Friday, April 15, 2011

Banned in China

I wasn't going to post again today, but I was reminded of this.

It appears that about 70% of everything I have ever written would be banned in China if it was a movie or television show.

And before anyone says 'Well, it's only China'...one of my favorite movies of all time was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. A Chinese movie. That would be banned under the new restrictions. Technically, it's not a ban, it's a warning not to misrepresent history, but...

Let's look at the scope of this:
Time travel - there goes Doctor Who (which, ironically, was first envisioned as an educational show to teach kids about history).
Fantasy - no more Lord of the Rings, because people might think it was real?
Random compilations of mythical stories - The Chinese people have a rich body of mythology. For it not to be used would be a tragedy. And sure...people will get things wrong. Hey. It's fiction.
Bizarre plots - so, from now on, everything has to make sense?
Absurd techniques - there goes the entire Hong Kong action film industry. Sleeve fu, anyone?
Propagating feudal superstitions - so, any historical drama set before the revolution has to show everything in a bad light. I suppose that one makes sense for Communists.
Fatalism - no more 'destined heroes', another stock of Hong Kong action films.
Reincarnation - I'm betting plenty of Chinese still believe in this.
Ambiguous moral lessons - uh...what? What do they mean by that?
A lack of positive thinking - so, no tragedies. No horror, certainly. Nothing but happy endings. Yawn.

Actually, it almost seems like an attack on the entire action film industry in Hong Kong. Of course, this kind of censorship stops nothing. Sends it underground, sure. But at the same time, what is the Chinese government really afraid of here?

Maybe they are afraid of people realizing fiction is fiction...and thus recognizing the lies told to them by their own government.

Of course, here we just have people who want to ban everything not suitable for their three year old...