Lady Gaga is a threat to China’s “national cultural security,” according to the censors at the country’s Ministry of Culture.
As part of the “regulation of management of Internet culture,” music download sites have been told to remove around 100 songs, including 20 foreign songs, or face the consequences, with Lady Gaga leading the list of censored artists with six of her latest album songs, including “Judas.”
she is definitely a threat to cultural relevance and integrity, but nobody will do us here in the US any similar favors.
Hehe, these stories usually get very misrepresented in the US as part of the general China-bashing atmosphere, with a distinctly Orientalist angle on the unreasonably draconian nature of East Asian governance, conjuring images of goose-stepping parades, Kim Il Jong’s grey suit and glasses, and mindless masses of wooden conformists.
It’s true that in China, state policy names “spiritual pollution” as a threat to national cultural security; which, when you think about it, is probably true. It may seem unreasonable to Westerners for the state to intervene in such matters; Westerners prefer to leave such matters in the hands of corporations. Corporations and Senate hearings spearheaded by Tipper Gore attempting to ban John Denver and John Lennon from commercial radio.
Personally I find censorship in the US to be far more effective and consciousness-crushing than in China. The bottom line in China is that you can get any music you want; the black market can’t possibly be controlled by the state, it’s simply too big to regulate. As the Chinese saying goes, the mountains are high and the emperor is far away; meaning, Beijing can frown upon Lady Gaga, but people will do whatever they want anyway.
A difference, however, is that in China, a dissident like Ai Weiwei can lambast his government and receive international media coverage, whereas in the US, how much mass media coverage is given to imprisoned US dissidents like Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu Jamal? In the US, it’s Free Lady Gaga but keep a lid on Noam Chomsky.
Yes, thank you! So few people get this, including a lot of people who should know better. There’s less censorship in the West because the combination of corporate monopoly media, mass apathy and the low level of political consciousness are much more effective at preserving the status quo.