What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 27, 2011

Ooo...I've Been Waiting For This One

From Today's Tribune-Review:
Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang played the anti-American propaganda tune "My Motherland" during his performance at the White House state dinner last week for Chinese President Hu Jintao. That's the song in which U.S. soldiers are referred to as "jackals." We would remind Mr. Lang that a similar display of ungracious freedom of expression in his homeland would have led to his execution.
As always, The Trib braintrust spins this completely out of reality. First here's the performance (do yourself a favor and listen to his duet with Herbie Hancock, but if you don't want to waste those precious few minutes, just listen from about six minutes in) :

Where are the words? When does Lang Lang sing about US Soldiers being "jackals"? He doesn't. Not that you'd know that from reading the op-ed.

There are only two possibilities here; 1) The braintrust hasn't seen the video of Lang Lang's performance and is spinning out of ignorance or 2)The braintrust knows Lang Lang's performance had no lyrics and is hoping its audience doesn't bother to check. Either way, dishonesty rules at The Trib editorial board.

Not that they bothered with being fair, but the WSJ (that appeaser of Chinese Communism) published this on the 24th:
In a statement, Lang said “I selected this song because it has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. It was selected for no other reason but for the beauty of its melody.”

He also said “America and China are my two homes. I am most grateful to the United States for providing me with such wonderful opportunities, both in my musical studies and for furthering my career. I couldn’t be who I am today without those two countries.”
That's just sooo un-American! Someone should get Toby Keith to write a song about putting an American boot up this guys butt.

So what are the lyrics? From Psychology Today:
A big river with wide waves

The wind blows rice flowers to spread fragrance cross the banks.

My family lives on the shore,
Got used to the chant of steersmen, and
to seeing white sails on board

This is a beautiful country
Is the place where I grew up.
In this vast land
Beautiful scenery everywhere

Girls are like flowers
Young men have broad mind and shoulders,
In order to break new ground
Wake up the sleepy mountain
Let the rivers change their appearance

This is the heroic country
Is the place where I grew up,
In this ancient land
The strength of youth everywhere

Good mountains, good water, good places
All roads are wide and spacious
if friends come, there is a good wine
If jackal has come, it is greeted with hunting gun

This is a powerful country
Is the place where I grew up,
In this land of warmth,
Bright sunshine everywhere"
So where's the specific reference to the Korean War or American soldiers being referred to as "jackals"? It isn't there. If you read it carefully the "jackal" part is a metaphor. The song's one of remembrance and the metaphor is about self-defense. Armed self-defense. You'd think that fans of the 2nd Amendment would embrace such sentiments.

Now here's the fun part:
Ironically, this song and its melody were banned during the Cultural Revolution (1966 to 1976) in China, and the lyrics were accused as expressing "pornographic" sentiments (e.g., girls are like flowers) and the melody was accused as too "capitalist." A scholar in Vancouver, B.C. recently recalled that one of his friends, a young girl who secretly sang the song was severely reprimanded at that time. Additionally, the composer Liu Zhi was to sent to engage in hard labor in countryside, and he was put on the list of most dangerous people by Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, who controlled the art and literature fields in China during that period.
So perhaps the braintrust overstated things as such an ungracious expression during the cultural revolution only led to internal exile in a forced labor camp, not execution.

This is how the rightwing noise machine works. Take an innocuous event and spin it into anti-American political paranoia. Reality is light years away.

1 comment:

Paul Johnson said...

I enjoyed this one A LOT!