Here's another utterly non-theological comment:
The other day I was watching a DVD of the Australian Opera's production of Puccini's Turandot. From the early 1990's, I think. The production itself is (was) splendid. The performances were very good (not quite great, but very good; I think the cast was Australian, but I didn't recognize any of them). Puccini's music, of course, is absolutely wonderful. But surely that has got to be the dumbest plot in the whole of the standard operatic repertoire. (And I'm including the cycle The Ring of the Nibelungs, which is pretty dumb. Great music, though much too long -- Wagner had no self-discipline -- but a pretty dumb plot.) The only character in Turandot who is likeable at all is the slave girl Liu, and she ends up killing herself (well, I probably would too, in the circumstances). The old king Timur is dumb as a box of rocks -- no wonder he was dethroned. Prince Calaf is even more of a jerk than B. F. Pinkerton, and that's saying a lot. Turandot herself, of course, desperately needs to get over herself, and I doubt that falling for Calaf is going to do the job.
Where was Mao Zedong when the people of Peking (Beijing) really needed him?