The Chinese government has already banned the outlandish fantasies of time travel and the self-centered demands of boy bands, yet still the country teeters on the brink of catastrophic individual thought, with whole hours of the day being wasted on not strengthening social morality or praising the Communist Party. So the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television has issued an order to correct this looming cultural chaos by ordering the nation’s 34 satellite TV stations to begin phasing out all programs deemed vulgar or “overly entertaining”—specifically, shows that deal with “marital troubles and matchmaking, talent shows, game shows, variety shows, talk shows, and reality programming,” all of which could weaken the system with their frivolous focus on engendering happiness. That is what the fish ball is for.
The new edict now limits such programming to a mere nine programs a night between all the channels, only between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., and calls for an expansion of “news propaganda” to fill the rest of the programming day with the glorious peals of its truth. It also offers a renewed promise to “resolutely oppose money worship, hedonism, and extreme individualism, and arduously correct bad tendencies such as abusing one's powers, fakery, unprincipled acts, and harming others for profit”—all the basic tenets of Western television, in other words, which is why the once-great capitalist empire continues to crumble, “entertaining” itself into ruin. And this extends to online culture as well, with the government also promising to crack down on Internet-based vulgarity including the “transmission of harmful information,” with three people having already been detained for “spreading rumors online”—a policy that would wipe out whole swaths of Internet publication in America, which is why we fail.
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