Reply To: China's Attempts to Export Chinese Culture

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Keymaster

The Confucius Institute saying it’s not political is a good example of the larger problem here: everything in China is political and chief among its toolset are lies and manipulation.

These are just the symptoms of an authoritarian bureaucratic state.

I think that may be an oversimplified answer. A lot of the pioneers of modern Chinese culture (authors, artists, Nobel Prize winners, etc) have become internationally notable not just in spite of the state but because of it. It could be argued that the most prolific art is created under conditions of, or responding to perceived oppression, from George Orwell to Banksy. Aiweiwei has an exhibition on Alcatraz right now (less than a mile from where I am) and it’s about freedom and oppression, as you would expect.

China, obviously, still has an issue with recognizing what is quality and cannot seem to relate to the developed western world’s desire for high quality products including cultural ones. In general, the Chinese are also blind to the evolution of culture and shun their homegrown contemporary arts for anything classical, which they deem to be superior. It incredibly difficult for them to get out of the 5000-years-of-history mindset. And yet, China will attempt to imitate popular mainstream culture with a “close-enough” attitude and pump out piles of garbage.

I had lunch with someone yesterday (a 50-year old San Franciscan) who was raving to me about a 1+1 Android phone that he got recently, made and shipped from China. I had never heard of this phone before this week, but multiple people have mentioned it to me here. Xiaomi as well. I know these are phones and arguably not really cultural objects, but it is striking to see people go far out of their way to get Chinese alternatives to American products which most people get without thinking. Maybe this just means that China is just particularly great at making cell phones.

I recently went to see “Man in Macau 2″ in theaters with my girlfriend because she heard it was good. Watching that was like having someone vomit on me for 2 hours. Come on Chow Yun Fat! I had so much respect for you in the Corruptor!

Hahahaha. Let the Bullets Fly was great but otherwise he hasn’t made any good movies in 15 years. More like 25+ to get back to his best movies IMO (Hard Boiled, The Killer, A Better Tomorrow). Seeing a Chinese movie in the theater is taking a massive risk. 99.9% chance you are wasting your time and money. I think you know this and you are a good boyfriend for saying “Okay baby, let’s go see Man in Macau 2.”