Internet

Maowatch: Part 15,384

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We have often criticized the way Chairman Mao has become the be-all and end-all of all China-related journalism, and the way every desperate hack relates every possible change and every potential disaster to a ruthless Hunanese heresiarch who died nearly 30 years ago. Still, bearing in mind the fact that we are clearly just as obsessed with him as the rest of the hacks, we may have to change our mind. In any case, any ban on Chairman Mao-related nonsense would mean that we could no longer have a joke at the old bugger's expense.

Anyway, our attention was drawn today to the bulletin board section of the Qianlong web portal, where a patriotic contributor listed 46 reasons why the nation should be proud of the Great Helmsman. The list is, naturally, a mixture of propaganda and preposterousness, of boilerplate and, well, bollocks. Okay, at a stretch, one could conceivably attribute to Chairman Mao the end of warlordism and the unification of a heretofore humiliated nation, but... zzzz. The point is that among the triumphant, exultant responses to the posting, among the tear-stained, lip-quivering references to "the one great man", "the one great man who made the world yearn" and "the one great father who is worth respect" is a little, as yet uncensored yell of dissent:

一个SB

The one Shabi, or stupid c**t, presumably.

Another contributor said that Mao was the leader who turned China into a lunatic asylum, a point proved - you might think - by China's online bulletin boards.

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