Let a Thousand Glowers Bloom

There's NOOOOOO business like MAOOOOOO business…Our guest columnist will probably pay closer attention next time when Googling “teaching” quotes.

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ethnology -(n.). A branch of anthropology that analyzes cultures, especially in regard to their historical development and the similarities and dissimilarities between them.


“Our attitude towards ourselves should be ‘to be satiable in learning’ and toward others ‘to be tireless in teaching.'” – Mao Zedong


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Department Of Education Website Quotes Mao Zedong [BuzzFeed]

As long as it wasn’t “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun …the gun must never be allowed to command the Party”

Not that it matters, but shouldn’t it be insatiable? Reminds me of the time I found a Himmler quote about power in an Atlantic piece about wine. I brought it to their attention immediately and they never did fix it.

@mellbell: In common usage, yes, most folks say “insatiable”.

But if we go to the dictionary — “Possible to satisfy or sate” — and allow for a clumsy translation, “satiable” is acceptable.

Rush does a happy dance when he hears about Mao quote on a Dept of Ed website, and his belly and chins jiggle just the way Mao’s did.

I’ve been a Micky Maoist for decades, long before DisneyCorp joined the Party.

Sing along

OH! Who’s the Chairman of the Party
Made for you and me?
M – I – C – – K – E – Y – – – M – A – O You See!

OH! Up the Revolution
Seduce the Bourgeoisie
M – I – C – – K – E – Y – – – M – A – O You See!

Mickey Mao Mickey Mao
Forever let a Thousand Flowers Bloom
Boom Boom

Grab your Gun We’ll have some Fun
Now We’re the Red Army
M – I – C – – K – E – Y – – – M – A – O You See!

@nojo: Nope. From the section on Study in Mao’s essay on The Role of the Chinese Communist Party in the National War:

Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be “to be insatiable in learning” and towards others “to be tireless in teaching”.

Tireless tracks insatiable; otherwise it makes no sense.

@mellbell: Tireless tracks insatiable

Also, better translations.

Which goes back to my original guess: Somebody was directed to program a set of random quotes from some online “teaching” collection, and nobody thought to review them.

@jaycubed: I just had Chinese dumplings for lunch. Yum.

Could the problem have been pinyin? I wonder if someone failed to realize that Mao Zedong was Mao Tse-tung.

@lynnlightfoot: I’m going to guess that it depends on whether the list reviewer (if there was one…) is AARP-qualified.

Red China (hey, I’m AARP-qualified!) mandated Hanyu Pinyin for Roman spellings in 1979, so Tse-tung became Zedong when I was an undergrad J-school student. (And as an undergrad J-school student, such style shifts were very noticeable.) You could be in your forties today, and only have seen “Zedong” in print.

Obligatory Kliban reference: Mousie Dung.

Also, I will never, ever get used to Zhou Enlai. Not that it ever comes up in conversation.

@nojo: I began reading lots of Chinese and Japanese poetry in translation in the early sixties. (Now that I wrote that, I realize that my grandmother started reading Chinese poetry in translation to me before I even got to kindergarten in the late forties.) It was hard enough to become familiar with the Wade-Giles renderings of the poets’ names (and I never did get to be any good at all at pronouncing transliterated Chinese words). Then along came pinyin, and I find myself wondering who the hell is Li Bai?

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