"Ohh yes, I have been drinking, how could you tell?"
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Posted by David Ranck at 9:15 PM
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This photo later appeared in newspapers across China. At Mao's suggestion Song changed her name to Song Yaowu (Song "Be Militant") and used that name in the papers in a first-person account of the moment. Song later immigrated to the United States (which drives me to distraction), got her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the name of Yan Song and lived for many years in suburban Boston. She has since retired and lives in Beijing (where I hope she stays).
Below, a new (to me) photograph of Song, framed in red at lower left, and enlarged, at Beijing Teachers University, biology department (1982)
Song Binbin is an utterly fascinating individual to me. Look at that face. It is the face of nihilism. I have never seen a photograph of Song Binbin that shows a soul behind her eyes. Look at these, in a variety of circumstances. Where is the soul? The tenderness? The softness? Is there not any softness, any tenderness in her?
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 6:08 AM
Monday, March 29, 2010
The above individual is known to the undersigned as "Katherine Fernandez-Rundle." She is seen here impersonating a military official. In her day job she impersonates a law enforcement official.
Posted by David Ranck at 7:42 AM
Posted by David Ranck at 6:43 AM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 10:08 AM
Well, they have a right to their opinion, this is a democracy, we have to win the battle of ideas, we must not descend to their level, we must try to understand them.
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 9:54 AM
Patriots? It's patriotic to call the president a communist? Well the other side did call President Bush a liar, continues to call him a liar.
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 9:44 AM
Oh I see, it's just the President of the United States being depicted as Mao Zedong or some other CCP thug (looks like Chen Boda without the glasses) and as an ignorant African tribesman communist witch doctor.
For the healthcare bill, huh? Huh.
Okay, no problem. How long has this been going on? Who are these people?
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 9:35 AM
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 9:24 AM
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Okay, now what's this?
Yes, a steel mill. Obviously.
Now in any parallel universe you can imagine could the photos in the previous post be considered to depict the same activity as depicted in the photo above?
Well, they do.
In the parallel universe between Mao Zedong's ears, resident with homicidal longings and cuckoo clocks, was another bound in his Great Leap: the backyard steel furnace.
Mao looked about, he gazed out onto the world, he saw all those things America and England had: cars, lots of cars, and skyscrapers and bridges, and Mao wanted those things too. And then Mao saw Pittsburgh, and Birmingham, and Sheffield, and Mao thought, "Nah. Why do those things have to be so big? Instead of one big steel mill why can't we make steel in thousands of little steel mills in backyards all over China?"
Now I, Benjamin Harris, do not know the answer to that question. But I damn well would have found out before I tried it on a whole country. Mao was more...confident, he was more confident of himself, he was confident that any idea that came into his Marxist head was better than all the ideas that came into all the heads of all the capitalists in Pittsburgh and Birmingham and Sheffield and so, voila backyard steel furnaces came to China.
Now, we are all non-metallurgists here. Is there a metallurgist in the house? No. Okay, so we are all non-metallurgists and we don't know the answer to that question but we damn well would have found out but Mao was different so might we non-metallurgists play this idea out just one or two steps? Could we please play this out one or two steps between conception and execution? When Mao gazed about and saw Pittsburgh and Birmingham and Sheffield he also saw lots of smoke and fire over those cities. Even non-metallurgists know that to make smoke and fire you have to burn something. What? That's step one between conception and execution.
Step two is, we non-metallurgists also know, even though we got a gentleman's "C" in high school chemistry, that steel is not a natural element. Remember--what is it, "Fe,"-- isn't that the symbol for iron? Iron is a natural element. Steel was this great invention because iron was mixed with something, that something increased the strength and flexibility of iron and made it possible to make cars and skyscrapers and bridges.
What was that something? We don't know because we only got a "C" in high school chemistry but we bet you had to get the right something, and we bet you had to get that something and iron mixed just right or else you'd have taffy or peanut brittle come out and you can't make cars and skyscrapers and bridges out of taffy or peanut brittle.
Whether Mao ever played out these one or two steps in his own mind or if it was too crowded in there with homicidal longings and cuckoo clocks, or if he had the advice of a Wizard who convinced him that playing out these steps was reactionary obstructionism, however it was, the Great Leap into the furnace was executed. As were the people if they didn't build the backyard furnaces. And so they were built, thousands and thousands of them.
After they were built the people had to play out steps one and two on their own. They had to burn something so that Mao would see lots of smoke and fire like he saw when he gazed out over Pittsburgh & etc. What did the people burn? In their desperation to make smoke and fire for Mao they burned anything they could get their hands on and when they ran out of trees they burned their own wooden household furniture.
And what about this "smelting" business, step two? How did the people get the iron? Did they mine it? What did they mix it with?
The people were the peasants of China. They had never been to high school much less gotten gentleman's "C's" in chemistry.
No, the peasants didn't mine the ore; they didn't know how to mine, and didn't have the equipment if they had.
The peasants didn't alloy any iron ore with something much less the right something.
The peasants made "steel" for Mao by melting down their household flatware, their forks and knives, their pots and pans; they melted down their farm tools, their hoes and spades.
The peasants of China took the few steel and steel-like objects they had and melted them so that they could remake the same objects.
The new molten metal was utterly worthless, it came out like taffy or peanut brittle and so the peasants of China literally burned themselves out of their homes and huts and destroyed the tools with which to farm and eat and they starved to death, 30,000,000 of them, and that is the Red Legacy in China.
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 5:27 PM
Here's a part of the Red Legacy in China I bet gets a lot of play at the Harvard conference. Look at this picture and guess what it is. Go ahead, click on it to enlarge, take a good look.
Okay, what is it?
Funeral urns for giants?
Pots to grow giant redwood trees in?
Here are a couple more.
Some mosque in the middle of the desert?
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 3:01 PM
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The bill passed Congress without a single Republican vote in its favor. Republicans are furious and vowed to fight. Republicans have been furious and vowed to fight every significant piece of social legislation since the New Deal. The last time members of the GOP had an original idea on social welfare was when they opposed slavery.
"This is a somber day for the American people," said Republican House leader John Boehner. No, it's a glorious day, a day when the United States joined the rest of the civilized world in providing health care for its people. This is Public Occurrences.
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 11:43 AM
People's Daily during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
Usually getting your picture in a national newspaper is a great honor. But not when an "X" is drawn through it.
I guess this would qualify as an "obituary" page in People's Daily during the CR.
The person who sent these to me in 2007 (from the PRC) was still a little publicity shy even then.
Posted by Benjamin Harris at 11:03 AM