Kungfu-ing the Censors

The legacy of the 18th Party Congress, the massive governmental meeting whose most famous act saw the unveiling of the next generation of China’s leadership, lives on. Around Christmas-time, a good month-plus after the Party’s Party comes a video that ends the year with a bang.

An anti-censorship video riffing off of Cantopop (and international-pop) superstar Jay Chou‘s “Nunchucks” has been making the rounds. Fans of Chou, (and, perhaps, fans of Seth Rogan) may recognize the song from the film The Green Hornet, in which Chou co-starred; it is one of two of his contributions to the soundtrack. In the hands of photographer Gao Yuan, though, the tune takes a very different tack, beginning with its subtle title, “Censorship You Motherfucker Bitch.”

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Bring Culture to the Party

Photo, Reuters via http://bit.ly/RwegMt

The Big Party just wrapped up in Beijing has meant many things to many people. “Sparta” (si ba da or 斯巴达), as the Sino-weboverse has dubbed the 18th Party Congress (shi ba da 十八大) in order to refer to the otherwise unreferrable-to, has taken over. Sure, there’s a transition of power, but what seems to be clearest in all the transitioning is that daily life for your average capital-city residents has been made difficult – to say nothing of what it’s done to the city’s pigeon-flyers and ping-pong-ball distributors and to taxi passengers driven by less-than-fragrant drivers. Beyond the Middle Kingdom, the world waited in anticipation to hear who would step up as the country’s CEO and who would be on the Board of Directors. The world’s media seemed transfixed, breathing with bate, as the world watched, carefully, who helped whom sit where, who strode up to the stage in front of whom, and, you know, other matters of international concern.

Among all the transitional talk comes reflections on China’s relationship with various nations; how the new boss(es) will do on that front. But here’s what nobody seems to be talking about: Culture.

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