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There are times when silence has the loudest voice
August 24, 2011 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Songs by Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Katy Perry are among those newly banned by China's culture ministry. Chinese Internet sites must remove them by 15 September in the interests of "national cultural security". Last May China banned a Mongolian protest song and arrested the student who made it, while Tibetan singer Tashi Dhondup was sentanced to one year and seven months’ imprisonment for producing a music album with “subversive songs”. Funnily enough, they also banned 'Guns'n'Roses' long awaited Chinese Democracy. No word yet on China Crisis.
posted by joannemullen (35 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
"national cultural insecurity"
posted by vidur at 6:48 PM on August 24, 2011


The power to boogie recall.
posted by clavdivs at 6:52 PM on August 24, 2011


If they drain all the Lady Gaga out of their internet, it will collapse under the weight of all the cat pictures.
posted by hermitosis at 6:52 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Banning Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Katy Perry to protect China's ruling struction? Wow, talk about doing the right thing for the wrong reason. :-)
posted by Yakuman at 6:52 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


How long before Ai Weiwei goes all Footloose on their asses and has everyone on the mainland dancing to "California Gurls" and "Bad Romance"?
posted by reenum at 6:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It puzzles me when Western social conservatives assume that communist nations are immoral. Historical (and current) evidence demonstrates that most communist governments tend to be opposed to the same things they are. To whit, if you ignore that little disagreement over religious freedom, both groups have a lot in common in terms of "likes" and "dislikes."
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:58 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe the Chinese are on to something.
posted by punkfloyd at 6:59 PM on August 24, 2011


Weird, I thought Dhondrup was released earlier this year?
posted by elizardbits at 7:00 PM on August 24, 2011


It puzzles me when Western social conservatives assume that communist nations are immoral. Historical (and current) evidence demonstrates that most communist governments tend to be opposed to the same things they are.

I never want to hear anything made by Katy Perry and her synthesizer assistants, and I demand the ability to eject people who would play Katy Perry in my hypothetical restaurant and to seize my hypothetical children's Katy Perry CDs, but I respect the right of others to play Katy Perry in the privacy of their homes. Much like smoking weed or listening to Glenn Beck.

Maybe this makes me socially progressive?
posted by shii at 7:08 PM on August 24, 2011


I doubt that there are many in the Chinese ruling class who really believe American pop music will cause the peasants to revolt. They have to ban popular things in order to make sure they have solid legal reasons to break and enter wherever they want.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:11 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, North Korea always plays the villain, that country over which we assert our cultural superiority, but sometimes I really wonder if China is that much worse. I mean, the principles enshrined in our constitution are basically a joke to them. Look at the results. Freedom means very little in Chinese society.

Although I would love to see a foreign journalist pull off some survey to get the average citizen's take on this censorship stuff.
posted by stroke_count at 7:13 PM on August 24, 2011


Oh, China. You make America look like a good place to raise a family of more than one.
posted by nola at 7:22 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


the principles enshrined in our constitution are basically a joke to them

Lol, the principles enshrined in your constitution are basically a joke to the Americans charged with protecting it, too.

I mean, I don't go in for the false equivalency CCP trolls on the net generally go in for, but I wouldn't get too het up about it. Stuff like this is more a smokescreen to cover the more pervasive and egregious abuses engaged in. Most Chinese don't know who Katy Perry is, and don't care. But it keeps people talking whilst more important things go past.
posted by smoke at 7:28 PM on August 24, 2011


The stories that get traction in the western press are those about banning western sources, particularly famous cultural exports. Arrests of local protest artists or writers have much less traction, even though they are much more serious in terms of their consequences, because they don't resonate for us.

I wonder if our limited taste for foreign information and culture has a more profound exclusionary effect than does foreign government censorship.

P.S. The first story suggested that the Chinese crackdown may in part be enforcing copyrights. Am I correct in assuming that this would completely redeem them in the eyes of Metafilter?
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:32 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


They aren't the only ones who should've banned "Chinese Democracy".
posted by IvoShandor at 7:39 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, baby, just you shut your mouth.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:41 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, Americans! You may not have a working 4th Amendment any more, but at least no one can take away your Lady Gaga downloads! USA, Fuck Yeah!
posted by briank at 7:41 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was over there last year, I heard Lady Gaga probably every single time I left my dorm room. I heard more Lady Gaga there than I have ever heard in America. This will be... difficult to enforce.

For what it's worth, stuff like Friends is also banned in China, and is also incredibly, incredibly popular. So popular that the government almost bought the rights so they could show it on TV... until they realized its moral stances were opposed to theirs. So it's officially banned... but I didn't meet a single college student who hadn't seen it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:57 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


For what it's worth I assume the Chines government in no way reprepsents the views or desires of the Chines people. Mush like every country on the planet.
posted by nola at 8:31 PM on August 24, 2011


How long before Ai Weiwei goes all Footloose on their asses

Ai Weiwei: imprisoned but not silenced
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM on August 24, 2011


This is the third such notice the Ministry of Culture has issued this year. Unlike the previous two installments, the MoC notice omits the actual list, which was carried instead on official news portals.

The lists contain a hodgepodge of Chinese-language songs and Korean, Japanese, English, and other artists. The first mentions tracks by Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera, Katharine Mcphee, KT Tunstall, Kylie Minogue. The second (list is a .doc file on this page) includes Avril, Intocable, Yelle, Noah and the Whale, Lady Gaga ("Born This Way"), Devotchka, and Quarterfly.
posted by zhwj at 9:07 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much Gaga paid to get banned in China? Did she have to pay in Yuan, or do they still accept greenbacks?
posted by b1tr0t at 9:13 PM on August 24, 2011


*moves around thousands imprisoned without trial speaking about supporting human rights/social justice with "prior restraint" censorship like Liu Xiaobo, skirts brain washing centers/psychiatric institutions, dodges "disappeared" activists like Gao Zhisheng or indefinitely detained like AIDS patient Tian Xi, religious folk routinely beaten and tortured in "brain-washing" centers and psychiatric institutions (well, at least until they sign a statement renouncing their beliefs), steps over legions of dead bodies in Urumqi city, 600-odd thousand in Tibet, and the Jasmine Revolution as a whole*

Yeah, this Katy Perry thing is a real drag. WTF China?

Lol, the principles enshrined in your constitution are basically a joke to the Americans charged with protecting it, too.

I think if the U.S. government cracked down on bloggers or religion or blocked internet searches we'd be out in the streets insane with outrage overturning cars and setting fires the next day. Free Speech like that is important to us.
Not like it's just another war or anything.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:23 PM on August 24, 2011


That garbage is banned in my house, too.
posted by Decani at 9:32 PM on August 24, 2011


Clueless tyrants are just so cute when they try to run a nanny state! When Har Mar Superstar isn't banned but Beyonce is, well, you're doing it wrong, guys.
posted by saysthis at 10:03 PM on August 24, 2011


Lol, the principles enshrined in your constitution are basically a joke to the Americans charged with protecting it, too.

I defend people's constitutional due process rights every day. They aren't a "joke."
posted by Ironmouth at 10:24 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you read Chinese and enjoy muddled thinking and question-begging on an industrial scale, the Baidu encyclopaedia page on 国家文化安全 is a fine example of the bollocks that passes for theory in the ministries these days.
posted by Abiezer at 11:25 PM on August 24, 2011


what the op failed to mention was that China finally banned Backstreet Boys' I Want It That Way. about time... i was just getting sick of that song ; )
posted by flyinghamster at 4:01 AM on August 25, 2011


@Abiezer

that link is very disturbing primarily because it reminds me precisely of the way a minority of americans try to control the majority

i don't know chinese but even with google translate you can gather the gist.
posted by flyinghamster at 4:18 AM on August 25, 2011


"I am deeply concerned about what's reported in The Sydney Morning Herald," Gillard told reporters. "Our system of democracy, our system of government relies on the fact that office bearers like police commissioners independently of political processes exercise their best judgment."



LOL, who the fuck is running that cowtown political show. All the men get caught withthere cock in some prediciment.
posted by clavdivs at 6:35 AM on August 25, 2011


Unintentional humor: Intocable, one of the bands zhwj mentioned above as banned, means Untouchable, but in Spanish we use the same word for "touching" and for "playing" (as in playing an instrument or playing a song). So the name of the band (Unplayable) could be considered a self-fulfilling prophecy, at least in China.
posted by micayetoca at 7:15 AM on August 25, 2011


So the Chinese government is repressive. Yeah, but at least they have good musical taste.
posted by txmon at 7:42 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


This might just be a rare instance of the altruism residing in the very heart of the CCP reaching the surface. While the decision makers look ridiculous, the Gaga-lady gets publicity (money), her fans on the mainland get to listen to their favorite music while breaking the law (excitement), the public at large is spared from horrible music (freedom) and Metafilter gets something to discuss (fun/ad money).

If you think about it, everybody but the Party itself wins.
posted by klue at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


They aren't the only ones who should've banned "Chinese Democracy".

No kidding. I believe it wasn't banned for its subversive content, so much as its subversive quality.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:35 AM on August 25, 2011


The City: Beijing. Ai Weiwei finds China’s capital is a prison where people go mad.
posted by homunculus at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2011


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