'Prison Is the Best Place to Sing Red Songs'

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liu-di-305.jpg A file photo shows Liu Di at her home in Beijing.

Beijing-based writer Liu Di, known by her former online nickname "Stainless Steel Mouse," rose to fame in 2002 after being sentenced to a year in jail for blogging about China's Internet restrictions as a university student. Since then, she has continued to write online about Chinese society. Here, in a commentary broadcast on RFA's Mandarin Service, she takes satirical aim at the Maoist left and its online support for disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last weekend for corruption and abuse of power:

According to [a recent article by Maoist Bo Xilai supporter] Han Deqiang, Bo Xilai will have a peaceful and independent existence once he is locked up inside [the luxury wing of Beijing's] Qincheng prison.

He won't have to rack his brains for ways to make it into the Politburo standing committee, nor be locked in constant powers struggles, nor fear that his bribery and corruption will be discovered, nor that his wife will cuckold him.

His daily goal in life will be to service his sentence with a sense of satisfaction. What incomparable happiness this must bring!

In another article by the same author...he says that life in jail means free board and lodging, free education and healthcare, and jobs allocated by the state, and that any Maoists hoping to enjoy such benefits had better think about going to jail.

Regarding Bo Xilai serving his jail term in Qincheng Prison, online reports say that his cell will measure 20 square meters (215 square feet), with an ensuite bathroom and a sit-down toilet. The cells are equipped with beds that stand a foot off the ground. Prisoners have time allotted for fresh air and exercise. When Qincheng inmates see the doctor, they are seen in the prison's own clinic for minor ailments, and taken to designated hospitals for major illnesses, usually Fuxing Hospital and the Beijing Hospital.

Prisoners mostly don't have to wear prison uniform, but are allowed to wear their own clothes. They get two dishes and a soup with every rice meal, as well milk and apples. This really is the leftist, Maoist dream of a communist life. So of course Bo Xilai must feel an incomparable happiness!

While in jail, Bo Xilai will even be able to continue with his favorite pastimes and entertainment, such as singing revolutionary songs. According to media reports, Chinese prisons sometimes organize prisoners to sing a particular "red song," titled "We are the successors of communism."

Prison is the best place of all to sing red songs, because not only are prisoners getting free board, lodging, education and healthcare, but they have no property and no privacy either.

In jail, there is no pornography, no drugs or gambling, and the crime rate is zero, all of which is entirely in line with Mao's ideal.

Even more importantly, the prisons are full of thieves and bandits, all communists who robbed the rich to help the poor: to alleviate their own poverty, that is.

It is most fitting of all that they should be made to sing "We are the successors of communism."

Translated by Luisetta Mudie.


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