5 Questions: Deng Zedong, ProConsul of Florida, On China’s “Occupation”

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James Chen as Deng Zedong. Photo by Joe Jung.
James Chen as Deng Zedong. Photo by Joe Jung.
James Chen as Deng Zedong
Photo by Joe Jung

The year is 2017. Instead of the big news story on everyone’s minds being, say, the inauguration of Hillary Clinton as the 45th President of the US, a crushing national debt, skyrocketing inflation and crippling unemployment have frozen America’s access to global credit. Against a backdrop of economic catastrophe, China offers a radical solution: the outright purchase of Florida for $5 trillion.

And there is a but. As you might imagine, not everyone is happy with the sale of Florida to the Chinese. There is a radical, violent insurgency headquartered in the Everglades, so it’s not exactly a warm, peaceful arrival for the “occupiers” led by Deng Zedong, ProConsul of Florida. While the homegrown militia plots to make the Chinese gone, the question is just how far they will go to make it happen.

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If you want to know what happens, you’ll need to see Occupation, a new play by Ken Ferrigni, directed by Joe Jung, that is receiving its world premiere at TBG Theatre (312 W. 36th St.) under the auspices of Project: Theater. Indeed, we here at the Clyde Fitch Report know that Ferrigni and Jung know things about the world of 2017 that the rest of us cannot know — like the fact that Deng Zedong exists. So we asked for an interview with Zedong himself. And it was granted.

Just the other day, in fact, Zedong called us via Skype from an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Beijing. Strangely, he looks very much like actor James Chen, pictured above. Still, we found Zedong’s answers to be anything but fictional.

And now, 5 questions Deng Zedong has never been asked:

1) What’s the most perceptive question you’ve ever been asked?
Probably “Do you admire the South Florida Christian Militia?” I have to first mention that the South Florida Christian Militia is a criminal organization, they’re misguided, and internationally condemned and guilty of the murder of both Chinese soldiers and citizens of several other countries, including Slovakia and Uganda. They are an embarrassment both to Christianity and the US Armed Forces (which has completely repudiated the group).

That said, they are tenacious. They cling to their misguided beliefs and have resisted any attempts at removing them. I admire them the way one might admire bedbugs. A tenacious scourge.

2) What’s the most idiotic question you’ve ever been asked?
“Does China hate the US? Do you hate the US?”

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Personally, I love the US. I went to college here. In many ways I grew up here. As for China, China views the US as a partner in global prosperity. Without America’s purchasing power, we could never have come as far and as fast as we did. Everything we have been able to achieve we did with American dollars. And when we saw our partner teetering on the brink of economic catastrophe, we mustered every resource we could find to prop up your economy. Five trillion! That money probably saved the global economy but also probably set back China’s progress five years. So we needed a territorial concession to justify the financial outlay. We took a risk to save our partner. We only want America to be a strong and prosperous nation. And we believe that our new geographic proximity will make us closer than ever.

3) What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?
Well, I went to college at Brown University and graduate school at the Wharton School of Business and there has lately seemed to be a pack of rumors that I was some kind of undergraduate libertine. Some people have even taken to photoshopping me into pictures where it appears that I’m drunk, or smoking marijuana, or cavorting with strippers, what have you. Let me clear that up once and for all: I wish! My parents were so disappointed that I was only admitted to Brown that I spent four years doing nothing but studying, hoping to restore their faith in me.

It’s a little bit flattering to see so many people thinking I had such a great time in university. Alas, but there’s no there there.

4) Under the new Chinese rule, will Disney continue to allow gay days at Disney World?
Obviously, Disney World had to close its doors when Americans depopulated Florida and that was sad for everybody. There are preliminary plans to use the in-place infrastructure to create a new series of theme parks in central Florida with a more appropriate and traditionally Chinese theme. Some of the kids on Weibo, China’s social media platform, have been dubbing this new potential theme park “Mickey Mao’s” but that’s all a little premature.

5) Will the Jews of South Florida continue to have freedom or worship, or would you rather a few million people go to Texas?
The only “native” Floridians who remain below Interstate 10 are those who are in the now unaffiliated city of Free Miami (bounded by Toll Road 821). Their religious practices do not concern the People’s Republic of China. Despite protestations, Boca Raton was not included within the boundaries of Free Miami and those citizens were required to relocate outside of Chinese territory.

Bonus question 1:

Why Florida? Why couldn’t China buy Texas? Texas doesn’t really want to be a part of the US anyway, right?
Florida was the obvious choice. It’s a peninsula. It’s got wonderful beaches. It was sold by the Spanish in the 19th century when they ran out of money. We didn’t want Texas. It was never discussed. The US initially counteroffered Delaware but we had our hearts set on Florida.

Bonus question 2:

Describe the specific differences between the American version of Chinese food and the varieties of Chinese food you love the best. Also, are you hungry again 15 minutes after you eat?
American Chinese food is like American opera. You guys should stick to what you’re good at. As for being hungry 15 minutes after we eat, Georgia looks mighty appetizing.