Mouthpiece of the CPC and Ai Weiwei's Dumbass

Source Article in Chinese: 中国的戏剧:权力的谵妄与《傻伯夷》.
By He Qinglian on May 24, 2013.

Of late two dramas about China made their debut one after another. The protagonists of the first drama featured People's Daily, PLA Daily and Red Flag Manuscript (a progeny and an outpost of Qiu Shi, an organ publication of the Central Committee of the CPC). These Party media outlets ran in succession three articles that used flowery language to present the proposition of the “divine right of the Party”.

And the other drama centered on Ai Weiwei's “Dumbass”, a postmodern rock music video that used swearwords and vulgar language to express the producer's extreme contempt for the regime and his anger toward the various parties that suggested dissidents to give up the fight and reach a reconciliation with the regime.

The split and confrontation between the ruling clique and the masses in China can thus be seen.

Delirium of Power 

The Party media outlets borrowed such solemn religious terms as “the truth of the universe”, “the Party nature resembles God” and so on to present a philosophy of the long bygone medieval era: the divine right of kings, except that here they replaced “kings” with “the Party”.

Admiral Liu Yazhou, a well-read general of the CPC whom “dissidents” had promoted as a “star of hope” of  a CPC-led democratization, wrote an article which entitled “Stick to the Sacred Nature of the Party”. 

The aim of that article is to make CPC members worship the Party Nature as proclaimed by the CPC. It claimed that the “Party Nature” to members of the CPC is like “God” to Christians.

The truth is, the so-called “Party nature” has long been reduced to a worn-out and dirty rag by CPC officials who engage in corruption and all sorts of obscene and filthy activities.

The proposition of General Liu that “Party Nature is God” is effectively making a claim on behalf of the Party that “I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world”. As such, this ridiculous article became a laughing-stock of the world.

Of course, the wasn't the only article when it came to absurdity.

The article ran by PLA Daily claimed that “the doctrine we believe in is the truth of the universe”. Given that the phrase “the truth of the universe” implies something eternally true for all forms of being on all stars in the universe, this is indeed an expression as delirious as the remark by Hong Xiuquan of the Heavenly Kingdom that he was “a son of God”.

And the article published in Red Flag Manuscript, penned by Yang Xiaoqing, professor of the School of Law of Renmin University, argued that “the key institutional elements and concepts of constitutionalism belong only to capitalism, they do not belong to socialism.”

In the eyes of this professor, this group of bourgeoisie bureaucrats who fatten their own pockets by plundering public property and squeezing the survival resources of the masses can continue to reject democracy, liberty and constitutionalism as long as they carry the banner of “socialism”. And that would be the legal basis for dictatorship.

If Karl Marx were to come out from his grave and see what is going on in China—in particular the cannibalistic land requisition and forced demolition and removal using various excuses, he would definitely think that this country is even darker than England during its period of primitive accumulation; he would angrily call this self-profiteering political party under the banner of socialism a fake for sure; and without doubt, he would feel ashamed that he became the founder of their “theories”.

These several propositions mentioned above, coupled with the “seven don't speaks” and other recent propositions (for instance, a claim that Mao Zedong was a greater man than Sun Yat-sen) that painted the CPC in positive light, have brought the Chinese to a sad understanding that they are only a few steps away from the unfortunate North Koreans.

Ai Weiwei's “Dumbass”

At the same time as the aforementioned individuals wrote paeans to the CPC, Ai Weiwei's “Dumbass” was released. Making use of his adept means of fantastical expression, Ai recreated the absurdity of (what's going on in) China.

Dumbass” started with a demonstration of the oppression of the tyranny against dissidents by reproducing the days of detention that Ai personally experienced—what Ai went through was of course not the bloodiest or the most brutal, the tribulations that Gao Zhisheng and Ni Yulan were subjected to were even more appalling. The video then moved on to a montage of some imaginary, or surreal scenes as the song began. 

The song criticized not the regime itself—Ai did so on numerous occasions by producing an image of himself giving the middle finger, a self-portrait holding a “grass mud horse” and the group photo One Tiger Eight Breasts (an image some interpreted as reflecting the status quo in China) already. Instead it criticized such non-violence, invincibility, forgiveness, tolerance and other themes that caused a split in the dissident circle in China:
When you're ready to strike, he mumbles about non-violence.
When you pinch his ear, he says it's no cure for diarrhea.
You say you're a mother-fucker, he claims he's invincible.
Fuck forgiveness, tolerance be damned, to hell with manners, the low-life's invincible.
I could fully comprehend the anger Ai felt because the answer to the question “how ugly is the status quo in China?” would be: the culmination of the worst tyrannies of dynasties in Chinese history.

The various sinful deeds of kings or emperors of the past that were condemned in annals are taking place in today's China:

  • The Wine Pool and Meat Forest of King Zhou of Shang Dynasty vis-à-vis the annual consumption of 900 billion yuan of public funds by Chinese government officials;
  • Qin Shi Huang's Burning of books and burying of scholars vis-à-vis the incessant literary inquisition and the clamp down on speech on the internet.
  • The massive number of construction projects of Emperor Yang of Sui Dynasty vis-à-vis the construction of the Three Gorges, the South-North Water Transfer Project, and the foreign aid to other countries when the people are struggling;
  • Bao Fang (“the Leopards Chamber”) of Zhengde Emperor of Ming Dynasty vis-à-vis the dozens of mistresses of officials who took pleasure in womanizing young girls and wrote up filthy journals of intercourse.
What facilitates such extravagance of Party officials is not just the labor of the general public in China, but also the good earth and mountains and rivers that the ancestors left behind.

Throughout the history of China, the general public could still have access to clean water and fresh air even though they were under the reign of tyrants. But to date, [with the natural environment across China so badly polluted or destroyed] the Chinese people have already lost the most basic survival conditions, they couldn't even drink a mouthful of clean water or breathe fresh air.

In a ridiculous real world of 1984 where “war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength”, where two plus two equals five, Ai Weiwei's resistance has a stirring effect in its own way.

Those three bizarre articles filled with political delirium encountered Ai Weiwei's “Dumbass” on the internet by chance, and together they staged two separate dramas about China.

Using political delirium stacked with elaborate rhetoric, official media outlets like People's Daily proclaimed under the banners of God and universal truth that dictatorship is divinely justified. Yet what they showed to the outside world is the extremely filthy and corrupt nature of the CPC.

Conversely, Ai Weiwei's “Dumbass” criticized the darkness and shamelessness of the CPC regime and a bunch of meanies and cynics who suggested dissidents to give up fighting. Even though every line of the lyrics contains vulgar language and f-words, it demonstrates the noble nature of the human quest for freedom and dignity.

It's easy to tell the public reaction toward the media outlets of the Party and Ai Weiwei, just browse through the comments published in Weibo and Twitter.

The Weibo is overwhelmed with comments denouncing the political delirium mentioned above; whereas in Twitter there is full of applause and cheers for “Dumbass”.

The regime in Beijing has lost the popular support and should have bowed and left the stage long ago.