No longer allowed to hide behind the cloak of pop-music innocuousness, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and the Backstreet Boys have at last been recognized for the threats to the stability of China that they are, with the country’s Ministry of Culture adding them to an updated list of 100 songs that cannot be legally downloaded as they “endanger national cultural security.” Of course, while some of them deal with potentially questionable subject matter, like Perry’s “Last Friday Night,” officially the list isn’t meant to be a judgment of those songs’ content or their artists’ subversive intent. The stated reason for rejection is simply that they were never formally submitted to the Ministry for proper registration and approval. However, it seems obvious that, even if they did submit to the process, most of these wouldn’t slip past the censors, given the politically undermining subtext of songs like Beyoncé’s patriarchy-defying “Run This World (Girls),” the Christmas carol “Jingle Bells,” which epitomizes the absolute carelessness of Western attitudes, and perhaps most egregious of all, the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” No! You will accept it the way that is deemed best for the stability and glory of China!
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