I knew I wanted to go to Shanghai, but what the hell would I do there? I was going to hang out with a friend that lives there After all, I don’t particularly care for China, and at this point I am beyond the will to fucking learn anything. But the very same friend I was visiting gave me a suggestion; why not visit the Jackie Chan museum?
I was sold on the spot.
I was linked to an article from one of the many China blogs which described the place in some pretty whimsical terms. The compared it to entering Jackie Chan “fractured subconscious”. I am not terribly sure I agreed. There were moments where I would take it a step further and say that this museum was like stepping into the man’s ego.
Or better yet, it was like looking at the world through the lens of someone elses solipsism. Enjoy.
And that was just the outside. Once you pay the massive entrance fee (I paid 180 RMB, which is about 30$USD, and about 600% more than my lunch budget for a work week) things really begin to take a turn for the non sequitur. Here is a wall of foreigner words that greets you when you walk in.
But that is where things start to get complicated. After that the words get a little more haphazard, till eventually it turns into a nonsensical pastiche. Then you are confronted with a video of Jackie himself trying to give a post-hoc rationalization of the museum. And for reasons I couldn’t understand, there was a cartoon penguin involved. Strap in ladies and gentlemen. This place gets weird.
It was around this point I realized that we could call the game. There was no point in trying anymore. Narcissism has been won. It’s over. There were moments in this museum that seemed so incredibly egomaniacal, to which my reaction was ‘the horror, the horror, the absolute horror‘.