Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two quick things...


One
- I'm watching Vietnam Idol and it is hilarious and even if your tieng viet is piss-poor it's worth it - some hilarious breakdancing singers, lots of hair gel, over the top ballad singers and moody rockers... right now I just saw these brilliant ethnic minority guys - six friends, all very cocksure - from Dak Lak province all get the golden ticket. You can see it on HTV9, the Hanoi channel or the Ho Chi Minh channels - it's not on VTV.

Two - An ex-colleague from the US writes about another ex-colleague from Hanoi and censorship here. It's a short, sharp piece which is worth a quick look especially for you sub-editors, hacks and scribes out there who've seen your prose clipped or headlines altered.

Over and out.

8 comments:

elliott said...

I'm curious to know, though, what the writer meant by "the Communist way" in the first place. If the writer wished to state that Anh Minh learnt music in Vietnam's state-run conservatories, why didn't he simply write that? The inclusion of those three words seems to introduce a stereotypical view of Communist ideology into the article that isn't really backed up by the words that follow. I doubt Anh Lam was concerned with this, however, as the censors at VIR were generally only interested in avoiding language that would raise the red flags (pun intended). My favourite memory from VIR is being told to avoid using "domestic violence" in a 1,500-word feature on husbands physically abusing their wives because it might be "misunderstood" as meaning "violent protests in Vietnam" (as opposed to international territories)... Keep em honest Stoker!

green ghost said...

Elliot is right, and so was Lam - the sentence is better written with some explanation in it, and saying 'the communist way' is not explanation, especially because rote learning is as much Confucian as it is Communist.

pittstop designer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pittstop designer said...

Ja - you're right and both of them should have known they could have just rewritten the sentence anyway and not get so flustered over deleting the said description.

There's always ways of writing around taboo words anyway.

Exotic cheroots anyone?

Anyway, I do like the story's sentiment as it's basically two nice guys, who both respect and like each other and don't want to step on each other's toes.

But I do find the "bring me back a New Yorker" bit a tad unlikely.

New York Times perhaps?

By the way, you can now get New Yorker here (you could always subscribe as OSLO did circa 2000 anyway) in Hanoi.

elliott said...

Maybe it was Phuong Lien who asked for the New Yorker? It might explain a few things...

TuAnh said...

comrades,

show a little interest in Vietnam Idol, would ya? all comments are about sensorship. Anyway, my one cent worth of words is, the ethnic guys on Vietnam idol were the only good contestants in the whole freak show. So, finally, I know who the black (with all of its positive sides) of Vietnam are. Ethnic people from Central Highland. Sorry my limited knowledge of my own country prevented me to spell out exactly what their ethnic group is (E de? H'mong? G'rai?). They can sure sing, then can dance, and they kick the whities (Kinh Vietnamese) arses when it comes to arts. So, there, I said it.

elliott said...

sorry we don't get vina idol here, so I can't really comment. But I will say that one of the best songs I've ever heard sung was by a pair of Hmong singers I heard at a festival in Ha Giang somewhere (a no name kind of town, if i recall, a town where everyone had to sleep in the local army barracks and shower by drawing water from the communal well). might even have a recording of it somewhere... you can probably still find the Hmong Top of the Pops on TDK cassette tape!

Hoang Viet Anh said...

Ethnic people - North, Central highland, they all plant and use drug, appropriately. That's why they are good when it come to dance and sing :-)