Below is Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” dun over heavy editing of a Mao era musical – worth a few laughs I think.
The original video footage is here on Tudou (and embedded below).
For the many of you who also understand Chinese will notice that the second half of the musical was praising Mao as a brilliant military strategist. Those days when the country drowned in Mao’s personality are no longer possible. In 1982, the Chinese Constitution was altered to limit the term of the the President to five years, and the body that elects it, the National Peoples Congress, also has the power to renew (once) or replace it.
Despite the GLF and the CR, Chinese in general still view Mao positively for uniting the country.
The “Beat It” overlaid video was obviously an attempt at mocking Mao or the Chinese Communist Party.
Yesterday, I showed the video to my parents. Growing up in China for having witnessed the GLF and the CR, I thought their reactions would at least be interesting. They didn’t say much. They giggled. I could tell that they weren’t too fond of those periods. But, not in a way many might think. It is more like how some looking back at their college binge drinking days; it was a past they likely won’t want to repeat and not something they go out publicly to repent.
“Beat It” or not, and regardless of how much vitriol the Western media might throw at Mao, China will probably never change her attitude about him. Similarly, as much as Americans love ‘freedom,’ they will never see Washington negatively despite him being a slave owner. Treatment of these two founders will be respect among their population unless the countries become undone.