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所以不同位置的人就週不時要向傳媒放料，政府，達官貴人等經常會與傳媒茶聚又或是飯局，向傳媒擺出友善姿態，跟您做個 friend？不要儍了，他們的目的都只是想媒體幫忙傳個好話，好得日後要推出政策得到民間支持，或做生意得到這高成效；政黨之間及跟政府的政治角力也得倚賴傳媒，拉布的輿論戰是個好例子，鬧西九超支買藏品也是好例子，art fair 要用傳媒幫它說好話，將一個 trade fair dress up 到是一個推動藝術文化的活動。人云亦云，到最後真相是如何都不是最重要，因為閱讀報章雜誌的大眾跟＜金枝2＞的奴才都沒有太大分別，只會不加思索的將故事繼續傳開去。
The unusually low ratings for TVB’s costume drama Beauty at War has been among the talking points in
As mentioned briefly in my previous blog post I don’t get it, the show, set in the Qing Dynasty’s Jiaqing period (1796 – 1820) evolving around the politics and scheming among the ladies trapped in palace Forbidden City, draws lukewarm response because the majority of TV audience (i.e. housewives) found it too complex to follow – people just don’t get it.
The prime-time show has achieved a low 19 rating points – an equivalent to slightly more than 1 million TV audiences as compared to the normal 30 rating points. Audiences blame the show for carrying too many intertwining subplots, the characters’ lack of charm, and they have to chase the subtitles as the lines are spoken in rather classical Chinese as compared to daily spoken Cantonese. There was even an online poll in Commercial Radio asking people to vote whether TVB should axe the series before it ends.
|Princess Shun, a concubine of deceased emperor Qianlong, acts as if|
she falls for Kunju actor Ko in order to trick her sister Princess Yue, whom
she hates to the guts
Nine years later, the duo came up with Beauty at War. But instead of being a story simply about scheming and political struggle among the princesses and servants, Beauty at War is more conceptual. One audience made a very good point in TVB forum: “This show evolves around creating rumours and spreading rumours, but what it really wants to address is the importance of controlling and directing public opinion.”
All the incidents in the show are driven by rumours, and they are concluded by other rumours. Rumours are circulated inside and outside of
Forbidden City through an
audience that are hungry for entertainment but never question their validity. And
after a while, people will start believing these rumours, and even the most
fabricated stories will eventually become real. Then different people holding
different positions are taking advantages all the way through.
Isn’t it the same as today’s society?
Thus the focus is not about scheming and politics. As a media person, what I learn in this show is how people in charge must rely on public opinion to maintain its authorities over the public. Those who want to challenge the authorities also need the help from the media in order to put pressure on the authorities.
|Ladies in waiting caught in between the fights of their masters|
Thus all these political debates that we see in the media are no difference from the kind of rumours being spread around in Beauty at War. Someone exposed the West Kowloon Cultural District's extreme over budget (as cost has gone up from HK$21.6 billion to a reportedly HK$47.6 billion) to the media to get the public to slam on the arts hub project. Art Basel Hong Kong is branded as a catalyst for arts and culture when in fact it is a massive trade fair dressed up as a cultural event. Paul McCarthy’s Complex Pile inflatable sculpture is a piece of shit because people have said so. As the rumour mill goes around, the majority of the audience with a mediocre intelligence are no different from the palace maids and eunuchs in Beauty at War – they will keep spreading the rumours around without asking any questions.
|Princess Shun and labourer Tung, who volunteers|
to spread rumours and collect information for Shun