BEIJING, April 23, 2015 –Chinese officials are launching a campaign to crack down on stripteases and other lewd shows that have become popular at funerals in some rural areas, the Ministry of Culture said today.
Many rural people believe that a large attendance at funerals is a sign of honor for the deceased and the shows are used to attract more people and display the family’s prosperity.
Associated Press International
Well, here’s another example of Communists being gaiety challenged. The Chinese Ministry of Culture, an oxymoron to be sure, has let its dour interpretation of what constitutes a proper celebration of life ruin a wonderful funeral tradition dating back to the Han Dynasty.
The Clown is an expert on things Chinese because he rode a tour bus around China for a few days last year and is, as many of you know, a quick study.
During the Dynasty days in China, people came by the hundreds of thousands to the funeral of a royal just to get a glimpse of the hot concubines. That, and the threat of execution for not attending. These funerals were lavish affairs involving jugglers, musicians, magicians, animal acts, trinket vendors, feasts of incredibly disgusting food, hot concubines and roving reverse mortgage salesmen.
As the years rolled by and Mao made sure that several million Chinese had a very personal and frequent experience with death while devolving into penury, the cost of such lavish ceremonies put them out of reach of the hoi polloi, a Chinese term that roughly translates to “filthy wretches”.
Besides, hot concubines have mostly disappeared throughout China today, replaced by hot mistresses who live in secret high-rise condominiums. They are not required to do funeral duty, especially if it was their sugar-daddy comrade who croaked. Their absence reduces the risk of uncomfortable family dynamics at funerals. Ergo, families have had to hire hot concubine strippers, with decorative pasties covering their nipples, to attract what would otherwise be the disinterested public. Now, the Ministry of Culture seeks to stop this sacred practice.
The Clown is thankful that he lives in a free country where the government doesn’t set the standards for proper funerals. No sir, here in this great, almost-democratic, non-communist country where good taste is a given, we can arrange funerals without any stinking (no pun intended) Ministry of Culture taking the fun out of funeral.
Examples of crowd-pleasing funerals abound in the good-old-U.S. of A. The Clown will just skim the surface with a handful of examples, which will hopefully shame the Communist Party-Poopers into reversing their funeral policy.
In Dallas, Texas, the epicenter of things tasteful, one dead man’s family hired a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader to attend the viewing and family visitation ceremony. She performed several, well-rehearsed, team spirit-generating cheer routines in front of the open casket. It is reported that the gathered mourners were moved to chant “De-Fense, De-Fense”. However, the corpse remained passive. The Dallas Cowboys Public Affairs Office assured me that there is a “world of difference” between strippers and their cheerleaders. Well sure there is.
In Miami, Florida, Alexander Bernard Harris, described as a 33 year-old “hip hop mogul” who had been shot dead at Cutz Upscale Barbershop, was displayed at the wheel of his yellow Lamborghini at the wake. Motorcar enthusiasts from several south Florida counties flocked to the funeral home, mostly to find out if they could get a good deal on the Lamborghini once the mogul’s family found out what it costs to prop up and secure an embalmed body in a very low-slung roadster. Harris had reportedly had difficulty getting in and out of the car when he was fully ambulatory, let alone while suffering from severe rigor mortis.
Bouncing back to the sophisticates in Dallas, we encounter John Beckwith, Jr., director of the Golden Gate Funeral Home where themed ceremonies have become standard. Perhaps his most famous funeral was for a man who loved the holiday season. The deceased was dressed as Santa and propped up in a large arm-chair, surrounded by packages, a decorated tree and the coffin in a sleigh. Thus arranged, word went out to soccer moms across the Metroplex that “photos with Santa” would be free at the Golden Gate, thus generating quite a crowd. It didn’t go all that well as children kept sliding off of Santa’s stiff embalmed legs and one tyke was heard to complain to his hot soccer mom, “Santa smells funny”.
Finally, in New Orleans, Miriam “Mae-Mae” Burbank, who was a regular at several taverns in her neighborhood, was displayed at her wake sitting at a bar, cigarette in hand, surrounded by her favorite beverages, a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and fifth of bar brand scotch. Her fingernails were painted black and gold to honor the New Orleans Saints and she wore designer sunglasses to hide the fact that her eyes had been glued shut. “Mae was a party girl,” said her daughter, Zymora Kimball. “She would have loved this.” Some say that Miriam, who was not good at naming children, succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver and lung cancer at 53; imagine that. Party on, Mae-Mae, and tell the Ministry of Culture to shove it.
Observoid of the Day: You can take the “fun” out of funeral but that just leaves “eral”, a Latin adjective meaning: pasty looking.