The Communist Party of China’s 18th Congress just wrapped and its new leaders have been anointed. As the New York Times says, “The line-up is stocked with conservatives and older officials.”
Gandering at their faces today, I kept having the nagging feeling that I’d seen this sort of older, all male, aggressively conservative photo-spread before.
And then it hit me: the Mormon Church’s leadership hierarchy.
I grew up in very Mormon Utah and, until the age of 9 or so, was raised Mormon. So, I spent formative years looking at church leadership photo-spreads like this:
There is much in common between the two groups: The stiffly tidy haircuts. The conservative dark suits, white shirts and ties. The advanced age. The over-whelming maleness. The representation of a single ethnic group. Even the selection process for both groups is highly secretive and done behind closed doors.
Both groups also seem to have a thing for ridiculous over-sized show-chairs:
And both of these groups of old, “chosen” men (and their predecessors) have shaped my own life in small ways.
To the Mormons, I give credit for:
- The small flash of deviance I feel when ordering a glass of wine or a cup of coffee when visiting Utah.
- My verbal tick of still occasionally substituting “heck” for “hell.”
- The song, “Pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked, and walked, and walked and walked….” that I sing to my daughter when she starts whining about being tired.
To the Communist Party of China, I give credit for:
- The small flash of deviance I feel when looking at Facebook in Mainland China.
- My love of simplified Chinese characters to the horror of many Hongkongers.
- The regular flashbacks I have of China’s National Anthem, “March of the Volunteers,” which I heard played three times per day when I lived behind a secondary school in Zhuhai.
What about you? What groups of old, mono-ethnic men have shaped your life in surprising ways?