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China: Riding on Chairman Mao's head

Categories: East Asia, China, Citizen Media, Governance, History, Humor, Ideas, Photography, Politics

On Feb19,a set of pictures that shows a girl riding on the head of Chairman Mao was circulated around the internet. Of course, what she rides is just a statue erected on the plaza in Hunan, Mao's hometown. However, the story with the pictures immediately secured the headline position in various portal websites; in particular, over 50000 comments were left after the story in Netease [1].

Girl riding on Map\'s statue. Picture from Hunan Online Address: Hunan.voc.com.cn

Maomania is not waning away. Though books [2] and researches today more clearly reveal to Chinese his mistakes that results in millions of death during the Great Leap Forward, and critiques float not rarely on the internet, Mao has still a solid support among Chinese. Recently, as Russia sank a Chinese ship and Philippine claims sovereignty over islands at south sea, people grow more reminiscent of Mao's iron-hand foreign policies.

In Netease’ reply page [3] of this news story, the single comment that is bumped to the top by 27000 times is a curse from a Qingdao netizen


Look at those people, just the goddamn bumpkins. Ill-bred.

Someone from Jiangsu said:


So uneducated!

Interestingly, this comment takes a leading position too:


Click support/bump if you wanna have sex with her, click “oppose” if not.

Support[17322] Oppose[8823]

However, when we proceed to another popular site, Tianya, which is famous for its agitated atmosphere, and powerful “flesh search engine”, more moderate voices, nonetheless, are frequently heard.

油条大果子 [4] thinks people are overacting:

草,有什么可上纲的? 不就是骑块石头照个像吗? 什么新生活? 现在还不比以前呢? 以前最起码还能成立个工会政党什么的,现在让吗?

F**k, why so big a deal? Just a picture with a girl riding on a stone. Mao brought us new life? It is not better than before. At least we could still organize something like labor union and parties before, but are we allowed to do so now?

An intense debate was then kicked off.

什锦糖cici [5]thinks we don't have to be so harsh to Chairman Mao


Mao is our founding father!
Even though he might have done something wrong, you don't have to be so harsh!

wo草泥马 [6] rebuked:


Come on, why attacking the girl? It is nothing but a piece of stone, isn't it?
The Communist party itself has ruined and burned numerous statues of Chinese historic heroes.

我是散户我怕谁呀 [7] followed, comparing Mao to Saddam:



A founding father? What has he founded? A country of corruption, dictatorship and careless treatment of people?
A war criminal he is. Someday it will be just like the statues of Saddam toppled down in Iraq.

However,baino5 [8] appealed people to show respect to a past leader:


Whatever complaints you may bear against the government and the country, it has nothing to do with the incident. Along your line of argument, the bone ash of your father is nothing but soil, so that I can pee on it?

Several people agree with the point, saying a grave is not to be for fun.
But qwerty_a [9] ridicules the point, thinking that putting statues for public memory is another matter.


Ha, so you put your family cemetery at the center of the plaza?

Finally,如是我译 [10] speaks boldly:



He rides on millions of people for his entire life.
Why can't people ride on him for a while?

Translator: If you are interested to know more about Mao and his legacy, I recommend you to visit Utopian world [11], the political and cultural base of modern leftism in China, which has numerous articles advocating Mao's thought and ideals.