Daily Archives: August 25, 2005

Stefan Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages–Lei Feng

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDoctor Nelson, take note. Now this is the way to teach values, isn’t it?

The year 2003 marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the ‘Learn from Lei Feng’-campaign. In the run-up to 5 March, the Chinese media have devoted considerable attention to the question whether the ‘Lei Feng’-spirit is still relevant in this day and age. By and large, they concluded that Lei’s attitude of self-sacrifice could be used to promote doing volunteer work….

His greatest desire in life was to be nothing more than “a revolutionary screw that never rusts”.

As the “little screw” he wanted to be, Lei Feng performed many good deeds: he sent his meagre savings to the parents of a fellow soldier who had been hit by a flood; he served tea and food to officers and recruits; he washed his buddies’ feet after a long march, and darned their socks; he went all-out to show his devotion to the revolutionary cause. In short, we are led to believe he lived the life of saintly Boy Scout. He did not commit great deeds by which he was remembered, but taught the people how to be happy with what they had, to obey the Party and to let the Central Committee, or better still, Mao himself, do their thinking for them…

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Posted by on August 25, 2005 in Australia and Australian, Chinese and China, culture wars, education, History, South Sydney Uniting Church


Just had a free lunch

The Rabbit and friend took me to Johnnie’s Fish Cafe in Fitzroy Street. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 25, 2005 in friends, local, personal, Salt Mine


Doctor Nelson and his donkey

It’s a nice story of altruism, and of a slightly shady character who did do heroic things. I remember first reading the story fifty-three years ago in my Grade III Social Studies text, along with stories about the boy who stuck his finger in the dyke, Grace Darling, Florence Nightingale, William Wilberforce, the boy gunner at the Battle of Jutland, and even Abraham of Ur and Mohammed.

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I guess all these stories were meant to inculcate such virtues as daring to stand against the crowd, and valuing the needs of community above one’s own selfish interests. Altruism and sense of community are not actually values the current government always practises, but what is a little hypocrisy between friends after all?

There are some questions that can be raised, however, about mythologising and sanitising history. Here is the legendary version faithfully replicated by Bundeena Public School, pretty much just like what I read fifty-three years ago. You might like to compare it with this version:
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Posted by on August 25, 2005 in Australia and Australian, Brendan Nelson, culture wars, education, History, John Howard, OzLit, right wing politics