China remains one of the world’s most repressive regimes in the denial of free speech, association, and other basic rights in the “People’s Paradise.” The latest target of the government is music. The regime has posted a list of 120 tunes that can no longer be played in the country as harmful to “public morality.” Obviously, even the censors manning “Great Firewall of China” may have a hard time keeping music from the masses.
The Provisional Regulations on Administration of Internet Culture list such songs as “I Love Taiwanese Girls” as threatening the stability of the nation. Clearly, you cannot love Taiwanese girls without loving Taiwan. Taiwanese songs are particularly prominent on the list. There is Chang Csun Yuk’s song entitled “Fart”, featuring the line: “There are some people in the world who like farting while doing nothing.” That may have come to close to the role of Chinese censors.
Then there is the song “Shaking Your Head for Fun” which was put on the list because the name sounds the same as “head shaking pill” which is slang for ecstasy.
In a speech last year, the president, Xi Jinping, said that artists should present socialist values and not carry the “stench of money.” It is an almost comical statement. One of the first things that you see in flying into Beijing are massive homes of the ruling elite, who live like Red Aristocracy in the People’s Paradise.
It will be fascinating to watch how successful the country will be in banning these songs. The United States went through a period of such comical efforts to ban rock and roll, including prosecution of some artists for indecency. That was only a few decades ago. It failed miserably. Indeed, the forbidden nature of some music only fueled the interest among young people. China would be far better to seek to eliminate the “stench of money” in the rampant corruption of its officials and the evasion of work and environmental safety laws.