Despite being an excellent singer who also enjoys illicit sex (occasionally), Shanghaiist often avoids karaokes in smaller cities for the very reason you find in this video: sometimes you get your ass kicked, and sometimes you get your ass kicked unto death.
In the ancient Chinese capital of Xianyang (咸阳, just west of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province), about 70 nights ago, a man was beaten to death by ten “black bodyguards”—not brothers, mind you, but rather shady toughs that might have some affiliation with the underworld. The video depicts the family of the deceased placing his funereal wreaths and picture in front of the karaoke club. This is because to date, no one has been brought to justice for this murder, leading some to speculate that someone has either a lot of money or guanxi up the wazoo. But of course, there’s no proof of that, or anything, as far as we know. The video is long and meandering, clocking in at nearly twenty minutes, but we think it’s worth checking out, not for anything said, but just for the images you see—a grieving family, the curious or otherwise impassive bystanders, and the shady mafia thugs with crew cuts and Xiangyang market shades—a glimpse of a China you don’t usually see unless you are a Chinese mafia member with a penchant for irreverent humor, acerbic wit, and trenchant social analysis found on certain English language China blogs, in which case you can just skip to another post.