I enjoy kicking a hornet’s nest. Seriously. Outside of hating the Red Sox and Patriots (eh, New England in general… and I’ll throw New York into it just to piss both of them off), it’s probably my favorite past time. But this? This is gold. I couldn’t have gotten this level of schadenfreude if I’d paid for it. This? This is DELICIOUS.
I seriously thought I was getting pranked when it was announced that the city of Chengdu, China won the bid for the 2023 Worldcon. I mean, outside of the obvious human rights violations in China, the subjugation of the peoples of Tibet (the neighboring province/region), and the UNSPECIFIED VIRUS OF UNKNOWN ORIGINS, China seems like a golden pick to snag the second-ever Asian Worldcon (Yokohama, Japan in 2007… but remember, don’t mention that in China).
But then I wondered… how, precisely, did Chengdu win the nomination? I mean, outside of some clear Wikipedia manipulations regarding the city (seriously, the information page on the city paints such a picturesque image of a vibrant, LGBTQ+ community you would think it was written by Communists propagandists in the Chinese Communist Party and not random shlubs), how many of my enlightened fellow authors even had heard of Chengdu before 1,590 mail-in ballots without street addresses arrived?
I mean, all of it looks in order… wait. Hold up, did I really type that? “…1,590 mail-in ballots without street addresses arrived?”
“Jason, you crack-addled fool,” I hear you complain. “Your number is off.”
Right, sorry. 1,591. My bad. Mea culpa. But… look down here, at the bottom.
But this proves nothing, right? 1,591 voters with voting memberships voted on Chengdu, China. Nothing going on here. Totally legit. Oddly enough, I don’t hear any of the screeches from peanut gallery about rigging elections/nominations ala Sad Puppies. Weird, right? Personally, I don’t really care where Worldcon ends up. The… 8,000 people (rough and generous estimate) who attend are the ones who care about the location.
But then it got me thinking of the cultural opportunities Worldcon attendees can partake in while visiting Chengdu. I’ve been pretty clear in the past on where I stand with regards to West Taiwan, so I may be a little biased in my opinions. Outside of the obvious ones (giant panda farms, Buddhist and Taoist temples, and “Chengkok“), what else is there for our intrepid scooter-riding luminaries to do while visiting the great and glorious Middle Kingdom?
With the help of some fans and friends from the kindly and loving CCP, I made a helpful list of “Things To Do While In China” for Worldcon 2023. Hopefully everyone will find this list as helpful as I have.
THE GREAT 2023 WORLDCON LIST
- Tour interesting camps dedicated to China’s educational programs!
- Learn about the qualitative conditioning of beloved, cherished religious minorities!
- Visit approved areas of the Great Wall! (always a fan favorite… just be warned, there are a lot of stairs)
- Visit locations where Hollywood blockbusters (definitely not bombs from the House of Mouse) were filmed!
- See ancient Chinese temples which may suspiciously look like Tibetan monasteries but totally aren’t!
- Partake in their “while you wait” fresh organ harvesting operation! Tour the organ recycling facilities!
- Tour the local wet markets (conveniently located next to research labs) to learn about preparing proper and adventurous Chinese cuisine!
- Receive free cultural appropriation classes on subjugating undesirable elements of a classless society!
- Receive free computer programs on your mobile device which will record everything you say and, should something go awry, helpful custodians will correct the issues for you!
- No bourgeois distractions from Western internet sites care of the Great Firewall of China!
- Enjoy special camera filters which will remove anything undesirable from the image, sponsored in part by Huawei!
- Tour Tiananmen Square, where nothing ever happened and is a popular hangout for all college students with acceptable social credit scores!
- See the pre-plasticized corpses of
political dissidentsterrorists displayed for medicinal purposes and enjoy a tantalizing struggle session afterwards!
- Visit the Three Gorges Dam
before it fallssince it will stand for 10,000 YEARS BY THE GRACE OF CHAIRMAN MAO!!!
With all this to do, I don’t know how on Earth anyone is even going to have time to attend the convention. I, for one, am looking forward to Worldcon 2023. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be attending.
I like my organs too much.