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They may have mown down their own students with real tanks but what really scares the Chinese government is a stuffed, furry bear with a red tank top. A movie starring Ewan McGregor came out in cinemas on Friday, and covers the frankly rather boring honey-coated story of a series of improbable animal friends doing very little …

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  1. Palladium

    Well, the common man over there treats their censorship as much as a joke as we do.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Seriously? I never knew that...

      "the common man over there treats their censorship as much as a joke as we do."

      Seriously, I never knew that... probably because it's *censored*.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Just to be helpful:

    A stuffed, furry bear with a red tank top and no pants.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Just to be helpful:

      Exactly... now which is the leader and which is fictional bear?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Just to be helpful:

        The one with no genitalia?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just to be helpful:

          Still unsure and now probably on a watch list.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Just to be helpful:

        I don't get this - Xi looks nothing like Pooh - Disney or Shepherd version. Unless this is the old 'all you western round-eyed furry animals look the same to me' syndrome, in which case no Yogi and Boo-Boo in Beijing.

        1. Grikath Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Just to be helpful:

          Yogi and Boo-Boo would run into the censorship hammer for being anti-authorian...

          1. PerlyKing
            Facepalm

            Re: "anti-authorian"

            They didn't like the author?

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Just to be helpful:

          >Xi looks nothing like Pooh

          Although there is something undeniably eyeore- about Prime Minister Abe in the 2nd photo

        3. razorfishsl

          Re: Just to be helpful:

          As far as many in China are concerned He Looks EXACTLY like him.

          if you spend a few months in Asia your brain changes the way you process facial information,

          It's really quite interesting.

          One result is that XI looks exactly like Poo, sometimes even his walk is the same, it's reported he absolutely loathes the reference.

          1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

            Re: Just to be helpful:

            "he absolutely loathes the reference"

            Sounds like the authoritarian supremo needs a hug. Or cookies and warm milk. Or a nap.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Just to be helpful:

              Hunny, Bob. He needs hunny.

        4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Just to be helpful:

          Re: Just to be helpful:

          I don't get this - Xi looks nothing like Pooh - Disney or Shepherd version.

          1970es Russian version. You can find it on YouTube. It also has several double+ meaning songs where the second meaning between the lines is political and lampooning the great communist leadership. It was a form of sport to get that past the censors in those days - many of their old movies have this.

          That is what got pooh-bear banned. The Disney and later versions are just collateral damage.

    2. Halcin
      Happy

      Re: Just to be helpful:

      A stuffed, furry bear with a red tank top and no pants.

      Or trousers ;)

    3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Just to be helpful:

      Of course no pants - how else can a bear poo in the woods?

    4. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Just to be helpful:

      It's not a tank top, though.

    5. Efer Brick

      Re: Just to be helpful:

      and, one likes hunny, the other doesn't

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Best firewall evah

    I'm going to put that on my webserver to see if it blocks all the brute-force attacks from Chinese networks.

  4. JLV Silver badge

    whatever’s wrong ...

    with our political systems here*, there’s plenty worse around elsewhere. Or at least you’re mostly allowed to criticize your local Dear Leader. Much as some of them think of the press as enemies.

    Xi does happen to be competent, but dictatorships don’t always get competent bosses, not unlike the problems bequeathed by Wilhelm II or Leopold II.

    I truly wonder if Xi doesn’t realize how ridiculous and Barbara Streisandy the Winnie censorship makes him look.

    * for various flavors of ‘here’ as exemplified by May, Trump, Tsipras...

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: whatever’s wrong ...

      I think you ment to say problems imposed on the World by, the likes of Macron, Merkel and, May, along with the cronie presscore who support them.

      1. HolySchmoley

        Re: whatever’s wrong ...

        Whereas Brexit Britain and Grating America impose problems on themselves, though the 'leaders', being bears of little brains, are slow to realise.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge

          grating?

          Is that a cheesy way of saying Regreatification?

    2. K Silver badge

      Re: whatever’s wrong ...

      "I truly wonder if Xi doesn’t realize how ridiculous "

      To be fair, this would have been the decision of some egotistic junior bureaucrat.. As for chinese citizens in general, they'll just buy it from one of their famous DVD outlet stores for about 20p!

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: whatever’s wrong ...

        China, for whatever reason, has long had a quota for foreign films in its theatres. The quota started off at 10 a year in the 1990s and has been expanded to 34 today. The chances that a less than stunning movie with a character that might be taken as a parody of Chairman Xi will be one of those films are probably close to zero. Especially given President Trump's recent trade related antics and the fact that it's an American film. There are alternate mechanisms that could allow its distribution, but probably won't. See http://chinafilminsider.com/foreign-films-in-china-how-does-it-work/

    3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: whatever’s wrong ...Xi does happen to be competent

      Right now I'd exchange our present government for the Politburo provided we were allowed free democratic elections in 2022. Because "competent" and "British government" are disjoint sets.

      Hey, we might get some decent railways, an airport or two, some more wind power, a burgeoning electric vehicle sector, some decent electronics makers and cheap Russian gas. And possibly a statement that Britain is an indissoluble part of the EU (cf Taiwan).

      Sadly, based on the Hong Kong experience, the free democratic election bit is unlikely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: whatever’s wrong ...Xi does happen to be competent

        @Voyna i Mor

        As somebody who visits there quite regularly (I have family who migrated there, from the UK, I like to add), In many ways I'd agree. I'm not talking about the communist-crush-rebellion from yester-year, but their present doctrine has delivered a lot of stability and prosperity.

        As for those who would call China repressive, I'd say, first go and experience it yourself, stop listening to the press who themselves are using 3rd-hand information. Second, the UK establishment is worse in many respects, they're lying, cheating, who also block content..

        Then we have the brexit camp, which seems to have all these traits as super-powers, who are also brainwashing people with xenophobia. As is perfectly timed for this article - My wife was watching Come Dine With Me on Friday (recorded from couple of weeks ago), which had a immigrant Indian woman, who said she voted Brexit, because she hates Immigrants and they're stealing all jobs!! Just wow...

        Anyway, that's my Sunday morning politiks dealt with, now I need coffee

        1. Steve 114

          Re: whatever’s wrong ...Xi does happen to be competent

          Oopsie, I was on UK-Govt-paid visit to the PRC, who I found fascinating, credible (in local circumstances) and fully authentic. I'd question when 'repressive' begins to approach close to 'broader public interest'. We, and they. elect (or whatever) authorities to make that judgement. But I'd part company on 'Brexit' - if the PRC had inherited a 'free movement' Treaty with Japan, India, Indonesia and Russia, what would their public now prefer?

        2. JLV Silver badge

          Re: whatever’s wrong ...Xi does happen to be competent

          >experience it yourself

          Methink there is a massive difference between experiencing it as a foreigner, esp a Westerner, and as a local, specifically in the context of political freedom.

          If you say the wrong thing, you’ll at worst be asked to leave and never granted a visa again.

          Locals don’t “experience” it in the same way. Or, are you denying the existence of political-only prisoners in China?

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_dissidents

          Because all the rest really is bullshit - either a country has political prisoners or it doesn’t. That is orthogonal to other considerations like competence, excessive police force, excessive imprisonment of certain minorities. Not so much to corruption - political prisoners often end up there for decrying it.

          True, the power to throw folk in jail does let you get away with a lot more too

          Not only China - nice Thailand, which issues 20 yr sentences to middle aged women liking a FB post making fun of the royal dog is right up there.

          So, your “all the same”? Calling BS.

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: whatever’s wrong ...

      I truly wonder if Xi doesn’t realize how ridiculous and Barbara Streisandy the Winnie censorship makes him look.

      That may be the point. If you implement plenty of petty tyrannies, many people will get distracted from the real ones. If some of the clever kids spend their efforts bootlegging foreign films, they won't be putting them into real resistance.

      I have a grudging respect for Xi. As autocrats go, he seems to have a very nuanced and careful grasp of power. His cult of personality seems to be extremely managed, not the sort of wild-eyed populism we see with Trump, for example, or even the still rather visceral "hard man is good to find" thing Putin promotes. His repressions also strike me as calculated, and often deliberately obtuse, to present a sort of circus of ineffectual resistance. Let the people enjoy inconsequential defiance as entertainment.

      (Of course, this is by no means a novel technique, but as far as I'm aware it was mostly practiced systematically in pre-capitalist economies, as shown in e.g. Stallybrass & White's The Politics and Poetics of Transgression. There was a bit of it with the US Hippie movement, which was notable for achieving nothing but the neutering of a potential political opposition,1 but I suspect most of the US establishment genuinely loathed the hippies and it didn't occur to them to use the movement this way.)

      1Unlike the actual civil-rights movements in the US, which did achieve significant change.

  5. ramen-hero

    Nope

    Your site isn’t blocked from China, at least for now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nope

      Hang on...don't Apple get their kit made in China....is this a way to get at Apple's PR and see if the Chinese can make them talk to El Reg?

  6. Slaytanic

    Guys, don't pick on dear leader, Shénjīngbìng 神經病. He's very sensitive.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Coat

      Anything whose name contains "bing" can't be any good!!!

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Not even Bing Crosby?

        1. Spoonsinger

          Re:- Not even Bing Crosby?

          Especially Bing Crosby.

      2. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Anything whose name contains "bing" can't be any good!!!

        Hey!

      3. Waseem Alkurdi

        Not even Bing Search? :D

        1. The Oncoming Scorn
          Joke

          Bing Crosby

          I guess that he would be the crooning presscore mentioned ealier.

      4. HolySchmoley

        >Anything whose name contains "bing" can't be any good!!!

        Ditto "rump".

        1. bpfh

          Rump steak?

      5. Ken 16 Silver badge

        too many Friends re-runs in your house?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Favourite line from Friends has to be "Can you handle it? Hey! Handle is my middle name... well, the middle part of my first name..."

          1. Wayneh_nz

            Or, to meta two threads, "my family name Bing, is welsh, it means dinner is ready"

  7. Adair

    Travesty...

    I would like to have it on record that Disney's representation of Pooh is an utter travesty of the character as written by AA Milne and as drawn by EH Shepherd. Shepherd's drawings are definitive, and Disney's transmogrification deserves to be exiled to a hell of hard radiation for all eternity.

    1. Bibbit

      Re: Travesty...

      Maybe it will be ok and James Corden will voice him. He rocked with Peter Rabbit. :/

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Travesty...

      "I would like to have it on record that Disney's representation of Pooh is an utter travesty of the character as written by AA Milne and as drawn by EH Shepherd."

      I wouldn't have expected otherwise.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Travesty...

        I wouldn't have expected otherwise.

        Yeah, their Little Mermaid isn't exactly faithful to the source material either. Ditto anything that isn't Disney ab initio. Disney is not in the business of maintaining any tradition other than their own.

    3. fishman

      Re: Travesty...

      The new movie's characters are closer to the original drawings than the old Disney movies.

    4. Hugh Pumphrey

      Re: Travesty...

      What Adair said deserves its 48 upvotes and zero downvotes. The disnification of Winnie the Pooh has made me want to do something violent since I first saw it. A hell of hard radiation would do just fine.

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