere in China, but not as prevalent as images of the smiling, unarmed mascots. First saw it when I bought a new China Mobile phone card; smiling panda with gun on the front above the slogan "One world, one dream." And I just bought a washcloth with the gun-toting panda, too.
posted by msbrauer at 6:26 PM on May 20, 2008




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