By SHI FU
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – A fearlessly edgy English teacher has spoken out, after having had his visa denied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – effectively expelling him from the country.
Kyle Majors, 27, told media that his tough stance on education at the Beijing University of Technology & Agricultural Pesticides made him a thorn in the side of the administration – and by extension, the Beijing government.
Majors’s class – ‘US sitcoms, 2004-present’ – was described by the teacher himself as “utterly uncompromising in dealing with the political reality in China.”
Majors recalls he first blew his students’ minds during an episode of season one of Game of Thrones, in which he casually compared Joffrey to Mao Zedong.
“There were a few nervous titters,” Majors recalled. “Since then, I have been taking it further and further.”
Majors’ academic-awareness campaign has included absenting himself from Saturday-morning classes, striding onto campus wearing a ‘Tiananmen Tank Man’ T-shirt and persistently mispronouncing the names of Zhao Ziyang, Hu Yaobang and Fang Lizhi.
But it was his outrageous observations on the recent Bo Xilai case that needled the faculty most says Majors, a former high-school student and McDonald’s junior operative .
Others partly agree with Majors’s assessment.
“I would certainly describe Kyle as an irritant,” agreed fellow pedagogue Jim Anderson, a PhD candidate in Ming Dynasty studies, currently doing archival research in Beijing.
At least one student backs up his claims.
“After reading about Neil Heywood, Kyle asked us if anyone would want to poison him,” recalled Li, a student in Majors’s sitcom class. “We all agreed it was highly probable.”
It was shortly after the Bo case broke that Majors had his visa application declined, forcing him to leave the country and travel to Thailand.
Local police claim the decision was made after discovering a drunken Majors curled between the feet of an unconscious prostitute, with an expired tourist visa. The former teacher dismisses this as “a convenient lie, although it’s partly true.”
Majors says he now joins the ranks of such enemies of the Chinese state as blind dissident Chen Guangcheng and recently exiled Al-Jazeera correspondent Melissa Chan.
“They can remove me but they can’t silence me,” Majors insists. “I have a new gig now at a kindergarten near Bangkok, teaching Buddhism. I won’t be afraid to expose the truth about Nirvana – and who really killed Kurt.”
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[UPDATE: Majors has since informed us that his sudden expulsion may, in part, be due to a recent series of New York Times exposes,concerning the financial affairs of, among others, Premier Wen Jiabao. “They don’t want to make the NYT reporter a martyr,” explained the bitter pedagogue. “So they take it out on me.”]