Tempest in a Teapot

We note with grave concern that the legendary Shaolin Monks, the state-sponsored Chinese “wushu” outfit, have got their saffron-hued knickers in a knot over some incendiary remarks made by an anonymous commenter in an online forum of some sort.

According to Reuters, it’s “on”. The charges are serious:

The Internet user, calling themselves [sic] “Five Minutes Every Day”, said on an online forum last week that a Japanese ninja came to Shaolin, asked for a fight and many monks failed to beat him, the newspaper said.

“The facts that the monks could not defeat a Japanese ninja showed that they were named as kung fu masters in vain,” the Internet user was quoted as saying in the post.

As if this weren’t bad enough, my confidential sources inform me that “Five Minutes Every Day” then compounded the offense by inserting his thumbs in his ears, waggling his fingers in the air, and saying “Nurny Nurny Nur Nur” in a high-pitched, nasal tone.

This is surely unwise: in addition to being able to bounce like Pogo sticks on a single rigid forefinger (wondrous to behold, of course, and a useful fighting skill if ever there was one), the Shaolin Monks have now, apparently, schooled themselves in some fearsome Western combat techniques as well. In particular, they appear to have mastered the use of lawyers to harass people they don’t like (a practice referred to in the Orient as “I Soo”).

I find all of this more than a little worrisome, and not just for the impact it’s likely to have on international relations, world financial markets, and so forth — I have personal interests at stake as well. I’ve been practicing “Shaolin” kung fu myself for over thirty years; I had no idea, however, that I was complicit in a trademark violation all along.

Please don’t tell anyone. Those flappy swords can give you one heck of a wind-burn.

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