Holy ai caramba! First Gordon Brown and now China. My late communist Dad must be spinning at the news that UK Chinese ambassador Madam Fu Ying has declared herself a fan of The X Factor. Never mind China and human rights, what about Simon Cowell’s crimes against humanity?
According to The Independent report:
‘She praised twins John and Edward’s “determination and spirit in the face of a lot of criticism”, and wrote that Stacey had been “brave”. The ambassador added that she thought Jamie’s “sincere and energetic voice and dance really get the crowd going”. She reserved praise for finalists Danyl and Olly, who were “great showmen”, while Lloyd and Joe had “a lot of potential” and Lucie had a “lovely voice”.’
I think I speak for many of us when I say, “Hunh?”
Is Madam Fu the new Ninotchka? Does she secretly wear Silk Stockings while studying the texts of Marx and Milton Friedman? Old-school communists regarded such frivolity as counter-revolutionary prolefeed churned out by machines for the pleasure of the human cogs in the capitalist machine but times they are a-changin’.
Here’s what the spookily prescient George Orwell had to say about culture and social engineering in his novel 1984:
“And the Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs of the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a lower level for the benefit of the proletariat. There was a whole chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, crime and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator. There was even a whole sub-section — Pornosec, it was called in Newspeak — engaged in producing the lowest kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets and which no Party member, other than those who worked on it, was permitted to look at.”
Whether this is a PR stunt to offset the row over the noisy fans camped outside the wannabe stars house next door to the ambassador’s official residence in North London we’ll never know, but populist much?
Other showbiz news — China’s black pop idol Lou Jing.
Anna’s food blog here: