My holiday card to local pals pokes fun at Shen Yun ads. In the latest issue of my inbox zine, I detailed how these "Shen Yuk" cards came about:
If you've never spent the holidays in the Bay Area (some other cities too), you may not be aware of the Shen Yun phenomenon. In short, their ads are everywhere. This month alone I've gotten three direct mailers from them. That's on top of the many billboards and web ads that have intruded my psyche. So, I was joking with a friend about the absurdity of it and she texted back, "Shen Yuk!"
This exchange happened in November, her birthday month and I had plans to see her. So I took two of the direct mailers, scissoring out an "N" and turning it make it a "K." Then I took a glue stick and decorated her gift bag "Shen Yuk" style.. When I gave it to her, she wondered where I got the Shen Yun bag! She guffawed when I showed her it was a cut-and-paste job and that it actually said "Shen Yuk."
So that got me thinking. Could I Photoshop a "K" over that "N" and make something with it? Well friends, the answer is "Nope." Not me. My 'shop skills suck. But I mentioned it to a colleague and she whipped up the image you see above! And, possible spoiler alert, there was just enough time to make Shen Yuk holiday cards for my Bay Area pals. They've been hitting mailboxes and it's been fun to get everyone's responses. One friend posted the card on Facebook and commented that it turned their "panic to laughs" and that it's like a "modern Rick Roll of sorts."
But it didn't end there. No, no. Now there are stickers! (This falls under "parody," right?)
One funny footnote: The day that I left out the bulk of the cards for the mail carrier to pick up, a Shen Yun direct mailer was left in my mailbox in return! You can't make this stuff up.
Also possibly of interest: Insider's Shen Yun posters are everywhere — here's everything you need to know about the mysterious show and the 'cult' behind it
photos: Rusty Blazenhoff