Just hear him out. It might sound like a completely preposterous idea, but John Oliver's solution for diffusing tension with China is so bizarre that it might actually make sense. In yet another flash of his signature brilliance, Oliver is using Kenny G to make peace with China. In fact, the award-winning — though often mocked — saxophonist could be our only hope of avoiding war with China, according to Oliver. Why? Because while he's more often than not the butt of many jokes here in the States, Kenny G is a highly celebrated borrowed national treasure for the Chinese. There's something about the smooth sounds of Kenny G's sax that puts the entire country at ease, and if we continue bathing China in Kenny G war will be the last thing on their minds.
Before we put on Mr. G's soft instrumental sounds and descend into a state of unparalleled relaxation, let's take a look at why there's tension between the U.S. and China to begin with. Oliver opens the segment with some news clips showing China's ongoing attempts to claim the Spratly Islands, a highly coveted archipelago that could contain valuable oil and natural gas reserves and is also one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. As satellite images show, China has been constructing man-made islands in order to claim sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, a tactic that does not sit well with the U.S.
Last week, the U.S. sent a warship just 12 nautical miles off the Spratly Islands, which sparked a very ominous response from a Chinese admiral. In a video conference with U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, Chinese Navy Chief Admiral Wu Shengli made this statement (translated by Reuters):
If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war.
"Holy shit. We could be going to war with China," Oliver responds emphatically.
But not to worry, he says. He has the ultimate secret weapon for preventing war with China: Kenny G.
Before you dismiss this seemingly nonsensical suggestion, let Oliver explain. You see, "Kenny G is a really big deal in China." His song "Going Home," a five-and-a-half-minute journey through the tranquil lands of your inner peace, is the unofficial closing song of China, and is played in public areas, shopping malls, businesses, and train stations when they prepare to shut down for the day.
It's a natural prompt for Chinese citizens to go home and unwind. However, some citizens don't even know who the musician behind the masterpiece is or if he's even alive.
What do you mean is Kenny G still alive? Of course he is. The G is an immortal being untethered from space and time floating endlessly on an eternal wave of pure smoothness.
Just to give you a hint of the song's powers, Oliver plays a brief clip of Kenny G playing "Going Home."
Oh, that is smooth. That's so smooth it's like wearing a mink coat in a bathtub full of lube. It's almost impractically smooth.
As for how to apply this to the current tension between the U.S. and China, here's what Oliver suggests:
Listen, Kenny G is clearly our secret weapon. He has an uncommon ability to make the people of China stop what they're doing and go home to relax. If we could only harness that power of subliminal suggestion for good, we could all live in a slightly safer world.
And without further ado, Oliver introduces the man himself to the stage, the "future winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Kenny G!"
As Kenny G plays his international hit, Oliver has a message for China:
China, I know you want these islands. I know you want them real bad, China, but I'm guessing you're feeling a whole lot more relaxed about the whole situation right now, aren't you? And I'll tell you why you are — 'cause Kenny G is pouring liquid velvet into your ears right now. No one can start an international incident to this sound.
Can they, Kenny G? Can they, Kenny G?! No, of course they can't! They can barely move! This is like being shot with a silk horse tranquilizer! Anything else you'd like to add, Kenny G? No, I didn't think so. 'Cause Kenny G lets his saxophone do the talking, and right now, it's telling everyone to CALM THE FUCK DOWN!
Watch the segment below.
Images: Berto Majden/YouTube