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After 'South Park' Censorship Episode, China Deleted the Show from the Web (vice.com)
604 points by dgelks on Oct 8, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 159 comments

Good, good....the more the merrier. Maybe finally the world will stop cuddling with China like they did in past 3 decades and start treating them for what they really are. A tight grip censorship dictatorship that has thrown dust in the world's eyes posing as softies while behind the scenes they amassed a lot of wealth riding West blindness.

God help us when South Park is helping us find our moral compass...

South Park has been advocating an ideology, including many morals, from day one of the shows. It may be a mixed message, it may be contradictory, but a lot of SP comedy hinges on pointing out the absurdities in our societies.

Comedy has always been a place you'd look if you want to see someone speak truth to power, for millennia too, and South Park has always done that.

South Park is 100% right. We need to back them in their fight against a murderous totalitarian dictatorship holding millions of people in concentration camps.

We might like the cheap goods coming from China, but remember they come from people who are forced to work at 7 days a week 14 hours a day for nearly no pay.

Boycott the NBA and Blizzard and anyone else who won't start standing up for democracy.

Being the weaker party in a negotiation is a new role for US, we'll get used to it...

Well, one of the developments of the last six months has been to put a lot of pinpricks in the idea that China is an inevitably rising world superpower that will inevitably supplant the US in the near future. I wouldn't say that's off the table entirely, but it's looking a lot more evitable.

What we believe as American consumers and what is economically true are two different sometimes contradictory stories.

Yup. What would Brian Boitano do?

I bet he'd kick an ass or two.

I happen to think it's a net negative.

It had considerable part in setting back efforts to deal with climate change.

They did a mea culpa, but still, I can't tell you how annoyed I was in college with the amount of people who would challenge the idea of climate change just because they watched a South Park episode.

The message of South Park is to point at people with any conviction and say “ha! Look at these idiots with an ideology. The only correct way is to be edgy and make fun of everything”

It’s basically about nihilism.

"It seems to be a hangover of the Medieval Catholic era that causes most people, even the educated, to think that everybody must "believe" something or other, that if one is not a theist one must be a dogmatic atheist, and if one does not think capitalism is perfect, one must believe fervently in socialism, and if one does not have blind faith in "X", one must alternatively have blind faith in not X or reverse of X. My own opinion is that belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assume certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence. The more certitude one assumes, the less there is left to think about, and a person sure of everything would never have any need to think about anything and might be considered typically dead under current medical standards where absence of brain activity is taken to mean that life has ended." Robert Anton Wilson

yes however it goes without saying taking a stand to not believe is also a belief position

I like rush

"if you decide not to choose you still have made a choice"

The stand as outlined above is the middle way: I.e. neither belief nor non-belief. Beliefs are useful models but are only models after all.

You completely misunderstand what they do. The art form is political satire, which is just another way of saying "Look at these idiots, we need to stop this".

Comedy has always been a place you'd look if you want to see someone speak truth to power, for millennia too, and South Park has always done that.

No, not always. They sometimes do that. Calling vegetarians pussies [0] is not speaking truth to power. It's punching down. South Park's approach is more the "try to piss off everyone" approach, which while funny, is a bad way to find your moral compass.

0 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTog_NtCEio

“Punching down” itself is a concept they would, and should, make fun of. That term is just a way of framing speech that you disagree with in order to censor it for being anti-virtuous.

Calling the term "punching down" just a way to frame speech that one disagrees with in order to censor it just sounds like a way for you to censor people who criticize you for punching down.

“Punching down” itself is a concept they would, and should, make fun of.

Well, it's been well established that they would make fun of anything. I'm not arguing that. You tell the writers what they should be doing though.

That term is just a way of framing speech that you disagree with in order to censor it for being anti-virtuous.

No it's not. You're making a lot of false assumptions about what I said based on zero evidence. If you don't understand what I'm saying, that's one thing, but don't put words in my mouth.

No need to take anything South Park does personally; they do a great job of making fun of just about everyone ("Team America" perhaps being a prime example).

The "vegetarians are weak" meme will slowly die as more amateur and professional athletes (including MMA champions, Olympians, and even the guy who coined "You hit like a vegetarian") jump on the plant-based wagon:


I don't know why you think I'm taking anything personally. I'm certainly not a vegetarian. That was the first example of South Park punching down I thought of.

Like I said, South Park does make fun of everyone. That's explicitly not always speaking truth to power, like the parent poster is claiming. And I agree with the grandparent post that we shouldn't look to South Park as a moral compass.

Their main philosophy is “If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?”

I don't know that I agree with your sentiment. Irreverent comedians who have achieved significant success and not really accountable to anyone are perfectly positioned to "tell it like it is" and may be the best individuals to do so. I'm glad our society embraces and can cultivate such individuals especially in this time of cancel culture.

You had me until "cancel culture"

Exactly how many irreverent comedians who achieved significant success and are not really accountable to anyone, telling it like it is, have been cancelled by the cancel culture?

Cosby, TJ Miller, Louis CK, Jeffrey Tambor, James Franco, ...? A good list of people who did morally reprehensible things of varying degrees, from illegal to merely opening their employers to civil liability, and in my mind, they should be "cancelled." Maybe you can argue some of these, I don't think so.

Azis Ansari? I don't know how tranchant his "speaking truth to power" has ever been, but he did a Netflix special this year, and I would need pretty compelling evidence to believe that's your smoking gun. I predict he'll be just fine in a few more years.

Kevin Hart? Maybe. Again, not much of a politically-motivated comedian, but getting removed as Oscar (?) host was damaging. Nonetheless, it looks like he had 5 movies/specials in 2019 and has work scheduled for 2020. Besides the car crash, I think he'll be alright.

Dan Harmon (like James Gunn) was a political hit job and didn't go anywhere.

Am I missing anyone?

Outside of e.g. #metoo, some people didn't like Dave Chappelle's recent Netflix special. I'm not a fan of him "punching down" at trans people myself, but, I don't think it's anything he hasn't said before. Nonetheless it was trending in the top five for most of last month, I think he is, and will continue to be, doing fine.

I just don't see where people attribute all this power to "cancel culture." Chik-fil-A, Nike, ..., all doing just fine despite on-going boycotts from "cancel culture."

If you didn’t finish Chapelle’s most recent bit, you missed what the piece was about.

Roseanne Barr. Had her ABC show cancelled over a tweet, yet ABC-owned ESPN hired Keith Olbermann. Multiple examples of someone posting vile stuff on a blog or twitter and being unscathed (Joy Reid is one quick example,) but Roseanne gets canceled because she happens to support Trump.

Another example is Shane Gillis — cancelled because of something he said, not any specific action. Getting cancelled for sexually abusing people is one thing, getting cancelled because of “offensive” speech is the real problem. Roseanne and Gillis and Hart got cancelled for words. CK, Franken, Spacey — they were ousted for actions. That isn’t really part of cancel culture. Driving someone out of business because of vile and criminal actions is much different than firing a comedian because of a joke.

If I were a comedian that make vile jokes about Obama and his daughters, I’d be cancelled. If I made vile jokes about Trump and his kids, I’d get a Netflix special.

> Roseanne gets canceled because she happens to support Trump

This is false. The show got cancelled because of tweets by Barr that were seen as racist.[1] She was already known as a Trump supporter for 2 years before her show was revived[2][3] so that could not possibly have been a factor in her firing.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseanne_Barr#Valerie_Jarrett_...

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseanne_Barr#Reality_televisi...

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseanne_Barr#Support_for_Dona...

Words vs action have nothing to do with what I was saying, and I don't see where you've made a convincing case that they should be separated.

As for Barr and Gillis, both ABC and NBC acted immediately to get rid of them when it looked like they would hurt their bottom line. Is that "cancel culture" to you?

> If I made vile jokes about Trump and his kids, I’d get a Netflix special.

Which kids? Who is out there making fun of Bannon, or are you saying Eric/Don Jr/Ivanka/[that other one] are off limits?

I'm not aware of anyone targeting any under age Presidential children..........

Oh except when Malia was being called out for drinking under age, I guess. Or, here's former Presidential candidate John McCain making a joke about Chelsea Clinton (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/sep/02/women.j...). So I guess if you make a joke about Trump's kids, you get a Netflix special; make a joke about a Democrat President's kid, run for President?

> but Roseanne gets canceled because she happens to support Trump.

That's not the comment she got canceled for. She was being horribly racist. Trump support is less the issue than it is extra gasoline between his racist comments and her horrible comment.

> If I made vile jokes about Trump and his kids, I’d get a Netflix special.

Where is your example here?

Barr, Gillis and Hart were fired from one job because they alienated a large enough swath of their employers' customers and advertisers that they thought it would be bad for business. That's capitalism.

Furthermore, they're all still working, so I don't see how cancelled is the right word here.

Words don't exist in a vacuum. They have meanings that people interpret to varying degrees of importance. Dismissing what he did as just "something he said" as opposed to meaning or intent, is not cancellation - it's society's backlash toward intolerable racist speech.

You might want to investigate the meaning and intent then. He was mocking dumb old white dudes. Everybody just saw the slur and lost their mind, totally missing this fact. It’s fine to not think that the joke landed, but it’s silly to be offended by it. And yes, it was literally cancelation.

Hasn't satire always served as a biting reminder of where our truths should be?

That has been pretty much South Park's entire premise from day one: mocking the stupid shit we as societies do.

My favorite thing about South Park is when it satires the over-corrective tendency of American society. When the adults get up in arms about a supposed crisis, inevitably making things worse in the process, and the kids are the only ones acting rationally.

We live in a time where Dennis Rodman is an essential diplomatic asset for dealing with a nuclear nation state. We do indeed live in interesting times.

If that's how you really feel then I don't think you watch very much South Park. No other show has so consistently skewered culture, or preached at viewers, for so long as South Park

You know, I think I learned something today...

uhhh.... I think they've done a better job of speaking truth to power than pretty much anybody and have shown they are quite comfortable making fun of themselves. Seems pretty moral...

Let's be honest, we all know why they're banning South Park. It's because they showed Winnie the Pooh...

P.S. While this trending topic isn't directly related to technology, great to see the masses in tech taking a stance against censorship.

I was surprised to hear that that Winnie the Pooh was banned in China for some ridiculous reason.

Then I did my verification. And turns out it is not the truth.

baidu is dominant search engine in China. you can see that the search results do show Winnie-the-Pooh both in Chinese and in English.



I don't understand why some people say it's banned and others seem truly believe. simply a joke? you have your judgement.

The scene where Pooh is garrotted?

Of course! Pooh looks just like the Chinese president for life, after all.

> A tight grip censorship dictatorship that has thrown dust in the world's eyes posing as softies while behind the scenes they amassed a lot of wealth riding West blindness.

The West was fooled by China playing softies? No, you're being far too kind. It's more like the West willfully turning a blind eye and selling out due to greed. This is what you get when capitalism is pushed to the extreme - "values" diminish until you're left with only "value in dollars". China understood this, and western governments/corporations played ball.

Except the reality is the "west" has gotten much richer as well.

Trade with China has been a huge win win. Quality of life in the "West" is significantly greater thanks to trade with China.

The problem is that the "West" took the vast majority of the benefits it gained from that trade and concentrated it in the hands of a few hundred people. The destruction of labour unions and the taxation regime has crushed the lower classes, not trade with China.

Also, for all the issues with China, it's still a significantly better country than it was before Nixon visited China.

Finally, the "West" hasn't been fooled by China for at least a decade. In fact, the US spearheaded a massive effort to resolve the China problem through the TPP which would have been an extremely effective way of getting China to open up (by providing companies who are currently dependent on China alternatives amongst China's neighbors but this time with an agreed upon IP protection regime which would have prevented Vietnam, say, from becoming China 2.0.

If anything, the current haphazard tariff regime has been far more beneficial to the Chinese Leader for Life by creating an us vs them narrative which has pretty much eliminated the chances of any domestic pressure.

The problem with the TPP was that it stomped on consumer rights in a very China-like way. It was also very NAFTA-y in that it supported business and US natsec interests thoroughly while completely avoiding accountability to the average American (and to many of the citizens of other countries that it ostensibly would have helped).

The challenge with China has been and will remain avoiding moral hazards when navigating our relationship to them. Temptation comes from all sides in this regard.

At least they're not backwards with regards to climate change ...

Realistically climate change is a more pressing issue than censorship.

I struggle to believe that this is a core concern, and not a response to other pressures. For example, being reliant on other countries for energy.

China right now is national socialism like Hitler could only dream of implementing. It is eerie how directly parallel developments are, and how little this is remarked.

Hitler implemented "National Socialism." Hitler may try to argue that it is 'national socialism', but all fascists will lie to your face if it can empower them.

>The term "National Socialism" arose out of attempts to create a nationalist redefinition of "socialism"

The Nazis got to define National Socialism as they liked, even if the meaning drifted slightly from what you could consider a national socialist ideology.


They also defined the swastika as they liked, despite centuries of prior use, and they won that one.

Really surprised the inconsistency survives, tbh

Ehh what are you going to do? It's not like people spray painting swastikas really care that it's badly drawn or the other uses of the swastika.

They "won" only in the sense that I'm 99.99999% certain when I see a white man drawing a swastika on the wall he's not wishing people luck and well-being.

Is 'national socialism' a thing outside of Nazi Germany? I thought the term was basically invented by the nazis.

Forget the whole genocide against the Jews(and other groups) and a lot of the fascism and I would say yes. Heck, I'd classify a lot of the US's current rhetoric about access to social services(or even the protections of the Constitution) being only available to citizens as national socialism.

Not really, it's really different. One shouldn't forget the whole setup of early 20th century. War was a very normal thing, it was after WW I which was really horrible and there wasn't even a UN at the time. National socialism in Germany was about very aggressive expansion combined with very extreme racism, many people were murdered deliberately at all stages of it in an industrialized manner. I would say this remains still very unique.

Both humanity and nation states have made a development since then. Certainly one can draw comparisons but there are worlds in between.


"An entirely Americentric argument, spurred on by certain batty ideologues and infamous websites, claims that Adolf Hitler was not the far-right, anti-communist nationalist that everyone else remembers him to be, but rather an egalitarian socialist.[note 1] Much like the Discovery Institute and their assault on the theory of evolution, this attempts to evoke the association fallacy on anyone who practices left-wing politics and by that standard anyone who slightly leans to the left is an adherent of fascism ...

For this argument to be even close to being solvent ... good chunks of history need to be thrown out the window:

That the 96-member Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) was Hitler's main opposition in the Reichstag and the only political party that attempted to halt the laws that established him as dictator and brought down the Weimar Republic. In fact, all of the ideological predecessors of today's conservative and classically liberal parties voted unanimously for the law, while the SPD voted unanimously against despite the presence of SA guards in the building.[3][4] That the first political groups targeted during the Nazi ascendancy were pacifists, trade unionists and communists.[5][6] That Strasserism, the only strand of Nazism that could be referred to as "left-wing" (i.e. pro-working class in nature), were all killed off (with a handful of conservative dissidents) in what we all know as the Night of the Long Knives. About the only true socialists within the Nazi Party include the likes of Gregor and Otto Strasser for example[note 2]"

Only numbskulls really believe that National Socialism was in any way socialist. I should have capitalized the initial comment correctly, but I was on my phone.

The fact remains that China has effectively implemented and perfected National Socialism. Call it fascism if you prefer. But it is difficult to look at a state that has entwined single-party authoritarian rule around capitalist economic principles and not see the comparison.

That they are brazenly suppressing and exterminating ethnic and religious minorities is icing on the cake.

It is more state capitalism. Socialism implies more democracy.

Far be it from nazis to portray themselves as something they're not...

National Socialism was state capitalism. The CCP's control of their corporations and conglomerates is almost like they took Speer's notebooks and followed them to the letter. It's possible that Krupp and IG Farben and Messerschmitt were able to wag the dog a little more than their Chinese equivalents, but the resemblances are striking.

You could make the argument that the bigger problem, still, is China's lack of political diversity. One party has supreme control.

If the workers can't control the means of production, it is not socialism.

Socialism calls for the democracy of the workplace.

What China has done is replace the authoritarian bourgeois with an authoritarian government.

Just because North Korea's name is Democratic People's Republic of Korea doesn't mean it is democratic. Naming stuff their opposite doesn't make it so, but I'll admit it has been pretty effective for convincing people who don't know the true definition.

I'm confused - are you trying to say that the Nazis weren't socialist and so can't be compared to China, or that China isn't socialist and so can't be compared to the Nazis?

Or just that we shouldn't use the word "socialism" in conjunction with either, despite that being the name of one of the groups in question?

Would you use the word democratic to describe North Korea, despite that being the name of the country?

No, but by your standards 'Socialist' describes Nazi Germany approximately as well as it does China.

I think you are misunderstanding what I said.

> Socialism calls for the democracy of the workplace.

> What China has done is replace the authoritarian bourgeois with an authoritarian government.

In other words, China is not Socialist. Presumably, neither was the National Socialist German Workers Party while it was in control of the country.

The question then becomes, why is this relevant. Why say "that's not true Socialism!" in response to someone comparing Nazi Germany with China, when neither was Socialist?

Then it is I who misunderstood. No biggie, everyone makes mistakes. Just ignore my comment and carry on.

Socialism implies more democracy? Is Venenzuela more democratic?

The only real democracy is that which is based on a government that is biased towards the center. Far left and far right is never democratic. Democracy working correctly is filled with compromise.

That was the whole point of the episode. Has China never heard of Barbara Streisand?

Streisand effect doesn't work in absolute dictatorships as it requires freedom of speech.

Or mecha Barbara Streissand...

At least they are not the same warmongerers as the USA. Their tactics to use the legit ways of business to gain more power is really smart compared to many western countries who just invade others with brute force, military and bombs.

China is a f*ed up country concerning human rights etc. but in the end we could really use a mix of the best ideas from both worlds.

I'm afraid the world will go on like it does because globalization forces us to work together. Either one will gain absolute power or we'll have this situation going on like forever probably.

P.S.: We have our own share of censorship etc. but we have the tendency to ignore that and point our fingers at countries like China for being "much worse".

It's a very poor argument to dismiss or dilute criticism of China because the US also warrants criticism.

Exactly right. China is overall far less destructive to the world and to human rights than the US is.

Keep in mind that Trump has started this anti-China drumbeat as a way of asserting the moral superiority of his administration.

China pollutes more than the US. Also anybody can see that they are gearing up for a conflict to obtain hegemony. They are the ones posturing for inevitable conflict... just so they can gain more power over the world. Look at countries that fell into the US sphere of influence... Europe, South Korea. Things aren't to bad in those places huh?

> China pollutes more than the US.

The US outsources pollution to China by outsourcing manufacturing of things that US environmental laws make extra costly to manufacture in the US. Then out of the other side of its mouth the US criticizes China for being a polluter.

Also, accounts of US pollution do not consider the pollution caused by US wars and occupations, which are the single most polluting thing ever done by mankind. China may edge out US private sector pollution, but it's hard to compete with years of oil field fires.

> they are gearing up for a conflict to obtain hegemony

China does not have natural borders (oceans) like the US, so it has more regional vulnerabilities. I don't think there is evidence that China's policies reveal anything more than the typical effort to protect against regional weaknesses.

> Look at countries that fell into the US sphere of influence.

Such as Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, The Philippines? For the most part, US influence is horribly destructive to the democratic process and civil society of any nation it touches.

With respect to European wars, the US eventually decided to stop selling IBM tech to Hitler and to step in and enter the war, but it was already too late to prevent the worst atrocities. Of course the US narrative is that the US saved Europe from self destruction.

The pollution thing I understand, and the worst part about the US system is it allows the greedy psychopaths at the strings of large multinationals to go unchecked.

How is posturing to take over the peaceful island of Taiwan a protective act? How is allowing NK to blackmail the world with nukes good?

These countries you listed... many would be in perpetual civil war for a century or be in the grips of autocratic strongmen if the US didn't go in? So people like you don't want the US to act, and then if we pull out or don't act you say "where is the good in the world?"

Most of these countries have achilles heels in having a valuable resource that can fall into a few hands easily. The middle east countries are built on oil. Colombia drugs. Other central american countries, trafficking. The Phillipines isn' that bad?

So you say you don't want the US to interfere, and then you say they interfered too late in WW2? You seem more like a US hater than a realist.

> You seem more like a US hater than a realist

Realism involves an honest discussion of national interest. In the US we have fairytale stories about American Exceptionalism, which serve the same purpose as religious canon.

Part of the US strategy is to frame foreign leaders and governments as horrible/dictator/strongman, etc. So then the post-intervention scenario can be favorably compared to what would have hypothetically happened if the US had not intervened.

But further analysis reveals that the US framing of foreign leaders and governments is never remotely based on reality and is always a propaganda tool to help the public consent to whatever atrocious acts the leaders seek to undertake.

Very few intelligent Americans believe in our absolute exceptionalism. You're saying that the gun-toting hicks are representative of the whole country? Generalization.

Also your strongman framing explanation is overly simplified. "Never" is an absolute. Do you think Saddam was a good guy? Do you think North Korea is a good place?

I'm not nearly in support of everything the US Gov has done. But you're saying since their record is not 100% perfect, then it is a bad actor. Tough threshold you have there. It's obvious you're just anti-US and probably a troll.

> probably a troll.

It's telling that anyone who seriously questions American Exceptionalism is viewed instinctively as a troll.

> Very few intelligent Americans believe in our absolute exceptionalism.

This assertion is not falsifiable, and just sounds like praising "moderation" while simultaneously supporting the status quo. Meaningless.

> Do you think Saddam was a good guy?

Life in Iraq under Saddam was substantially better for most Iraqis than life in Iraq during the American war and occupation. Note that the death toll for US Iraq adventures is approaching 1 Million, so it is harder to find dissenting voices than it would otherwise be.

> Do you think North Korea is a good place?

I don't think there is any reason why tiny NK needs to be fodder for such dramatic propaganda toward US citizens. At best, NK is relevant because of some broader conflict between the US and China, and is a pawn used by both sides.

> But you're saying since their record is not 100% perfect, then it is a bad actor.

No, I am simply saying that the US is most definitely a bad actor when measured by any reasonable standard. The idea that the US has (overall) a glowing "record" is simply a way of incorporating past successes (WW2) into the rhetoric for today's backward policies. The US may not have always been a bad actor, but it has been for the past 3 or 4 decades.

> Tough threshold you have there.

As a US citizen, my job is to be honest and direct about the failures of US foreign and domestic policies. I have a duty to do that. I certainly think we all have a duty to fix our own country before throwing stones at others.

> It's obvious you're just anti-US

You forgot to provide attribution for this quote. It's attributable (in paraphrase) to George W. Bush, who said "You're either with us or against us".

Here are the things that would allow the US to take some first steps toward stopping being a bad actor:

- Have an internal discussion about US national interest that does not involve personal attacks or accusations of insanity or ideological extremism directed toward foreign peoples/leaders.

- Allow for the possibility that the US might undertake wars of aggression or might attempt to simply steal resources that belong to other countries for its own selfish gains, and not for humanitarian reasons. All foreign policy is now explained in American Exceptionalist platitudes about freedom, women's rights, etc. Give me a break.

- The pentagon budget should be fully auditable

- All foreign operations/engagements that cost over $1M, involve over 100 troops or last longer than 30 days should require a congressional majority. All operations and spending should be re-approved via a new congressional vote every six months.

>Look at countries that fell into the US sphere of influence... Europe, South Korea. Things aren't to bad in those places huh?

Here in Europe we are very thankful, if it wasn't for America we would still be a third world country living in tents. Thanks for democracy, freedom, art, philosophy, medicine and so on. I only wish Europe had any of the smart minds that you have, maybe we could come up with them. Oh wait...

Uh that's not even what I'm saying. Of course Europe itself contributed to it's success and wellbeing too. I was saying the alternative of Nazi or Soviet influence probably would not have turned out as well. Also using your train of thought, because the Nazis made scientific advancements they are "good"?

I was saying that whatever system the US promoted after WW2, it worked out pretty well for most of us. Europe and the US have protected press, free thought, science advancements. People can watch/read what they want. There are problems but it's def a collection of good societies. So idk what your issue is?

I'm pretty sure that without the US, the 20th century would have seen Europe united under either Nazi Germany or the USSR...

True. No one is suggesting here that the US is 100% bad. South Korea is an example of a place where things worked out pretty well due in large part to US intervention, just like WWII (though there's an argument to be made that the US got involved much later than it should have). But... is that it? How does that balance out Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan (80s and today), Iraq, Kuwait, etc.? On the whole, I believe US interventionism has been a net negative on societies we've interfered with.

True, and as upsetting as it is for Americans to hear this, chances are Europe would be at least as pluralistic and free as it is today had either of those happened.

In the counterfactual where the Soviets conquered Europe, I could easily see the USSR surviving to today... No liberal democracies on their borders to compare with, no need for a huge military on the western border, and increased resources would go a long way.

It’d still crumble under its own weight due to corruption and lack of mid-level society bonding factors like corporations, unions, gatherings, etc. China managed to navigate this mess somewhat successfully until it was technically possible to implement social engineering on a scale previously unheard of with their great firewall and social score. Compute power enables their selective repression system.

What makes you think the USSR would have been more successful had it been stretched even more thinly, across a much larger land area and population, where the vast majority of those people would hate their occupation overlords?

China does not pollute more per capita. US has a commanding lead there.

But they produce twice the total emissions which is what affects the climate. And it seems to be growing at an alarming rate, while US emissions seem to be level or shrinking.


But the point is each person in China produces far less than each person in the US. They just have a lot more people. This is made even worse when you consider that much of what Americans use was manufactured there.

If you cannot watch the episode in your country, here is a link to the "Band in China" on facebook (subbed in traditional Chinese): https://www.facebook.com/fighterstudiohk/videos/396572967928...

Uhm? Facebook is the first thing that non-Western countries will block for political reasons.


Why is this link downvoted? If it's due to your views on piracy, torrents shouldn't be any worse that the pirate Facebook stream.

Oh, not block for political reasons (some copyright issues apparently).

My friends in Hong Kong and Canada couldn't watch the official stream for some reason, and got some copyright page instead: https://southpark.cc.com/full-episodes/s23e02-band-in-china

In Canada, The Comedy Network has exclusive rights to South Park (and several other Comedy Channel properties).

While most users in China don't have access to Facebook, it is still pretty cheap/easy† for Chinese citizens to buy access to a VPN that allows them to use services by Western companies (e.g. Facebook, Google, Twitter)

†: https://www.saporedicina.com/english/vpn-how-to-access-faceb...

I'm pretty sure that's simplified Chinese, not traditional.

I love this in every way.

I'm curious to see if their relationship with Ubisoft gets strained, though, given some recent news with gaming companies trying hard to maintain good relations with China, and because I believe Ubisoft is partly owned by a Chinese company.

(FYI - Ubisoft / Obsidian made the Stick of Truth games, and I believe a mobile game or two with the South Park license.)

Tencent has about a 5% stake iirc. They also have small interests in Activision-Blizzard and a big chunk of Epic. I have no idea what 5% of a company buys them.

I love how a single episode of a show can piss off the government of a country. Just recently Saudi Arabia banned an episode of "Patriot Act" and now this. Tyrants are really sensitive I guess.

relevant quote from pg:

> No one gets in trouble for saying that 2 + 2 is 5, or that people in Pittsburgh are ten feet tall. Such obviously false statements might be treated as jokes, or at worst as evidence of insanity, but they are not likely to make anyone mad. The statements that make people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. I suspect the statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true.


> Tyrants are really sensitive I guess.

Here's a fun game to play: close your eyes and imagine yourself in their shoes, hanging on to power day after day by a thread, relying on fear and coercion to keep on going.

Now comes such an episode making fun of you in front of the people you scare for a living.

What do you do?

You don't ban it, cuz it shows that you habe been hurt by it.

I just explained this to my mother, who is 80 and has dementia, and this is what she said:

"That's silly."

"It's only going to make people around the world watch it."

"A country the size of China with the power that they have and they mess up on a tiny insult."

Awesome response ... love those two ... fortunately they have financial and creative freedom to do what they want.

I don't think South Park angered the CCP only with Winnie the Pooh. Southpark can be seen as subversive to authoritarian regimes, the catchy jokes may make the people think outside the reestablished mold.

Interesting. To my knowledge, South Park was never imported into China. Maybe I am outdated, when it is imported to China?

This is not about it officially airing on Chinese TV, it’s about blocking it entirely from the whole of the Chinese Internet. You can’t even search for “South Park” and get any search results, not just on video sharing sites but on web search and social media sites as well. There’s another discussion on hacker news today that goes in the more details, it’s pretty scary the extent to which the Chinese government can wipe an entire topic off their corner of the internet. And with centralized chat systems like WeChat, your messages won’t go through either if they catch censorship algorithms. This effectively allows them to limit conversation about topics, which greatly hampers the Streisand effect everyone else is alluding to.

I just surprised it wasn't already years ago, given South Park's nothing-is-safe free-pass in The States which we loved.

Southpark, NBA, keep going and China will implode with boredom.

Have noticed Morey guy, Matt, Trey & whatnot. China remains faceless. China this and China that.

Is it irony that the episode on censorship isn't even available outside of the States?

There is no US-only restriction. Some locations might be restritcted, but I could watch the episode in Estonia. https://southpark.cc.com/

The restrictions are weird. The link you posted isn't available from Sweden.

The irony of anti-censorship episode being only available in select countries...

It is not like it is censored in Sweden, it's just someone holds the distribution rights in Sweden for South Park. So, they cannot show it to you on their website.

So, there is no irony here, it's copyright issue, not censorship issue.

Copyright and censorship are not mutually exclusive.

In Canada it’s much music who has the rights. Yes.. that channel is still around! But the show is online and streaming. Worth a watch!


It is at least pretty interesting that the end result of repressive censorship and "free" market capitalism seems to be the same: limitations on what you can see or hear.

To the average human, it doesn't really matter if it is the state that prevents you from seeing something or the forces of market capitalism. You have to do something illegal to see it either way, and you will be punished if discovered.

Copyright law is the antithesis of a free market. We participate in a fairly regulated market. I'm not advocating for a free market, but blaming this on the non-existent free market is just targeting the blame in the wrong direction.

The difference is that in capitalism you can pay the owner to see it. Most of the people who are blocked from one source by copyright probably have it available on a paid streaming service.

As the current market shows, you cannot always get the content from the owner. Some TV Shows are unavailable and the owners are unwilling to release them for whatever reason.

Try iTunes or Google Play. The Nordic version of South Park Studios is always several months behind.

Works in Serbia, too!

Once again, Parker and Stone are breaking the mould. Power to them.

So China is censoring the fact that they are censoring.


"'We good now China?' South Park creators issue mock apology after show reportedly censored"

Well all publicity is good publicity, fair play to them for standing up to their principles

They got me to watch an episode for the first time in over a decade, so yeah, well done all around.

Make no mistake, China knows South Park doesn't give a fuck about this.

This is about sending a very clear message to everybody else. You can be as big and well known and South Park, yet be cancelled in one second.

> You can be as big and well known and South Park

I think you’re overestimating South Park’s popularity, especially when compared to the NBA. They cancelled it because they don’t like being made fun of.

i'd say 99% Chinese people don't know or don't watch South Park. yes, its popularity is very much overestimated.

Deleted only from the web controlled by the Peopple's Republic of China. You can still access South Park from the Republic of China and elsewhere.

(Look what I did there: two countries, not one.)

That's because China is in English a short term for People's Republic of China while Republic of China's short term is Taiwan.

It's rather an alternative name, not a "short term"

The One China policy is moronic. If they keep being assholes, it is about time to give Taiwan their long overdue recognition.

Hell, give them back the Security Council seat that they had until the 70s...

> Hell, give them back the Security Council seat that they had until the 70s...

I'd rather prefer reforming the UN SC to get rid of the "veto" concept. It's time that the US, China and Russia have to finally be held accountable for the shit they did all over the world.

Held accountable by whom? The UN isn't a military force. The blue helmets only exist with support from the Big Five and could never take on any of them. The veto exists to reflect the reality that these countries, especially the US, Russia, and China all have the ability to completely destroy each other.

Hum... Are you aware that the UN has no intrinsic power, but is just a forum that hosts diplomatic negotiations?

What change do you expect getting rid of the veto would bring?

> Hum... Are you aware that the UN has no intrinsic power, but is just a forum that hosts diplomatic negotiations?

I was talking about the Security Council which can legalize military interventions either by individual countries or by UN-labeled forces (e.g. as in the Afghanistan War), and can conduct investigatikons into war crime and other international law violations.

> What change do you expect getting rid of the veto would bring?

Right now, the veto powers block consequences for their allies - the US/Israel don't want their numerous illegal acts (regime changes, Iraq/Afghanistan war crimes, their part in the Palestine issue) investigated, the Russians block investigations into the atrocities of Assad's Syrian regime and the Chinese block everything that targets North Korea plus whatever the Russians need support. The only thing that's somehow consistently investigated are crimes of African warlords, creating an additional nasty white supremacism layer on top.

Do you understand that US blessing was what made PRC's UN seat possible? China wasn't that popular even with 3rd world countries back then.

Reversing that now, when Chinese money are going all around the globe now will not work.

I see lots of Anti-China sentiment. I would be very careful here into not falling into the trap of making ourselves China's "Enemy".

China in its current form needs an "Enemy" to survive, without it, it has to deal with difficult questions like "censorship", and in order to survive will need to change - and that's what really scares them.

So how do you oppose a government that is the sworn enemy of values you regard more precious than your own life?

It's hard not to be the enemy of such a government seeking to increase its power and influence on the world.

Totalitarian governments rely on distraction and misdirection of the populace in order to survive. Without it to use as ammunition to unify the people against a common "enemy", the very nature of its limiting rule forces the populace to start questions to try and improve their own condition. Questions like "freedom" and "censorship". Totalitarian governments are not equipped to satisfy difficult questions like this and will either adapt or crumble.

Thus the best way "oppose a government that is the sworn enemy of values you regard more precious than your own life" is to allow it to face its internal problems without giving it the "enemy" it so desperately needs as ammunition to use against you.

I don't think that setting up an enemy is what Chinese government needs to survive after 1979. it might be used to. on the contrary, what they need to survive now is to keep their economy stable and strong to prove/maintain their legitimacy to rule the country.

All the other stuff doesn't matter I guess (nba, hollywood, apple, blizzard, etc)? But since techies love south park for some reason we suddenly care? HN are full of hypocrites. In any case, I need to go rewatch the episode with chinese translations. Watched it on hulu and CC didn't show for the chinese speaking parts :( .

The Blizzard story is the top HN story today with 1,700+ upvotes.

Yesterday, HN's top story was about Apple removing the Taiwan flag from the emoji keyboard: https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=2019-10-07

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