It’s 2013, my computer is over five years old and that means the hard drive is full of crap. During a recent attempt to clean up and rationalise I’ve found a number of things that interested me at some point, or were research materials for writing, art or film projects that never came to anything (i.e. most of them), or that I otherwise downloaded for reasons now lost to posterity. Sometimes I had the foresight to rename them so I could tell what they were, sometimes not. All posts involving this material will be filed under HD detritus; if anyone knows what any of these things are, where they come from or to whom they should be credited, please let me know in the comments.
Let’s start the recycling with this interesting/inexplicable collection of Chinese Communist LP covers, because I think we all need more of those in 2013. I last interacted with them in December of 2007; I lived in China at that time, but I definitely didn’t do these scans. Some of this stuff– and its modern equivalent– is still available on CD in Chinese shops and let me assure you there’s nothing good about any of it, not even kitsch value. If anybody owns up to having these LPs then we’ll all know what to say when she or he asks us if we’d like to hear a few records.
Is she balancing tea on her arm? Good trick, maybe a bit dangerous, but they’re not big on health and safety regulations in China. The woman on the right seems to agree with me, if her expression is anything to judge by. I think this one is attempting to suck up to Hua Guofeng, who briefly took the place of Mao after the latter’s death. Despite remaining a hardline Maoist, Hua deserves some credit for curbing the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution and for ousting Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four, who were far worse than him. Despite this looking like something from the 1960s or even the 1950s, this record can only be from late 1976 to mid 1981– disco era in the West!– because Hua was ousted in his turn by Deng Xiaoping in 1981.
Talking of the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward… “We’re off to the vast countryside”… to a labour camp or a collective farm where we’ll probably starve to death during one of the famines created by the Party’s disastrous mismanagement and corruption, or be raped by cadres and then bayoneted to death, or be forced to burn all our furniture and forge our pans into useless, fragile steel ingots in our backyard smelter. What larks!
Or: “Zardoz your God gave you the gift of the Gun. The Gun is good! The Penis is evil! The Penis shoots seeds, and makes new Life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth, and kill! Zardoz has spoken.” Seriously, so many giant floating Mao heads in Chinese propaganda. At least this one has shoulders as well.