Mao flicks on the radio. Music fills the room, half-notes like the feet of birds. It is a martial tune, the prelude from “The Long March.” Then there are quotations from Chairman Mao, read in a voice saturated with conviction, if a trifle nasal. A selection of the Chairman’s poetry follows. The three constantly-read articles. And then the aphorism for the hour. Mao sits back, the gelid features imperceptibly softening from their habitual expression of abdominal anguish. He closes his eyes.