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Continued From This Morning

weather: cloudy
outside: 6°C
mood: okay

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.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2002 08:20 pm (UTC)
The Great Helmsman
Mao was a monster but he's an academic interest of mine. Although a genius in guerilla warfare, his policies were nothing short of disastrous leading to two of modern China's greatest tragedies: The Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution. His various purges destabilized the Party, incited popular riots from overzealous youth, caused massive famine, destroyed nacent industry and ruined lives. I can go on about this guy forever.

And yes, he opposed anything bourgeois. One of the reasons why the Gobi desert is encroaching upon the Beijing area is because he thought grass to be a "bourgeois" thing and ordered the grass to be burned. With nothing to stop soil erosion, the desert began to expand.

The only thing that kept him in check was the popular Premier Zhou Enlai. Through all the chaos, Zhou somehow managed to keep the party intact and the country together.

Jiang Qing was arrested after the Cultural Revolution and sentenced to death. This was later commuted to a life sentence in jail when Deng Xiaoping took the helm. She was released for medical reasons in the early 90's sometime and I believe she committed suicide. Not too sure about that as I'm just going on memory.
Dec. 18th, 2002 08:41 pm (UTC)
Re: The Great Helmsman
I can go on about this guy forever.

It's called LJ Cuts and I'm listening/reading =)

She was released for medical reasons in the early 90's sometime and I believe she committed suicide.

That would make sense.
Dec. 18th, 2002 09:02 pm (UTC)
Re: The Great Helmsman
The guy did create a lot of chaos and nearly brought the country to ruin but he did make a significant contribution and an immediate impact on the national consciousness. It's been said that without him, China today would be a weak puppet state (much like India), unable to control its own destiny and being dictated to by foreign powers.

He's the only guy in modern history to militarily oppose two superpowers (USSR and USA) at the same time defeating both. Few textbooks are gonna tell you that.
Dec. 18th, 2002 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: The Great Helmsman
I completely agree that he's an interesting character study.

It's also fascinating to me (in a disheartening way) how the majority of the population knew that what was happening was total bullshit, but everyone was too fearful to speak up. By encouraging people to do vigilante policing on each other, it allowed petty injustices to fester. Then some campaign comes along and everyone unleashes their pent up anger. The media was that tightly controlled and the uneducated/illiterate were given that much power.
Dec. 18th, 2002 08:37 pm (UTC)
I use linux along with a ripping program called "cd-paranoia" ... it does massive scratch cleaning.

I also borrowed my limit of CDs just yesterday, and they've been mp3ized (my own word, and I like it very much, thank you) already. I can definitely see padding out the blues collection from their archives.

What ELSE do they think you're doing with a 7 day loan term?
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 19th, 2002 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks for verifying
I'm having a blast here with this CD section. =D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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