Sunday, November 9, 2008

Episodes In The History of Personality Cults

It's been a long time - I don't regret leaving you. Anyway, today I thought I would share a fun ye-ye song with you. Ye-ye, apparently, is an upbeat sort of 60s bubblegum French pop music. This particular song comes from Jean Luc-Godard's pretty fucking brilliant film, La Chinoise. It's about a bunch of rich kids who decide to start a Maoist terrorist cell in their apartment. They spend most of the movie arguing over arcane distinctions between various theories of Marxism, stacking their Little Red Books (the Chinese youth, at the time, all carried around a little red book of Mao's sayings), and dressing up as Vietnamese peasants running from toy airplanes. But then they decide to kill some Russian cultural minister (he's one of the "fake," or to use the correct terminology, "revisionist" communists), and things get interesting. Anyway, Godard specially commissioned this bizarrely catchy bubblegum pastiche of Mao's sayings, Mao Mao, from hippie ye-ye singer Claude Channes, as a sort of parody of adolescent Maoist enthusiasm. (Or at least that's how I take it; it's hard to say for sure, given that Godard became a Maoist himself a year after he made this movie.) In this moment of Obama frenzy, the youth vote actually mattering for once, and aestheticized politics, I thought it was just a little a propos. Not that I think Obama's a socialist or anything; I am a Republican but I'm not retarded. The song's in French, so we've got a translation, a video from the film, and a zshare. I would have posted the video on youtube with subtitles, but it's the trailer so it isn't quite the same thing as seeing how the song's used in the film. If you like, though, you can watch that instead. Enjoy.

French Dude: Vietnam burns and me I spurn Mao Mao
Johnson giggles and me I wiggle Mao Mao
Napalm runs and me I gun Mao Mao
Cities die and me I cry Mao Mao
Whores cry and me I sigh Mao Mao
The rice is mad and me a cad
Woman: It's the Little Red Book
That makes it all move
French Dude: Imperialism lays down the law
Revolution is not a party
The A-bomb is a paper tiger
The masses are the real heroes
The Yanks kill and me I read Mao Mao
The jester is king and me I sing Mao Mao
The bombs go off and me I scoff Mao Mao
Girls run and me I follow Mao Mao
The Russians eat and me I dance Mao Mao
I denounce and I renounce Mao Mao
Woman: It's the Little Red Book
That makes it all move

French Dude: The soldiers are the foundation of the army
Real power grows out of the barrel of a gun
The monsters will be defeated
The enemy doesn't fall of his own accord
Mao Mao, Mao Mao
Mao Mao, Mao Mao

Claude Channes - Mao Mao.

No comments: