Posted by Joel Martinsen on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 12:30 AM
Nicholas Tse's new album, Forget Me Not (毋忘我), arrived on the mainland just before the October holiday. It's a "best-of" collection, mostly of songs he wrote for other pop stars and which he's now making his own. Fans eagerly anticipating the new title song will have to look elsewhere, however, since it's not on the record - the censors at SARFT felt that it was too tragic for listeners here.
This is not really news - back in June when the single was sent to radio stations, it never cleared the censors, who apparently were tripped up by the line, "Since my youth I've had a feeling that I'll die young" (我自幼直觉便是很早死). At the time, Nic said, "At first, my manager Mani wouldn't let me sing it and opposed the use of those lyrics. But I insisted on singing it, even if it would get banned on the mainland."
The press is reporting on the ban this week because Cecilia Cheung's new husband was in town to promote the album, and the wedding stuff is apparently played out. In a recent interview, Nicholas elaborated on the circumstances of the ban:
It may express his innermost feelings, but the lyrics are actually by hit machine Lin Xi. The music is based on "Forget Me Not" by Yutaka Ozaki, a Japanese singer who died in 1992 at just 26 years of age.
Nicholas Tse identifies the Japanese song as a major influence on his career, and he sings a tribute version of the original on the Hong Kong edition of his new album. Mainland fans are simply out of luck.
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.