China

Mao's English Tutor Dies, AP Recounts Softer, Jokey Side of Mass Killer

|

Zhang Hanzhi, Mao Zedong's English tutor who stopped giving the tyrant lessons in 1964, "as the devastating Cultural Revolution began taking place," eulogizes the AP. The obit is heavy on whimsy:

"Although the Chairman was aging fast, his mind was still quick: when he spoke, he was forceful and witty, full of wisdom and globally strategic insights," Zhang wrote in the Time article. "I listened as he defended his principles, insisting that the Taiwan issue was an internal affair of China's. I also listened to his jokes with (Henry) Kissinger about exporting 10 million female Chinese to the U.S., which stunned the U.S. Secretary of State."

No doubt Kissinger was hoping for a higher number. More "The Lighter Side of Mao" here.

R.J. Rummel does the math on Mao's "democide" and comes up with a round number of 73,000,000.

reason's Jacob Sullum recently thanked Deng Xiaoping for little girls in his stunning, moving analysis of China's one-child policy.

Advertisement

NEXT: Get the Picture

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

    How many peasants does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A million and one. First, I kill a million peasants to reduce the demand for electricity, and the last guy changes the lightbulb.

    I’m here all week.

  2. No doubt Kissinger was hoping for a higher number.

    Thanks for making it impossible to win the thread.

  3. No doubt Kissinger was hoping for a higher number.

    Wait, are you saying Kissinger had a thing for slant slit?

  4. @ Episiarch —

    Very classy remark.

  5. It’s a lot easier to admire someone like Mao if you live on the other side of the world.

    Seventy three million. Almost as many as there are gun owners in the U.S.

  6. “Wait, are you saying Kissinger had a thing for slant slit?”

    Ah, the posters on this site are once again proving they rank right next to those on Democratic Underground as far as class is concerned.
    Now all we need is another story about a cop getting killed so that the people on here can claim he deserved it. That would vault you guys right past the people on DU who cheer Tony Snow’s cancer and into first place in the “Most Vile pieces of shit who post on a political website” category. Now that I think about it Ron Paul is in fact the perfect fit for this site. His vile bigotry goes well with some of the sentiments expressed on this site. Jolly good show.

  7. hey B:

    what’s the worst thing about raping a two year old?

    getting the blood out of your clown suit.

    there, happy now?

  8. Yow! Tough room.

    12 months in the re-education camp will fix that.

  9. “It’s a lot easier to admire someone like Mao if you live on the other side of the world.”

    You’d be surprised. Mao is still admired by quite a large number of mainlanders.

    “Slant slit”
    Groan

    “That would vault *you guys*…”
    Everybody drink!

  10. Hey B, Ron Paul is a doctor. He could probably remove that stick you have lodged up your ass without a lot of trouble.

    “What do you say to a woman with two black eyes?”

    “Nothing, you already told her twice.”

  11. What’s worse:

    1) Making an off color comment.

    2) Getting more worked up about an off color comment than the topic of a man responsible for the untimely deaths of 73mil people.

    If yuo’re going to get your panties in a not about something…

  12. A false choice… There’s really no excuse for “slant slit,” no matter what the topic of the thread is.

  13. There’s really no excuse for “slant slit,”

    Apparently Mao thought the same thing.

  14. Hey everybody! Look how good my racism detector works!!

  15. There’s really no excuse for “slant slit,” no matter what the topic of the thread is.

    Why are you so sensitive? Not down with the swirl?

  16. Yep, Maozie was the worst. Still, that doesn’t mean that the Episiarchs of the world aren’t total dicks. Unless of course they’re just doing parody, ala Archie Bunker.

  17. This forum is becoming more like Free Republic every day. Assholes.

  18. He’s not.

    Not down with the swirl? But you must be, joe–you’re a progressive.

  19. Nicky G, by his own admission “covers politics as cock fighting or wrestling.”

    It’s kind of hard to work up much of a credible righteous indignation from that perch.

  20. his jokes with (Henry) Kissinger about exporting 10 million female Chinese

    John Derbyshire approves.

    BTW, anyone actually know what the jokes actually were? For the purposes of historical research, and all that.

  21. What ever happened to people’s senses of humor? If you just laughed and realized it was a joke we’d be past it by now and commenting on how 73 million is a lot of dead chinks.

  22. “This forum is becoming more like Free Republic every day. Assholes.”

    I’m drunk already and it’s not even noon.

  23. BTW, anyone actually know what the jokes actually were? For the purposes of historical research, and all that.

    Did you ever notice that after you kill a few million chinese, two hours later you just want to kill a few million more. What’s the deal with that?

    Hey, I’ve got a new solution to the surplus female population my ill-concieved one-child policy created. It’s called Woody Allen.

    Tip your waiters!

  24. Well, my sense of humor was still giggling over the remark that Kissinger was hoping for a higher number. Everything after that was just unsubtle, low-brow, Don Rickle’s type jokes. But there’s no accounting for taste…or is there?

  25. This forum is becoming more like Free Republic every day.

    that’s not true. the people here can read. also, soap is frequently spelled correctly, if not used correctly.

    for my edification: what’s “down with the swirl” mean?

  26. Hey Episarch, if you’re going to “work blue,” at least be funny. You’d have more success if your “wit” came from actual thought instead of from urbandictionary.com. Or maybe not.

  27. No, Episiarch, I meant you’re not doing parody.

  28. what’s “down with the swirl” mean?

    Here you go.

  29. No, Episiarch, I meant you’re not doing parody.

    Really joe? I so totally didn’t get that. Man, you are even more humor-impaired than ever today. Seriously, you aren’t a better person because you frown at offensive jokes. You’re just a self-righteous prig with no sense of humor.

  30. Yes, Episiarch, it’s a character flaw not to find it funny to see Chinese people called “slanted slit.”

    It’s the same flaw that causes me not to giggle when you whisper “poor” under the monkeybars.

    My, you get emotional when I don’t react the way you wish, don’t you?

  31. Or even, when you whisper “poop.”

  32. Obligatory disclaimer: Mao was an awful guy, communism was and is horrible, etc., etc. That being said, R.J. Rummel’s democide numbers are really, really unreliable. The last time I read his website, he claimed that he originally had Mao’s number at around 30 mil., but revised to 73 mil. after reading an anecdote from “Mao: The Unknown Story.” That was his methodology – read one anecdote from a ‘popular history’ book, and the number of deaths shoots up by forty million.

    Of course it’s difficult to settle what the “correct” number should be (i.e., most of the death estimates from the Great Leap Forward have to be derived from census numbers), and to a large extent the exact number just doesn’t matter, except to people who want to argue the “worst dictator” question: Mao was a bad guy whether he was responsible for thirty million deaths or seventy million. Still, there should be some standards…

  33. Seriously, you aren’t a better person because you frown at offensive jokes.

    No, the way it works is, I frown at offensive jokes because I’m a better person. You’ve got it backwards.

  34. Episarch:

    Really joe? I so totally didn’t get that. Man, you are I am even more humor-impaired than ever today. Seriously, you aren’t are a better person because you frown at offensive jokes misogyny. You’re I’m just a self-righteous prig with no sense of humor.

    Fixed that for you.

  35. I know this is going to piss people off, but the number 73 million is wildly exaggerated. The biography that he gets it from has been dismissed by most serious scholars of Chinese history as being unreliable due to it’s use of circumstantial evidence and assumptions about the man and his mindset. They also don’t provide any real evidence for the numbers that they come up with beyond interviews with people who lived in a dictatorship and who therefore could not be seen as the most reliable sources of information.

  36. While I’m not very polically correct, IMHO “slanted slit” is tacky, boorish, and yes, racist.

    Yes, there are people who carry an offensive language detector around with a low detection threshold. Mine is in the garage, turned off. It still went off.

    Classless, Episiarch. Just classless.

  37. Funny, four comments before mine calling you out for exactly the same thing, but it’s only mine that gets you worked up.

    I know this matters a great deal more to you than to me, so go ahead and get the last word in.

  38. You should be thanking me, joe, for giving you another chance to masturbate to the picture in your head of how holy you are…because you think offensive jokes are bad. You are a true superhero.

  39. Episarch, you’re still calling it a “joke.” That’s where you’re wrong.

  40. Shem, so what is the number then? I’ve seen lots of estimates and while 73 million is the upper end of the range, the lower end is usually 30+ million. My feeling is it should always be quoted as a range.

  41. David-you’re right about it needing to be a range. Nobody will ever know the true number, because nobody even knows what the population was when the Communists came to power. The last point where there was reliable census data was way back before the Qing started having problems in the late 1800s. To my thinking, 30-40 million is a good range, as it takes into account the demographic trauma that was inflicted as a result of the Japanese occupation and the Nationalist wars, neither of which can be lain at the feet of the Communists exclusively. I could see it going as high as perhaps 45 million, but only if somebody could point me to evidence that wasn’t widely known at this point.

  42. I will side with the slant remark being in poor taste.

    Mao’s routine, on the other hand, is hilarious.

  43. Episarch, what happens within your skull to make you believe that what you have written is a joke, when no person reading it finds any humor in it? Are you too stupid to grasp that a joke is supposed to be funny to other people?

  44. In his studies, Rummel usually uses a range in his estimates, for the very reason that especially in totalitarian countries, during genocides, nobody is really counting. If whole villages are wiped out, possibly there is no one left to report friends and relatives missing.

    The original estimate of 35 million was made around 1987, when his Death by Government was published. He also estimated the “democide” at the hands of the Nationalists to be about 10 million, and that of the Japanese to be around 5 million (though this figure was spread throughout Asia). Other information has emerged since these estimates, obviously, since the end of the Cold War.

  45. Wait a second, you mean invoking the magical words “oversensitive,” “sense of humor,” and “PC” doesn’t automatically make any statement with a racial connotation morally commendable?

    Gee, you don’t say…

  46. There’s another Mao number, in the hundreds, maybe thousands. That would be the number of teenage girls he had his people procure from the countryside to sleep with him. According to his personal physician he had VD which he never treated and so presumably infected all those girls. Also, he never brushed his teeth; he just swished with tea.

  47. I just can’t get worked up over “shock” humor. It’s obviously not intended as harmful,

    PS. Nick @ 11:03, I burst out laughing. Shame on me.

  48. PPS. As for offense, there’s a difference between a casual, throw-away remark (Episiarch) and a consistent history of belittling with the intent to bring scorn upon and to weaken (Ron Paul’s newsletters).

  49. Wow. To think this is the same site that routinely bashes Ron Paul for ancient insensitive newsletters.

  50. Yeah, well there’s also a difference between saying something’s not funny and in poor taste, and getting “worked up.” The only one who got worked up was Episarch, in his own ineffective defense.

  51. Well he caught his first whiff in the jungles of ‘Nam.
    That slant-eyed catfish tasted better than mom.
    Now every single night she drops her big bomb.
    Cause he’s a bamboo bimbo.

    -DEVO, “Bamboo Bimbo”

    Racism can be funny satire when you do it right.
    Someone will always be offended, and that’s the point.

  52. Racism is kinda icky.

    I would like to demonstrate that I, personally, am free from any taint of racism whatsoever by remarking that Asian chicks are way hot.

  53. Anybody know where I can get a Mao t-shirt?

  54. Racism can be funny satire when you do it right.

    “Do it right” means “make the racism itself, or the racists,” the object of your satire.

  55. Jacob Sullum recently thanked Deng Xiaoping for little girls in his stunning, moving analysis of China’s one-child policy.

    Amen to that, if you haven’t read it, you should. I’ve read it twice.

  56. “Do it right” means “make the racism itself, or the racists,” the object of your satire.

    Only if self-parody counts. The Klan is the single funniest performance art group to come along in decades. I just wish they’d tour more often.

    Also, comedic irony, while not making fun of neither racism or racists, can be funny. Ex: see Barbara Billingsly speaking “jive” in Airplane.

  57. Nothing, you already told her twice.

    Now, THAT, was funny.

  58. Oh and Epi…Slant slit=Teh funny? Not so much. Really, not at all.

    Now go call the Asian equivalent of Jesse Jackson and begin your apology tour.

  59. Jesus Chrysler, dhex, I was just starting to feel bad about dissing NYC on the other thread and then I saw THAT clown suit thing………

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  60. Shouldn’t that be “the AP eulogizes Zhang Hanzhi”, not “Zhang Hanzhi eulogizes the AP”?

  61. The Klan is the single funniest performance art group to come along in decades. I just wish they’d tour more often.

    I would pay to see “the Klan on ice.” Er, call it “The Whitescapades.”

    And maybe The White Man Group.

  62. Stevo, Hank, and Epi,

    Go Here

    NSFW!

    In English, the link is not work or kid safe

  63. “Do it right” means “make the racism itself, or the racists,” the object of your satire.

    Unless you’re a “person of color” and you’re making fun of your own people…I think.

    Or not.

  64. Unless you’re a “person of color” and you’re making fun of your own people…I think.

    Nah. Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, to name a few, riffing on the white man. Good stuff! Even to a honkey like me.

  65. Now that’s a slippery slope.

  66. Go Here

    NSFW!

    God bless you Mr. Snell, God bless you.

    I had to wait until I got home to look. I was defeated by the very web filter that *I* installed on our .org’s firewall a few days ago! Curse these hands!

  67. “No, the way it works is, I frown at offensive jokes because I’m a better person. You’ve got it backwards.” – joe

    joe wins the self-parody award on this thread, for sure! Watching joe play the “I’m more racially sensitive than thou” card gives me a similar sensation of disbelief I would imagine one would experience if the Klan endorsed Obama for President.

    How are joe and Obama similar? Well, Obama is “like the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty rolled into one,” while joe is also like the Grand Canyon – he’s been here forever, goes lower than you’d imagine, and was formed by something similar to water torture.

    Sorry, best I could do with the material at hand…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.