As someone who deals with communists on a daily basis here at Babalú, I can attest to the fact that they lack any sense of humor and despise being made fun of. They are no different from their kissing cousins, the American left, who are equally thin skinned and bereft of humor.
This peculiar aspect of the left is not lost on dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who continues to have fun at the expense of the Chinese communist dictatorship.
Hitting China With Humor
CHINA’S leaders have tried honoring Ai Weiwei and bribing him with the offer of high positions. They have tried jailing him, fining him and clubbing him so brutally that he needed emergency brain surgery. In desperation, they have even begged him to behave — and nothing works.
What is the Politburo to do with a superstar artist with a vast global audience like Ai (whose name is pronounced EYE Way-way), who makes a video of himself dancing “Gangnam style” with handcuffs — parodying the Chinese state — that quickly ends up with more than one million views on YouTube?
How should the Central Committee of the Communist Party react when Ai releases a nude self-portrait with a stuffed animal as a fig leaf? The caption was “grass-mud-horse in the center” — a homonym in Chinese for a vulgar curse against the Communist Party’s central leadership. Or, more precisely, against its mother.
One thing the party detests even more than being denounced is being mocked, and humor is the signature element of Ai’s assaults. Other dissidents, like the great writer Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize winner now in prison, write eloquently of democracy but gain little traction among ordinary Chinese: Ai’s artistic work also seems incomprehensible to many people, but obscene jokes about grass-mud-horses can get more traction — and be difficult to quash.
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