Farewell My Concubine

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Farewell My Concubine is a 1993 Chinese drama that brings the viewer through the tumultuous times of the mid-20th century, namely in how the Cultural Revolution and communist ideology destroyed the social fabric of Chinese culture and the personal relationships within. The lens used to tell the story was through the traditional Chinese theater/ opera.

The film doesn't provide a sentimental or endearing picture of the Chinese opera. In fact, it highlights the brutality and harsh conditions involved in training young boys to become actors. The main characters also aren't established as particularly attractive. Instead, they are shown to be narcissistic, abusive and abused.

We watched the film in two parts (it's about 3 hours long) and I didn't feel too interested in the film after the first part, mainly because the setup explored the all too-common face of human deficiency in earlier times. But it also slowly dripped a backdrop of the creative spirit that survives struggle both on the individual and historic-social level.

The emotionally-intense second-half shows how the soul of a nation, its creative force that lives despite its flaws, is dismembered and destroyed through the raw crowd hysteria of the communist utopia that seeks a retribution on a flawed but creative humanity. And this force presses on human failings with such intensity that it ultimately stamps out history, meaning, culture, and the bonds that form relationships. This depiction in the film was gut wrenching, but it is what made it worth watching. The 'Cultural Revolution' was really about destroying the Chinese culture and it sowed deep division and hatred right down to personal relationships. And we can observe how this use of 'the crowd' has been used in this way time and time again in the name of 'the people', justice, or 'social justice'.

If anyone wants to check out the film, I'd recommend finding the full-length uncut version that I think is about 170 minutes long.
 

Laura

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The emotionally-intense second-half shows how the soul of a nation, its creative force that lives despite its flaws, is dismembered and destroyed through the raw crowd hysteria of the communist utopia that seeks a retribution on a flawed but creative humanity. And this force presses on human failings with such intensity that it ultimately stamps out history, meaning, culture, and the bonds that form relationships. This depiction in the film was gut wrenching, but it is what made it worth watching. The 'Cultural Revolution' was really about destroying the Chinese culture and it sowed deep division and hatred right down to personal relationships. And we can observe how this use of 'the crowd' has been used in this way time and time again in the name of 'the people', justice, or 'social justice'.

If anyone wants to check out the film, I'd recommend finding the full-length uncut version that I think is about 170 minutes long.

Well, that sounds about like what is being done in America today: the destruction of its culture. The only difference, at the moment, is the lack of an army doing it; but heck, maybe they've learned something from Mao - like how to do it better and more subtly?
 

Keit

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Well, that sounds about like what is being done in America today: the destruction of its culture. The only difference, at the moment, is the lack of an army doing it; but heck, maybe they've learned something from Mao - like how to do it better and more subtly?
Well, it seems that army is already part of the subtle indocrination. But I wonder how much choice they actually have in the matter.

My Son’s Freshman Orientation At Virginia Tech Was Full Of Leftist Propaganda

Are taxpayers funding academic institutions to indoctrinate our kids? That disturbing and irresistible question plagued me during the long drive home last week from college orientation. I doubt I am alone in this wake-up call.

Like many other women, I just sent my youngest child to college. I am so proud of him and his decision to join the Army ROTC and study engineering. He will be attending a revered Virginia institution known for its military Corps of Cadets program....

Nobody expected the event to begin with prayer or the Pledge of Allegiance — heavens, no! But one might expect to remember the names of fallen cadets on the pylons or the 32 dead and 17 injured in the 2007 shooting on Virginia Tech’s campus, the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Nope. Instead, the administration made the stunning choice to open orientation by recognizing two Native American tribes on whose land the college was built (with the implication that it was stolen).

What followed went from slightly bothersome to downright alarming. The college filled the next two hours with speaker after speaker who introduced themselves with not just their names and titles but also preferred pronouns — as in, “Hi my name is Penny Nance, and I identify as she and her.” At first, parents were slightly surprised; by the end, they were mad.

Every person on the stage looked exactly as you would expect them to identify. At that point, I noticed all the new students’ badges contained not just their names but also their preferred pronouns because the school had made it part of registration. The heavy-handed diversity lecture that followed seemed rather tame in comparison. Parents left the venue in shock.



At one point, after dinner, they sent parents off to oblivious sleep while they lectured students on not making assumptions about each other’s gender or sexuality. Were they suggesting students ought to be fluidly “exploring” their gender and sexuality, as if it were some expected adventure? In the era of “Me Too,” that seems off message.

The school constantly defined and showcased identity group politics, but certainly not all identities. It’s apparently way cooler to be a minority trans woman with food allergies than simply to be an American college student. Interestingly, the university offered Halal food but no certified kosher meals. Religiously observant Jewish students, tough luck, but if you are vegan, you’re in business....
 
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Approaching Infinity

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I thought the film was really well done, too. None of the characters are perfect, but they're human, and the filmmakers depict them with respect. They may be flawed, but you empathize with them through all of their lives small and big tragedies.

Well, that sounds about like what is being done in America today: the destruction of its culture. The only difference, at the moment, is the lack of an army doing it; but heck, maybe they've learned something from Mao - like how to do it better and more subtly?
As soon as the movie was done I pointed out how similar the young communists were to the modern American SJWs: young, idealistic, tribal, black-and-white thinking, over-generalizations, mindless slogans, mob mentality, resentment-fueled denunciations, but with a lot of "good intentions" leading straight to hell. I think the process going on the West is definitely more subtle. And when it's not subtle, at least it's still relatively localized and not widespread. Not sure if they know how to do it 'better' yet, though. I guess we'll have to wait and see to know for sure. Maybe some cultures just die a relatively natural and prolonged death - at least compared with others that are swiftly executed.

For example, the Cultural Revolution targeted the "Four Olds": old culture, customs, habits, and ideas. That included destroying temples, statues, literature, paintings, genealogical records, cemeteries, ancient remains (the red guards denounced the 17th century emperor Wan Li, dragged his remains out into the street and burned them). The government did protect some archaeological treasures, like the Terracotta Army, but so much else was lost to the destruction.

I've heard from some Westerners living in China that the generation who grew up during the Cultural Revolution are generally the worst-socialized today. But the younger generations are better. And since China has opened up in the last decades, I think they've at least made some effort to keep the older culture alive - to whatever extent that's possible given the government's ideological commitments. Xi constantly quotes from the classics, for instance. So even when a culture is intentionally destroyed, some things can never truly die and will survive, or re-emerge at some point. But some things can never be replaced, like the physical artifacts. It might be a small comfort given what's going on in the West, but at least the literal destruction hasn't approached anywhere near those levels yet.
 

Laura

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Destruction of the past is like putting out your own eyes and destroying your hearing and ability to think clearly. It should be considered a crime against humanity.

Without the past, you do not know where you are or why you or there, nor do you have any sort of guidance to achieve the kind of future you may think you want.
 
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