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Another Ban In China (now against entertaining TV)

National emblem of the People's Republic of China

Image via Wikipedia

As radical as it may sound at first, is China’s new ban on “overly entertaining programs” really so bad? We’re really caught up in our freedoms and liberties here in America; but I think if we’re honest about it hurts us in a lot of ways too. Now avoid freaking out, hear out a discussion…

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (and yes they are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party) has made official plans to ban US reality shows on satellite TV stations; with their complete removal in 2012. Their intent is to replace vulgar or “overly entertaining” with cultural, or ‘healthy’ programming (promoting “harmony, health and mainstream culture”). China claims that the changes are in response to audience’s demands, that the public desires better programs than the likes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Which I can’t blame them. American TV is saturated with tons of reality TV. Tons of crap. You know it, I know it, and we all watch it. We know it’s dumb, but we keep watching because this is what lazy TV creators think we want. They supply us with these cheap options and we watch them practically by default because it’s there. Network executives look at numbers and ratings, they don’t really care that we loathe the programs, because ultimately we’re still watching them.

China is one of the principal economies of the world, and this move comes days after senior Communist Party leaders said that cultural reforms were required to balance the nation’s increasingly speedy adoption of a market economy. Under the order, satellite broadcasters will be required to show at least two hours of news each evening.

“”If the mass audience is interested in watching existing shows, changing or banning them without offering new interesting ones will cause problems. The public needs psychological massage and relaxation through such programs,” Guoming added.

Liang Liang, a 26-year-old planning manager at a foreign advertising company in Beijing, said she expects to see the effects of the new regulation, but sitting in front of her TV set has never been the first choice for news.

“I like TV shows that have a point in them. I wouldn’t care if the regulation bans those showing nothing but stupidity,” she said.”

China is pretty well-known for their mass banning of things others don’t agree with and highly criticize them for, but for a moment I invite you to put aside your ideas attached forced banning, and just consider their motivation behind the things they ban…

In 2009 their Ministry of Culture banned organized crime games.

“The notice banned online games that featured Mafioso kingpins, marauding street gangs or any sort of hooliganism predisposed to organization. Such games, the ministry said, “embody antisocial behavior like killing, beating, looting and raping,” and their availability “gravely threatens and distorts the social order and moral standards, easily putting young people under harmful influence.”

Hmm…is this a bad idea? Personally I don’t think bad video games make people do bad things, but they can influence them. Do we need this form of entertainment?

In 2007 China began banning the adoption of Chinese children to US single mothers.

“In future, adoption of Chinese children to abroad is only available for healthy families, married at least since 2 years, divorced/remarried since 5 years. No single mother, no overweight or depressed woman, nor parents over 50 will be accepted as applicants.”

I find it alarming the degree to which people are cavalier in their family planning. Seemingly more motivated by selfishness that they surrounded within a false concept of selflessness. There are environments that are more ideal for the well-being of child rearing. Yes there are situations that emerge without forethought. But adoption doesn’t happen by accident. (To learn more about their full motive behind this, I’d suggest clicking the above link)

Is it a necessity that anyone intentionally desire to bring up a child in an alternative family environment?  The question isn’t can a single mother take care of 4 adopted children? I believe they completely can. But to willingly know that better case scenarios could/would have more potential benefits for the child, but to go ahead anyway–then who is really being thought of more in that case? I recognize that there is a need for children to be adopted I HUGELY support adoption!!), but isn’t the need not greater for responsible sexual activity. The creation of a child is a response to a behavior, one where the child wasn’t thought about then either.

Now again, to the American, a dweller of land that embraces religious freedom, China seems downright rude in their restrictions. For all the freedom (especially in religion) we want, it’s come with a cost to us (our past and present) as well. I won’t get deeper in to this myself, but I will encourage a perusing of some great online sources that have discussed this topic in-depth about China.





Earlier this year China banned websites from featuring 100 songs by artists from Lady Gaga to the Backstreet Boys. Another Ministry of Culture influenced decision, aimed to regulate the “order” of the Internet music market. They chose songs deemed harmful for the security of state culture, and therefore needed to be cleaned up and regulated under the law. The Backstreet Boys, Beyonce, Simple Plan, Katy Perry, and British pop group Take That all have songs on the list.

Yeah that sounds dramatic…I agree. Freedom of expression in various art forms is suuuuuper important I strongly believe. (and I fail to see right off the bat what in these artists particular songs rubbed them the wrong way…) But at the same time music and various forms of art can be über harmful and negatively thought-provoking  and influencing…

Also this year, China put a ban on their own hugely popular animal circuses. (Live animal shows and circuses draw around 150 million visitors a year at 700 zoos!)

“Chinese government has now issued a total ban, which came into force on Tuesday across the 300 state-owned zoos which are part of the China Zoo Association.

The ban will also force zoos to stop selling animal parts in their shops and zoo restaurants will have to stop serving dishes made out of rare animals, another widespread practice.

Similarly, zoos will no longer be able to pull the teeth of baby tigers so that tourists can hold them and will have to stop attractions where live chickens, goats, cows and even horses are sold to visitors who can then watch them be torn apart by big cats.

A spokesman for China’s State Forestry Bureau said a three-month investigation last year had uncovered more than 50 zoos where animals were suffering severely because of abuse.”

Now whose going to argue with this ban? No one. But last I heard, Facebook was still banned in China, and I’m sure loads of folks find that ridiculously constrictive. (But Facebook  is taking over lives/culture/society in a ridiculous way.)

I see a pattern…a desire for the best for their people, and they’ve presented themselves as willing to be forceful and extreme to get that point across. And that’s the real issue, no matter how bad something is, no one likes being told they’re forbidden (or banned) from doing it—even when it’s for their own good.

I’m a proud Midwestern raised American. Sometimes I like rules, sometimes I don’t. Freedom is a great thing. I’m a Christian and I believe in a God who gives us free choice. With that recognition I also ascribe to the belief that too much freedom in certain areas, and for certain reasons is not a great thing. But I don’t agree with forcing, but the simplicity in their underlying desire to motivate is fascinating…

That’s my input on this discussion. What’s yours?


About maggie.

Maggie Barnes is a nonprofit and for profit business content specialist / social media consultant; and social sciences web writer interested in everything from psychology and sexuality, to technology, race, and economics. She is passionate about good communication and information accessibility.


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