Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Friday, February 12, 2016

Relics of the Cultural Revolution

I visited the Museum of Nationalities in Nanning today. It is a museum dedicated to cultural artifacts of primarily the Chinese minority peoples, but includes those of many other nations as well. Here it is, from the top of nearby Qian Xiu Shan.

Like most Chinese museums, it wastes a lot of space with an enormous entry hall.

Anyway, among the various exhibits there was one devoted to the Cultural Revolution! Why is there a display on the Cultural Revolution in the Museum of Nationalities? Who knows? But why look a gift horse in the mouth?

First up--ceramics. China has a long history of producing ceramics, and is one of the great powers in the ceramic world. Here are some examples of ceramics produced during the cultural revolution.

First off, I notice a lot of teapots and cups here. This is our first clue that the Cultural Revolution was something really new and different in Chinese history. When you look through ancient Chinese artifacts, do you find a lot of tea-drinking paraphernalia? No! You find some, but wine flasks are far more common. Visit any Chinese museum, and before long you will see many, many, many containers for wine. From this I infer that wine and its drinking were of critical importance to the Chinese throughout much of their history. However, it seems that during the Cultural Revolution, tea was more important than wine.

Of course, most of the extremists driving the CR were young people. Maybe too young to be drinking wine. Or maybe drinking wine was too bourgeois for them.

Next up: propaganda posters.

Sorry about the odd angles--I'm trying to cut down on reflections.

What makes a good propaganda poster? Evidently, the colour red.

Speaking or red, it's Mao's little red book.

Like many other acts of political craziness in history, the Cultural Revolution was dependent on youth. The young have energy, and are prone to zealotry.

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