Monday, August 20, 2007
The other day I was wondering, why is it so cool and fabulous to decorate our homes with Chinese Cultural Revolution tchotchkes and as I write this I am looking at my red felt Mao piggy bank (of course, what could be a more succinct visual metaphor for current day China?), but it isn't cool to collect objects from other bloody dictatorships? And BTW the Chinese tchotchkes are faux, so popular is the stuff that it's knocked off. Let's just say that it killed my aesthetic buzz when I started thinking of the millions of people who died thanks to Mao, to say the least. I read an article about a man who was unable to auction a portrait of Stalin, that was beyond the pale. apparently. Until he got Damien Hirst to paint a red clown nose on the portrait. (which sold for 140,000 pounds - see http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2010187,00.html)
People who write about less-popular dictators, for example, Franco, must content themselves to seek his mass cultural products and propaganda items like horny perverts seeking old pornographic postcards. Yet Mao killed millions and Franco hundreds of thousands.