Monday, April 10, 2006

No Sympathy For The Devil

What's happened to the Rolling Stones?

Mick, Keef and the boys used to be the paradigm of rock and roll rebellion. Now look at them - shilling for a mortgage company and playing ball with the Red Menace. I guess maybe they "grew up." Or, "sold out."

Like Google and Yahoo, the Stones are so eager to gain access to China that they're willing to go along with Beijing's oppressive dictates.

For the legendary group, it's agreeing to chop a few of their most suggestive - and popular - songs from their live set, lest impressionable Chinese be corrupted by their decadent Western licentiousness. (They were under no such resrictions in Hong Kong a while back.)

China is a powerful country, and I have no wish to be on their bad side. But I've never been comfortable with the way we all seem to pretend that China's just like any other country. Tianamen Square may have faded fast like most news items, but it's still fresh in my mind.

The short story is, while China is taking on some traits of a "free" market, it's also the country with scores of abandoned baby girls, who are the victims both of the country's "one child policy" and of overly selective parents.

It's a country of Draconian laws, where trading porn can get you life in prison, and fraud can get you the death penalty (Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling are lucky to live in a country where this crime gets you a slap on the wrist, or sometimes a pat on the back).

Then there are those unfortunate dietary choices, which I won't go any further into.

So, I guess where the Stones may understandably not want to deprive a country's citizens of their music because of some disagreeable political policies (and also deprive themselves of hard-earned yuans), I can find no sympathy for the devil of an autocratic Chinese government.

I do sympathize with ordinary Chinese, who should be able to freely enjoy the Stones' music.


In the 80s it was the right thing not to play Sun City. I'm not so sure it's yet time to play the Forbidden City.

26 comments:

Paddys_Gal said...

Dammit ! I've been listening to the Stones for 30 years and attended a few of their concerts, but I have yet to be corrupted by the vile and immoral lyrics. I really need to try harder.

Good post, Pete.

Jack K. said...

I remember in Nam we were warned not to buy any food from the (howard johnson) push cart vendors. There was some admonishment about monky meat. Who knows?

I suppose if we take care to feed our main sources of meat, the Chinese should be able to do the same thing. No insult intended k9, old chap. Just don't go to China or other countries in that part of the world.

Now to the more important issue. I suspect that the oil moguls running our govenrment believe that old saying about letting the camel get its nose under the tent flap will give it access to the interior in no time. Do you think that capitalism looks anything like a camel sniffing at China's tent?

Just a thought.

Bird said...

seems to me the chinese government would be better off banning street-fighting man - "it's time for violent revolution."

the stones are eager to get their music into china - but look at the cost of the ticket - one ticket is the average annual income of your typical worker. so who will be attending this concert?

the chinese economically elite and those with connections.

i am sadly disappointed in the stones - but then, they've never had much of a social or political consience and have always been after the big buck. nonetheless, i have always liked their music, though the last tour and the super bowl performance have made me realize i am content with their old stuff on disc and tape - i have no need to line their coffers any further (besides, jaggers chicken-wing, flapping triceps are a real turn-off).

china's one child policy and the culture's gender inequalities are the driving force behind those abandoned baby girls. if you can only have one child, and you're a typical chinese, you want a boy- more status to the family. and the pressure is intense to have boys. i've read accounts of women who are beaten for bearing a girl. not in the upper classes (and don't for a minute think that just because china is communist it has no class order - it does and always has).

and about that fraud stuff - the chinese versions of ken delay and jeff skilling would never receive the death penalty - not if they had the government in their pocket or vice versa.

Hellpig said...

Jack K. said...
I remember in Nam we were warned not to buy any food from the (howard johnson) push cart vendors.


Now you need the same warning in L.A. or T.J. and coming to community near you soon.

I suppose if we take care to feed our main sources of meat, the Chinese should be able to do the same thing

You mean the chickens or pigs? cause that is their main sorce of meat. your thinking of N.Korea Jack

If China gains access to M.E. oil what do you think the outcome will be?a new car for the worker or a new tank pointed at the yank?

Pete Bogs said...

bird - yes, the ticket prices for the China concerts were unreasonably high... they are here too, but in a country like that with so little disposable income, it's wrong... I actually thought about suggesting that it would be acceptable for them to play China if the concerts were done for free; only their travel and related expenses would be covered. Alas...

that's what I meant about choosy parents - boys are valued higher than girls (I don't understand this, and I can't see being a parent and thinking like that...)

Hellpig said...

Well Bogs when you have 1.4 billion people to feed I think your outlook would be different.The reason they value the male over the female is purely economics.If they are only allowed 1 child the male will bring more income to a poverty stricken family thus sustaining the family unit.

As for the Stone(age)'s playing in China it's pure propaganda

Pete Bogs said...

hell - I already knew they have a huge population... all that stuff you're justifying with your "rational" approach is still unjustifiable in my book... dogs deserve better (an earlier post of mine) than that... and certainly Chinese girls do, too! I am not questioning the "why," because I already know it... basically I am saying, this is inexcusable anyhow...

perhaps if China were a more open country, people wouldn't be packed so tight within their borders... oh, wait, you guys are against immigration... never mind...

Ben said...

Hi Pete

Not in the mood to comment on politics and money right now.

Had a really tough day witnessing some stuff outside of the blogosphere.

Seeing the wording of your link was a great gift. Thank you!

Hellpig said...

First off it would be Migration not immigration if the borders were not closed.

And people arent packed in so tight,the country and the resources within are more then enough to sustain it's people,it's the war machine they are building which makes for the suffering of the people.

But you guys dont see that do you?

Aunty Belle said...

BAwgs, looky, relax a bit from the normal democ/repub template of exchange heah....Hail-pig is right, honey--we's all Americans heah, an' if we want the freedom to keep on being at each other's thoats over politcs then, why, we'uns better pay attention to the Chinese.

Beijing will play us againt the muslims, they will buy bankrupt russia's war toys, (and have) they are sucking oil up with a cosmic straw--and concrete and bauxite, and and and...they are building their infrastructure at phenomenal rates, and that takes oil. They ain't doin' iit so that consumers have ten chices of TVs either. As HAil-pig notes, this build up has yore name on it.

Whatever his faults, it's a good thang that an oil derrick "cowboy" is in the chair at 1600---he knows a play for oil when he sees it.

I done said it before, pups, this is the deal:

Youse can face the future with China as world bully or the USA...ya'll's all about choice, so I knows ya' love this one.

Pete Bogs said...

meanwhile, oil derrick cowboy is bankrupting our war machine (of both lives and money) in a war based on lies and misinformation...

aunt b and hell - I don't deny China is a big player in the world and a danger to us all...

aunt b - who turned this into a Dems versus Republicants thing? I said the Stones shouldn't play there, and we're all pretending like China is a "nice" country when it isn't... any argument beyond that wasn't made by me... this blog WAS a change from my normal political stuff; I can't do those all the time, and don't want to...

what's say we get back on the stated topic?

Aunty Belle said...

Puddin' its yore blog and I'll conform, but I thought China and its methodology WAS the stated topic--

with the baby girl tragedies, the death for posession of naughty pics and all? HAil, they might even feed finchy to the monkeys.

Ain't this a picture of what we'll have ourselves if the cowboy and his cohorts doan do somethin'?

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

when all these favored chinese boys grow up, who will they marry? all the baby girls got killed or are now living in 'merica or europe.

not even a chinaman would eat me. too gamey.

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Hellpig said...

erm you turned it into a dems vs. reps with your "oh, wait, you guys are against immigration... never mind... "

Hellpig said...

Cant wait to see how you re-act to the Iran bombing campaign soon to be front and center on MSM.

Iran is Next

Pete Bogs said...

aunt b - yes, China and its methodology, but mainly as a backdrop for why Western businesses and entertainers maybe shouldn't be playing ball with the Red Menace (no props from consternatives for using that expression???)

I don't know where we as a country are headed, but it doesn't look good...

k9 - I am remembering your hilarious "Chinamen on a stick" comment from way back...

hell - you told me in no uncertain terms you weren't a Republicant... "you guys" referred to consternatives...

all - I really would like your thoughts on whether it's cool to do biz with the Chinese, for the reasons I have stated, or others I haven't... or am I just being too hard on the Chinese, the Stones and those Internet companies? are we in denial for the sake (not the Japanese drink!) of commerce?

Pete Bogs said...

as Old Ronnie Reagan would say, "There he goes again!"

hell, you are a thread jumper, but I guess I am an enabler... you might be surprised at my opinion on the Iran thing, when I do publish... don't think it's not been in the works...

Hellpig said...

I can have veiws on both sides without being either can I not.Or does putting a political label on me,make it easier to hate!

for instance i am pro choice and pro gun.

Pete Bogs said...

hell - we ain't hay-taz on this site, we ed-u-cay-taz!

Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs,
dancin' wif de devil is always a bad bargain, iffin youse Stones or Google or Gubmint....same way that a man of character doan do bidness wif the mafia--in the end you'll end up in cement shoes.

Pete Bogs said...

Aunt B - we are in perfect agreement there...

Bird said...

Oh heavens!

i find it somewhat ironic aunty belle that you criticize the chinese for their oil consumption - how did you put it "they are sucking oil up with a cosmic straw--and concrete and bauxite, and and and...they are building their infrastructure at phenomenal rates, and that takes oil." you know don't you, that US companies have encouraged the buliding of that infrastruture and have moved into china as quickly as possible, building factorie to help them net a bigger profit.

quite a few developing nations are doing the same as china - consuming to build - as much as they can. they want more and more the same kind of lifestyle we have - lots of consumer goods and the swagger of the biggest kid on the block with the most toys.and US companies are quite happy about it - cheaper labor and another market for their goods.

so are the chinese so different than us? we are sucking up oil and other natural resources at phenonomenal rates as well - and not just to have the choice of ten different tvs (that aren't really different at all)but to be the pre-eminent world power.

of course we are different in other regards, but i think it's somewhat hypocritical to crtique China's consumption and reasons for it when ours are pretty much the same. but as i said, i do think we have some redeeming features China doesn't have.

not sure how the stones playing in china is propaganda, hell. i thought it was capitalism.

is it cool to do biz with the chinese? wasn't it nixon that opened up the door to biz with the chinese? isn't the theory that by doing business (exporting capitlalism) human rights and a more democratic approach will eventually follow? certainly capitalism is thriving to a certain degree in china. one of the saddest things I've ever seen was the McDonalds at Tiannemen Square -or was it KentuckyFried Chicken? can't recall. makes no difference though. they are the same thing essentially.

i am undecided. i can see the logic of that rationale. and we have a huge chinese-american population here that wants the US to maintain a relationship with China in the very hopes of helping that country develop in terms of equality and human rights (and economic prosperity).
i have mixed feelings about it because my in-laws hail from china. they have a love and concern for their first country and want the US to maintain arelationship with China.

fatty ~ said...

personally, the worrying thing about China is the yet-unclear effects the one-child policy is going to have on their culture. Traditionally the power base is centred around the family hierarchy. A Chinese family is a kingdom unto itself.

Now, all the young women are leaving China, and young men are choosing to stay at home, and un-married.

On another note - Go China! Anything that makes america work for power and shakes the one-superpower system is good competition. I don't actually believe China can rival US, but they will come close.

Blue said...

The only thing China are rivalling the US in ATM is pollution.

China canned the 1 child policy 10yrs ago - people only have one child now because they can't afford to school more than one - & they have to pay higher taxes.

What gives me the screaming collywobbles is that although the US makes the majority of cars sold in the US, the carmakers don't have to comply with US emission controls. So there are few if any emission controls on their cars. And their love affair with the car is close behind that of the states.

The majority of homes are still heated by coal, although China have recently signed a deal to get natural gas from Europe.

The entire concept of family will change within the next 20years. There will be no such thing as: Aunt, Uncle, Niece, Nephew, cousin, sibling. An entire nation that has never had to share????

We have chinese tourists here in Oz who have never seen a blue sky or a rainbow or stars, let alone a sunset or dawn - who have only ever known grey skies - that is the biggest loss to a nation - to lose touch with nature through being overridden by capitalism & industry.

ffff said...

Bird, Blue and Pete are all right on the nose of what is going on.
The idea of more males in a society than females is just about to hit the proverbial fan. When there is that much testosterone around and no young ladies to show off too then you can just about bet that things are going to really bloody in red square.

And here we go...Australia selling Uranium to China... no they won't use it for anything but peaceful purposes... yeah?
So oil be damned... worry about other things... social friction, not enought girls to look after the elderly, not enough babies, in the end to work the factories... and the uranium waste being sent back to be buried in the Australian desert.

You have opened a can of worms here, Pete, through a mere mention of a rolling stone...

Pete Bogs said...

wow! indeed I have opened a can of worms... it's good to hear from people who know so much more about China than I do... I could have guessed at all the consumption/infrastructure stuff myself, based on the population, but I never really thought about it... so I have learned a few things from this post...

bird - I certainly am not suggesting an isolationist approach with China... I do not wish to be their enemy, and I do not wish to punish the average Chinese person... all this ass-kissing of the gov't though really bothers me... Stones: sure, we'll cut out those decadent Western songs... Google: sure, we'll block access to sites that mention the words freedom and democracy... it's this playing along with a repressive government to line our pockets that irks me...

fatty - I certainly don't have an issue with China competing with the US in any fashion... as above, it's this selling our soul to the devil for a few dollars that seems way wrong...

BB - yeah, the full social impact of the one child policy has yet to be seen... I have a belief, and you touch on it with the mention of sharing, that children without siblings (an only-child, we call them) are really difficult people to deal with... it's a generalization, but it is my personal experience, and the topic for another blog... apologies to the only-children reading this... for now... LOL

ali - again, I am learning as I go... never knew about the uranium issue with Oz... you have more to complain about here than I do!