Sex in the (demolished) city

In the horrific aftermath of the recent earthquakes in China comes this very odd story about a Chinese lifestyle magazine that apparently thought it would be a great idea to have scantily clad women pose amidst all the rubble.

The New Travel Weekly, a small lifestyle magazine, ran photos of sultry models in their underwear amid the debris in an issue that hit the stands on Monday – the first of three days of national mourning.

The press and publication department of the southwestern city of Chongqing, where the magazine was based, said it decided to close the magazine down for “rectification.”

The department said the magazine “seriously violated propaganda discipline and went against social morals” and the report constituted an “extremely evil social influence.”

“If the outcome of the rectification is satisfactory, it is possible to reopen the magazine,” an employee of the press and publication department with the family name Cai said.

“After all, only part of the staff made the decision to print that shoot. It wouldn’t be fair to just close it for good.”

The company that manages The New Travel Weekly said it had sacked the magazine’s managing editor, editor and deputy editor, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

No one answered the telephone at the magazine’s office.

Okay so that’s pretty bad taste. Alright, REALLY bad taste. Over here, if Howard Stern ran a magazine, this is about the quality of content I would expect to see.

But what is exploitation, really? If a national news magazine in the US puts a dramatic aerial photo of the earthquake’s destruction on their front cover, promising more juicy pics inside to entice people to buy their rag, might this also be considered exploitation? Not defending New Travel Weekly… just an observation.

But the more sobering reality that comes through in this article is the fact that the Chinese government actually has the power to shut down a magazine on a whim. Wham! Doors shut. Out of circulation. These are the fruits of Socialism in practice, folks — this is what government control over the private sector will get you. China might allow it’s citizens to think they are free… but one misstep… one ill spoken word… bye bye. In spite of the thriving capitalist market in that region, Communism is alive and well in China.

To further bring home this point:

As part of the official grief, it [the Chinese Government] temporarily pulled entertainment networks off television and closed down cinemas, karaoke bars and other leisure venues.

Wow. Can you imagine that happening over here? Actually, in some future scenarios, I can. Cherish your freedom, folks. Don’t take it for granted.

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