A Golden Oldie in the charts of inhuman absurdity, from Jonathan Spence’s biography of Mao Zedong:
An announcement from the “Beijing Number 26 Middle School Red Guards,” dated August 1966, gave the kind of program that was to be followed by countless others. Every street was to have a quotation form Chairman Mao prominently displayed, and loudspeakers at every intersection and in all parks were to broadcast his thought. Every household as well as a trains and buses, bicycles and pedicabs, had to have a picture of Mao on its walls. Ticket takers on trains and buses should all declaim Mao’s thought. Every bookstore had to stock Mao’s quotations, and every hand in China had to hold one. No one could wear bluejeans, tight pants, “weird women’s outfits,” or have “slick hairdos or wear rocket shoes.” No perfumes or beauty creams could be used. No one could keep pet fish, cats, or dogs, or raise fighting crickets. No shop could sell classical books.
All those identified by the masses as landlords, hooligans, rightists, and capitalists had to wear a plaque identifying themselves as such every time they went out. The minimum amount of persons living in a room could be three — all other space had to be given to the state housing bureaus. Children should criticize their elders, and students their teachers. No one under thirty-five might smoke or drink. Hospital service would be simplified, and “complicated treatment must be abolished”; doctors had to write their prescriptions legibly, and not use English words. All schools and colleges were to combine study with productive labor and farm work. As a proof of its own transformation, the “Number 26 Middle School” would change its name, effective immediately, to “The Maoism School.”