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Thursday, December 21, 2006


In Front of Our House

Great video from Kuso8. The China Times is located on Dali St. in Taipei and, along with the United Daily, is known as one of the most pro-unification media (tong3mei2 統媒) outlets around.

[UPDATE by Tim Maddog: Having a bit of spare time and my wife's assistance, I did up some linguistic and cultural translations of the video. The tune is a parody of the song "我家門前有小河" ("There's a Small River in Front of My House"). You can read the lyrics and listen to audio of someone doing a karaoke version of the original here.]

包子! 包子! 饅頭! 包子!Steamed buns! Steamed buns! Mantou! Steamed buns!Both types of food and a newspaper are seen as anthropomorphized forms. Blue readers (pan-blue supporters) are "eating up" the contents of the China Times with their hungry eyes."Steamed buns" ("包子") sounds similar to the Mandarin pronunciation of "newspaper" ("報紙"). Mantou is a similar type of food. Both are commonly sold by vendors who identify themselves as "mainlanders." The accent is definitely non-Taiwanese.
我家門前大理街Dali Street is in front of my houseChina Times building, paper, and arrow with the characters for "China" written as "支那" (zhi1 na4) instead. The sign at the top says Dali Street."支那" is an ancient name for "China."
對面有報社Across the street there is a newspaper company.We see another paper which has a mustache and is smoking a pipe. On the paper's "forehead" is the word "總" (manager, leader). At the bottom it says "China is good." 
報社上面的小伎者The paper's little reporters/trickstersThree grimacing reporters/newspapers. On the first one, it says "統一大業" ("the great cause of unification"). The second says "操控" ("take control"). The third is wearing a blue KMT hat.The word for "reporter" ("記者") is replaced by an exact homophone which means "trickster."
思想紅似火Thoughts a-red like fireA red flag with the thumbs-down symbol of Shih Ming-teh's "Depose Chen" movement.The red actually represents China.
假民調搞烏龍Fake surveys, causing troubleA graph where the blue result is low, but is artificially inflated until it goes through the roof while the others "sweat." The background is a spinning KMT "sun."The KMT is "the man behind the curtain."
阿九的傳聲筒A-gao's "mouthpiece."A red-hatted "presidential hopeful" giving orders to the China Times."A-gao" is KMT chairman Ma "Don't paint me red" Ying-jeou, but the name here is pronounced in Taiwanese.
余公若知報格變質If Mr. Yu knew how the quality would change...A teary-eyed, monochromatic, dead Mr. Yu reading the China Times and crying. To the left is a red character (China) waving two pistols around. To the right is a blue character (KMT) waving money.The late Mr. Yu is the former owner of the China Times. The current owner is his son.
低頭唱哀歌... he'd hang his head, and sing a sad songThe mustachioed, pipe-smoking paper pops up into the frame, and dead Mr. Yu falls down. 
Sigh!A steamed bun releases a puff of steam. It says "meat" on the forehead.Hey, it's a steamed bun!
(music) People reading the China Times and turning bluer and bluer. Eventually, the KMT symbol appears on their foreheads. 
Sigh!A steamed bun releases a puff of steam. 
我家門前大理街Dali Street is in front of my houseSame as first time 
對面有報社Across the street there is a newspaper company.Same as first time 
報社上面的小伎者The paper's little reporters/trickstersSame as first time 
快要沒工作will soon be unemployed!The boss paper, laughing, knocks the reporter offscreen. 
花大錢買三中Spent big bucks to buy the "3 Chinas"Piles of money used to buy the "three Chinas": 中影 (China Movies)、中視 (China TV)、中廣 (China Broadcasting) 
沒錢僱員工Nothing left to hire any employees.Somebody opens their pay envelope and finds NT$1. 
余公若知如此亂搞If Mr. Yu knew WTF happened to his paper...Readers of China Times turning redder and redder as envelopes reading "媒體公正" ("media justice") and "職業道德" ("professional ethics") fly away. 
黃泉唱哀歌... he'd be singing sad songs in the netherworldTeary-eyed, monochromatic, dead Mr. Yu moves into view as each of the red readers finally become the 5-star flag of China."Singing sad songs in the underworld" seems to be the cultural equivalent of "turning in his grave."
Sigh!A steamed bun lets out another steamy sigh. 
一鞠躬Bow once!3 figures in funeral garb bow. They are "道德" ("morality"), "公正" ("justice"), and "公理" ("self-evident truths").They're performing a traditional funeral ritual.
再鞠躬Bow again!Same thing, different angle. 
三鞠躬Bow a third time!This time, we see that they're bowing to the
deceased China Times' funeral portrait, pipe still smoking.
上香Hold your incense aloft!Over the portrait, the name "China Times" is half visible.Another part of the funeral ritual.
家屬答禮Family members, return the salute!A blue figure in funeral garb at left (KMT) bears the characters "政治化" ("politicization"). The red figure on the right (China) says "統媒" ("pro-unification media").The last two words sound like the "Dali" in "Dali Street" but with different tone on the "da."



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