At EastSouthWestNorth, Roland Soong looks at some modern day reactions to the revolutionary opera The White Haired Girl, one of the Eight Model Plays:
editor and cultural critic Xiong Yuanyi came to the Central China Normal University’s Hankou campus to deliver a talk on popular culture. Xiong Yuanyi mentioned the notion that “The White Haired Girl should marry Huang Shiren” which is fashionable among young people. For some, this means that the sympathy that used to exist for poor and oppressed people in the 1940’s has been replaced by blind adoration of money.
At the talk, the teenage student Xiao Xie stood up and said, “If Huang Shiren were alive today, he is definitely somebody with excellent family conditions. He may also have handsome looks combined with elegance and refined taste. If he has the money as well, why not marry him? Even if he is a bit older, it does not matter.”
Another female first-year university student named Cai from the Department of Literature caused a stir with this comment: “If I were to marry the rich man Huang Shiren, I will donate his money to charitable causes and help needy people.”