Perchance, might I ask, how does he lead? By being dead? By making everyone feel inferior at the feet of his boundless magnanimity? With puppy-like, blind devotion? By making evangelists of us all and self-subjugating to a symbol and a spirit, when in fact that symbol and spirit is a myth written by people as real, flawed, proud, sinful and duplicitous as the rest of the human lot?
I think it’s safe to say that no one’s life has been so exploited, abused and dragged through the mud of politics for political gain than Lei Feng’s, none so thoroughly defiled since Annabel Chong took on 70 men in The World’s Biggest Gang Bang, and none capable of making grownups write sillier things since, oh I dunno, Jeremy Lin.
The myth-peddlers of Lei Feng’s brand of truth, humility and equality (and justice?) are the worst type of hypocrite, for they represent deceit, impudence and greed. You know how I know this? Because they are human, and that is a great thing, a joyful thing, very much worthy of celebration in literature and pop culture, and it is very much greater and better than this sorry, sordid, cum-stained rag we’re being force-fed on this stupid 50th anniversary of Lei Feng Day.
But then again, today also marks the start of the CCP’s Two Sessions, so newspapers are going batshit to prove they are truer believers of the Communist Party’s Christmas Spirit. Let them have their Jesus and blow him, too.
Here are two Global Times headlines: “Lei Feng’s spirit a source of warmth in modern society” (He is not an idol beyond our reach. When we feel lonely and helpless, he can give us warmth and strength, and that’s more than enough); “Lei Feng remembrance begins, poll finds most support spirit promotion” (Some 90 percent of respondents in a telephone survey believed that the campaign of learning from Lei Feng has exerted positive influence on Chinese society).
Here’s China Daily: “Spirit of Lei Feng lives on” (The tragic death of the toddler Yue Yue in October shocked the nation and led to much soul searching about people’s willingness to help others. / The 50th anniversary of Learning from Lei Feng Day provides us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on both ourselves and the society we live in).
Must we really go through with this charade?
Lei Feng is a symbol alright, a symbol of everything that is wrong with modern propaganda. China is typically very good at controlling the message, but regarding its outmoded symbol of Party loyalty, it is hopelessly out of touch and pathetically sentimental. Let us learn from from the ol’ comrade indeed. Let us learn how to sell condoms. Let us learn how to sell memorabilia. Let us learn to let go – as of a grudge – of our obsolete lies.
UPDATE: Here is Lei Feng on a cross.