China: ‘Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers’

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In China, friends and family of the deceased may have to do without a special form of funeral entertainment: strippers

Primatologisteditor-commen-desk alerted me to this item from WSJ’s Real Time China Report. Hopefully before those Communist Chinese government party-killers crush this unique tradition, we can convince our Hong Kong Bureau Chief to attend one of these events in person? In the meantime, Te-Ping Chen and Josh Chin have it covered:

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“The point of inviting strippers, some of whom performed with snakes, was to attract large crowds to the deceased’s funeral – seen as a harbinger of good fortune in the afterlife. ‘It’s to give them face,’ one villager explained. ‘Otherwise no one would come'”.

Te-Ping Chen and Josh Chin: According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances, which are held with the goal of drawing more mourners.

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Pictures of a funeral in the city of Handan in northern Hebei province last month showed a dancer removing her bra as assembled parents and children watched. They were widely circulated online, prompting much opprobrium. In its Thursday statement, the Ministry of Culture cited “obscene” performances in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, as well as in Handan, and pledged to crack down on such lascivious last rites.

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“This has severely polluted the local cultural life. These troupes only care about money. As for whether it’s legal, or proper, or what effect it has on local customs, they don’t think much about it.”

— China Central Television

In the Handan incident earlier this year, the ministry said, six performers had arrived to offer an erotic dance at the funeral of an elderly resident. Investigators were dispatched and the performance was found to have violated public security regulations, with the person responsible for the performing troupe in question detained administratively for 15 days and fined 70,000 yuan (about $11,300), the statement said. The government condemned such performances for corrupting the social atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry »


Adult Breastfeeding Ring Busted in China

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…continued from Alex Linder‘s report:

…Police had been clued in to the organizations by a Beijing News investigative report in June that revealed quite a bit of milky details about the websites and their clientele. One of the websites offered two levels of services: “pure” and “impure.” The first being just your standard, run-of-the-mill breastfeeding for a paltry 40,000 RMB a month, while the second denotes a “deeper level of service” (read: sex) for 50,000 RMB a month. Once you choose your plan you are free to browse the site and find the right “milk mama” for you. Read the rest of this entry »


北京独立影像展被停办 China Shuts Down Beijing Independent Film Festival

http://deredactie.be

Started as a film forum in 2006, the festival over the years has grown to be one of the most important events for China’s independent films, but also has attracted the attention of authorities eager to regulate free speech.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening on Saturday, said organizers of an event that has become a rare and influential venue for the showing of films that could be critical of the government.Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 7.43.45 PM-764937

“It’s very clear that the Xi Jinping regime is determined to control the ideological realm, which has not been emphasized so much for a long time.”

— Chris Berry, professor of film studies at King’s College London

The Beijing Independent Film Festival’s artistic director, Wang Hongwei, and executive director, Fan Rong, said authorities had forced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled to run through Aug. 31. Wang and Fan are with the Li Xianting Film Fund, the festival’s organizer.

Li Xianting, founder of the film fund and a movie critic, posted memos on social media over the past week saying that state security personnel had been pressuring him to cancel the festival and that he had come under police surveillance. Both Wang and Fan verified the authenticity of Li’s posts. Read the rest of this entry »


Xi’s Neo-Maoist Mass Line Campaign Casts A Dark Shadow Over China

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The government’s insistence on ideological supremacy has coincided with the reprinting of Mao’s “Little Red Book.” Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

China’s mass line campaign is well in gear: self-criticisms are grabbing headlines, ideological warfare against all things foreign is underway and China’s online world continues its descent into digital hell. As it nears its fourth month, the government is trying its level best to make clear that this mass line is the future.

Since its inception, constant reminders have been issued that this crusade is here to stay. Last Wednesday, Xi Jinping urged further self-criticisms in line with the campaign; the previous week saw calls from Liu Yunshan to keep the mass line “strict and honest”; and earlier that month the Party issued warnings about mooncake moderation.

The mass line campaign began in early June as part of President Xi Jinping’s new anti-corruption effort–a tenure that has thus far seen a litany of high-profile corruption cases. In the beginning, the purpose of the campaign was to attack “formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.” Unsurprisingly, the mass line concept did not stay long in the realm of political theater; it quickly began targeting police officers and netizens through the nation’s now notorious online rumor crackdown. Read the rest of this entry »


China’s return to Mao-style self-criticism

Chad Crowe(Photo: Lintao Zhang, AP)

Chad Crowe(Photo: Lintao Zhang, AP)

Marxist Autocratic crackdown efforts seen as tactic to strengthen legitimacy of Communist Party.

BEIJING — Leaders worldwide may secretly envy a classic move from the Chinese president’s playbook. Tired of local officials who are corrupt, arrogant or just plain slackers? Then make them confess their errors on nationwide television.

Xi Jinping hit the road this week to Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing, whose 73 million residents have built an economy the size of Colombia’s. Instead of praise, Xi pushed Hebei’s leaders to criticize each other, and themselves, on camera.

“Criticisms and self-criticisms are forceful weapons to solve contradictions within the party,” Xi told them, in his far more important role as boss of China’s ruling Communist Party. “It’s a dose of good medicine,” he said, to boost unity, rectify decadent work styles and impose “democratic centralism.”

With language and methods drawn from the often bloody rule of Chairman Mao, Xi’s play reveals the party’s urgent need to strengthen its appeal and legitimacy in the eyes of a population deeply cynical about officials’ behavior and widespread corruption. Read the rest of this entry »