China’s girl band reopens cultural revolution

China’s girl band reopens cultural revolution


SONGS FROM THE MAO ERA. OUR DAN RIVERS HAS THE STORY. >>Reporter: TEENAGE GIRLS BELTING OUT A SONG, WORSHIPPING MAO. SOUNDS A LOT LIKE IT DID 50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK USHERING IN A TUMULTUOUS DECADE. ON THIS MILITARY BASE OUTSIDE BEIJING, THESE YOUNG PERFORMERS, CALLED THE 56 FLOWERS, PRACTICED OLD SONGS ABOUT MAO AND NEW ONES ABOUT PRESIDENT XI JINPING. THE MANAGER SAYS THE GOAL IS TO PUT ON CONCERTS FOR THE YOUTH OF TODAY. MOST OF THE GIRLS ARE FROM POOR FAMILIES AND SO THIS OPPORTUNITY IS ONE OF THE FEW THAT THEY WILL EVER GET TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF WHERE THEY ARE FROM. PLUS, THEY GET FREE MEALS AND LODGING AND PAID ABOUT 450 U.S. DOLLARS A MONTH. THAT MONEY USUALLY GETS SENT BACK HOME. BUT MORE THAN SELLING TICKETS OR MAKING MONEY, THE SHOWS ARE MEANT TO REKINDLE THAT REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT. AT THIS SHOW IN THE GREAT HALL OF THE PEOPLE, THE SYMBOLIC THEATER OFF TIANANMEN SQUARE, IT SAYS, DEFEAT THE AMERICAN INVADERS AND THEIR RUNNING DOGS. SOME OF THE AUDIENCE APPLAUDED BUT THE PERFORMANCE WAS LOUDLY CRITICIZED ONLINE BECAUSE IT HARKENED BACK TO THE DARKEST PERIOD OF MAO’S RULE TO RID THE COUNTRY OF ALL THINGS CAPITALIST BUT HUNDREDS DIED IN THE ENSUING CHAOS. CRITICS SAY PRESIDENT XI HAS TAKEN A PAGE FROM MAO’S PLAYBOOK, DEMANDING TOTAL CONTROL OVER THE SOCIETY. BUT PROMOTING THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION WITH ELABORATE STAGE SHOWS IS A STEP TOO FAR SO THE 56 FLOWERS GROUP TOOK DOWN THEIR WEBSITE AND FOR NOW THE MUSIC

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