Faced with a housing crisis, putrid air, overcrowded hospitals and zombie-factory schools, the Hong Kong government’s number-one priority is obviously to ban lack of respect towards a one-minute piece of music. The new national anthem law will impose hefty prison sentences on anyone who, HKFP says, ‘publicly and wilfully alters the lyrics or the score, or performs it in a distorted or derogatory manner’.
As befits a dictatorship based on the principles and practices of Marx, Lenin and Stalin, the tune is mainly a tedious derivative of a stale Western compositional form, the march. The opening fanfare is quite catchy, but the rest is in a style best described as Soviet-idea-of-rousing, maybe with a few phrases in pentatonic scale to give it a dash of pastiche-Chinese. The lyrics are puke – but then it’s a national anthem. To make the despotic CCP symbolism complete, the writer was of course purged and the tune at one time banned.
Learn to stand straight and gaze solemnly like you really mean it in the comfort of your own home. If you want to sing along, practice with Paul Robeson.
The Standard says that ‘publishing the gist’ of an illicit treatment of the work will also be prohibited. Presumably (he naively writes) this will not apply to press reports. But what about posting a link to a scurrilous parody on YouTube?
The law will pass through the Legislative Council with few problems, now so many pro-democrats have been expelled or barred from elections, and the chamber’s procedures have been tightened to promote rubber-stamp efficiency. It could be that some of the remaining moderate pan-dem lawmakers will not vigorously oppose the measure, to show everyone how constructive and grown-up they are.
While we’re on the subject, the government says Hong Kong cannot proceed with political reform because the city’s own people do not have a consensus on the issue. This is a pure lie. ‘Political reform’ can only mean representative government, which is incompatible with a Communist one-party state that insists on a monopoly of power. We are so numbed to falsehoods that this top official can blame the Hong Kong people, and no-one notices.
Except… a few hundred miles away, people are indeed watching. A Taiwan poll shows most of the public think China can take ‘One Country Two Systems’ and shove it. And (imagine Hong Kong pan-dems pulling this off) the island’s aboriginal folk draft a message to Beijing that is not just eloquent but essentially unanswerable.
A whopping 3% support eventual “re-“unification, though.
The second link to the indigenous piece didn’t work, by the way.
When you get to legislation like this, you know a place is cooked, burned and done.
As I have said before, the Chinese national anthem is an awful and self-mocking piece of music. The composer must have been having a laugh when he wrote it.
So misusing it is being negative about a negative: a plus!
The Chinese people deserve better than this amateur coffee house jingle, surely.
Or maybe not.
The letter from the indigenous people to President Xi is a masterpiece.
What the government means by consensus is falling in line with their Beijing-dictated policy. If 99% of Hong Kong people reached a consensus that we should be able to chuck out the current bunch of losers through free elections, we still wouldn’t get political reform. You can have any colour you like so long as it’s red.
Does translating the national anthem into another language count as “publicly and wilfully altering the lyrics”? Will translations need to be submitted to mainland censors to ensure they are politically sound?
Will booing or taking the knee whilst the tune is being played at a football match be deemed illegal ?
If I stand still and stay silent whilst the anthem is played, but hold up a sign saying, for example “The CCP are a bunch of kleptocratic thugs” am I disrespecting the anthem?
There’s a clear established way to determine public consensus; it’s called a referendum.
Yeah. Didn’t think so.
As I have posted before our former unlamented “leader” 689 while a student at Bristol Poly used to sing the (british) national anthem with scurrilous lyrics. If okay for him to do so, why not okay for people of HK to not be wholly respectful to a national anthem? Surly CY would agree? Or is he a total hypocrite on this as so many issues?
Mr Hemlock. Congratulations on your research as to your links. Several today are well worthy of wider circulation, including the indigenous people of Taiwan (glad they still somehow manage to exist) but especially Paul Robeson . Is it acceptable to President Xi for a none Han to give such a rousing rendition, or is that disrespectful or seditious in itself?
Note the film behind “in the comfort of your own home” shows an extract of Mao reading the lyrics while singing. So it is not sacrilegious to be ignorant of the lyrics?
Informed sources tell me that this Venezuelan Guard of Honour Band for Xi’s state visit in 2014 was offered an all expenses trip to Xinjiang to attend the provinces’s world-renowned school of military music:
Where are they now?