Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, March 8, 2010 at 4:40 PM
Lei Feng taking down dodgy adverts (image: Dai Xiang)
Lei Feng's got a microblog!
Lei Feng Diary contains the musings of the Rustless Screw forty-eight years after his death in an unfortunate telephone pole accident.
The tone is earnest, and while much of the very dry humor derives from the incongruity of a national icon commenting on contemporary pop culture and the latest social scandals, the microblog also explores what the real Lei Feng might make of a world that perceives him as both an outdated icon and a brand ripe for exploitation.
A couple days ago the company started to study "The Diary of a Bureau Chief," but there's only one computer, so the comrades haven't been able to. The political instructor was at wits' end, which I saw and took to heart. This evening I worked into the night to write it out by hand so that everyone in the company could have a copy. On the flyleaf of each volume I wrote "Lovers are not the exclusive right of the bourgeoisie. We proletarians also have revolutionary partners, and we aren't afraid of a few more (Selected Works of Chairman Mao, vol. 4)."
Posted at 00:52 on March 4
Yesterday the company notified me that I was to go give my regards to a welfare household, and that the media wanted to do a report. This year, the house that pensioner Grandpa Ding had lived in for fifty years was finally deemed to be an "illegal structure." Grandpa Ding gave me a warm reception, but I was awkward in front of the camera and the director kept scrapping the takes, so Grandpa Ding had to give me a warm reception 58 times. He said, "Lei, your 'nail spirit' has always been an encouragement to me!" Later I found out that Grandpa Ding's household was a nail house.
Posted at 00:52 on March 4
One of the masses suspects that what I just posted was an ad for Naobaijin. But I'm not able to do advertising. True, I have done ads in the past, and there are pics that show that it happened. But then a brand called Nai-ke something-or-other asked me to endorse them. The slogan they came up with was "Just Lei It!" But then they misprinted it, and it ended up as "Just Lie It!" which was blatant slander against the image of party members, and from then on SARFT blacklisted me from doing ads, just like Comrade Tang Wei.
Posted at 02:45 on March 5
Two days ago I was still depressed over not having received notice from my superiors to attend the Two Meetings. But now I've come to terms with it: the party's arrangements have a rational basis. The sessions' opening clashes with Lei Feng Day, so to better serve the people, I have to be with the masses. Without me, the Two Meetings will still be a great rally, a victorious assembly, but I cannot be absent from Lei Feng Day. Ah, the true Lei Feng is among the people, not in the Great Hall of the People. Helping others is helping yourself. Happy Lei Feng Day!
Posted at 03:17 on March 5
This morning when I went out for drills, I ran into Yu Luoke downstairs, who at that early hour was already listless. I asked him what was wrong. He was depressed: "Lei, you're famous, and today everyone remembers that it's your memorial day, but no one knows that it's also my memorial day." I said, "So what if they don't know? People's memories are bad these days, but there's always the Internet. Go online and try Sougou, and in that way you can find the both of us." After listening to me, Yu was no longer unhappy.
Posted at 09:12 on March 5
Further reading: Lei Feng Diary is quite similar to a short-lived 2006 blog. Perhaps the parodies are more easily sustained in microblog format, and we can look forward to reading more of the Fengster's updates in the future.
Update (2010.03.30): The artwork that accompanies some of the Lei Feng Diary's updates is actually by the artist Dai Xiang (戴翔), who in 2007 created 12 photos of Lei Feng posed in various modern-day situations. On March 29, Dai posted a statement to his blog complaining about the copyright infringement, naming the Oriental Guardian in particular for using his images without credit or compensation, and requesting that all media outlets that used his images improperly remedy the situation.
We have added a credit line to the reduced-size image at the top and have removed the other illustrations that accompanied this post.
On March 26, the English-language weekly Beijing Today did a feature on Dai's "New Lei Feng Stories" that includes examples of other images in the series.
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