(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘consumerism

“The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club”*…

As Viola Zhou explains, someone tried very hard to please Chinese movie censors…

Fight Club is getting an entirely different ending in a new online release in China, where imported films are often altered to show that the law enforcement, on the side of justice, always trumps the villain. 

The 1999 film by David Fincher originally ends with the Narrator (Edward Norton) killing his split personality Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). With the female lead Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), he then watches all the buildings explode outside the window and collapse, suggesting Tyler’s anarchist plan to destroy consumerism is in the works.

The exact opposite happens in the edit of the same film released in China. In the version on the Chinese streaming site Tencent Video, the explosion scene has been removed. Instead, viewers are told that the state successfully busted Tyler’s plan to destroy the world…

Cult Classic ‘Fight Club’ Gets a Very Different Ending in China,” from @violazhouyi in @VICE.

* “Tyler Durden”

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As we contemplate censorship, we might note that this was a bad day for revolutionaries of another stripe:  it was on this date in 1606 that the trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators began, ending with their execution on January 31 for their roles in the Catholic Restorationist “Gunpowder Plot.”

George Cruikshank‘s illustration of Guy Fawkes, published in William Harrison Ainsworth‘s 1840 novel Guy Fawkes

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 27, 2022 at 1:00 am

Shopping Therapy…

As the Chinese economy passes Japan’s to become the world’s second largest, China’s Long March to consumerism has made it the most important new market for the manufacturers of everything from autos (its domestic market is now larger than the U.S.’) to cosmetics and fashion (“China will be the world’s biggest market for high-end products in a decade”)

But not everyone in China is happy with the change.  Beijing-based photographer Wang Qingsong combines modern logographics with traditional cultural symbols to create allegories of excess and decay…

See (larger versions of the photos above and) more of this Beijing Bosch at The International Center of Photography in New York, where an exhibition of Wang Qingsong’s work– “When World’s Collide”– is up through May 8, or at ICP’s web site:  icp.org.

As we get back in touch with our inner Thorstein Veblen, we might recall that it was on this date in 1872 that Luther Crowell patented a machine for the manufacture of accordion-sided, flat-bottomed paper bags.  (That said, Margaret E. Knight might more accurately be considered the”mother of the modern shopping bag”: she perfected square bottoms two years earlier.)

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