Toxic Tongues, Too Foolish

太傻 or Too Foolish is one song that I really enjoy listening to because I can’t sing it well. Unlike 梁文福 songs, it’s fiendishly difficult to sing without deliberately trying to challenge our vocal range. It’s the beautiful mountain that just happens to be there. You risk tearing your vocal chords if you dare to attempt.

The original singer for this song is not Eric Moo 巫启贤 but another Malaysian singer 柯以敏。While I thought she handled the song most competently, I didn’t really keep up with her career in the music industry. 太傻 is her only song that I know. Apparently, she went to China as well and made a name for herself as the “toxic tongue” among the judges in reality shows similar to American Idol. You can check out her “performance” in the video below. The Chinese answer to Simon Cowell?

Was she just acting out the role or did she really think she was some diva? We know that a lot of the drama that we see on reality shows are actually staged. There is nothing real about these reality shows, or is there? Did role playing lead to 假戏真做? Let’s take a look a the following video. Is she really that unreasonable? Or is her “toxic tongue” meant to spur these cloistered youngsters to perform their best? It worked in this case. The contestant even hugged her.

If she had gone overboard, then a gentle reminder would have sufficed. Was there a need to cancel her? This is where I think politics may have entered the picture. Notice in the first video that she identified herself as 中国人.。We don’t know if she had given up her Malaysian citizenship, but suffice to say that someone with a toxic tongue and so full of herself (even just on stage) can never be another Jackie Chan.

Below is her “performance” on Super Orator show. No, she’s not acting. The real 柯以敏 is really that strict and that nasty. During the show, you can see from the poll that the majority of young people (students) disagreed with her while many parents agreed with her. What’s going on here? 小皇帝 generation? Or is China always on the verge of a Cultural Revolution where students are always ready to turn the teaching tables on their teachers?

As we can see from her performances, she totally lacks the compliance, subservience, willingness to compromise and political correctness that is required of patriotic artists. Maybe she had served the reality show’s purpose and it was time to sacrifice her, just as they did with Li Yundi. Perhaps the authorities and the industry players see her as a liability as the market forces have changed. The majority of consumers are now in the younger generation that does not like to be talked down to. You don’t need to be real to make money on social media platforms nowadays. You just have to manipulate foolish followers.

Below is a video of 柯以敏 in her element many years ago.

While the entertainment industry is one where politics is the least obvious, journalism is one where it is most obvious. China’s latest policies banning all “unofficial” news reports further underlines the need to be completely pro-government and pro-party in China’s non-existent Fourth Estate. Can one run into trouble with a toxic tongue in this circle? You bet. 芮成钢 was one of them. He is most “well-known” for making the following statement during the 2010 G20 Summit hosted by Korea in Seoul. He had audaciously taken the privilege of asking the last question from the host country by giving himself the right to represent “the entire Asia”. He even asked an American diplomat flying economy class in China whether it’s because America is feeling bad because it owes China so much.

When toxic tongues go overboard like this, the authorities may decide to take action, not so much because they are an embarrassment (there is a ton of embarrassing comments on social media allowed to go viral) but because the individuals may turn into megalomaniacs who act too independently. Many Chinese influencers gain a tremendous number of followers when they “patriotically” make enemies and declare war against Western powers. Rui seemed to be doing well in this area until the public was shocked when he was arrested and slapped with corruption charges. He then “disappeared” even though he was scheduled to be released from prison in 2020. Many speculated that he may have committed suicide.

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