Badass of the Week.

Yang Youde

"Personal interests are trivial, but failure to implement official policies is serious.
Outsiders must not enter/exit at will, or they will be responsible for any accident that happens to them.

Yang Youde is a 56 year-old farmer living outside Wuhan city in China's Hubei province who never really wanted anything more than to live in peace and not get reamed in the asshole when he finally got around to selling his small, quiet farm.  He signed a contract that would allow him to live in his home and work his land until 2019, and spent the long days out in the fields harvesting cotton and fruit and fishing in a nearby lake for food.  Life was good, even if it was probably a little boring from time to time.

At the beginning of this year, however, Youde quickly learned that living on a farm and not being utterly screwed over by greedy douchebags was apparently too much to ask.  I'm not incredibly well-versed in rural Chinese agrarian law (it's one of those educational fields that falls into the category of, "I'd rather rake a gonorrhea-infected toothbrush across my eye than read this shit"), but my understanding of the situation here is that some bigshot asshat developing firm came in and "requisitioned" Youde's farm out from under him, forcing him to break his contract and sell his land so that they could build apartment buildings for serial killers or giant evil factories that crushed orphans up and turns them into biological weapons of mass destruction.  The big shot pompous assholes of SuperMechaCorp Developers offered Youde the Chinese monetary equivalent of about $19,000 for his land, which amounts to roughly one-fifth of what the farm is actually worth.  When Youde brought this up in "negotiations", the developers told him that if he didn't agree to it they would send a couple dozen guys to beat the fuck out of him in the hopes that some massive head trauma would help him change his mind.  Youde told them to hump a lawnmower.

Anybody who's been late on a credit card payment can tell you that collection agents are relentless jackhammers of evil who sustain themselves by battering down your defenses until you crumple into a beat-to-shit heap on the floor of your apartment.  In Communist China, they're worse.  In terms of rearranging your asshole, these guys are more akin to Fat Tony and his crew of baseball bat-lugging kneecap-smashers than anything resembling an annoying telemarketer or a late-night repo driver.  When the big development bullies sicked these guys on poor Youde, they skipped out on the harassing phone calls and went straight to the face-to-face threats of physical violence portion of the negotiations.

But Youde wasn't your typical uneducated pushover farmer that these fucks could just steamroll in the name of industrialization and corporate greed and orpan-crushitoriums.  These guys were only going to take the farm over this guy's dead body.  So on February 26, 2010, when a team of thirty evictors, bulldozer drivers, and assorted goons showed up on Youde's land armed with clubs and ominous-looking Member's Only jackets, they ran into one fifty year-old man rolling this thing out of his storage shed and aiming it in their direction:

What you're looking at is a fucking MLRS made out of PVC pipe and a wheelbarrow.  Each of these tubes was loaded with a powerful rocket-like firework, primed and ready to launch, and as soon as those cudgel-toting suckers were in range he let loose a barrage of gunpowder bombs that lit up Hubei province like the Chinese New Year.  Shit was exploding everywhere, dudes were diving for cover, and Youde was (probably) cackling like a maniac.

Unfortunately, Youde's rocket salvo, while unequivocally badass, wasn't designed for fighting a sustained engagement against a horde of angry thugs, and reloading this rocket cart was a process that made a flintlock musket look like an assault rifle.  The evictors picked themselves up off the floor, rushed over, and kicked the shit out of Youde.  As the farmer was lying on the turf with a couple boot-marks in his face, they told him that they were going to go home, get their bulldozers, and flatten Youde's home into rubble, and that he better not be there when they got back.

So yes, it's sort of anti-climactic that Youde's rocket salvo didn't prevent the goons from delivering a beatdown on him, but this is all part of any great iconic 80s action movie.  The brave hero stands up to impossible odds and gets his ass kicked hard, but rather than give up, he just gets right back up and keeps fighting.  Yang Youde knew he needed to move fast to defend his home before these guys returned to finish the job, and he immediately got on the phone with his friends and family to figure out a plan of attack.

So Yang Youde built a cannon tower next to his house.  And when I say "cannon tower", I mean like the Warcraft II shit a tall, homemade lookout tower equipped with a portable PVC rocket launcher capable of firing projectiles 300 feet through the air, an arsenal of super-explosive fireworks, a megaphone, and a couch where he could max and relax while watching for intruders.  When these guys came back, he was ready to shove a few hundred pounds of gunpowder down their esophagi.

Two weeks ago, on May 26, the evictors came back, and this time, they were ready for whatever Yang could throw at them.  Or so they thought.  That afternoon Youde looked out from his watchtower to see a line of a hundred men equipped with riot shields and clubs, supported by a tank platoon of bulldozers and construction equipment.

But once again Yang Youde again refused to back down.  He got on the bullhorn, ordering the evictors to stop, re-asserting his right to the land, and (hopefully) screaming something along the lines of, "git offa my propertay!"  When they didn't stop, he dropped the effing hammer.

From 300 yards out, Yang Youde fired a relentless, non-stop barrage of artillery.  The new-and-improved fireworks exploded with tremendous noise, smoke and colors, and his farm suddenly turned from a peaceful fishing hole to Omaha fucking Beach in the span of about ten seconds.

Unable to advance through this insanity, the evictors were held at bay for roughly an hour, when the police showed up and broke up the battle.  The evictors were sent crying back to their dirtbag bosses, and Yang was hauled down to the station for questioning.  Awesomely, the cops weren't able to charge Youde with any serious criminal offenses he hadn't been shooting with the intention of harming the invaders, purposely firing well in front or behind the attackers, and even though indiscriminately turning your home into a one-man artillery battalion is considered a "public safety violation" by the People's Republic of China, the cops respected this guy's stones and let him off with a promise that he "won't do anything illegal" again.

He still owns the farm.


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