Green Room

Great moments in architecture: China’s propaganda organ takes its status seriously

posted at 9:31 am on May 5, 2013 by

Via the Atlantic, Beijing’s propaganda machine is working overtime to suppress commentary about … the new headquarters of Beijing’s propaganda machine.  Architectural art is supposed to express the reality of its function, and this may just be the pinnacle of the art form:

china-architecture

The People’s Daily is the main state-owned newspaper of China’s communist party, and everyone was pretty psyched about the paper’s new Beijing headquarters. The building is massive, imposing, and, uh, currently shaped like a colossal penis. Now, as construction workers try to finish the engineering, the country’s censors are working overtime to stop Chinese people on social media from laughing at the expense of the very paper in charge of controlling the country’s message.According to The International Business Times, the nearly 500-foot tower won’t be finished until this time next year, but the war on mocking it has already begun. …

And then you have papers like The Times of India, with (unintentionally funny?) introductions to their architecture stories: “The new 150-meter tall headquarters of the People’s Daily, the main organ of the Communist Party….” And then you have this: As the blog HugChina reported last month, a rather unfortunate nickname for the paper emerged right after the first photos of the construction site surfaced, before the censors stepped in:

People’s Daily (人民日报) has long been called Raping People Daily (日人民报) by Chinese netizens for chronically misleading the people with false reports. It was understood that the propagandists in Beijing do not like this nickname, but that they chose the bizarre design of the new headquarters reveals that it may not necessarily be so.

Shouldn’t we be celebrating this uncommonly honest expression of art in China? Let’s hope that Beijing doesn’t go limp on us and pull out of this building, but instead stay firm and handle this erection with as much dignity as possible. And let’s hope they don’t get too pissed off about all the kidding, either.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

You know, if the architect’s name was Richard and people called him by the common nickname for Richard…

radjah shelduck on May 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

hahahahahahahaha

Commies can be so inadvertently funny!

itsnotaboutme on May 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Settling in for a slow news Sunday…

ericdijon on May 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Finished off by the world’s tallest mohel.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on May 5, 2013 at 9:57 AM

What a bunch of pricks those guys are.

Odysseus on May 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Mao Tse Dong?

Glenn Jericho on May 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Women’s groups worldwide demanded a …

Nope.

I can’t do it.

hawkdriver on May 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Gives new meaning to the word “headquarters”.

OxyCon on May 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Can’t wait for this building to be finished with its erection.

rbj on May 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Mao Ze-Dong would be so proud.

CO2 Producer on May 5, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Oops, sorry, Glenn Jericho. You beat me to it said it first.

CO2 Producer on May 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Someone will have to explain to me how you get “Raping People Daily” from 日人民报. Ed?

Btw, here’s how the building will look when construction is finished.

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Boioioiooioioing

Sekhmet on May 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM

They could have nipped this orgasm of ridicule in the bud if they’d solicited ejaculations of concern prematurely in the design process by holding a public comment orgy.

Dusty on May 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Someone will have to explain to me how you get “Raping People Daily” from 日人民报. Ed?
Btw, here’s how the building will look when construction is finished.
DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

日has a slang meaning that would translate into a type of vulgar act. Close enough to rape.

aryeung on May 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Alternate headline: “Commies’ propaganda organ is stiff – but not upper lip!”

I couldn’t make this up if I had ten years to try.

MelonCollie on May 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM

And at least we didn’t see that thing strapped on to the CCTV building.

aryeung on May 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM

日has a slang meaning that would translate into a type of vulgar act. Close enough to rape.

aryeung on May 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I’d guessed it was possibly based a play on the phonetics. My wife (native Chinese speaker) didn’t get it. Is this slang term written with the 日 character?

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Ok, found it. Thanks aryeung

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Ok, found it. Thanks aryeung
DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Good. A little awkward to explain in this type of forum.

aryeung on May 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Good. A little awkward to explain in this type of forum.

aryeung on May 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Now I have to explain it to my wife ;)

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Someone will have to explain to me how you get “Raping People Daily” from 日人民报. Ed?

Btw, here’s how the building will look when construction is finished.

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Looks more like it will end up looking like this instead

Sekhmet on May 5, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Now I have to explain it to my wife

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Try charades.

The Rogue Tomato on May 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Btw, here’s how the building will look when construction is finished.

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

So what you’re saying is that the notion it will end up looking like a dick is a phallicy?

The Rogue Tomato on May 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Is there a claw foot tub or two anywhere in the landscape?

Cindy Munford on May 5, 2013 at 2:17 PM

giggety!

So what you’re saying is that the notion it will end up looking like a dick is a phallicy?

The Rogue Tomato on May 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM

*groan*

Or should I say *groin*…

JetBoy on May 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM

So they stole the architecture plans from “How I Met Your Mother”?

Dr T on May 5, 2013 at 2:46 PM

I took one look at the photos of the…ahem…CONSTRUCTION IN PROGRESS…read that quote from the Times of India about “the main organ of the Communist Party”, and very nearly blew the coffee I was in process of drinking all over my screen!

Gawsh, what were those CCP dudes THINKIN’ when they okayed this design????

Yiwen on May 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

One of the nicknames of “The Gherkin” in London is… The Crystal Phallus. :)

Tzetzes on May 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM

It looks so much larger in the dark.

unclesmrgol on May 5, 2013 at 7:08 PM

That is one hell of a lot of cross bracing.

From DarkCurrent’s photo, it looks like this is taken from the narrow end of the building, and that they’re only about halfway up–the structure shown in this photo is still getting “wider”; the widest portion of that face appears in the final version to be near the waistline of the tower, and then tapers again as it rounds off towards the top.

The rest of the current profile is due to scaffolding and won’t be part of the finished product.

TexasDan on May 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Oops, sorry, Glenn Jericho. You beat me to it said it first.

CO2 Producer on May 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Great minds think alike! Also, psychic twins…

Glenn Jericho on May 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM

I figured Dark Current would be in here, earning his 50 cents like a pro.

Wasn’t disappointed.

lorien1973 on May 5, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Good grief, Ed. Nice last paragraph.

John the Libertarian on May 5, 2013 at 9:35 PM

I don’t know where they’d get batteries big enough for it.

danielreyes on May 6, 2013 at 12:53 AM

lorien1973 on May 5, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Sorry, haven’t been banned yet.

Btw, I’m curious, do you go around fallaciously accusing everyone you don’t agree with of being a paid shill? Or do you reserve that disingenuous tactic for just a few?

DarkCurrent on May 6, 2013 at 1:42 AM

I figured Dark Current would be in here, earning his 50 cents like a pro.

Wasn’t disappointed.

lorien1973 on May 5, 2013 at 8:56 PM

There’s plenty to criticize about China, but in my limited experience, it’s not a fraction as bad as other country’s media makes it out to be. I’d move there if I had the chance.

For one thing, at least they don’t pretend not to censor and spin their state-run media. Also, face facts. We’re not a free country anymore; not even close. Our government is almost entirely corrupt from top to bottom. Our major elections are manipulated and the GOP has agreed never to contest the results, so your vote means nothing.

Fix the shite we have here, and then we’ll have room to criticize nations like China.

The Rogue Tomato on May 6, 2013 at 2:02 AM

From DarkCurrent’s photo, it looks like this is taken from the narrow end of the building, and that they’re only about halfway up–the structure shown in this photo is still getting “wider”; the widest portion of that face appears in the final version to be near the waistline of the tower, and then tapers again as it rounds off towards the top.

The rest of the current profile is due to scaffolding and won’t be part of the finished product.

TexasDan on May 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Are you thinking this is a central core, similar to the twin towers?

Bamboo Scaffolding in China is miraculous. I wouldn’t go on it, but it works.

danielreyes on May 6, 2013 at 2:26 AM

Our major elections are manipulated and the GOP has agreed never to contest the results, so your vote means nothing.

The Rogue Tomato on May 6, 2013 at 2:02 AM

The Great Manipulator must have been a Republican in 2000 & 2004.

Obama simply had a much better get-out-the-vote plan than anyone else in history.

We ought to be learning from that rather than crying “conspiracy!”

itsnotaboutme on May 6, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Next you’re going to tell me its going to have a giant, spurting Fountain on top???

Dale in Atlanta on May 6, 2013 at 9:04 AM

And the chairman of the People’s Propaganda “organ” has actually convinced his wife that the new building was actually 300 meters long…er “tall” all along…

Dale in Atlanta on May 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Looks more like it will end up looking like this instead

Sekhmet on May 5, 2013 at 1:58 PM

So it will go from looking like a phallus to looking like a dild… errrmmm… a toy?

GWB on May 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Needs a thicket of bushes and trees at the base.

mythicknight on May 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Btw, here’s how the building will look when construction is finished.

DarkCurrent on May 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Actually, that’s quite beautiful, nothing at all like the work-in-progress it is now.

Johnny 100 Pesos on May 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Dicktators

John Kettlewell on May 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM