Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Strange Bedfellows: IMDB and the CCP

I was surfing through IMDB just now and an oddly mis-worded advertisement caught my eye. "Mysterious Tibet Dalai". With a Chinese web address, no less! I was immediately suspicious. The only people in the world who refer to the Dalai Lama disrespectfully simply as 'Dalai' are his PRC Chinese critics. Is the Chinese government now so desperate to sway world opinion on this issue that they're taking out propaganda advertisements on popular Western websites? Perhaps hounding President Sarkozy of France over this issue didn't have the effect they were looking for?

Yep. A quick look over the website linked by the short advert reveals a hybrid attempt at (pragmatic) luring more tourists to Tibet and (less pragmatic) propagandizing on the Chinese government's 'official line' on Tibet and the Dalai Lama, and various other issues (Tibetan Antelope) geared to put a good spin on China's occupation of Tibet. Perhaps they don't realize that this would be considered in very bad taste (discussing tourism and politics in the same breath) among the very audience they want to cultivate here for both purposes of pilfering fat tourist wallets and inseminate with imperial Chinese ideology. Ugh. Makes me feel dirty even spending a few minutes on such a website.

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