Jewish World Review Nov 1, 2011 / 4 Mar-Cheshvan 5772
TV that's leading the people away from core socialist values
By Dale McFeatters
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a nation that is a stickler for social control, you would think China’s communist rulers would be happy with television programming that kept most of its billion people inside, sitting slack-jawed and catatonic in front of their televisions, their brains atrophied by the kind of programming that has the same effect here.
But the leadership feels shows that are “overly entertaining” are leading the people away from “core socialist values.” And what kind of shows would these be? The inquiring minds of American network programmers want to know; we can’t always be stealing our shows from the Brits.
Actually, there are no surprises among the shows leading the people away from the tedious precepts of Chairman Mao, who, we learned after his death, never followed any of them in favor of a life of X-rated decadence that even we here in Gomorrah couldn’t get on their air.
As The Associated Press reports, the offending shows include “programs dealing with marital troubles (presumably not of the “I Love Lucy” variety) and matchmaking (again we’re guessing, but probably not “Sex and the City”), talent shows, game shows, variety shows, talk shows and reality programs.”
The Communist leaders probably neither want nor need my help — at least, they’ve never asked unless it was in one of those emails that are written entirely in hanzi characters — but I think they’re asking for trouble here. If the women can’t watch programs clearly aimed at them — and who else would marital troubles and matchmaking be aimed at? — they will have all kind of free time on their hands while the men are watching soccer and ping-pong in the other room and may overthrow the government just to get out of the house.
There were two incidents that led Beijing to the conclusion that a public overstimulated by TV was drifting from true socialists values.
Recently, a truck driver hit Xiong Aoke, a 5-year-old child walking to school. The driver then reportedly reversed his truck over the boy to make sure he was dead.
Soon after, 2-year-old Wang Yue was hit by a vehicle whose driver did not stop and then run over a second time by another vehicle that also didn’t stop. Neither did 18 passersby who looked at the fatally injured boy and walked on.
Apparently hit-and-run accidents are not “core socialist values.” This lack of Good Samaritanship may have more to do with Chinese law than insufficient adherence to socialism. It’s cheaper in China to pay damages for killing someone than be stuck with the victim’s hospital bills. And apparently the truck driver and Xiong Aoke’s parents argued for several hours about the amount of the damages while the child lay under the truck.
As for the passersby, the Chinese police are notorious for arresting the person closest to the accident when they arrive. Best to keep walking, maybe not a core socialist value but simple common sense in the People’s Republic.
The government-run broadcast stations will continue to air their largely unwatched reports on hydroelectric power, the harvest and Chinese super trains, at least those that manage to stay on the tracks.
The 24 satellite TV stations, which the Chinese public does watch, have been instructed by the government in its inimitable prose: “Resolutely oppose money worship, hedonism, and extreme individualism and arduously correct bad tendencies such as abusing one’s powers, fakery, unprincipled acts, and harming others for profit.”
Since Chinese TV won’t be using these topics, how fast do you think they could throw together some scripts and rush a few pilots over here?
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