Friday, November 9, 2007

The Chairman's new job

Mao is everywhere these days.
Promoting new bars in hip new hoods in Beijing.
Lending his mug-shot to tea mugs and watch faces.
Filling the tourist bazaars around
Tianman Square with T-shirts and postcards and stickers and knickers.
Bigger than Che.
Look, my socialism sells better than yours.

He's huge in art.
Art is big. Big business.
It's almost as if it's stipulated in some unwritten law
that every self-respecting gallery must have Mao.

Old propaganda posters are art.
Collector's items. Making antique dealers all over China happy and wealthy.
And print shops busier than ever making reproductions.
New times, same old purchase orders.

July estimates 1,321,851,888 Chinese in China.

Most of the generation under Mao must have had at least one Mao among their belongings.
According to the law of survival if not else.
Mao books. Mao posters. Mao leaflets. Mao portraits.
Billions of items.
And more is added every minute.
The biggest brand on earth?

The cultural revolution just started.
One of the great commercial success stories.
It takes a passed communist to create a fortune.

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