The Latest Absurdity From Chinese State-Run Media Xinhua

CommentaryState-run Chinese media is generally unreadable, but occasionally, an article that is beyond shockingly absurd pops up, leaving the reader with the impression of living in an alternate universe if what is conveyed is true. And so it is with a puff piece from Xinhua on Feb. 1 titled, “Xi Focus-Profile: Xi Jinping, man of culture.”Is this just the latest chapter in the unfolding story of Xi’s cult of personality, or is Xinhua being too clever by half in portraying Xi in this manner?Let us examine the topic.‘Man of Culture’ and Cult of PersonalityThe Xinhua piece regales us with tales of Xi’s personal history as a “culture enthusiast”: his favorite hobby of reading, his inherent kindness learned from villagers early in life, his enduring passion for history and culture, and his deep love for “Red Culture” (which is probably the only truth in that article). As an aside, one wonders if that “deep love” extends to the millions of victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the years.What is it about communist dictators and their passion for being falsely extolled by their state-run media? During the existence of the Soviet Union, statues, busts, and pictures of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin proliferated everywhere in Russia, including in homes and apartments. Down they went after the fall of the USSR in 1991—with a vengeance. So, too, did Mao Zedong emulate the Russian communists, as banners and pictures of Mao were seen everywhere during his reign, while state-run Chinese media constantly echoed the public statements and “virtues” of a man responsible over time for the deaths of possibly as many as 100 million Chinese.Perhaps Xi craves the public praise and adoration given to some Western leaders, such as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump, but has to settle for contrived popularity reinforced by the creation of a faux cult of personality—a façade of charisma, heroism, and glorious leadership to be admired by all that is propped up by state-run Chinese media.Digging DeeperThe Xinhua article is very likely an example of the endless psychological warfare campaign being practiced by the CCP against Chinese citizens (and those in the rest of the world who are paying attention). By portraying Xi as a “man of culture,” the article tries to convince people that Xi subscribes to normal human tendencies to view culture as the best aesthetics of humanity, including architecture, art, poetry, classical music, literature, etc.—in short, that Xi is a member of “high culture” (the wealthy and well-educated elites in society).Related StoriesHowever, Xinhua may have outsmarted itself by using the phrase “man of culture” in its title. There is a “Man of Culture” meme that has become an internet and 4chan phenomenon in recent years. As described here, the phenomenon began in 2010 when a screenshot of the character “Last Samurai” from the anime “Arakawa Under the Bridge” with the caption “Ah, I see you’re a man of culture as well” went viral on the internet. It started out conveying the standard attributes of a man of culture: erudition, highly educated, refined, or good taste. Over time, the meme perverted the notion of a “refined taste” into someone who liked adult content, especially “watching women do something erotic.” The meme is now frequently used to “describe the condition of depraved internet humor” in general.In short, that meme is used with sarcasm as a pejorative these days, which is NOT the desired triggering to the phrase “man of culture,” for which the unfortunate Xinhua writer was hoping!The RealityXinhua would have people believe that Xi has a lifelong history as a “culture enthusiast,” and through its portrayal of Xi, he is a man of “high culture” who should naturally be admired by one and all.The reality of actions always trumps words, so it is with Xi Jinping.Does a man of culture enforce cultural genocide on the unfortunate Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong followers, and other minorities in China?Does a man of culture implement and harshly enforce an arbitrary and unscientific “zero-COVID” policy that killed untold numbers of Chinese and wrought havoc on the Chinese economy (and then abruptly reverse the policy and ensure the phrase “zero COVID” is never mentioned again due to its linkage to the “cultured man” directly responsible for it)?Does a man of culture violate The Hague Court’s 2016 ruling on South China Sea territorial claims in favor of the Philippines by directing Chinese Coast Guard ships to use water cannons and sonic devices to repel Filipino resupply ships to Sierra Madre island?Does a man of culture turn a blind eye to Chinese domestic production and exportation of fentanyl and its precursors that have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans and others around the world?Concluding ThoughtsWhat might be the reason for the Xinhua article praising Xi as a “man of culture” at this particular point in time?Could it be that a softer im

The Latest Absurdity From Chinese State-Run Media Xinhua

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Commentary

State-run Chinese media is generally unreadable, but occasionally, an article that is beyond shockingly absurd pops up, leaving the reader with the impression of living in an alternate universe if what is conveyed is true. And so it is with a puff piece from Xinhua on Feb. 1 titled, “Xi Focus-Profile: Xi Jinping, man of culture.”

Is this just the latest chapter in the unfolding story of Xi’s cult of personality, or is Xinhua being too clever by half in portraying Xi in this manner?

Let us examine the topic.

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‘Man of Culture’ and Cult of Personality

The Xinhua piece regales us with tales of Xi’s personal history as a “culture enthusiast”: his favorite hobby of reading, his inherent kindness learned from villagers early in life, his enduring passion for history and culture, and his deep love for “Red Culture” (which is probably the only truth in that article). As an aside, one wonders if that “deep love” extends to the millions of victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the years.

What is it about communist dictators and their passion for being falsely extolled by their state-run media? During the existence of the Soviet Union, statues, busts, and pictures of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin proliferated everywhere in Russia, including in homes and apartments. Down they went after the fall of the USSR in 1991—with a vengeance. So, too, did Mao Zedong emulate the Russian communists, as banners and pictures of Mao were seen everywhere during his reign, while state-run Chinese media constantly echoed the public statements and “virtues” of a man responsible over time for the deaths of possibly as many as 100 million Chinese.
Perhaps Xi craves the public praise and adoration given to some Western leaders, such as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump, but has to settle for contrived popularity reinforced by the creation of a faux cult of personality—a façade of charisma, heroism, and glorious leadership to be admired by all that is propped up by state-run Chinese media.
.

Digging Deeper

The Xinhua article is very likely an example of the endless psychological warfare campaign being practiced by the CCP against Chinese citizens (and those in the rest of the world who are paying attention). By portraying Xi as a “man of culture,” the article tries to convince people that Xi subscribes to normal human tendencies to view culture as the best aesthetics of humanity, including architecture, art, poetry, classical music, literature, etc.—in short, that Xi is a member of “high culture” (the wealthy and well-educated elites in society).

However, Xinhua may have outsmarted itself by using the phrase “man of culture” in its title. There is a “Man of Culture” meme that has become an internet and 4chan phenomenon in recent years. As described here, the phenomenon began in 2010 when a screenshot of the character “Last Samurai” from the anime “Arakawa Under the Bridge” with the caption “Ah, I see you’re a man of culture as well” went viral on the internet. It started out conveying the standard attributes of a man of culture: erudition, highly educated, refined, or good taste. Over time, the meme perverted the notion of a “refined taste” into someone who liked adult content, especially “watching women do something erotic.” The meme is now frequently used to “describe the condition of depraved internet humor” in general.

In short, that meme is used with sarcasm as a pejorative these days, which is NOT the desired triggering to the phrase “man of culture,” for which the unfortunate Xinhua writer was hoping!

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The Reality

Xinhua would have people believe that Xi has a lifelong history as a “culture enthusiast,” and through its portrayal of Xi, he is a man of “high culture” who should naturally be admired by one and all.

The reality of actions always trumps words, so it is with Xi Jinping.

Does a man of culture enforce cultural genocide on the unfortunate Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong followers, and other minorities in China?

Does a man of culture implement and harshly enforce an arbitrary and unscientific “zero-COVID” policy that killed untold numbers of Chinese and wrought havoc on the Chinese economy (and then abruptly reverse the policy and ensure the phrase “zero COVID” is never mentioned again due to its linkage to the “cultured man” directly responsible for it)?

Does a man of culture violate The Hague Court’s 2016 ruling on South China Sea territorial claims in favor of the Philippines by directing Chinese Coast Guard ships to use water cannons and sonic devices to repel Filipino resupply ships to Sierra Madre island?

Does a man of culture turn a blind eye to Chinese domestic production and exportation of fentanyl and its precursors that have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans and others around the world?

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Concluding Thoughts

What might be the reason for the Xinhua article praising Xi as a “man of culture” at this particular point in time?

Could it be that a softer image of Xi needs to be conveyed to the world as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues its intimidation of Taiwan, the Philippines, India, and other countries?

Or is it simply the latest offering in a periodic requirement of Chinese state-run media to promote Xi’s cult of personality every so often?

Whatever the reason, the world hopes and prays that the 100th anniversary of the establishment of communist China is only remembered as a tragic footnote after its demise comes to pass long before 2049.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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