I know progress when I see it. With our Progressive President appointing a hard core anti-Semite to UN ambassadorship, the US has caught up with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, I’m getting referrals for “Samantha Power negligee“.
I hear that the young lady described in media reports as Michael Jackson’s “daughter” attempted suicide a few weeks ago. At some point the unfortunate minor lived in the sprawling mansion of the late pop sensation; she bears his surname and she has some sort of claim to his wealth. But we all know that she is not nor has ever been Michael Jackson’s daughter. The drug-addled celebrity arranged some sort of guardianship of several children, but merely because certain individuals have custody of minors doesn’t make them a mommy or a daddy (or even parent 1 and parent 2).
The most exiting current gossip item is Mooochelle feeling upstaged by the Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan. The Western media has been fawning over the “glamorous”, “elegant” and “dazzling” Chinese entry on the First Lady circuit to such an extent that Michelle refused to attend the recent two-day Chinese American summit in California. The better half of the international has-been claimed that she needs to be with her daughters at the end of academic year, and the Chicoms did not buy the excuse.
How bad could that little summit be? Mobama already paraded her get ups alongside the Spanish and British royalty and Carla Bruni in the latter’s fresh-faced days. Speaking of fresh-faced, unlike Bruni, Michelle grows cheeks with uncharacteristic caution. In fashion, she’s all about excess, but her plastic surgery options are pretty restrained. And speaking of cheeks, there is Putin.
What must be really intimidating about Ms. Peng is not that she is easy on the eyes or dresses smartly, but that, being a soprano, she has a real skill. How would you feel about an obviously talented counterpart if you were an affirmative action baby?
Some in the West are trying to make sense out of Ms. Peng’s talents. NY Mag, for instance, deemed her “campy” and “opera-singing”, which is a bit of wishful thinking. No doubt Peng is perfectly capable of executing an aria, but she isn’t known for performing Puccini; her domain is state-sponsored cheesiness. I bet my pinkie the commie diva will get a homage from many faithful impersonators in the upcoming Pride parades, but no, she herself is not camp, camp being an ironic and gay Western aesthetic. The patriotic songs she hums mandate sincerity, and I don’t sens an iota of ironic detachment in any of her acts. Peng Liyuan was deemed earnest enough to be trusted to perform for the troops in the aftermath of the Tiananmen massacre. Does the Chinese public find any irony in the First Lady’s musical numbers? Consider the following reaction of a [presumably] Chinese American listener:
I asked the Cut’s resident Chinese speaker Diana Tsui to translate. “It’s just about how great China is,” she said after listening to the first one. “I’m in your heart, you’re in my heart. Sons and daughters of China.” I could watch this stuff all day long.
Curious reaction. Six minutes of this video nearly triggered gag reflex in this blogger:
In New York the boa trimming Peng’s dress would be camp. Scary thing is, Peng is absolutely sincere about that feather boa. And the boa is not the scariest thing about the lady.
Everything about this video is dehumanizing. There are the dancers whose faces never merit a close up and who move in near-perfect synchronicity, but without any passion (Soviet ballerinas, trained in Romantic tradition, combined technical excellence with passion, and the ones I know scorn Chinese ballet. It’s mere acrobatics, they say.) I particularly deplore the sight of the audiences that rises on Peng’s cue and sings along. (And to think that such obedience can be mastered without sophisticated surveillance technology — no wonder Ms. O is jealous!) Camp is not my cup of tea, and I’m a bit tired of irony in general, but I’ll take camp over Tiananmen pop any time.
As far as offstage fashion is concerned, Peng didn’t seem to do any horrible errors, which is really all we ask from political women. No lingerie, please, and for God’s sake, no dadaism. Yeah, she wore a Pierrot a few times, but her outbreaks of poor taste are confined to stage.
Compare it to Moochelle in her pre-celluloid days. Yep, this is our down-to-Earth First Lady prior to the face jobs:
The wife of the Leader of the Free World should feel intimidated by a Chicom propaganda tool, no matter how pretty or polished. Not if she, FLOTUS, is proud of what her country stands — or once stood — for. If anything she should feel sorry for somebody like Peng, a woman gifted with a great singing voice who wastes her talents. An individual brought up in the free world has to convince himself that Peng’s art is some sort of elaborate parody in order to even begin to enjoy it.