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Skinhua Presents: Ladies of the CPPCC

With this year's NPC and CPPCC convening in Beijing, the Chinese government has taken steps to address a startling, ever-widening gap dividing the government from the general public. Not the wage gap -- they're totally kidding about that one -- but rather the cool gap.

The campaign to show China's youth that the septuagenarians deciding their fates are "cool," "with it," and "totally niubi" began with an announcement this weekend that iconic model worker Lei Feng was "an obviously fun-loving young man who was hip with his times." Lei, a People's Liberation Army squad leader who, before getting crushed by a telephone pole, famously said that he wanted to be "a little screw" for the Revolution, posthumously becoming the mascot for a beloved series of kitsch memorabilia including posters, cigarette lighters, and reprints of his diaries.
Less well-known is that Lei drove a tractor - "comparable to today's BMW," the article points out - and straight-up blinged it with a flashy wristwatch, a leather jacket, and bad-boy bangs. He also gave his girlfriend a diary, and wrote on the inside, "Wang Peilin, you are a loyal daughter of the party. I hope your youth blossoms fragrantly like a flower on the motherland. Great persistence makes great ideals. May you become a real soldier in our common work."

That's how you get the ladies.

Speaking of the ladies: in honor of 3/8, International Women's Day, naughty news agency Xinhua, having apparently run out of unauthorized scans of swimsuit calendars, paparazzi photographs of Paris Hilton, and Ukranian mud wrestlers, presents "The Lovely Ladies of the Two Meetings," a photo spread of all of the female-looking things they could find in the vicinity of the Great Hall of the People.

Your correspondent was worried that he'd be put in the position of having to make snarky remarks about female Party leaders' datability, but in a massive stroke of luck, almost none of the pictures on that page are of actual female Party members. Mostly they're of reporters, girls holding Olympic mascots whose misshapen visages "bring luck for the two meetings," token Uyghurs, and, quote, "ceremony [attendant] girls taking advantage of the sunny, warm day at Tian'anmen Square to become "beautiful scenery" at the NPC and CPPCC."

Probably for the best.

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