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CPPCC: Exterminate the Super Girls

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Alongside the movement for a "civilized" Internet, the anti-Super Girls campaign seems to be picking up steam as well. China Times published an interview yesterday with Liu Zhongde, one of the most outspoken critics of the Super Girls phenomenon.

Liu Zhongde is a CPPCC delegate and director of the Science, Education, Culture, Health, and Sport Commission of the CPPCC. He talked to China Times about the great silent majority of people who agree with him that the Super Girls phenomenon is a threat China's art and culture and a source of harm to its young people. In some of the strongest statements against the program to date, Liu argues that "Super Girls is certainly the choice of the market, but we can't have working people reveling all day in low culture."

Accompanying the Liu Zhongde interview is an editorial that sums up the problem in this way: "Culture truly needs to hold fast, especially at times when a powerful culture invades. Blindly indulging in the market's decision will only lead to the soul of a people getting lost." We're not quite back at 1983-level "Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign" rhetoric, but the elements are all there: cultural invasion, suspicion of market forces, spiritual health, preservation of national culture, and allegations of popular entertainment spreading corruption among the youth, all facing off against a new concept of socialist morality.


China Times: Many people think that you are "China's loudest voice criticising Super Girls." Perhaps there are many people who are angry at the Super Girls program but don't dare speak out. What are your views on this phenomenon?
Liu Zhongde: This is understandable. There are many reasons; some people just want to keep things simple, others don't want to poke at this particular hornets' nest, and still others, out of a desire to protect their own petty or important osition, are afraid of offending anyone, and lack a sense of responsibility toward their own country, ethnicity, and the culture of their ethnicity. Some people have tiring lives - it's just that simple. They may have their own difficulties, we must understand, so I am not asking them all to be like me and bring up their opinions directly. It's not that I want to stifle popular art, but rather than I want to elevate the level of popular art. Popular art is an inevitable product of particular laws and social development and has a use that cannot be replaced. At the same time, there are issues with direction. With high art, there is the question of national support.

CT: Super Girls started to get hot last year. When did you first start to be aware of it?
Liu: Super Girls exploded on the scene last year. At first I wasn't aware, and only later realized. My views on Super Girls are not some blind spouting off; I have a theoretical basis. Cultural products are special commodities. The majority of cultural products possess a commercial side, they are well suited to enter the market and are subject to the influence of the market's rules that regulate production of artworks.

But cultural products have another side, distinct from material goods. So the market cannot completely decide the success and failure of cultural products. Some organizations have a system where the lowest are cut, which sounds like a good idea, but upon careful consideration it doesn't stand up to examination.

Cultural products cannot rely entirely on the market's choices and selections. What the market chooses are not necessarily good things. Super Girls is certainly the choice of the market, but we can't have working people reveling all day in low culture. We need to let the public continually interact with high art, to elevate their aesthetic sensibility. This is the responsibility of cultural workers.

CT: Many people find watching Super Girls to be very enjoyable. What's your take?
Liu: The audience watches this program with a distorted mentality, and this presents a dire picture to a nation and a nationality. The audience watches the program under a distorted mentality and in an unhealthy condition. Open the doors and windows to let in fresh air, and flies and mosquitos are bound to come in too. This is nothing to be surprised at; it is completely understandable. The problem lies in how we face these mosquitos and flies. We cannot let our youth be contaminated in the midst of entertainment and laughter.

CT: What lies hidden behind the Super Girls phenomenon?
Liu: Behind the Super Girls entertainment lies poison for the youth. Take a look at the youth who are following the Super Girls now. See what state of mind they are in, what direction they are headed. Take a look at how the audiences are watching this program, and you'll find that amid unthinking laughter people have been corrupted. The cultural departments have a responsibility to prevent this corruption; they must strengthen their administration of this sort of program.

CT: What specific views and actions do you have concerning Super Girls?
Liu: In the case of government departments that oversee culture and art, they should not permit something like Super Girls to exist. This is because there is a guidance problem with entertainment programs. For other departments, they should not permit this phenomenon to exist. Entertainment programs present a problem of guidance to the future of our nationality and country. Look at the youth all over the country who have been hurt. Those participating in Super Girls have been hurt, those watching the program have been hurt. This is my view.

CT: Will a program like Super Girls be canceled in the future?
Liu: SARFT has a document, so this kind of activity already should not be continuing. Key here is persistence of administrative documents - what they say doesn't count, and Super Girls keeps on messing around. It's just like the document prohibiting TV stations from inserting their own ads - TV stations still insert them just like they used to.

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There are currently 17 Comments for CPPCC: Exterminate the Super Girls.

Comments on CPPCC: Exterminate the Super Girls

I like the last paragraph: "Key here is persistence of administrative documents - what they say doesn't count".

He seems to be saying that despite his high falutin documents, nothing is likely to change.

So is anyone actually defending Super Girls? Because that's an argument I'd love to read.

The fact that this moralizing turd is so threatened by Super Girls means it needs no defense.
Replace "Super Girls" with "rock and roll" and you've got the same nonsense that right-wing, so-called "Christian" bigots and rednecks were spewing in the USA in the 1950s and early '60s.

Here you are, Brendan: http://www.kuaibao.net/cdsb/GB/2006/04/26/81549.html - "I want to be poisoned by the Super Girls - what can you do about it?"

And the ever-reliable Li Yinhe takes a more Voltaire-like stance: "I don't know why a certain person advises clamping down on Super Girls; I truly don't know which article of the Constitution the program has violated" from today's China Times.

Yeah, Jeremy, it seems like he's implying that his side is losing the culture wars, but he's still urging everyone to fight back before all is lost.

Pety note on translation:
民族 shouldn't always be translated as ethnicity, definitly not here.
I'm sure he didn't mean to stress Han culture as opposed to minority culture.
In these such cases 'minzu' merely means "people" or "nation" (simply the people as opposed to the country), e.g. 中华民族.
We laowai's tend to see ethnic affairs when they're not always there.

Three words: Die entarte kunst.

"Behind the Super Girls entertainment lies poison for the youth."

Maybe. But Adolph Ziegler said it better: "Around us, you see the monstrous products of lunacy, impudence, dilettantism and degeneracy."

So true.

liu is the former culture minister as i remember. it's interesting to guess if he is still incumbent how will he handle this matter (although sarft seems to be the department directly in charge here), or it would't be existing at all from the beginning? personally i hold ambivalent opinions towards this show: on one hand it's really distasteful to me, on the other, cctv runs similar programmes which we hardly can say is any better than this one. for people like me we don't have much choices here.;-(

For those of us who are not familiar with the German language (or History), "Die Entartete Kunst" in English means "Degenrate Art". This was the name or nickname for the Nazi's effort to ban modern art in favor of more correct Nazi/heroic realism.

I'd say the comparisson is a bit hard on the Chinese, especially since similar comments about televised "talent" shows are uttered by politicians the world over.

Dan Wei,

You are more or less a famous writter in the Blog world, Chinese would say it a "角儿" , however, i couldn't get it much that why you picked up Girls again? There are so many things in the world that can be your commentaries!

They are so disgusting! I should have saved my breakfast had i expected to see your post this morning.

I fed up with the topic already, though i may vomit again in future.

I once wrote "Supergirls PK Superman" on my Blog. (Octobor archive) But now seems to plain.

You're right, Dror, it was a bit hard on the Chinese (or more specifically on Mr. Liu). Certainly politicians through the ages have railed against pop culture and smut and --heaven knows-- the intersection between the two. But when I see language this florid used to invoke the specter of undermining correct, cultural values, it is what comes to mind.

Now, is Supergirls modern art? Discuss!

Sir Will. Let me begin by stating that I do not like the word art in general. I think that people know what moves them and when, and labeling things as "art" means excluding all other things in this world.

A bit like the Jewish/Daoist concept of a unified universal logic/creator that shuns definition, art is anything but that which is called art.

As for Super Voice girl, I would say that it is Postmodern Art par excellence.

And as for Herr Ziegler and the likes, I can't resist quoting his compatriot and ideological rival Theodor Adorno: "A German is someone who cannot tell a lie without believing it himself. "

this is one of the latests that chinese "elites" tried to fight back and regain their power of discourse.

the others include:
- a debate between Han and Bai on what defines a "real" literature
- a debate on whether public opinions on the internet should influence the government policy making

you are watching a painful but undoubted process of the collapse of a thousand-year-old hierarchy society

To Brendan,
If you can read Chinese or if you have any frd who can read Chinese, please check out this linkhttp://bbs.163.com/board/index.html?url=http%3A//bbs.163.com/board/rep.jsp%3Fb%3Dshishi%26i%3D1531293%26p%3D0
It will be a perfect defence for Super Girls.

Yes indeed, the Super Girls are exactly the kind of trash that China copies from the West to forget about its own values. In the long run this will bring China down, just as it is now bringing the West down. Something should be done about it and fast. Putting the Super Girls in jail would be a good start, and that would only be it: a start. There are tens, hundreds and thousands of Chinese self-proclaimed artists who are doing great damage to China's Communist oriented sense of mutual help. Why destroy great brotherhood and fraternities for th etrash of Western Music. Hang the Super Girls and hang all artists, who are propagating dangerous Western non-sense and putting the seeds of dangerous values such as freedom in the minds of impressionable and easy-to-manipulate young Chinese people. The government should have done something long ago. Unite around this message to act together! Death for the Super Girls! Long live the great Chinese national spirit.

Death to the Super Girls? Are you sick Ma Wei. You certainly are not from Singapore. Mao is dead and the rest of the Chinese communist party and government officials should promptly imitate Mao. Maybe you should follow them as well.

2006 SUPER GIRLS IS THE BEST!!! I really like to watch Tan Wei Wei's performance in stage

Super Girls? Plural? I switched the show on the other weekend and I could have sworn that they were all the same girl.

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