Red Guard Betrays Family in 1976 Cultural Revolution Comic

"Battle of Wits" - Red Guard propaganda graphic novel from 1976 Communist China.


Battle of Wits

We Are Chairman Mao’s Little Red Guards


Content Summary: Xiao Hong’s [“Little Red”] grandpa came back from abroad; he was a spy sent by Soviet Revisionist intelligence agency to collect information on our nation’s technological development. His suspicious activity, from the very beginning, aroused Xiao Hong’s vigilance. With guidance from police officers and through a battle of wits, Xiao Hong obtained the evidence of his wrongdoings and captured this Sviet Revisionist spy.

This story reflects the Little Red Guards, under the guidance of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution, embodying a strong revolutionary sense of vigilance and a spirit of courage and wits in a time of struggle.


1. Xiao Hong is a third grade Little Red Guard at Peiying Elementary. One day after school, she carried her backpack and skipped along on her way home. That morning she heard from her father that grandpa will be returning from abroad. This grandpa is her father’s distant uncle, whom her dad hasn’t seen in over 20 years.


2. The moment Xiao Hong walked into her village, she saw her father welcoming an over 60-year-old fatty old man, thinking: “This must be grandpa, right?”


3. Father saw Xiao Hong and pointed at the fatty and said, “Xiao Hong, say hello to grandpa!” Xiao Hong very politely greeted “grandpa”, and grandpa patted her head and said “very good, you’re a good kid.”


4. As Grandpa spoke, he took a gold necklace out of his bag and with a smile said, “Xiao Hong, this is a gift grandpa bought for you, take good care of it, and when you grow up and wear it around your neck, how pretty you’ll be.” It was as if a scorpion had stung Xiao Hong as she took a step back, looked at the red scarf around her neck, and shook her head.


5. Grandpa pressed, “Quick, take it!” “I don’t want it, I have my red scarf, I don’t like this thing!” With that, she turned around and ran to the kitchen to find her mother. She thought, she has seen many overseas Chinese returnees but has never seen someone like grandpa, giving a gold necklace to a Little Red Guard; how inappropriate it was.


6. After Xiao Hong left, Grandpa awkwardly put away the necklace. Then he asked her father: “I hear you work at a university. Teaching, right?” Her father said: “No, I am doing research.” Grandpa commended, “very good, very good!”


7. Grandpa then said: “foreigners say our science and technology are backwards, which is simply nonsense, [because] our nation’s technological development is not slow, right?” Father said: “yes, it is developing rapidly, for example our electrical engineering…” “Dad!” Xiao Hong pushed the door open and entered, casting him a glare.


8. Father saw Xiao Hong enter and said: “child, do not interrupt, Grandpa is not an outsider, I’m just chatting with him and making him be happy.” Her mom came in and seemed to say: what Xiao Hong did was right, you should accept her objection.


9. Upon seeing Xiao Hong’s vigilance and seriousness, Grandpa composed himself, then he let out a thin smiled again and said: “yeah, let me hear about it and be happy, but if [Dad] cannot talk about it, we can talk about other things.”


10. At night, Xiao Hong and her mom slept in the other room. Her father and grandpa continued to talk, and Xiao Hong could only make out something about a “research project”, and “when it will be completed”. But Xiao Hong was still small and liked to sleep, and soon she fell dozed off.


11. Not sure at what time but suddenly a loud “bang” woke up Xiao Hong. She opened her eyes and saw that their family cat had jumped off the table and hit the chair. Then, she heard the sound of her father’s snoring.


12. Just as Xiao Hong was about to close her eyes, she heard another creak and saw that the room door had been pushed opened. Xiao Hong looked and saw grandpa quietly slipping out the door, heading towards the kitchen.

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13. After a while, a noise came from the kitchen, and Xiao Hong heard a woman’s voice calling out numbers from a transistor radio, quietly: “four, four, nine, three; one, eight, one three…” Xiao Hong thought it was strange, and nudged her mother, but her mother had actually already woken up as well, and indicated to Xiao Hong that she should keep quiet and lie still.


14. The next day morning, her father and mother left for work. She walked them to the door, tugged on her father’s sleeve, stood on her toes and quietly whispered into her father’s ear about what happened last night and her suspicions about grandpa. Her father encouragingly patted her head and said: “look after grandpa!”


15. Xiao Hong knowingly nodded her head and returned to her room. At this time, grandpa in the backroom had woken up and called out: “Xiao Hong, grandpa has bad hearing. Can you go out and buy some ear medicine for me.”


16. Xiao Hong went over, looked at grandpa, and thought to herself: “his ears are not deaf nor is he in pain, why would he ask to buy ear medicine?” But upon remembering what her parents had said, said she happily agreed.


17. The pharmacy was not far from home, and she quickly got the ear medicine. She handed grandpa the ear medicine, put on her backpack and shouted: “Grandpa, I’m going to school!”


18. Xiao Hong loudly stomped down the stairs, took off her shoes and quietly climbed back up the stairs barefoot.


19. Xiao Hong carefully pushed open the kitchen door and hid behind the door. She asked herself: “he bought ear medicine, what is he up to? I must find out.”


20. About half an hour later, grandpa walked downstairs, looked around, and after not hearing anything he returned to his room and closed the door.


21. Xiao Hong quietly walked onto the balcony, focused her eyes and observed her grandpa. She saw him put on his glasses, take letter paper and an envelope from her father’s bookcase and start to write a letter with a fountain pen.


22. After Grandpa finished writing his letter, he then turned over the letter, took out the ear medicine bottle, put in a rice-sized object, dipped a brush and began writing again.


23. In reality, he is a Soviet spy. A man by the alias of “Big Nose” wanted him to take advantage of going home to visit relatives to collect intelligence on our country’s technology.


24. Last night, he hid in the kitchen and received his secret orders from the transistor radio, and now he is writing a letter to them.


25. As Xiao Hong watched, her heart was filled with suspicion. He first uses a pen and then turns over the letter to use a brush, just what is he doing? She remembered what the Xiangyangyuan worker and police officer had said to her: be on your guard, never forget class struggle… So she decided to report this to them.


26. Xiao Hong quietly walked downstairs put on her shoes and ran toward the police station.


27. At the police station, the police officer warmly welcomed Xiao Hong, and commended her: “Xiao Hong, you’ve truly proven yourself Chairman Mao’s little Red Guard, and have done a great thing for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Just before this, your parents had also come to report this, but to avoid raising alarm, we told them to continue going to work.


28. Then the police officer whispered instructions into her ear and Xiao Hong happily nodded.


29. When Xiao Hong returned home, she warmly called out “grandpa!” as she would before. “Xiao Hong, how come you’re home so early from school today?” that guy asked strangely. “Today we only had one class, and I’m going to do labor now, right after I put down my backpack…” Xiao Hong replied as she pretended to leave.


30. Just as Xiao Hong was about to step out the door, she heard him say: “Wait, Xiao Hong, grandpa need you to do something,” Xiao Hong asked: “what?” “I wrote an air mail for a foreign friend, hurry and mail it for me!”

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31. Xiao Hong saw that it was just as the police officer had said, that he was afraid of getting caught mailing the letter himself. So she happily agreed and said “okay, I’ll go now!”


32. Xiao Hong left without drawing attention. She intentionally did not stick on postage stamps and walked towards the mailbox, to see if that guy was watching her. As she neared the mailbox, she suddenly “ouch!” pretended to fall, turned her head and indeed discovered that guy secretly watching her.


33. Xiao Hong stood up, brushed off the dirt, and just as she was about to put the letter in the mailbox, she stopped, knocked her head and exclaimed: “Oops! Forgot to put on stamps, and almost deposited it in!”


34. Xiao Hong turned around, and skipped off to the store. Upon seeing Xiao Hong turn around, that guy immediately ducked back inside, saying to himself: “why is this child so careless?” and began to suspect.


35. Xiao Hong hurriedly bought stamps from the store clerk auntie, then bought an identical envelope and stuck the stamps on it. Meanwhile, that guy’s letter had already been tucked away into her pocket.


36. After Xiao Hong mailed the letter and was on her way home, she dashed into a fruit store, quickly took out the letter and gave it to the political commissar stationed there.


37. When Xiao Hong returned home, that guy angrily asked: “where is the letter?” Xiao Hong responded “I mailed it!” But that guy kept on asking, so Xiao Hong pouted: “if you don’t believe me then go open the mailbox and take a look yourself! Next time, I won’t mail any letters for you anymore.”


38. Realizing that he couldn’t scare her, that guy said: “haha, as long as it is sent, I was just afraid you forgot, and it would be delayed.” Xiao Hong turned around and pretended to be angry, ignoring him.


39. When that guy saw that Xiao Hong was still mad, he put on a pitiful face, and calmly said: “grandpa had been abroad for many decades, without loved ones, so I’m just treating you as my own granddaughter. If you’re willing to live with grandpa, then that would be so wonderful…”


40. Xiao Hong stared at him and didn’t say anything. But that guy started again and said: “Grandpa can send you to college, become a scholar, and in the future you won’t have to…” and as he said this, he once again took out the gold necklace from his bag.


41. That guy forcefully shoved the necklace into Xiao Hong’s hand. Xiao Hong, as if she had suffered some huge humiliation, threw the necklace back and it just so happened to land right around his neck. “You…you” and just as he was about to curse, he changed from anger to joy, saying: “you…you really know how to joke around.”


42. Xiao Hong looked at his wretched smiling face, gave him a glare, turned around, and left. The guy trembled.


43. After Xiao Hong left, that guy sat down in despair and thought: did I say too much? Why was there a mishap in sending the letter? Why is she so cruel to me?” As he thought, he started to break out in cold sweat.


44. Flee, fleeing is the best option. That guy jumped up from his seat and like a wolf greedily scanned her father’s bookshelf.


45. Suddenly his eyes stopped on “Technological Research”. This was the internal monthly periodical that Xiao Hong’s father edited in the university, containing published reports on electronic industry development and new technological discoveries and achievements. That guy quickly opened his back to stuff several books inside.


46. That guy’s plans had already been sensed by Xiao Hong. Just as he opened the door carrying the bag to quietly leave, Xiao Hong appeared in front of him.

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47. At first, that guy was surprised but then he forcefully smiled and said, “Xiao Hong, after Grandpa came back, an overseas Chinese asked me to bring him something. I’m going to deliver it now. You be good and watch the house!” Hmph! He’s thinking of escaping. Xiao Hong shouted: “you cannot escape! Take out the books.”


48. “What books? I…I don’t know what you’re talking about.” That guy suddenly panicked. “They’re in your bag. You’re a bad person!” Xiao Hong went forward to seize the bag.


49. Realizing his cover is blown, that guy showed his wretched face, knocked down Xiao Hong and ran down the stairs.


50. Xiao Hong endured the pain and gathering her wits, picked up a waste basket by the corner of the wall and viciously threw it at that guy’s head. With a “bang”, he clutched his head and groaned in pain.


51. At this very moment, a police officer and two militia pushed open the door and entered, and solemnly said, “you are arrested!”


52. “You … you cannot treat overseas Chinese like this…” he pouted. The public security officer justly said “we care and protect patriotic overseas Chinese, but we will definitely not tolerate those who would engage in espionage under the guise of being overseas Chinese!”


53. Upon hearing this, fear crept into that guy’s heart, but still he resisted: “what evidence do you have?” “This!” The public security officer took out the secret letter and waved it in front of him. That guy knees buckled in fear, cold sweat pouring. At this moment, Xiao Hong’s parents also came home.


54. That guy was taken away and Xiao Hong happily waved to the police and militia: “Uncles and aunties, goodbye!”


Comments on Sina Weibo:


I saw this before as a kid. Inhuman brainwashing must start when they’re young.


The Cultural Revolution was China’s darkest moment, that brought us selfishness, greed, shamelessness, wretchedness, betrayal, and lies.


The Xiao Hong of yesteryear grew old and began battling the wits of the young people who help her up after she falls.


Such a retarded graphic novel, I’m speechless.


Xiao Hong has a sickness that needs treatment.


With a child like this, wouldn’t she just become a beast and devil when she grows up and becomes old? If she could turn the knife on her own grandpa, would falsely accusing and extorting those who help her up after she falls be even a big deal to her in comparison? So when netizens say “it is not that old people are becoming wretched, but wretched people becoming old”, there’s a certain sense to it. This is irrefutable proof of how the Communist Party has destroyed the moral conscience of the Chinese people.


The love between family is an extension of blood relations in humanity, and the cherishing of love between family is mankind’s most basic moral behavior. The destruction of the culture of love between family in humans is always an act against humanity, no matter what kind of ideology it is disguised in.


Think about it: If there was internet during the Cultural Revolution, and there is Weibo, will it be dark times like this? What about now?

Comments on Beidu Tieba:


This girl is truly disgusting.


Stupid cunt Xiao Hong.


Xiao Hong later became the best spy in the world.


Indeed she was a stupid cunt. If her grandpa was a spy, her entire family would be screwed soon after [persecuted/distrusted by association].


Just what country at the time was retarded enough to steal technology from China?


No wonder the Soviet Union collapsed, the KGB is full of dregs that can’t even defeat this kind of lolitas.


Take this to North Korea and it would be a best-seller.


Don’t they say “Chairman Mao our grandpa”? If so, how can this be allowed?

Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

  • Jay K.


    • YourSupremeCommander

      enough of this sofa shit already

      • mr.wiener

        Go to the top left hand corner of the comments section and change “Oldest” to “Newest” or “Best”. Problem solved.

  • Cauffiel

    Wow, Xiao Hong had a long day.

    • Nessquick Choco

      we veterans say : same shit, different day …

      always busy :D

  • Guest23

    Pretty much sums up the feelings and messages during those times, family and blood is sideswiped for the glory of the revolution and out with the old and in with the new, pretty hardcore propaganda comic.

  • David

    Quite an active little girl. If she was 7 or 8 in 1976 that would make her about 45 today. I love the comment “Just what country at the time was retarded enough to steal technology from China?”

    • moeimoei

      the comic said the Soviets…haha…the retarded technology it stole led to its collapse later…

    • David S.

      Dear me you’re right, only 45. Milf-fantasizing expat womanizers, beware.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Curse those soviets! Stealing our military technology…which we got from them. Or maybe they’re here to steal our architecture designs, which we built with their help. Or maybe they want to steal…um…technology of…we have um…our…uh…

    • LaoShu

      me luvs those 45ish’s… seldomly taken care off, neglected little flowers… :GRIN

      • David

        Well, since I am 50, I consider 45 to be young. : )

    • Kai

      Have to disagree. She looks like a brat to me.

      Granted, it’s because the thoughts and actions she is portrayed as having colors my perception of her objective aesthetic qualities.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    A whole generation of brainwashed zombies, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Ruaraidh

    Report your family, win fabulous prizes!

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Kim Jung Un wins the grand prize in this category.

  • moeimoei

    why did they make the enemy from the Soviet, shouldn’t it be like the U.S. or some non-communist countries? LOL

    • SzMach5

      This comic came out in 1976. At this time, Chinese and Soviet relations were, to summarize, very bad. Mao and Khrushchev didn’t like each other’s ideologies.

      • ScottLoar

        You’re 10 years off. The Soviet leaders at that time were Brezhnev and Kosygin who the CCP accused of “revisionism” (修正主義) and widely parodied; there are even Chinese porcelains of the time showing two caricatures of Brezhnev and Kosygin skewered by a pen and labeled “修正”.

        • SzMach5

          Ah, thank you for the info. I just knew that the split started with Mao and Khrushchev disagreeing with each other.

    • Wodowsan

      1969 the Chinese and the Soviets had artillery duels on their mutual border. Nixon visited China in 1972. This was the period that Mao was playing his “American card” against the Soviets. By the time of this book the Chinese were not supporting North Vietnam in response to warming relations with the Americans. The Soviets took up the slack and moved in to support communist Vietnam. By 1979 the Soviets had a major naval base in Vietnam on the South China Sea. This action made the Chinese feel the Soviets were encircling them. You could actually read about it in my paper “Comrades in Conflict: The Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979”
      Of course ten years earlier the references to the Soviets in this book would have been the Americans.

  • Surfeit

    Needs more Balotelli.

  • Guang Xiang

    Ironic how nowadays it’s the government who are bribing overseas Chinese with money/women to divulge technologies.

  • Lord_Helmet

    Very 1984 like.

  • Germandude

    Well propaganda of totalitarian regimes always suck and if read later, leave the thought: “How retarded people must’ve been to believe in this shit?”.

    The netizens comments are awesome.

    • Kai

      Unfortunately, it isn’t just limited to the propaganda of totalitarian regimes. There’s a lot of historical propaganda materials from non-totalitarian states that are equally retarded to modern sensibilities.

  • mr.wiener

    They missed the last panel of the comic where Xiao Hong’s parents are arrested for having a spy in the family, but no matter, a kindly 60 year old cadre takes her under his wing…he also takes her in the outhouse…and takes her in every other room in the house :P

  • iLL

    The best part of this is the comments from Weibo, how most of the people understand this brainwashing and stupid nature of the cultural revolution.

    • Zappa Frank

      how can chinese people understaand how stupid was the cultural revolution and in the same time like Mao..?

      • iLL

        beats the fuck out of me, but progress is progress. Education is the key to everything. Once educated people start to question things and think for themselves. There are always going to be a ton of Mao lovers, but its progress

      • TJDubs

        Mao’s legacy has been scrubbed pretty hard, his faults placed firmly on scapegoats, e.g. his wife.

      • Cameron

        But how many Chinese people under, say, the age of 50, do actually like Mao? I get the feeling most people are fairly ambivalent and realistic about him – ie taking the view that he was he was a creature of his time – a damn good military strategist and charismatic leader – but actually a very poor politician – a farmer in over his head.

        He is revered as a symbol of China regaining her independence and that will still continue for some time. Liking him or disliking him is not really relevant.

        • Edward_Crowley

          China was independent since 1921 as I understand it, they just blew it and let a peasant who didn’t like soap from hunan take charge, who thought that wiping out intellectuals and religion was a good idea…..

          • Kai

            Mao exploited the insecurities and resentments of the non-intellectuals. Happens all the time.

      • Kai

        Easy, not all Chinese people are the same and when they are, they still possess the ability to hold two thoughts at once. It’s the same as disliking Hitler but understanding that some of the things Hitler did was pretty smart or impressive.

  • Gerhana

    its a good manga, still better than twilight love story

  • mr.wiener

    Great comeback. Thank you for showing us the kind of person you are again.

  • arterius2

    ironic that the old aunties of today (Xiao Hong during the time) were all rushing out to buy gold necklaces and jewelries now.

  • Germandude

    Cool story bro. Let’s hope they manage spelling and the use of capital letters better than you do.

  • David S.

    Goes to show that no matter how rubbish propaganda in China looks today, it used to be a lot worse. It’s a bit ironic that communist party propaganda gained so much from the boom in mass consumption advertising.

  • bprichard

    And of course, the Russian spy boss’s name is Big Nose. I can’t believe I actually made it that far. This is the Dumbest Story Ever Told.

    • ScottLoar

      And I cringe for 大山 trotted out for his gig on the yearly Chinese New Year’s specials and obliged to make some lame joke – always at his own expense – about Big Noses.

      • bprichard

        The New Year’s specials are such edgy and groundbreaking programs.

        大山: So I think this year, we should branch out during my appearance on the special this year.

        CCTV Exec: All right, what are you thinking?

        大山: How about something about how my eyes are so round.

        CCTV Exec: *collapses on the floor in laughter* Your eyes! They are so fucking round!

        大山: So you like it?

        CCTV Exec: I think our audience isn’t ready yet. China has a very conservative culture, you see. Let’s stick with big nose. *laughs hysterically* White people’s noses are so big!

        • ScottLoar

          For years I thought little of 大山 and was quick to say so to anyone comparing my Chinese to his but I have since learned that his is a public persona masking a sensitive, intelligent and private nature.

          I now regret bringing him up.

  • ScottLoar

    The USA is way, way ahead in propaganda in entertainment, eh? Like the strong connection between Hollywood and government; the producers, directors and writers of films all looking to satisfy the US government propaganda machine, eh? Movies like Flags of Our Fathers (2006) which was lauded by no less than Xi Jinping as the kind of movie China should be making to prepare the populace for war, eh? Ya’ think the purpose of that film was to glorify war? Or, the usual sit-coms, game shows, and serials crafted to do – what? Incite the US populace to spend more money, rant against Chinese, buy government bonds, blindly follow government leaders? C’mon now, you tell me how popular tv shows like Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, Revenge, American Horror Story, Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, etc. promote propaganda. Okay, consider the Food Channel; I admit for years my favorite was the Japanese program Iron Chef but, no, that doesn’t influence my opinion of the Diayu Islands.

    Maybe you intended the six o’clock local news programs? A typical 30-minute program devotes 10 minutes to strictly local news, 3-5 minutes to the weather (includes banter with the weatherman), 5 minutes of banter and bad jokes, 5 minutes to details of sports, 10 minutes to commercials and any time left over – well, maybe international news if a major continent slides off its shelf. Inside the US and watching US news programs I’m usually left with the feeling things only happen in the US, all else is like characters in a storybook. Is that effective propaganda?

    Maybe you intended US news magazines like Time and Newsweek to be organs of government propaganda but… you’ve lost me. Just what possesses you to say “the USA is way, way ahead in propaganda entertainment”?

  • David
  • Behazey

    And that little girl became… Wendy Deng

  • Teacher in China

    I was hoping the last few pages would turn all dark and violent and show the Grandpa getting beaten to death in front of his family, blood spattering all over their faces while Xiao Hong shouts “Die! Die!! You capitalist running dog, die! Hahahahahahahahahahah!!!”

  • hess

    ” I can imagine that China nowadays would look like a larger Skandinavia, where you can leave your doors open all day and park your bicycle without locking, since 30 years of educative terror have scared the people from even thinking about committing crimes.” I live in Stockholm and you cant leave your freaking door unlocked, and especially not your bike.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Well KNOWN corruption.

    It was much harder to know if your higher up was corrupt if he was the one feeding you all that propaganda.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Careful citizen. Improper spelling is a sign of poor devotion to our magnificent education, which is a sign of poor loyalty…

  • AndyLC

    eh “your family is the REAL enemy!” is a common theme in western storytelling already. Every other storyin grade school was ’bout escaping from shitty parental figures.

    • miomeinmio

      Ehhhh… ESCAPING from, not turning into the police for high crimes and treason. The tone of this is a BIT different.

      • AndyLC

        I was thinking of using “Matilda” but wasn’t sure how well known that story was. But yeah Matilda is the story of a girl with evil parents and it ends with her turning them in to the goddamn FBI

        • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

          I thought it ended with her blackmailing them.

        • miomeinmio

          OMG. MY CHILDHOOD.


    • ScottLoar

      You don’t understand Cinderella or Grimm’s fairy tales.

      Cinderella is the story of a girl cruelly used as a house maid by her evil stepmother and step sisters; Chinese literature has similar stories. Western fairy tales are invariably stories of good versus evil, defining both by parables easily understood by children. To say that the moral of these stories is ” your family is the REAL (sic) enemy” shows you haven’t read the stories or that the child-like parable escaped you.

      • AndyLC

        Yeah, I meant to change that to ‘Matilda’, and wrote another post with Matilda in the image, but that post seems to have disappeared.

        Matilda ends with her shitty parents being caught by the FBI, ’cause Matilda sent them.

  • miomeinmio

    See, I lol’d.

  • ScottLoar

    Ah, yes, The Illuminati, but that is supposedly an international organization of great antiquity and so is not specific to those criminals in the US. Or, the US is criminal, or all people in the US are criminal, or the US is a criminal culture… Ah, you see? Epithets can become s-o-o-o-o confusing in inept hands.

  • ScottLoar


    Rambo is serious stuff? And Sylvester Stallone is an agent of US propaganda? Both inspire Americans to… to do what? Take up boxing and heavy infantry hardware to do what?

    Do you think video and on-line games that punch, deplete, erase, zap and zound enemies, monsters, and other adversaries in an electronic world effect the user to accept government dictates? Or that the subliminal messages are… well, you tell me. I suppose governments have tried to instill certain qualities or desirable traits in its peoples since tribes first formed on hillsides and yet there is little to show except pandering to people’s desires can give some little result. It can’t change people’s nature nor oblige them to act contrary to what they do not want, but pandering does give some little result. That’s why most surfing on the worldwide web is for porn; despite the wealth of information and contact enabled by the web most time is spent looking for and at pornography. Television was thought to be an instrument of social enlightenment and agent of high culture that would transform society, and American television in the early 50’s was a Golden Age with Sunday devoted to cultural displays of music and theater unmatched. Well, Sunday became sports day all day, and the average tv show in the US panders to the mentality of 12 year-olds.

    • Edward_Crowley

      the last rambo film was correct, the burmese and thais are just savages, not to be trusted at any level….murderous and scheming and cruel. I would never visit those two countries, and anyone who teaches there is a mental grovelling weasel. End of story!!!

  • AndyLC

    eh “your family is full of ASSHOLES!” is a common theme in western storytelling already. Matilda ends with her reporting her shitty parents to the FBI.

  • Anna Presman

    This feels familiar. I’m Russian and I still have those kind of books, left from my parents. What I find interesting is that they said it was a Soviet spy. I always thought that the USSR and China had pretty good relations. Maybe the idea that the west would be stealing technology was just too far fetched :)

  • Edward_Crowley

    The breakup of the USSR and an independent russian federation probably helped, although the Russian Federation took the USSR’s seat at the UN and became the successor state. But yes, relations have improved over the border and russia supplying energy and so on.

  • ScottLoar

    I find that most Chinese remark without hesitation that “you speak better than us” as they judge speech competency by accent, not by complexity of grammar or fluency of expression. Of course native speakers are the best speakers regardless of accent, as foreign speakers cannot match vocabulary and colloquial expression. Still, there are always a few Chinese who may catch you speaking on the phone or making a remark to someone in Mandarin who then pipe up in English “Oh, you speak Chinese so well” , which is really telling you that “Yeah, but I speak English you know”, and such people are not interested in a conversation.

    As a foreign speaker of Mandarin I well understand 知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也

  • ScottLoar

    But, you’re serious?! You really do believe in The Illuminati!

  • Harold Janson

    Fail to see what this has to do with “brainwashing”, here’s a guy listening to numbers stations, writing secret letters and trying to steal tech books. Duh, of course you’re going to report him. This is hardly “betraying family”, we’re talking about a distant uncle “unseen for 20 years”, and it’s actually not her uncle at all, just a spy.

  • ScottLoar

    Difference of opinion usually invites ridicule from the weak-minded.

  • ScottLoar

    Don’t be silly. I do not defend the Americans’ parochialism or their simplistic view of world affairs, but I do differentiate their commonly insular attitudes towards other cultures and peoples (and those attitudes are not normally antagonistic) against the “propaganda” that you and some others here think is a conscious and nefarious government plot.

    At the time of the Oklahoma bombings a newscast reported that a man in a burnoose was seen in the area just before the bombing; immediately after 9-11 the greatest numbers of terrorist sightings were reported as coming from Utah, one of the most insular states; the first plane hitting the World Trade Center was reported as a light plane hitting the Center, because the common American mind could not allow for any other explanations. Can you understand that such absurdity is the consequence of American inherent parochialism and not the machinations of some secret government agency at work? And, no, the US government isn’t busy keeping Americans dumb, ill-informed, and casual about affairs outside their borders; Americans willingly do so themselves as evidenced by news programs, shallow entertainment programming, the comments in public forums (well, look to here as an example), and Americans’ staggering ignorance of geography and current events. Such parochialism is inherent to American culture, just as things fancy or cultured are labelled “French” by Americans.

    Now, why would I assume you are Muslim? What in my comments would prejudice me against another’s arguments simple because they were Muslim… or Chinese… or American… or whatever? And, no, I’m not your “dude”.

  • ex-expat

    Because the US media does the same thing, to an even larger degree, to American culture.

  • ScottLoar

    The US media and others depending on revenues most always pander to public taste. This is not propaganda, it is what Americans want and accept. See my comments elsewhere, look to how quickly tv programming in the 50’s devolved to aerials raking garbage from the sky.

    As to interest groups, no one has to dumb-down Americans; Americans do so to themselves.

  • Edward_Crowley

    Gorby that tattoo headed baldy, what a character. Who WAS the ACTOR who filled in for him in rocky 4?

  • mike921

    ‘…spy sent by Soviet Revisionist intelligence agency to collect information on our nation’s technological development..’ They didn’t mention this was a comedy piece…