The obligatory “Chinese pianist plays anti-American tune at White House?” post

posted at 7:09 pm on January 24, 2011 by Allahpundit

Skip ahead to 5:40 of the clip from last week’s dinner to watch him play the key bit. This story’s now three days old and I still haven’t seen a definitive account either corroborating or debunking the claims — and quotes — from this widely linked Epoch Times piece. Jake Tapper took a run at it just within the past hour and got this statement from the White House:

At the White House State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao, pianist Lang Lang played, among other ditties, the song “My Motherland.”

My Motherland was written for the 1956 Chinese war film “Battle on Shangganling Mountain,” about the Korean War, in which the People’s Republic of China soldiers are the heroes and the bad guys are Americans

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told ABC News that “any suggestion that this was an insult to the United States is just flat wrong. As Lang Lang has stated before, he plays this song regularly because it is one of his favorite Chinese melodies, which is very widely known and popular in China for its melody. Lang Lang played the song without lyrics or reference to any political themes during the entertainment portion of the State Dinner. He simply stated the song’s title and noted it was well known in China.”

Tapper asked two experts, one from conservative AEI and the other from liberal Brookings, if there were political overtones to the selection; predictably, the former said yes and the latter said not necessarily. The pianist, Lang Lang, insisted today that there was no political message:

In a statement, Lang said “I selected this song because it has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. It was selected for no other reason but for the beauty of its melody.”

He also said “America and China are my two homes. I am most grateful to the United States for providing me with such wonderful opportunities, both in my musical studies and for furthering my career. I couldn’t be who I am today without those two countries.”

Lang said that he wants to “bridge cultures together through the beauty and inspiration of music.”

Clears things up, right? Not so fast. Here’s what Lang allegedly told Phoenix TV, an outfit based in Hong Kong with “close ties” to the Chinese government, according to the Epoch Times:

The name of the song is “My Motherland,” originally titled “Big River.” In an interview broadcast on Phoenix TV, the first thing Lang Lang is quoted as saying is that he chose the piece.

He then said, “I thought to play ‘My Motherland’ because I think playing the tune at the White House banquet can help us, as Chinese people, feel extremely proud of ourselves and express our feelings through the song. I think it’s especially good. Also, I like the tune in and of itself, every time I hear it I feel extremely moved.”

He expressed this idea more frankly in a later blog post, writing: “Playing this song praising China to heads of state from around the world seems to tell them that our China is formidable, that our Chinese people are united; I feel deeply honored and proud.”

Not an overt admission that he had the film in mind, but a bit beyond the neutral “it sounds pretty” explanation. And as the Epoch Times notes, whether Lang knew the full cultural context for the song is a secondary question; the point is that the Chinese diplomats who vet the program for the state dinner in advance almost certainly would have. As would, one would assume, their counterparts on the American side. Did this little cultural/political message simply slip through the cracks of our “Smart Power” advance team? Or did they notice it and decide that there are already enough points of contention with the Chinese that they weren’t going to force another over a propaganda ploy that seems cheap and meaningless to us but may have greater significance in China– especially when plausible deniability (“he chose it for the melody”) was readily available?

Complicating all this is the fact that the Epoch Times was apparently founded by Falun Gong supporters and is known for hostile coverage of the Chinese regime. Anyone seen any articles in the past day or two that convincingly rebuts or confirms its take on all this? I haven’t found any and a definitive answer would be a grand thing to have before the inevitable “what are these wingnuts complaining about now?” apologias start rolling out from Obama-protecting leftist media.


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Comment pages: 1 2

No, but I work with many Chinese people–some who are here, and some who are in China, some who are in Tokyo. I only know hillbillyjim doesn’t know any because he find it so easy to believe such silly things about them.

What you don’t know may not hurt you, but it sure might make you seem foolish.

———————–Confucius hillbillyjim

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 9:07 PM

You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Your $%@ agenda is showing, DaveAss.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Yeah, everybody who thinks you should think for yourself has “an agenda”.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Damn that awful google translator: I re-translated what it gave me in Chinese (post at 9:04) back to English and it said “Heroic poem failure”.

Oh well, it was that too, I guess. ;-)

leilani on January 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Professor ObaMao just thought that the song’s performance by Lang Lang was a “teachable moment” on “Chinese exceptionalism.”

(Can I just throw in a pop tune from my youth? “Du LANG du LANG du LANG; He’s so fine…”)

onlineanalyst on January 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Tell me daves, when the talk radio is off and real people are around, do you initiate discourses with them by stating you are smarter?

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM

So for once the State Department’s infamous incompetence paid off. They were too clueless to realize America was unwittingly being complimented here. If Lang Lang was trying to make a patriotic statement about the relative greatness of his beloved oppressive Chinese dictatorship with respect to the US: 史詩失敗. – leilani on January 24, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Another post from a U. S. State Department computer?

SC.Charlie on January 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM

@SC Charlie 9:11. Huh?

leilani on January 24, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Damn that awful google translator: I re-translated what it gave me in Chinese (post at 9:04) back to English and it said “Heroic poem failure”.

Oh well, it was that too, I guess. ;-)

leilani on January 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Those translators can be tricky… I was invited to dinner in Tokyo once, and when I looked up the restaurant it appeared to serve “cow phlegm”. It was actually gyutan, which is a (delicious) beef tongue dish, but… it was a little hard to get motivated to go to dinner.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Tell me daves, when the talk radio is off and real people are around, do you initiate discourses with them by stating you are smarter?

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM

People I hang out with don’t say the sort of stupid thing that is liable to provoke that sort of response from me. But, hypothetically, if someone were to start preaching at me about Lang Lang being a “good communist” and enumerating his motivations for playing this particular song and this and that other thing, and if I knew that the person actually had no idea what they were talking about, didn’t know anything about Lang Lang’s political beliefs, had never heard of the song before, and probably only got the impressions that they had from talk radio or cable news, yeah… I would probably tell them that they should tone it down because it sounded silly.

Then, yes, if they called me a communist with an “agenda” and reiterated all of the same dumb stuff, I would probably tell them that I am more informed about the subject than they are and that they should meet some people are do some reading.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:18 PM

In trying to justify the opinion that someone programmed you to have, you probably acquired more knowledge about the movie than most Chinese people of Lang Lang’s age.

DaveS: You can be sure that people of Lang Lang’s age and younger have been indoctrinated to know exactly what that song means.

Unlike too many young people in our culture who think that history began when they were born and who don’t receive an adequate education to set them straight, the young of other nations know a bit more about their heritage.

onlineanalyst on January 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

A billion Chinese undertand the cape that’s been waved in our face, but our State Department does not. I assumed Obama bowed to Hu afterward?

unclesmrgol on January 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Cindy Cooper on January 24, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Well summarized. Hillbillyjim Got it right also. The Chinese flipped us off. And ODumbAss smiled.

dogsoldier on January 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Chinese version of Dixie

faraway on January 24, 2011 at 7:35 PM

No — Chinese version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Remember, they think they won. Which, given where NK is going with nukes, might well be true.

unclesmrgol on January 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

*sigh* Well…they’ve owned us in just about every other way possible, so I guess this was inevitable.

Dark-Star on January 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM

DaveS: You can be sure that people of Lang Lang’s age and younger have been indoctrinated to know exactly what that song means.

onlineanalyst on January 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Why can I be sure of that? Certinaly, the Chinese nationalists bloggers weren’t sure:

But web users in China hailed Lang Lang as a true patriot for playing “My Motherland”, the theme of a famous 1956 Chinese film called “Battle on Shangganling Mountain” set during the Korean War. … “It’s deeply meaningful to play this in the United States, but I don’t know if the Americans can understand? …

Others wondered if the pianist was aware of the song’s history. “Congratulations!” one said. “On a separate issue, before picking ‘My Motherland’, did you know it was the theme tune for ‘Battle on Shangganling Mountain’?”

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM

And Country Joe (and the Fish) sang “And it’s one, two, three what are we fightin’ for? Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam….” as a tribute to our wonderful American men in uniform, right?

Of course, the Chinese played us. They’ve been doing it for decades.

coldwarrior on January 24, 2011 at 9:32 PM

No — Chinese version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Remember, they think they won. Which, given where NK is going with nukes, might well be true.

unclesmrgol on January 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

No, more like the Chinese version of America the Beautiful.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Next time the British Prime Minister visits we should have someone play the “Sons of Liberty” theme from “Johnny Tremain.”

NNtrancer on January 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Are you really that dense, or are you just hooked on trolling HotAir? If you truly believe half of the shit you are spewing, you need to go directly to the 2nd grade and pay attention.

I personally believe you aren’t that stupid, and that you are purposefully denying the truth so you won’t feel so stupid the next time you come in close proximity to a mirror.

It’s one thing to be wrong; it’s another realm of pitiful where you’re dwelling.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 9:39 PM

I have called my Politicians so many times – only to find voting is the only time they hear me —

wheels on January 24, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Ya think?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 24, 2011 at 9:43 PM

“anti-American tune”? WTF? Do you people politicize everything?

Grow Fins on January 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM

When Bammie goes to Beijing, we should play the Republic of China anthem.

slickwillie2001 on January 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Do you people politicize everything?

Grow Fins on January 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM


You racist SOB.

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 9:52 PM

I loved his work on “Drawn Together”.

ronsfi on January 24, 2011 at 9:53 PM

“anti-American tune”? WTF? Do you people politicize everything?

Grow Fins on January 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM

It’s all in our imagination, of course.

You and DaveAss can now go to the head of the class.

As if you weren’t already there.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 9:53 PM

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 9:39 PM

If you truly believe half of the shit you are spewing…

Like what? I haven’t said anything that is wrong. The point you replied to was my (correct) point that the song in question is more analogous to our America the Beautiful than to “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

Interestingly, your typical American probably also doesn’t know the abolitionist roots of the Battle Hymn of the Republic–not that most would take issue with it, but the point is that patriotic songs can and do become disassociated with the original political impetus for their composition. As far as I can tell, the stupid Chinese movie is not one that most Chinese people know or care about, and the song is considered to be a song about national pride.

And frankly, I don’t see what would be offensive about an American performing the Battle Hymn either.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:56 PM

“anti-American tune”? WTF? Do you people politicize everything?

Grow Fins on January 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Yes, they politicize everything that they are told to politicize.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Do you people politicize everything?

Grow Fins on January 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM

You racist SOB.

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Finsie gives himself away every time. It’s child’s play to decipher who are the real “haters”.

Thanks, Finsie. You’ve made it easy for even the simplest neophyte to see through your transparent self.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 9:59 PM

………..well he’s quick with a joke
or to light up your smoke
and say “Man what are you doing here?”

bannedbyhuffpo on January 24, 2011 at 10:01 PM

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Thx.

More compost for the pile.

Keep’em coming, SugarPie.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Yes, they politicize everything that they are told to politicize.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:57 PM

You racist SOB!

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

I see you have a good handle on the manner in which THESE PEOPLE operate.

Yep. THOSE PEOPLE.

Ironic, no?

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Thx. More compost for the pile. Keep’em coming, SugarPie.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Interestingly, my comment that you responded to was the most substantive thing either of us has posted since the middle of page 1.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:09 PM

As clumsy as it was stupid. Might play well at home to the myopic masses, but nowhere else.

churchill995 on January 24, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Interestingly, my comment that you responded to was the most substantive thing either of us has posted since the middle of page 1.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:09 PM

You believe what you want to believe. The Chinese who approved this would think you a simpleton, and they would be correct. Make no mistake; everything that comes from China for public consumption, here in the U.S. or otherwise, IS vetted in “a thousand ways”.

Grow up, educate yourself, or stop being deceitful; whichever applies.

G’night.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Make no mistake; everything that comes from China for public consumption, here in the U.S. or otherwise, IS vetted in “a thousand ways”.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Which is why I have said on more than one occasion that the Chinese officials almost certainly understood and found it humorous. The question is whether Lang Lang intended it to be an anti-American insult, or an expression of pride by playing one of his favorite patriotic songs. There is no evidence of the former.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:18 PM

在上甘岭战役山

他妈的你的母亲

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:29 PM

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Turn off that talk radio and get out there and talk to real people!!!!!!11121312425

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Which is why I have said on more than one occasion that the Chinese officials almost certainly understood and found it humorous. The question is whether Lang Lang intended it to be an anti-American insult, or an expression of pride by playing one of his favorite patriotic songs. There is no evidence of the former.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Willful ignorance is ignorance amplified by stupidity.

Now go and peddle your transparent lies to someone else; I’m done.

Good night, sir, and a good night to all.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM

;>)

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:38 PM

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Turn off that talk radio and get out there and talk to real people!!!!!!11121312425

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM

This is more a case of google translate than talk radio. And talk radio is ok, as long as you don’t use it to tell you what to think.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM

I would describe this event as a Sine-felled moment.

Like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inANd0iiY-s

Shy Guy on January 24, 2011 at 10:51 PM

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Willful ignorance is ignorance amplified by stupidity.

Now go and peddle your transparent lies to someone else; I’m done.

Good night, sir, and a good night to all.

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Redundancy — It’s what’s for dinner!

hillbillyjim on January 24, 2011 at 10:55 PM

This is more a case of google translate than talk radio. And talk radio is ok, as long as you don’t use it to tell you what to think.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM

I want you to reread your response to me and tell me in three words or less (hint: Rahm Emmanuel gots in trouble for using one of the words) what is wrong with it.

Inanemergencydial on January 24, 2011 at 11:00 PM

ありえへん! I thought you people said you were done.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM

I found the next song for the next White House party that fits the theme of being Anti American at the time it was created and loved in many of places. It would go over wonderful.

Dixie

tjexcite on January 24, 2011 at 11:51 PM

That’s a good analogy.

DaveS on January 25, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Except, it’s more overtly offensive.

DaveS on January 25, 2011 at 12:04 AM

That’s a good analogy.

———————

Except, it’s more overtly offensive.

DaveAss on January 25, 2011 at 12:04 AM

So, I take it that you finally agree that the Chinese choice was indeed overtly offensive, just not as offensive as our homegrown analogue.

~~~~~waiting for weasel words of defiant denial~~~~~

hillbillyjim on January 25, 2011 at 12:31 AM

No, the Chinese piece is not overtly offensive at all. It is only offensive to someone who a) knows the original context, b) knows the lyrics and c) believes that the performer also satisfies a and c and intends for the context (and lyrics) to be known and perceived to be offensive by the listener.

Dixie is quite overtly offensive if you consider the lyrics, but divorced from the lyrics it would be offensive to someone who a) knows the lyrics and b) believes that the performer also satisfies A and and intends for the lyrics to be known and perceived to be offensive by the listener.

In a nutshell: The difference here is that absent context and intent, the Chinese piece needn’t be offensive. Dixie is inherently offensive to anyone who knows the lyrics.

DaveS on January 25, 2011 at 1:02 AM

Sorry, last sentence should be: Dixie is inherently offensive to anyone who knows the lyrics and believes that the performer wants you to consider them (rather than merely the cheery melody).

DaveS on January 25, 2011 at 1:04 AM

DaveS on January 25, 2011 at 1:02 AM

If you don’t realize that every Chinese person who witnesses or hears of this backhanded bullshit is going to laugh into their hat, then you have proven that you are even dumber than an ignorant hillbilly.

Poor you. You’re even stoopider’n me.

hillbillyjim on January 25, 2011 at 4:43 AM

The lyrics of Dixie. Are they offensive?

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten, {Alt Original: Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,]
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
early on one frosty mornin’,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

……………http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/dixie.htm

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I’ll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie

Optional Verses

Ole Missus marry “Will the weaver”
Willum was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

But when he put his arm around ‘er,
He smiled fierce as a forty pounder,
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

His face was sharp as a butcher’s cleaver
But that did not seem to grieve ‘er
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

Ole Missus acted the foolish part
And died for a man that broke her heart
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

Now here’s a health to the next ole Missus
An’ all the gals that want to kiss us;
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

But if you want to drive ‘way sorrow
Come and hear this song tomorrow
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

There’s buckwheat cakes and Injun batter,
Makes you fat or a little fatter;
Look away! Look away! Look away!
Dixie Land

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 7:55 AM

DaveS on January 25, 2011 at 1:04 AM

And President Lincoln asked that “Dixie” be played…when news of Lee’s surrender to Grant reached the White House.

So inherently offensive was that tune.

coldwarrior on January 25, 2011 at 7:58 AM

I’ve read the lyrics of Dixie. I would like to know what is offensive. It has just become politically incorrect to sing the tune. A lot of Southern high schools and even the Citadel used the song as a song at football games. But of course times have changed.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 8:07 AM

I have spoken to someone who is just getting familiar with the Chinese. I’ll quote part of the email I received, trimming off the editorial comments which came along with this:

“Just to make things clear, ‘China’ in Chinese is called :zhong guo, it mean the state in the center, that means that china sees itself as the center of the world, and no matter how diplomatic they appear to be they still look down on all other countries and policies. People who are not Chinese are call- wai gou ren, which in ancient Chinese means barbarians- this is the way they perceive the world.”

I feel better already. Like a muggle. :)

Shy Guy on January 25, 2011 at 8:55 AM

If we don’t understand the implications, and thought it was just another catchy Chinese top 50 tune, then it was only a big deal to the Chicoms. Just like when you tell a joke and end up being the only one laughing.

Kissmygrits on January 25, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Now, the White House claims that insult wasn’t really an insult at all.

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/white-house-claims-anti-american-propaganda-tune-not-an-insult-to-america

jdawg on January 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I think the term Obama would be familiar with is “I’d been schooled”…
Obama is a tool, and the laughingstock of every leader.

right2bright on January 25, 2011 at 11:12 AM

At least the Chinese actually remember the Korean War.

Maybe we could send over Kenny G to play a sweet rendition of “Suicide is Painless” in Beijing. With an accompanying monologue by Alan Alda.

Professor Blather on January 25, 2011 at 11:13 AM

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told ABC News that “any suggestion that this was an insult to the United States is just flat wrong. As Lang Lang has stated before, he plays this song regularly because it is one of his favorite Chinese melodies, which is very widely known and popular in China for its melody. Lang Lang played the song without lyrics or reference to any political themes during the entertainment portion of the State Dinner. He simply stated the song’s title and noted it was well known in China.”

And the White House believed that. Suckers. This is a STATE DINNER. Diplomacy is required. Wars can be started because somebody gets the wrong seating assignment. Song choice is planned long in advance and deliberate. Everybody, except for America evidently, gets that.

This was not a mistake.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

Pablo Snooze on January 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM

I’ve read the lyrics of Dixie. I would like to know what is offensive.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 8:07 AM

You asked for it, here it is….

Willum was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away! Look away!

Homophobic music….

right2bright on January 25, 2011 at 11:15 AM

you ameriKKKan JACKALS will learn to love this song!!!

BOW DOWN to your new MASTERS!!!!

and learn to speak and write a civilized language..MANDARIN

we will BURY YOU!!!!

right4life on January 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Lang Lang came as close to publicly and overtly admitting it as he is likely to do, and you know that, but because of your obvious ideological leanings you demand an overt admission which you know is never going to happen, in a failed attempt to defend your position.

hillbillyjim on January 25, 2011 at 4:43 AM

I think he’s playin’ you Jim. He and Fins side with the dictator.

Everything governments do is for one political purpose or another. That is not cynical, its reality.

dogsoldier on January 25, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Why do we keep calling China “Communist” when it is clearly a Fascist country now? Fascism is the other side of the Socialist coin from Communism, and at its core is Corporatism and Nationalism — which China definitely exhibits in spades.

Corporatism gives the government maximum “for profit” control of the economy by controlling the industrial class and the single State labor union, to which all industrial workers belong. This is the fine edge of China’s economy — fascist-corporatist policy allows growth and some private innovation while allowing the government control over the economy…but it can lose that control if people chafe at the restrictions and want unburdened markets.

So to retard that impulse to freedom China has been using its control of media for generations to play up nationalism to control its people since the abandonment of Communism in the early 1980s/late 1970s. China tempers the impulse to individualism and free markets being bred through its economic growth through nationalism — strong appeals to Chinese ethnicity, pride, place and nation. China is portrayed as the Middle Kingdom, betrayed by outsiders and now getting strong enough to take its rightful place in the world as the dominant power. Oh, and once Chinese, always Chinese — doesn’t matter if you are in Singapore or San Francisco, China is the Motherland for all Chinese.

Some of this should be familiar…we’ve seen it before. A rising authoritarian economic power using nationalism and ethnicity to bind its people together, feeling betrayed by the outsiders, and wants its place in the sun…I hope we can weather China’s transition from Fascism to Democracy…

EasyEight on January 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Tyhe next time a President goes to China, he/she should bring a pianist of Japanese decent to play a tune glorifying the rape of Nanking

Bevan on January 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Homophobic music…. – right2bright on January 25, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Too funny. I don’t believe it is gays who have labeled the song as being racist and not to be played. As I said we are celebrating/remembering the 150 anniversary of the War Between the States. It is our history. I would rather listen to all the music of the War Between the States, and avoid today’s pop music, especially rap noise.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I wonder if Dave works for the Whitehouse?

Kjeil on January 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Tyhe next time a President goes to China, he/she should bring a pianist of Japanese decent to play a tune glorifying the rape of Nanking – Bevan on January 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM

No he should ask to visit Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize winner that has been imprisoned by the Chinese.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I wonder if Dave works for the Whitehouse? – Kjeil on January 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Who knows, only Dave.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Perhaps Lang Lang could ask to visit Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize winner that has been imprisoned by the Chinese………..not going to happen.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Think, “Marching Through Georgia” at a Sons of the Confederacy dinner.

Mason on January 25, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Whether it was gaffe or deliberate really doesn’t matter. This would be akin to singing ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ at Buckingham palace in front of the Queen.

gitarfan on January 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM

How about Joan Baez’s big hit song “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. Time’s they are a changing!

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I have to wonder if the Ken Burns series on our Civil War can now be played on Public TV stations?

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 12:43 PM

We Americans–particularly a State Dept that is convinced of its own intellectual prowess in contrast to repeated missteps–are too direct to appreciate the sublety of the Asian approach to relationships.

Lang Lang may not have overtly insulted us, but every Asian over the age of 50 knew it.

An American statesman who truly appreciated other cultures wouldn’t show it by bowing to their Premier–he would show it by learning their subtle insults and responding in an appropriate fashion.

rwenger43 on January 25, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Whether it was gaffe or deliberate really doesn’t matter. This would be akin to singing ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ at Buckingham palace in front of the Queen.

gitarfan on January 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Ummm….you do know that Her Majesty’s Own Band plays the music of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” to the Queen, right? Except they still call it the original “God Save the Queen.” Same tune, we revised the words over here.

Yes, surely you knew that. I must be the one missing the subtlety, and hence the point, here….

I don’t see the comparison with Lang Lang.

rwenger43 on January 25, 2011 at 1:15 PM

I’m actually sort of baffled by some of the comments here where this insult measures the amount of an emotional shoulder shrug.

This song was featured in a movie that is a CLEAR insult to every Korean War Vet and to any soldier who has sat on the South Korean side look at North Korean soldiers through their binoculars. To have our Korean War Vets insulted at the White House by an American President who BOWS to Chinese dictators is beyond unacceptable.

Ooo… I cannot wait until this President is out of office. Can we do like the Communist Chinese? Can we wipe him from the history books and forget this Presidency ever happened? Pretty Please!?!

Sultry Beauty on January 25, 2011 at 1:16 PM

I’ve read the lyrics of Dixie. I would like to know what is offensive. It has just become politically incorrect to sing the tune. A lot of Southern high schools and even the Citadel used the song as a song at football games. But of course times have changed.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Ironically, “Dixie” was either written by freed slaves or the original composer got its idea from freed slaves in Ohio. It premiered in 1860 as part of a minstrel show on Broadway where the performers blacked out their faces and sang portraying freed or runaway slaves who missed the South, even though “Dixie” may very well refer to a certain farm on Long Island that harbored them after they had run away.

The song’s popularity was probably due to its ebullience and the universal appeal it held to all Southerners in its identifying phrase “I wish I was in Dixie”.

While I respect what Sen. McConnell has always tried to do in respect to the great heritage we have in the South, the song violates political correctness because its tone celebrated the plantation mindset. Certainly if I were Moses I would object to my freed people wishing for their slavery back in Egypt at the hands of Pharaoh; if I were the President of an emerging demcracy in Eastern Europe I would object to anyone celebrating the days of oppression under their Communist tyrants; and if I believe in freedom I object to anyone celebrating the nanny-statism of Nancy and Barack.

Come to think of it, is anyone really wondering why this Administration is not upset at being insulted by the professional Socialists in the room?

rwenger43 on January 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM

It certainly sounds to me as a “they are so stupid they’ll believe anything” CYA explanation. When you think about it, what are the WH choices? Either they agree it’s an insult and they were to stupid to have noticed it, or they ignore it and let the Chinese think they are clueless. As the Chinese aren’t going to be voting in 2012, the later position is much preferable.

Fred 2 on January 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM

The song’s popularity was probably due to its ebullience and the universal appeal it held to all Southerners in its identifying phrase “I wish I was in Dixie”. – rwenger43 on January 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Dixie is a darn good tune and song. It is just too bad that it has been declared not to be politically correct to be played in public. I will continue to enjoy it.

Let’s all see what Lang Lang does in the future. He is a young man. And, appears to be an Obama favorite to have at state dinners.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 2:32 PM

That is odd. I wrote my blog post at about 5 this morning. Didn’t listen to Beck today. Didn’t know he’d used the Dixie analogy until right now. Dear god, Beck is inside my head eating my brain. ;-)

Since no one reads my blog it can’t be that he got it from me, but I’ll pretend he did and take all the credit.

In any case. Dixie is an anthem of the South and war of Northern Aggression. You can micropick the original intent of a comma but that doesn’t change what it eventually became.

BrideOfRove on January 25, 2011 at 3:08 PM

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM

If you REALLY knew the Chinese people and culture like you CLAIM to, then you would know that EVERYTHING is scripted when China’s people are allowed to interact with important people on this kind of stage. The song was chosen SPECIFICALLY for the fact that it is tied to such anti-American propaganda (maybe you should see how American’s are depicted in the film before you rush to defend). The fact that it was played at official state function would be akin to Markus Becker playing “Unsere Fahne Flattere für Uns” from Triumph of the Wills at the Knesset.

Not to take anything away from Lang Lang (the man is a gifted pianist), but you can rest assured that his handler approved (if not selected) the songs he played.

Wolftech on January 25, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Most any music can be what you want…National Anthem, a song about drug users.
Oh say can you see (C for cocaine) by the dawn’s early light (that is when the drug users shoot up)…

right2bright on January 25, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Not to take anything away from Lang Lang (the man is a gifted pianist), but you can rest assured that his handler approved (if not selected) the songs he played.

Wolftech on January 25, 2011 at 3:57 PM

You can count on it…someone actually doesn’t think this was done on purpose, with intent?
The wouldn’t allow Obama to be photographed walking through a door of “enlightenment”, but a door of disgrace instead for political reasons.
American public is so naive,which I guess is why we have the president we do.
The problem is, he is way out of his league with other leaders, especially these communist/marxist leaders. Everything is scripted, and designed to shame America.

right2bright on January 25, 2011 at 4:38 PM

The over use of “The obligatory …” has gotten beyond tiresome.

Louis on January 25, 2011 at 6:18 PM

奧巴馬是一個不稱職的,傲慢的孩子。他改變了美國成為世界笑柄中華人民。他已經破壞了貴國如此糟糕,我們幾乎為你感到遺憾。 — Pres. Hu

Translation

petefrt on January 25, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Let’s all see what Lang Lang does in the future. He is a young man. And, appears to be an Obama favorite to have at state dinners.

SC.Charlie on January 25, 2011 at 2:32 PM

He’ll briong down the ‘House with:

Barack Obama

m-m-m, m-m-m, m-m-m!
(just missed puking on my keyboard – yech!!

Sweet_Thang on January 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM

奧巴馬是一個不稱職的,傲慢的孩子。他改變了美國成為世界笑柄中華人民。他已經破壞了貴國如此糟糕,我們幾乎為你感到遺憾。— Pres. Hu

petefrt on January 25, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Waiter, for the main course, I’ll take the Hu Flung Poo.

And my friend will try the Cho Kon It.

Shy Guy on January 25, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Someone played an anti-American tune at the White House? And this is a surprise to people? With this anti-American administration? …Really?!

Sterling Holobyte on January 25, 2011 at 11:47 PM

No, more like the Chinese version of America the Beautiful.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Mei Mei Guo? Given the lyrics around the offending words, you may be right. However, in “America the Beautiful” the British are never called “jackels”. Judging from what I’m seeing on Chinese sites, they think it was really cute to put one over on the myopic Americans.

We had our noses tweaked really good.

unclesmrgol on January 26, 2011 at 6:27 PM

My return of the insult is I will go out of my way to avoid Chinese made goods.

churchill995 on January 26, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Kind of like when Muslims build a mosque in lands they have conquered. hmmmmm

pugsly on January 27, 2011 at 11:02 AM

…they should meet some people are do some reading.

DaveS on January 24, 2011 at 9:18 PM

You speak that Engrish like a native Dabe!

And you’re a BS artist on par with the OBaMaO itself! As for the ChiComs peeing on the WH piano, I’m just tickled that they haven’t been able to cut off our eyelids, toss us in a ditch, and piss on US, like they did to the Tibetans! Happily, the DC “progressives” reveal themselves once again as enablers of America’s enemies — the scuttling cockroaches!

Here’s a salute and a toast to the U.S. HEROES of the Frozen Chosin, the Pusan Perimeter, and all engagements in between!

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on January 28, 2011 at 5:03 AM

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