I use to talk a lot with my good friend Slitty eye about just how vulgar China has become recently. China used to be a rigid class society, and the gentry, landlords et al. upper classes were educated, sophisticated people. When capitalism came the gentry came to adopt upper class English manners, took on commerce, novel writing, and so on. The 30s were sort of the golden age for this fusion culture, and it gave us some very good literature.
But today? Hah. You probably couldn't tell apart Chinese TV from MTV or any other American crap. Its all full of dating shows, sensationalistic sentimental stories, American-idol clones, cheap porn and all other modern vulgarities. I blogged about it, thinking that modernity's equalizing force is too strong that even China's politburo couldn't stop it.
Well I was wrong. Turns out the CCP is cracking down on vulgarity. TV entertainment shows on all major 34 channels will be cut a whopping 67%, their place taken by news programmes or something wholesome. They even forbid the use of Hong Kong and Taiwanese starlets! Out with those Americanized fags and sluts.
I found the original text of the regulation, and I love it.
To avoid an excessive focus on entertainment, and to stop the vulgarization trend; to satisfy the demands of the greater audience for more diversity and better taste.
Indeed. TV stations are forbidden to make ranking according to audience share, or taking any decisions based on that. That's as a good denial of democracy as I can think of.
TV stations are required to broadcast programmes which promote traditional virtues of the Chinese nation and core Socialist values.
There you go. I think that traditional chinese virtues and socialist values are quite different actually, but the intentions are good.
I don't know if this will make most China change into a pious paradise of traditional virtue; probably not, postmodernism's rot is well rooted in China today, and young people are full of hipster crap too. But at least the government has the guts to use its weapons for good.