A large number, possibly a majority, of the shoppers there are the privileged scions of the Communist Party. Their parents and grandparents are the ones who played along and did their best not to make waves, even cooperated, throughout the mass murders of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.Ironies indeed, except Simon seems not to have asked himself why the Chinese have all that money. Hint: They got a lot of it from us, and not all in the days of Comrade Obama, neither.
Now, they and their kids are reaping the harvest of their modern state capitalist system that still flies under the banner of communism, a false flag operation if ever there was one. Ironies abound, and those same ironies provide a snapshot of what constitutes “leftism” in our own culture.
Anyway Simon is not really concerned with foreigners but with the domestic terrorists called liberals:
Leftism has devolved into a kind of scam run not only on others but also on the self. Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism and then broadcasting it to the public, thus providing cover for the most conventionally greedy and selfish behaviors. We see that in our society all the time: the quondam Marxists of Hollywood, the media, and the academy blathering on about economic equality while living lives the Medici could not have dreamed of.Son of a buck -- there's money in this? You bastards have been holding out on me! I've been writing for the Village Voice for years -- surely I have carloads of Moscow gold coming!
Relatively unbridled capitalism has always been the best way out of this, the best way to true social mobility, but our nomenklatura doesn’t want to admit this because it might threaten them and their perquisites. It would blow their cover.I dunno -- the Crash of '08 gave pretty good cover all by itself to the idea of "unbridled capitalism" as a panacea.
I suspect those Chinese shoppers knew this better than anyone, having lived through a similar experience ratcheted up to the nth degree. Although I was too polite to do it, I wanted to question them. I would have loved to know what they say to each other in the privacy of their own homes, not that they would be likely to tell me.Unfairly deprived of my communist lottery winnings as I have been, I would have paid cash money to see Simon grilling the "Chinese shoppers." You, chop chop! You mamasan and papasan, they wash the brains, yes? In my country this call irony! Obama, him big commie, yes?
But there was something to learn from watching them. I felt like a detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown.A detective who doesn't want to ask questions to which he doesn't already have the answers. But he's still got the fedora, and the hangdog grace of a lone wolf:
I also thought of myself, of the way I was when I was a leftist. Yes, I drove a Porsche then (a used one). And had a house in the Hollywood Hills. And ate at gourmet restaurants. And there were plenty like me. I was part of a class. I felt safe and protected for many years, though finally I just left it. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy anymore. Or maybe I just lost the ability to convince myself of my own altruism.You might imagine Simon is eating off a hot plate in a rooming house with his integrity to keep him warm. But he's still a player, in fact more of one than before: His last film, A Better Life, was well-reviewed by the pinkos he disdains as lying nomenklatura. But keep that under your hat -- if a fella's gonna keep his place in modern conservatism, he's got to hold onto his victim status.
Whatever the case, when it comes to the truth about leftism, it’s about the cover it gives. Or, as Bob Towne put it: “It’s Chinatown.”Actually it's Hollywood; like modern conservatism, a land of dreams. Except people are buying what Hollywood sells.