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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, May 13, 2005

"I'm A Dummy, Ya, Yu Betcha!"

From the depths of Inner Canuckistan (known still to a nostalgic few as Minnesota) comes this add campaign for the new Minneapolis Public Library glorifying Mao Zedong as a "former librarian, who created the 3rd largest economy in the world:"

Now, I realize that this is probably an effective way to appeal to BlueStaters--tie your fundraising efforts to a popular icon or respected public figure , which I'm sure Mao is to the type who would donate to the MPL (other adds in the series feature Bat Girl and Casanova). I also know that most former-Americans-cum-"Jesusland"-haters were educated in Bluestate public schools and get their facts and opinions from CBS News and DailyKos, so they wouldn't know that, a) Mao didn't create China's bustling economy, his state-capitalist successors did, b) Mao, in fact, did his best to destroy China's fledgling economy during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, thus consigning millions of his citizens to starvation, and c) Mao was the bloodiest dictator in human history, killing upwards of 40 million people in his various purges, terror-famines, and "corrections."

But...I can't really hold MPL responsible--it's, like, society's fault, man! If we let elements of our population be raised, taught, and fed news by Democrats, this is the kind of thing we should expect. This ad led one of I.C.'s few remaining lucid citizens, James Lileks, to wonder if something similar would be likewise acceptable:

No, you say? Why not? What's the difference?

In fairness, the Friends of MPL organization that created the ads claimed they were just trying to "get people to look." Another of the ads features J. Edgar Hoover, the intent being to provoke the same "maydja look" reaction, according to FoMPL. When the Mao poster provoked angry reactions from as far away as Taiwan, MPL defended itself:

In the most politically charged ads, MPL, which is predicated on free speech, tolerance and the open exchange of ideas, is contrasted with Mao and Hoover, who both worked in libraries early in their lives but pursued policies antithetical to an open society (to put it mildly).


Let me see if I've got this right: Mao: 40-46 MILLION DEAD = JEH: Some ugly shenanigans over domestic spying, abuse of office, and cross-dressing. This is obscene, even by the weirdly obtuse standards of Planet Liberal. It is also insulting to the memories of the tens of millions of human beings who were ground into mountains of fertilizer at Mao's command. J-Ed spied illegally on MLK but....

**....liberal friends read this carefully now....**

....he didn't kill him (or 40-46 million other people). (Oh, and rumor has it that Mao did a little domestic spying of his own on occasion. Don't know about the cross-dressing. You'd think Bluestaters would like that part anyway.)

Am I the only one who thinks there is an important distinction here? I realize most Bluestaters have grown up with many "moral equivalents to war," like Jimmah Carter's "War on Inflation" or LBJ's "War on Poverty," and Bill Clinton's "War on Interns' Underwear," but is it really that hard to see the difference between a thuggish, pompous bureaucrat in an essentially healthy state and the greatest monster in human history in the genocidal hell-on-earth he created? I guess if relativist materialism is your religion, it makes seeing these things harder. "It all depends on your point of view," perhaps. "It all depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

Maybe it's like Lileks says:

They [liberals of the FoMPL type] may not like communists, but they really don’t like anti-communists. Communists may be deluded, but they meant well in some abstract sense that surely has to count for something. Whereas God knows what the anti-communists really want.

I just hope there are a couple of volumes on China's recent history other than the promised Little Red Books on MPL's shelves once it opens.


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