For the purposes of this thread, let's define 'cultural imperialism' to mean that the most commonly exported media in the world come from the US, UK and Japan, and that through the values they spread in their media they end up undermining local cultures across the world and also make people disinterested in watching or looking at local works.
Now, personally, as a Chinese-Malaysian, my opinion on claims of cultural imperialism? It's total nonsense.
Personally, at least, I consciously seek out Western and occasionally Japanese media, without being forced to, because I simply find their works to be, on average, better than local media, or at least more interesting.
And I'm not just talking about Malaysian media either, but media from the Chinese-speaking world at large (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore). Let's break it down:
- In terms of TV shows, for example, many of them, even the well-made ones, seem to only appeal to people over the age of 50 or so. Usually cliche cop shows, dumb soap operas, samey historical dramas set in either the Warring States period, Qing dynasty, ROC period or the Cultural Revolution, or samey wuxia shows with terrible special effects and writing. (One of the worst lines of dialog I've ever heard is from the latter, some random Taiwanese show that I came across, was "the hearts of good people are red, and the hearts of bad people are black". Not joking!)
- In terms of music about 90% of the stuff are shallow love songs if my radio is to be believed (although fortunately there are exceptions from various talented artists).
- In terms of movies Hong Kong and China's movie industries, while still fairly enjoyable to me, are direly lacking in imagination - a lot of the output nowadays are recycled undercover cop films that rip off Infernal Affairs
or the same old Wuxia stories over and over.
- In terms of video games, the only ones that China makes are a bunch of unoriginal MM Os
. The other regions have no real game industries whatsoever.
Also, did I mention that throughout all of this, there is literally not a single Science Fiction
story to be found? Any worth mentioning, at least.
Now I'm not saying there's no good or redeeming Chinese works, as there are many, usually movies, that I still enjoy, but with all the shortcomings and limitations that I've perceived from media coming from my own native culture, is it really that surprising that I gravitate towards Western and Japanese media and offer far more appealing stuff? And a wider range of genres and styles too?
And when it comes to the topic of media exports, many Chinese media creators generally have no interest in selling outside Asia anyway, with the exception of certain higher-grade movies like the aforementioned Infernal Affairs
. I'm bringing this up because I've heard complaints about how media exports between the Sinosphere and the rest of the world are a one-way street, apparently because it's a conspiracy by the West or something.
I apologize for any aggressiveness in my post. But I recently got into a discussion in which I heard that Western/Japanese media are made to control our minds and submit to their cultures, or something like that, and I really did not like the implication that I'm some sort of cultural traitor.
edited 25th Feb '14 11:55:35 AM by Exploder