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The Balinghou

Generation Gap: "The parents of China’s post-1980 generation [the bā líng hòu (八零後)] (themselves born between 1950 and 1965) grew up in a rural, Maoist world utterly different from that of their children. In their adolescence, there was one phone per village, the universities were closed and jobs were assigned from above. If you imagine the disorientation and confusion of many parents in the West when it comes to the internet and its role in their children’s lives, and then add to that dating, university life and career choices, you come close to the generational dilemma. Parents who spent their own early twenties labouring on remote farms have to deal with children who measure their world in malls, iPhones and casual dates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2013 - 16 comments

The momentary madness of Mao's mangoes

For 2,000 years, the peach was the iconic fruit of China, an auspicious symbol of good health and a long life (Google books). But from August of 1968 until roughly the fall of the following year, the mango was China’s most revered produce item, whose meaning was unwittingly bestowed upon it by none other than Mao Zedong. (via Presurfer) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 22, 2013 - 14 comments

“Our history is all fabricated.”

Mubei, or Tombstone, by Yang Jisheng, was published in 2008 and is considered to be the definitive account of the Chinese Great Famine. The book is banned in China, but has been available in Hong Kong. Counterfeit and electronic copies have allowed many Chinese to access the book. Before this November, Tombstone was available only in Chinese; however, the English translation has now been released. [more inside]
posted by Bokmakierie on Nov 11, 2012 - 27 comments

How to kill a rational peasant

How to kill a rational peasant: America's dangerous love affair with counterinsurgency. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2012 - 66 comments

Life is fleeting, but a body can be on display forever

Atlas Obscura provides a Guide to Communist Mummies, and there's plenty more online. Visit Lenin's Mausoleum, where he has been kept since 1924, defying his wishes to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg. He wasn't alone forever, as Stalin's body was kept in the mausoleum after his death in 1953, until his body was quietly removed in October, 1961. Just under eight years later, Hồ Chí Minh died, and against his wishes to be cremated, a very large state funeral was held and Uncle Ho's embalmed remains were placed in a mausoleum. Chairman Mao Zedong made A Proposal that all Central Leaders be Cremated after Death in 1956, but his wishes were overlooked when he died in 1976, and he joined the growing ranks of the preserved communist leaders in his own crystal casket, housed in a grand mausoleum. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 21, 2011 - 30 comments

毛新宇

Pudgy Mao Xinyu is the youngest major general in the Chinese army, perhaps due to nepotism.
posted by xowie on Aug 5, 2010 - 33 comments

How the Daddy of Jesse Helms Gave Birth to Black Power

In 1936 in the Jim Crow South, Robert F. Williams was an 11-year-old black boy in Monroe, North Carolina, who watched helplessly as Jesse Helms Sr. (father and namesake of the former senator) beat an African-American woman to the ground and "dragged her off to the nearby jailhouse, her dress up over her head, the same way that a cave man would club and drag his sexual prey." Years later, after a stint in the segregated military, Williams returned home to Monroe and worked as an NAACP organizer, where he brought international attention to the Kissing Case, a 1958 incident in which two black boys under the age of 10 were sentenced to a reformatory for kissing a white girl. By then, Williams had also attracted controversy for his advocacy of armed self-defense, a position he outlined in the book Negroes with Guns. But it would all change overnight in 1961, when Williams landed on FBI's Most Wanted list, after being charged with kidnapping a white couple that Williams claimed he was trying to save from an angry black crowd. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Jun 8, 2010 - 36 comments

Chairman Mao's Underground City

Chairman Mao's Underground City is a pictorial travelogue of a small part of the tunnels that Chairman Mao had built under Beijing to serve as a nuclear fallout shelter. The intrepid urban explorers come across some surprising things. The complex, which was built by hand, could house three hundred thousand people for up to four months and had amenities such as restaurants, cinemas and roller rinks. Here's a short Travel Channel feature on the Underground City.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 29, 2009 - 38 comments

Why the Chinese support the Communist party

Why the Chinese support the Communist party Interviews with four elderly Chinese. Among the answers: "We used to live in a tiny house, over ten people all together, just a place of over ten square metres. Now I often say to my husband that life has been totally different for our grandchildren, not only from ours, but from their parents too. They have nothing to worry about, no need to worry about food, clothes."
posted by shetterly on Oct 4, 2009 - 52 comments

Why Adolf, what bloodshot eyes you have ...

Meet Adolf Hitler. Godwin! Look right into Stalin's eyes. 350 people from the dictator's country, Photoshopped together to create eerily alive photographs. (via kottke, via conscientious) [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Aug 1, 2008 - 41 comments

Nomic is a game where modifying the game is the game.

Nomic, as introduced by inventor Peter Suber (homepage): a game of self-modification—every move is an attempt to alter the rules governing how the game is played. Further from wikipedia. [A great deal more within.]
posted by cortex on Aug 27, 2007 - 59 comments

Ahmadinejad is no Hitler - The world's most rash leaders can be contained, and the nuclear-ambitious Iranian president is no exception.

Ahmadinejad is no Hitler (Los Angeles Times) If you think Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes outlandish comments, consider what Mao Tse-tung said to a visiting head of state in 1954: "If someone else can drop an atomic bomb, then I can too. The death of 10 or 20 million people is nothing to be afraid of."

Nonetheless, 15 years later, a nuclear-armed China was not only contained by the world, it opted for normalization of relations with its archenemy, the United States. Today, it is fashionable to equate Ahmadinejad with Hitler, yet the lesson of the 20th century is that rash leaders can, in fact, be deterred. And Iran's president will prove no exception.
posted by hoder on Mar 13, 2007 - 77 comments

heroic urban portraits inspired by Maoist propaganda

Kehinde Wiley : painter and sculptor . "The subjects, anonymous men in T-shirts and jeans that Wiley approaches on the street, are given the mantle of authority and grandiosity bestowed on figures such as Napoleon in Jacques-Louis David's famous depiction with a rearing steed or the holiness of saints." (via)
posted by desjardins on Mar 7, 2007 - 7 comments

General Gau meet Chairman Mao

The true history of General Tso/Gau/Zuo's Chicken involves Henry Kissinger and the food of Hunan province, which was the home of two opposing eaters: Chairman Mao and the nationalist Chef Peng who invented the dish, along with other now-classics of Hunanese cuisine, after fleeing the Revolution. Thus ends a long search for the origins of the dish, as covered previously.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 3, 2007 - 14 comments

We are the 801, We are the central shaft

Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy), the cover version.
Two San Francisco musicians cover all of Brian Eno's pre-ambient album - the one loosely inspired by a Maoist opera. Eno likes it.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Dec 12, 2006 - 22 comments

Ain't no Mao no mo'

Mao who?
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 1, 2006 - 36 comments

Furor over Fuhrer Food

Furor over Fuhrer Food But it's not the only Hitler-themed restaurant. Taipei had the Prison restaurant with Concentration Camp murals, and Korea had the infamous 1939 Hitler Bar.

Not that the U.S. was spared. Colorado had a Mao-themed eatery.
posted by FeldBum on Aug 21, 2006 - 69 comments

World Leader Family Photo Album

World Leaders Were Kids Once Too
Photos of a whole bunch of world leaders as kids up through adulthood. Hey, Reagan was Teh Buff! And proof that Joe Stalin was NOT born with that mustache!
posted by fenriq on Jul 22, 2006 - 83 comments

Hijacking Conservatism

What unites hardliners like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh -- their uncompromisingly conservative take on politics? In a provocative blog post titled Do Bush followers have a political ideology?, Glenn Greenwald persuasively argues otherwise. He believes that the conservative movement -- traditionally against big government, excessive spending, and federal intrusion into the private lives of Americans -- has been hijacked by something much more dangerous: an authoritarian cult of personality, or as Greenwald puts it, "a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate."
posted by digaman on Feb 12, 2006 - 136 comments

GWOT in the Stacks

[TotalitarianismFilter] Don't be asking your college librarian for a copy of that Little Red Book to do a class assignment, or your parents might get a visit from the good folks at the Department of Homeland Security. More evidence that the Bush administration cannot restrain itself when granted enhanced surveillance powers.
posted by digaman on Dec 17, 2005 - 97 comments

The Game of Mao

The only rule I can tell you is this one. In the vein of self-modifying games such as Nomic, 1000 Blank White Cards, Fluxx, and Cosmic Encounter, comes Mao: the game where the only way to learn the rules is by banging your head against them. Repeatedly.
posted by Ironwolf on Apr 24, 2005 - 32 comments

Great Leap Forward

Mo' MAO. "If you stare at a red shape for a long time, when you turn away, your retina will hold the image but you will see a green version of the same shape. In the same way, when I lived in China, I saw the positive image of Mao so many times that my mind now holds a negative image of Mao. In my art I am transferring this psychological feeling to a physical object." --Zhang Hongtu
posted by gimonca on Mar 23, 2005 - 15 comments

Mao of Poo

Comrade, is Piglet revisionism getting you down? Don't be an enemy of the people. Brush up on your Maoist theory with the Mao of Poo.
posted by alidarbac on Feb 8, 2004 - 5 comments

Chinese Pop Posters

Chinese Pop Posters. More :- Guangzhou's racing track, patrolling despair, Cuba, under New York, Bombay bazaar, and Chinese rural architecture. All from the excellent Atlas magazine - more here.
posted by plep on Jul 21, 2003 - 10 comments

Scrapbook of the Revolution

Scrapbook of the Revolution: Interpreting the Mao Era
posted by hama7 on Mar 29, 2003 - 10 comments

The Chairman Smiles

The Chairman Smiles......Mao......Fidel.....Stalin .....Che........Nostalgia for the evil ones of our past. I wonder how many of us would trade today's War on Terrorism for the Cold War.
posted by Voyageman on Nov 4, 2001 - 91 comments

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