Ask a character in a Cultural Revolution novel


Dear character in a Cultural Revolution novel,

OK, hands up who's up for class struggle?

OK – who’s up for some class struggle?

It looks like I won’t be able to get my lung transplant this year. Any suggestions for where I might be able to find an alternative delivery method for oxygen?

Beijing Blues

Character in a Cultural Revolution novel says:

The farm work was tough that year – tougher than it had been in many months.  The ground froze strong – stronger than iron. Iron that had long since been smelted down and sent to build more glorious tanks.

Not since the middle of the Three Years of Natural Disasters have I felt my heart ache so hard – harder than the ground which my spade strikes with continual futility. So many lost relatives. There, out by the spindly tree, we had already buried those too weary, and too dead to dig for wild roots anymore. There they slept – Aunty; Grandfather; Daughter Number Four.

Dear character in a Cultural Revolution novel,

I’m an American who has just opened a new factory in Dongguan, producing ‘organic food’ stickers for supermarkets to affix to ordinary, non-organic products. My staff say they need time off for “religious reasons.” Do the Chinese really celebrate Easter?

Character in a Cultural Revolution novel says:

Ah Peng looked down at the object in his hands: it was a mango. He had never seen one before. Heard of them, yes. They were the tool of the capitalist fruit-seller… The delicious tool. He looked at me, his mouth watering.

“Don’t do it, Comrade Ah Peng,” I warned gravely. “Eating that mango would show complete indifference to the struggling workers. It would constitute a bourgeoisie action of an arbitrary nature, with most evil consequences. Besides – that mango belongs to Senior Comrade Hu.”

Dear character in a Cultural Revolution novel,

My girlfriend has been dropping strong hints about our future – she wants to introduce me to her parents, keeps taking me to bridal shops and often watches The Wedding Planner while laughing and weeping uncontrollably. Thing is, I’ve only known her for two weeks. I quite like her but traditionally, we Chinese wait at least a month before discussing nuptials. Any ideas?

Character in a Cultural Revolution novel says:

When I arrived at the potato farm, my thinking was still not correct. “Fourth Uncle Gao fought unswervingly to rectify his thoughts,” I reminded myself. “I want to follow his path, practice right-thinking and achieve glory for the motherland’s proletarians, too.”

I complained about this to Dogface Wang over our midday lunch of steamed cornpone, and he must have told someone else, because that evening our kindly team leader came to me. “Your Fourth Uncle Gao struggled against the foreign dwarves and class enemies his whole life,” he said sternly. “Now it’s your turn to fight – fight the earth itself, Comrade! Join me in hand-to-hand combat against Nature’s black elements to build this Communist society together.

“It is no ordinary battle. It demands a lofty spirit; soaring ambitions. There can be no rest, no shirking – no cowardice. Soon our potatoes will thrive and become the stuff of local legend. Now take this spade and get digging! This horseshit doesn’t shovel itself, you know.”

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  • A Labourer surnamed Yang

    Dear Character in a Cultural Revolution novel,

    This post hits a sweet point in everyday lofe of the struggling masses of the foreign residents of glorious China.
    I might push the idea during the next local committee meeting that a dedicated mail address for these kind of topic would be a great way to help the educate the mass.

    Would you support this motion?