A spot about a father suffering from Alzheimer's is the most popular of a new series of ads that has young people on China's social networks talking—or better put, it has them talking about crying. "Every time I see it I cry," writes one Weibo user. Hers is a typical reaction. Filial piety might seem a laughable topic for a public-service campaign in the west, but in China, it's the basis for a campaign aimed to guilt kids into thinking about the elderly. Making China's youth cry is not enough, though; China needs the new generation to act on that guilt, to buy into the Confucian ideal [...]
"Cock wire Mike Sui!" yelled one of the young men in the crowd. "Cock wire Sui is awesome!" The kimono robe and mirrored sunglasses, like some kind of last-minute frat-boy Halloween costume, that Mike Sui was wearing when he leapt onto the stage, had been shed, and Sui now prowled the stage in cargo shorts and a Nike t-shirt.
Before April, a slim few, if any, in this Shanghai crowd would have known Sui's name. And before April, NetEase, one of China's largest Internet companies, certainly would not have asked Sui to emcee its stage at China Joy, the nation's largest gaming and digital entertainment exhibition. But now it was [...]
Throughout its 63-year history, the People's Republic of China has had to maintain a fine balance between controlling its own people and appeasing them. Walking this line becomes even more important in years like this, as the government prepares for a national power handover, a transition that began this week, while dealing with the fallout from a number of embarrassing political incidents, including the Bo Xilai murder-and-corruption scandal, and the escape of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng from house arrest.
This governing mindset was in evidence this past May, when a video of a British man sexually assaulting a Chinese woman went viral. The government turned to nationalism, [...]