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金培力 CCTV FOLLIES at Fulbright, Knight, Nieman Fellow.

Jan 21, 2023, 18 tweets

CCTV FOLLIES 1.21 Chunwan Song and Dance Fest

Where bad politics meets bad art and tone-deaf propaganda

China's answer to the meticulously groomed boy band star extols praise of comrade Xi Jinping as the core leader of the communist party.
(the rabbit kids have big ears but hopefully are too young to understand)

Here's a look at a rousing anthem that opens with bubbling praise of the "victorious 20th" and goes on to illustrate just a few of Xi's many accomplishments with a focus on those trademark Pilot Free trade zones.

If the trade zones can do without a pilot, maybe China can too.

The crescendo of excitement and musical build up to the pilot free trade zone segment is photogenic, but not as photogenic as....

the Pilot Free Trade Zones!

It's just indescribable, the effect of matching these powerful images with the inspirational song being sung.

And don't forget the Great Hall where the victorious 20th achieved victory!

The photo of the "historic" meeting was apparently taken before Hu Jintao was strong-armed off the stage.

As regular viewers of CCTV Follies know, ecologically dubious dams, massive power lines and happy tractors chugging along to the tune of bumper harvests are standard stock agitprop shots, trotted out to demonstrate Xi's success in 2022.

But let's not forget the PLA Navy as it expands its benign influence in the South Seas and the Pacific

Or the heavy laden cargo ships that go out full and come back empty in keeping with Xi's lopsided trade goals.

Or China's men in arms, made to stand so stationary in such straight lines they've acquired a terracotta patina.

And what a joy it was to take Hong Kong back into the fold with a dose of tough love, celebrating victory with the artful touch of helicopters dragging the red flag over the fragrant harbour.

The concluding scene of this very long and very boring song brings to mind the East is Red, but the East is Red, propaganda just the same, had better music and choreography.

Wow! What a number!

And it's nice that so many ordinary Chinese with no connection whatsoever to the ruling CCP were invited to celebrate the nation's new year.

But wait...there's more!

Next up: Ersatz minorities dressed in ersatz minority costume perform ersatz traditional dances...
They keep chanting "I love you" over and over though it's not clear who they are talking to.

If you fancy watching the collision of "We are the World" and "It's a Small World After All" with undertones of the Spartacus Youth league and stifling bureaucratic inertia of the 20th party congress with Xi at the helm, this is for you.

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