Posted On: Tuesday - April 27th 2021 6:54PM MST
In Topics:   Music  China  Americans  Big-Biz Stupidity
The 21st Century is supposed to be the "Asian Century", and by "Asian", they mean Chinese. I give lots of credit to those who said that back in the 1980s. I'd read it myself and thought WTF? Peak Stupidity was most optimistic about the nation of China about 15 years ago, from personal observation. We don't feel very optimistic now, after seeing something of a few years back, and reading more recently of, the Orwellian Police State well into the process of installation over there. (See our Dashed High Hopes for China - Part 1 and Part 2, but there's plenty more with the China Topic Key.)
Chinese it seems to be, though. We don't have to like it. We don't have to particularly respect the place and the culture either, as in the previous century, most nations around the world DID respect America. For one thing, we do know that the Chinese have stolen so many original technical ideas and business ideas from us. An article linked-to by Instapundit the other day reported on the theft, via the usual espionage done by those diverse HR hires, of technical information about the Coca~Cola beverage. I remember a number of $120 Million being bandied about, though for the life of me, I don't think the secret formula is worth that much! Hell, just put the cocaine back in it, Chinese Big-Biz thieves, and you'll get the sales.
OK, that article had had a paywall, but go to this Conservative Daily News article to read about it. It's not about the formula but about the engineering technological development of BPA-free cans. The manufacturing of the cans and the canning process are both amazing. Yet, diverse Miss Xiaorong You* stole it all, as part of China's "Thousand Talents" project.**
You know, this Coca~Cola talk had me thinking of an oldie by the excellent British band Supertramp, due to a lyric line in one of the album cuts. The last song on this band's best-selling album, Breakfast in America, from 1979, had not only a good tune, but this superb 4-minute-long hypnotic instrumental ending (over 1/2 the song), along with some really thoughtful lyrics. Child of Vision was an admonition to Americans about their commercialism and supposedly wasteful lifestyle. I always wondered how a British band would have any standing to criticize, but then, it was a different Great Britain back then. This album was released a couple of months before the election of Maggie Thatcher and only 1/2 way through the Jimmy Carter presidency. It's been a while!
Here's are the lyrics I remembered:
And you gave me Coca~cola.
You said it tasted good.
Then you watch the television,
cause they tell you that you should.
Are the Chinese getting so commercialized and so far from any moral grounding that Americans ought to have a song like this about them? Are the Chinese the new "Children of Vision"?
Rick Davies – vocals, piano, keyboards, harpsichord, harmonica
Roger Hodgson – vocals, guitars, all kinds of keyboards...
John Helliwell – saxophone (on this track), backing vocals
Dougie Thomson – bass guitar
Bob Siebenberg – drums, percussion
(I didn't include all the different instruments these guys played. They were very versatile.)
PS: At least, for this latest theft of technology, we won't quite be selling out our manufacturing capability. I just don't see how the Chinese will penetrate the American market with their own Coca~Cola. There are just too many American consumers around that remember that old "pee-pee in your Coke" joke. (Well, I had to get that joke in here somewhere, dammit.)
* I'll give the Chinese this: They don't spend the time on preferred pronouns, as we discussed in Fun with Pronouns. Hey You, you say you want to change the world ... it's NOT alright ... .
** Peak Stupidity has personal knowledge of a similar deal regarding automobile airbags, as we related in Chinese grad students and airbag espionage.