So it’s the 110th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth somewhere or other near Changsha, Hunan Province, and there were a bunch of related TV programs on tonight: dramatizations of the Long March. documentaries on Yan’an, and what appeared to be a half-hour documentary about how much Mao loved the writing of Lu Xun. (Oddly, it didn’t mention that Mao supposedly once said that it was good that Lu had died before the CCP came to power, since otherwise “it would have been a choice between silence and jail.”*)
Anyway, the whole snide “These hypocritical commies are becoming more commercialized than America!” schtick is old and boring, but I have to admit that I was amused tonight when I recognized the actor playing Mao in the Long March soap opera. I had seem him dozens of times before on TV, in a cheaply-made suit, hawking cheaply-made digital cameras. And here he was playing the illustrious Chairman in a lavish TV serial.

It’s another anniversary, too, or at least close to it; the first post in this diary was three years ago.
It doesn’t seem quite right to refer to it as “this” diary, I guess; it was written, in a different hemisphere and on a different server, by a very different person indeed; the entries I posted there aren’t available on this site, unless you really know where to look; the design and overall format has gone from daily blog to weekly diary to whenever-I-feel-like-it whatever. But I do think of it as being a connected heterogenous whole.

So, it’s been a fun three years. And I’ve got a good feeling about the next three.

(For those of you who’ve asked me to put the old entries back up — hi, Mom! — the answer is no; importing them would be a pain, and they weren’t very good anyway.)

Comments (5)

  1. jon wrote::

    are you going to be back for the holidays/summer break?

    Sunday, December 21, 2003 at 3:54 am #
  2. Brendan wrote::

    Jon – I’m still in school. My finals don’t even start ’til the day after Christmas, which is what I get for living in a heathen country. And thanks to the rat-bastard lunar calendar, this year’s winter break is woefully short.

    Summer break, I’ll be home for sure.

    Sunday, December 21, 2003 at 10:53 am #
  3. Kun wrote::

    Congrats on the 3-year anniversary. I look forward to the 4th, 5th, even more.

    Monday, December 22, 2003 at 1:19 am #
  4. houshuang wrote::

    hey man, manage to arrive at your chinese blog somehow, while sitting in a Wuhan noisy internet cafe, sandwiched between two loud chain-smoking gameplaying chinese, trying to write an essay on the 1911 revolution in Swedish (long story)…

    enjoyed reading your stuff though, in fact I just applied for an internship at the norwegian embassy in Beijing, starting feb. If for some weird reason they decide to hire me, I’ll also get a chance to learn cabbie-speak (I remember watching some Beijing movie quite a while ago, with a cabbie as the main protagonist, barely got a word of what he said).

    hm, guess there wasn’t much content to this post, but hey, back to Sun Yat-Sen and this Yuan Shi-Kuai guy who really doesn’t seem like a nice guy…

    Tuesday, December 23, 2003 at 2:11 am #
  5. lucas wrote::

    Please Keep writing. I enjoy your writing very much.

    Saturday, January 3, 2004 at 10:03 am #