So, I log in to my Yahoo home page and see an AP story on how a state-published Chinese newspaper has declared the new Guns 'n' Roses album an attack on the Chinese people and their nation. The headline: "American band releases album venomously attacking China".
The article in the Global Mail did not go into any detail as far as lyrical content. Rather, It seemed to object solely to the title of the album: "Chinese Democracy".
That sound you just heard was me smacking my forehead in disbelief. Well, not disbelief, exactly, because this is actually very believable, or even predictable, given the Communist Party's thin skin. Rather than ignore this album, to shrug it off as they should have, they've just shown again what heights of inanity you can achieve when you really try. Idiots.
You'd think that with all of the public relations push around the Olympics to try and show the West that China is a happy and friendly place that the Chinese would not be bothered by something as minor as an album title from a band that was last relevant over 15 years ago.
Here, I guess it makes sense to acknowledge the difference between the average Joe - What's Chinese for Joe, anyway? - on the streets and the men in power at the Communist Party. The average citizen probably is a friendly guy, even if he's learned not to speak out against the government. When I went to Hong Kong in 2004 - I know, not the best representation of your everyday average Chinese guy, to paraphrase Joe Walsh - the people I met were all very welcoming, friendly, accommodating, intellectually curious, even.
The rulers, on the contrary, have shown once again just how paranoid, petty, and small they are. I guess totalitarians always are, for fear that they will be overthrown. Duh, right? But it just seems so absurd that the leadership, via this article, would even need to acknowledge the album, much less label it a threat. The only thing that Axl Rose and company are a threat to is a recording budget. Well, maybe aging gracefully, or leaving when your welcome has worn out.
Anyway, back on rant: what a bunch of crybabies. Maybe they think their article will make others think twice before being mean to China. "BAD! Bad rock band!" More seriously, I guess it can just serve their internal propaganda machine, making the populus aware of the "threats" against them and tightening the Party's grasp on power. Nothing like stirring up a little xenophobia. I feel sorry for the Chinese - at least when that happens over here, we can vote the jokers out of office. With our democracy.
Hmm, maybe the Party is onto something after all...