Marty McFly’s time warping DeLorean has been impounded by the Chinese government along with Bill and Ted’s phone booth and Dr. Who’s . . . what was it that Dr. Who drove? China recently banned time travel (not the real kind, that would be silly). Movies and shows including “time travel, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, fantasy and mythical stories” (or as we say in America – “everything”) have all landed on the China “do not watch list”. We haven’t actually heard anything about this from anyone in China but the Western media is on it like piranhas on a capsized meat boat.
There is sooo much Culture Blend content here. I could go at least 50 different directions with this but I’ve been reading about what makes blogs awesome. Turns out 50 points about stuff nobody but the writer cares about didn’t make the list. So here you go . . . short and punchy, to the point, three quick thoughts on this fascinating story that you should all be more interested in. Slackers.
1. East is not West: You heard it here first. One thing I’ve noticed in the Western uproar against this blatant censorship (present blog post included but only to make an ironic point) is an oblivious outcry against the unthinkable banishment of, wait for it . . . Western time traveling heros. As if the travesty is that 1.4 billion Chinese people cannot have a Back to the Future marathon at their church youth group lock-in. Two newsflashes – One, 1.39 billion Chinese have never heard of Back to the Future and Two, the ones who have can still buy it for a dollar at the neighborhood, pirated DVD shop or download it for nothing on the neighborhood, pirated internet. The government move was actually a response to a whole new (wildly popular) genre of Chinese drama in which modern people travel to ancient times and fall in love. Censors worry that heritage is being disrespected and (more realistically) may be concerned that modern life leaves something to be desired. Not so much a Communist plot to crush Quantum Leap (I loved that show).
2. Values Vary: This is where I could write a book but people don’t read books anymore. They read blogs. It’s true. I read it. On a blog. Freedom (or at least the appearance of it) is the highest value in many Western countries. We live it. We breath it. We rename our junk food after it and go to war for it. In our minds freedom is the most important thing and in that context censorship is deplorable. In contrast, the highest value in China is harmony (or at least the appearance of it). Collective symbiotic, unitarian well oiledness. Everything works together and authority is the glue that keeps it from falling apart. In that context censorship is a non-issue.
3. It was a Police Box: That’s what Dr. Who drove through time and if you knew that you are a nerd. Don’t worry though, if you are indeed that much of a nerd you can probably figure out a way to travel back in time and become cool.
Unless you live in China.
Then you’re stuck.
Watch this. It made me laugh.