I remember awhile back, during the dark Bush days, Murs (the formerly independent rapper from LA) said that Kanye West must be on Bush’s payroll because he distracted people from real issues by being crazily popular and rhyming primarily about money, cars, and hoes.
Whoever thought that Obama, America’s savior, would be playing the West role in Shanghai music’s dark days (with some help from Shanghaiist and other local digital fish wraps)?
OK, we’re talking about Shanghai’s newest stupid club, not the President, but we are also talking about a major distraction from significant events that are getting little to no coverage at all.
I thought it was a telling factor that the Shelter blurb writer’s most salient question was, “What am I going to do on Friday and Saturday nights?” Don’t you understand this isn’t just about your social schedule? Guess not. I realize they weren’t passing out free passes and booze at the LOgO harassment or the Yuyintang and Shelter closings, but come on now. We get a full photo essay, write-up, and videos(!) on the opening of the cookie-cutter Club Obama and three paragraphs combined for threats to some of Shanghai’s most unique and beloved venues? Talk about weapons of mass distraction! I guess Shanghaiist knows who butters their bread. I don’t know if this is a case of self-censorship or enforced censorship, but there is definitely something missing here.
Mache has been asking the question repeatedly: “Why are they taking our venues? Why aren’t they closing down the Babyfaces and the M2s of the world?”
People who visit the jiggy clubs are more likely to get fucked up, shake their booties, and not remember what happened the next morning. No time for worrying about human rights, censorship, or the rising cost of living in that busy schedule. These clubs and the people who frequent them are “reliable” in the eyes of The Man. Trust me, no rebellion has ever been fomented to the metallic garble of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”.
People who support underground venues are (for the most part) more likely to give a damn and do something about it. They worry about Freedom of Expression because they are actually expressing themselves. That, in the eyes of The Man (who has something to hide), is dangerous. At least, we think that’s the reason. There is so little explanation for these closings, we don’t know if we’ve done something wrong or something right. Maybe both or neither at all. We just know that we lost our hearts and can’t do much about it. That’s what’s distracting us.
But, in the end, we will grouse about it a bit, then go back to what we were doing or whatever else is on offer. That’s what The Man is counting on.
Club Obama next weekend, anyone?
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