A consequence of State Capitalism that our Progressive brothers and sisters so often gloss over is control all of the the media and the arts. If you want access to perform for the people, you must abide by the rules of the State and perform as they see fit. Governments can't have rabble rousers being allowed to sing, write, paint, speak or even think as they see fit.
Imagine the screaming and hollering that would be heard if Bob Dylan wanted to perform a concert at a high school in Washington, DC and he was told that his set list must be approved before he walks on stage. The one-sided conversation might go something like this;
'Mr. Dylan, you are not permitted to play that song, that song, and that song, you are only allowed to play THESE songs.'
And then ponder the disbelief among Dylan’s loyal fans when they learn that their hero had agreed and caved to this insidious request.
Of course it did not happen in DC, but it did happen this past week, in China.
Bob Dylan, a musical legend,a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, bending to the demands of an oppressive government in order to sell tickets? Yes indeed. (Insert your favorite and appropriate Dylan song title here... I prefer "Gotta Serve Somebody")
Bob was not allowed to sing his classic anti-war song 'Blowin' in the Wind'
Of course we realize that the inclusion of a forbidden Dylan song might spark the Chinese Ministry of Culture will block this post so the people are not polluted by this dangerous music. Then again, it is doubtful that the MoC even allows The Blaze to taint their sanitized servers.
Scanning the State-approved set list from Friday night's Shanghai performance shows just how edgy Dylan was allowed to be;
Dylan's China concerts were sell-outs. And yes, that was meant to be taken more than one way.
Tickets for these concerts were not exactly cheap. The New York Times printed the prices ranged from 280 yuan ($42) to 1,961.411 yuan (about $294). Compared to American concert ticket prices, $42-$294 doesn't sound excessive, until you consider that the average factory worker in China earns about $300 per month.
Perhaps this one line from a recent Dylan song crystallizes the hypocrisy of the situation;
'I used to care, but things have changed.'