Whenever things seem rough, whenever the daily trials of life get you down, just be thankful you don't live in China.
In a move believed to be connected to the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, that bastion of freedom and democracy is banning all things horror, according to a story reported Thursday by Reuters. Producers and distributors have three weeks to report all forbidden materials to China's General Administration of Press and Publications.
A statement posted on the Chinese government's website (that's got to be some fun reading) declares that the mission is to "control and cleanse the negative effect these items have on society, and to prevent horror, violent [and] cruel publications from entering the market through official channels and to protect adolescents' psychological health." I'd suggest another method of protecting adolescents' psychological health would be to refrain from running them over with tanks.
The People's Republic has been the site of a growing market for horror films, both domestic (as epitomized by the breakthrough Chinese flick The Eye) and foreign (read: pirate DVD black market). But now the cultural police seem to be clamping down thanks to the upcoming Summer Games, in an attempt to make a good impression on the rest of the world. Well boys, you're off to a smashing start. Try book-burning next, that should help make you even more friends.
The ban comes on the heels of recent crackdowns on supposed "vulgar" content from video, audio and internet media.
My condolenscences go out to all the horror fans in China. But then, if any of you are reading this, you'd better log off before anyone sees you.