Cringe time

Cringing exercises over 100 muscles in the face and other important parts of the body. So – if you haven’t already – take a look at how Chinese state media get hip n groovy and down with the kids in explaining the annual ‘two meetings’ to the wider world.

As the expert accompanying narrative mentions, the problem here is that Beijing’s ‘communication practitioners’, spin-doctors and PR floozies have delivered what their stone-faced Leninist superiors deem correct, rather than anything that will persuade a skeptical external audience.

In a workplace where you and your family can disappear overnight, you would make videos like this too. You could try carefully suggesting to the big boss that effective communication should be candid – perhaps even conceding that China’s advisory bodies are essentially rubber-stamp assemblies – but then making a case why the system delivers results (millions of starving pandas pulled from poverty etc). But you probably wouldn’t.

Boss-targeted propaganda goes back to the pharaohs, King Canute and company brochures crammed with pictures of the CEO. It is alive and well in Hong Kong’s civil-servant-controlled government’s own embarrassingly defensive and shamelessly self-congratulatory press releases.

Don’t listen to Joshua Wong – we handle prison complaints absolutely fairly. And the government generously shares its very own hard-earned wealth with these poor kids, and the last budget was like oh-so forward-looking, and the health-centre tendering that looked corrupt was spotlessly clean and fair, and those people who say there are rats everywhere are just imagining it. So there.

The difference is that the Hong Kong government PR floozy submits whatever makes the boss happy, to get it over with – they are both waiting to collect their pensions and get out. Her Mainland counterpart has passport confiscation, extra detention at Xi Jinping Thought classes, self-criticisms, forced confessions or purging to consider.

The Hong Kong official PR materials are cynical and lazy. Inept through lack of interest. The Beijing propaganda is driven by fear. Hence the weird slickness.

We won’t even start on Hong Kong’s guaranteed-to-fall-flat anti-drug banners – not now, not ever…

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6 Responses to Cringe time

  1. “Rodent infestation stable” is actually quite a neat PR spin on “Zero progress made in eliminating rodents”. And speaking of getting rid of pests, Dr Adams seems to be conspicuously absent from your comments section these days.

  2. Chris Maden says:

    I made it to the 1 minute and 37 second mark of Katie and Roisin.

    FFS, the world’s-second-biggest-economy, with all that wealth that entails, and a couple of YouTube dummies parroting CCP “facts” is the best they can come up with?

  3. Cassowary says:

    I have always been bemused by all those occupational safety ads that plaster our buses and MTR stations. Surely, if the goal was to prevent scaffolding falls and construction site maimings, there would be more efficient ways to accomplish this than to blast brainless PSAs to the entire public, most of whom have never have so much as attempted to assemble their own IKEA furniture.

    Which must be precisely why they exist.

  4. "I liked the propaganda so much, I bought the dictatorship" says:

    But wait!
    There’s more!
    Act now and you can receive a second cringe absolutely free!

    Here’s Colin Linneweber, Xinhua Shill Correspondent pandasplaining why Chinese Democracy is the best and most responsive and inclusive in the world.

    Our operators are standing by to receive your citizenship applications.

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    “And speaking of getting rid of pests, Dr Adams seems to be conspicuously absent from your comments section these days.”

    It’s fantastic to no longer have to see that bitter loser’s comments on here where he’s promoting his own absolutely crap website that is inferior to biglychee when it comes to the content department.

  6. @”I liked” – the video contains at least one true statement: “Over the past decades, the country has risen from shambles”. No mention of course that the shambles was largely created by the CCP itself during the Mao era.

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