Posts Tagged ‘China’

Readers of the Times could be mistaken for thinking it’s 1992.  What with Ross Perot back in action and a Bush leaving Washington, you can practically bust out the House of Pain.  Sir Thomas Friedman, bearer of the Mustache of Understanding and inspiration for the eponymous Friedman Unit (FU), takes this nonsense to its logical conclusion:
Op-Ed Columnist

China to the Rescue? Not!

Published: December 20, 2008

The prominant pundit on all things has unearthed the 1992 Word of the Year.  (The ADS lists are actually fascinating:  “snail mail” did succeed, “ethnic cleansing” earned its stripes immediately, and “Munchhausen’s syndrome by proxy” made Law and Order.)  He’s taking us back to a more innocent time, a time before 9/11 and unspeakable Nirvana covers, a time when men were men and sheep were nervous.  I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone use the Gingrich-era Wayne’s World negation.

Friedman could have gone with “China: PWNED,” or some variant on “fail,” both of which are at least marginally more current.  But he didn’t.  Why?  Because Friedman is dope, that’s why.  Because Friedman is da bomb, all that and a bag of chips.  From now on, that’s Thomas WaterfallsFriedman to you.

(Drop some retro slang in the comments, win an Ace of Base cassette.)

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For the very special Maoist in your life:

“Maoart paintings integrate with virtuosity real people’s faces into faithfully reproduced propaganda posters. Based on a photograph provided by you and a poster of your choice, an artist renders you as a socialist hero.”

Seriously, check it out.  For 200 bucks, you pick a model poster and send in a headshot from a similar angle as your intended character.  Within three weeks, the artists will paint you a faithful revision of the original starring you as the proletarian hero.  The website notes that the paintings are done by “freelance professional Chinese artists selected for their portrait skills and their ability to reproduce the propaganda poster styles,” adding that they “do not commission “painting factories” and their salaried artists.”  Here are some samples of regular ol’ white folk rendered as Chinese Communist icons:

It’s all inclusive: Chinese-language slogans, industrial or agrarian background, etc.  But if it’s out of your proletarian price range, consider a simple movie or DVD.  Especially one reviewed by the Maoist International Movement (MIM).  They’re very sweet on Harry Potter…

“Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban” is almost the best we can expect from bourgeois liberalism’s films for children. It’s pointedly anti-fascist–giving the boot to eugenics in the opening scene, where Aunt Marge talks about the parents of Harry Potter in a disparaging way as reflecting on Harry…

…and give a limited endorsement to Star Wars:

“There was not much to complain about politically in the first installments of “Star Wars,” which was both anti-fascist and anti-imperialist. The role of Black characters and the “Red Guard” in the key battles did not go unnoticed at MIM. In this movie, we learn that democracy is the preferred government of the “good guys” of the Republic.  Although the characters’ endorsement of democracy is rather shallow like the current understanding of democracy in the united $tates, the movie itself offers slightly more analysis of democracy.”

(Yes, that’s “united $tates.” stet.)

Maoists, however, utterly hated Spider Man 2:

“There is a lot of confusing shit going on in this movie. By the NYSDCJS and NYPD’s own figures(1), grand larceny, grand larceny auto, and murder, will be about 20% of reported crimes in New York City in 2004, and the majority of these reports will not be due to the actions of the illegal bourgeois Mafia, who metaphorically figure prominently in the adventures of such comic action heroes as Spider-Man and Batman. MIM has said that “Spider-Man: The Motion Picture” (2002) has some redeeming value on the basis of its depiction of asexuality, but it cannot ignore the fact that “Spider-Man’s” Amerikan flag-waving fans are cheering for something that in the real world would be called “capitalist police repression.”

This is an important point. Communists do not support pig repression, much less the pig-wanna- be, labor-aristocrat vigilantes who think themselves heroes when they are gunning down the Third World proletariat at the Mexico-united $tates border, or the self-styled “community” pigs who “police” Asian, Black and Latino youth street organizations. If the bourgeoisie want to sic their thugs on each other, MIM would not get in the middle of this fight, but it does not support pig repression in the abstract when Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) has his knee-jerk reaction every time he hears a police siren. If Spider-Man had any (spider-) “sense” at all, he would fight the police repression under which gold miners work in Azania and China to produce the gold coins stored in the vault of the bank that is robbed in the movie.”

Want more?  MIM has literally hundreds of these.  So this holiday season, “Smelt a lot of good steel and accelerate socialist construction.

*Preemptive note to rightist trolls:  None of the above represents an endorsement of Maoism.

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August 9  (Originally posted by Mischa)

I for one will welcome our new Chinese overlords.

And somewhere, Lou Dobbs is silently mainlining soy sauce.

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August 8 (Originally posted by Mireille)

Like more than a few billion people in the world, I watched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies just a few short hours ago. Several thoughts:

1st. NBC’s pro-American slant is out in full force tonight. The commentators managed some swipes at Chavez and Russia, and kept insisting that this was the most important moment in modern Chinese history. Though I agree it is indeed really rather important, Mao’s death might have perhaps been more pivotal. Just a thought.

2nd. Even with Ralph Lauren designing (especially with Ralph Lauren designing!) team USA’s attire was yawn-inspiring. Surrounded by the intricate details and festive colors of the native dress of hundreds of other countries, the best we could do was a dowdy navy blazer with a massive brand logo on it? Pathetic.

3rd. Unable to reconcile their differenences this time around, North and South Korea marched separately despite having marched together in previous Games. It was perhaps the most visible example in an otherwise startlingly beautiful pageant of the international solidarity that bitter politics are sometimes all together impossible to transcend.

4th. Did anyone else notice how notoriously racist/xenophobic countries are all too happy to let brown folks on their teams? I mean, if you want a striking visual of Europe and Africa’s recent colonial past, look at snap shots of their Olympic teams. I’m not saying, of course, that having one skin tone makes you less Swedish or South African, I’m just saying when you have countries like Portugal proudly marching their black athletes internationally while abusing them at home, its a cause for pause.

5th. I am incredibly pleased with Team USA’s choice of flag bearer Lopez Lomong, a Sudanese refugee and talented track athlete, who disagrees with Chinese policy regarding Sudan. It was was a commendable sideswipe at the host country. There’s more here about it.

6th. The image of Yao Ming holding the Boy-Hero of the People, Lin Hao is going to become an iconic photograph in China. That kid is set for life.

It was right around the time when the final torch bearer started to fly around the stadium it really struck me: When WWIII rolls around, we’re totally boned. This was among the most amazing spectacles I have ever seen ever, and I saw it on a 11″ low-def TV screen on network TV. The orchestration, the detail, the execution…Flawless.

As much as I’m looking forward the the next few weeks of sportsmanship, I hope that we don’t lose sight of other important things: the new Georgian war, the old Iraq war, the election and our lame-duck economy. Get your fill of Greco-Wrestling while you still can, though.

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