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Minyanville Weekend Edition: Tulip Mania... Part Two?


One man's tulip, another man's brick.


So I picked up the New York Times this morning to see if my name was mentioned anywhere (it wasn't), but before I threw it out I skimmed through the Business section and stopped at an article, "China's Central Bank Raises Rates in Latest Effort to Slow the Economy."

We covered the topic in yesterday's Five Things You Need to Know: Special Snakes on a Plane Edition, but something about the photo I couldn't quite put my finger on got to me. The photo accompanying the article showed a Chinese construction worker near Beijing helping build a luxury villa.

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What is it about that photo that bothers me so much? Is it the massive American style McMansions being built in the background? Hmmm, no, not really. Is it the gazebo in the background? No, like many of you I suspect, I appreciate nothing more than a nice gazebo. What is it then? What is creeping me out about this photo?

Ah yes. It's something about the building materials the worker is using to complete the Chinese luxury villas. Still, I can't quite put my finger on it. What bothers me so much about the building materials they are using? Surely, they're just like our building materials, right? Perhaps we can use technology to see what exactly he is using to build these luxury villas.

Hmmm, flipped upside down I can almost make out the name of the materials being used to construct these villas. But not quite. Maybe if we enlarge it...

That's it! That's what bothers me about the photo! It turns out China's entire building boom is not comprised of copper, nickel, silver or lumber, but TULIP ART BRICKS! They're building they're own Tulip Mania over there! Is this Tulip Mania Part Two?

Tulip Mania Part One:

All over the world, it seems, we are collectively walking a fine line between the edge of metaphor and the surreal.

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