No news yet if Chairman Mao’s super-sized grandson, Mao Xinyu, will get his own TV show.
The Chongqing Broadcasting Group has just announced its plans to send ratings for Chongqing Satellite TV, one of fourteen channels in its portfolio, down the toilet. And what revolutionary plans they are (trying to be punny here) — all prime-time drama serials between 7.30pm and 11pm have been cancelled and replaced with such inspiring shows as Liberating the Southwest《解放大西南》, Moving Ahead for New China《为了新中国前进》, Sounds of Gunshots on the Plains《平原枪声》, Everyday Red Songs《天天红歌会》and Liberation《解放》.
No news yet if Chairman Mao’s super-sized grandson, Mao Xinyu (毛新宇), will finally get to host his own TV show (we’re still eagerly awaiting his weibo updates by the way), but his goodlooking but shortlived uncle Mao Anying (毛岸英), long elevated into a pantheon of communist martyrs, will get a spot with a documentary on his life.
The South China Morning Post reads this latest move as political manoeuvring by prominent “princeling” Bo Xilai (薄熙来), the Chongqing party boss who has a really famous father (and a really hot son):
Bo’s latest attempt to promote red culture – a campaign he launched in mid-2008 – is widely seen as part of an intensified push for a seat on the Politburo Standing Committee at next year’s party congress. Previously, Bo organised tens of thousands of people to join him in singing “red culture” songs, telling revolutionary stories and circulating Maoist mottos.
In another campaign likened to the policies promoted by Mao Zedong in the Cultural Revolution, Bo earlier called on 750,000 university students in the nation’s biggest municipality to work with workers, farmers and soldiers for at least four months of their four years at university. Bo said scheme participants would gain social experience.
He has also embraced new media, launching a microblog last year and using it to promote his revolutionary image and political views.
We’ll be watching Chongqing Satellite TV’s ratings with great interest. Seriously, why go through all this effort when they could’ve just put Xinwen Lianbo《新闻联播》on auto-replay 24/7?