While the Cultural Revolution was no laughing matter, it seems that some clever Chinese were able to get a chuckle or two from skewing political rhetoric behind closed doors.
Guo Qitao, a professor of Chinese history at UC Irvine has shared some of the jokes that were told by Chinese common people with China Beat.
Liang Shengbao is the protagonist of Liu Qing’s novel Making History, and his lover, Xu Gaixia, is its female protagonist. At a struggle meeting, the Red Guards interrogated Liu Qing: “Why did Liang Shengbao dream about Xu Gaixia when he fell asleep at the Guo County railway station? When he took a break from cutting bamboo on Southern Hill, why didn’t Liang Shengbao organize the masses to study Chairman Mao’s works, instead playing the chess? When he served as a leader of a mutual aid team, why did he focus on peaceful competition, but not on the class struggle?”
To these questions, Liu Qing said, “I, too, am puzzled, you should go ask Liang Shengbao.”
Oh, those kidders.