Eastlit Editorial: Mr. Bean

by Xenia Taiga

Last week we set up to watch the American television show, Elementary. That was then when I saw the new Snickers commercial starring Mr. Bean. During a fight with ancient warlords, he drops through the roof like a spy. Only he’s not wearing black ninja warrior clothes, he’s wearing his tweed jacket and skinny tie. The warlords, like me, are confused to see Mr. Bean standing in the ancient temple. Mr. Bean rolls his eyes to the right and then to the left, and bites a chunk out of his Snickers bar.

My first thought was, Mr. Bean is still alive? I haven’t seen Mr. Bean in a long while. My first introduction to Mr. Bean was in my late teens. I watched it and thought “You got to be kidding” but my girlfriend on the other hand was laughing up a storm. Years later on plane trips between Beijing and Urumqi, Mr. Bean repeatedly showed up on the TV screen. I did not know that the Chinese had a healthy respect for Mr. Bean. I, like the Chinese, thoroughly enjoyed watching the shows.

Fast forward to the year 2015 and here was Mr. Bean once again. I was happy he was getting work. I’m sure he was happy, too. But how did Mr. Bean, a character from Britain, manage to land a Chinese commercial that featured ancient Chinese warlords and a highly processed candy bar from America? It didn’t make sense. It baffled me just like the warlords were baffled when they saw Mr. Bean.

Is this part of globalization? A blending of culture? An acceptance? A tolerance?

This year the Chinese New Year is on February 19. The Western holiday Christmas was last month in December. In China Christmas tends to roll into the Chinese New Year. The decorations are still up and the jiggle bell songs are still playing. None of it will go away till The Chinese New year finishes. Christmas usually lasts a good three months here.

This is Eastlit’s third year. The publication has seen fiction and poetry from ex-pats and natives from Asian lands. Graham Lawrence the creator of Eastlit has been pushing boundaries, expanding horizons for both the East and South side of Asia. Eastlit hopes to continue to push those boundaries, hopes to have a merging of talents both from the shy and the brave new comers and from established artists.

We believe everyone has a story to tell whether it’s fiction or non-fiction or poetry or artwork or Mr. Bean crashing through the roof fighting Kung Fu with warlords and eating Snickers.

Keep writing, keep believing in yourself, and keep submitting. If you get a little tired, a little “is this all worth it?” go and watch Mr. Bean. Eat something: seaweed crackers, wasabi peas, goji berries, Lay’s Green Tea Potato Chips, or a Snickers. Then go back and plant yourself in front of the computer and write. Submit it. Repeat the process. Repeat it when you find success, repeat it when you don’t find success, because you have a story to tell and somebody needs to hear it.

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