Saturday, July 02, 2011

'I guess what I’m saying is at some point, we’ve all parked in the wrong garage.'

Apart from the whole Mao was “70% correct, 30% incorrect” blather which the [Chinese Communist] Party has been clinging to like a crazy shut-in on an episode of Hoarders, there’s also a growing tendency to excuse the worst excesses of the 1958-1976 period as simply “Mao being Mao.” Like a kindly but eccentric drunk uncle who gave out candy to little children but also did to 5-10 for putting the candy store owner into a coma with a 2×4. I don’t count myself among the “Mao the Monster” crowd, but give the guy his due: His reign featured some of the the craziest and most destructive events in 20th century history, and whether he was the mastermind or a dupe is kind of irrelevant. As bad ideas go, having this guy run your country is up there with hitching a ride with Ryan Dunn or hiring R. Kelly as your baby sitter.

Mao may have been great as a political visionary, a poet, a revolutionary general and/or a noted connoisseur of stewed fatty pork, but when that many people die on your watch and the NEXT guy (or the next, next guy – sorry Hua) presides over a historically unprecedented period of economic development…that’s not good. That’s not even 30% not good. That’s like 70% sucks and 30% really, really sucks and all the Red Songs in the world aren’t going to change those numbers.
-- from It’s a Mad Mad 90th Anniversary by Jeremiah Jenne

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