On Reincarnation

As everyone knows, the Chinese Communist Party is fully committed to reincarnating itself as the Qing dynasty, but with more aircraft carriers and a Communist Dalai Lama who tells choking city dwellers to be less materialistic. In today’s lead editorial, Huanqiu Shibao puts it this way: “众所周知,中国藏传佛教的活佛转世有一整套历史定制和宗教仪轨,持续三百多年,从清朝开始,新达赖的确定必须得到中央政府的批准。达赖这几年不断抛出人们闻所未闻的异端邪说,称他可以转世为外国人、女人等等。最近又干脆说他可以不转世了.”

In other news, women who believe in stopping sexual harassment on public transport in China have been targeted and detained by the state. It’s almost as if the Standing Committee of the CCP (where women hold 2 of the 25 posts) believes that Chinese women should take a cue from their North Korean counterparts and spend International Women’s Day busying themselves with statements about their good fortune to live in the glow of a brilliant patriarch.

As the agile voice of Barbara Hannigan recently wrote about conducting, another quasi-mystical field of leadership: “It is neither male nor female. Convention has kept the field dominated by men.” Maybe the next Dalai Lama will appear in female form, after all.

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