The Most Badass Eulogy Ever?
I am reading a post-death profile about Olive Yang, and HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS.
She was born to royalty in British colonial Burma, but rejected that life to become a cross-dressing warlord whose C.I.A.-supplied army established opium trade routes across the Golden Triangle.
Okay, now THAT is a fucking lede. At least we know there’s no way sentence Two can out badass the first one…
By the time of her death, last week at 90, she had led hundreds of men, endured prison and torture, generated gossip for her relationship with a film actress and, finally, helped forge a truce between ethnic rebels and the government.
Ms. Yang’s pursuit of a career as a militia leader and opium smuggler grew in part out of her desperation to escape traditional gender roles, her relatives said. “It was a temptation she couldn’t resist,” wrote her niece…
By age 25, she commanded hundreds of soldiers guarding caravans of raw opium on mules and trucks across the hills to the Thai border. Those trade routes served what would eventually become the world’s most productive opium-growing region…
Intelligence dispatches at the National Archives in Yangon described her as a menace to the peace.
After her older brother Edward abdicated in 1959, along with dozens of other hereditary rulers in Shan state, Ms. Yang took control of his former army, becoming the de facto ruler of the territory.
She also, according to her relatives, entered into a relationship with a Burmese movie actress, Wah Wah Win Shwe, lavishing her with gifts and adding her name to the deed of her house in Yangon.
…the arrangement came to an abrupt end in 1963, when Ms. Yang was arrested by police officials under Gen. Ne Win, who had seized power in Burma the year before. She spent six years in Yangon’s Insein Prison, where she reportedly endured torture.
…1989, when she was in her 60s. Retired as a warlord but respected among the ethnic rebel groups, Ms. Yang was recruited by the Burmese government’s chief of intelligence…
Confined to a wheelchair, Ms. Yang spent her twilight years in relative obscurity, living in the care of her stepson and his militiamen in a compound in Muse. Visited there not long after she had a stroke in 2015, Ms. Yang said she was happy to be living surrounded by deferential soldiers.
When shown a photograph of Ms. Win Shwe at her home, Ms. Yang responded with a knowing smile and a devilish laugh.
“It’s very sad for all of Kokang,” said the former soldier, Liu Guoxi, reached by phone as he was preparing for the funeral. “We have all come to say farewell to our leader.”
Like just Damn. God Damn. God Fucking Damn.
I feel like I need a cigarette just reading that quick biographical summarization.