Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Cult of Personality

Sometimes this blog almost writes itself. And I'd like to thank a former SZ Daily coworker for this unwitting contribution. She sent me an e-mail the other day asking for my help in "polishing" an English translation of what she described as a "very recent (Chinese) MTV song." Due to time constraints (I don't have a lot lately) I was unable to help her, but I've cut and pasted what she sent me here.
It's notable, too, that this came to me at the same time that the Chinese govt. has been wringing its hands over the state of its young people - many of whom have been spending a lot of time online and dying their hair green. The government's response has been a shotgun approach that has varied from pouring money into "Youth Palaces" - a national network of after-school community centers; delaying the release of decadent western flicks like Spider-Man II and the latest Harry Potter until school begins, shutting down thousands of Internet cafes, banning Hong Kong pop diva Faye Wong's song In the Name of Love for using the word "opium" and issuing statements like this from the Culture Ministry regarding Britney Spears' plans for a China tour.
"Relevant departments will carry out strict reviews of Briney Spears' performance clothing" to ensure she doesn't reveal too much. It also presumably includes heavily promoting catchy chart-toppers like the following:

Forever Deng Xiapeng (Deng Xiaoping remembered forever)

Lrics by Tang Yuesheng, Music by Yuan Wenli

There is (was) a Chinese leader

People dearly (affectionately) call (called ) him Xiaoping

He followed Mao Zedong to make (carry out ) revolution

Finished the Long March and again designed a new Long March

Xiaoping is (was) a strong (staunch) person

He became even stronger (stauncher) after several vicissitudes (ups and downs )

He led us to walk to the world

Opened up to the outside world and again built a new Great Wall

Xiaoping is (was) a sincere (honest) person

Magnanimous all his life, he pursued truth

He best understood the people's mind

His smile was the purest and truest when the people were glad (happy)

We are concerned about him, we adore (love) him

The son of the people! Deng Xiaoping!

We are concerned about him, we adore (love) him

The son of China! Deng Xiaoping!

Xiaoping, Xiaoping!

So we call (called) your name!

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