Banned Songs because of Social Immorality

Earlier this week, I posted about China censoring sites and people want to get over the Great Firewall of China for info. not fed to them by the government, and do so by using VPN.  This post will be on China censoring songs (not artists) with contents that go against what the Communist Party deem as socially immoral, such as sex and politically fueled.

For being against the Communist Party, that’s obviously “immoral” because they’re causing rifts in society, which could lead to social disorder (conservatively).  Suicide and other things along mental health should be paid attention to, because Chinese people are people too, so it shouldn’t be strange that they’re afflicted with mental illness, depression and other issues that should be addressed for a mentally healthy population.  For sex, plain old sex shouldn’t be immoral; after all, Chinese families had plenty of sex to have plenty of sons to pass on the family line.  I think there are a few things influencing these artists.

First, bad Western influences.  A lot of the Western music’s lyrics are by guys writing about superficial qualities on girls and that they want to have sex with girls.  Female artists are also to blame for dressing scantily in their music videos and concerts to get buyers to buy their music and concert tickets.  You don’t need to prove to me that you’re a girl; I believe you.

Second, heterosexual guys (see article).  Need I elaborate? Guys like to look at pretty girls and are highly charged with testosterone to want more than just look at them.

Third, fun.  They just want to have fun.  School-age youths are preparing for tests all the time, competing in school for the best grades, and other not-fun what-nots, they want to have fun.  Post-school people also want to escape work (most likely mundane jobs or no interest in their jobs) and want to have some recreational fun.

Since I write lyrics for EACh, it’s Elle’s lyrics (except one and a half) that we get to read.  I have three in the third book that I would only want people in their twenties and older to read, though maybe one could be allowed for older teens.  Feelings between certain characters get spicier in the book, and lyrics complements the book, since it’s music-based with an emphasis on lyrics.  Perhaps it would be better for everyone if people heard artists’ explanations for writing their lyrics, so people would try to find solutions to issues, or rule that those lyrics are indecent for certain age groups, or something.

I think the government should have kept quiet with their blacklisted songs, because now that they’re out, you’re a young person who wants to find out what the song is if you haven’t heard it.  That just creates more popularity for those you want to shun/shame.  However, if you’re the parents/relatives of stated band/artist, then there will be mixed result.  Parents especially don’t want a bad reputation, but if your parents don’t support the oppressive Chinese government, then they would approve of your anti-Communist Party song.

I copied and pasted the article below from the L.A. Times.  Visit the source for links to those 5 songs.

Five songs the Chinese censors don’t want you to hear

By JONATHAN KAIMAN contact the reporter

For Chinese musicians, topics like flatulence, Taiwanese girls and suicide are out. Songs that respect so-called “social morality” are in. Or else.

China’s Ministry of Culture this week issued a blacklist of 120 songs — including titles such as “Don’t Want to Go to School,” “All Must Die” and “Fart” — and demanded that websites remove them within 15 days or face “severe punishment.”

Notably, many of the songs were written by underground hip-hop groups, suggesting that Beijing has turned its eye on subcultures that it previously deemed too small or marginal to warrant much interest.

The statement said that the listed songs “trumpeted obscenity, violence and crime, or harmed social morality.“ Although few were outright political, many touched on topics that the ruling Communist Party considers taboo (mainly sex).

“We have compiled a blacklist of these 120 songs which violated the rules, to further strengthen the regulation of online culture market in a targeted way,” said Liu Qiang, deputy director of the ministry’s Market Department, according to the statement released Monday.

The songs also will be banned at karaoke bars and live performances, according to the statement. The list, it added, would be updated regularly.

Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau, the director of a music discussion group in Beijing, said that the authorities have long censored songs that they found objectionable.

“But in the past they wouldn’t give any explanation, any announcement at all — they’d try to be as low key as possible,” he said. “Now they feel they have a strong enough case to say publicly, ‘These songs are not OK.'”

Handpicked by the Los Angeles Times’ Beijing bureau, here are five of the blacklist’s greatest hits as they appear on YouTube. Some include potentially disturbing images and coarse language, for the most part in Mandarin.

“Beijing Evening News,” by In3

Why China’s devaluation of the yuan matters so much
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The list’s first 17 songs are all by In3, a Beijing-based underground hip hop group with a devoted local following. One of the group’s best-known tracks, “Beijing Evening News” offers up a scathing critique of the capital’s injustice and inequality. Standout lines include:

“Beijing Evening News: some sleep in underpasses, while others use public funds to pay for banquets”

“Beijing Evening News: when you’re sick, you need to take medication, but the medical bills are too high and nobody will cover you.”

One venue manager who had planned a live In3’s performance for later this month told theTimes that he was unsure whether it could proceed as scheduled.

Yet the group doesn’t seem too perturbed by its renegade status: “We’re numbers one through 17 … !” it wrote in a social media post just after the announcement.

“Suicide Diary,” by Xinjiekou

Despite Beijing-based rap duo Xinjiekou’s rough-and-tumble appearance — lead singer Zhang Han’s gray hoodie and baseball cap call to mind Eminem — the group has enjoyed more mainstream success than In3.

Not that they wear it on their sleeves. Here are the first few lines from their 2013 song “Suicide Diary”:

“Once upon a time I tried to use a blade to end this … life.

I even hate my parents who brought me into this world.

The desire to become a corpse has overcome everything”

Zhang said in a phone interview that he planned to stop performing his blacklisted songs.

“We want to capture a certain attitude in our music, but we don’t want to violate any of the cultural authorities’ demands,” he said. “From now on, we’d like to focus on spreading more positive energy.”

“Song of the Grass Mud Horse,” by an anonymous Internet user

At first listen, this song sounds like an innocent ditty telling the story of a “grass mud horse” battling “river crabs” in the “Ma Le Desert.” In fact, it’s a pointed anti-censorship anthem — each of these places and characters, pronounced just a bit differently, becomes a euphemism for censorship or a vulgar slur. The song was posted online in 2009 and quickly went viral; its author remains anonymous.

“I Love Taiwanese Girls,” by MC Hotdog

In this hit 2006 single, 37-year-old Taiwanese rap artist MC Hotdog lists the many things he must accomplish to successfully court a Taiwanese girl, such as installing a pole-dancing pole in his home and funding trips to China’s Hainan island.

“Put your hands in the air, throw your bra over here,” he raps.

“Shake Your Ass,” by Luo Baiji

Taiwanese American DJ Luo Baiji, also known as DJ Jerry, was born in Los Angeles and moved to Taiwan after he graduated from high school. This song is an English-Chinese bilingual ode to the female rear.

Miley Cyrus videos, it should be noted, remain on Chinese video-sharing sites, for the moment censorship-free.

Tommy Yang in the Times’ Beijing bureau contributed to this report


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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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