The news about entire retail shops being copied by clever Chinese entrepreneurs leads to the obvious question: where do we go from here? Clearly, fake stores are an intermediary step in the development toward a much more ambitious project: fake countries.
Think about it: millions of Chinese people would love to visit France, for example, but it’s too far away and too expensive. Solution? Fake France! Berets, baguettes, red wine, accordions, and an entire fake Paris complete with Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and Jim Morrison’s fake grave (Jim himself, of course, is head of a highly successful import/export joint venture headquartered in Shanghai). Given the trends of the world economy, it will soon be cost-effective to populate Fake France with real French people, drawn to the opportunity by attractive wages and the possibility of shopping in Fake Apple Stores on their days off. I’m sure there’s a spot somewhere in the south of China with an appropriate climate that’s already been staked out by developers.
But why stop there? How about . . . Fake Egypt! Just what Xinjiang Province’s barren sands need. Other countries, of course, could be more challenging. Fake Norway, for example: we can do snow, we can do fjords, but the crystal blue water in those fjords? Hmmm.
Lest you think all of this is a bad thing, think again. The Chinese genius for making exquisitely accurate copies—an art that goes back for centuries, by the way, prompted by imperial demands for copies of ancient art works that had been lost—may end up saving all of us. We continue raping, pillaging, plundering, and polluting the planet with little thought for the consequences. The Chinese, I’m convinced, are thinking ahead for us. When the planet has finally been rendered completely uninhabitable, where will we go?
Of course: Fake Earth!