Posted by Joel Martinsen on Saturday, June 16, 2007 at 4:33 PM
This little punk song has been circulating on Chinese video sharing sites in recent weeks (they don't stay up long, so this is the Youtube version):
The band is Pangu (盘古, aka Punk God), and the song is 奥你妈的运 (called "BeijingFuckingOlympia" on Youtube). The lyrics are simple, says lead singer Ao Bo in his introductory patter: "In Taiyuan there's an underground band called BeijingFuckingOlympia / That name is not fucking bad / It's really fucking awesome." Then there's the repeated phrase 操你妈的北京奥你妈的运, or roughly "Fuck Beijing's Olympic fucking games."
The performance shown here is from the 2006 Say Yes to Taiwan festival. The online buzz caught the attention of the authorities in Shanxi, who probably were reacting to the sensitive politics and the band's "splittist" tendencies, or perhaps their association to jailed dissident Zhang Lin, when they issued the following notice:
On 4 June, the Taiyuan Municipal Cultural Market Management Office then circulated the notice under the recursive title "Notice on the circulation of the Provincial Culture Department's 'Notice on the investigation and handling of illegal transmission of the song BeijingFuckingOlympia'."
But Pangu's from Nanchang, not Taiyuan, and doesn't include members named Guo Yifei or Yu Hao. Did the cultural authorities even watch the video they're condemning? Like the lyrics state, 奥你妈的运 is the name of an underground punk band from Taiyuan (that now seems to be billed as "Water Way"). In 2002, that band did indeed issue a CD called "An Ideal Ten Kuai" (一个理想十块钱).
Will Diceng Studios really be punished for a performance they had nothing to do with? Or is this just a round-about way of demonstrating that efforts are being made to protect Olympic IP?
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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.
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+ 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.