A song lampooning Chinese propaganda on social networks goes viral and hits 18 million views. Beijing is not amused.
by Zhou Kexin
One problem with the CCP is that it does not understand humor. When it is lampooned by comedians or performers, it reacts by claiming that China is under attack and threatening retaliation. This, of course, magnifies the ironic videos and contributes to their success.
The last fiasco of Chinese propaganda concerns a song by Malaysian rapper Namewee and Australian singer Kimberley Chen, who lives in Taiwan. The song is called “Fragile,” and in a few days collected 18 million views. It was of course blocked in China, but the song itself alludes to the fact that most young Chinese know how to bypass the “Great Firewall” and would enjoy the video anyway.
The song is, in fact, a reaction against the obsessive presence on social media of CCP trolls who spam with Chinese propaganda. “Little pinks” is the term used by netizens disturbed by their activities to refer to these trolls, who are in the millions.
In the song the two singers apologize to a panda for disturbing the “fragile ego” of the “little pink,” who feels so unsafe that any criticism disturbs him. The video is full of allusions that Chinese would immediately understand. References to “Pooh” obviously target Xi Jinping, who has been famously compared to Winnie Pooh, leading to a total ban of the little bear in China.
Foreigners may not understand what the mention of Pooh walking ten miles while carrying heavy loads means. In fact, this is part of the hagiography about Xi Jinping’s youth.
While going through the motion of apologizing for the offenses, the singers in the video offer a catalogue of complaints about the CCP, mentioning transformation through education camps in Xinjiang, fears of Xi’s “common prosperity” strategy, and the CCP’s involvement in “cutting leeks,” which is slang for the financial exploitation of middle-class Chinese by the CCP-connected super-rich.
When Namewee’s organization answered Chinese threats that the song “just wants to express love for small animals” such as “little pinks” and pandas, the CCP failed to understand it was yet another joke, proving it is incorrigible. But the incident also demonstrated that a grain of humor may indeed put a strain on the supposedly perfect CCP propaganda machine, determining hysterical reactions.