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September 23rd, 2018

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Ironies | Update

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published May 4, 2017

Ironies  |  Update

London's The Guardian reported in January that "dozens" of people have been charged or jailed recently for "defaming" the new Myanmar government, which has been headed (in a prime-minister-like role) since April by Aung San Suu Kyi, who was elected after her release from house detention following two decades of persecution for criticizing the longtime military regime. For her struggle for free speech, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Said the wife of the latest arrestee, Myo Yan Naung Thein, on trial for "criminal defamation" of Suu Kyi's regime, "This is not insulting -- this is just criticizing, with facts. This is freedom of speech." [The Guardian, 1-9-2017]

Two years ago, News of the Weird updated previous entries by noting that China's Ministry of Culture had cracked down on the centuries-old tradition of festively over-the-top funerals (ceremonies to assure the family that the deceased did not die "faceless") -- by arresting the song-and-dance people (including strippers and pole-dancers) peddling their services to mourners. Even though that ban has been working, nostalgic Chinese can still see great funeral pole-dancing -- in Taiwan -- according to a January report on the death of Chiayi county official Tung Hsiang, featuring 50 "scantily clad" entertainers. (Pole-dancing, itself, is still big in China, where the national pole-dancing team recently performed its annual outdoor show, wearing shorts and halter tops, in the country's northernmost village, Beiji -- where the temperature was minus 33 Celsius.) [Shanghaiist, 1-5-20-17] [Shanghaiist, 12-21-2016]

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