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As you can probably tell things are taking a serious turn this year, with the banning of puns from state media, a complete outline of everything deemed unfit for viewing, and outlawing smoking from all indoor spaces (artists smoke a lot of cigarettes). Sooner or later we'll all be living in a sort of Eisenhower-era America with only the Chinese equivalent of Beaver Cleaver to keep our televisions or smart devices company.

In the latest move, China's media watchdogs would like to send filmmakers and TV producers to the countryside. They want creatives to experience this other more agrarian side of Chinese life and maybe to get their paws off social media and direct pay for a month or two, while working side by side with the peasantry. This could make for some pretty groundbreaking reality programming like Farming With the Stars, Real Housewives of Yuanyang County, or China's Top Farmer

The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (a mouthful of an organization) will organize 30 day trips to give artists and producers a correct view of the kind of work the government would consider worthy of a term like masterpiece and help rid the industry of the stench of money. Terrible yucky money has been the source of artistic patronage since those early formative years of Greco-Roman frescos depicting orgies in cartoon-like detail.

Also art can’t be just for art’s sake, because who would want legions of Chris Burden copycats shooting each other in the arm with low caliber rifles. Transgressive art like this would be the extreme end of the spectrum, but all the same it wouldn’t align with party politics.

Photo: www.asianews.it


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