Dasu Laozhuang casts social types as zodiac animals. Pinyin Romanization is included for readers to hear the rhymes.
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Want more cartoons? Check out CDT Chinese’s Sunday series Empire Illustrated (图说天朝).
I’m a big official with a nice big watch. I bang on about integrity, then go home to bang my mistress.
Wǒ shì dà lǐngdǎo, shǒushang dài míng biǎo. Táishàng jiǎng zhèngqì, huíjiā xiǎosān gǎo.
The “big official” is a tiger with two little flies buzzing near his ear. Xi Jinping has talked about striking both “tigers and flies” in his anti-corruption campaign, sparing no cadre whatever his or her rank. But Xi is probably no different from any other official.
Former Shaanxi official Yang Dacai, also known as Watch Brother, made luxury watches a liability for public servants.
I’m a taxi driver, rushing here and there. The work is tough but I’ve got change to spare.
Wǒ kāi chūzūchē, sìchù lái bēnbō. Suīrán yọ̌udiǎn lèi, zhèng dé hái suàn duō.
I’m a grade school student, weighed down by stress. I want to be a bird, not become a dragon.
Wǒ shì xiǎoxuéshēng, huó de bù qīngsōng. Wǒ xiǎng zuò xiǎo niǎo, bù xiǎng biànchéng lóng.
Chinese parents who “hope their children become dragons” (望子成龙) push students to study hard from a young age. The Ministry of Education has proposed to lighten the homework load in an effort to ease the burden on children.
I’m a street peddler, selling trinkets on the sidewalk. There are two things I fear: the rain and the chengguan.
Wǒ shì xiǎo shāngfàn, lùbiān bǎi xiǎotān. Tiānshàng pà xiàyǔ, dìshang pà chéngguǎn.
City management officials (chengguan) are notorious for roughing up street vendors. In July, watermelon seller Deng Zhengjia died after a chengguan hit him in the head with his own scale weight.
I’m a temporary worker and a permanent scapegoat. There’s nothing I can do. They’ve got my goat.
Wǒ shì línshígōng, yǒushì wǎng shàng chōng. Běnlái bù xiǎng chōng, bù chōng yě děi chōng.
The government often blames their own mistakes on “temporary workers.”
I’m a village head. I make my own rules. I use the public coffers for my boozy, gambling fun.
Wǒ shì xiǎo cūn guān, wúfǎ yòu wú tiān. Chīhē-piáodǔ chōu, kēngmēngguǎipiàn tān.
The Internet, especially Weibo, has enabled ordinary people to expose the corruption of local officials.
I’m an actress. Got my start in state song-and-dance. I represent the people and I speak for big brands.
Wǒ shì nǚyǎnyuán, chūshēn wéngōngtuán. Kāihuì dāng dàibiǎo, chạ̌npǐn zuò dàiyán.
This is most likely a jab at Song Dandan, who rose to fame through her peformances in CCTV’s New Year Gala. Song was a representative at this year’s National People’s Congress, where she told the press she “didn’t understand her role”--which, one would assume, would be to vote on legislation. Martial arts star Jackie Chan, also in attendance, made the same admission.
I am a senior expert. I get a special allowance. I may not know much, but I sound like a f**king genius.
Wǒ shì lǎo zhuānjiā, tèshū jīntiē ná. Mǎnfùjīnglún cǎo, shuōhuà hěn niú chā.
Translation by Mengyu Dong.