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The Red Dawn Remake: The Chinese Are Coming! The Chinese Are Coming!

August 10th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Red Dawn was one of my favorite movies as a kid. It starred my girlhood crush, C. Thomas Howell. It was released in 1984, a year after The Outsiders, and it reunited three of that movie’s cast members: Howell, Patrick Swayze, and Darren Dalton. Red Dawn was, in fact, a lot like The Outsiders, only this time, the kids were armed with machine guns and RPG’s instead of knives and chains, and they were fighting a much bigger enemy than the Socs.

It was also a movie about America being invaded by the Soviets (and the Cubans), and group of all-American teens who become freedom fighters in the resistance against them. If you watch it now, the story seems much more about the mujahideen in 1980′s Afghanistan than it does about America. But it seemed so plausible at the time–to me, especially, as a child–that we could be invaded by the Soviet Union, because we were still firmly in the grips of the Cold War, and Russia was our enemy.

A Red Dawn remake is in the works, scheduled to begin production in September. Most of the principal cast has been confirmed, the latest addition being Connor Cruise, 14 year-old son of Tom Cruise. Remakes are generally never as good as their originals, but what really worries me about the Red Dawn remake is that the foreign invaders this go-around are apparently going to be…Chinese.

This isn’t entirely surprising, given how much cultural anxiety people feel these days about China taking over everything. Shoot, I even wrote a post two years ago during all of that China toy-recall hysteria and gave it this label: “I Smell a Remake of Red Dawn Only This Time the Invaders Have Slanty-Eyes.”

But this is 2009 and not 1984. Everybody knows that if the Chinese are going to take over America, they’re not going to do it by military force–they’re going to do it by buying up all of our real estate! Which, I suppose, is less exciting cinematically than guerrilla warfare. But I do wonder how the filmmakers are going to pull this off, if there’s any way to do Red Dawn with a Chinese enemy without it being totally racist?

All I can say is we’ll be keeping an eye on this remake. One very skeptical slanty-eye.


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Chinysteria: The New Cold War

September 11th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

God bless Canada.

Not only because it is home to my grandmother and my adorable cousins, and the most delicious soup dumplings in North America (Din Tai Fung in Markham, outside Toronto), but also because there are still RATIONAL PEOPLE there, like Professors Hari Bapuji and Paul Beamish, of the University of Manitoba and the University of Western Ontario, respectively. These two business academics are publishing a report that has found “(m)ost of the recalls of toys made in China are because of design errors, not manufacturing problems.” Their data is collected from U.S. recalls of Chinese-made toys from 1988 to the present.

The report points out that when Mattel recalled 20 million toys this past August, 80 per cent of the toys were pulled were because they contained small magnets, which is a design flaw. But Bapuji says all of the media focus has been on the lead paint issue. He says Canadian consumers should instead be demanding better of their toy makers.

It’s incredibly unseemly to toot one’s own horn, but we did write about EXACTLY THIS a month ago in “When in Doubt, Blame China.” And we have a new word for this xenophobic alarmism…CHINYSTERIA.

Meanwhile, Chinysteria continues to take over news headlines. The AFP published this one a few days ago:

“French government falls prey to cyber-attacks ‘involving China’”

And the Times (London) published this one:

“China’s cyber army is preparing to march on America, says Pentagon”

Because it’s the sixth anniversary of September 11th, everyone’s talking about Bin Laden and his new piece-of-shit video. I have to admit, Chinysteria scares me more than Osama. This is the new Cold War, folks. Hope everyone remembers how to duck and cover.

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