So, I discovered today that you only get 60 minutes total, per day... =P Not unlimited 60 minute sessions with 30 minutes in between. Ah well. I've snuck into work for internet access.
Something I didn't get to say this morning is that, as good a book as Wild Swans is, it should be rated NC-17 due to the violence, the political and psychological subject matter. Chang isn't even trying to sensationalize anything. She's just writing out her experiences as her family and she, herself, saw and felt them.
Mao incited different groups at different times for his own ends. He was a bloodthirsty peasant boy and a manipulation expert. At the heart of it, he used peoples' personal vendettas and pettiness to make people turn on each other.
Is his wife, Jiang Qing, still alive today? I usually don't keep up with stuff like this, but quite a while ago, I heard that she had developed throat cancer. It was reported that she said she'd rather die from the cancer than have surgery which would leave her unable to speak.
And shiningmoon, just after I commented in your journal this morning, I did read that it was Mao who taught schoolchildren that "nostalgia" is a "bourgeois habit" and should be quashed through self-criticism. "Bourgeois habit" was spoken like it was a venereal disease. =)
In other library adventures, I borrowed some Ben Heppner CDs and ripped them to MP3s. Library CDs are usually in really bad shape, totally scratched up and sometimes with huge gouges. I'm amazed that they still ripped well though.