Bombard the Headquarters!

I’ve done it again. I’ve changed the name of this blog.

Why? In fact, nothing’s wrong with the last name. What’s more, changing names can have a negative impact on name recall and the readership which will have to adjust to the new name.

The decision for the shift was whimsical. It began with me simply getting bored with the old name. Curiously, the legitimization for the change came after.

Firstly, I was beginning to think that a direct reference to the Russian revolutionary may be too obvious given the country’s drift further to the right lately. Secondly, it dawned on me that the allusion to the ostalgie film Goodbye Lenin may not have much import on may who have not seen it anyway.

But why bombard the the headquarters?

The slogan “Bombard the Headquarters” was the title of Mao Tsetung’s first big character poster during the opening of the Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution, his opening salvo against the bourgeois headquarters within the communist party insidiously pushing for the restoration of capitalism.

It is clear by now who has won with China becoming a capitalist-imperialist power contesting US hegemony in the region. The Cultural Revolution was the last great battle fought by the genuine revolutionaries in the party against the cunning machinations of the likes of Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shao-Qi.

Given my interest in aesthetics and resistance, I have an affinity with Mao’s criticism of the “capitalist roaders” in the artistic field. This feel relevant given that “Left” cultural criticism in the country have largely fallen into either a Right current or a “Left” current which is actually Right in essence.

Both hover between those who tail a mass culture misrepresented as the essential identity of the toiling classes and those who from their ivory towers, in the words of Mao, arrogantly “stifled opinions differing from their own, imposed a white terror, and felt very pleased with themselves.”

I confess to having fallen for this “Left” current these past recent years. The new name “Bombard the Headquarters” may be a foreshadowing of a growing concern of such a worrisome tendency. This is a call to put up the big character posters against both “tailism” and a self-righteous “infantile disorder.”

e15-125N.B. Many thanks to Janine for the inspiration for this spontaneous outburst. Mabuhay!

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