No Journey to the West for You!

Netizens in China are up in arms that Zhang Jinlai, better known by his stage name of Liu Xiao Ling Tong, was not invited to this year’s Spring Festival Gala. Their anger stems from the fact that 2016 is the Year of the Monkey and Zhang once played the Monkey King in the much beloved 1986 TV adaptation of the Chinese classic Journey to the West. With a veritable zoo of Monkey kings getting ample play throughout China as the new year approaches, to not invite the Elvis Presley of Monkey Kings (get it? the King?) is bordering on blasphemy. In protest, three students at the Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation dressed up as punk Monkey Kings (punky kings? too much?) in an attempt to try and garner attention to Zhang’s cause.